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Thistletown Baptist Church

October 4, 2009

The Serpent Crusher I


1. “Once upon a time a man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho and fell among thorns and they grew up and choked him. So he went on and didn’t have any money and met the Queen of Sheba who gave him a thousand talents of gold earrings and 100 chances on a horse. He got into his chariot and drove furiously and while he was driving under a tree, his hair caught among the limbs and he hung there three days and three nights. The ravens brought him food to eat and water to drink. One night while he was hanging there, his wife came along and cut his hair, and he fell on the stony ground where it rained forty days and forty nights. He hid himself in a cave where he met a man who said ‘come have supper with me’ to whom he said ‘I have married a wife and cannot come now.’ So the man went into the highways and byways and compelled him to come and have supper with him. After supper, he went into Jericho and sitting in a high window was Jezebel. When she saw him, she laughed, and they flung her down from the window. And they flung her down, and they flung her down some more. They flung her down some more, until 70 times 70 and seven times more, and the fragments they picked up were 12 baskets shook down for good measure full. Now whose wife is she going to be in the judgment because she brake in pieces and multiplied? Amen and Hallelujah!”

2. This morning we begin a short (4-5 weeks) series regarding the plot line of the Bible. The basic premise of this series is that the Bible is a Book. It is one Book. It is a Book with a story line that begins in Genesis and ends in Revelation. What I want to do in the few weeks we are doing this is bring you to see the plot line of the Bible; to see the story of the Bible as one unified story.

3. What this series is designed to

i. Encourage

(1) unified understanding of the Scriptures

(2) A true biblical understanding of the Gospel.

(3) An excitement with the message of the Bible and a passion to bring others to know it. Passion will always produce evangelistic zeal.

(4) Seeing Jesus in all the Bible.

ii. Discourage

(1) disjointed understanding

(2) moralism

(3) a series of stories

(4) missing the point – the point of Israel in the OT is to get to Christ. The point of Jonah and the whale is to get us to Christ. The point of the Psalter is to get us to Christ. … The point of the whole Bible is to get us to Christ. This is what Luke 24:25-27 is about. And John 5:39, Acts 8:32-35; 17:2-3; 18:28, I Cor. 1 5:3. See Jesus comments to Nicodemus in John 3:9-10.

4. The Bible is about God’s plan to redeem for Himself a people for His own glory. It basically follows this design: Show the original intention (Why is there anything? Why were we created?) Show the problem and its consequences (Sin, death, rebellion, idolatry …). Show what is being done to solve the problem (Jesus Christ, His life, death, and resurrection). Show the victory and the “happy ever after”. That folks, is the plot line of the Bible.

5. I want to keep this series short in order to keep us from getting bogged down in the details. This series must paint with very broad strokes. There will be much that will not get said. There will be much that we won’t get into. You can address these things in the Q&A and I encourage you to do that.

6. I have entitled this series “The Serpent Crusher”. This is based on God’s words to the serpent, after Adam and Eve have disobeyed and God is pronouncing the curse on the man, the woman and the serpent. Genesis 3:14-15. After A&E are told the consequences of their sin they are driven out of the Garden in Eden (3:24).

a. The rest of the Bible is about what God is doing to get mankind back to the garden.

7. There are four main sections of the Bible for the purpose of understanding its plot line:

a. Creation – Genesis 1-2

i. God the Creator – Genesis 1:1

b. Fall – Genesis 3

i. Man the Sinner – Genesis 3:9

c. Redemption – Genesis 4 – Revelation 20

i. Son of God – Messiah – Matthew 1:21

d. Restoration – Revelation 21-22

i. Back to the Garden – Revelation 22:3

8. Key themes for seeing the Bible’s story line

a. There are some key, important themes that run through Scripture that help us to see how God is restoring the world from the horrifying effects of the fall.

i. Promise

ii. Son

iii. Grace

iv. Providence

v. Substitution

(1) Adam and Eve have clothing provided for them out of animal skins

(2) Sacrifice of Isaac (God will provide a lamb)

(3) Passover

b. Covenants

c. Kingdom of God

d. God working on behalf of His people and not vice versa

9. As we begin I just want to bring the beginning and ending of this incredible Book to your attention.

a. Genesis 2:8-9 – A garden with two trees, one of which was the tree of life. And in this garden there are four rivers (verses 10-14). Then go way over to Revelation 2:7 and 22:1-2, 14, 19.

b. Dear ones. The Bible is about getting us back to the garden where we can do what we were created to do in the first place – worship God and enjoy Him forever.

II God the Creator – The story of our redemption; of God’s crushing of the serpent, begins with how we got here in the first place.

1. Genesis 1 – God the Creator

a. Key elements in chapter 1

i. 1:1- God the Creator

(1) God as Creator should be worshipped

ii. All other gods are no gods at all – Psalm 96:5

(1) Psalm 96:5 – For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols, but the Lord made the heavens.

(2) The reason God should be worshipped is because He made everything Rev. 4:11; 14:7; Romans 11:36

(3) Dear ones, whatever we believe about the origins of the universe, the age of the earth, the evolution of species, we need to stand on this firmly – God created all that is. To deny this is to deny the faith. Moses is not writing here just to give his people something to hang their hats on. He is telling us why this God deserves our praise. He made everything and everything He made was good. If there is anything that is not good it is because it has been marred by sin.

(4) The fact that He made everything means that there are no other gods. The One God of Genesis 1:1 made everything. He did not designate lesser jobs to lesser gods. It was the One sovereign God who fashioned the hills, mapped out the rivers, called the birds and animals and vegetation to do what animals and fish and birds and vegetation do. I Chr. 16:26

(a) 1 Chron. 16:26 – For all the gods of the peoples are idols, but the Lord made the heavens.

(5) Because He made it, it belongs to Him

(6) Because He made it and owns it He rules it as He sees fit. And the way that He sees fit is intrinsically good.

(7) This is what we are to present to people when we give them the Gospel.

(a) See Acts 17:22-24 – Paul’s presentation of the Gospel begins with God as Creator … . (Note the difference when dealing with Jews – Acts 13:16-23.)

(b) He has the right to do with it as it seems good to Him to do.

(8) Whenever we pray we need to remember who it is that we pray to.

(a) When we are in trouble and we call to God for help – REMEMBER who it is you are approaching for help. The God who said “Let there be…” – and there was. See II Kings 19:15ff;

(9) How the fact that we get to approach this God should humble us. But we do not think of it and our arrogance is laughable.

(10) Since it belongs to Him He has the right to do with it as He sees fit.

(11) When we give the Gospel to people we take them to the God who made them and as their Maker has the right to do with them as He sees fit.

iii. 1:3 – The Word of God

iv. 1:26-28 – Man in the image of God

v. 1:31 – The goodness of God

(1) This world is not in the mess it is in because of God. That is the point here.

vi. 2:1-3 – The Sabbath (2:1-3, but it belongs in chapter 1)

2. Genesis 2 – God creates man and puts him in the garden –

a. Key elements in chapter 2

i. Genesis 2: is a more detailed description of the most important of God’s creatures. It is an expansion of 1:16-28. Note how man is made – 2:7. Man as a creature made with intention and care.

(1) This is not like anything else we see in the creation accounts. God comes to the earth and bends down and lovingly and intentionally … forms, out of the mud, a human being. Could He have done it the same way that He made the birds and flowers and stars? Could God have said “Let their be humanity” and then we would have the comment “and there was humanity and it was good” ? Of course. Then why didn’t He? Care, love …

(2) There is also a reminder here that we are not in charge. We are made from something that God made before He made us. We are not in charge. We are creature. We owe our existence to Him.

ii. 2:8 – The Garden – paradise see Rev. 2:7

(1) Eden = “delight”

iii. 2:9 – The two trees

(1) The tree of life

(a) This is what Adam and Eve forfeited the right to eat when they disobeyed God (3:24) and it is what Jesus gives us the right to eat form when He ushers in the eternal state – Rev.22:1-2, 19.

iv. 2:15 – Life in the garden

(1) work is not a result of the fall – it began with the naming of the animals and continued with the creation of a woman to help Adam in his work and production of children (a declaration, BTW that sex in marriage is not sinful …)

(2) Even in sinless Garden grass needs to be mowed, fruit needs to be tended, potatoes need to be hoed, …)

v. 2:16 -The prohibition

(1) A call for faith in God. You do not need to experience evil to know that it will hurt you. You only need to trust me. All I do is for oyur good and you will eat that fruit to your hurt.

vi. 2:17 – The penalty for disobedience

(1) Death – the spiritual death into which all of us are born. See it in Cain. See it in Genesis 5. Mankind needs to be rescued.

(2) Anyone listening with half a grain of sense knows that something went wrong. We look around and we know that all is not well. Everything is not very good.

vii. 2:18-25 – The first marriage. In sinless Eden there will be sexual activity and the production of children in perfect fellowship with God. Family life is created for the glory of God. It is meant to be a part of worship. A world, under our leadership. We take care of it and walk with God and know Him and life is simply full of intimacy with Him and joy and peace … .

b. Chapter 2 is not merely to give details of how man was made. It is part of God telling us why we need a Redeemer. It prepares us for the tragedy of chapter 3. But it also introduces us to the man and woman and the family and the covenant with mankind and the consequences of it being broken. Chapter two is crucial to understanding the plot line of the Bible. The fall of Adam that we will see in chapter three will be referred to often throughout the Scriptures and it is important that we understand it clearly. Why One has to come and crush the serpent (who will be introduced in chapter 3)

III Conclusion

1. God is the Creator of all

2. He is to be worshipped.

3. He made us to know Him and worship Him and know unmeasurable joy and fellowship with Him.

4. We are brought to ask “What in the world went wrong if this was the intention? And that is where we will head next week.

5. Before we do. Would you describe your life as one that is joyfully worshipping the God who created you? The story of the Bible is that you can be brought to know God and be brought to know for sure that you will be brought back to the garden when God restores all things once again. You don’t deserve that. You are marred and scarred by sin. But there is salvation from sin and all its consequences. It comes through Jesus Christ. The point of this Book is to direct you to Christ. Is your life like the ideal situation of Genesis 1 and 2? No. But it can be headed that way. You must see your sin and turn from your sin and repent of your sin and come to Jesus Christ as the only solution to your sin. He will forgive you. Only He can. You must see Him on the cross taking punishment that you deserve. Sin deserves death … .