This article shows that without the book of Genesis, the gospel will not make sense and will be unnecessary.

Source: The Evangelical Presbyterian, 2014. 1 pages.

The Gospel and Genesis

Sometimes we hear the comment that someone is indifferent about what they believe about Genesis because "only the gospel of Jesus Christ is really important". This opinion reflects a lack of serious thought about what the Bible says, and a poor understanding of the gospel message. A brief consideration of some gospel texts will illustrate my point.

The Meaning of Gospel Terminologyβ€’πŸ”—

Rom. 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" teaches that death is the result of sin and God's judgement on it. Death is put in contrast to 'eternal life'. What is the scriptural foundation for such a statement? The Genesis creation account narrates the story of a world originally without sin or death, and describes how this state of innocence was lost when Adam and Eve yielded to the serpent's temptation and disobeyed God. The explanation for death says Paul is the entrance of sin into the world. The existence of pre-adamite men would mean that death was in existence before Adam and not a judgement of God on wrong doing.

Rom.5:12 states the matter even more clearly "through one man sin entered the world and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned". The idea favoured by some evangelicals that at some stage God invested certain progenitors of early man with a divine soul so making them morally accountable not only has no Biblical or scientific basis but is clearly contrary to scriptural teaching. We need to accept Genesis as it is written to understand sin and death in their gospel context.

The History of the Gospel Storyβ†β€’πŸ”—

The unveiling of God's plan of redemption begins in Gen.3:15 with the proto-evangel "And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel". God reveals that a man, the seed of a woman (not of the seed of a man), would one day come to deal the serpent (Satan) a fatal blow. This pointed to the virgin birth of Christ. When Adam and Eve sinned and immediately became embarrassed by their nakedness they sewed together fig leaves to clothe themselves. God's response was to replace the fig leaves with coverings of animal skin. This necessitated the deaths of the animals, due to Adam and Eve's sin. It inaugurated the sacrificial system of an animal dying because of the sin of man. A short time later Abel's offering of members of his flock along with their fat was acceptable to God, while Cain's offering of the fruit of the ground was rejected. (Gen. 4:3-5). The first thing Noah did after the flood was to offer a blood sacrifice, and Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were instructed to make blood sacrifices for the forgiveness of sin. These sacrifices pointed forward to Jesus Christ, "the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world" Jn. 1:29. To deny the literal historicity of these events is to seriously damage the credibility of the history of redemption.

The Death of Christβ†β€’πŸ”—

Christ died as our substitute and the value of his sacrifice was sufficient to atone for the sins of the whole world. Paul argues in Rom. 5:17 "For if by one man's offence death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the one Jesus Christ" and in 1 Cor. 15:22 "For as in Adam all die , even so in Christ shall all be made alive". In each case the representative role of Christ as Redeemer fails if a literal Adam never existed. Christ was crucified wearing a crown of thorns which signified God's curse on the earth because of sin i.e. "thorns and thistles" Gen. 3:18. Those who deny a literal Genesis, a literal fall, a literal death and curse because of sin have undermined the biblical teaching on the redemptive work of Christ. Genesis as it is naturally understood is foundational for the gospel.

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