Predicament & Promise
Pastor John Sloan
Introduction: It’s the most wonderful time of the year. So goes the song that rings over airwaves and throughout department stores during December (or earlier in the year). Sure, this is a season of joy. But for many, this is a time when sorrow takes center stage. When loneliness seems inescapable. For all of us, this should be a time of celebration, but also a time of longing, longing for things to be right. When we reflect on the coming of Jesus, we would be remiss if we didn’t ask the question: What prompted Jesus to leave the confines of heaven to inhabit the dirt of this earth?
Questions For Discussion & Discovery
1. Why did Adam and Eve hide themselves from the presence of the Lord? Are there habits or actions in your life that you’ve tried to keep hidden from God?
2. The serpent’s chief ploy was to cause Eve to doubt God’s goodness. Are there areas in your life where you doubt the goodness of God? How will you overcome those doubts?
3. What are some of the physical/ earthly effects of Adam and Eve’s rebellion? What about relational effects?
4. What is the most devastating consequence of the revolt of our first parents?
5. What does the author mean when he says that the seed of the woman will “bruise” or “crush” the head of the serpent (verse15)?
6. What are some ways that the seed of the woman’s offspring will restore creation? How does this bring you hope?
1. Read Genesis 3:8-21.
2. “You didn’t want heaven without us.”
3. “And the Lord God commanded the man saying you shall surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” – Genesis 2:16
4. “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” – Genesis 3:3
5. 01. The perfect goodness of God’s created world was forever tainted by mankind’s rebellion in the garden.
6. “Our first parents, being seduced by the subtlety and temptation of Satan, sinned, in eating the forbidden fruit. … By this sin they fell from their original righteousness and communion with God, and so became dead in sin, and wholly defiled in all the parts and faculties of soul and body. They being the root of all mankind, the guilt of this sin was imputed; and the same death in sin, and corrupted nature, conveyed to all their posterity descending from them by ordinary generation.” – Westminster Confession
7. 02. The worst consequence of our first parents’ revolt: we are born into Adam’s fallen condition.
8. Read Genesis 3:15.
9. “His ‘heel’ has this meaning: that the son of the virgin, who is our Lord Jesus Christ, was going to blast with venom—that is depose and destroy—all of Satan’s power, majesty and dominion; but in turn, Satan was going to infect with venom—that is, afflict—Christ with every kind of adversity in his humanity, as much in his own person as in his members who are believers in him.” – Johannes Brenz
10. 03. By living, dying and rising for us, Jesus secured for us forgiveness and eternal life—but those actions required that he must first be born.
11. “Here is the real purpose of the coming of Christ. Here is the heart of the incarnation. Christ Jesus came to deal effectively with sin, to become the atonement for sin, the liquidator of man’s guilt, as well as the Conqueror and Annihilator of sin. – George Peters
12. “For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.” – 1 Corinthians 15:21-22