All too often, we Christians want to complicate Christianity. We come up with rules we think must govern what it means to be a Christian. We make up rituals and rites and all manner of complication that have nothing to do with the Christian life.
It is our purpose in this series to cut through all the rituals and rules and expose the true essence of Christianity. Hopefully, by the time this series is complete, everyone reading it will see how truly simple Christianity is.
If you have not read the earlier posts on this subject, find the “Categories” list in the right-hand column of this page and click on “Christianity 101.” This will pull up all the previous posts so you can read through them in order.
Last week, we discussed the importance of understanding covenant in order to understand Christianity. Today, we begin looking at the major covenants God made with His people. The first covenant, which we call the Adamic Covenant, is set out in the third chapter of Genesis, as follows:
· 14. The Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you more than all cattle, and more than every beast of the field; on your belly you will go, and dust you will eat all the days of your life;
· 15. And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise him on the heel.”
· 16. To the woman He said, “I will greatly multiply Your pain in childbirth, In pain you will bring forth children; Yet your desire will be for your husband, And he will rule over you.”
· 17. Then to Adam He said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat from it’; cursed is the ground because of you; in toil you will eat of it all the days of your life.
· 18. “Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you; and you will eat the plants of the field;
· 19. “By the sweat of your face you will eat bread, till you return to the ground, because from it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”
At first glance, this may sound more like a curse than a covenant. Women will have pain in childbirth and will be ruled over by their husbands. Men will toil and sweat for their food.
In a way, this was a curse. In the garden, Adam and Eve didn’t have to work. They simply reached out and plucked whatever they wanted to eat off the plants. No sowing, tilling or reaping. Life was idyllic.
But when they sinned, they discovered sin has a price. No longer would they have the lives of leisure they had enjoyed. They would have to work. Whatever crops they planted would have thorns and thistles in them.
Eve had not experienced childbirth yet at that time, but when she did, it would be much more difficult than it would have otherwise. Adam treated her as his equal up to that time, but now he would rule over her.
In verse 17, God said “. . . cursed is the ground because of you . . .” This meant Adam would have to toil for his food, but I believe it meant more than that. I believe “the ground” represents nature. When Adam and Eve fell, nature fell with them.
Before the fall, there were no earthquakes or hurricanes, no cancer or heart attacks. But the fall introduced all manner of natural phenomena detrimental to man. We have sickness and pestilence, storms, crime—all sorts of ill which did not exist before the fall
So there was definitely a curse involved in the fall. The repercussions are still with us to this day.
However, God gave Adam and Eve an irrevocable promise in the midst of the curse. From that day forward, the serpent (Satan) would have to crawl on his belly. And the woman’s seed (Jesus) would bruise his head, and the serpent would bruise man’s heel.
Satan was loosed upon the world to pursue his agenda, which is to steal, kill, and destroy. He began immediately, and he continues to this day. However, a far greater power (Jesus) was promised as part of Eve’s seed. He would come and establish dominion over the serpent.
As He so frequently does in our lives, God took a bad circumstance and promised to bring good out of it. Several thousand years later, He’s still busy honoring His covenant and bringing good out of it. Notice that God did not require Adam and Eve (and through them, us) to do anything. He bound Himself to a one-sided covenant. He makes the sacrifice and does the work, and we get the benefit.
How secure does it make you feel to know Jesus has dominion over Satan and all the evil he can throw at us?
If you abide in Me and My word abides in you, then you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.
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