Genesis is the foundation of Christian beliefs
In modern society, there is a lot of pressure to treat Genesis as a “fairytale” – just a story – that is meant to teach through metaphor, rhetoric and stories that are illustrations only.
Once we allow the teachings of Genesis to become this, then we have lost the most essential elements of the Christian faith.
In this short Bible Study lesson we will explore some of the reasons that demonstrate why Genesis is both relevant and fundamental to Christians and our faith.
The New Testament relies heavily on Genesis
Chapters 1 to 12 alone are referred to 113 times by the New Testament, with the whole book of Genesis being referred to 200 times by the New Testament.
Jesus, himself, refers back to Genesis for important points of doctrine or teaching. If we are to call ourselves Christians how can we not trust in what Jesus trusted in? Examples are:
Jesus quoting Genesis directly. Mark 10:6-8.
“But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one flesh.”
Jesus also refers to a specific person from Genesis in Matthew 23:35.
“…from the blood of righteous Abel…”
Jesus also refers to a past event in Genesis and points to a future event, in Matthew 24:37-39.
“As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.”
Genesis provides a wealth of information
Genesis 1:1 is, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” There was a beginning, then God created space and matter. The 3 “essentials” of physics are; mass, length, time, and each of these are introduced at the very beginning of the Bible.
Genesis describes the earth being created in 6 (earth) days. Respected Hebrew scholars, around the world, agree that the wording could not have meant any other time span (e.g. “epoch”). There is no doubt that this is meant to be “days”.
In Genesis 1:27 we read that “God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them”. In other words, we are quite different to animals. The implication from this (in addition to the specific act of God creating us) is that we cannot be evolved from animals. Genesis is very clear.
Adam was made whole and complete. There was no sin and death until after the fall. The was the original cause of the degeneration of the physical and moral and before this it was “very good”.
There are a number of origins which are described in Genesis (which means ‘origins’) Chapters 1 – 12. These cover important matters:
- The Universe;
- Order and Complexity;
- The Solar System;
- Atmosphere and Hydrosphere;
- Seven Day Week and Day of Rest;
- God’s Chosen People.
In addition, Genesis also covers other important areas of teaching, as shown in the following Chapters and verses:
- 1:28 – Man’s purpose;
- 2:24 – Marriage;
- 2:16, 17 – Sin;
- 3:21 – Shedding of blood, Knowledge of Good & Evil;
- 3:22 – Right & Wrong.
As an exercise, it would be worthwhile looking up where each of these are in Genesis, and confirming to yourself why they are important. This will also demonstrate just how many important topics Genesis covers.
What does this mean? If we are to remain true to ourselves as Christians then we must also believe that Genesis is a true historical account of real events. I recognise that this could be a challenge for many at this point in time, so this is the first in a short series of posts that will address Creation and Evolution. This post, as you can see, has started with a brief study of the first book of the Bible, Genesis. In future posts we will look at some of the particular challenges to Evolution, starting with Post 2 in the series Science and Evidence for a Young Earth.