Sunday, August 17, 2014
Creation: A Christian's Bedrock Part 5
Are we to confront and combat this type of teaching as it infiltrates our church and infects many Christians whose faith is shaken when compromise is affirmed by potentially trusted teachers? The answer is certainly in the affirmative. 1st Timothy chapter one begins with just this mentality. Paul opens by telling young Timothy “As I urged you when I went into Macedonia –remain in Ephesus that you may charge some that they teach no other doctrine, nor give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which cause disputes rather than godly edification which is in faith,” 1st Timothy 1:3-4.
The Christian ought to be on his guard, equipped with the whole armor of God (Ephesians 6:13-18) as we contend with the attacks of the Devil that are meant to make a saint ineffectual, to render our witness void, or to damage our faith and our walk with God by planting doubts in His word; this he did to our first parents with great efficiency, Genesis 3:1-5.
Further along in 1st Timothy we see the thought established by Paul continued as he writes, “This charge (referring back to verses 3-4) I commit to you, son Timothy, according to the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may wage the good warfare, having (both) faith and a good conscience, which some having rejected, concerning the faith have suffered shipwreck, of whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I delivered to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme,” 1st Timothy 1:18-20. We may only wage the good warfare in faith, when faith has been compromised all manner of perversion runs riot. Paul charged the men in question that he excommunicated with blasphemy. Such a charge could be likewise leveled against many professing Christians today who doubt or reject God’s witness about creation and the uniqueness of the salvation He offers in Christ. It is blasphemous to suggest, much less plainly admit, that God was either in error or lying; I’ll leave you to take your pick as to which of these alternatives your find more comfortable. Either God is inept or deceitful; neither gives me any faith in such a being, who appears much more human than divine.
Finally we must simply ask: why stress so much importance on creation? Is this battle really necessary or is this just an exercise in semantics? Let’s have one final look at the creation to determine its legitimacy, and its place in a Christian’s faith.
It is no small secret what Jesus Christ thought of the creation. Debating with the Pharisees at the time, He quoted Scripture in regard to the topic of divorce, stating “from the beginning of the creation, God made them male and female. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh,’ so then they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined let not man separate,” Mark 10:6-9. The Greek term for “creation” here is “ktisis” and means “formation, either the act or the thing created.” In laymen’s terms, our Lord Jesus used a word that suggested that Adam and Eve existed very shortly after the creation of the earth. Many more quotes from the New Testament could be brought to light regarding the initial chapters of Genesis, but we shall go to our primary problem with the rejection of the creation account and the terrible wreckage it creates concerning the gospel.
The prolific damage to New Testament theology is demonstrated in Romans chapter 5 and 1st Corinthians chapter 15; both chapters becoming spurious mythology if the Genesis account is not a literal depiction of what occurred “in the beginning.” Romans chapter 5 begins with the conclusion of what Paul is attempting to reach through chapters 3 and 4: namely that a man is justified before God by faith in Christ alone apart from works or merit of any kind, Romans 5:1. The result of being justified (being declared not guilty) with God, we may have peace with God, again verse 1. It is through Christ our Lord that we have justification and peace with God, and also access to God and a spirit of rejoicing in the hope and glory of God, verse 2. Moving past the positives of what we receive from the Lord Paul tells us that these attributes and our relationship with God continues through the tribulations that the world brings, Romans 5:3; John 16:33.