140305 Genesis 3:15

Last Updated on Thursday, 06 March 2014 Written by Pastor Schmidt

Sermon Text: Genesis 3:15

Sermon Theme: From Garden to Glory – Garden of Promise

"And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel."

During the warmer days of spring and summer, many folks like to visit the gardens of other people. They enjoy seeing what others have planted and how they have they laid out their gardens. The general theme for our mid-week Lenten Worship Services this year is "From Garden to Glory". During the next six weeks of the Lenten Season, we will visit different "gardens" with our Savior, Jesus. Until we finally arrive at the Garden of Glory and the empty tomb of our Lord on Easter Sunday. As we begin our tour, it is good for us to go back to the very beginning; to the very first garden. Tonight we visit the Garden of Eden. We visit the Garden of Promise.

In Genesis chapter 2 we are told, "Now the LORD God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed." This was a perfect garden for Adam and Eve to live in. Everything they needed was provided for them by their gracious Creator. The Lord had only one command for them, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die." Sadly, Genesis chapter 3 records the rest of the story. Adam and Eve didn't obey God. Giving in to the temptations of the devil, they coveted the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Then, they ate it. Immediately God's perfect garden, God's perfect world, was ruined by sin.

Shortly after Adam and Eve fell into sin, the Lord came looking for them. Earlier in Genesis chapter 3 we are told, "Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. But the LORD God called to the man, 'Where are you?' He answered, 'I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.' And he said, 'Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?'" Confronted by the Lord about his sin, Adam quickly tries to cover for his own sin by playing "The Blame Game". He answers the Lord, "'The woman you put here with me--she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.'" Adam not only tries to push the blame off on his wife Eve, but he goes so far as to blame God himself for making Eve in the first place! Turning to Eve, the Lord asks, "'What is this you have done?'" Eve shows that it didn't take long for her to learn "The Blame Game" either. "'The serpent deceived me, and I ate.'" So, turning to the snake, the Lord says, "'Because you have done this, cursed are you above all the livestock and all the wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life.'" And then, the Lord spoke these comforting words of promise, "'And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.'"

Now let's take a closer look at this word of promise. The Lord says, "'I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers...'" Adam and Eve once viewed the devil as their friend; someone they were willing to trust. The Lord would change that friendship into hatred of the devil for Adam and Eve and their descendants. And the Lord's promise was that one of Eve's descendants in particular would defeat the devil once and for all: "'He will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.'" The "he" here refers to the Promised Savior. While the devil would "strike the heel" of the promised Savior, causing Jesus to die a very painful death, in the end the risen and victorious Lord would crush the head of the devil in great victory!

With a humble and repentant heart, you and I confess that we are no better than our very first parents, Adam and Eve. Even though the Lord blesses us beyond measure, we aren't content. We sinfully want more and more. We are far too willing to listen to the devil and his lies. When we give into temptation and sin, we find it easy to put the blame on others. You and I are guilty of sin and deserving only of God's wrath and punishment.

So what comfort are you and I able to find in the Garden of Promise? For an answer to that question, we turn to Romans chapter 5. There we are told, "Sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned...But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God's grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! Again, the gift of God is not like the result of the one man's sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God's abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ. Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men. For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous...where sin increased, grace increased all the more, so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."

During the coming weeks we will visit other gardens with our Savior. I invite you to come along with us on this "garden tour" each Wednesday evening. Tonight, in the Garden of Promise, you and I find the One who would crush the head of the devil. You and I find Jesus. In Jesus, you and I have the promise of the forgiveness of all of our sins. In Jesus, you and I have the promise of eternal life in the paradise of heaven. Amen.

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Compelled by the love of Christ, St. Matthew’s Evangelical Lutheran Church and School seek to reach out to our families, community and world, using Law and Gospel to make disciples, growing and nurturing them in their Christian faith and life.

 

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818 West Wisconsin Avenue
Oconomowoc, WI 53066
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