Not only is the gospel, the good news of God, about a moment in time, but it is about a man.  A God-man who came down to earth wrapped in flesh to save us rebels from the wrath of God.  This man is Jesus Christ!  Colossians 1:15 says, “He is the image of the invisible God.”  Jesus came to earth to show us who were lost, blind, and spiritually dead what God was like. 

I work primarlilly with 6-12 year old kids and they have some really good questions about God.  A frequent one is “if God is real why can’t we see him.”  I tell them well, he visited us around 2,000 years ago and his name is Jesus.  People could see him, touch him, talk to him, listen to him, and eat with him.  He is still alive!  Jesus is “the image of the invisible God.” 

Jesus is God-man.  He is fully God, but came to take on human flesh, so that he migt save us.  Colossians 1:19 says, “For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell.”  In Jesus Christ, all of who God is dwelt bodily.  He knows all things, see all things, creates all things, is able to forgive all things, is in everyplace, has existed before all things, and can do all things! Colossians 1:17, “in him all things hold together.”  Jesus is the one sustains the universe and keeps it from flying into choas.  He is the one who keeps you alive today giving “to all mankind life and breath and everything (Acts 17:25).”  He is the Maker and Creator of all!  

Part of my job is distrubuting medications to the guys where I work and last week I went to give some guys their meds and one said, “How does it feel to be the kingpin of Brooklawn?” Then based on previous conversation with these guys, I said, “It’s better to know the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, Jesus Christ.”  The another kid said, “Why are you always talking about Jesus?”  So, I responded, “Because he is the most amazing person in the entire universe!” 

This Jesus, this God-man came to save sinners.  “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners of whom I am the worst (I Timothy 1:15).” He came to deviver us from hell, sin, ourselves, and Satan.  He did this by his death on a wooden cross and his resurection from the dead.  You see, death was necessary for sin from the beginning, because God said if you chose to rebel, then you would surely die.  The word of God tells us that the wages of sin is death. All die and all will face judgment and hell apart from Jesus.  So, Jesus comes as the only one who is able to take our sin upon himself and die our death, so that we might not face the ultimate death, hell. 

Colossians 1:19, 20, “ For in him (Jesus) all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.”  At the right time and on the right man, the God-man, Jesus Christ, God placed all of our sin on the cross and poured out all of his hatred for sin.  The God who hates evil in this moment, punished his son instead of us, so he might “reconcile” us to himself.  God did this so that in bruising and piercing his own son he would be, “making peace by the blood of his cross.”             

Colossians 2:13-15, “And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.”  The Romans, when they would crucify a man, would drive nails through his hands and feet and nail a “record of debt,” above the criminal’s head, indicating why they were being punished.  The Spirit of God in this text tell us that we all have a record of debt we owe to God that we cannot pay.  This debt stands against us testifying to our breaking the laws of God and it will follow us to judgment, unless.

Jesus took this “record of debt” and nailed it to the cross.  He set it aside.  He cancelled it.  It’s gone.  To all who are in Christ there is no more guilt, no more shame, no more accusations that can damn us by Satan.  It’s been forgiven!  Jesus paid it all!  This is good news!  Jesus has died for my sins that I could not wash away, for my shame that plagaued me, for my burdern which was to heavy for me to carry and he nailed the whole load to the cross.  He cancelled all my debt and rose again, defeating death, hell, and the armies of Satan that stand against me.  God, “disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.”


In Colossians 1:5, Paul descirbes the “word of truth” as “the gospel,” which a young convert of his, Epaphras brought back to his hometown, Colossae. What is the gospel? Well, its doesn’t mean gospel music.  I don’t think black gospel or the Gaither band were around back then. “Gospel” means simply good news.  But what is the gospel?  What is the good news that this disciple of the Apostle Paul brought back to Colossae?   

The gospel is about a moment in time.  The gospel is about a moment in time without which time and life make no sense.  I remember before I was a Christian one night, hanging out with some friends and partying, and looking up at the sky filled with stars and saying, “There must be a reason for all of this.” 

The gospel is about a moment in time which takes us all the way back to the beginning of time, when God created all things out of nothing.  We can even see this in the book of Colossians.  Colossians 1:15, 16, “He (Jesus) is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.  For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.”  These two verses tell us about where we come from and about our purpose here on this earth.  These verses tell us that God created “all things” that includes you, through Jesus Christ.  And that you were created “for him,” that is you were created in God’s image to reflect the glory and goodness of God in the creation, you were created to be in a close relationship with God, you were created to know him, you were created to love him, and you were created to obey him. 

The word of truth tells us that God created the first humans for his glory.  And When he created them, Genesis tell us,  God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good (Genesis 1:31).”  There was no sin, no shame, pain, hurt, disease, war, rape, murder, jealousy, materialism, polution, earthquakes, tornadoes, or any such thing. 

A couple of weeks ago in Louisville, KY, we had some flash floods and there were cars floating and river was running though my street.  It was lovely.  One of my friends who I work with was walking out to his car to go to work with his little girl during this storm and she fell on her knees and shouted, “God deliver us from the devil!”  As cute and as funny as that is, there is some truth in it.  There is something gone wrong with this world and there’s something wrong with us.  Five minutes of the evening news will convince you of that. 

Genesis tells us it all went wrong, when the first humans decided not to listen to God, to be gods to themselves, and to rebel against God.  This is when Romans 5:12 says, “Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned.”  Through the sin of the first humans, Adam and Eve, sin has spread to all who follow.  We are all sinners!  We are all rebels.  I am, you are, and so is everyone else.  What’s the problem with this world I am, we are. 

Colossians 1:21, “And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds.”  We all come into this world alienated from God; we are seperated from him, because of our sins.  Psalm 5:4, 5 says, “For you are not a God who delights in wickedness; evil may not dwell with you.  The boastful shall not stand before your eyes; you hate all evildoers.”  Apart from Christ we are hostile to God and to the things of God.  We don’t like the idea of a God who created us and demands absolute authority over our lives.  We don’t want a God who hates “all evildoers.”  We would rather live independent of him and not be bothered by his holy demands.  The last phrase in Colossians 1:21 tells us why, “doing evil deeds.”  We’re hostile in our minds towards God, because we want to practice evil deeds and sin and be left alone. 

Colossians 3:5, “Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.”  The word of God tells us sin is shown in our lives by all these things, like sexual immorality, that is any type of sex outside of the marriage between one man and one woman, whether it be looking at someone of the oppisite sex and having sex with them in your mind, masturbation, pornography, premarital sex, beastiality, homosexuality or whatever.  Sin is revealed in us by coveting the things that others have, wanting what others have, and lusting over  the things of this world.  Paul calls all this stuff “idolatry.”  So, when we sin, we set our ownselves up as God and look to sex or money or family or husband or girlfriend or religion to satisfy our hearts rather than God.  We look to ourselves for provision rather than God.   

Colossians 3:8, 9, “But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth.  Do not lie to one another.”  God would also remind us that we show ourselves to be rebels by nature by our anger, slander, filthy mouths, and lying and many other ways.  And because of these offences before the Living God of the Universe Colossians 3:6, says, “account of these the wrath of God is coming.”  Because of sin, God’s anger is being kindled against it.  He will judge sin; he must judge sin.  He is a good God and a holy God.  He cannot let sin and rebellion that has been done primarily against him be left unpunished. 

But there is a gospel!  There is hope!  There is good news!  This gospel is about a moment in time.  The word of Christ describes it like this in Mark 1:15, “Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”  When Jesus came into this world the time was ripe, God’s plan to rescue sinners was coming to pass and Jesus says, “the time is fulfilled.”  Paul describes this moment in time, in Galatians 4:4, by saying, “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman.”

Satan wants to destroy your life! Especially, if God has called and gifted you to be a leader in the church. What greater wound could he cause to the body of Christ then to bring down one to whom others look to for strength and guidance? When Satan ambushes the unsuspecting servant of Christ, there will be many clinging to him who also go down.

At least this seems to be the case. It seems to be what Peter was getting at, when he was speaking to leaders within the church “So I exhort the elders among you…Likewise, you who are younger…Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour (1 Peter 5:1, 5, 8).

It has been my experience that Satan uses two very powerful temptations after someone has committed sin: 1) after falling into some sin, he tempts us to not believe the gospel and 2) after sinning, he tempts us to quite serving!  It is the second one of these temptations that I want to warn you about and encourage you to fight against with all your might.

It is this temptation that I have went through many times, since God by his grace saved me. When we have sinned against God and dishonored his name, our hearts and minds are flooded with guilt and shame. This is when the lion comes roaring with all his might and growls and snarls at us, telling us “How can you preach or teach about sin, against sin? Look, you suck! You’re a sinner! What right do you have to think you’re better or more spiritual than other people. You better just take some time off to get your life right or better yet just give up all together. You’ll never get back to where you were! You’ll never be able to conquer this sin!”

So what do we do about these temptations?  How should we fight in this situation? This semester at Southern Seminary, I am taking a class on the Puritans and I have recently come across some help in this area. One of our assignments was to read through The Bruised Reed by Richard Sibbes. I would like to share with you some of the helpful things Sibbes says to those who are being tempted to give up on service, because of sin in their lives.


“1. Our hearts of themselves are reluctant to give up their liberty, and are only with difficulty brought under the yoke of duty. The more spiritual the duty is, the more reluctance there is. Corruption gains ground, for the most part, in every neglect. It is as in rowing against the tide, one stroke neglected will not be gained in three; and therefore it is good to keep our hearts close to duty, and not to listen to the excuses they are ready to frame.

2. As we set about duty, God strengthens the influence that he has in us. We find a warmness of heart and increase of strength, the Spirit going along with us and raising us up by degrees, until he leaves us as it were in heaven. God often delights to take advantage of our averseness (Having a feeling of opposition), that he may manifest his work the more clearly, and that all the glory of the work may be his, as all the strength is his.

3. Obedience is most direct when there a nothing else to sweeten the action. Although the sacrifice is imperfect, yet the obedience with which it is offered is accepted.

4. What is won as a spoil from our corruptions will have as great a degree of comfort afterwards as it has of obstruction for the present. Feeling and freeness of spirit are often reserved until duty is discharged. Reward follows work. In and after duty we find that experience of God’s presence which, without obedience, we may long wait for, and yet go without. This does not hinder the Spirit’s freedom in blowing upon our souls when he pleases (John 3:8), for we speak only of such a state of soul as is becalmed and must row, as it were, against the stream. As in sailing the hand must be to the helm and the eye to the star, so here we must put forth that little strength we have to duty and look up for assistance, which the Spirit, as freely as seasonably, will afford.


Yet in these duties that require the body as well as the soul there may be a cessation till strength is restored. Whetting a tool does not hinder, but prepares. In sudden passions, also, there should be a time to compose and calm the soul, and to put the strings in tune. The prophet asked for a minstrel to bring his soul into frame (2 Kings 3:15).”      

If your interested in hearing more about Richard Sibbes, pastor Mark Dever gave an excellent lecture at Southern in 2002 for the Gheens Lecture. His topic was “The Evangelical Church, Richard Sibbes and the Sufficiency of the Gospel.” You can listen to it here.              



My brother, Ryan, lives in the Virginia Beach and is in the Air Force.  Now, my brother is the complete opposite of me.  We are only 18 months apart and we look a lot alike, but we’re completely different.  I’m more laid back and just like to take it easy.  I don’t really like a lot of attention drawn to myself. I’m quieter and stuff like that. 

But my brother is a little crazy to say the least.  I mean this guy is not afraid of anything and there are many reasons for that.  For instance, he was stationed in Korea and the USA basketball team had come to play and he went to watch the game.  He was telling me how he had really close seats and he went up to Lebron James and told him his game was garbage and that he didn’t want any of him on the court!  Of course, Lebron laughed and so did my brother. 

The main reason I suspect for my brothers courage and craziness is the fact that I beat that boy senseless everyday of his life.  Yes, if I were to describe my brother in his early years, he would be a man under a curse.  I mean think about it, he woke up everyday, thinking I don’t know when or how, but I’m going to get beaten unto oblivion sometime today.  He was truly under a curse! 

My brother was not the only one who has ever awaken to this thought, but also the original man, Adam.  Adam was the man who brought the judgment of God upon himself and the entire human race.  It was through this man who represented all of humanity that sin and its curse has spread to the whole world.  And when we come to Genesis 3, the paradise of Eden, that place of rest, peace, and the presence of God is slowing fading over the horizon and the dark clouds of sin, suffering, and death are filling the skies.

Just prior to God’s pronouncement of judgment, Adam and his wife were deceived by Satan.  They were deceived into doubting the word of God and were deceived into having resentment against God for not allowing them to eat from the forbidden tree.  Then, this doubt and resentment towards God quickly spread like a wildfire in their hearts turning into unbelief and then engulfing into all out disobedience.  The two quickly felt their shame for doing what was wrong, attempted to cover their shame, and hid from the God who made them!

 The Curse of Satan  

Now, in the second half of Genesis 3, God comes and confronts them for their rebellion.  And the first one to be dealt with is Satan himself.  Genesis 3:14 says, “The Lord God said to the serpent, ‘Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and above all beasts of the field; on your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life.'”  What I want to point out here is whatever Satan uses as an instrument of wickedness, will suffer the curse of sin.  Satan, just like a well camouflaged rattle snake, took possession of this animal and waited for the right opportunity and bit the woman when she was unsuspecting. 

But because of his attack against the image of God, this animal is cursed of God above all other animals.  My dad used to tell me a good snake is a dead snake.  I do not think it is ok, to deliberately go out an be cruel to animals, but I think out of all the animals in this world the snake is one that is looked upon with disgust and fear.  Now, I know some love them, but my point is this that what the snake represents in the physical world, Satan represents in the spiritual.  He is dark, deceptive, poisonous, and accursed. 

 You may remember Indian Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Arc.  Well, there is one scene, where he is dropped into a dark room and when he lights his torch the whole room is crawling with snakes.  And he says, “Snakes, I hate snakes!”  Just as there is hostility between mankind and snakes, God has placed hostility between Satan and his people.  Genesis 3:15 says, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”  

Not only did God curse the instrument of Satan’s attack, the snake, but he cursed Satan himself.  First, God cursed Satan by putting ‘enmity’ or hostility between God’s people and Satan and between the children of God and those who reject God.  There is an on going animosity between the kingdom of this world and the kingdom of heaven.  Second, God cursed Satan by saying that the woman whom he deceived will one day have a child that will crush his head! 

 God’s Judgment against Mankind

So, after God gives the verdict to Satan, he turns to his two accomplices in the crime.  Because of their sin against a holy God, they are judged as guilty before him and given their sentence.  Genesis 3:16 says, “To the woman he said, ‘I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children.  Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.'”  First, God speaks to the woman about the consequences of her sin.  Notice the first part of God’s judgment against women, “‘I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children.’

 Now, what in the world is going on here?  Remember what Genesis says about what it means to be a woman.  Genesis 1:28, “And God blessed them.  And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.”  One of the most essential aspects of being a woman according to the Bible is being a mother, having children.  The Bible teaches that this is a part of God’s design.  This is her role, but now one of her fundamental purposes is flooded with pain and hardship.  This command that God has given to you ladies is frustrated because of sin. 

I don’t know how many of you all have been in the delivery room after a woman has given birth to a baby, but it’s scary.  I mean everyone is happy because of the little baby, but the girl looks like she has been through some pain.  And you know what, she definitely has!  And this is the result of God’s judgment against sin, women will give birth, but through great pain and difficulty.

 But there is a second part of God’s judgment towards women, Genesis 3:16, “Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.”  Some have taken it to mean sexual desire.  The woman will desire her husband physically.  How could that be a curse? 

Well I hate to ruin the dream, but I don’t think this is what it means.  In the next chapter, Genesis 4, in the story about Adam and Eve’s first two children, we have the very same words used of sin’s desire to master Cain.  Genesis 4:7, “And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door.  Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.”  God is saying sin’s desire is against Cain, it desire is to rule him, master him, and control him.  So, if we take this way of thinking back to Genesis 3:16, what does it mean?  Because of the curse of sin in the life of women, their essential role in their relationship with their husbands has been drastically altered from one of a ‘helper’ to one who desires to control, rule, and master their husbands. So, now instead of peace and agreement in their relationship, there will be resistance, because both are trying to run the show. 

So, women will desire to rule men, but men will also exploit the weakness of some women.  Genesis 3:16, “Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.”  Man, do we not see this in our world or what?  There are fractured relationships all around us.  I mean, just turn on the TV five minutes and you’ll see some woman being exploited by a man because she looks good or a woman using her looks to gain control over a man.  This is the judgment of God against sin. 

You ladies need to be aware of this in your lives and the way you relate to your brothers in Christ and the guys who are non-believers in your lives.  You need to know that there is a deep seated root of sin that desires to distort your role as a woman.  It might appear in the way you dress?  Do you dress in a way to draw attention to your body?  I heard Paul Washer say one time that if the way you dress is a frame for your body then it’s sinful, but if the way you dress is a frame for your face then it’s pleasing to God.  And any guy who’s worth dating won’t want someone who wants to draw attention to themselves by the way they dress.  Are you rebelling against God’s design for you as a woman to be a wife and a mother?  Are you letting some guy rule over you by taking advantage of you?  Ladies think about these things!

Genesis 3:17, “And to Adam he said, ‘Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life.”  So after God finishes with the woman, he turns to Adam, he turns to the protector to the man.  He begins by telling Adam why he giving him this judgment. 

Genesis 3:17, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife.”  Now, it’s not saying guys, when you get married don’t listen your wife or God will judge you.  But that Adam sat back and watched his wife being preyed upon by a blood thirsty wolf and did nothing about it, but listen to the voice of his wife.  Whose voice should he have listed to?  Genesis 3:17, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it.'”  He should have listened to the voice of his God!  Guys, how are you doing in this area?  Are you listening to God and the lies of Satan, coming at you from every avenue in this world?  How much time do you spend in God’s word everyday?  I’m telling you, it is my joy to hear God’s word everyday and I couldn’t survive without out it.  Psalm 119:9, “How can a young man keep his way pure?  By guarding it according to your word.”  We’re just like Adam, unless our paths are guarded by the word of God, we’re fools and Satan will destroy our lives!

These are the reasons for God’s judgment against Adam, but the actual judgment is that just as the woman’s primary function is confused now, so is man’s role as a leader and a provider.  Genesis 3:17, “Cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life.”  If you remember in Genesis 2, Adam’s primary role was to serve the Lord in the garden and take care of the creation.  This was to be free of frustration and hardship and was actually joyful act of worship.  But now, his sin has destroyed everything and if he is to do anything, it will by through pain and suffering. 

Genesis 3:18, 19, “Thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field.  By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”  So, because of sin there is not only a rivalry between men and women, but also between us and the creation.  The creation is cursed.  We who were called to rule over the creation are now being ruled by it.  Can we not look out at the world and see that something has gone wrong somewhere.  This world is groaning under the weight of sin. 

God has placed a curse upon the earth because of sin and now it’s no longer like Eden, but chaotic and thorns and thistles come up out of the ground.  Look at Genesis 3:19, “By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground.”  So, man’s privilege of work will now be done through hurt, pain, and emptiness. 

One of my best friends plays in the NFL and I once told him that the NFL isn’t like a job or work or anything, not really thinking about what I was saying.  He responded by saying, “Yeah, ok!”  The first hand off he ever received in the NFL was given to him by Brett Favre.  I’ll never forget watching his retirement speech and him saying that knew he could still play, but that he had give it his all and he was threw.  You see, even our sports figures can be brought to the point to where they have nothing left to offer.  He’s tired.  He’s frustrated.  And in the end, man dies and returns to the dust he was made from.  There is an entire reversal of the creation!  This is the result of sin!

God’s Grace in the Midst of Sin 

Despite this terribly dark situation, there are sparks of light.  Despite the awful thing it is to fall into the hands of angry God, this passage does not rule out hope, but is filled with the grace of God.  God is a gracious God!  Genesis 3:15, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” 

In this verse, God promises that one day, there would come one who would crush the head of Satan.  There was coming a man born of a woman who would defeat Satan and the curse that stands against all humanity.  And at the appointed time in God’s plan, there was a daughter of Eve, her name was Mary and she was a virgin and God caused a new creation to be created within her.  He was to be called Jesus, because he would save his people from their sins.  He was coming to crush the head of the serpent.  He was born into this world and that serpent bruised his heel all the way to the cross, biting and striking all the way.

On that dreadful day, the serpent was poised to strike, the son of God, and when he did and that cross came crashing down like a shotgun blast and Jesus Christ complete crushed the head of his enemy.  Colossians 2:13-15, “And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands.  This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.  He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.”  Praise God, the curse is lifted for all who are in Christ!

Check out this talk on The Curse Motif of the Atonement by R.C. Sproul