|Topical Bible Study||August 1961|
God’s Plan for Man—Lesson III
The Hope of Deliverance
WHEN God pronounced the sentence of death upon our first parents he did not leave them without hope that at some time, and in some manner, the penalty might be lifted. A ray of hope is to be noted in the statement God made to the “serpent” pertaining to a coming “seed” that would bruise his head.—Gen. 3:15
We cannot suppose that Adam and Eve understood clearly the implications of God’s statement concerning the “seed” of the woman, but they seemed to have been given some hope by it, for when their first son Cain was born Eve said, “I have gotten a man from the Lord.”—Gen. 4:1
In the light of subsequent promises of God, it is now clear that God’s statement concerning a “Seed” that would bruise the “serpent’s” head actually did mean that in God’s due time Adam and his race would be delivered from Satan’s rulership, and from sin and death. (Rev. 20:1-3; I Cor. 15:25,26) This means that the original purpose of God in the creation of man will be fulfilled, and the earth will become one vast paradise, populated by the redeemed and restored offspring of Adam and Eve.—Rev. 21:4
About two thousand years after man’s fall into sin and death God made a promise to Abram—who was later called Abraham—saying that through him and his “Seed” all the families of the earth would be blessed. (Gen.12:3) Later, when Abraham proved his worthiness by demonstrating his willingness to obey the Lord in the offering of his son Isaac in sacrifice, God confirmed this promise by his oath.—Gen. 22:15-18
In the New Testament the “Seed” promised to Abraham is identified as Christ. (Gal. 3:8,16) The further explanation is given that those who follow in the footsteps of Christ will be associated with him as the promised “Seed.” (Gal. 3:27-29) This means that true Christians will participate with Jesus in the future work of blessing mankind with health and life.
It was because God continued to love his human creatures, even though they had disobeyed him, that he made provision for them through Christ, to be released from the penalty of death. (John 3:16) God’s plan for the deliverance of mankind from death through Christ is on the same basis as the condemnation of the entire human race through one man. All lost life through Adam, and all will have an opportunity to regain life through Christ.—I Cor.15:21,22
There are many promises in the Bible to assure us that when the divine plan for the deliverance of mankind from sin and death is complete there will be no more sickness, pain, or death; that joy will replace sorrow and that all tears will be wiped away. (Isa. 25:8,9) This deliverance of mankind from sin and death will include the awakening of those who have died. These have all been “ransomed” by Jesus and will be restored.*—Isa.35:10
* “The Divine Plan of the Ages,” pages 191, 192.
To know the answers to these questions implies a priceless knowledge of the revealed purposes of God pertaining to his human creation. How many of them can you answer?
Did God leave our first parents without hope when he pronounced the sentence of death upon them?
What did Eve say which indicates that she may have thought that her son Cain was the “seed” mentioned by God?
Who is the “Seed” of promise which will yet “bruise” the “serpent’s” head; and what will the complete fulfillment of this promise mean in human experience?
What promise did God make to Abraham concerning a “Seed”?
What explanation does Paul make concerning the “Seed,” and who it will be?
Explain how the love of God provided deliverance of mankind from sin and death.
Describe the conditions on earth which will obtain when the results of the fall are set aside.
SUMMARY OF IMPORTANT THOUGHTS
The vague statement made to the “serpent” concerning a “Seed” is in reality God’s first promise of deliverance of fallen man from sin and death.