In the beginning, God created the world around us. Hebrews 11:3 says, “By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.” Genesis 1:31 tells us that “…God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.” At the culmination of God’s creation, he created man (Adam) and woman (Eve) and placed them in the Garden of Eden to work it and to keep it in order to fulfill God’s command to them to multiply on the earth and have dominion over it. In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve enjoyed personal fellowship and peace with God. In this state, mankind and the earth itself, were untouched by sin, death and brokenness.
At the beginning of creation, God placed Adam in the Garden of Eden and gave a caution. Genesis 2:15–17 says, “The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” God, in His kindness, gives mankind fair warning of the consequences of their disobedience. However, in Genesis 3, Satan tempted Adam and Eve to disobey God. Indeed, Adam and Eve did disregard God’s caution and listened to the voice of Satan. The outcome of this decision plunged all of mankind into sin and death, not life, became the prevailing reality for all of mankind. In death, mankind faces the inevitability of judgment. Hebrews 9:27 says, “…it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment,”
God, though, in His infinite mercy and grace, at the very moment of the fall and pronouncement of judgment, made a promise. Genesis 3:15 says, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” These words comprise the promise that unfolds over the course of the Old Testament and finds its fulfillment in Jesus Christ and is expounded upon throughout the New Testament. Jesus, the offspring of the woman, came into the world, not to condemn the world because the world is already condemned, but to seek and to save the lost by drinking the cup of God’s wrath against man’s sin in order that the world might be saved through him. (John 3:17) This salvation comes through the sacrificial death of Jesus on the cross and his real resurrection from the dead. In Revelation 1:18, Jesus identifies himself as, “the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.” Romans 10:9–10 tells us that, “…if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.”
It has been said that the Bible begins in a garden and ends in a city. The city of God in Revelation is a sign of the dominion and rule of God for it is there that He has established his throne. The plague and problem of sin is not merely a personal integrity issue. Romans 8:20-25 tells us that all of creation was subject to the bondage of corruption and that the entirety of God’s creation groans in pains akin to birthing pains awaiting the final restoration of all things to God’s created intention and order. We hold with a deep and abiding confidence the hope of the freedom coming to God’s children in the final restoration of God’s creation. Romans 8:23–25 says, “And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.”
For a detailed outline of our doctrinal convictions, check out the Baptist Faith and Message