Expositional commentary on Scripture using an inductive exegetical methodology intent upon confronting the lives of Christians with the dogmatic Truths of God's inspired Words opposing Calvinism and Arminianism, Biblical commentary, doctrine of grace enablement, understanding holiness and wisdom and selfishness, in-depth Bible studies, adult Bible Study books and Sunday School materials Dr. Lance T. Ketchum Line Upon Line: When Creation was Made Pregnant with God’s Promise

Saturday, December 20, 2008

When Creation was Made Pregnant with God’s Promise

1 Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all; 2 But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father. 3 Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world: 4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, 5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. 6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. 7 Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ” (Galatians 4:1-7).

God is immutable. Immutability means that God never changes in character or attributes. God is the ultimate constant in the universe in Who He is.

“For I am the LORD, I change not. . .” (Malachi 3:6a).

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning” (James 1:17).

The fact that God is immutable also means His promises are sure. God’s promises cannot fail because they are part of God’s eternal plan. Before the foundations of the earth were ever laid, God had planned the redemption of mankind. In God’s foreknowledge, He knew mankind would fall into sin. Before mankind was created, God’s love planned for His incarnation to pay the penalty of sin. The Creator Himself would become “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Rev. 13:8b).

How easily these words roll from our tongues. How quickly they pass by our intellect with little more then a passing thought or consideration of the depth of sacrifice they communicate. The infinite and eternal God becoming one of His finite creation in order for man to share in God’s eternal life and become a “born again” child of God.

The words “when the fulness of time was come” (Galatians 4:4) is an expression that communicates the idea of the completion of a pregnancy and the time of birth. In I Samuel 1:20, it was the expression used of Hannah’s time to give birth to Samuel.

“Wherefore it came to pass, when the time was come about after Hannah had conceived, that she bare a son, and called his name Samuel, saying, Because I have asked him of the LORD” (I Samuel 1:20).

In Genesis 1:26, God gave dominion of all His Creation to Adam (mankind) as a gift. When Adam chose to disobey God’s command, when he put his own selfish wants above the will of God, he relinquished God’s gift of the Creation into the control of Satan and Satan became the “god of this world” (II Corinthians 4:4) and the “prince and power of the air” (Ephesians 2:2). From that point in time, Creation needed a Redeemer to restore its dominion back to mankind. After the fall of mankind in sin, God spoke to Satan in the curse. In that curse, God made a statement that made Creation pregnant with His promise of redemption.

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: 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” (Genesis 3:14-15).

The word “enmity” in Genesis 3:15 is from the Hebrew word 'eybah (ay-baw') meaning hatred. Satan’s “seed” was the sin and death that entered into mankind through the freewill choice of Adam and is the corruption that passes seminally to all mankind.

“Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” (Romans 5:12).

What is important to know is that the “enmity” God referred to in Genesis 3:15 was the Lord Jesus Christ Who would be born of the Holy Spirit and the virgin Mary, thereby bypassing the corrupted seed of Adam. The word “enmity” means Jesus Christ would bring spiritual warfare against Satan and his headship over the fallen Creation, which was stolen from mankind through deceit and fraud.

The word “bruise” in Genesis 3:15 is from the Hebrew word shuwph (shoof) meaning to crush. The promise of the birth of the Redeemer carried with it the promise that He would crush Satan’s headship and remove Satan’s strangle hold of death on mankind. We all need to be reminded that the reason why life is often hard and full of misery is because we are all under a curse due to sin.

16 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. 17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; 18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; 19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return” (Genesis 3:16-19).

We live in an existence that is cursed of God. God’s promise of a Redeemer was not a promise of the removal of the curse, but deliverance from it. God would remove the redeemed from the curse. He would take them out of this cursed existence and give them a place in a New Creation where He would dwell with His “born again” children for all eternity.

1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also” (John 14:1-3).

Whenever we read the gospel accounts of the birth of Jesus our minds should be filled will the idea of the prophetic promise of God that comes from the Garden of Eden and goes far beyond saving us from an eternal Hell. God will one day remove all “born again” people from this cursed world to share His eternity with Him. That is every believer’s sure hope in Christ. Every believer can say with Job, “For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth” (Job 19:25). The idea is one of victory.

As we read Galatians 4:4, we need to remind ourselves that although it was a particular virgin named Mary who was pregnant, she was only the chosen part of God’s creation to fulfill His promise made in Genesis 3:15. Creation was made pregnant with the immutable prophetic promise of God shortly after the fall, but Creation was pregnant with God’s plan of redemption even before the Fall (Rev. 13:8). I believe the very second Mary consented (Luke 1:38) to be Creation’s womb for the birth of the Savior, she was immediately pregnant.

“The fulness of time was come.” The Creator was joined with His Creation in the womb of Mary. All of those thousands of years were now reduced to nine months. God had “sent forth His Son made of a woman” (Galatians 4:4). The words “sent forth” are from the Greek word exapostello (ex-ap-os-tel'-lo), meaning that the eternal Son of God, Creator of Heaven and earth, was sent into the realm of the dead from God’s eternal presence with a mission of redemption. He did not come to kill and destroy (this time). He came to save sinners. When “God sent forth His Son,” He was “sent forth” to fulfill the immutable prophetic promise of God given at least 4,000 years earlier.

“For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10).

The words “made of a woman” fulfill the second aspect of the promise of Genesis 3:15. In order to redeem mankind and restore the dominion of Creation, the Son of God needed to become the Son of man. He would become part of humanity for all of eternity. What overwhelming, incomprehensible love.

Galatians 4:4 also tells us Jesus was “made under the Law.” When Christ came into humanity, He shared in the communion of that humanity. He came under the curse of the Law (not by sin, but by choice). When Galatians 4:4 says “made under the Law,” it means that Jesus was born under the obligation of absolute responsibility to absolute obedience to God’s commands. However, where the first Adam failed, the last Adam (Jesus) succeeded perfectly.

“For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15).

When Adam was created, he was given one Law, “Don’t eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil” (Genesis 2:17). How many sins did it take Adam to break the Law and cast the whole human race into the curse of death? If Jesus committed even one sin, He could not save us.

“For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (II Corinthians 5:21).

Jesus was not born into this world to become part of humanity and to die a cruel, tortuous death just to provide us a reason to give each other gifts as we celebrate His birthday. He came to fulfill the promise of God. He came to take away Satan’s stranglehold of death on mankind. He came to be our Saviour.

10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:10-11).

If you have never repented of your “dead works” and your trust in religious ritualism to personally put your trust in Jesus’ finished work of redemption, you do not have anything to celebrate this Christmas. Christmas is the celebration of the birth of the Saviour. Before you have anything to celebrate, you need to turn from a life of sin and selfishness and turn to Jesus. Until you have received His free gift of salvation by grace through faith, you have not opened God’s Christmas gift to you.

Joy to the world! the Lord is come; Let earth receive her King

Let ev’ry heart prepare Him room, And heav’n and nature sing,

And heav’n and nature sing, And heav’n, and heav’n and nature sing.

Joy to the world! The Savior reigns; Let men their songs employ;

While fields and flood, rocks, hills and plains repeat the sounding joy,

Repeat the sounding joy, Repeat, repeat the sounding joy.

No more let sins and sorrows grow, Nor thorns infest the ground;

He comes to make His blessings flow far as the curse is found,

Far as the curse is found, Far as, far as the curse is found.

He rules the world with truth and grace, And makes the nations prove

The glories of His righteousness, And wonders of His love,

And wonders of His love, And wonders, and wonders of His love.

Joy To The World! by Isaac Watts

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