THE PROTOEVANGELIUM

The protoevangelium a foreshadowing of the gospel

I pointed out in earlier posts that Adam and Eve were not cursed by God (cf. Gen3:14,17). That divine pronouncement was given to the arch-instigator of mankind’s downfall represented by the serpent (the devil) and later at an individual level to Cain. Thankfully for humanity, Adam is the federal head, not Cain. Adam’s offspring were nevertheless condemned to a life of toil, aging, decay and death, for the SOIL was cursed for man’s sake (Gen3:17-19). Through Satan’s victory, he was granted control of the world order (Greek: archon tou kosmou Jn12:31), yet as will be shown it was all for the greater good. Amidst the apparent debacle, a ray of hope appears: God tells the snake (representing the Evil One): “I shall put enmity between you and the woman, and between YOUR OFFSPRING and hers; it will bruise your head and you will strike its heel” (Gen3:15). This is the so-called Protoevangelium, a foreshadowing of the gospel – the Good News concerning a coming Messiah (the woman’s offspring). Our omniscient God had already envisaged His plan of salvation for humankind, the central event of which would be the sending of His Son to be the Savior of the world (1John4:14). Satan would strike Christ’s heal through his apparent victory at Calvary, but the death and resurrection of Jesus would prove to be the bruising of the snake’s head, assuring Satan’s ultimate defeat. But the Protoevangelium reveals that it is not just Satan but HIS OFFSPRING who are to be at enmity with the woman’s offspring; nor is the latter referring exclusively to Jesus but to His Church (Rom16:20). Satan’s seed pertains both to the outcome of Gen6:1-2 (considered shortly) and also the human seed adopted by Satan, who following their own free choice to usurp the innate light and law of Christ referenced by the conscience is permitted to gain their mastery.

Such a transaction could only be by divine decree. Satan could have no inherent rights over God’s property. Such arrangements on a smaller scale are indicated elsewhere in Scripture (e.g. Job1:6-12; 2Cor12:7). It is an ingenious contrivance on the Creator’s part (for He is sovereign) but one will not discern any positivity to it until one has understood the mystery of evil and the purpose of suffering within God’s wondrous plan for humanity, covered in the final two chapters of my book:

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Related post: The beginning

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