Wait, why do we need to start the gospel in Genesis 1?
“In the beginning, God…”
Where do you begin your telling of the gospel?
The other day, I was taught how to do the “Romans Road,” a list of verses that help you evangelize and explain the gospel through verses in Romans. While this is a great strategy that can be useful, I respectfully disagree with the choice of starting verse: Romans 3:32 - “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.”
If we start our gospel story in Genesis 3 with the sin of Adam and Eve, we begin with broken relationships and a fallen world, forgetting that our true identity lies in Genesis 1 with “In the beginning, God created.” We were created by God to be in perfect relationship with Him and to live in perfect relationships with each other. We have to remember that the reason we should hate sin so much is that we were not created to be living in it. We should grieve over our fallen world because it was not created to be that way. Sin is the destruction of a world that was created good.
Here’s what happens when we start the gospel with “The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth…” (Genesis 6) rather than “And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good” (Genesis 1):
1. We lose the meaning behind “Savior.” If the world was always bad, and we were born in sin, what exactly do we need saving from? The reason we need a savior at all is that the Creator God wanted to restore the relationship that was broken and redeem the identity that was lost.
2. We fail to comprehend why Christ would die at all. The biggest question we should be asking ourselves in response to the gospel is “Why would he do that if we didn’t do anything to deserve it? Why does God love us so much?” It doesn’t make sense why God would love us if we don’t understand that he created us in his image.
3. We put our focus on worldly things instead of eternal things. Sin is temporary, Christ has overcome. We need to start with the explanation of what the world truly is, because our fallen world is not going to last forever. Our focus is not on the sin that we want to escape from, but rather the God we want to run to.
4. We do not fully understand the end of the story without its true beginning. Without knowing “and God saw that it was good,” (Genesis 1) we don’t understand “Behold I am coming soon” (Revelation 22). We know that Jesus will come again and create the new heavens and new earth as it was always meant to be, because we understand that God is Creator.
But if we’re going to sum up one reason to remember Genesis one, it’s this:
Before there was sin, there was God.
“In the beginning, God…”