The Whole Story of the Bible in 16 Verses
Genesis 3:15: Redemption is Promised
God created a kingdom, and he is the King, and he made human beings in his image to represent him in that kingdom. Adam and Eve rejected this call, which led to sin and death. But God promised to defeat the Serpent through the offspring of the woman.
Genesis 3:15 does not sound like good news. In fact, it sounds quite dark.
However, darkness cannot hide God’s glory.
The pattern established after the rebellion and the fall is that light dawns from the darkness…good is made from bad. “…you meant for evil against me, but God meant it for good…” (Genesis 50:20).
Victory for God’s people always comes out of the darkest of situations.
Before Noah was rescued in the flood he had to endure the rigors of obeying God by faith when there was warning and yet unseen judgment coming. From that dark season came the covering of the ark through the flood.
Before Abraham received the promise, he had to endure 25 years of waiting and mistakes before Isaac was given.
Before Joseph received a authority, he had to be betrayed, enslaved, lied about, and forgotten before God elevated him at just the right time.
Before Moses and the people were freed, they had to endure slavery, the 10 plagues and pass through the Red Sea to enter freedom.
Before David took the throne, he had to endure Saul’s murderous attempts, contempt from his own while acting with integrity toward the king by refusing to take his life. David let God deal with Saul.
Before Hezekiah would be rescued he had to endure the Assyrian taunting through siege.
Before we could receive salvation by grace through faith and the indwelling Spirit, Jesus had to drink the cup of the Father’s wrath at my sin and yours.
This pattern he set up is why Jesus said, “Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory.” (Luke 24:26)
This is the pattern and this is why we believe that behind frowning providences God’s smiling face is waiting.
Without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6).
God promised that the serpent would be overcome, but that overcoming happens through his striking and our crushing.
Genesis 3:15: What do we see? What does it mean? How do we obey?
- The conflict between the serpent and his offspring and the woman’s offspring is very real.
“I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring.”
“…all of Genesis 4-11, and indeed all of the rest of the Bible, is really just the outworking of Genesis 3:15.”
Genesis 3:15 also works itself out in the rest of human history everywhere.
Enmity – hostility, hatred
Enmity between the serpent and the woman – hostility and hatred between the enemy and our wives, mothers, and daughters
Enmity between the serpent’s offspring and the woman’s offspring – hostility and hatred from the serpent’s offspring and God’s offspring
How do we know who is on whose side? One loves God’s word, hears it and obeys it. One does not love God’s word, refuses to hear it and obey it and plays it against God’s people (See Matthew 4 and Satan’s use of Psalm 91 against Jesus). Don’t think Satan does not do that to you and me. He did it to Eve. He did it Jesus. He does it to us.
Example: Cain and Abel.
Cain brought an offering. Abel brought the firstborn and the fat portions. Cain brought something. Abel brought the best.
Cain is angry because his leftovers were not good enough, so he kills his brother who regarded the Lord.
Cain is offspring of the serpent.
Abel is offspring of the woman and thus offspring of the Lord.
Hebrews 11:4 (ESV) By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts. And through his faith, though he died, he still speaks.
This enmity is the source of all conflict.
1.1. When two followers of the Lord are in a bitter conflict you can be sure that somewhere the serpent’s agenda has been bought, assimilated and is being propagated either by one or both.
1.2. God’s word confronts Satan’s tactics through commanding us Romans 11:9-21 for how we treat each other.
Romans 12:9-21 (ESV) “Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. 10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. 11 Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. 12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. 13 Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. 17 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 20 To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
1.3. Recognize that we are to love and not hate or seek the destruction of the Serpent’s offspring. We are to seek the salvation of all who will believe. They have been taken captive to do the Serpent’s will in the fall (2 Timothy 2:26). Only the gospel preached will rescue. Therefore, we love and don’t hate.
- The serpent and his offspring are hell bent on attacking the woman’s offspring at every turn or simply being the counter option to the offspring of the woman. Kingdoms are really in conflict, and the conflict is real and felt actively and in passive aggression.
How many ways can you name attacks on humanity in order to stamp out image bearers?
Destruction of and / or poor management of natural resources that are necessary to feed mankind and maintain fruitful balance for mankind’s survival and good.
Neglect of the fatherless.
Neglect of the widow.
Abuse of children leading to twisted personalities and perpetual cycles of abuse.
***Passivity toward God, the gospel, his church…
***Marginalization of things most vital to God…
When citizens of the kingdom of God seek to make the kingdom’s agenda become a reality, the citizens of the Serpent’s dark kingdom come against God’s people through active aggression and passive aggression. There are some guarantees:
2.1. There will be hardship…the enemy will seek to strike our “heel”.
2.2. Where there is not advancement of God’s kingdom there is not significant push back. In other words, the Serpent and his people don’t have a hard war where God’s people don’t make a hard war.
***Difficulty over gaining and keeping amenities is not persecution nor is it difficulty that matters. It’s wasted hardship on things that will perish.
- The kingdoms in conflict are not equal and the end result is not in question.
“…he shall bruise your head and you shall bruise his heel.”
“It is also notable that this first judgment on sin is colored with hope, something that recurs throughout Scripture (cf. 6:5–8), as God’s mercy outweighs his wrath (cf. Ex. 20:5–6).”
***Man’s wickedness increases and the attempts on the part of the enemy and his armies to ruin are mammoth efforts, yet it is God who destroys the serpent’s citizens and rescues his elect.
God rescues Noah and his family in one of the most blatant gospel sermons in the bible and the Serpent’s offspring die.
Noah and his family settle after the flood and we get Ham, due to inheriting Adam’s sin, shaming his father who shares some blame too. Even the saved still act like morons.
Only Shem’s line is chosen to bring Abraham and the rest gather at Babel seeking to make a “name” for themselves so they wouldn’t have to obey God’s mandate to fill the earth and subdue it.
Therefore, God scatters them against their wishes and Shem’s descendants lead us to Abraham who will be God’s recipient of mercy to take mercy to the nations he just scattered in forced obedience.
3.1. The offspring of the woman will always triumph in the end. The road won’t be often easy, but for the hearing and obeying it’s hard to lose.
- Good News Connection
All through the Bible there is this constant turning to leaders, judges, kings and prophets in some hope that they can lead better than the previous one.
They are always looking for that offspring of the woman who will be the One to truly crush the head of the Serpent and put an end to the curse.
Heck, this theme in created human history is the basis for mankind’s great delight in “super-heroes. People love that one person who will set it all right. It’s the basis of any good story line.
Why? Because it’s built into the image of God in man and the story of history we are genetically and spiritually tied to.
However, that promise that one day the offspring of the woman would crush the head of the Serpent was not to be fulfilled in an Adam, Noah, Abraham, Joseph, Moses or David.
That promise was for a better Adam (who would create a redeemed humanity), a better Noah (one who would cover and rescue forever from God’s wrath at sin by making them perfect not just covered), a better Abraham (one who would completely fulfill the promise to bless the nations), a Better Joseph (one who would not only feed and preserve, but fulfill and send), a better David (one who would be a righteous king).
There was a woman, chosen by God by grace who was pledged to one Joseph.
And Mary was found to be with child of the Holy Spirit because the time had come.
Eve would give birth to death, but Mary would give birth to life because the Spirit who brought the Son is the Spirit, who with the Son, created all things.
Mary was to bear THE offspring who would finally crush the head of the Serpent. One of Eve’s descendants would finally fulfill the promise.
This Son of God would fulfill every word of Scripture spoken about him. He would be the faithful Israel promised by the prophets, which is why God the Father calling Jesus his “Son” is monumental. Israel was called God’s son. But Jesus was obedient and Israel was not. Jesus is the fulfillment of every promise of God in the Old Testament made to “Israel” so that all those who come to Jesus whether Jew or Gentile or slave or free are brought into the new “Israel” of the people of God.
The Son, Jesus, would take a hard strike on the heel at the cross, but on the third day he would rise in conquest and crush the head of the Serpent and render his kingdom’s defenses down so that his dark kingdom can be plundered and all things brought back under the rule of Jesus.
In the words of Admiral Akbar, “The shield is down. Commence attack on the Death Star’s main reactor!”.
Jesus, the promised Son of God, has come and crushed the enemy’s defenses, made our rescue possible through repentance and faith, and promised supernatural power through his Spirit indwelling his people to go and take the kingdom back, bringing all things under Jesus’ rule, because the power of the enemy is rendered powerless. Death no longer holds dominance. Life has come.
In the language of Narnia, Winter is gone and it is always Christmas.
 Chris Bruno, The Whole Story of the Bible in 16 Verses (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2015), 39.
 Gordon J. Wenham, “Genesis,” in New Bible Commentary: 21st Century Edition, ed. D. A. Carson et al., 4th ed. (Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press, 1994), 63.
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WHAT ARE THE 16 VERSES????
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This little book outlines those 16, but those are just a primer to understanding the framework for how the whole Old Testament preaches the gospel. Rather than list them all, I suggest picking up this little book and giving it a read. https://www.crossway.org/books/the-whole-story-of-the-bible-in-16-verses-tpb/
Also, if you use the search on the right side, you can search 16 verses, and there is a sermon on each of the 16 verses.