From Adam to Christ

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, April 17, 2015 0 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

Last week, I talked about what the Gospel is and gave a couple of the common presentations used to present it. Then I warned that what we think the Gospel is and what it actually is are not always the same thing. As a young earth Creation believer, I have often been asked if the Creation account is necessary for salvation. The answer is both yes and no. This week, we at Worldview Warriors are discussing Romans 5:12-21.

When we talk about the Creation account, we have to understand that it is the foundation for everything that follows. And this is something Paul well understood. Verse 12 in particular reveals how critical Creation is to understanding the Gospel. Go back to my previous post and review the two Gospel presentations I gave: the Wordless Book and the Big Story. Look at them and compare them to the various origins models. One thing stands out. Only one of the origins models reflects these Gospel presentations: the young earth Creation model. Does this make is necessary to believe the Gospel? Again, yes and no.

Can one be saved and believe in an old earth? Yes, one can be. But we cannot leave it at that. There is one person I know, who was a mentor to me for a time, who believes in an old earth and I can say with certainty he is born again. However, when he presents the Gospel, he actually presents a young earth model. He doesn’t understand he has a logical breakdown in what he believes, but that is where grace comes in. There are things I get wrong as well and yet I can say I am saved knowing that I get stuff wrong because the Gospel is not an intellectual exercise. But to truly understand what the Gospel is, you need to have your origins model correct.

Look again at the Wordless Book presentation. Two of the five pages deal with the Creation account. Look at the Big Picture. Two of the four steps deal with the Creation account. Is Creation important? Yes it is. That’s 40% and 50% of these two presentations. I have seen dozens of other Gospel presentations and the vast majority of them deal with a perfect world that is marred by sin. Only the young earth model depicts this scenario. I will emphasize again. Can you be a Christian and believe in an old earth? Yes, you can, but just like you can be a Christian and be wrong in other doctrines.

Am I actually arguing the age of the earth here? Actually, no I am not. The age of the earth itself is a secondary issue that is a result of primary issues. One thing common in all the old earth models is that there is the presence of death before mankind ever entered the scene. The old earth proponents suggest that Adam brought spiritual death, not physical death into the earth. But is such a distinction made in Romans 5:12? No, none are. In reality, sin and death (the entity, death) are heavily interlinked. It is called the law of sin and death. If death was part of nature and preceded sin, how can it be the payment for sin? How could someone be punished by something that is going to happen to them anyway? If Adam and Eve were going to die anyway, what reason did they have to obey God? The consequences would not mean anything to them. What is the difference between a death today and death 60-80 years from now? Over the big scale of things… not much. That is why a man’s life is describes as a vapor in the wind, a flower’s bloom in a field. There one minute, gone the next. If death was part of natural life as Adam and Eve would have seen under an old earth model, God’s warning that they would die served no purpose.

The first death mentioned in Scripture is in Genesis 3:21. God created clothes for Adam and Eve with the skins of an animal. Adam and Eve should have died that death, but God provided a way for them by killing an animal in their place. This is one thing most people miss, even myself often. The next death described was a sacrifice by Abel followed by his murder. Sin and death are linked at the hip like a two-headed dragon.

The fact that it was through one man that sin and death was brought into the world is actually good news. While it was one man who brought them into the world, that means it only takes one man to break that curse; one man who could perfectly fulfill God’s standard of perfection to bring salvation to any who are under his law. Jesus is the “Last Adam” or “Second Adam.” Everything Adam failed to do, Jesus did. Adam brought in the law of sin and death. Jesus defeated the law of sin and death and established the law of grace.

The old earth model suggests there were multiple “Adams and Eves” because the model never allows for mankind to start with a mere two people. Some suggest there were 30-50 thousand humans around their suggested time of Adam and Eve at 30,000 years ago (assuming they believe they even existed). What does that mean? According to Paul here in Romans, that would require 30-50 thousand Christs, one for each person that committed the “original sin.” Now many old earth supporters would disagree, saying that Jesus died once for all. Well, Jesus did die once for all, but this statement only makes sense if you start with a model that only the young earth position preaches. It does not make sense if you have more than one Adam.

If you are going to claim to be saved, what are you saved from? Most people can only answer this question with some form of “from hell.” Really? Why were you destined to go there? “Because of sin.” How did you get into that mess? Not many people can answer that. Because Adam gave us a sinful nature, an inclination towards sin, when we are born again, we are born with a nature that is not inclined towards sin but a nature that is inclined towards Christ. The young earth model is the only one that gets this critical first half of the story God is writing right. It is the only origins model that reflects the Gospel being preached by many believers, including those who believe in an old earth.

I will never forget watching a video of a seminary professor telling his class that Paul had no business bringing Adam into his arguments in Romans 5 (I have been looking for this link but cannot find it). Why would he suggest this? Does he understand Scripture better than the author of over half the New Testament? Here is why he did this. He holds a theistic evolution position (one of the old earth models) and because evolution requires millions of years of death before man was in the picture, Paul’s statement is a very clear slap in the face to his position. So instead of changing his position to meet what Scripture plainly says, he tells his students that Paul was wrong. He is saying that the Bible is wrong. A seminary professor is saying the Bible is wrong and that God was wrong. This is the clear marking of a false teacher, training a generation of pastors with false teachings. This professor best have his millstone ready.

Do you believe the Bible? Have you built your understanding from Scripture, or are you using Scripture to “support” your position? How you understand Genesis affects how you read the rest of Scripture because it keeps showing up. All of Genesis 1-11, except chapter 8, is referenced in the New Testament. How you view Adam is going to affect how you view Christ. You cannot separate the two without having some big consequences in your thinking. The entirety of Scripture points to Christ and when you put one section of Scripture into question, you question an aspect of who Christ is and what he did.

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