By Mike Riddle
I sometimes hear people in church state we need to focus our teaching on Jesus. “Just preach about Jesus, that is all that matters.” This is often said to avoid teaching about the subject of God’s creation. After all, I am told, “creation is just a side issue.” But do these people really understand who Jesus is? The Bible clearly teaches that Jesus is the Creator of all things (John 1:1-3, 14; Col 1:16; Heb 1:1-2). Therefore, if we are going to teach about Jesus we must talk about His creation. If we are going to teach about the miracles of Jesus, we must talk about His first miracle – the creation of all things. Too many in church appear disinterested or avoid the creation account in the Bible. Some even attempt to change the creation account or read things into it that are not there, such as millions of years and evolution. If we are going to change the works of Jesus in Genesis 1, then why not change or disregard His other works and miracles. In addition, the first three chapters of Genesis lay the foundation for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Here are some questions I like to ask people who don’t think we should spend time teaching about creation.
• Why did Jesus have to die on the Cross?
• Why is there death and suffering in the world?
• In John 3:17, it states we need to be saved. What do we need to be saved from?
• Why is marriage between one man and one woman?
• What does it mean that Jesus is the last Adam?
• Which came first, sin or death and how can we know?
• What makes us (people) different from the animals?
• Why do so many of our youth (about 70%) lack trust in the Bible?
• What does 2 Timothy 3:16-17 mean?
The answer to all these questions can be found by starting in the first three chapters of Genesis. In addition, to correctly answer these questions, we must accept these chapters as real history.
• Genesis was important to the New Testament authors. Every New Testament author quotes or alludes to Genesis.
• Jesus used Genesis to explain doctrine and to draw historical analogies.
• The opening words of the Gospel of John are, “In the beginning” which is a reference to creation.
• Creation and the Fall are woven into the entire theology of the book of Romans.
• Hebrews chapter 11 lists Abel, Enoch, and Noah, from Genesis 1–11, as real, historical heroes of the faith.
• Paul, on Mars Hill, used creation as the foundation for presenting the gospel.
• The first three chapters of Genesis are the reason the rest of the Bible had to take place.
If we are going to teach about Jesus, we also must teach the last book of the Bible. The book of Revelation begins with, “The Revelation of Jesus Christ.” It is a book about Jesus. The statement, “just preach Jesus” really means we must teach the entire Bible; every chapter and every verse. This brings us to a theme of the Bible:
It all points to Jesus Christ
The first two parts (Paradise Created and Paradise Lost) both occur in the first three chapters of Genesis. Paradise Lost occurs in the last book of the Bible. To preach Jesus means to preach all of His Word without compromise and without making excuses. We are to be set apart from the world by His Word, not let the world influence us into neglecting or changing His Word.
Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. (John 17:17)