Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | October 3, 2018

Is Belief in Creation Necessary for Salvation?

(3 Minute Read)

Last week’s blog article The Eternal Gospel stimulated a thoughtful question by Dennis, a reader from Cincinnati.

In The Eternal Gospel I had written,
“Identifying God as the Creator and believing in Biblical creation is not a salvation issue. One does not have to be a creationist to repent of sin and follow Jesus Christ as Lord.”
That is, I was saying that belief in Biblical creation is not necessary for salvation.

But Dennis challenged this. Here is the articulate comment he sent via the BSG Contact Page:

“Repent, and believe the Gospel” (Mark 1.15) You rightly point out the full complement of the Gospel must include repentance and the Resurrection. Your third point stipulates the Biblical emphasis on the Creator as a critical aspect to the Gospel, both “in the beginning” (Law of First Mention) and at the last in Revelation 14. You are correct: “The Great Creator is the essential identifying description of God for mankind”.

If these several critical points you rightly make are part and parcel of the Gospel, then how is this “not a salvation issue”? If I need not believe ALL the Gospel, if believing the Gospel is an eclectic exercise, then how can I be saved? If “Creation is a Gospel issue”, as you rightly point out, how, then, can I “repent and believe the Gospel” (supra) while rejecting Biblical creation?

If the Biblical account of Creation is not relevant to salvation, then this article is pointless. You have just wasted however many minutes you took to write it, for me to read it, and to reply. In effect, you have just said that the GOSPEL is not necessary to salvation!

Please help me to understand.

I appreciate Dennis’ thoughts and his zeal for the truth. I concur that Biblical Creation is very, very important and a necessary part of a full understanding of the Biblical message.

In fact, Creation is the foundation for the Gospel, so the Biblical account of Creation is certainly relevant to salvation. Consider these Gospel-related questions: Who is God? Who is man? What is sin? Why does man need to be saved? The answers to these questions all go back to the record of Creation in Genesis.

The identification of Jesus as The Great Creator is certainly part of the Gospel as I discussed in The Eternal Gospel. In the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Colossians, he identified Jesus as the Creator when introducing His work of reconciliation through His death on the cross:
For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities — all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven. (Colossians 1:16–20)

An accurate understanding of who Jesus is certainly includes His identity as the Creator of the universe. But in my understanding, the New Testament authors did not require belief in Creation to be saved. Consider these salvation passages which do not require belief in creation:
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. . . . He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. (John 3:16,18)
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)

When Paul discussed Abraham’s justification as illustrative of ours in Romans 4, he said it was based on faith in God.
Faith was credited to Abraham as righteousness. . . . Now not for his sake only was it written that it was credited to him, but for our sake also, to whom it will be credited, as those who believe in Him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead, He who was delivered over because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification. (Romans 4:9, 23-25)
There is no mention of Abraham believing in Creation, although he almost surely did. Abraham’s justification and our justification is based on faith; belief in Creation is not required.

The thief on the cross to whom Jesus promised salvation, received it based on his profession of faith in Jesus with no mention of whether or not he recognized Jesus as the Creator. He most probably did not. (Luke 23:39-43)

The Genesis record of creation is vital for a true understanding of the Bible’s central gospel message — Jesus’ crucifixion for sin and the significance of His resurrection. Scripture’s bedrock is the Creation foundation laid in Genesis.

Do you have to believe in Biblical Creation to be a Christian? No, a Christian can believe in evolution for example. But a house built on sand collapses in a storm. Without a sound Creation foundation, the Gospel is undermined. This can lead one to compromising on the rest of God’s Word.

A sinner does not need to know anything about creation or evolution to repent of his sin, to ask God for forgiveness based on Jesus’ death and resurrection, and to commit his life to following Jesus as His Lord. This is the basis for God’s gift of eternal life (salvation).

The true, eternal, unchanging Gospel presents Jesus of Nazareth as God and Creator as well as Savior. He is the sin-bearing, crucified, and resurrected God-Man who is the coming King of kings, Lord of lords, and Final Judge. The Gospel calls men to serve and worship Him.

Questions to Ponder

1. Do you include an identification of Jesus Christ as The Great Creator when presenting the Gospel?
2. What Scripture will you memorize today to strengthen your foundation to honor the Lord of Creation?

Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

Soli Deo Gloria.

Read the prequel:
The Eternal Gospel

Read the sequel:
Wrestling with “Eternal”

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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 October 3, 2018 A.D.

We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.
(2 Corinthians 10:5)


Responses

  1. Lunch at Chick-Fil-A if you: 1) read this article 2) tell me if and why you agree or disagree 3) can identify any flaws in his logic if you disagree

    Shannon Whealton Child of God, wife, mother, conservative
    Sent from my IPAD

    Like


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