What God has said here in Genesis 3 is that he is giving a divinely established struggle between the woman and her descendants and Satan. We are terribly depraved, but we don’t automatically assume that Satan is right. That is a blessing that results from the warfare that goes on. We have a fallen spirit within, and that is why we are in dreadful danger all the time of being drawn after Satan - because that within us inclines in his direction. But, you see, it isn’t wholehearted, and there is a struggle involved even when we sin as sinners.

It is not surprising that we find a prophecy of Jesus in the Old Testament. But what is surprising is how gracious this is. Here is God speaking in grace in the context of the judgment, and I want you to remember that about Christmas. Christmas is God’s grace to people who deserve his judgment. Now what this verse speaks of is enmity. And it speaks of this enmity, or warfare, on three levels–between Satan and the woman, and presumably all human beings; between his offspring and hers; and then, finally, a conflict between the woman’s great descendant Jesus Christ and Satan himself.

Our focus this month is on Christmas, and I want to begin by saying that if the birth of Christ is the center of the Word of God, together with his death and resurrection, then we should expect to find it everywhere throughout the Bible. Now we do find it in Revelation 12, but we also find it as early as Genesis 3. As I say, we should expect to find it throughout the Bible. And yet when we turn to Genesis 3 to find the prophecy of the coming of Jesus Christ there, it is, nevertheless, surprising because this is not a pleasant scene.

At times we must speak words that sound harsh to the one who has to hear them. It is difficult to speak such words. But more often, it is our privilege to speak the words of comfort the Bible contains. We may have to speak of sin. But we can always also speak of God’s grace and forgiveness. We can tell our brother, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9). We can assure him that, if he has confessed his sin, God has already forgiven it for Jesus’ sake.

We must bear one another’s burdens. The Bible is able to express the whole work of Christ for us as bearing our burdens: "Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows" (Isa. 53:4 KJV). So it is not surprising that it can describe the whole of the Christian life as bearing the cross and admonish us to "carry each other’s burdens," saying, "and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ" (Gal. 6:2).