This study was originally presented over a five day period in July 1996 as a series of radio talks by Pastor Keith Graham.
The book of Genesis is the book of beginnings or origins. It answers our basic human need to know where we and our world came from. It tells us how those aspects of human life which are universal to all peoples came to be.
Before beginning this overview of the Bible's very foundation, ask youself two questions: One, have you eaten in the last 24 hours? Unless you are presently fasting, ill, or for other reasons not taking food, you answered in the affirmative. Even if, for one of those reasons, you answered in the negative, try the second question: Why are you planning (or at least hoping) to eat again?
It's a silly question, isn't it? The obvious answer is that we must take physical food to remain alive and healthy. When Jesus said "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God," he didn't have just one spiritual meal in mind. The nature of the Word of God is that of spiritual food: we must eat and digest it again and again. You don't refuse your physical bread on the grounds that "you've eaten that before." Even if you are very familiar with the passage, please read GENESIS 1:1 - 2:3
By the time the Bible is complete, we have the full, glorious revelation of the One True God Who eternally exists in three Persons - the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Within the first three verses of the Bible, we have the revelation of the Trinity in seed form as we read of God and God's Spirit, and as we read the statement that God SAID - that is, the Word of God is at work. Jesus is called the Word of God in the gospel of John and elsewhere in the New Testament. Hence, with the light of the New Testament to guide us, we see God, the Spirit of God, and the Word of God - that is the Son, Who will come in the flesh in space and time - in the very first few verses of the Bible!
This Triune God is presented as the Great Source of all things. There is no category of existence which finds its origin outside of His creative activity, as we read within the Ten Commandments, at Exodus 20:11: "For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them..."
The apostle Paul expresses the same truth at Colossians 1:16: "For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities - all things have been created by Him and for Him."
Let's consider some of the things we see originating in Genesis 1:
Suppose someone said, "God is as old as time itself". What is wrong with that statement? Answer? Time itself is one of those INVISIBLE things which God made! Time comes into existence with created things, and time measurement is based on the heavenly bodies.
Likewise with space itself - that is, the three dimensions of length, width, and height in which all physical objects exist. God is not contained IN space and time, rather He TRANSCENDS space and time. Solomon said of God, "But who is able to build a house for Him, for the heavens and the highest heavens cannot contain Him?"
Matter, the "stuff" of which physical things are made, and energy - represented by the light of vs. 3 - are creations of God.
The intangible, spiritual value called goodness is established by God as we see Him asserting that what He made was very good. We will look more closely at the origin of mankind below, but for now we should realize that we ourselves are the Creator's property, and that the good things that God established in His creation included the immaterial things of religious and moral purity, put into Adam's and Eve's beings on the day they were created.
NOTHING is infinite and eternal alongside of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. God alone is without origin or limits, and He is the Originator of everything and everyone else.
The sun, moon, stars, earth and all inanimate objects are God's handiwork. Every form of vegetation exists because of God. All forms of animal life are His creatures.
God's holy angels are not mentioned in Genesis 1, nor are Satan and the fallen angels, but we know that they also owe their existence to this Almighty Creator. Nehemiah put it this way: "Thou alone art the Lord. Thou hast made the heavens, The heaven of heavens with all their host, The earth and all that is on it, The seas and all that is in them. Thou dost give life to all of them And the heavenly host bows down before Thee."
No non-Biblical theory or myth about the origin of the cosmos even comes close to giving solid, satisfying answers to our most basic questions about ourselves and our world like Genesis does.
Ancient pagan myths included many gods who came forth in various ways from other gods; the question what is the ultimate Source of life? remained unanswered.
Modern mythology offers the Big Bang theory, in which an imaginary super-explosion formed the known universe, but the question where did the stuff that went "bang" come from? remains unanswered.
In stark contrast to the uncertainty of mythology past or present, the Bible teaches that there is One, eternal God by Whose will all things came into being. The truth of God's Word is set apart from all religious thought which is of mere human origin.
Furthermore, this God holds undisputed title to everything, and can do with it as He pleases. This is the God with Whom you and I must do; this is the God Who became a Man, lived among us, died and was resurrected for our salvation!
* * * The first radio talk ended here * * *
The apostle Peter commanded us to be like newborn babes and earnestly desire the milk of God's Word. Have you ever watched a baby sucking his or her milk? No pressing schedule, no TV show, no ringing telephone...nothing can divert that baby's attention. Its eyes are closed as if to ignore all distractions. Even if the house was on fire, only the adult feeder could break the child away from the task at hand. What a picture of single-mindedness! When we read, study, and meditate on Scripture, that is how we are to be absorbed in the task at hand. Please give attention to God's Word again and read GENESIS 2:4 - 25
Through Moses the inspired human author of Genesis, the Holy Spirit began teaching us about creation from what we might call a cosmic standpoint. The book of beginnings opens with the statement that God created the vastness of what we call outer space, and the earth within it. As Job put it - "He stretches out the north over empty space; He hangs the earth on nothing."
The focus begins to narrow thereafter, with earth as center stage in the creation drama. The earth takes a definite form, and plants are created. The sun, moon and stars are created for the sake of those who will see them from earth. The Creator then places living creatures on earth. The culmination is the creation of Man, God's own living image, as we read yesterday in chapter 1, verses 26 & 27 -
Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth." So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
Here in chapter 2 we have even greater detail, specifically about creation day 6. We find that Adam was created from the dust of the earth, and Eve formed from Adam's flesh - yet both man and woman share the precious heritage of being made in God's image.
It is important to note that Scripture specifically says that both man and woman are made in God's image. Here indeed is the only solid foundation for a godly and balanced view of the proper relationship between the two sexes. The Bible clearly teaches that God has assigned men and women different ROLES in the family, as well as in His spiritual family, the church. But it is as equally clear that concerning their basic NATURES, man and woman are equal.
Being His image means that man is like God. God is all-knowing, and human beings have the capacity for true knowledge, although limited. The just and merciful God is all-righteous, and human beings have a moral nature. Our Creator is all-holy, and man is unlike any other creature God has made; he is unique. The King of the universe is Almighty, living, and active - and through our bodies and lives in the physical world, we imitate God by being creative, and by exercising powerful dominion over the lesser creation. In our next session we will discuss in more detail how the Fall of Man into sin has damaged the image of God in Man, but has not destroyed it.
What a contrast we see in comparing the Bible's explanation of the origin of man with the alternate explanation for it which so many have sadly chosen to believe today! Many have had the artist's conception of man's alleged evolutionary development drilled into their heads from childhood...a small ape-like creature developing over vast periods of time to a sort of sub-human caveman, the caveman over a period of more eons finally developing into modern man. This is nothing but a gigantic lie. It originates with Satan, who at Revelation 12:9 is called the one who deceives the whole world.
On the contrary, human beings at the very beginning walked upright, were very intelligent, and knew right from wrong. As Genesis 2 shows us, man's first vocation was that of a gardener. He was not the savage, nomadic hunter of foolish evolutionistic imaginations. From the day of their creation, Adam and Eve were capable of articulate speech, sublime reasoning and diligent industry, along with pure, unselfish love. They were endowed with these faculties by the God Who created them - not over millions of years, but in one day.
We said at the outset that Genesis is the book of beginnings. Another beginning we find here in chapter 2 is the beginning of marriage. As we see in vs. 18, it is God Himself Who determined to give Adam a "helper comparable to him", or a help-meet as the King James Bible words it. One commandment the Creator gives the first human pair is to be fruitful and multiply. Hence we rightly infer what is directly taught elsewhere in Scripture - that the traditional family of mom, dad, and children is the God ordained foundation of human society. The nation that tolerates adultery, illegitimacy, homosexuality and other sinful deviations from this cannot endure, because it is going against God's own blueprint for human life.
A train is made to travel on its tracks. Imagine a train possessed of human reason that decided it wanted its freedom - it wanted to get off the cumbersome, stifling tracks and REALLY travel the countryside! You tell me how far that train would get once it derailled. It would not experience freedom, but self-destruction.
Our Creator's plan and commandments are like the tracks, and each human life like a train. As surely as jumping the tracks results only in disaster for the train, so we human creatures can only wreck our lives by going against the plan for them which our Creator has given. Though we are creatures of great dignity as God's image bearers, we belong to Him, and must render whatever obedience He requires. This is the way to happiness.
If you have derailled your life, there is still hope! The Lord Jesus Christ, the only One who perfectly demonstrated the image of God, has come to rescue. By the mighty, supernatural power of His gospel, newness of life can come from the most horrible crashes.
Go to The Basics of Biblical Creationism - Part Two
Go to 2 Timothy 2:15 Dept.
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