Archive for the ‘Christ the Divine Warrior’ Category

God Crowns None But Well-Tried Wrestlers

December 16, 2007

There is, indeed no ambiguity in the words here used by Moses; but I do not agree with others respecting their meaning; for other interpreters take the seed for Christ, without controversy; as if it were said, that some one would arise from the seed of the woman who should wound the serpent’s head. Gladly would I give my suffrage in support of their opinion, but that I regard the word seed as too violently distorted by them; for who will concede that a collective noun is to be understood of one man only? Further, as the perpetuity of the contest is noted, so victory is promised to the human race through a continual succession of ages. I explain, therefore, the seed to mean the posterity of the woman generally. But since experience teaches that not all the sons of Adam by far, arise as conquerors of the devil, we must necessarily come to one head, that we may find to whom the victory belongs. So Paul, from the seed of Abraham, leads us to Christ; because many were degenerate sons, and a considerable part adulterous, through infidelity; whence it follows that the unity of the body flows from the head. Wherefore, the sense will be (in my judgment) that the human race, which Satan was endeavoring to oppress, would at length be victorious. In the meantime, we must keep in mind that method of conquering which the Scripture describes. Satan has, in all ages, led the sons of men “captive at his will”, and, to this day, retains his lamentable triumph over them, and for that reason is called the prince of the world, (John 12:31.) But because one stronger than he has descended from heaven, who will subdue him, hence it comes to pass that, in the same manner, the whole Church of God, under its Head, will gloriously exult over him. To this the declaration of Paul refers,

“The Lord shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly,” (Romans 16:20.)

By which words he signifies that the power of bruising Satan is imparted to faithful men, and thus the blessing is the common property of the whole Church; but he, at the same time, admonishes us, that it only has its commencement in this world; because God crowns none but well-tried wrestlers.

John Calvin, from his commentary on Genesis 3:15

The Divine Warrior’s Women, Battles, and Death

September 18, 2007

This is a sermon I preached at Providence Church on September 16, 2007. The theme for this series is “Christ the Divine Warrior.” May the Lord bless you with it.

There is probably no more colorful, exciting or puzzling story in all the Bible than that of the judge Samson. I remember having my imagination captured by the strongman Samson as a child in Sunday School. He was the hero who slew a thousand men with the jawbone of an ass, who ripped apart a lion with his bare hands, and who brought down a whole temple by single-handedly knocking over its columns. And then there is the riddle contest and the revenge with the 300 foxes tied together with torches and set loose to burn down the grain fields of the Philistines. Yet I also remember hearing about Samson losing his great strength when Delilah tricked him into having his hair cut, and I remember hearing about Samson becoming enslaved and being ridiculed by the Philistines. These stories capture the imaginations of children and adults alike, but what does it all mean? Is this Samson something like a Hebrew G.I. Joe? Or was he a superhero for a biblical comic strip, like a pre-incarnate Bibleman? (more…)