This is the first message in our 2015 Christmas Series entitled, “The Incarnation of Jesus Christ”. The word incarnation comes from the Latin meaning, “in the flesh.” Thus, the Incarnation refers to the Christian doctrine that God, Who is spirit, took upon Himself human flesh and came as the God-man, the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Gospel of John describes the incarnation this way:
John 1.1,14 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God… And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us”
The Word—The One Who was eternally face to face with God the Father as the second member of the Trinity—became a man, the man Jesus Christ. That’s the incarnation. The second member of the Trinity entered into history. The Creator entered creation. And His coming was for the purpose of redeeming sinners.
Luke 19.10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.
Genesis 3.1 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
Who is this serpent? The fullest answer is given in Revelation 12:9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
So the serpent in the garden is the devil (which means slanderer), and Satan (which means accuser), and the deceiver of the whole world. Jesus calls him “the evil one” (Matthew 13:19) and “the ruler of this world” (John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11). The Pharisees call him “Beelzebul, the prince of demons” (Matthew 12:24). Paul calls him “the god of this age” (2 Corinthians 4:4) and “the prince of the power of the air” (Ephesians 2:2).
He is subtil, which means that he is he is cunning, crafty, and shrewd. Note that the serpent tempts Eve by: (1) emphasizing God’s prohibition, not His provision; (2) reducing God’s command to a question.
Take note of the fact that the serpent, which is elsewhere in Scripture called the devil, is a created being. Satan is not God’s equal.
It is interesting that at both the beginning and the end of Scripture, the Bible pictures Satan as a snake or dragon at war with God for the dominion of the earth and the human race.
3.2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:
3.3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
3.4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
3.5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
Note here that Satan (1) casting doubt upon God’s sincerity and defaming His motives; and (2) denying the truthfulness of His threat. When a person is being tempted to partake of anything that is forbidden by God in Scripture, you can be sure that Satan is lying to them about two things. (1) the nature of sin and (2) the nature of God.
By challenging God’s Word, Satan plants a doubt in our minds, and then, he comes in for the kill. Satan is always suggesting that God is holding something from you, something that will be good for you.
Remember beloved, God’s Thou’s shalt not’s or any other prohibitions are for our protection.
There are 3 specific places in Scripture where Satan is recorded as talking.
- One is here, where he is slandering God to man.
- The second is in Job 1, where he is slandering man to God, and
- Lastly in the gospels, where he is talking to Jesus, The God/Man, and is defeated. How? By using the sword of The Spirit and quoting with the answer to each temptation, “It is written!”
3.6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
3.7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
The immediate effect of sin was the awareness of their nakedness, guilt and shame before God. They experienced death, which is separation from God. Pastor Jon Courson calls the fall of Adam as THE Adam bomb! Their first thought was to cover up their sin, thus they covered themselves with an apron of fig leaves.Because each and every one of us here today are sinners, we all need to deal with the problem of guilt.
It is not surprising that the enemy of our souls offers many counterfeit solutions. So we must be careful to answer from the Bible alone the question, “How does God deal with my guilt?” The fig leaves of human solutions to guilt will not suffice in the day when we stand before the living God. The story of God’s coming to that first guilty, fig-leaf-clad, hiding couple, shows us God’s solution to guilt.
The answer to man’s sin, guilt and condemnation is not good works, rituals, Protestantism, Catholicism, Judaism, Hinduism, Islam, Calvinism, Arminianism or any other “ism”. The only Answer to the sin problem of man is the Sinless, spotless Lamb of God, Jesus Christ.
3.8 And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden.
3.9 And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?
Where are you? Of course God knew where they were. He asked the question in order that they might acknowledge their sin. God asks the same question to every single person here today, Where are you?
3.10 And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.
I heard thy voice and was afraid – This is an important stage in dealing with sin.
3.11 And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?
Again, God did not ask this questions because He did not know the answer. He asked them in order that Adam and Eve would confess and admit their sin and guilt. There can be no forgiveness of sin or restoration with God apart from confession of sin.
1 John 1.7-10 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us
We do not deal with our guilt by hiding from Him, but by coming to Him and acknowledging our sin. And for those who come to God this way, Jesus said:
John 6.35-37 I am the bread of life: he that cometh to Me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on Me shall never thirst. But I said unto you, That ye also have seen Me, and believe not. All that the Father giveth me shall come to Me; and him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out.
3.12 And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.
Adam blames Eve, and by implication he also blames God. Blaming others for my sin is not repentance; it’s an excuse.
3.13 And the Lord God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.
Eve blames the serpent and his deception. Eve uses the same blame game speech, as did her husband.
Someone has said, “If the best of men had his innermost thoughts written on his forehead, he’d never take off his hat.” We all know the corruption that is in our hearts. We are all sinners by nature, by choice, and by delight.
3.14 And the Lord God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:
God does not ask the serpent what did he do, because there is no redemption for the devil and the angels that followed him in his rebellion against God and His throne.
3.15 And 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.
In Christian history, verse 15 has been called the Protoevangelium, the first announcement of the gospel. The first promise of the Redeemer to come to rescue man.
I will put enmity. Notice that at first it looks like the warfare will be between two seeds: “between your seed and her seed.” But the very next words tell us something different: “He shall bruise your head.” Who is “He”? Answer: the woman’s seed. Who’s head will He bruise? Answer: the serpent himself.
The singular seed points to one man, Jesus Christ.
Galatians 3.16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.
This seed of the woman presupposes the virgin birth of Jesus Christ. As we will explore a bit more next week, if Jesus is not born of a virgin, then He is simply just another sinner like you and me. Beloved, your salvation is inextricably woven with the virgin birth. No virgin birth, no deity. No sinless life, no sacrificial death. No sacrificial death, no salvation. Jesus was born of a virgin, in order that by grace through faith in Him, we might be born again.
God says that the day is coming when Satan will be defeated and removed from the earth. The perfect Seed of the woman, Jesus Christ, struck that decisive blow, when He died on the cross.
Colossians 2.14,15 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it
This is one of the reasons why the eternal Son of God had to become a man—because it was the Seed of the woman who would crush Satan.
Romans 16.20 And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly.
Hebrews 2.14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil.
God’s answer to human sin, rebellion, and folly is His only begotten Son who will come through the daughter of Eve. There will be a battle between this Son and Satan, and although the Savior Son will be wounded, the Deceiving Dragon will be defeated. That was the promise. Ever since that terrible day when sin entered the world, God’s promised the birth of His Son, Jesus Christ. The one Who would conquer Satan, sin, death, hell, and the wrath of God to be our Savior, be our forgiver, be our deliverer.
God’s question Where are you? told Adam two things:
(1) You’re lost, Adam; and, (2) I’ve come to find you. Every person needs to know the same two things.
Every single human being that is born into this world is lost without Jesus Christ.
That term that the bible uses to describe unsaved man is that we are lost. Not simply misguided. And the promise of the Incarnation is that Jesus Christ came to seek and to save those who are lost.
God doesn’t seek us because we deserve it. We deserve His judgment, but He seeks us to save us. That’s grace!
An illustration and invitation
An American woman, returning from Europe with some perfume she had bought, had gone to a great deal of trouble packing the bottles so that they wouldn’t be spotted by customs officials. An official started going through her luggage. He had nearly finished searching the last suitcase when the woman’s small daughter clapped her hands and said excitedly, “Oh, Mommy, he’s getting warm, isn’t he?” You can try to hide your sin from God, but be sure your sin will find you out!
Let me once again direct God’s first question to you: Where are you?
Are you hiding, afraid of God, because of sin in your life? Maybe you’re trying to cover your sin with the fig leaves of your good works or some ritual that you went through when you were a baby. The Bible says that God is graciously calling, “Where are you?” If you will come to Him with a broken and contrite heart and confess your sin, this is what God says He will do:
Colossians 1.13,14 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins.
That is how to deal with your guilt, your sin and your shame.