Sunday, November 29, 2015

First Sunday of Advent: In the Beginning

The Advent season begins today. This is the first of four Sundays counting down to Christmas, the day we celebrate the birth of Emmanuel, God with Us.

During the Advent season we remember the waiting and hoping of God's people. For many years the Israelites waited for the coming Messiah. God had promised to send a Savior, but for so long it seemed as if nothing was happening. There were prophecies, but there was no fulfillment. Israel waited and waited and waited. And then one day God sent His Son. The prophecies were fulfilled!

The Israelites’ waiting was long, but their hopes were fulfilled! Just as they waited for the coming Messiah, we, too, are waiting. We wait for His second coming, and we hope. Jesus has come, and He will come again!

I invite you to join me here during this Advent season. I will be sharing Scripture passages each Sunday of Advent and on Christmas Eve. This week I am sharing passages that show the beginning of the world, sin, our need for a Savior, and the very first mention of the gospel. Over the next three weeks I will be sharing Scripture passages that show God's promise to send a Messiah and to bless all the nations of the world through Israel. On Christmas Eve we will read the Christmas story and rejoice that Emmanuel has come!

Please join me this season in the waiting, the wonder, and the hope!

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1

In the Beginning
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. 
 John 1:1-5  

1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth... 
 26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 
27 So God created man in his own image,
    in the image of God he created him;
    male and female he created them. 
 Genesis 1:1, 26-27  

15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, 17 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 2:15-17  

1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. 
He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “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.’” But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths. 
 And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” 10 And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.” 11 He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” 12 The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.” 13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” 
 14 The Lord God said to the serpent, 
 “Because you have done this,
    cursed are you above all livestock
    and above all beasts of the field;
on your belly you shall go,
    and dust you shall eat
    all the days of your life.
15 I will put enmity between you and the woman,
    and between your offspring and her offspring;
he shall bruise your head,
    and you shall bruise his heel.” 
 16 To the woman he said,
“I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing;
    in pain you shall bring forth children.
Your desire shall be for your husband,
    and he shall rule over you.” 
 17 And to Adam he said, 
 “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife
    and have eaten of the tree
of which I commanded you,
    ‘You shall not eat of it,’
cursed is the ground because of you;
    in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life;
18 thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you;
    and you shall eat the plants of the field.
19 By the sweat of your face
    you shall eat bread,
till you return to the ground,
    for out of it you were taken;
for you are dust,
    and to dust you shall return.” 
 20 The man called his wife's name Eve, because she was the mother of all living. 21 And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them.
Genesis 3:1-21

Genesis 3:15 is the very first mention of the gospel in Scripture. In a chapter that is full of sin, shame, and separation from God, we see hope. One day there would come an offspring from the woman who would bruise the head of the serpent. Jesus would suffer on the cross (His heel would be bruised), and He would overcome Satan (He would bruise his head). 

In verse 21 we see the first animal sacrifice. There was no death (human or animal) before sin entered the world. But now there would be death, and there would have to be sacrifices until Jesus Christ, the perfect Lamb of God, came to be the sacrifice for our sins, once and for all.

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