Six things we learn about Jesus and salvation in Him from Genesis 3:15 (Thomas Boston)

In chapter 2, section 2, part 1 of The Marrow of Modern Divinity, the author Edward Fisher reminds us that in Genesis 3:15 we have the first promise of the covenant of grace. “This promise of Christ, the woman’s seed, was the gospel; and the only comfort of Adam, Abel, Enoch, Noah, and the rest of the godly fathers, until the time of Abraham.” Thomas Boston, in his footnote, points out six different truths that are revealed in this “protoevangelium,” the first gospel:

In this promise was revealed, 1. Man’s restoration unto the favor of God, and his salvation; not to be effected by man himself, and his own works, but by another. For our first parents, standing condemned for breaking the covenant of works, are not sent back to it, to essay the mending of the matter, which they had marred before; but a new covenant is purposed – a Savior promised as their only hope.

2. That this Savior was to be incarnate, to become man, “the seed of the woman.”

3. That he behooved to suffer; his heel, namely his humanity, to be bruised to death.

4. That by his death he should a make a full conquest over the devil, and destroy his works, who had now overcome and destroyed mankind; and so recover the captives out of his hand: “he shall bruise thy head, that is: while thou bruisest his heel.” This encounter was on the cross: there Christ treading on the serpent, it bruised his heel, but he bruised its head.

5. That he should not be held by death, but Satan’s power should be broken irrecoverably: the Savior being only bruised in the heel, but the serpent in the head.

6. That the saving interest in him, and his salvation, is by faith alone, believing the promise with particular application to one’s self, and so receiving him, forasmuch as these things are revealed by way of a simple promise.


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