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The Creation Account – Literal or Metaphorical?

How should we regard the account of creation in the book of Genesis? There is much debate over whether the Bible gives a literal account of the creation of the world or whether it’s just metaphorical. Many ask whether it matters if the world was created in 6 literal days or some other amount of time. So the questions is: Does it really matter what you believe in 6 literal days of creation? The answer is a resounding YES! Here’s why:

Deciding what we believe about the the Genesis account of creation shows what we  truly believe about the Bible. Rejecting six literal days of creation in lieu of another time table requires a person to believe that God’s word could contain errors. If we begin to reject God’s word from the very beginning, which is the foundation of the Bible, what else might we find to be in error? Essentially, by refusing to take the Bible literally, we attempt to put ourselves in the place of God by determining for ourselves what is true an what isn’t.

One might argue that they aren’t putting themselves in God’s place by not believe in a literal, six day creation, and to that I would ask this: If it’s not you but God who is deciding what’s true in the Bible and what isn’t, how do you know any part of it is true? What if salvation itself isn’t literal and true? What do we do with that possibility? If one part of the Bible isn’t true, it opens the door for any part of the Bible to be in error and leaves us wondering what to believe and what to reject.

Furthermore, rejecting a literal, six day creation as recorded in Genesis makes God out to be a liar. If the Bible is God’s word and the very first words of his Word are a lie, how can God be trusted at al? Additionally, the Bible itself states that God does not lie. However, if we believe that God could have lied regarding His creation of the world, how could he be trusted at all?

See, either the Bible is 100% true or it is 100% unreliable. It’s impossible to have both because of God’s claim that he is not a liar. Regardless of what science says, if we believe the word of God to be true, the Bible must get the final word on what we believe.

Some may say, “there’s room in my believe for the fact that a ‘day’ may be some other length of time to the celestial being that God is,” which may or may not be true; however, some people, like my friend who’s runs a  landscape management company in Zionsville Indiana who claim that the science surrounding the Big Bang theory  actually lends credibility to the Bible–particularly the great flood.  In his explanation, he encouraged me to take a clear bottle and fill it with soil; once full, I was to add water to the bottle and shake it all up and allow the particles to settle in the bottom of the bottle.  Once settled, he told me I would find that the more dense particles lay on the bottom, while the lighter and less dense particles made visible layers all the way to the fill line–just as we find in the earth’s layers of the crust.

Ministry

Jesus’ Ministry Model

How do you know if you have a biblical perspective of ministry? If you don’t know, do you know where to gain a biblical perspective? A good place to start is by observing Jesus’ earthly ministry. After all, Jesus knows best how to share the gospel and call others to himself. Let’s take a look at a few events from the gospel of John for some insight into Jesus ministry model. Do you remember these events?

The Woman at the Well
The Healing of the Lame Man
The Feeding of the Five Thousand
The Healing of the Blind Man

If you don’t remember these events well, be sure to click the links to brush up. Here are some observations from these events that give some insight into Jesus’ model for ministry:

  1. He Cared for the Outcasts and the Sinners. Jesus did not hesitate to give attention to the outcasts and sinners of society. In fact, he seemed to pay special attention to them. Perhaps these people were more open to his message than others. Whatever the reason, we see that Jesus placed a high value on the people that we naturally tend to disregard, and we should do the same.
  2. He Used Physical Needs to Demonstrate Spiritual Needs. Jesus often offered to fulfill physical needs for people, then he demonstrated to them how their needs are similar to their physical needs. He did this when he drew water for the woman at the well then offered her “living water.” He did it when he fed bread and fish to the five thousand then told them he was the bread of life. And he did it when he healed the blind man, using the opportunity to explain what it means to be spiritually blind and have spiritual sight. So don’t pass up the chance to share the gospel as you help others with their physical needs. Jesus did this all the time.
  3. He Called People out of Their Sin. Have you noticed that Jesus never hesitated to call people out of their sin? Jesus didn’t skirt around the truth, and we shouldn’t either. He cared enough to point out sin and call them to a better life. It would have been unloving for him to leave them in their sin, and it is unloving for us to do the same. However, our motive for calling people out of their sin should always be to point them to life in Christ and never for our own gain or ego.

Recognizing Jesus’ model of ministry is helpful in guiding us in our ministry today. It is also helpful in presenting to us how we should deal with sin as well as how to balance words and action. Hopefully this is encouraging and helpful for you as you share the gospel with the world!

 

Good News

The Cost of the Gospel

What is the cost of the gospel? This is a loaded question with various answers depending on the angle at which you look at it. In one sense, the gospel is free to those who believe, but it is only free because someone else paid a price for it. Additionally, living out a gospel-centered life does come at a cost.

The Free Part:
God offers salvation freely to all who believe. We don’t have to earn it or pay for it monetarily. It is a free gift to us, and he is pleased to reconcile us, his children, to himself when we believe.

The Cost for Christ:
While salvation is a free gift to those who believe, it did come at a price. Jesus Christ, God’s son paid the debt we should owe for our sin. God sent his only son to be humbled, live life in a world tainted by sin, endure temptation, and eventually be crucified by his own people. Jesus, who lived a sinless life on this earth, paid a high price, albeit willingly, for our free salvation because it was the only solution to our eternal separation for God.

The Cost to Us:
God’s grace is free to us, but he does call us to obey him, and sometimes this is costly. We do not have obey in order to earn or maintain our salvation but because our hearts have been changed and regenerated by the Lord. Sometimes, obedience costs us in the sense that we have to deny our own desires in lieu of submitting to God’s, and other time obedience is costly because it affects what others think and feel about us. It is not uncommon for Christians to be persecuted by those around them simply because they profess Jesus Christ as their savior. In fact, Jesus told his followers to expect persecution from the world because they would not understand.

Is the cost worth it to you? Do you pay the price gladly? Remember, Jesus was our example. He suffered much to pay the cost of our salvation, and now it is a privilege to suffer for his sake in order to spread the god news to the world.