Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Seed of the Woman

I will put enmity between you [the serpent]

and the woman,

and between your seed and her seed;

it shall bruise your head,

and you shall bruise his heel.

Genesis 3:15

And the dragon was enraged over the woman

and went away to make war against

the rest of her seed,

those who keep the commandments of God

and have the witness of Jesus.

Revelation 12:17

There is no one in the Bible but Jesus Christ who is referred to as the seed of a woman, instead of the seed of a man. God caused the virgin Mary to conceive, not her espoused husband Joseph; therefore, her child, Jesus, was no man’s seed.

Going from the first book of the Bible, where God foretold of the woman’s seed coming to crush the serpent’s head, we go to the last book of the Bible, where we see in action the enmity that God set between the serpent and the woman. At first, the serpent tries and fails to destroy the woman; then, frustrated, the serpent turns his anger against the woman’s seed; that is, against those who have the witness (the holy ghost) of the Messiah, Christ Jesus.

Those who are “in Christ” are, like Jesus, the seed of the woman, the true Israel, because we are born of God, not man, as Jesus was. Paul speaks of this often, so as to encourage us Gentiles who believe in Christ. He pointed out to the saints in Rome that the Jews who are physically of the seed of Abraham are not the children of God; instead, they are the children of God who are “born again” by receiving the promise of the Spirit:

Romans 9

7. Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children, but, “In Isaac shall thy seed be called.”

8. That is, they who are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as the seed.

Paul’s point is that if a person has the kind of faith Abraham had, then that person is a real child of Abraham:

Galatians 3

7. Know, then, that they are “sons of Abraham” who are of faith.

8. And the Scripture, seeing beforehand God justifying the Gentiles by faith, foretold the good news to Abraham, saying, “In you, all nations will be blessed.”

9. So then, those who are of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.

. . .

13. Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, becoming a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”),

14. in order that, in Christ Jesus, the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles; namely, that we might receive the promise of the spirit through faith.

. . .

26. for you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus,

27. for as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

28. There is neither Jew nor Greek; there is neither slave nor freeman; nor is there male and female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

29. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs by means of promise.

The seed by which we are born into the family of God is God’s seed, not man’s, and this birth makes us, as Paul said, “the Israel of God”, not the physical nation of Israel which was produced by the physical seed of Abraham. Peter explained to the saints that, since they were born of a different kind of seed, they were obligated to love each other with a different kind of love:

1 Peter 1

22. . . . see that you love one another with a pure heart fervently,

23 being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which lives and abides for ever.

There is only one person in the Bible of whom it is said that he was born of the seed of a woman; that is Jesus Christ. At the same time, the apostles maintained that whoever is in Christ has been born of the same kind of seed that produced him.