Summary: This message challenges us to re-think the meaning of Christmas.
We’re going to begin in two places tonight – John 3 and Genesis 3. I want you to think about a question: How will this Christmas be different for you than past Christmases? But probably the question that really needs to be asked is this: How will you be different this Christmas than in past Christmases?
In John 3 we’re going to read a verse that everyone knows but we want to read it again. John 3:16 says “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
The first thing we see in this verse is “God so loved.” First John 4:8 says “God is love.” That is who He is. So we could read the first part of John 3:16 as “For LOVE so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son.”
Sometimes I think there is a part of this verse that we miss. We see God, we see LOVE, giving His son, right? What we don’t see sometimes is the Son agreeing to be given. The Son agreed to be given.
God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son who, obviously, so loved the world that He was willing to be given. Sometimes I think we miss that when we read this verse.
And the reason that God gave Jesus was for whosoever would believe on him would not perish. What do we mean “not perish”? The person who believes on Jesus will not die an eternal death because he will no longer have a sin nature. So Jesus came so that those of us who would believe in Him could have a new birth and go to heaven.
So the question remains is this: Why did God need to send Jesus? Notice I didn’t ask what “motivated” God to do this? We know what motivated Him. He’s LOVE. So, why did God need to send Jesus?
Go back to Genesis 3.
The serpent has come into the garden and he asks Eve “Did God really say you shouldn’t eat of every tree in the garden?” He wanted to find out if Eve agreed with what God had said. And obviously by her response we know that she didn’t. She eats. Adam looks at her and sees she did not die. So he eats and the Bible says in Second Timothy that Adam ate with his eyes wide open. He was not deceived.
So God comes and asks them why did they eat of the tree? And we know the bottom line is that the serpent had deceived Eve. So, that brings us to verse 15. God says “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman.” Do you hear what God is saying? He did not put enmity between the serpent and Adam. Do you see this? It’s very important that you do.
You see, God is telling us right here in Genesis 3:15 that Christmas is coming! Jesus is going to be born. Again, God says “I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed.”
Now what should catch our attention right off the bat? Do women have seed? This is not a trick question. Women do not have seed. Seed comes from the husband. So God is saying to serpent “I’m telling you right now. I’m putting you on notice. The woman’s seed is going to bruise your head.”
We see in Genesis 3:15 that when Adam and Eve disobeyed God, spiritual separation from God resulted. So God, LOVE, had to make a “love” decision. The decision He made, now listen to me, the decision He made was John 3:16! “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son.” This is what we’re reading here in Genesis 3:15!
“Thy seed and her seed.” Who is the “her seed”? Jesus is her seed. He would make a relationship with the Father possible once again. The relationship that Adam and Eve had torn apart, Jesus would bring it back.
Jesus is the gift we now celebrate during the Christmas season. He was a physical gift, ladies and gentlemen, that was a spiritual game-changer!
What are we doing with the gift God gave us?
I want to frame this message this way. When Ephraim, Candace and Stephen – it’s really funny to me now – that when they were one, two and three years old we would buy them gifts. The gifts would be in a box. They would take the gift out of the box and put it aside so that they could play with the box. It never occurred to them that what was “in the box” was the gift that we were giving.