Calvary Road Baptist Church

ďGODíS REMEDYĒ

Genesis 3.15

 

As soon as you wake up in the morning you begin to recognize that the world you live in is in deep trouble. It doesnít matter if you look at the newspaper, or turn on the radio, look at an online news web site, or take a quick look at the television morning news. What you will be exposed to is an almost nonstop stream of very bad news. As you leave your home to travel to your destination, be it your school classroom, be it your office, or wherever it is that you work, all along the way you are constantly reminded that this world is in trouble. The evidence is all around you, from the trash in the street, to the homeless guy pushing a stolen grocery cart full of junk moving from trash can to trash can, to the crew of men with hard hats doing repair work, to many of the advertisements on the billboards, to the angry drivers in their cars or the bullies in the school yard, there is a never-ending stream of evidence that things are just not right. We frequently donít notice terrible things around us because we have become desensitized, but the evidence is still there to see.

Of course, in some parts of the world it is far worse than it is here. In Nigeria, and Sudan, and Iraq, and Syria, and Turkey, and even in Canada, the UK, France, Mexico, and Belgium, there are kidnappings, and crucifixions, and beheadings, and in some cases assaults against young girls perpetrated by their own fathers, brothers, and cousins, in the name of honor. Add to all of this the countless wars, the low-grade but still bloody conflicts, with the suicide bombings, the drone strikes, the cruise missile strikes, and the high-altitude bombing campaigns that are reinforced by helicopter gunships, and snipers that are up to a mile away. Not to mention the more than 50 million violent murders of unborn American innocents ripped apart by doctors, in procedures called abortions. Why is it that we do not continually ask ourselves, ďWhat happened? How did things get to be this way? What is wrong with us that we do this to each other, for whatever reason?Ē

To answer those questions I need to tell you a story. Itís a true story, with every detail of what Iím about to say found somewhere in the Word of God, found somewhere in the Bible. The Bible, of course, is Godís Word. It is the book that He wrote to tell us how we came to be this way and what He is going to do about it. As I tell you this true story, using facts that I have gleaned from the Bible, understand that I will not always tell the story in the exact sequence in which these events took place. I will follow a general chronology, but will not always stick to the precise details of what happened exactly when. My goal this morning is to leave you with an understanding of the big picture of what happened and what God is going to do about it. Understand that every detail of this story rehearses facts and details that took place thousands of years ago. No event that I will make reference to this morning has taken place within the last four thousand years. I will also make reference to eternity past. Therefore, understand that this is an old, old story.

I will tell this old, old story in five parts:

 

First, THE BEFORE PART

 

I suppose everyone is familiar with the beginning of the Bible, with Genesis 1.1, that begins ďin the beginning.Ē However, Genesis 1.1 does not look the furthest back of those passages in the Bible that look back. That portion of Godís Word that looks the farthest back is actually, and perhaps surprisingly to some, John chapter 1.1, where we read, ďIn the beginning was the Word.Ē That declaration refers back to before God created anything, before God made any of the things that He made. The reality is that this phrase, ďIn the beginning was the Word,Ē reaches farther back than does Genesis 1.1, in that Genesis 1.1 refers to the beginning of Godís creation of the physical universe. John 1.1, on the other hand and to state yet again, goes even farther back, to before God had made anything.

What was it like before God made anything? What existed before God made anything? Nothing. Before God made anything there was nothing, except God. He is the Creator. He is the First Cause. He is the Prime Mover. Science demands that every effect have a cause. However, secular scientists do not apply that principle, that scientific rule, to everything. In the beginning there had to be God, because the first effect had to have a First Cause, and God is the First Cause.

So, it was just God and nothing other than God, and no one other than God. So, was God lonely? No, He was not lonely because even God by Himself is not alone. Why not? Because God is a Trinity; the Father, the Son, and the Spirit. They three are actually One, and throughout the ceaseless ages of eternity past They communed One with the Others in perfect love and harmony.

 

Next, THE BEGINNING PART

 

At some point the three Persons began to create. Godís creative activity took place in two realms, the purely spiritual realm and the physical realm:

Let me tell you first about Godís creation of spiritual beings, of those who are sometimes referred to in the Bible as angels. They are several times also referred to as ďsons of God.Ē[1] God created them a company before He created anything or anyone else. The angels are a company because they are not a race. They are spirits because they do not have physical bodies, and are not in any way physical beings like you and I are. Angels were not created by God to ever reproduce, to ever have children. Thus, the number of angels who presently exist is exactly the same number as those angels God first created. They are eternal. They had a beginning, but they will have no end. They are extremely intelligent, very powerful, have the ability to move rapidly and invisibly, but are strictly limited by God as to what He will allow them to do.

After God created the angels, who are purely spiritual beings, He began to create that which is physical. That is where Genesis 1.1 begins, since in order to create physical creatures God had to first create a physical universe for us to live in. We read about Godís creation of the physical universe in Genesis chapter 1, where we are told that God created the time-space-matter continuum and everything in it in six days. And then He rested on the seventh day. To restate, God first fashioned a suitable environment for us to live in; air for us to breathe, water for us to drink, food for us to eat, and then God created our first parents, Adam and Eve. In creating them God created the human race, beings that were spiritual and physical, beings that were different from the angels in that we are designed to marry and have children.

Being both physical and spiritual, human beings have yet another characteristic that is quite unique among all of Godís creatures. All life on earth has the ability to reproduce, both plants and animals, the capacity to produce offspring and increase in number. Like plants and animals we, too, can of course reproduce. Yet there is that most unique human characteristic that sets us apart from not only all other physical living things, but also sets us apart from even the angels. We each of us have a soul that came into existence when God brought together the spirit of man and the body of man.[2] Different than the angels, human beings such as Adam and Eve, and you and me, bear the image and likeness of God Himself. In what way do we bear Godís image and likeness? The Bible does not specifically say, though being creatures that bear Godís image we are, therefore, important to Him. We are sacred and God has prescribed severe penalties for anyone who takes the life of a human being, though even when a person dies he only dies physically, while continuing to exist spiritually forever.[3]

 

We Now Come To The Third Part, THE BESTOWAL

 

Because He is sovereign God is supreme in His rule, in His reign, and in His authority over all of His creatures. Therefore, to suit His purpose, God assigned to His spiritual creatures, His angels, various tasks and responsibilities. There are hints throughout the Bible of the various jobs and duties assigned to various angels, some who were directed to preside over Godís physical universe in some way, and others who were assigned to attend to Him personally in some way.[4] We know that some angels stand in the presence of God the Father, while Isaiah 6.1-3 reveals to us that angels known as seraphim maintained their watch in the presence of the pre-incarnate Christ. Isaiah 14.12Ė15 suggests to us that Luciferís assignment, though perhaps not the first assignment of this first of Godís creatures, was to a small planet called Earth.

We now turn to the assignments and responsibilities of those creatures who are both spiritual and physical, human beings. Genesis 2.15 informs us the LORD God placed Adam in the Garden of Eden to dress and to keep it. He then established certain parameters for the human race, namely, that mankind could eat anything he wanted in the Garden of Eden except for the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. That was forbidden, for in the day the fruit of that tree was eaten man would surely die, Genesis 2.17. Adam then gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him, Genesis 2.20. God then put Adam to sleep, to take one of his ribs from his side, and from that rib fashioned for Adam his wife, Genesis 2.21-22.

At the end of all of Godís initial creative acts, both in the purely spiritual realm and in the physical realm wherein He created the universe and all that herein is, and then created Adam and Eve, God was pleased with what He had done, and He said that it was ďvery good.Ē[5]

 

The Fourth Part, However, Is THE BETRAYAL

 

For how long was all good and well in Godís creation? We are not specifically told in the Bible, but I do not think perfect peace and harmony lasted for very long. The problem was with Godís first creature, His most noble, His most beautiful, His most intelligent, and His most powerful angel, Lucifer. Being the best and the brightest, Lucifer did not take kindly to being assigned as his place of service by his Creator the remote little planet in the corner of the universe called Earth. Assignment to this planet was taken by Lucifer to be an insult, to be demeaning, to be beneath his proper station, and to relegate him to duties and responsibilities far below his abilities. Rather than responding with humility and gratitude that God had created him, and that he had been so wonderfully endowed by his Creator, Lucifer was overwhelmed with resentment and feelings of self-pity. Therefore he rebelled, left his place of service on Earth and fomented rebellion among one-third the host of heaven, somehow persuading tens of millions of Godís holy angels to cooperate in his insurrection. Godís response was to cast them all down to the Earth.

Once he was back on earth Lucifer raged against God and plotted his next move. It did not take him long at all to consider and then to target the human race. After all, he and the other angels had rejoiced as God brought the universe into existence, and when God formed man from the dust of the earth and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life. He marveled at Godís wisdom and design, and was thrilled to see Godís miraculous creation of the woman. However, when he was assigned by God to serve on that planet where mankind had been created and was intended to serve, he balked. He was enraged to be in the same place of service as mere humans, so limited as we are by our bodies of flesh. He was apparently unaware, or gave no thought to our distinguishing feature that set us apart from all other creatures; we bear the image and likeness of God. Therefore, each and every one of us is sacred. Of the two human beings then alive, Lucifer, certainly now recognized as Satan, made use of a serpent to tempt the woman, to deceive the woman, and succeeded in enticing her to eat the forbidden fruit. What betrayal! First, Lucifer betrayed God. Second, Lucifer enticed a host of angels to betray God. Then, Lucifer succeeded in his effort to bring about mankindís betrayal of God. The result of such betrayal? Death. Since God is holy and hates sin, especially the sin of such betrayal, Godís creatures that are sinful are now separated from Him, and can no longer enjoy the life that is only theirs when sin does not serve as a barrier to life with God.

 

Finally, THE BIRTH PART TO MAKE POSSIBLE THE NEW BIRTH

 

What is God going to do in response to the outrage of such betrayals? What is to be His response to the rebellion of one-third the company of the angels who were created holy, who owe their existence to Him, and who once served Him? And what is to be done with the human race, the man and the woman who were created and who sinned, and who would then reproduce and have generation after generation of children born sinful and in rebellion against God? God has responded to these betrayals in two completely different ways that we will consider in turn:

First, there is Godís response to the betrayal by Satan and the multitudes of once holy angels. Before I tell you that part of the story, keep in mind several important truths about the angels God created before He made the universe in which we live. The angels were brought into existence before time, before matter, and before energy were. They were spectators and cheerleaders who rejoiced in admiration and wonder as God did what He did on the first six days of creation. Job 38.7 informs us they all sang together and shouted for joy in appreciation for Godís demonstration of power and wisdom. Unlike any human being who has ever lived, the angels saw what we have never seen; Godís glory, Godís infinite power, and many other indescribable things. Yet despite those great privileges many angels chose to follow Satan and turned their backs on God. Therefore, for them there will be no salvation, no repentance, no redemption, and no second chance. To deal with their sins God has created the lake of fire, which will be their eventual and eternal destiny.[6] This explains the manic desperation of the Devil and his demons to oppose the plan and purpose of God at every opportunity.

Godís response to those in the human family, who are housed in the limitation of flesh and blood, who are time bound creatures who have never seen God in the fullness of His glory or the essence of His majesty, will be quite different. Genesis chapter 3 is where God has begun to tell us of His response to manís betrayal of Him, though various aspects of the full story of Godís response is found on almost every page of the Bible. I will stay in Genesis chapter 3, where the details of Satanís plan to bring about Adamís betrayal is told, where the reaction of the naked couple who foolishly tried to hide from God is told, and where Godís confrontation of Adam, of the woman, and of the serpent is rehearsed for us. Interestingly, it is in Genesis 3.15, while speaking to the serpent that Satan used in his plot to effect mankindís downfall that God reveals His plan to deal differently with the human race than He has chosen to deal with the company of angels:

 

ďAnd I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.Ē

 

There are four phrases in Godís comment to the serpent, and no doubt to Satan through the serpent: The first phrase speaks of enmity (ďAnd I will put enmity between thee and the womanĒ). The second phrase is unusual in that it refers to ďher seedĒ when one might expect a comment about his seed (ďand between thy seed and her seedĒ). The third phrase is ďit shall bruise thy head,Ē suggesting her seed will in some way harm the serpentís head (or Satanís head). The final phrase is ďand thou shalt bruise his heel.Ē Do you realize what this is? This is good news. More than that, this is great news. This verse means God will make the woman and the serpent perpetual enemies (first phrase), between the serpentís seed and her seed (the Virgin born Savior who would come someday, Jesus Christ), who will bruise Satanís head (utterly defeating him), while he will bruise the seed of womanís heel (an allusion to Christís death on the cross). To distill the message of this verse into a single statement, God hereby declares He will deal with the betrayal of Adam and Eve by sending One who will be virgin born, making it possible for sinful men who are partakers in Adamís betrayal of God to thereby themselves be born again.

 

When Lucifer betrayed God he died. Oh, he continues to exist and will forever be a conscious and continuing creature. But being cut off from God by his betrayal, he was cut off from Godís life which is life. When Lucifer sinned and thereby became sinful he straightway persuaded once holy angels, perhaps by deceit, perhaps by enticing them with the promise of exaltation, to follow the Devil in his wicked rebellion against God. When those holy angels sinned they too died and became fallen angels, demons, forever after opposed to the plan and purpose of Almighty God and terrified of their future consignment to the lake of fire. They will do anything in their frenzied attempts to avoid their fate because they know the horror of it.

Having thwarted Luciferís rebellion in heaven by casting both him and his spiritually dead followers down to Earth, Satan turned his attention to mankind, at the time consisting of only two, Adam and Eve. Tempting Eve, he succeeded in persuading her to eat the forbidden fruit. She then gave to Adam and he did eat. When they ate, as predicted by God, they both died. They did not die physically, but they did die spiritually.

While Godís response to the betrayal of the angels that ended in their deaths was to create the lake of fire they will someday occupy forever, His response to the betrayal and spiritual deadness of Adam and Eve was to set in motion a remedy for sinful manís spiritual deadness that would result in some of them being born again. Of course, those not born again face the same fate as the Devil and the demons. Godís remedy would be made possible by Godís own Son, the seed of woman, a man born to a virgin without having a sinful human father, who would then die for manís sins on the cross, be buried, and rise again, laying the groundwork for sinners like you and me to be born again. Thus, Godís remedy for manís betrayal is for those who have been born sinners to be born again, our new births being made possible by Godís Son first being born and then dying for us.

So, the next time you look around and take note of the serious mess this whole world is in, keep in mind that God made it all but He did not make it the way it now is. Keep in mind that He was betrayed, by the Devil, by angels He created, and by the human race He created in His own image and after His own likeness. Is this world still an ever-worsening mess as a result of God being betrayed by His creatures? Yes, it is. However, God has already set in motion the plan He revealed more than 4,000 years ago to remedy the problem, to fix the mess, and to give life to those sinful men and women who are born dead. Who knows? Perhaps you will be one of those born dead who will someday turn to Jesus Christ, Godís virgin born Son who died on the cross and then rose from the dead, and be born again yourself.

Of course, this is not the whole story. Itís too wonderful a story to be told all at once. But it is enough of the story to give you a good idea what the present problem is and what God is doing about it.



[1] Genesis 6.2, 4; Job 1.6; 2.1; 38.7

[2] Genesis 2.7

[3] Genesis 9.6

[4] Luke 1.19; Revelation 9.14; 19.17

[5] Genesis 1.31

[6] Matthew 25.41


Would you like to contact Dr. Waldrip about this sermon? Please contact him by clicking on the link below. Please do not change the subject within your email message. Thank you.

pastor@calvaryroadbaptist.org