The Promises of God fulfilled in Christ (Luke 1:68-73) part 1
Luke 1:68-73- “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; For he hath visited and redeemed his people, And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us In the house of his servant David; As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, Which have been since the world began: That we should be saved from our enemies, And from the hand of all that hate us; To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, And to remember his holy covenant; The oath which he sware to our father Abraham”
For the Christmas season I thought it would be great to write a series on Luke 1:68-73. Specifically, I wanted to write about three things stated in this verse that were done in Christ. I want to address these things historically so as to make it easy to process and understand. This teaching will also address, who the Israel of God is, who is the real seed of Abraham, and who are the promises of God made to. The three main points I want to draw out of Luke 1:68-73 are listed below. I am using my notes from a teaching I gave at a men’s study as an outline to write this from so bear with me as I try to create a written teaching based off one that was taught out loud.
Spoken since the world began
Promises made to father’s/Abraham
Salvation in house of David/man on his throne
The first item on the list I want to address is the idea that Jesus fulfilled a promise that had been in place from the very beginning (things spoken since the world began). Now we know before anything was created the Triune God had a plan of redemption in place for the world; but I believe this promise being spoken of here is something we can see in the very first few chapters of Genesis. If we turn to Gen 3:15 I think we will see the first promise made of the coming redeemer. This is known in theological circles as the “Protoevangelium”.
“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.” Gen 3:15
Here we see there will be a seed of the woman and He will be at enmity with Satan and his seed. This seed of the woman will crush the head of the serpent but the serpent will harm him by bruising his heal. The seed spoken of here is Jesus Christ. This is the first prophecy given by God of a coming redeemer that will crush the head of Satan. We also can see that there are 2 groups separated out here as well. There is the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent, there are only two groups, and they will be enemies. This is the kingdom of God vs the kingdom of Satan. This is also an individual battle between the heads of those kingdoms, Christ and Satan. This is the first glimmer of Christ coming and defeating the enemy of God’s people and redeeming us from the fall in the garden. He will do this by being “bruised” at the cross for our sins but in doing so he will crush the head of the serpent. It is no accident that right after this promise God killed a lamb and made coverings for Adam and Eve; foreshadowing the coming Lamb that would die for us to cover our sin before God!
As it is typically with man it is not long before this promise seemed to be misunderstood by Adam and Eve. We see that in Gen 4:1 when Adam and Eve have Cain they say that they have had a “gotten a man from the Lord”. When Abel is born they state nothing about him. It is interesting that we find out in scripture that their parents had this order reversed! In Genesis 4:4-5 it tells us that God had respect for Abel’s sacrifice but not for Cain’s. In Hebrews 11:4 it tells us the reason for this,
“4 By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.”
The reason that God had respect for Abel’s sacrifice was that Abel had faith and therefore was one of those who truly belonged to Christ and the Kingdom of God. We are also told in 1John 3:2 that not only was Cain not the promised seed, not a seed of the woman, but he was actually, spiritually, the seed of Satan,
“….Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous.” 1John 3:12
Cain was not a man of the Lord at all but was spiritually a seed of the serpent, he acted accordingly, by murdering his brother and lying to God about it. The important point here is that they were both PHYSICALLY born from the same parents but SPIRITUALLY they were of different seeds. This is a very important distinction and is KEY to understanding much of what the bible teaches concerning the seed of Abraham and the people of God.
This struggle between Satan and Christ, the seed of the serpent and the seed of the woman, is seen in Revelation as well. In Revelation chapter 12:1-5, 17 we read,
“And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: 2 And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered. 3 And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. 4 And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born. 5 And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne…..And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” Rev 12:1-5, 17
Here we see the woman (God’s true Israel) bringing forth Christ to the world. We then see the struggle between Christ (the man child) and Satan (the Dragon). We see Christ ascended to His throne to rule all nations with a rod of iron, as was planned by God in eternity past. The Dragon, seeing his original plan was spoiled, goes out to make war with those who are Christ’s (the plural seed of the woman). Again notice that there are only two seeds in this world and they are at enmity with each other!
In this section I wanted to lay out the first prophecy about Christ in Gen 3:15 (spoken since the world began). In the next part I will address the promise made to Abraham and how we should view that in light of the Gospel.