Christmas Messages (2)

The True Mediator

R.J. Rushdoony

Let us worship God.

“Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.”

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”

Let us pray.

All glory be to thee oh God the Father Almighty, who hast given unto us Thine only begotten Son that through Him we might have life, and that everlasting. Glory be to Thee oh Lord Jesus Christ, who became man that we might become the sons of God, who for our sakes endured the agony of the cross in order to destroy the power of sin and death. All glory be to Thee oh Holy Spirit who dost direct and rule our hearts to conform them unto thee. All glory be to thee God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, one God world without end, amen.

Our scripture is from Genesis 3:14,15. These verses were once turned to every year in the Christmas season because of their importance, and they are too rarely used nowadays. Genesis 3:14, 15, a promise of victory.

“Because you have done this,
You are cursed 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.
And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her Seed;
He shall bruise your head,
And you shall bruise (or, more literally ‘crush’) His heel.”

These two verses were once very important to the proclamation of Christ’s coming, of His birth, and of His mission. Their use has waned with the rise of modernism and with the decline of the Reformed faith. What these verses tell us plainly is that history is totally governed by God’s sovereign purpose. Man has a secondary freedom, but all things are essentially determined by God. This is not an emphasis which is pleasing to humanistic man. He prefers to see history as determined by man, and with a problematic future. An uncertain future means that the world can end in a cosmic crash-up and disaster, or that man may make of it a new paradise, everything depends on man.

To accept our text, and the Bible as a whole, is to believe that God’s declared purpose alone shall prevail. History is ordered by God, and it is a battleground between the madness of sin and the Lord God. And God being God cannot lose, and He knows the end from the beginning because He has ordained it. The Christmas story thus is not a happy accident, but God’s holy purpose from all eternity.

Now our text tells us several things. First; the curse on the tempter comes out of the very being of God. Good and evil cannot be indifferent to one another, this is what the modern world wants, a truce, a peace, between good and evil: “you live your lifestyle and I’ll live mine.” Of course they don’t mean it to be a truce because they hate God’s way with a passion, but they pretend there can be peace. But this is a war, there is a war on between God and Satan, between the Creator and the rebellious creature, and God cannot lose. We live in a trouble-filled world because men have chosen evil, or else they are unwilling to choose between good and evil, they want to be neutral, or say they do. Of course you know the old catholic bit of humor about the priest who asked the dying man if he renounced the world of flesh and the devil, and the man hesitated and the priest said: “man why do you hesitate at this point?” and he said: “at this point I don’t want to offend anybody.” Well, too many people want a neutral universe and that is impossible. The curse lowers the tempter to a position beneath the very animals of the field. Man cannot avoid the moral decision, they cannot side-step the issue of choice between good and evil.

Then second, men may not like the fact, but enmity is a fact of life because life is inescapably moral and religious. Again, this is something our world wants to evade: “you chose your lifestyle, I’lll choose mine, they’re both equally good.” “What’s good for you may not be good for me,” and vice versa, this kind of nonsense. The enmity is between Satan’s seed and the woman’s seed, meaning Jesus Christ. The Redeemer will come out of the fallen race of man to destroy the work of the devil. He will be as we later learn, God incarnate, very God of very God and also very man of very man. The enmity is permanent, but so too is the victory. There can be no peace between good and evil and all who seek it want evil to prevail.

Then third; in due time the woman’s seed, Jesus Christ, will come to confront and destroy the tempters work. His heel will be bruised in this struggle; its cost will be great for the Savior-King, but not fatal. He shall bruise, and in modern that would be ‘crush,’ the tempter’s head, and His victory shall be total and eternal. This text has over the centuries been an important one in the celebration of the Lord’s birth and also His resurrection because it declares the inevitability in our final victory in Jesus Christ. Man in Genesis 1:26-28 is strictly separated from all of God’s creation, on earth and also in heaven, as the appointed one, destined for dominion under God. The tempter’s plan, set forth in Genesis 3:5, is for rebellion against God. Instead of dominion under God, it calls for domination as God, as the independent law-maker and law-giver. This plan was the death of man because Sin brought death into the world. For this reason too, our Lord calls Satan: “a murderer from the beginning,” this is in John 8:44, and as the true father of the Pharisees there is no truth in him, that is in Satan, no truth at all! All truth is incarnate in Jesus Christ, as John 14:6 tells us. In I John 3:8 we are told this of Satan:

“he that committeth sin is of the devil, for the devil sinneth from the beginning, for this purpose was the Son of God manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.”

Saint Augustine wrote:

“The devil made no-one, he created no-one, but whosoever imitates the devil is, as it were, a child of the devil through imitating, not through being born of him.”

When John tells us the devil: “sinneth from the beginning…” he uses the present tense to indicate continuous action, he is still sinning, still lying. The Son of God came to initiate the permanent destruction of the Devil’s works. This is our calling in Christ, the birth of our Lord is history’s happiest moment, but it also is the beginning of the great war in all its intensity. We are totally involved in that war which only ends when the joyful proclamation resounds:

“The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever.”

The Psalm that is repeatedly referred to in Hebrews is Psalm one hundred and ten, which celebrates the kingdom, the priesthood, the conquest, and the passion of our Lord. Every year we celebrate at Christmas the certainty of that victory, and we rejoice in our recruitment into His army. It is a bitter war, but it is an assured victory: “for this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith…” John tells us in I John 5:4.

The birth of our Lord and the day of resurrection are the two great holy days of our faith, and both celebrate victory, they are times of joy. Both have been paganized by the ungodly, but in spite of their dechristianization, both still speak of joy, the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness cannot put it out, let us pray.

Our Father we give thanks unto thee for the promise that is ours in Christ. We thank thee that He has broken the power of sin and death, and in time they will be fully destroyed, banned from the new creation when all things are made new. Make us joyful in the victory that is ours, faithful servants of thy kingdom. Teach us to pray for thy victory and for one another, and for thy suffering servants the world time that even in this time of blessed joy are undergoing great pain and persecution. Give them joy and victory. Grant us this in Christ’s name, amen.

Rev. R.J. Rushdoony (1916–2001), was a leading theologian, church/state expert, and author of numerous works on the application of Biblical law to society. He started the Chalcedon Foundation in 1965.  His Institutes of Biblical Law (1973) began the contemporary theonomy movement which posits the validity of Biblical law as God’s standard of obedience for all. He is credited with igniting the modern Christian school and homeschooling movements in the mid to late 20th century. Many ministry and educational efforts that continue today, took their philosophical and Biblical roots from his lectures and books. Learn more about R.J. Rushdoony by visiting:

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