Today we move into the New Testament. There are some professing Christians who care very little about the Old Testament and study it even less. They are of the opinion that the New Testament supercedes the Old Testament. That is a terrible mistake. Does the New Testament supercede (replace) the Old? The New Testament explains, expands and expounds the Old Testament. And, there are many things in the New Testament which make little sense without the Old. Why might we say that the Book of Genesis is the most important book in all the Bible? Would you be surprised to learn that there are more than 200 quotations and allusions to Genesis in the New Testament? It is true. Would you be surprised to learn that they are found throughout the New Testament and from eight or nine different writers?
After the death of Christ, there were two disciples walking back to their home or homes in Emmaus. What was their spiritual and emotional condition? Who joined them as they walked? What did the Lord Jesus say was the cause of their confusion? (They didn’t know the scriptures.) To what scriptures did the Lord refer? Then what did He do (Luke 24:27)? “And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.” If Jesus began with Moses, where did He begin to instruct these people? Exodus? If Jesus was expounding the writings of Moses about Himself, where did He begin?
This morning, let’s consider what the Synoptic Gospels say about Creation. What do I mean by Synoptic Gospels? I honestly don’t remember where the term was applied to the first three gospels, but the meaning of “synoptic” relates to “synopsis” – a brief outline or summary. Matthew, Mark and Luke supposedly give us a synopsis of the life or ministry of Christ. Why is the Book of John separated from the other three? (Different purpose and intent.)
The Book of Matthew.
Keep in mind that many of the things mentioned in one synoptic gospel are mentioned in one or both of the others.
What is significant about the first eight words in Matthew? This sounds very much like an oft repeated phrase in the first chapters of Genesis. People like Henry Morris, who has dedicated his life and ministry to a study of Genesis and creation, believe that phrase marked the chronological history and genealogy first of Adam, and then Noah and others. They believe that Matthew deliberately related his chronology to that of Abraham, Noah and Adam this way. And this is the only place in the New Testament where we find this sort of thing. Also, the Greek word for “generation” is the word from which “Genesis” is derived. Coincidence? Does this prove that Matthew was a Creationist? (No.)
Matthew 1:22-23 refers back to which prophet? When we looked at his prophecy, I suggested that this could relate further back to what event? (Gen. 3.) By the time of Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness, how many miracles had He publically performed? When Satan tempted Him the words, “If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread,” what exactly was he challenging in Christ? Several times we have noted that Jehovah is the “God of Heaven and Earth.” How does that relate to the subject of Creation? In our Lord’s model prayer He suggests that we pray that God’s will be done how…..? In Matthew 11:25 Christ acknowledged that the Father was Lord of Heaven and Earth.
Christ Jesus’ miracles. When He stilled the storm and calmed the waves did that conclusively prove Christ to be the Creator? Is it possible that Satan or some angel could do something like that? But are we surprised that Jesus was able to stop the wind? Why? How does Jesus’ walking on water suggest that He is the Creator? Do you believe that Satan could have fed the 5,000 or even the 4,000 in the miraculous manner in which Christ did it? Would you say that miracle bordered on the creative?
There are some people who think that Genesis 2 contradicts the account of Creation in Genesis 1. Is that true? Turn to Matthew 19:1-6. What does Genesis 1:27 say? (“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”) What does Genesis 2:24 say? (“Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”) So what does Jesus’ reference in Matthew 19 suggest about the accuracy of Genesis 1 and 2? Genesis 1 and 2 are the great Creation chapters.
How many people are there in the Bible named “Abel”? There is actually a place with that name, but only one person. Who was that Abel? He isn’t a myth? Was he a good man or evil? Do you expect to meet him in Heaven some day? If the Lord Jesus referred directly to Abel, what would that suggest about Christ’s opinion of the early chapters of Genesis? Matthew 23:35 refers to “righteous Abel.” Return to Matthew 24:34-39. Who is this fella “Noe?” How important is the historical accuracy of Noah’s Flood to the Genesis account of Creation? There are many who think that the Flood is the exaggeration of a small local disaster. If that was true, then why does the Lord refer to it in regard to the destructions of the last days?
What evidence does Jesus’ resurrection present towards the subject of Creation? What does Matthew 28:18 suggest about Christ’s Creatorship?
The Book of Mark.
Nearly everything that we’ve said about Matthew’s account could be repeated in regard to Mark. Some suggest that Mark’s gospel was the first and that Matthew and Luke followed his outline. It’s not for me to say, and furthermore, I don’t really care about it that much.
Turn to Mark 10:6. This is Mark’s account of what we saw in Matthew 19, but there is an important addition here. Are there any professing Christians who say that the universe is 4.6 billion years old? Some of them use their “Gap Theory” to squeeze eons into their confusion of time. According to Christ’s words here, when did God create Adam and Eve? Was the Lord Jesus an evolutionist? Why not? In Mark 13:19 he again referred to the beginning of the creation.
Mark 16:15 says, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” There is a critically acclaimed documentary running on TV right now called something like “Planet Earth.” The little that I saw the other day, they were saying that a certain Hawaiian volcano is spewing lava into the ocean and making that Hawaiian Island bigger. The commentator, who I am reasonably sure is an Evolutionist said something like, “Kilauea is CREATING new land all of the time.” Is Mount Kilauea creating anything? Could we say that the evolutionist made a slip of the tongue? Are there any slips of the tongue in the Bible? Going back to Mark 16:15 what is a “creature?” My dictionary’s first definition: “something created.”
The Book of Luke.
Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that the world is 4.6 billion years old. In the estimation of the evolutionists, how long have there been human beings on that planet? In the opinion of Zacharias, John’s father, how long have there been prophets on earth? Luke 1:67 – “And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying, Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people, And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David; As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began:”
How does Luke 3 prove the historicity of the Creation? (Verse 38.) What is meant by the words “Adam which was the son of God”? How does Luke 11:47-51 authenticate the Genesis account? What does Luke 17:26-27 add to what Matthew says about the Noahic flood? (“Destroyed them all.”) Why can God do things which are impossible for men to do (Luke 18:27)? Can the greatest magician in the world make a camel pass through the eye of a needle? Could the Creator, if He wanted to do so? How does Luke 20:38 suggest the Lord’s Creatorship? How can anyone but the Omnipotent and Eternal say with any authority, “Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away?
Do the synoptic gospels in any way teach or suggest evolution?
Do they leave the door open for an evolutionary interpretation of Genesis? Would you say that they are nominally Creationist books? (I would say “clearly” Creationist.)