, ,

The first Sermon.

MATTHEW Chap. 4. ver. 1. Then was Jesus led aside of the Spirit into the wilderness, to be tempted of the devil


Our Savior Christ by his nativity took upon him the shape of man;

by his circumcision, he took upon him,

and submitted himself to the degree of a servant:

by the first, he made himself in case and able to perform the work of our redemption;

by the second, he entered bound for the performing of it.

All was to this end, that he might restore the work of God to his original perfection.


Andrews is alluding to a few passages in these short verses: First, there is the reference to the incarnation: “his nativity”. By “shape” he is referencing Philippians 2:7, which in the Geneva Bible (Andrews is preaching before the Authorized Version) reads:

Philippians 2:7 (Geneva)

7 But he made him self of no reputation, and toke on him the forme of a servant, and was made like unto men, and was foũnde in shape as a man.

The word “shape” is the final descriptive of the incarnation (form, likeness, and “shape”). In modern translations the verse is read:

Philippians 2:7 (NET)

2:7 but emptied himself

by taking on the form of a slave,

by looking like other men,

and by sharing in human nature.

Philippians 2:7 (ESV)

but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.

“Form” does not mean merely the outward appearance, but has it roots in the Platonic idea of “forms”.

Thus, Jesus’ incarnation means he was an actual man. As it reads in the Definition of Chalcedon:

We, then, following the holy Fathers, all with one consent, teach men to confess one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, the same perfect in Godhead and also perfect in manhood; truly God and truly man, of a reasonable [rational] soul and body; consubstantial [coessential] with us according to the manhood; in all things like unto us, without sin; begotten before all ages of the Father according to the Godhead, and in these latter days, for us and for our salvation, born of the Virgin Mary, the mother of God, according to the Manhood; one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, Only-begotten, to be acknowledged in two natures, inconfusedly, unchangeably, indivisibly, inseparably; the distinction of natures being by no means taken away by the union, but rather the property of each nature being preserved, and concurring in one person and one Subsistence, not parted or divided into two persons, but one and the same Son, and only begotten, God the Word, the Lord Jesus Christ, as the prophets from the beginning [have declared] concerning him, and the Lord Jesus Christ himself has taught us, and the Creed of the holy Fathers has handed down to us.

Historic Creeds and Confessions, electronic ed. (Oak Harbor: Lexham Press, 1997).

The second, proposition, the reference to the circumcision of Jesus would designate Jesus as a member of the covenant community of Israel and one subject to the law.

The combination of both ideas comes from:

Galatians 4:4 (ESV)

But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law,

The Incarnation of Jesus Christ makes salvation possible, in that a new humanity is created. By being under the Law, he undertakes to fulfill the Law, and discharge the curse of the Law.

The matter of “original perfection” points to Adam’s Fall in the Garden. Jesus will undergo a temptation like Adam, but he will suffer this in the wilderness.


In the bringing of which to passe, it was decreed by God in the beginning (as a thing necessary) that the head of the Serpent (by whose means it was violated and defaced) should be bruised. And For this cause (saith Saint Yohn) appeared the Son of GOD, that he might lose the works of the Devil: whereof this was the first.

For in Gen. 3. we read, that his first work after his fall, was enviously to tempt our first parents, and thereby to overthrow all mankind. And here, straight [immediately] after our Savior was baptized, he with like envy sets on him. Christ therefore first begins with the overcomming of that: and for that purpose he is here led forth to be tempted, that so being tempted he might overcome.


He alludes to the “protoevangelium”:

Genesis 3:15 (ESV)

            15          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.”

Speaking to the Serpent, God foretells one crush the Serpent’s head. That would be the Messiah or “Christ.”

From John:

1 John 3:8 (ESV)

Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.

The envy of the Devil comes from the Wisdom of Solomon:

Wisdom of Solomon 2:23–24 (NRSV)

23         for God created us for incorruption,

and made us in the image of his own eternity,

24         but through the devil’s envy death entered the world,

and those who belong to his company experience it.

Ignatius applied the concept to his own trial:

2For though I desire to suffer, yet I know not whether I am worthy: for the envy of the devil is unseen indeed by many, but against me it wages the fiercer war. So then I crave gentleness, whereby the prince of this world is brought to nought.

Joseph Barber Lightfoot and J. R. Harmer, The Apostolic Fathers (London: Macmillan and Co., 1891), 147.

By his baptism, Christ enters into public ministry and stands as the Second Adam. Just as the Devil’s envy of Adam’s happy state led him to seek to destroy Adam, the Devil’s envy of Christ leads him to seek to destroy Christ by temptation.