BCL Grow: What Is Special Grace? — Genesis 3:15

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Genesis 3:15 (Redemption)

Bible Passage

“I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” — Genesis 3:15


“The covenant of grace tells God’s story of redemption; it traces the unfolding drama from Genesis to Revelation. It shows us that the Bible is actually one book with one story, told on the stage of real human history.” — Michael G. Brown and Zach Keele, Sacred Bond; Covenant Theology Explored, p. 70.

Steps to Take

1. Consider: We find the first mention of the covenant of grace in Genesis 3:15 where God promises a savior to come who will crush the serpent’s head and conquer Satan, sin, and death forever. It is critically important to note that salvation is God’s work and not our own. Humans are utterly unable to keep God’s law perfectly because of their fallen state in Adam. Without the God-man, Jesus Christ, who was born in the flesh and kept God’s law perfectly and was the once-for-all sacrifice for sin, we would have no hope.

2. Compare: By contrasting the Noahic covenant (Genesis 9) with the covenant of grace (Genesis to Revelation), we recognize key aspects of each covenant:

  • The Noahic covenant is universal, whereas the covenant of grace is particular.

  • The Noahic covenant is temporary, whereas the covenant of grace is eternal.

  • The Noahic covenant is preservative, whereas the covenant of grace is redemptive.

3. Understand: God instituted the Noahic covenant (common grace) to preserve the earth so that humans would not destroy each other, in order that the Savior, Jesus Christ, could come at the appointed time in God’s redemptive plan. Even now God continues to uphold the Noahic covenant as he patiently waits for all God’s people to come to repentance. In the new heaven and new earth, there will no longer be a need for the Noahic covenant. Yet, the covenant of grace (special grace) is God’s everlasting, unconditional, redemptive promise that all who are in Christ have been born again to new life by the Spirit. They are secure in their adopted status as God’s children and will enjoy their Savior for all eternity.

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