*Over the next several weeks, the DSChurch Staff, Leadership or a few of our members will be posting a daily blog focusing in on the grand story of redemption, restoration and return that we find in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This series of post will coincide with our Sunday Teaching Series and the purpose is to provoke deep thought, gratitude and sheer joy in the Gospel. Check back with us daily. Have your cup filled. – DSChurch
“Proto-Evangel”……Not a word we’re all that familiar with, right?
As mentioned yesterday in our Gospel Series launch, there are a lot of extraordinarily important words that aren’t finding their way into our everyday vocabulary but being unfamiliar, or even a little intimidated by them, shouldnt keep us from understanding them, employing them and allowing them to aid in the growth of our love for God and our maturing in His Word.
One of the aspects and unique characteristics of the DSChurch family is the fact that you don’t shy away from difficult text or difficult terms but tackle them head on….and you expect the same from your Pastors and staff. Trust me, we deeply appreciate that fact and take the responsibility gravely serious.
So, let’s tackle “Proto-Evangel”
Proto-Evangel simply stated, means “first Gospel”.
The Proto-Evangel, or first account of the Gospel is found WAY back in the Book Of Genesis. Yes, before the incarnation, before the Angelic Choir resounded in Bethlehem, before the first-hand accounts of the story of the cross and subsequent resurection…way back in Genesis, we find the first Gospel Presentation. The Proto-Evangel! (By, the way-ask your kids about this later today. This is what they have been studying on Wednesdays at KidZMin)
I think we’re familiar enough with the story of creation and fall of man, so I won’t re-hash it here (Read Gen 1-2 for background) other than to remind you that the sinful decision that man made to rebel against God led to disastrous consequences in that he who once walked the earth in freedom and fellowship with his God was now separated from Him because of his sin.
So, here we have man facing a problem that he simply cannot remedy in and of himself. He’s willfully chosen to rebel against the very One who created Him from the dust of the ground, breathed life into him and provided, in abundance, all the sustenance that he needed. He couldn’t work his way back into fellowship or argue His way back into favor. In terms of fellowship, he is now separated from God.
Yet, there was hope. No, not hope in himself…but hope in the fact that though there was definite separation of fellowship there was no separation in the love God had for His creation (What can separate us from the love of God?).
Gods response to mans fall? The Proto-Evangel. The first Gospel.
In just a few verses of Genesis Chapter 3, we see the very first picture of The Gospel.
*We See The Gospel In Gods Grace As It Pertains To Sinners
Genesis 3:9 “…and the Lord called unto Adam”
Many have waxed philosophical about the Bible being a mere record of mans search for God but it’s the opposite that is true. The Bible teaches that it’s God that takes the first step in reconciling man back to Himself. It is God who initiates the Gospel, “For the Son of man has come to SEEK and SAVE that which was lost” (Luke 19:10). What grace! What Gospel!
*We See The Gospel In A Promise Of A Savior
In regards to the consequences of sin, God said to Satan, “I will put hostility between you and the woman,
and between your seed and her seed. He will strike your head, and you will strike his heel” (Gen 3:15)
At first glance, this verse would seem to lend to the fact that we’ll hate snakes but there is a precious and profound truth underlying these words. In this verse, we actually see Gods thrilling plan of the Cross and the resurrection. We see Christ victory over Satan. In this verse…we see the Gospel!
Theologically, verse 15 could be translated this way, “And there will be an intense hatred between Satan and Christ. Eventually Christ will crush the head of Satan , while suffering a heel wound in the process”
Listen to the Apostle Paul on the matter, “And the God of peace shall bruised Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of of Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.” (Romans 16:20)
*We See The Gospel In His Clothing Them
“God made coats of skins and clothed them” (Gen 3:21)
In order for Adam and Eve to be clothed, an innocent animal had to die. Um, can you say GOSPEL!? Here we have the first example of that great Biblical doctrine …the innocent dying for the guilty.
“For Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous,that He might bring youto God,
after being put to death in the fleshly realm but made alive in the spiritual realm” (1st Peter 3:18)
In The Genesis Account of the Gospel, we see the first symbol in the Bible when the serpent became a type for sin. Now we see the second symbol – righteousness and salvation are symbolized by the right clothes!
Concerning our righteousness – ” All of us have become like something unclean, and all our righteous acts are like a polluted garment; all of us wither like a leaf, and our iniquities carry us away like the wind” (Isaiah 64:6)
Concerning The Righteousness Of Christ When Applied To Us – “Let us be glad, rejoice, and give Him glory, because the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has prepared herself. She was given fine linen to wear, bright and pure.” (Rev 19:7-8)
We could go on and on here and I encourage you to read on through the Genesis account personally and think deeply on the “Proto-Evangel” and rejoice in Gods awe-inspiring plan of redemption….The GOSPEL!
Soli Deo Gloria! – Pastor Kyle