Day 2

The First Promise of the Messiah

from the Advent 2017: Joy to the World reading plan

Genesis 3:1-15, 1 Corinthians 15:45-49, Hebrews 2:14-16

A good song tells a story. It takes you someplace. The old hymns were written to do just this—unfold biblical truth, with each verse building on the one that came before.

The Christmas hymn “Joy to the World” is one such song. Based on Psalm 98, the hymn starts with the simple acknowledgement that the Lord has come, calling us to joyfully receive our King and make room for Him in our hearts. The next verse takes us deeper, saying that our King has not only come, but He reigns. This should draw from us a song of praise. The verse after that describes His reign as a blessing: He breaks the power of sin “far as the curse is found.”

Let’s talk about that curse. How far flung is it anyway? Today’s scriptures take us into that part of the story. They show us that everything is touched by the fall of man—every corner of creation, every human relationship, every act of worship. These scriptures read like smoldering coals marking the ruins of where a glorious home once stood. When we read them, they make us want to say, “No more let sin or sorrow grow, nor thorns infest the ground.”

This Advent reading plan walks through Scripture focused on our need for Christ and the story of His coming. We start in the darkness of the curse. Today’s scriptures remind us of why we needed Jesus to come in the flesh. We needed Him here “to make His blessings flow, far as the curse is found.” And this is exactly what He has done. This is why He was born, why He came to us.

Find time to sit with Scripture this Advent season. Read along with us. In this Advent study, we will read key Old Testament stories which predict Christ’s birth. We’ll sit with verses that explain the impact of His ministry. And we’ll walk through the nativity story—filled with miraculous pregnancies, angelic visits, political posturing, and a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in a manger.

Let these scriptures unfold like a song. Read the story. Let your imagination wander into the true account of the birth of the One who “rules the world with truth and grace, and makes the nations prove the glories of His righteousness and wonders of His love.” And may we all come to know Christ better as a result.

Written by Russ Ramsey

Post Comments (12)

12 thoughts on "The First Promise of the Messiah"

  1. Andrew says:

    The story of Adam and Eve reminds us of our desperate need for a savior.

  2. Ethan Stallings says:

    In the past few months leading up to this study, I have become more aware of our dire need for a Savior. However, this is not the only thing that we need, we need a King as well. Only Jesus, the Son of God fulfills both roles simultaneously. He is the One that sacrificed heaven and His connection with God (that had never been broken since before the creation) just to give us life. He is also the One that is the perfect Ruler of our lives if we so humble ourselves and relinquish control to Him. What better news is there in this world that there is One who loved us enough to give everything to the point of death for us so we could be with God and that a perfect King has control of our lives, knows exactly what we need each day, wants what is best for us, shows us how to recover from our failures, and can bring good from any bad that occurs in our lives? There is no news that surpasses the news of the Gospel and of Jesus. This Christmas, I want to be so aware of my need for a Savior King that no gift given or received goes without recognition of why gifts are given. Thank you God for sparing us and loving us enough to not spare Your Son!

  3. Brenden says:

    Let me praise your name in spite of my sinful nature. I will shout for joy at the realization of your kingdom on this earth. May everyday be the day of the lord.
    Praise God for he has forgiven my sin and remembered them no more.
    God keep me safe from sexual immorality and any impure thought or deed. I want to flee from such things that I may be found pure and blameless, making good-use of the mercy and grace Jesus has given me!
    I have victory in Christ Jesus forever and ever. Amen!!

  4. Rick says:

    Good introduction as to why we need Christ. Adam and Eve disobeyed our lord, which is why we are all born into a world of sin.

  5. Colt Duppen says:

    Today’s devotional starts off with the story of the sin of mankind. It shows that with desire and evil throughout, it is easy to get caught up and do things in the quest to be all-knowing. Although this seems important to Man as a whole, it is far more important to trust in God. This is the first place that God makes it known that he is going to send a seed down to bruise the serpent. This begins the introduction to Jesus, hinting at a seed of the woman that will be able to bruise/defeat the serpent, devil. This shows that it is completely necessary to have Jesus in our lives because he will be able to help us through desire or temptation to reach the places that we are supposed to get to.

    The next verse picks up with the discussion of the first Adam and the last Adam. I took two meanings from this scripture. First, I took it as I think that we are more than the flesh and blood that we appear on Earth. I think there is a lot more to be learned that can not be expressed or understood by our body on Earth. I think we also have an image of us in heaven that is more knowledgeable than we are. I also thought about this a little more and began to think that maybe it is talking about us, Man, being the living being and Jesus being the life-giving being. As this thought progressed in my mind it became more clear that this is what is most likely meant in the passage. And as the end of the passage states, I think it means to take in the image of Jesus and understand what he was put here to do as much as you put in the effort to understand the people around you.

    The last passage was a little easier for me to understand. God put Jesus here on the Earth in the form that we are in, flesh and blood. And through the death of Jesus, he takes away the fear of death and evil that holds people into a type of slavery that they would have just been left in had he not died. This is very important because this passage shows that Jesus was put here for us, the offspring of Abraham.

    These three scriptures have put together a brief synopsis of the story of Jesus. I found it really helpful to begin with them because it has started to get the desire to learn more about the story flowing.

  6. Cole Claybourn says:

    I really liked these passages. To me, this was a great reminder of how much we need Christ, and also how magnificent His love for us truly is.

  7. Brandon says:

    I’m excited to be in this advent devotional, I definitely didn’t realize the old hymns told stories, now it kind of seems silly to think they were just unintentional layers of praise. –
    Praise God for sending his Son to redeem us, and bring us closer to him. Thank you for showing us we are worth it.

  8. Brian says:

    I love this important reminder that Christ has come to redeem from the curse. I have sensed this year that God wants me to focus on another phrase from Joy to the World. Let earth receive her King! I am meditating on what it means to receive not just remember.

  9. Trevor Gartner says:

    It’s sometimes hard to remember that every single part of life is tainted because of sin. That there is nothing that is pure apart from Christ. But I think it good to daily remind me that my life is in His hands, and His grace is the only thing that allows me to know Him and follow Him.

  10. Alberto says:

    The second Adam is a spiritual one. Thank you Heavenly Father for your goodness and mercy. Thank you for your mercy and for being that second Adam!

  11. Dustin Lawson says:

    Father, it seems so strange that the sins of the first man should impact my life. I trust you Lord in your perfection of knowledge and power. Help me to not lean on my own understanding, but on your grace. Help me to forgive others, and myself as I have been forgiven. Thank you for Jesus, thank your for the cross, and thank you for the resurrection.

  12. Pastor JB says:

    God preached the first Gospel by giving Adam and Eve (and all mankind) the promise that the woman’s offspring would “bruise Satan’s head”. A child born of woman would come to correct what Satan had introduced to our first parents: sin.Rebellion against God. That child was of course ; the LORD Jesus Christ.

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