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Christ the Conqueror of Satan

Written by: Spurgeon, C.H.    Posted on: 04/02/2003

Category: Sermons

Source: CCN

                                    Christ the Conqueror of Satan by C. H. SPURGEON,                                     At the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington

              "And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise               thy head, and thou shalt bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel."Genesis 3:16

          THIS IS THE FIRST gospel sermon that was ever delivered upon the surface of this earth. It was           memorable discourse indeed, with Jehovah himself for the preacher, and the whole human race and the           prince of darkness for the audience. It must be worthy of our heartiest attention.           Is it not remarkable that this great gospel promise should have been delivered so soon after the           transgression? As yet no sentence had been pronounced upon either of the two human offenders, but the promise           was given under the form of a sentence pronounced upon the serpent Not yet had the woman been condemned to           painful travail, or the man to exhausting labour, or even the soil to the curse of thorn and thistle. Truly "mercy           rejoiceth against judgment." Before the Lord had said "dust thou art and unto dust thou shalt return," he was           pleased to say that the seed of the woman should bruise the serpent's head. Let us rejoice, then, in the swift mercy           of God, which in the early watches of the night of sin came with comfortable words unto us.               These words were not directly spoken to Adam and Eve, but they were directed distinctly to the serpent           himself, and that by was of punishment to him for what he had done. It was a day of cruel triumph to him such           joy as his dark mind is capable of had filled him, for had he indulged his malice, and gratified his spite. He had in           the worst sense destroyed a part of God's works, he had introduce sin into the new world, he had stamped the           human race with his own image, and gained new forces to promote rebellion and to multiply transgression, and           therefore he felt that sort of gladness which a fiend can know who bears a hell within him. But now God comes in,           takes up the quarrel personally, and causes him to be disgraced on the very battle-field upon which he had gained           a temporary success. He tells the dragon that he will undertake to deal with him; this quarrel shall not be between           the serpent and man, but between the serpent and man, but between God and the serpent. God saith, in solemn           words, "I will put enmity between thee and the woman, between thy seed and her seed," and he promised that           there shall rise in fulness of time a champion, who, though he suffer, shall smite in a vital part the power of evil,           and bruise the serpent's head. This was the more, it seems to me, a comfortable message of mercy to Adam and           Eve, because they would feel sure that the tempter would be punished, and as that punishment would involve           blessing for them, the vengeance due to the serpent would be the guarantee of mercy to themselves. Perhaps,           however, by thus obliquely giving the promise, the Lord meant to say, "Not for your sakes do I this, O fallen man           and woman, nor for the sake of your descendants; but for my own name and honour's sake, that it be not           profaned and blasphemed amongst the fallen spirits. I undertake to repair the mischief which has been caused by           the tempter, that my name and my glory may not be diminished among the immortal spirits who look down upon           the scene." All this would be very humbling but yet consolatory to our parents if they thought of it, seeing that           mercy given for God's sake is always to our troubled apprehension more sure than any favour which could be           promised to us for our own sake. The divine sovereignty and glory afford us a stronger foundation of hope than           merit, even if merit can be supposed to exist.               Now we must note concerning this first gospel sermon that on it the earliest believers stayed themselves. This           was all that Adam had by way of revelation, and all that Abel had received. This one lone star shone in Abel's sky;           he looked up to it and he believed. By its light he spelt out "sacrifice," and therefore he brought of the firstlings of           his flock and laid them on the altar, and proved in his own person how the seed of the serpent hated the seed of           the woman, for his brother slew him for his testimony. Although Enoch the seventh from Adam prophesied           concerning the second advent, yet he does not appear to have uttered anything new concerning the first coming, so           that still this one promise remained as man's sole word of hope. The torch which flamed within the gates of Eden           just before man was driven forth lit up the world to all believers until the Lord was pleased to give more light, and           to renew and enlarge the revelation of his covenant, when he spake to his servant Noah. Those hoary fathers who           lived before the flood rejoiced in the mysterious language of our text, and resting on it, they died in faith. Nor,           brethren, must you think it a slender revelation, for, if you attentively consider, it is wonderfully full of meaning. If           it had been on my heart to handle it doctrinally this morning, I think I could have shown you that it contains all the           gospel. There lie within it, as an oak lies within an acorn, all the great truths which make up the gospel of Christ.           Observe that here is the grand mystery of incarnation. Christ is that seed of the woman who is here spoken of; and           there is a hint not darkly given as to how that Incarnation would be effected. Jesus was not shadowed of the Holy           Ghost, and "the holy thing" which was born of her was as to his humanity the seed of the woman only; as it is           written, "Behold a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel." The promise           plainly teaches that the deliverer would be born of a woman, and carefully viewed, it also foreshadows the divine           method of the Redeemer's conception and birth. So also is the doctrine of the two seeds plainly taught here"I           will put enmity between thee and the woman, between thy seed and her seed." There was evidently to be in the           world a seed of the woman on God's side against the serpent, and a seed of the serpent that should always be           upon the evil side even as it is unto this day. The church of God and the synagogue of Satan both exist. We see an           Abel and a Cain, an Isaac and an Ishmael, a Jacob and an Esau; those that are born after the flesh, being the           children of their father the devil, for his works they do, but those that are born againbeing born after the Spirit,           after the power of the life of Christ, are thus in Christ Jesus the seed of the woman, and contend earnestly against           the dragon and his seed. Here, too, the great fact of the sufferings of Christ is clearly foretold"Thou shalt bruise           his heel." Within the compass of those words we find the whole story of our Lord's sorrows from Bethlehem to           Calvary. "It shall bruise thy head": there is the breaking of Satan's regal power, there is the clearing away of sin,           there is the destruction of death by resurrection, there is the leading of captivity captive in the ascension, there is           the victory of truth in the world through the descent of the Spirit, and there is the latter-day glory in which Satan           shall be bound, and there is, lastly, the casting of the evil one and all his followers into the lake of fire. The conflict           and the conquest are both in the compass of these few fruitful words. They may not have been fully understood           by those who first heard them, but to us they are now full of light. The text at first looks like a flint, hard and cold;           but sparks fly from it plentifully, for hidden fires of infinite love and grace lie concealed within. Over this promise           of a gracious God we ought to rejoice exceedingly.               We do not know what our first parents understood by it, but we may be certain that they gathered a great           amount of comfort from it They must have understood that they were not then and there to be destroyed, because           the Lord had spoken of a "seed." They would argue that it must be needful that Eve should live if there should be           a seed from her. They understood, too, that if that seed was to overcome the serpent and bruise his head, it must           auger good to themselves: they could not fail to see that there was some great, some mysterious benefit to be           conferred upon them by the victory which their seed would achieve over the instigator of their ruin. They went on           in faith upon this, and were comforted in travail and in toil, and I doubt not both Adam and his wife in the faith           thereof entered into everlasting rest.               This morning I intend to handle this text in three ways. First, we shall notice its facts; secondly, we shall           consider the experience within the heart of each believer which tallies to those facts; and then, thirdly, the           encouragement which the text and its connection as a whole afford to us.               I. THE FACTS. The facts are four, and I call your earnest attention to them. The first is Enmity was excited.           The text begins, "I will put enmity between thee and the woman." They had been very friendly; the woman and           the serpent had conversed together. She thought at the time that the serpent was her friend; and she was so much           his friend that she took his advice in the teeth of God's precept, and was willing to believe bad things of the great           Creator, because this wicked, crafty serpent insinuated the same. Now, at the moment when God spake, that           friendship between the woman and the serpent had already in a measure come to an end, for she had accused the           serpent to God, and said, "The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat." So far, so good. The friendship of sinners does           not last long; they have already begun to quarrel, and now the Lord comes in and graciously takes advantage of           the quarrel which had commenced, and says, "I will carry this disagreement a great deal further, I will put enmity           between thee and the woman." Satan counted on man's descendants being his confederates, but God would break           up this covenant with hell, and raise up a seed which should war against the Satanic power. This we have here           God's first declaration that he will set up a rival kingdom to oppose the tyranny of sin and Satan, that he will create           in the hearts of a chosen seed an enmity against evil, so that they shall fight against it, and with many a struggle           and pain shall overcome the prince of darkness. The divine Spirit has abundantly achieved this plan and purpose           of the Lord, combating the fallen angel by a glorious man: making man to be Satan's foe and conqueror.           Henceforth the woman was to hate the evil one, and I do not doubt that she did so. She had abundant cause for so           doing, and as often as she thought of him it would be with infinite regret that she could have listened to his           malicious and deceitful talk. The woman's seed has also evermore had enmity against the evil one. I mean not the           carnal seed, for Paul tells us, "They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the           children of the promise are counted for the seed." The carnal seed of the man and the woman are not meant, but           the spiritual seed, even Christ Jesus and those who are in him. Wherever you meet these, they hate the serpent           with a perfect hatred. We would if we could destroy from our souls every work of Satan, and out of this poor           afflicted world of ours we would root up every evil which he has planted. That seed of the woman, that glorious           One,for he speaks not of seeds as of many but of seed that is one,you know how he abhorred the devil and           all his devices. There was enmity between Christ and Satan, for he came to destroy the works of the devil and to           deliver those who are under bondage to him. For that purpose was he born; for that purpose did he live; for that           purpose did he die; for that purpose he has gone into the glory, and for that purpose he will come again, that           everywhere he may find out his adversary and utterly destroy him and his works form amongst the sons of men.           This putting of the enmity between the two seeds was the commencement of the plan of mercy, the first act in the           programme of grace. Of the woman's seed it was henceforth said, "Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest           wickedness: therefore God, they God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows."               Then comes the second prophecy, which has also turned into a fact, namely the coming of the champion. The           seed of the woman by promise is to champion the cause, and oppose the dragon. That seed is the Lord Jesus           Christ. The prophet Micah saith, "But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah; though thou be little among the thousands of           Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from           of old, from everlasting. Therefore will he give them up, until the time that she which travaileth hath brought           forth." To none other than the babe which was born in Bethlehem of the blessed Virgin can the words of the           prophecy refer. She it was who did conceive and bear a son, and it is concerning her son that we sing, "Unto us a           child is born, unto us a son is given: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God, the           Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace." On the memorable night at Bethlehem, when angels sang in heaven, the           seed of the woman appeared, and as soon as ever he saw the light the old serpent, the devil, entered into the heart           of Herod if possible to slay him, but the Father preserved him, and suffered none to lay hands on him. As soon as           he publicly came forward upon the stage of action, thirty years after, Satan met him foot to foot. You know the           story of the temptation in the wilderness, and how there the woman's seed fought with him who was a liar from           the beginning. The devil assailed him thrice with all the artillery of flattery, malice, craft and falsehood, but the           peerless champion stood unwounded, and chased his foeman from the field. Then our Lord set up his kingdom,           and called one and another unto him, and carried the war into the enemy's country. In divers places he cast out           devils. He spake to the wicked and unclean spirit and said, "I charge thee come out of him," and the demon was           expelled. Legions of devils flew before him: they sought to hide themselves in swine to escape from the terror of           his presence. "Art thou come to torment us before our time?" was their cry when the wonder-working Christ           dislodged them from the bodies which they tormented. Yea, and he made his own disciples mighty against the evil           one, for in his name they cast out devils, till Jesus said, "I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven." Then there           came a second personal conflict, for I take it that Gethsemane's sorrows were to a great degree caused by a           personal assault of Satan, for our Master said, "This is your hour, and the power of darkness." He said also, "The           Prince of this world cometh." What a struggle it was. Though Satan had nothing in Christ, yet did he seek if           possible to lead him away from completing his great sacrifice, and there did our Master sweat as it were great           drops of blood, falling to the ground, in the agony which it cost him to contend with the fiend. Then it was that our           Champion began the last fight of all and won it to the bruising of the serpent's head. Nor did he end till he had           spoiled principalities and powers and made a show of them openly.

                                              "Now is the hour of darkness past,                                             Christ has assumed his reigning power;                                                 Behold the great accuser cast                                             Down from his seat to reign no more."

              The conflict our glorious Lord continues in his seed. We preach Christ crucified, and every sermon shakes the           gates of hell. We bring sinners to Jesus by the Spirit's power, and every convert is a stone torn down from the wall           of Satan's mighty castle. Yea, and the day shall come when everywhere the evil one shall be overcome, and the           words of John in the Revelation shall be fulfilled. "And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the           Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out           with him. And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our           God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our           God day and night." Thus did the Lord God in the words of our text promise a champion who should be the seed           of the woman, between whom and Satan there should be war for ever and ever: that champion has come, the           man-child has been born, and thought the dragon is wroth with the woman, and made war with the remnant of her           seed which keep the testimony of Jesus Christ, yet the battle is the Lord's, and the victory falleth unto him whose           name is Faithful and True, who in righteousness doth judge and make war.               The third fact which comes out in the text, though not quite in that order, is that our Champion's heel should           be bruised. Do you need that I explain this? You know how all his life long his heel, that is, his lower part, his           human nature, was perpetually being made to suffer. He carried our sicknesses and sorrows. But the bruising           came mainly when both in body and in mind his whole human nature was made to agonize; when his soul was           exceeding sorrowful even unto death, and his enemies pierced his hands and his feet, and he endured the shame           and pain of death by crucifixion. Look at your Master and your King upon the cross, all disdained with blood and           dust! There was his heel most cruelly bruised. When they take down that precious body and wrap it in fair white           linen and in spices, and lay it in Joseph's tomb, they weep as they handle the casket in which the Deity had dwelt,           for there again Satan had bruised his heel. It was not merely that God had bruised him, "though it pleased the           Father to bruise him," but the devil had let loose Herod, and Pilate, and Caiaphas, and the Jews, and the Romans,           all of them his tools, upon him whom he knew to be the Christ, so that he was bruised of the old serpent. That is           all, however! It is only his heel, not his head, which is bruised! For lo, the Champion rises again; the bruise was           not mortal nor continual. Though he dies, yet still so brief is the interval in which he slumbers in the tomb that his           holy body hath not seen corruption, and he comes forth perfect and lovely in his manhood, rising from his grave           as from a refreshing sleep after so long a day of unresting toil! Oh the triumph of that hour! As Jacob only halted           on his thigh when he overcame the angel, so did Jesus only retain a scar in his heel, and that he bears to the skies           as his glory and beauty. Before the throne he looks like a lamb that has been slain, but in the power of an endless           life he liveth unto God.               Then comes the fourth fact, namely, that while his heel was being bruised, he was to bruise the serpent's           head. The figure represents the dragon as inflicting an injury upon the champion's heel, but at the same moment           the champion himself with that heel crushes in the head of the serpent with fatal effect. By his sufferings Christ           has overthrown Satan, by the heel that was bruised he has trodden upon the head which devised the bruising.

                                                "Lo, by the sons of hell he dies;                                             But as he harms 'twixt earth and skies,                                               He gives their prince a fatal blow,                                               And triumphs o'er the powers below

          Though Satan is not dead, my brethren, I was about to say, would God he were, and though he is not converted,           and never will be, nor will the malice of his heart ever be driven from him, yet Christ has so far broken his head           that he has missed his mark altogether. He intended to make the human race the captives of his power, but they           are redeemed from his iron yoke. God has delivered many of them, and the day shall come when he will cleanse           the whole earth from the serpent's slimy trail, so that the entire world shall be full of the praises of God. He           thought that this world would be the arena of his victory over God and good, instead of which it is already the           grandest theatre of divine wisdom, love, grace, and power. Even heaven itself is not so resplendent with mercy as           the earth is, for here it is the Saviour poured out his blood, which cannot be said even of the courts of paradise           above. Moreover he thought, no doubt, that when he had led our race astray and brought death upon them, he had           effectually marred the Lord's work. He rejoiced that they would all pass under the cold seal of death, and that           their bodies would rot in the sepulchre. Had he not spoiled the handiwork of his great Lord? God may make man           as a curious creature with intertwisted veins and blood and nerves, and sinews and muscles, and he may put into           his nostrils the breath of life; but, "Ah," saith Satan, "I have infused a poison into him which will make him return           to the dust from which he was taken." but now, behold, our Champion whose heel was bruised has risen from the           dead, and given us a pledge that all his followers shall rise form the dead also. Thus is Satan foiled, for death shall           not retain a bone, nor a piece of a bone, of one of those who belonged to the woman's seed. At the trump of the           archangel from the earth and from the sea they shall arise, and this shall be their shout, "O death, where is thy           sting? O grave, where is thy victory?" Satan, knowing this, feels already that by the resurrection his head is           broken. Glory be to the Christ of God for this!               In multitudes of other ways the devil has been vanquished by our Lord Jesus, and so shall he ever be till he           shall be cast into the lake of fire.               II. Let us now view OUR EXPERIENCE AS IT TALLIES WITH THESE FACTS. Now, brothers and           sisters, we were by nature, as many of us as have been saved, the heirs of wrath even as others. It does not matter           how godly our parents were, the first birth brought us no spiritual life, for the promise is not to them which are           born of blood, or of the will of the flesh, or of the will of man, but only to those who are born of God, "That           which is born of the flesh is flesh"; you cannot make anything else and there it abides, and the flesh, or carnal           mind, abideth in death; "it is not reconciled to God, neither indeed can be." He who is born into this world but           once, and knows nothing of the new birth, must place himself among the seed of the serpent, for only by           regeneration can we know ourselves to be the true seed. How does God deal with us who are his called and           chosen ones? He means to save us, and how does he work to that end?               The first thing he does is, he comes to us in mercy, and puts enmity between us and the serpent. That is the           very first work of grace. There was peace between us and Satan once; when he tempted we yielded; whatever he           taught us we believed; we were his willing slaves. But perhaps you, my brethren, can recollect when first of all           you began to

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