The Significance of Genesis 3 and the rest of the Bible

The Significance of Genesis 3 and the rest of the Bible (Genesis 3 and selected verses): The fall, the punishments, the first prophesy of the Messiah; the exile from the Garden of Eden; they move east…

Prepared and preached by Pastor Steve Rhodes for and at Bethel Friends Church in Poland, OH on Saturday, February 12 and Sunday, February 13, 2022

Most of you know that I do not like snakes. I think it was 2007 when a friend of mine asked me to come down to Kentucky to work with him on a property he had. We were working outside and he told me, “One time in 10 years I saw I copper head snake.” So, I had been warned but it was only one time in ten years. We worked cutting down brush and burning it in a big fire. I was then cutting it with a lawn mower and I turned around to see a copper head slithering away. I do not like snakes. A few years before that my friend had a contractor come to look at something in that house. He had to go in the crawl space. He comes out and says, “The good news is that you do not have a leak down there. The bad news is you have a black snake.” He was crawling through the crawl space and saw a snake skin. He then looked up and saw a blacksnake coiled in the corner.

In Genesis 3 we see the devil take the form of a snake to tempt Adam and Eve. I will summarize parts of this story and I want to focus on the first prophecy of Jesus.

I am in a sermon series showing that Genesis chapters 1-11 are foundational to our faith. In Genesis 3 we see the beginning of sin and the plan for redemption.

My theme today is:

In Genesis 3 sin enters the world, but we also have the first prophesy that God will provide a Savior.

  1. First, let’s talk about sin.
    1. In Genesis 3:1-7 we see Adam and Eve tempted by the devil and they give in to temptation.
    2. The devil temps them to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
    3. This passage is telling us what is wrong with the world, which is sin.
    4. Think of sin like death.
    5. Actually, isn’t it interesting that because of sin there is death and because of death there is decomposition.
    6. A few times we have noticed that a mouse has died in our house. How do we know that a mouse has died? We smell the mouse. You see, we notice a smell and we usually know that the mouse is dead in a wall and we just have to wait for the smell to go away. That smell tells us something is not right. What is wrong? Sin brought death into the world.
    7. In Genesis 3:8-14 Adam and Eve hide from God.
    8. They knew they were wrong. They knew they had disobeyed God.
    9. God talks to them and they blame each other.
    10. Adam says, “the woman ‘You’ gave me…” He blames God and Eve.
    11. In Genesis 3:14 God begins to give the consequences.
    12. Within the consequences we see grace.
    13. God gives grace and it is that He will provide a redeemer.
  2. The prophesied redemption.
    1. Read with me Genesis 3:15: I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”
    2. I like what Dr Rydelnic shared: Some reject this as Messianic thinking why would God give grace in the midst of judgment, but that is common:
      1. God did that with Cain giving him a mark.
      2. Gen 6 judgment of earth with grace for Noah.
      3. Then Lot is rescued in the midst of judgment.
      4. Some think this is just a story showing why there is hostility with snakes… but this is a surprise in that the snake talked. The devil was possessing the snake.
      5. Seed: even in the next chapter the Word for seed means an individual.
      6. This is predicting the Messiah’s death.
      7. In defeating Satan, the Messiah will die.
    3. Hark the Herald Angels Sing: clearly Genesis 3:15 was in the mind of Charles Wesley when he wrote the 4th verse:
      1. Come, Desire of nations, come!
      2.  Fix in us Thy humble home:
      3. Rise, the woman’s conqu’ring seed,
      4. Bruise in us the serpent’s head;
      5. Adam’s likeness now efface,
      6. Stamp Thine image in its place:
      7. Final Adam from above,
      8. Reinstate us in Thy love.[1]
    4. This verse is known in Christendom as the protoevangelium, or “first good news,” because it is the first foretelling of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Using an emphatic Hebrew construction, God announced here that a male descendant—He—would someday deal the serpent (meaning Satan) a fatal blow. The NT writers understood Jesus Christ to have fulfilled this prophecy (Heb 2:14; 1Jn 3:8).[2]
    5. Verse 15 is Messianic. This is the first prophesy of the Messiah. Her offspring will give a death blow to the devil, bruise his head means death.
    6. Verse 15 does say that there will be enmity between her offspring and the devil, and the devil’s offspring (maybe demons). There is still that sin struggle. Often times I think that would mean all of us as her offspring; however, “offspring” is singular.
    7. Seed in the Bible just means offspring: Hagar and her seed Ishmael. This does not mean seed as in sperm just as offspring.
    8. Again, this passage uses her offspring saying “He” and that is masculine, singular, meaning One person, the man, Christ Jesus.
    9. Think about that. There will be One offspring, Jesus, that will deliver the death blow to satan.
    10. So, right here after the first sin God gives grace.
    11. But how important is this to the rest of the Bible?
    12. First, we can compare this narrative with the wording in Genesis 4 with Cain, then with Noah later on, and other Old Testament passages. We will not do that today. But if you want to see how they are similar contact me during the week.
  3. The fulfilled redemption
    1. I have been emphasizing how these narratives in Genesis are critical for our interpretation of the whole Bible. Think about it. If we were to throw this out of the Bible we lose:
      1. God’s grace in the midst of judgment.
      2. The first prophesy that God will provide a redeemer.
      3. Within that first prophesy we see that the method of our redemption will come through humanity. If we do not believe this passage we lose the foundation for how God will bring salvation.
    2. When do we see this fulfilled in the New Testament?
    3. When do we not see this fulfilled in the New Testament?
    4. Galatians 4:4: But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.
    5. Notice how that passage says “born of woman.” It seems that God is making sure we know that our Savior was born of a woman. He was a descendent of Adam and Eve.
    6. Luke 24:27: And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.
    7. All of the Scriptures point to Jesus.
    8. One more passage that connects with this verse is Revelation 12:9: And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.
    9. We needed a Savior and in the judgment against the very first sin, God pointed to our redemption.
  4. Applications:
    1. Salvation comes from the Lord. We must trust the Lord that He will provide a way of forgiveness.
    2. We can be encouraged that all the way back in Genesis God prophesied a way of redemption.
    3. We must be encouraged that God is faithful.
    4. We must have confidence in God’s Word.

So, once again we see how the Bible links together like a chain.

I read the following:

The distinctive mark of theology today is its dreadful ambiguity. The chaos of American theology today can be traced back to its roots in the rejection of biblical infallibility. Preaching is not the act of unfolding our personal convictions. It is the duty of informing men of all that God has spoken. To move off from the pages of Scripture is to enter into the wastelands of our own subjectivity. Scripture plays an important role in the salvation of men. The Bible is a divinely provided map of the spiritual order. It contains the directions and markings to guide a person into reconciliation with God.

—Clark Pinnock, Bibliotheca Sacra, October–December 1967[3]


[1] Dr Rydelnic; Bible Study moment; 12.02.2021

NT New Testament

[2] Robert D. Bergen, “Genesis,” in CSB Study Bible: Notes, ed. Edwin A. Blum and Trevin Wax (Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers, 2017), 11.

[3] Charles R. Swindoll, The Tale of the Tardy Oxcart and 1501 Other Stories (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2016), 49.

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