Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
Nicodemus asked the key question “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” (John 3:4). The “natural man” cannot understand the work that God does because His processes are “spiritually discerned” (1 Corinthians 2:14). Prior to being born again (John 3:3), the unsaved human is “dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1).
This deadness is absolute. We are unable even to search for God on our own. The prophet Isaiah identified this condition when he stated, “They do not know nor understand; for He has shut their eyes, so that they cannot see, and their hearts, so that they cannot understand” (Isaiah 44:18).
Jesus Himself insisted that “no one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him” (John 6:44).
Even the faith that is necessary to believe is the gift from the grace of God that is “not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).
“I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16). The good news of God’s love gift of His Son, Jesus Christ, is the all-sufficient power that is “His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10).
That power had to have the ability to satisfy the holiness of God and make sufficient payment not only “for our sins” but “also for the whole world” (1 John 2:2). In the simplest terms possible, the One who could be the substitute for the sins of the whole world could only be the One who had sufficient power to create the whole world.
The essence of the salvation that takes place when we believe is that we who are “dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1) are transformed—“created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:24). Do not lose the enormity of this event. God “made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21).
I have quoted many biblical passages thus far. I want to be sure that this message is clearly not mine but the message of Scripture. The message of the substitutionary death of Jesus Christ on the cross is more familiar. Isaiah sets the stage as he compares us to sheep who have “turned, every one, to his own way” and needed the Lord to lay “on Him [the Messiah] the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:6). Please note the “alls” in that verse. All of us have gone astray, and all iniquity needed to be paid for.
Since the Creator of the universe and everything in it (Colossians 1:16) is absolutely holy (Deuteronomy 32:4; 1 Peter 1:15-16), it must follow that any solution to the justification of sinful man must “demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus” (Romans 3:26).
Many Acts & Facts readers will know this wonderful passage in Romans 8:28-30:
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.
All of hell’s demons were assembled to destroy the work of Christ on the cross. And while He hung on the cross, the inspired psalmist recorded the Lord’s own heart cry:
Trouble is near; For there is none to help. Many bulls have surrounded Me; strong bulls of Bashan have encircled Me. They gape at Me with their mouths, like a raging and roaring lion. I am poured out like water, and all My bones are out of joint; My heart is like wax; it has melted within Me. My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and My tongue clings to My jaws; You have brought Me to the dust of death. For dogs have surrounded Me; the congregation of the wicked has enclosed Me. They pierced My hands and My feet; I can count all My bones. (Psalm 22:11-17)
The awful pathos of Christ’s wrenching cry “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Mark 15:34) gives us a pitiful and painful glimpse into the infinite price paid for the sins of the whole world.
Yet even before He was put into the tomb, He shouted, “‘It is finished!’ And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit” (John 19:30). The payment had been made. Jesus Christ was leaving His earthly body to preach “to the spirits in prison” that He was victorious over all that death and hell could do to stop Him (1 Peter 3:19). He would lead “captivity captive” (Ephesians 4:8) and ascend “to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God” (John 20:17).
Death could not hold the Creator of life! “No one takes it from Me,” Jesus said, “but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again” (John 10:18). Although neither you nor I could ever see the power that was exercised when the Lord Jesus rose from the dead, laid aside His grave clothes, and set the facial napkin off to the side by itself (John 20:6-7), “He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead” (Acts 17:31).
The same supernatural creation power is evidenced in the 10 plagues of Egypt and the great miracles of the manna and the provisions for the nation of Israel. Joshua saw it demonstrated when the sun stood still for a whole day and night during the battle with the Amorites. Elijah watched as creation fire consumed the altar in front of the priests of Baal. Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah walked with the Creator in the fiery furnace of Nebuchadnezzar, and Daniel felt it when the lions refused to kill him in the den.
Jesus Himself used His creation power when He turned the water into wine, gave a new arm and new eyes to deformed men, and raised four-day-dead Lazarus from the grave. The Bible is full of the evidence of God’s omnipotence and omniscience, first demonstrated during the creation week.
And God continues to create every time a spiritually dead sinner is created in true righteousness and holiness when they are twice-born!
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. (1 Peter 1:3-5)
Paul talks about the “hope of the gospel” to the church in Colosse (Colossians 1:23), and the Lord Jesus promised that He was going away to prepare “a place for you.” And if He was going away to prepare a place for us, He would “come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:3).
The good news would not be too wonderful if all we received at our new creation was a happier heart and a better attitude! No, Paul insisted that if all we had was hope in this life, we would be of “all men the most pitiable” (1 Corinthians 15:19). Jesus promised, “This is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:40).
We shall all be changed—in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” (1 Corinthians 15:51-54)
That is resurrection power and inheritance power wrapped up in one package!
The Full Creation Salvation
Perhaps this little chart will help you remember the full scope of God’s creation salvation. As the Lord opens up opportunities for you to share the gospel with others, remember to give all of the good news. This will also help you understand why those of us at the Institute for Creation Research are so strongly committed to presenting the majesty of the truth of the creation week.
That foundational message in Genesis is the basis upon which the rest of Scripture rests. If the words in Genesis 1 are not to be taken at face value, then the rest of Scripture is subject to the whims of human foibles. If the reality of the worldwide judgment of the Flood recorded in Genesis 6–8 is not accurate, then there is absolutely no basis for understanding the text of biblical history.
If God lied to us in the words of Genesis, then how can we trust Him to keep any other promise?
- The fiat creation recorded in Genesis is the best description of the power of God to save you.
- The sentence God passed on Adam and Eve is the best description of the effect of sin on you.
- The provision of clothing by God for Adam and Eve is the best description of the authority of God to forgive you.
- The global Flood recorded in Genesis is the best description of the power of God to judge you.
- The covenant of God to Noah is the best description of the sustaining power of God.
Genesis 1–11 provides the foundation for the rest of Scripture. Without those insights to the beginnings of history, we would be unable to accurately understand much of the “what” and most of the “why” of our world. The efforts of man to exclude God from history have produced the chaos of evolutionary philosophy and the horrific cultural results that plague our world today. The only solution to this and to those who are lost is the creation salvation that comes from God.
* Dr. Morris is Chief Executive Officer of the Institute for Creation Research. He holds four earned degrees, including a D.Min. from Luther Rice Seminary and an MBA from Pepperdine University.