I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and hers,
he will crush your head
and you will strike his heel. (Genesis 3:15)
We live in a time of enmity. In this first proclamation of the gospel in Genesis 3, this first promise that God would bring redemption through the crushing of the head of the snake, we already experience tension. The spiritual antithesis between the kingdom of God and the kingdom of the Serpent, between the snake and eve, between its offspring (not flesh and blood, but principalities and powers) and her offspring (all of us) has been felt since those moments following the Fall.
We live in a time of enmity. There is no peace between God and Satan. In Jesus, the head of the snake has been crushed, but its body is still thrashing around, his offspring still fight and resist. The victory has been won. The final defeat of the serpent is inevitable, yet we still live in a time of enmity.
We are still waiting, even as we receive and experience salvation. We still await that final peace, even as we taste God’s peace now.
We live between the ‘already’ of Jesus’ victory of the cross and the ‘not yet’ of waiting for his return. We wake, eat, work, and play during this period of what some theologians have described as ‘spiritual antithesis.’ And this tension between God’s created purpose and the deceptive machinations of the serpent touches every sphere of our existence.
The kingdom of God is not neatly divided into “churchy things” on the one side and “secular things” on the other. God works mightily through the church and it is an integral (nay, indispensible) part of God’s work to redeem this lost and broken world. But just as God is not limited to the church and sin is not limited to just our souls, the call to faith, obedience, and faithful work is not limited to within the walls of the church.
All of life is claimed by God. All of life calls for faithful work in service to God.