Is the book of Genesis a reliable historical account of creation and the beginnings of life?
While many will debate the timeframes of Genesis (if it’s a literal six days of creation or if it was a longer time) and while I hold to the literal understanding, there are some things revealed in Genesis that are foundational to the Christian faith.
In Genesis we find the reason we need a Savior. God created a perfect paradise for humanity. But the first humans were bent toward rebellion and partook of the one thing God commanded them not to. Hence, sin came into the world and sin that became a barrier between the Holy God and us.
But God gave the solution to the separation that sin brought. The solution is found in Genesis 3:15 where God said to Satan; “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”
It’s the promise of the savior who will destroy the work of the devil even while the devil will burse him. All fulfilled in Jesus Christ as he went to the cross to atone for sin. While it seemed as if the devil had won, Jesus arose with power to atone for sin once for all.
1 John 3:8 says; “Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.” John reminds us, sin is from the evil one and when we practice sin, we’re not following God, but the devil. But Jesus came to overcome the power of sin, and now those who believe have eternal life because Jesus overcame the works of sin.
Back to Genesis, while Adam and Eve were expelled from paradise, God covered them and put his plan to work. So, Genesis goes on to give a lot of history. Not history in the sense that everything is recorded, but history from the viewpoint of the promised savior. That has been called “His-Story”, because the genealogies and events recorded in Genesis show us that God is going to keep his promise. The promise to atone for sin through Christ who will crush the devil’s head.
Genesis goes on to show how God’s people ended up in bondage and that leads right into Exodus where God miraculously delivered his people from slavery (which is a picture of sin). So, Exodus contains the commandments to show us what is sinful and what is holy. Then Jesus taught how those commands are so strict they include the attitudes of our hearts. So, how can anyone be perfect enough to have a right attitude in everything? We can’t, so that’s the heart of the gospel. You can’t be perfect but by faith in Jesus Christ, you are made the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21). Have you trusted in the savior? If not, read Genesis, but also read how it’s all fulfilled in the Gospels.
Pastor Rich Lammay of High Sierra Fellowship is a member of the Carson Valley Ministers’ Association.