Monday, February 9, 2009

Is the Genesis account really necessary to preaching the Gospel?

When we are out witnessing to others or discussing with others the “gospel”, we need to keep in mind that we are presenting the “good news” of Christ’s death and resurrection. As Paul states in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4:

1 Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, 2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.
3 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures,

Paul does not end his explanation of the gospel here. Note very carefully how Paul explains the gospel message later in the same passage. Click the following verse or get your Bible and read 1 Corinthians 15:12-45 for yourself. I will quote the last part to make my point:

For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive… And so it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.

You will notice that in explaining why Jesus died, Paul went to the Book of Genesis and its account of Adam and the Fall. In other words, we cannot really understand the “good news” in the New Testament of Jesus’ death and resurrection unless we understand the "bad news" in Genesis of the fall of man and the origin of sin with its accompanying penalty.

We as Christians will be pressured into disregarding the Book of Genesis in our witness because it contains so many supposed “myths” about creation and early man but we cannot cave into this mentality. The Genesis account is critical to understanding what sin is! Remember, you may get several definitions of sin such as, “a lack of self-esteem.” But we know sin is rebellion against God. The only way we can define sin as rebellion against God is if there was a literal rebellion. The reason Paul clearly states that we are all sinners is because we are all descendants of the first Adam who lived in a literal garden with a literal tree and took a literal fruit when tempted by a literal serpent, thus there was a literal Fall defining a literal rebellion. If there was no Fall, then what is sin? Who defines it?

In Col. 1:13-17, Rev. 4:11, Rev. 5:9, Paul makes it clear that our Savior, Jesus Christ, is the Creator and our Creator became our Redeemer! Our Redeemer had to be our Creator because all humans are sinners and therefore could not die for sin. We had to have a perfect man die for sin. Thus Jesus was our Creator made manifest into a human so He could be our Savior!

And so I encourage you to read, pray, and seek the Lord in your complete understanding of this foundational knowledge that is necessary to understanding the Gospel. Without this information, who then is Jesus Christ? Why did He need to die? Why could He, and not someone else, die for sin? What is special about Christ? Where did sin come from? Why can we say that all have sinned? Why do we die?

These are important questions that can easily be answered with the foundational knowledge and understanding of the Genesis account. Now in the words of Todd Friel, “Go serve your King.”