In this sermon, our founding pastor, W. Graham Smith, contrasts the serpent of the curse mentioned in Genesis 3:1 with the Snake of the Cross mentioned in John 3:14. Here are some excerpts:

A True Story

Years ago, during British rule in India, a party of English people were dining together, and as they sat at table, they were terrified to hear an eerie rustling among the palm leaves and coco matting of which the roof was composed; and looking up, saw to their horror that just above them was a huge and deadly snake. Slowly, while they watched, it slithered down one of the poles that supported the roof, and slid across the floor toward a chair on which a young girl was seated. Everyone was petrified with fear while closer crept the snake. At last, reaching the place where the girl sat, it reared its head, and was on the point of striking when, with incredible presence of mind, the hostess rose silently from the table, and going over to the piano, began to play. Instantly the snake fell back, harmless, charmed by the power of the music!

The Snake of the Cross verses the Snake of the Serpent

That, in fact, is a true story, and it is a picture of what Christ can do.

We often sing Charles Wesley’s immortal hymn

Oh for a thousand tongues to sing
My great Redeemer’s praise

Have you ever noticed the second stanza? -“

Jesus, the Name that charms … ” —

What? Well, we know that Wesley wrote, “Our fears”, and that is gloriously true. But we must not stop there, for the Name of Jesus charms our sins as well —

“’Tis music in the sinner’s ears,
‘Tis life and health and peace!”

Thank God it is! The Serpent of the Cross slays the serpent of the curse!


Graham has a lot more to say about this topic. If you would like to learn more, please download and read the attached transcript of the sermon, as the above excerpts do not even scratch the surface. If you would like to do a word search on the transcript, download the file, and then open the file with your web browser after downloading and use your browser’s find feature.


August 29, 1993

Genesis 3:1 and John 3:14

Rev. W. Graham Smith

Download Transcript (PDF)