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The Cure for the Curse - Genesis 3:15

Taught on | Topic: salvation | Keywords: blood, bloodline, confrontation, conflict, conquest, crucifixion, cure, fall, forgiveness, promise, redemption, sacrifice, spiritual warfare

Welcome to this new series Bloodline, leading up to Easter. There is a scarlet thread woven throughout the fabric of Scripture from Genesis to Revelation that anticipates Jesus’ sacrifice at the cross. We Christians have become far too familiar with the idea that Jesus died for our sins so the impact is largely lost. In the next few weeks we will consider how God’s rescue mission is revealed from Eden to eternity. Today let’s peek at the first hint of the gospel.

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3/3/2019
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The Cure for the Curse
Genesis 3:15
Skip Heitzig
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Message Summary
Welcome to this new series Bloodline, leading up to Easter. There is a scarlet thread woven throughout the fabric of Scripture from Genesis to Revelation that anticipates Jesus’ sacrifice at the cross. We Christians have become far too familiar with the idea that Jesus died for our sins so the impact is largely lost. In the next few weeks we will consider how God’s rescue mission is revealed from Eden to eternity. Today let’s peek at the first hint of the gospel.
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Bloodline: Tracing God's Rescue Mission from Eden to Eternity

Bloodline: Tracing God's Rescue Mission from Eden to Eternity

The redemption of mankind was planned before the foundations of the world. But the path through Scripture that leads from Eden to eternity is not as straightforward as following a highway. It's more like following a thread in a tapestry and the thread is crimson-red, having been stained with blood. In this series, Skip Heitzig leads you on a unique journey through the Bible along the path of redemption.

Outline

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  1. There Will Be Conflict “enmity”

  2. There Will Be Continuing Conflict “your seed and her Seed”

  3. There Will Be a Coming One “He”

  4. There Will Be Confrontation “you shall bruise His heel”

  5. There Will Be Conquest “He shall bruise your head”

Study Guide

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Connect Recap Notes: March 3, 2019
Speaker: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: "The Cure for the Curse"
Text: Genesis 3:15

Path

There is a scarlet thread woven throughout the fabric of Scripture from Genesis to Revelation that anticipates Jesus' sacrifice at the cross. Christians have become far too familiar with the idea that Jesus died for our sins, so the impact is largely lost. In this new series, Pastor Skip considers how God's rescue mission is revealed from Eden to eternity.

  1. There Will Be Conflict "enmity"
  2. There Will Be Continuing Conflict "your seed and her Seed"
  3. There Will Be a Coming One "He"
  4. There Will Be Confrontation "you shall bruise His heel"
  5. There Will Be Conquest "He shall bruise your head"

Points

There Will Be Conflict "enmity"

  • History hinges on a single pivotal event—the sacrificial death of Jesus—because forgiveness is both our greatest need and God's greatest accomplishment.
  • Sacrifice and redemption can be found throughout Scripture. As William Evans said, "cut the Bible anywhere and it bleeds". Revelation portrayed Jesus as the "Lamb slain from the foundation of the world" (Revelation 13:8).
  • The Old Testament looks forward to the cross and the New Testament refers back to the cross. Jesus' sacrifice was anticipated by the prophets and celebrated by God's people.
  • Satan, coming in the form of a serpent, deceived Adam and Eve. However, Satan's rebellion began in heaven, when he was still an angelic being—Lucifer (see Isaiah 14, Ezekiel 28, and Revelation 12:9). His rebellion then continued on Earth, eventually spreading throughout the world (see Ephesians 6 and Revelation 12).

There Will Be Continuing Conflict "your seed and her Seed"

  • The phrase "your seed and her Seed", shows that there will be ongoing conflict between Satan and mankind (see 1 John 5:19). In a way, we live in a parallel universe—our physical world and the equally real spiritual world of angelic and demonic forces.
  • Genesis 3:15 portrays God's ultimate redemptive plan: to send His Messiah to crush the rebellion of Satan and the fallen angels.
  • God's promise to crush Satan's head was met with Satan's countermeasures.
    • Satan incited Cain to kill Abel, but God raised up Seth as the new Seed (see Genesis 4:8, 25); Satan caused evil to pervade the earth so that God destroyed it by flood, but God saved one family to start again (see Genesis 6:1-8); Satan incited Esau to try to kill Jacob (see Genesis 27:41); Pharaoh acted as Satan's agent when he told the midwives to kill all the male Hebrew infants (see Exodus 1:15-22); Satan sent King Saul to hunt David down and end all Messianic hope through his line (see 1 Samuel 21-31, 2 Samuel 1); Haman attempted genocide against the Jews in Persia, but he was hung on his own gallows (see Esther 7). Herod acted as Satan's agent when he ordered that every male baby in Bethlehem be killed (see Matthew 2:16-18); Satan personally tempted Jesus to throw Himself off the temple pinnacle (see Luke 4:9-13); when Jesus announced that He was the fulfillment of the prophecy in Isaiah 61, the people in the synagogue at Nazareth tried to throw Him off a cliff (see Luke 4:16-30).

There Will Be a Coming One "He"

  • Though the word used in Genesis for seed can be singular or plural, it was clarified with the word He. The Seed is a singular person.
  • Theologically, this section of Genesis is known as the Protoevangelium—the first mention of the gospel—the promise of a coming Messiah to deliver and undo the curse of sin, striking a fatal blow to Satan.
  • Then, as the Bible progresses, He is revealed to be Jesus, who came through a specific lineage (Seth, Shem, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Judah, and David). The bloodline of the Messiah led to Jesus, the hero of God's redemptive plan. All of Satan's attacks have been an attempt to destroy the Seed (see Revelation 12:4).

There Will Be Confrontation "you shall bruise His heel"

  • The conflict between Jesus and Satan moves toward a final showdown. The coming One, Jesus, confronted the serpent, bringing Himself temporary injury—the "bruised heel" was fulfilled in the physical pain of the crucifixion.
  • Crucifixion was incredibly painful, often lasting days. But Jesus' crucifixion was only a temporary wound, because of His resurrection.
  • Jesus won the battle through His resurrection; He crushed Satan's head—a blow which guarantees Satan's doom and ends his reign in the hearts of those who trust Christ.
  • The bloodline leads to a bloody cross that will be a lifeline for the world. 

There Will Be Conquest "He shall bruise your head"

  • When Satan failed to destroy Jesus' royal lineage, He incited the Jewish leaders, mobs of people, and the Roman government to crucify Jesus. He thought he'd won, but his disappointment came when Jesus rose from the grave (see John 12:31-33).
  • The darkest day in human history gave way to the brightest hope—the resurrection. Jesus, who will ultimately crush Satan's authority, won the conflict (see Romans 16:20).
  • Satan still fights his destiny, and the battle in heavenly realms spills into our world and lives—we are the collateral damage in his futile war against God. Satan has come to kill, steal, and destroy (see John 10:10), but Jesus came to bring life abundantly.
  • The bloodline begins in Genesis 3, leading to the cross and to victory.

Practice

Connect Up: Though we don't know the complete answer, why do you think the Bible uses blood to reveal God's redemptive plan? Some thoughts to discuss: life is in the blood (see Leviticus 17:11)—leading to Jesus' shed blood. Look up Hebrews 9:11-18 for more insight.

Connect In: As we reflect on the death of Jesus, leading up to Easter Sunday (traditionally called the Lenten season), why is it important for Christians to emphasize the lineage of Jesus, beginning in Genesis? Here are some points to cover: fulfilled prophecy, atonement (reparation for wrongdoing), and salvation (receiving the shed blood delivered on the cross for the remission of sins, people can stand before God covered in the righteousness of Christ; see 2 Corinthians 5:21).

Connect Out: How would you describe the importance of redemptive history—the bloodline—to an unbeliever, particularly someone who claims a crucified God is barbaric? As one person asked: "If God can do anything, why crucify Jesus? Couldn't God create another means of salvation?" How does Genesis 3:15 help answer such a question?

Detailed Notes

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"The Cure for the Curse"
Genesis 3:15
  1. Introduction
    1. History centers around one pivotal point: the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ on the cross
      1. Forgiveness is our greatest need and God's greatest accomplishment, and this is what the cross is all about—it provides an opportunity for God to forgive
      2. This is reflected in Jesus' first words on the cross (see Luke 23:34)
      3. The story of atonement is on every page of the Bible—Old Testament and New
    2. Redemption is so monumental that it was in the mind of God before He even created the world
      1. In Revelation 13:8, Jesus is pictured as "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world"
      2. Luke 24:25-27
      3. All pre-New Testament history looks forward to the cross and all post-New Testament history looks back to it
        1. The prophets anticipated it, God's people have celebrated it, but sadly, some churches are scared to talk about it
        2. "There are some preachers who cannot, or do not, preach about the blood of Jesus Christ—I have one thing to say to you concerning those—never go to hear them! Never listen to them! A ministry that has not the blood in it is lifeless…and a dead ministry is no good to anybody!" —C.H. Spurgeon
    3. Genesis 3:15 is a picture of how God will cure the curse
  2. There Will Be Conflict "enmity"
    1. Enmity can mean conflict, hostility, or a feud
    2. The Hebrew word translated as serpent is nachash, which could also be translated the shining one
      1. Satan is the serpent (see Revelation 12:9)
      2. Luke 10:18
      3. Both Isaiah and Ezekiel provide a picture of who Satan was originally
        1. Isaiah 14:12
        2. Ezekiel 28:14
    3. The ongoing spiritual conflict began with Satan's rebellion, which spread to other angelic beings
      1. Satan caused a third of the angels to fall
      2. Ephesians 6:12
    4. The conflict spread to the earth (see Revelation 12:9)
      1. The earth became Satan's domain
      2. The conflict spread throughout the world
    5. Genesis 3 was the darkest day in all of human history
      1. This is the day that Paul referred to in Romans 5:12
      2. Through sin came death; one act of disobedience introduced the virus of sin into the bloodline of humanity
  3. There Will Be Continuing Conflict "your seed and her Seed"
    1. The word seed means offspring
      1. There will be an ongoing conflict between humanity, whom God loves, pursues, and redeems, and Satan, his fallen angels, and those who have been influenced by Satan—the world
        1. The world doesn't agree with or sympathize with believers
        2. 1 John 5:19
      2. If you do not understand this ongoing conflict, the Bible will not make sense—portions of the Scripture won't seem to connect
        1. We live in a parallel universe; there's the physical reality and the spiritual reality
        2. The spiritual world is where a lot of the action is happening—battles in the conflict between the angelic and demonic forces
          1. Thirty-four books of the Bible mention angels
          2. Angels are mentioned 103 times in the Old Testament and 165 times in the New Testament
          3. The word angel means messenger
          4. Angels are non-corporeal beings, invisible, not subject to decay, and not subject to the other limitations we as humans are subject to
        3. Since the fall, there has been an ongoing spiritual conflict in heavenly places between angels and demons
    2. One of the key rules of warfare is to know who your enemy is and how he operates
      1. If you don't believe in the Devil, then he's already won
      2. 2 Corinthians 2:11
    3. Bruise could also be translated as crush
      1. Satan's reaction to this promise has been evasive countermeasures and counterattacks
      2. The result of those countermeasures is the invisible war
        1. Satan incited Cain to kill Abel, but God raised up Seth as the new seed (see Genesis 4:8, 25)
        2. Satan corrupted humanity and the earth to the point that God destroyed the world with a flood; God saved one family to start again (see Genesis 6:1-8)
        3. Satan incited Esau to try to kill Jacob (see Genesis 27:41)
        4. Pharaoh acted as Satan's agent when he ordered that all the male Hebrew infants be killed (see Exodus 1:15-22)
        5. King Saul spent almost a decade chasing and trying to kill David (see 1 Samuel 21-31; 2 Samuel 1)
        6. Haman tried to kill all Jews living in Persia but was hanged on his own gallows (see Esther 7)
        7. Herod ordered that every male baby in Bethlehem be killed (see Matthew 2:16-18)
        8. Satan himself tempted Jesus to jump off the pinnacle of the temple (see Luke 4:9-13)
        9. When Jesus announced that He was the fulfillment of the prophecy in Isaiah 61, the people in the synagogue at Nazareth tried to throw Him off a cliff (see Luke 4:16-30)
      3. All of these instances were attempts to destroy a people, a nation, a lineage, and a Person
      4. This sheds light on anti-Semitism
        1. All prejudice is wrong, but there's a certain demonic evil behind anti-Semitism
        2. If God's plan of redemption required the existence of a nation and the continuation of that nation, that nation must be destroyed in order to defeat God
  4. There Will Be a Coming One "He"
    1. The Seed could be plural or singular, but is clarified by the word He
      1. This is why Genesis 3:15 is considered by Old Testament scholars to be the first messianic prophecy—the protoevangelium, or the first gospel
      2. This is the first prediction that a deliverer will come and defeat Satan
    2. Because of the destruction of the earth by the flood, there were only three lines He could come from
      1. The sons of Noah: Shem, Ham, and Japheth
      2. The Israelites are of the line of Shem
      3. God made a specific promise to one of Shem's descendants, Abraham (see Genesis 12; 22)
      4. God promised that Jacob's descendants would multiply (see Genesis 28:14)
      5. David's family was of the tribe of Judah, Jacob's fourth son
    3. Jesus is the He—the hero of redemptive history
      1. All of Satan's attacks were meant to destroy Him before He destroyed the serpent
      2. Parallel verse: Revelation 12:4
  5. There Will Be Confrontation "you shall bruise His heel"
    1. This confrontation will be a culmination of the ongoing conflict
    2. "You shall bruise His heel" refers to a temporary blow
      1. This is a hint at the crucifixion
      2. Crucifixion, although one of the most excruciating forms of punishment, was only a temporary blow because of Jesus' resurrection
      3. The death and resurrection of Jesus is the victory in this battle
      4. The bloodline points to the lifeline
  6. There Will Be Conquest "He shall bruise your head"
    1. All of Satan's previous counteroffensive measures failed, so he resorted to extreme measures
      1. Satan incited the Jewish leaders, the mob, and the Roman government to put Jesus on the cross
      2. 1 Corinthians 2:8
    2. The darkest day in history gave way to the brightest hope in human history
      1. John 12:32
      2. The conflict will be won by the hero—Jesus will crush Satan's authority over those who give their lives to Christ
        1. Romans 16:19
        2. If you're in Christ, Satan has no dominion over your life
        3. John 10:10
  7. Conclusion
    1. The bloodline began with the protoevangelium—the first promise, the first gospel—and went all the way to the cross and beyond
    2. "The Bible is red with redemption truth" —William Evans
    3. The simple but profound truth of God's elaborate rescue mission to be the lover of our souls should be allowed to transform our lives

Figures referenced: William Evans, C.H. Spurgeon

Cross references: Genesis 4:8, 25; 6:1-8; 12; 22; 27:41; 28:14; Exodus 1:15-22; 1 Samuel 21-31; 2 Samuel 1; Esther 7; Isaiah 14:12; 61; Ezekiel 28:14; Matthew 2:16-18; Luke 4:9-13, 16-30; 10:18; 23:34; 24:25-27; John 10:10; 12:32; Romans 5:12; 16:19; 1 Corinthians 2:8; 2 Corinthians 2:11; Ephesians 6:12; 1 John 5:19; Revelation 12:4, 9; 13:8

Hebrew words: nachash

Topic: salvation

Keywords: blood, bloodline, confrontation, conflict, conquest, crucifixion, cure, fall, forgiveness, promise, redemption, sacrifice, spiritual warfare

Transcript

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The Cure for the Curse - Genesis 3:15 - Skip Heitzig

[MUSIC PLAYING]

Would you turn in your Bibles, please, this morning to Genesis, chapter 3. We're going to look today at a single verse of scripture. Genesis, chapter 3, verse 15. And leave it to me to squeeze 5 points out of a single verse. It shouldn't surprise you. But that's what we're going to look at Genesis, chapter 3, verse 15.

Let me start by saying, years ago, I was part of a movie set. I was part of a movie. It was a Billy Graham film called The Last Flight Out. I played a very, very, very minor role in it. I played the role of the missionary doctor in this film. And-- thank you for that. I'll be available for autographs anytime for that.

No, really. Nobody's really heard of this film, but anyway so I played this part. But one of the lead actors in this role had played in a movie called Blackhawk Down. And he was a pilot in this movie who gets converted. And he was a pilot who helped rescue this village from these drug lords who were coming in and this one girl in particular who was serving there on the mission field. And in the process of that, he comes to Christ.

Well, in real life, this actor was not a believer. And I could see him struggling with his lines and with some of the lines of the other actors, especially the line about the blood of Christ and the actor saying that Jesus shed his blood for our sins. And then, he had to respond with something.

And he just stopped in the middle of one of the scenes and said, so what's the big deal about the blood of Christ? Well, I'm in this film. So I overhear this. And I thought, I have to insert myself at this point. So I did. And we had a very lively conversation. But basically, I said, look, without the blood, there is no message. There is no power. And we have no movie.

And you know, I've thought about that scene, that time, that event many times since. And I've discovered that all of history, especially redemptive history, centers around one pivotal event. And that is the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ on the cross. That is the main event, his death, burial, and Resurrection.

Why is that? Because forgiveness is our greatest need. And our greatest need happens to be God's greatest accomplishment. That's what the cross is all about it. It provides an opportunity for God to forgive. And that is our greatest need. Our greatest need is not to know how to live our best life now or how to be the best you that you can be or how to turn your scars into stars or how to be a healthy person.

Your greatest need, my greatest need, our greatest need is to be forgiven. This is why Jesus on the cross, his first words recorded in scripture were, "Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing." It is forgiveness.

The Great Bible scholar William Evans once said, "You can cut the Bible anywhere and it will bleed." What he meant is that the Atonement is on every page, in every book, in both testaments, old and new. It's either predicted or anticipated or acknowledged or celebrated. It is what is called the Scarlet Thread of Redemption.

It is so monumental an event that it was in the mind of God before he even created the world. Revelation 13 calls Jesus Christ the lamb slain from the foundation of the world. Before he created the world, he knew what would happen. He knew he needed a rescue plan to fix the bad that would fall on the world. And so he planned, before he credited the world, to send his son into it.

And Jesus even referred to it that way. You remember, after he rose from the dead, he's walking along the road, because there's two disciples on the road to Emmaus from Jerusalem. They're all forlorn, bummed out that Jesus died. And they think it's over. And so Jesus walks up to them and says, oh, foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken. Ought not the Christ to have suffered and entered into his glory.

And then, Luke writes this, "Beginning at Moses--" that's Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, the writings of Moses-- "Beginning at Moses and all of the prophets, he expounded to them in all of the scriptures the things concerning himself."

In other words, he followed the bloodline from the Old Testament all the way through to show them how Christ would suffer. So then, all pre-New Testament history looks forward to the cross. All post-New Testament history looks back to it. The prophets anticipated it. God's people have celebrated it. We still do.

But sadly, some churches are scared of it. They don't want to mention the blood. They don't want to sing songs about the blood. It's going to turn people off. Unbelievers aren't going to like that we have a bloody religion. Let's just talk to them about how to be the best them they can be. And they're afraid to talk about it.

Charles Spurgeon, one of my favorite quotes ever, said this. "There are some preachers who cannot or do not preach about the blood of Jesus Christ. And I have one thing to say to you concerning them. Never go to hear them. Never listen to them. For a ministry that has not the blood in it is lifeless. And a dead ministry is no good to anybody."

So in the next few weeks, we're going to follow that bloody trail from the Old Testament all the way through to the New. Today, we are in the seminal verse, Genesis, chapter 3, verse 15. Now, let me give the setting to you. Genesis, 1, 2, and 3 is about creation. God creates the world.

A certain being, a special classification of being we typically call an angel, falls from God's presence to the earth, comes up with a strategy to bring a curse upon the earth, and the first man and woman, God's crowning creation, we call them Adam and Eve because of their Hebrew words that denote them, they, in effect, become the Children of the Serpent.

They run away from God. They try to run and flee from him. God chases after them, clothes them in the garments of an animal. So there has to be blood sacrifice for that covering to take place, and kicks them out of the garden, lest they live forever cursed because of what they did.

Now, if you're just a casual reader and you're reading Genesis 1, you go, oh, this is pretty cool. And then, Genesis 2, it even gets better. And then, Genesis chapter 3, it's like, at the first, pretty awesome, until you get to this point and the fall happens. And you're in Genesis 3 reading this and you're going, well, now, what is God going to do? How is he going to fix this? Will he ever come up with a plan to restore this crowning creation that has fallen? The answer comes in Genesis 3, verse 15.

So I'm going to direct your attention to Genesis 3, but let's, for context's sake, go back to verse 8, down to the 15th verse. Verse 8 reads, "And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.

"Then, the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, where are you? So he said, I heard your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked, and I hid myself. And He said--" God said-- "who told you you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree which I commanded you that you should not eat? "then, the man said, the woman whom You gave me to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate."

This is called passing the buck. And it started that far back. "And the Lord said to the woman, What is this that you have done? The woman said, the serpent deceived me, and I ate." So she's also passing the buck. Both of the statements, however, were true.

"So the Lord God said to the serpent, because you have done this, you are a curse more than all cattle, and more than every beast of the field, on your belly you shall go, and you shall eat dust all the days of your life." Now, here's the verse. Look at it with your own eyes. Genesis, 3:15. "And I will put enmity between you and the woman, between your seed and her seed, he shall bruise your head and you shall bruise his heel."

Now, I've chosen to look at just that one verse and mosey our way through it, drilling deep into the words and phrases of this promise, because this promise contains no less than five realities, five certainties from this one promise.

Here's the first. There will be conflict. This verse promises conflict. Notice the word enmity. That means conflict. I will put enmity or I will put conflict or I will put hostility. Another translation says a feud will break out. You could even say to be at war with. He is promising a war, a conflict.

Now, let's push the pause button. It's creation. So far, everything is good. God says it's good. Seven times in the first couple chapters, God does something, goes, that's good, that's good, that's good, that's good, that's good. It's all good. There's only one thing that wasn't good and God fixed that. And that was it's not good that man should be alone. So God fixed it by creating a woman to bring her to the man. So now, that's good. It's all good.

Now, it's a romance novel. You got Adam and Eve and they're in love. And it's a match made in heaven. And you wonder, they're going to live happily ever after, right? Hardly. Now, it all changes, because, now, we meet a creature that is not even mentioned until now. He is called here the serpent. Really, a poor translation. Nachash is the Hebrew word. It can be translated, the shining one, some special creation of God called the serpent.

Now, we know who this is, because we've read the rest of the book. Who is the serpent? It is Satan. And remember in school they would say that the answers are in the back of the book? Well, the answers are in the back of the book. The last chapter of the Bible, Revelation, reveals the identity of the serpent. Let me read it to you. This is Revelation 12, verse 9.

"So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world, he was cast to the earth and his angels were cast out with him." do you remember the Lord Jesus Christ made this statement? "I saw Satan fall from heaven like lightning." That's where the conflict began.

Now, there are two chapters we don't have time to really look at this morning. Ezekiel chapter 28, in the Old Testament, and Isaiah, chapter 14 give details as to who Satan was originally. Ezekiel calls him the anointed cherub that covers, so presumably a guardian of some sort, maybe over God's throne.

Isaiah tells us that he goes by the name Lucifer. You've heard that term before. Lucifer is a name that means the morning star. So he was a star who wanted to be a director. He wanted to direct the show. And he said, I will, five times in that passage in the Old Testament. I will exalt myself above the throne, the stars, of God.

That is Lucifer. He asserts his will against God's will. Now, up to this point, there's only been one will in the universe. That's why everything's so good. Now, there's this being who decides, no, I'm going to do my own thing against the will of the creator, beginning the conflict, but the conflict spreads. And it spreads through other angelic beings. They follow in the rebellion. Revelation 12 tells us Satan drew one third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the Earth.

So like Satan, a star, these other stars, these other angelic beings, fell to the earth. They became a highly organized network of powerful spiritual beings. And they seemed to have such a vast organization that they have rankings. And Paul the Apostle seems to refer to these ranks when he writes in Ephesians, chapter 6 these familiar words. "We struggle not against flesh and blood, but against rulers, authorities, powers, spiritual forces of evil in heavenly realms."

So the conflict spreads from a single being to multiple beings, a third of heaven. But then, it spreads, now, to the earth. He falls to the earth. That becomes his domain. And the conflict spreads into the human realm. That's what Genesis 3 is all about.

Genesis 3 is the darkest day in all of human history. It's the day that Paul refers to in Romans, chapter 5, when he says "Through one man, sin entered the world and death through sin. Thus, death spread to all mankind." He was talking about this very day of Genesis, chapter 3. So one act of disobedience and the sin virus was introduced into the bloodstream, the bloodline of humanity.

So there will be conflict. That's the first certainty in this promise. Here's the second. There will be a continuing conflict. Notice, more deeply, it says, "I will put enmity--" conflict, hostility-- "between you--" speaking to the serpent-- "and the woman-- the woman at this point is Eve-- "and between your seed and her sees." So your offspring will have conflict with the offspring of a woman.

What does that mean? Well, it means far more than people are going to hate snakes. And snakes are going to want to bite people. There is a spiritual component here in this prophecy. It means there is going to be an ongoing conflict between humanity, whom God loves and pursues and redeems, and Satan's crowd, influenced by those demons that fell, but encompassing the world of humans that the Bible sums up by a single world, world, the world.

The world doesn't agree with you. The world does not sympathize with you. The world, by and large, does not believe in your Jesus or the cross. And sometimes you feel so outnumbered by them at work or at school or in your family. You're thinking, man, nobody else believes like I believe. And that shouldn't surprise you, actually. And let me tell you why.

I John, chapter 5, verse 19, John writes, "We know that we are the children of God and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one." How's that for setting you apart? Yep. You believe. They don't. But the entire world is under the sway of the prince of all demons, Satan himself. So you're right. You're outnumbered. You're in the minority. They're in the majority. But you happen to be right and they happen to be wrong. So there will be a continuing conflict.

Now, I need to get your attention, so to speak, and just say that the next few minutes, I need you to focus in, because I'm going to get a little detailed here. But let me say that if you do not understand this ongoing conflict that the scripture presents, the Bible will just not make sense to you. There'll be portions of the scripture that you'll think, why is that there? What's going on with that? That's a random set of stories that don't coalesce. So let me frame it for you, briefly.

We live in a parallel universe. What I mean by that is there's a physical reality, but there's a spiritual reality. In our world, we call it the real world. We even say to people, hey, get real, man. You live in the real world. This is the real world. That's one world. The other world, I call it the really real world.

It's where a lot of the action is going on. It's unseen by us, just like you don't see sound waves or TV waves that are in this room, but you don't see them, they're invisible, but they are here. There's the really real world, a parallel universe of spirit beings, both angelic and demonic forces.

34 books in the Bible, 34 out of 66 books, mention these beings, these angels. To be exact, 103 times in the Old Testament, 165 times in the New Testament angels are mentioned. The word angel is a word that means messenger. It's a special class of being.

They are noncorporeal beings, meaning they do not have a body. Because they don't have a body, they're invisible. They are not subject to human decay. They are not limited by the same limitations and hindrances we as humans experience. And ever since the fall, there has been this ongoing conflict in heavenly places, spiritual conflict, an invisible war, one author calls it, that has been going on from the fall of humanity all the way through.

Now, one of the rules of warfare is to know who your enemy is and how your enemy operates. So first of all, you got to know who your enemy is. And if you don't believe in a devil, then he's already won. Oh, no. He's not real. There's no real thing as the devil. So he's already won. He's got your life hook, line, and sinker, because he's so powerful, he's got you to believe he's not even there.

But then, once you know your enemy, you do have to know how he works. Paul in the New Testament said, "We're not ignorant of his devices." Sadly, many of us are. So the promise here is that some offspring of this woman will cause a bruising, or the Hebrew word could be translated, a crushing, of Satan's head.

Now, that's a pretty ominous promise. Let's say, before service, I ran up to you in the foyer and I said, hey, let me just give you fair warning. After church, I'm going to find you and crush your head. Fair warning. Just letting you know. Now, I would never say that to you.

But let's say I said it to you and you really believed I was going to do that. Well, you're going to do one of two things. Either you're going to avoid me and take evasive measures to get away from me, because I'm a nut case. Or you're going to strike first, lest I have the opportunity to put you down.

So there is an announcement, a revelation, that I give you. And you're going to respond to that revelation by countermeasures to take out the possibility of you being crushed. So that frames for us what we call the Invisible War. Let me give you some examples of this in the Bible.

The first we come across is in the book of Genesis, when Satan motivates Cain to kill Abel, the righteous son of those two. It's an attempt to kill the seed, potentially, that would crush his head. So what does God do? He raises up another child by the name of Seth.

Here's another example. World gets very populated, but gets so evil, Satan so corrupts humanity, that God's only option is to completely destroy all life on planet Earth through a flood. Eight survive. The seed continues. Here's another example. Satan motivates Esau to try to kill Jacob, his brother. Why Jacob? You'll find out in a few moments that God made a very special promise to Jacob about his seed being carried forward.

Here's another example. Pharaoh decides, these Hebrews are populating all around us. We just can't have this growth of these Jewish people around us. So when the Hebrews had their babies, if it's a girl, let it live. If it's a boy, kill it. Drown it in the river, the Nile River. Why? Why so drastic a measure? It's Satan's inspiring Pharaoh to destroy the seed. He is an agent of Satan.

Keep following the story. Another attempt, when King Saul wants to kill David, not for one time or two times, but almost a decade, he chases him to kill him, throws spears at him, hunts him down, wants to-- why David? Why not anybody else? Because God makes a promise to David that his lineage will produce the seed that will destroy Satan's dominion.

We get some other wild stories that we wonder about in the Bible, like the Court of Ahasuerus, the King of Persia. All the Jews, most of the Jews in the world were living in Persia, Iran, at that time. And this court official by the name of Haemon comes up with this law and passes a law that every Jew in Persia be killed, on the same day, mass genocide. His plot gets found out. He is hung on his own gallows.

Story continues. Jesus is born. A few Jews tell Herod the Great about this King of the Jews that may have been born in Bethlehem. He goes nuts. Says, every male child two years and under, destroy, in Bethlehem. What's that all about? That's an attempt to get at the seed of the woman.

Later on, Jesus goes to a synagogue in Nazareth, reads from the messianic prophecy of Isaiah 61, closes the book, and announces, today, this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing. And what did they do? Do they all applaud and go, yay, Messiah is here. Let's rally around him. No. They took him to a brow of a hill to push him over and destroy his life.

Well, he got out of that. We know that. But then, Satan appears to Jesus, personally, and suggests that Jesus might want to jump off the pinnacle of the temple, because, and he misquotes the scripture, God will give His angels charge over you to bury you up, lest you dash your foot against the stone.

All of these are attempts to destroy a people, a nation, a lineage, and a person in particular. Now, what this will do for you is help you understand the spirit reality behind a certain kind of sin we know as anti-Semitism. All prejudice is wrong.

All prejudice is evil, but there is a certain demonic evil behind anti-Semitism. And here's the premise. If God's plan of redemption required the existence of a nation and the continuation of that nation, if you can destroy that nation, you will defeat God.

So as the revelation goes out, the counteroffensive measures by the serpent continue through the scripture. And they're all focused on one individual. He is introduced, also, in verse 15. Let's notice it. "I will put enmity between you and the woman, between your seed and her seed--" now, watch this-- "he." He. Now, that's singular, right? He shall bruise your head and you shall bruise his heel.

So now, we understand not only will there be conflict, a continuing conflict, but there will be a coming one here called he. See, up to this point, we don't know what God's talking about, because seed can either be plural or singular. There's going to be conflict between your seed and her seed. That's a broad term. But now, we understand it means one person. He shall bruise. There is a he involved.

This is why Genesis 3:15 is considered by New Testament scholars to be the first messianic prophecy ever given. The term is, you can write this down if you want to impress your friends with it, this is the protoevangelium. That's the word protoevangelium means the first gospel. So it's the first hint or prediction that a deliverer will come who will take away the authority, the rule of Satan, strike a fatal blow to his head.

But who is he? We're not told in this passage. All we know is the seed, he, will come from the woman, Eve. Well, that could be everybody, right? But we keep reading. We keep reading. And pretty soon, we discover that there's a flood.

There's eight people, Noah, Mrs. Noah, his three boys, Shem, Ham, and Japheth, their wives. That's eight people. And only one of those sons will carry the seed forward, the lineage forward, the plan of God. And that is Shem, Semitic race, the Shemites will carry forward. So now, we kind of got that.

And then, we discovered that through the line of Shem, God makes a special promise to one of his descendants by the name of Abraham. In Genesis 12, in Genesis chapter 22, God says, "Through you and your seed, all the nations of the earth will be blessed." So now, we identify Abraham as part of that.

Then, God makes a promise, not only to Abraham, but to Abraham's second son, not his first son Ishmael, but his second son Isaac, Genesis 26, "Through you and your seed, all the world will be blessed." Then, we keep reading and discover that God makes a promise to Isaac's second son, not Esau, but Jacob, Genesis 28, that the seed will continue in the promise through his lineage.

We keep reading the story. And soon, we discover that a specific son of Jacob, fourth son by the name of Judah, the tribe of Judah, will emerge to bring forth the hero, the he, the rescuer. But we keep reading the story. And we find out that one of those from the tribe of Judah, the family of David, God promises to him an everlasting kingdom. And we keep following that all the way til we get to Jesus in the New Testament.

So the bloodline of the Messiah, the scarlet thread of redemption, gets woven through Adam and through Seth and through Shem and Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Judah, David, all the way to Jesus. This is why, when you open your New Testament to page one, Matthew, chapter 1, it begins this way. "The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham."

They're following that lineage that God promised and preserved throughout the scriptures. So Jesus is the he. He's the hero of redemptive history. And all of Satan's attacks have been to destroy him before he destroys the serpent.

Now, we're reading Genesis 3:15. Did you know there's a parallel verse in the Book of Revelation to this verse? And it is Revelation, chapter 12, verse 4. Let me read it to you. You might want to jot that down for later though. It says, "And the dragon--" who's already identified as Satan in that chapter-- "And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to give birth to devour her child as soon as it was born." That frames the conflict, the ongoing conflict and the one who will be the coming one predicted in Genesis 3.

So we've covered some realities here. There will be a conflict. There will be a continuing conflict. There will be a coming one. Let me give you a fourth. This verse promises there will be a confrontation. There's going to be a culmination. There's going to be a one on one, grand finale, a showdown, so to speak.

Notice verse 15 once again. "I will put enmity between you and the woman and between your seed and her seed. He shall bruise your head--" and notice this last part-- "you shall bruise his heel." One is fatal, that's the bruising of the head. I'll get to that in a minute. One is a temporary, minor blow, a heel wound. You will bruise his heel.

So God tells Satan, listen, there's coming a confrontation with this seed. You will only manage to wound him temporarily, but he will crush you ultimately. Now, I believe the bruising of the heel is a hint of the crucifixion, because I don't know if you ever had a bruised heel, but it ain't pretty. It's very painful. You have a heel bone that's called a calcaneus. And a calcaneal fracture or bruising is quite painful. Bruising any bone is painful.

So it's a prediction of a very painful event, that, for Jesus, was the crucifixion. Now, the crucifixion-- and we don't have time to really get into the details of that, we have before. But experts will say that it is one of the most agonizing, excruciating forms of punishment and pain a human being can suffer.

In fact, the very word I just used, excruciating, is an English word that literally means, from the cross. It's a word that we have developed to sum up something deeply agonizing. And so we are referring to the cross of Christ. It is excruciating. That would be the bruised heel for Jesus.

But it would only be a heel bone. Why? Because it was temporary. You say, well, that sounds pretty fatal to me. He died. Yeah, but wait a couple days. Wait three days. There's a Resurrection. So we discover the death and Resurrection of Jesus would be the win in this battle.

So the bloodline leads to a bloody cross, which is actually the lifeline. So the bloodline points to the lifeline, which is Jesus. It takes us to our fifth and final certainty in this promise of Genesis 3:15. There will be conquest. Go back to verse 15 one final time to look at one phrase. And that is the phrase, "he shall bruise your head." the head is the control center of your body. If you don't have a head, you don't have a you. You strike a person's head, you knock them out. You take away their dominion, their power, their authority.

So when all of Satan's counteroffensive measures failed, when he failed to pollute the earth thinking God is going to judge them all, destroy the Earth in a flood, God preserves 8, the story continues. When all of Satan's attempts to destroy that fail, when he fails to destroy the royal line of King David, when he fails to kill Jesus at Bethlehem because of Herod, when he fails to get Jesus thrown off the pinnacle of the temple, or fails to get him thrown off the brow of the hill at Nazareth, he comes up with the ultimate nuclear weapon, the cross.

He incites, he influences the Jewish leaders, the mob, and the Roman government to put Jesus on a cross. And don't you know, when Jesus was put on that cross and said, it is finished, it's over, and breathed his last, that all of hell started a party and said, we finally did it. Hot diggity dog, the he is gone. I saved my head another day. No crushing today. I'm good to go. That's why the Bible says, had the rulers of this world known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. They didn't know.

See, they're partying in hell thinking, it's all over. But it was only a three-day party. On the third day, that corpse started moving. And he sat back up. And then, there was a whole lot of shaking going on when that stone was rolled away and he walked out of that tomb, victorious, only to live forever and ever.

So I can only say that Satan may have been rejoicing, but he was to understate it, highly disappointed. Let me read another scripture that will, now, make more sense. Jesus said in John 12 these words. "Now, is the judgment of this world. And now, the prince of this world will be cast out. And if I be lifted up from the earth--" that's the crucifixion-- "I will draw all men to myself."

So what does that mean for us studying Genesis 3:15, only this. The darkest day in human history gave way to the brightest hope of human history, because the he is coming. The conflict will be won by a hero who will crush Satan's authority over people who give their lives to Christ, the coming one.

Paul had this in mind, had the Genesis 3 in mind, and this concept in mind when he wrote his letter to the Roman church. He wrote these words, Romans 16, verse 19. He said, in closing his book, and the God of Peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly.

You see, Paul knew about the cross. He knew that Jesus had already, in effect, crushed the dominion, the authority, the power of Satan at the cross. But he also knew the Romans were on the battlefield, still, in this world, being pressured and tortured and persecuted by those around him. So he says, the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly.

Satan's dominion is taken away from your life if you're in Christ. He has no control over you. I love how Jesus put it this way. "Satan has come to kill, to steal, and to destroy, but I have come that you might have life and have it to the max." That's a Skip Heitzig free translation of have it more abundantly. You're going to live to the max. You're going to have an abundant life. And I have come to do that. What he did, I have come to undo. He ruined it. I came to fix it. Abundant life.

So the bloodline begins from the protoevangelium, the first promise, the first gospel, all the way to the cross and beyond. William Evans, a guy I quoted at the beginning said, "The Bible is red with redemption truth." This is the truth that we will study in the next few weeks, leading up to Easter. And I hope, at the very least, it will awaken your heart to the great love that God has for you.

We hear of God's love all the time. Every time you come to church, you hear it. I fear that we hear it so often it doesn't make an impact any more in our hearts. We hear Jesus died on the cross. Yeah. I've heard that. Next. Listen. We need to let that simple, profound truth of God's elaborate rescue mission to be the lover of our souls sink in and transform us. For God so loved the world that he gave his only son that whoever believes in him will not perish, but have everlasting life. That's the undoing of the serpent.

Let's pray together. Father, we marvel when we consider the outcome of this great outpouring of love. The outcome is that we are blood-bought sons and daughters of the living God through His son Jesus Christ. We don't shy away from the blood. We don't hide ourselves from it, mentioning it. We exalt in it. We glory in it.

As Paul said, I've determined to know nothing among you, save Jesus Christ and Him crucified. It's that act, it's that redemptive, pivotal act that enables us to be forgiven, because all of our sin, all of our failures was placed upon him, the sinless one. He bore them for us. He took the punishment in our place.

And we're forgiven and our souls are set free from the dominion of Satan, not children of this world, under the sway of the evil one, but children of the living God. And Lord, You said in your word, as many as received Jesus, to them, He gave the power, the right, the authority to become children of God to those who believe in His name.

I pray for anyone who might be with us today who hasn't yet believed in His name, hasn't entrusted Him personally. With your heads bowed and your eyes closed, I want to ask you that simple question. Are you sure? Are you positive? Do you know for certain that if you were to die, or when you are to die, you will stand before God and be entered into His glory, into His kingdom, into His house? Do you have any doubts about that at all?

You can't hide behind your religion. I went to church all my life, was very religious. You might be a religious person, a good person, a moral person, a wonderful citizen, a great father or mother or son or daughter. But you may be unsaved, because you had never personalized it. You've never asked Jesus personally to come into your life, into your heart.

You've never surrendered your life to Him, to live for Him. He can change you. He can transform you. And some of you have just lived your life and you're just sort of tired of the whole thing. And as my friend Franklin Graham says, "You're sick and tired of being sick and tired." And you want transformation. You can have it. He can give it to you. You can't produce it. I can't give it to you. But He can. But you must be willing to receive His solution for your penalty, your judgment.

If you're willing to do that, as we're gathered together right now, if you want that forgiveness, you want to come to Him or come back to Him maybe after years of wandering or months of wandering, I want you to raise your hand up in the air right now, just so I can see your hand. I'll acknowledge your hand. Keep it up for just a moment. God bless you and you and you and you right in the middle, toward the back.

Anybody else? Just raise that hand. You're saying, Skip, pray for me. God bless you. Who else? Anyone else, raise that hand, in the very back, I see your hand. Over here to my right.

Thank you, Father, for each and every person. Behind every hand is that heart, is a life, reality, ups and downs. You love them individually. You don't just see them as a number. You see them as one for whom you died and love and want to bring home and want their lives to count and have meaning and purpose. Strengthen them. We pray to follow Christ, to come out of the shadows and walk in the light. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Let's all stand, please. As we sing this final song, as you raise your hand, I'm going to ask you to put feet on your hand. And as we sing this last song, if you don't mind, please, find the nearest aisle, come forward, stand here, in a moment, I'm going to lead you in a prayer to make Jesus your Lord and Savior. You raise your hand, you come on up.

Bless you. Love it.

[SINGING]

How's it going?

Come on over this way.

I'm going to wait just another moment.

There's a great song, a great hymn of the church that says there is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Emmanuel's veins and sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stain. That's forgiveness. Stain is washed away. Past is gone. A whole new life is given. Transformation begins. Purpose begins. Meaning begins.

So I just challenge anyone else, maybe you've never made a public decision for Christ. You know, Jesus called people publicly, not that you have to, but I think it's a good thing to say, I'm stepping out of the shadows. I'm getting into the light. And I'm going to live my life for Jesus Christ from now on. It's nothing to be ashamed of. The gospel is never something to be ashamed of. In fact, maybe it's time for these closeted Christians to come out of the closet. And live for Christ publicly and really.

Well, those of you who have come forward, I'm going to lead you quickly in a prayer. I'm going to ask you to say this prayer, out loud, after me. Say these words from your heart, mean them. You're talking to God. That's all prayer is, is just talking to God. You don't have to say any fancy words. You just talk to Him. But say these words, mean them. Let's pray.

Say, Lord, I give you my life. I know that I'm a sinner. Please, forgive me. I believe in Jesus, that he came to this earth, that he died on a cross, that he shed his blood for me, that he rose again from the dead. I repent of my sin. I turn from my past. I turn to Jesus as my Savior. I want to follow him as my Lord. In his name, I pray. A Amen. Come on. Let's give it up. Way to go.

We hope you enjoyed this message from Skip Heitzig of Calvary Church. How will you put the truths that you learned into action in your life? Let us know. Email us at mystory@calvarynm.church. And just a reminder, you can support this ministry with a financial gift at calvarynm.curch/give. Thanks you for joining us for this teaching from Calvary Church.

Additional Messages in this Series

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3/10/2019
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On a Hill Far Away!
Genesis 22
Skip Heitzig
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Message Summary
Abraham and his son Isaac’s journey to Mount Moriah marked the most difficult time in their lives to that point. An unusual command from God would both challenge their faith and solidify their confidence in God’s promises. What did it all mean? Why was God requiring this? And how does this sacrifice foreshadow another sacrifice that would come much later on? As we continue to follow the bloodline from Eden to eternity, we pause to consider this story in four phases.
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3/17/2019
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Getting Passed Over
Exodus 12
Skip Heitzig
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No one ever likes being disregarded, ignored, or overlooked by people. Such rejection cowers our spirit and burdens our sensitivities. But being “passed over” in judgment is a welcome exception. When God established the yearly memorial of the Passover, He wanted His people to remember that they could’ve died were it not for His powerful intervention. This familiar story tells us four poignant truths.
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3/24/2019
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From House of Shame to Hall of Fame
Joshua 2
Skip Heitzig
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Rahab was an Old Testament harlot who ended up being listed in both the genealogy of Jesus Christ and in the great chapter of faith in the New Testament. The reason? An authentic faith that changed her radically. Let’s consider her portrait in a four-sided frame that shows her journey from prostitute to princess as she signifies her faith by hanging a scarlet cord outside her home.
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4/7/2019
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God’s Astonishing Servant
Isaiah 52:13-53:12
Skip Heitzig
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Message Summary
Isaiah has been called the messianic prophet because of the number of his predictions about the coming Messiah. Of all the Old Testament writings that foretell Christ, Isaiah 52 and 53 are the pinnacle. They capture the person and work of Christ and atoning sacrifice with precision and clarity like no other text. Seven hundred years before Jesus was born, His death was announced and detailed. Here Isaiah calls us to look on this servant and be astonished for six reasons.
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4/14/2019
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Cross Culture
Psalm 22
Skip Heitzig
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Message Summary
We have already noticed how much the Bible speaks about blood and points to the cross of Christ. The apostle Paul even said, “God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Galatians 6:14). It’s as though the cross of Jesus Christ defines the very culture of Christianity itself. In Psalm 22, David points forward to Messiah’s great suffering and widespread rejection—and then His ultimate accomplishment.
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4/21/2019
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The Lion Is the Lamb
Revelation 1;5
Skip Heitzig
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There's something marvelous about restored objects. People admire antique cars and collectors love to restore vintage vehicles, spending time and talent on them to reveal their original artistry. In a similar way, God loves to restore people. He takes broken people who have been damaged by sin and restores them fully—redemption through Jesus' resurrection. In this Easter message, Pastor Skip teaches on this monumental event, where people and angels sing songs of redemption for a risen King.
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There are 6 additional messages in this series.