Skeptics of the literal and historical interpretation of the Book of Beginnings will say that the Bible is neither a science book nor a history book. With that point I must agree. Science books are revised nearly annually. History is re-written continually. The Bible has been relevant and accurate throughout its millennial earth presence.
The Word of God at the hand of the Psalmist (119) summarizes Its authority this way…
v. 89 “For ever, O LORD, Thy Word is settled in heaven.”
v. 111 “Thy Testimonies have I taken as an heritage (a possession of lineal right worthy of preservation) for ever…”
v. 128 “…I esteem all Thy Precepts concerning all things to be right…”
v. 152 “Concerning Thy Testimonies, I have known that of old Thou hast founded them for ever.”
v. 160 “Thy Word is true from the beginning.”
What do we find at the beginning of Scripture’s record? We find there the annals of the world detailing both earth and human history.
Why is the accuracy and authority of this account so critical to mankind? If Genesis is found suspect in the cosmogonical debate, then the attached solution to humanity’s deficit in the pages that follow carries no weight, leaving the seeker helpless and hopeless in a random, cruel, meaningless existence. In other words, if Genesis 1:1 cannot be trusted historically, then John 3:16 cannot be trusted soteriologically (concerning the doctrine of salvation). Our hope lies in the accuracy and authority of the entire Bible.
Concerning the opening account of Creation and the subsequent details of man’s self-inflicted separation from good, the eloquent theologian Matthew Henry wrote, “O that our hearts were deeply affected with this record! For we are all nearly concerned in it: let it not be to us as a tale that is told.”
God has preserved in text the information necessary to answer where we’ve come from, why we’re here, why we struggle, why the innocent suffer, how to prosper, and what happens at life’s end. The key is letting the Record speak.
The purpose of Scripture is not to provide for posterity a history of the ancients or to compile the philosophies of devout thinkers or to offer a moral compass for future civilizations. The purpose of Scripture is to draw mankind back into the fellowship for which he was created. The theme is redemption. The details are neither comprehensive nor peripheral. Every fact, feature, and philosophy has reclamation relevance.
The Fall of man was not part of God’s design. He did not curse His creation in order to redeem it. It was not His long range plan to destroy the world because of man’s wickedness. God intended for man to live in harmony with all of creation and in perfect fellowship with Him forever. When this did not happen, God sovereignly intervened in response to man’s choices with the only option that would perfectly satisfy and preserve every nuance of His glory – His identity (holy yet merciful, longsuffering yet unchanging, etc).
Beginning with the Promise put forth at Serpent’s garden sentencing (3:15), the Bible remarkably stays on point; the product of human birth would defeat the Deceiver and defuse the Curse. The Old Testament is the forecast; the New Testament is the fruition.
Dr. Luke detailed an interesting encounter between the resurrected Christ and a couple of disciples on their way to Emmaus. As Christ spoke with these retrospective travelers, the conversation turned to the Scriptures. “And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, He expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself (Lk. 24:27).”
What was the Lord saying? It’s always been about Me.
John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world, that He gave…” …a library of references connecting us to the lost world?
No…it is all about the solution to our condition; the Father offering “…His only begotten Son…” as the redemptive sacrifice for the restoration of fellowship with mankind “…that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish (speaking of an eternal sentence of separation from God), but have everlasting life.”
Why was a sacrifice necessary?
The book of Romans offers some clarity. “Wherefore, as by one man (Adam) sin entered the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned (5:12)…Therefore as by the offense of one (Adam) judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one (Jesus Christ) the free gift came upon all men to justification (5:18).”
So what is the requisite that initiates this restoration and ensures this timeless life?
The Apostle Paul’s letter to the Romans (10:9) continues with this insight. “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus…” (In other words, before one can assert “believer” status he/she must acknowledge and agree with Jesus’ personal claim to God’s throne – Jesus is Lord, the rightful heir; God’s Son.) “…and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead…” (Accept that the physical validation of Christ’s authority – the Resurrection – is absolutely historical and accurate.) “…thou shalt be saved (restored to Edenic eternality from the lasting consequences of sin’s separation).”
If you have never voiced this confession to God’s Son, take a moment and bow before His holiness. Confess your sinfulness as well as His Lordship. Acknowledge His authority and resurrection power over the shackles of sin and death. Humbly ask Him to forgive you, save you, and admit you into His Kingdom. Thank Him for your purpose restored and begin the life of fellowship that He intended from the very beginning.