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  • Writer's pictureClay Burgess

Keys to Teaching Christ in Genesis

Updated: Aug 29, 2023


Genesis is sometimes viewed as part of the “flip through” material on the way to the New Testament. A closer look into the book of Genesis reveals a number of important themes that are vital to understanding God’s purpose and plan for saving His people.

Genesis is a book of beginnings. In its fifty chapters we are introduced to the beginning of life, family, sin, judgment, worship, and salvation. The first eleven chapters cover essential events like the creation, the fall, the flood, and the rise of nations. The last thirty-nine chapters record the stories of four main people—Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph.

All of this content lays the foundation for the development of the nation of Israel through whom the Savior of the world, Jesus Christ, will come.

Key Texts:

  • Genesis 3:15—The "protoevangelium” is the first hint of rescue and makes the promise of a future salvation.

  • Genesis 12:3—Mankind’s future rescue and salvation will come through Abraham’s line.

  • Genesis 15:6—Like Abraham, our salvation will come through faith in God’s promises.

  • Genesis 22:1-19—Abraham offers to sacrifice his only son.

  • Genesis 39-41—One man’s betrayal and unjust imprisonment brings about the salvation of the nation.

  • Genesis 49:8-12—The promised son will come through the line of Judah and he will reign over a renewed creation.

Key Themes:

  • Creation—Jesus created all things and holds all things together (Colossians 1:15-20; Hebrews 1:3).

  • Rebellion—Sin enters the world, disrupts everything and brings judgment on humanity.

  • Promise—God makes covenant promises with Abraham and his descendants which are ultimately fulfilled in Jesus Christ.

  • Sacrifice—Rescue from judgment will come through sacrifice.

  • Marriage—Marriage pictures the mystical relationship between Jesus and His bride (Ephesians 5:22-33).

Key Resources:

  • The Unity of the Bible, Daniel Fuller. Fuller provides a sweeping understanding of how the key themes of the Bible all fit together and are ultimately fulfilled in Christ.

  • Preaching Christ From Genesis, Sidney Greidanus. Greidanus addresses some of the main passages in Genesis and gives useful insights on how they point to Christ.

  • Genesis: A Commentary, Bruce Waltke. Waltke provides a helpful, mid-level commentary that covers the entire book of Genesis.

  • Creation & Blessing: A Guide to the Study and Exposition of Genesis, Allen P. Ross. Ross is a great resource for solid exegetical outlines.

  • Genesis Unbound, John Sailhamer. Sailhamer offers thought provoking insights on the first two chapters of Genesis.

  • Genesis, Derek Kidner. Kidner’s work is a good brief entry-level commentary.


A study of Genesis is encouraging as we begin to see that God’s plan was in place from the beginning, and He is always at work for good. He is able to bring order out of chaos and provide deliverance from bondage. A good understanding of Genesis gives us confidence that God’s promises of redemption have been fulfilled in the coming of the son of Abraham, the lion of Judah, Jesus Christ!

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