Many Christians think that the Creation/Evolution controversy is a side issue. They think Genesis is not important. They feel belief in Jesus is the only thing that matters. In their view, what’s important is the Gospel in the New Testament. They attach no significance to whether Genesis records actual history.
Is this view correct?
No, it is not. Adam and the Gospel are inextricably linked. The history of Genesis, in particular Creation, is foundational to the Gospel. The basic ideas of the Gospel are rooted in Adam in Genesis.
Who Is God?
How do you even explain who God is without Genesis and Creation?
Scripture’s very first sentence identifies God as Creator:
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1).
Evangelism was the Apostle John’s stated purpose for writing (John 20:31), and at the very start of his Gospel, John unveils Jesus as God the Creator:
In the beginning was the Word…and the Word was God. … All things came into being through Him; apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. (John 1:1,3)
Genesis and John introduce God and Jesus with the simplest but most profound identification man can understand — “Creator.” God’s identity is so clear from Creation that the Apostle Paul said people have no excuse (Romans 1:20). Creation is the natural starting point for meeting God.
Genesis documents Adam’s violation of the Creator’s command and God’s judgment. People need historical truth from Genesis to comprehend sin and death and the solution in Christ.
Is Creation essential to the Gospel? It is the foundation of the Gospel! Paul’s Gospel explanation spotlighted Jesus’ identity as the Creator (Colossians 1:13-23). Revelation’s angel broadcasts the “everlasting gospel” summoning all men to “worship Him who made the heaven and the earth and sea.” (Revelation 14:6-7)
The Romans Road of Salvation
One tool often used to present the Gospel is called the Romans Road. It is a series of verses forming a pathway or Road through the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Romans, explaining the Gospel. Interestingly, the Romans Road must begin with a Genesis Road! To really understand the Romans verses, one needs to understand the Genesis verses.
The Romans Road appears in various formulations and choices of verses. Here is one with comments showing how it ties to Genesis.
1. As it is written, “There is none righteous, not even one. … There is none who does good, there is not even one.” … For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:10, 12, 23 NASB)
This passage proclaims that every single individual is a sinner. But what does that mean? What is sin? To answer one has to go to Genesis 3 for the historical account of Adam’s and Eve’s disobedience to God’s command. They broke God’s law — that is where sin started.
2. Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned. (Romans 5:12)
Sin corrupted Adam’s nature. All his offspring have inherited his sin nature and sinned. Paul himself brings Adam into the Gospel.
3. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23)
What is the consequence of sin? It is Death as specified by Yahweh in Genesis 2:17. The origin of death occurred in Genesis 3 with Adam’s sin.
4. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)
Yahweh first hinted at this solution to Adam’s problem in Genesis 3:15 when He promised that seed of the woman would crush the head of the serpent. This “seed of the woman” that Yahweh promised Adam was the Savior, Jesus of Nazareth.
5. If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9)
Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 5:1)
In Genesis 3:15 Yahweh promised that help would come through one of Eve’s descendants. The birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth fulfilled that promise. As a result, through faith in Jesus we can be saved from the eternal death Adam brought upon us all. Faith in Jesus Christ restores a relationship of peace with God.
But where do we first learn about faith? It’s through Adam’s son Abel in Genesis.
By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained the testimony that he was righteous, God testifying about his gifts, and through faith, though he is dead, he still speaks. (Hebrews 11:4 NASB)
Later in Genesis, Abraham showed by example the significance of faith in God:
Then he [Abraham] believed in the Lord; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness. (Genesis 15:6 NASB)
This is the Romans Road of salvation. It begins in Genesis. Without Genesis it makes no sense.
Curiously, unbelievers sometimes recognize the foundation of the Gospel in Adam and Genesis better than Christians. Atheist Richard Bozarth wrote,
“It’s clear that the whole justification of Jesus’ life and death is predicated on the existence of Adam and the forbidden fruit he and Eve ate. Without the original sin, who needs to be redeemed? Without Adam’s fall into a life of constant sin terminated by death, what purpose is there to Christianity? None. … Without Adam, without the original sin, Jesus Christ is reduced to a man with a mission on a wrong planet!”
(R. Bozarth, “The Meaning of Evolution,” American Atheist, Sept 1979, p. 30)
The Gospel begins with Adam!
This 7-minute video, The Lightlings by R.C. Sproul of Ligonier Ministries, is an allegory of the Biblical account of redemption. Children especially will enjoy meeting a race of tiny beings called Lightlings who are a picture of humanity as they experience Creation, Fall, and Redemption.
Questions to Ponder
- Can you explain who God is without identifying Him as the One who made heaven and earth?
- Can you explain why compromise on the history of Genesis 1–3 undermines confidence in the truth and authority of Scripture? How does it undermine the message of the Gospel?
Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.
Soli Deo Gloria.
This is the 41st of a series of weekly blog articles on Adam.
Read the prequels:
1. Was Adam in the Garden of Eden?
2. Did Moses Believe in Adam?
3. Did Jesus Believe in Adam?
4. Did Paul Believe in Adam?
5. Does Belief in Adam Matter?
6. Adam and Puppies
7. Why Did Adam Sin?
8. What Should Adam Have Done?
9. What Did Adam Cause?
10. What Was Adam’s Forbidden Fruit?
11. How Long Was Adam in Eden?
12. Was Adam’s Garden of Eden Real?
13. Christmas & Adam (with videos)
14. Where Was Adam’s Garden of Eden?
15. Did Adam Wear Clothes in Eden?
16. Was Adam Backward or Brilliant? (with video)
17. Who Was Mrs. Adam?
18. Adam’s Dream Girl
19. Adam’s Prolific Princess
20. Adam’s Problematic Princess
21. How Many Children Did Adam Have?
22. Whom Did Adam’s Sons Marry?
23. Did Adam Ride a Unicorn?
24. How Long Did Adam Live?
25. Did Adam Swat Mosquitoes in Eden?
26. Did Adam’s Garden Have a Talking Snake?
27. Why Should Adam’s Sin Affect Me?
28. Did Roses Have Thorns in Adam’s Garden?
29. Adam the Image-Bearer & Harambe the Gorilla
30. Did Adam Ever Return to Eden?
31. What Was Adam’s Tree of Life?
32. Will Adam Be in Heaven?
33. Did Adam See the Big Dipper?
34. Did Adam Know Earth Is Round?
35. Did Jesus Say When Adam Was Created?
36. Did Adam See Dinosaurs?
37. Did Adam Like Steak?
38. Could Adam Read & Write?
39. Did God Use Evolution to Make Adam?
40. Adam & the Olympics
Read the concluding sequel:
42. Adam and the Genesis Road
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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
“for the defense of the gospel”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16)
Wednesday August 31, 2016 A.D.
The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.”
Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’” The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate. (Genesis 2:16; 3:1-6 NASB)