The Master's Instructions About the Gospel. Genesis 1-3.
The Greek word translated ‘gospel’ simply means ‘good news’. Paul describes the facts of Jesus Christ’s death, burial and resurrection in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4. These facts are the foundation of the good news. What the Lord Jesus has done needs to be believed in for salvation and
built on for security in the life of every individual human being.
Men today often have too low a conception of God, but too high an opinion of themselves. Man suggests he has never been perfect, but is evolving towards perfection. He claims to have got beyond animal lust, desire and instincts – he has a brain, intelligence and reasoning. He says there is no
such thing as sin. Man is getting better all the time. Death is just a part
of man’s circle of life.
The Bible says something quite different. It says that man has been
perfect, but now has fallen from that ideal and is suffering the
consequences. Man is degenerating rather than developing. Death is a
judgement from God upon disobedience.
The Bible’s first book describes the decline of mankind over four stages.
If we follow them we will see why we need the gospel.
Man was created with dignity (Genesis 1:27)
God desired to make man. He designed man. He directed man to be the
ruler of all other created life (vv.26-31). God was delighted with the man
He had made. The major difference between man and the rest of
creation was that man had a conscience, a reasoning mind and a free will,
which enabled him to choose to worship God. He was made in God’s
likeness. God’s breath was in him. God’s beauty was around him. God’s
blessing was on him.
Man chose to disobey (Genesis 2:16-17; 3:6)
Only one specific fruit was forbidden to mankind in the Garden of Eden.
In every way man was free. Genesis 3 records how mankind fell into sin.
That first representative sin proved fatal to mankind. The devil used
doubt about God’s word and the desire of man’s eyes to bring this
disaster into history. The first time God was ignored man was in trouble.
The cost to man was death (Genesis 3:8, 23; 5:5)
Although God had clearly warned them of the penalty for disobedience,
Adam and Eve really wondered whether that was true. They found out
the hard way that it was. There was an immediate spiritual death. They
recognised they could not be at home in God’s presence. God drove them
from Eden in case they should eat of the tree of life and then live for
ever in sin. There was also a subsequent death. This was physical.
Although God created man to be alive; after 930 years Adam died. ‘The
wages of sin is death’ (Romans 6:23). Sin separates man from God just as
prison separates man from freedom.
The consequent depravity of all men
From Genesis 5:1-5 we can see that all subsequent human beings have
been born in the image of Adam – the marred image of God. Instead of
being what God intended us to be we are all suffering because we are
separated from God. Romans 3:23 is true for everyone, including you and
me: ‘All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.’
This is why we need the gospel. Without it we are dead towards God and
unable to fulfil our reason for existence. King David believed this
(Psalm 51:5). The Apostle Paul believed this (Romans 5:12; 1 Corinthians 15:22).
Thank God that after saying ‘the wages of sin is death’, the Bible
continues with ‘but …’.
Discussion guide on ‘The Gospel, why do we need it?’
Read Genesis chapters 1-3.
1. According to 1 Corinthians 15:1-4, what are the basic facts of the
good news about Jesus Christ (that is, the Christian Gospel)?
2. What was the very first way the serpent (the devil) tempted Eve?
3. Why is God’s word so important that the devil tried to change it?
Genesis 2:15-17; 3:2-5.
4. Before Adam and Eve disobeyed God, how did God see them?
5. After their disobedience how did God’s view of Adam and Eve
change? See Genesis 3:16-19 and compare 2:15 to 3:23-24.
6. Read Romans 5:12; Romans 3:23; Psalm 51:5 and 1 John 1:8.
Now put into your own words how Creator God sees every human
being born since Adam.
7. What does 1 Corinthians 15:22 add to our views of how God sees