Category: Guided Tour of the Bible

It All Begins… (Sermon Notes)

It All Begins… (Sermon Notes)

IN ETERNITY PAST… 

John 1:1                      Psalm 90:2

Isaiah 43:10

Before time began, in the ancient time we call eternity past, there is God and at some point, the angelic host…

GENESIS 1:1 & 2

Elohim, the Creator God, steps forward to create.

Tohuw va bohuw

Unformed and empty. The unformed universe has not been created and it was empty, “nothing to see here” so to speak. Perhaps a better analogy would be that of a blank canvas. God as the ultimate Artist approaches the blank canvas of the unformed and empty world, the finished masterpiece already in His mind and begins to create.

The Spirit of God moved over the face of the deep. The connotation in the Hebrew would be similar to a mother hen brooding over her chicks. The 3rd Person of the Trinity is not only part of the creation, He is its evaluator- when we see, “and the Lord saw that it was good,” this verdict is passed by the Holy Spirit.

Ruach ha’Kodesh, the Hebrew term for the Holy Spirit is literally,  the breath of the Holy One, revealing to us that the Holy Spirit is the source of life for the creation.

 

THE RHYTHM OF CREATION

In the verses to come we see that there is a rhythm to Creation. God, the ultimate artist paints the majesty of creation in rhythm with the symphony of His creation.

 

Evening & Morning                               Rest/preparation > creation

Elohim Speaks > Creation Responds

 

GENESIS 1:3-25 THE 1ST FIVE DAYS OF CREATION

Yom- Day

There are debates on how to apply the word yom to the interpretation of the text. Some think it means “age/era” as in the Day of the Lord, the final season of judgment. This results in an Old Earth Creation Theory allowing for millions of years between each of the days of creation.

 

The alternative is that we have six literal and consecutive days of creation, resulting in the Young Earth Creation Theory and an age of around 10,000 years for the earth. Taking the plain reading of the text, the cadence of evening and morning the ___ day lends credence to the idea of six literal, consecutive days for the creation.

 

And God said…

The text itself does not reveal to us if this is the Father or the Son. The more strict reformed view would be that it is the Son who speaks based on John 1:3. I am satisfied that this is a legitimate claim. If all things were made by Him and His glory then we could legitimately say that it was the 2nd Person of the Trinity, the Divine Son, who speaks the creation into being, although this would leave the question of the role of the Father in creation. A satisfactory explanation would be that the Son called His desired creation into being, the Father was the causative agent of the creation coming into being, and the Holy Spirit looked over the creation and gave His approval.

 

Day 1 Light and Dark- Evening and Morning
Day 2 Expanse between the waters-sky
Day 3 Dry Land- earth and seas, vegetation and fruit bearing plants
Day 4 Sun and moon, seasons are established, the formal creation of time
Day 5 Sea creatures and birds

 

GENESIS 1:25-2:25

 

On Day 6 God creates the land animals and then crowns creation with man. (We will return to that)

 

On Day 7, the Lord rests. This is not a rest of tiredness, it is a rest of enjoyment. Now finished with the work of creation, the Lord sits back and looks at what He has done.

 

And the Lord saw that it was good. We see this phrase repeated throughout the Creation Narrative. God saw that it was good- the Holy Spirit, who has been brooding over the creation lends His approval. Our English translation fails to represent this concept. Essentially the Holy Spirit says, “Yes, this is good, it is very good. I am well pleased with the results and I will enjoy what I have done.”

 

CIRCLING BACK TO DAY 6

God says, “Let Us make man in Our Image.”

 

Now, creation takes a turn; no longer will creation be called into existence. No, this creation, man is too special for a simple decree to exist. God has decided to crown His creation with the ultimate masterpiece, something unrivalled in the whole of creation and something that exists nowhere else, a self-aware being who reflects the glory of God back to Him. God will make man and he will bear the image of God. God will form the man with His own hand, a claim that no other creature can make.

 

IMAGO DEI

Man was made in correspondence to the Image of God. That is to say that we are not a direct reflection of God’s person but rather we are given a share in those attributes of which God is alone in possession but can be shared with humanity without making man God’s equal.

 

This stands in direct contrast to the teaching of the Word of Faith movement which likes to suggest that we are little gods. In speaking to, and through, the prophet Isaiah, God declares, “I am YHWH, that is my Name. My glory I will not give to another nor share my praise with idols.”

 

There are those attributes, possessed by God, that we share: personhood, volition, emotions, cognition, communication. However, we do not share infiniteness, omniscience, omnipotence, omni-presence, perfect holiness. Neither can we “name it and claim it” and speak what we want into existence; only God can, ex nihilo, call anything into existence. To make man a god is to make him equal to the Godhead; this is the worst sort of blasphemy because it not only attempts to rob God of the glory which only belongs to Him but it also attempts to rob God of His uniqueness in the universe. Recall our earlier verse, Isaiah 43:10 “before Me no God was formed, neither shall there be any after Me.” There is One Lord God Almighty and only one.

 

 

3 Considerations Regarding the Imago Dei (quoting Stand to Reason)

 

  1. Being made in the image of God makes humans valuable. If there’s no God, there’s no chance we’re made in His image. That means we’re the result of an impersonal process like evolution. The same blind and mechanical forces that led to a swarm of mosquitos led to humans. Nothing makes mankind more valuable than the 8.7 million other species on this planet. Had humans never evolved, it wouldn’t have mattered because no species matters more than the next. In fact, to suggest humans are special because we’re humans is to be guilty of a form of discrimination known as speciesism. Only if we’re made in God’s image can we be something different than every other living thing.
  2. Being made in the image of God makes all humans equally valuable. If there’s no God, then we have no soul and we’re merely material objects. If we’re just physical, though, what one trait does every human share equally that would make sense of the idea that every human is of equal value? Nothing! Some people are taller than others. Some people are better at math than others. Some people have more bone density than others. Different humans have these traits in varying degrees. How can every human—whether African American, Chinese, or Swedish—be equally valuable? Only if we’re made in God’s image is it possible. Notice, that’s not a degreed property. You can’t have more of it or less of it. You either have it or you don’t. It’s the only thing that every human shares equally and that can ground human equality.
  3. Being made in the image of God gives value to those considered “less than” valuable. If humans are not endowed with value by God, then what determines human worth? According to societal standards, human worth is based on what people can do: create art, raise children, work at a job, contribute to society, etc. But the moment humans lose the ability to do those things is the precise moment they lose their value. That’s why in a culture that rejects the concept of being made in God’s image, the strong prevail and the weak are discarded. This is most obviously seen when we dispose of bona fide human beings at the early stages of life (abortion), the late stages of life (physician-assisted suicide), and those who are disabled (euthanasia). Devaluing them is tantamount to the most unjust and heinous discrimination possible. But if human worth is not determined by what they can do, but rather by who they are (image bearers of God), then the unborn, elderly, and disabled are as valuable as everyone else.

 

Teaching Outline of Genesis (Dr. Harold Wilmington_

Teaching Outline of Genesis (Dr. Harold Wilmington_

We haev given you a theological outline of Genesis and now we would like to share Dr. Harold Wilmington’s Teaching Outline of Genesis…

Genesis

  1. GOD AND EARLY HUMANITY  (1:1-11:32)
    1. Creation  (1:1-2:3)
    2. The Garden of Eden  (2:4-25)
    3. The Fall  (3:1-24)
    4. Cain and Abel  (4:1-26)
    5. From Adam to Noah  (5:1-32)
    6. The Flood  (6:1-9:29)
    7. Noah’s descendants  (10:1-32)
    8. The Tower of Babel  (11:1-9)
    9. From Shem to Abraham  (11:10-32)
  2. GOD AND THE PATRIARCHS  (12:1-50:26)
    1. Abraham  (12:1-25:10)
      1. The call of Abram  (12:1-9)
      2. Abram visits Egypt  (12:10-20)
      3. Abram and Lot separate  (13:1-18)
      4. Abram rescues Lot  (14:1-16)
      5. Melchizedek  (14:17-24)
      6. God’s covenant with Abram  (15:1-21)
      7. Hagar and Ishmael  (16:1-16)
      8. Abram becomes Abraham  (17:1-8)
      9. The covenant of circumcision  (17:9-14)
      10. God promises Abraham a son  (17:15-18:15)
      11. Sodom and Gomorrah  (18:16-19:29)
      12. Lot and his daughters  (19:30-38)
      13. Abraham deceives Abimelech  (20:1-18)
      14. Birth of Isaac  (21:1-7)
      15. Hagar and Ishmael sent away  (21:8-21)
      16. Abraham’s treaty with Abimelech  (21:22-34)
      17. Abraham told to offer Isaac  (22:1-24)
      18. Sarah dies, buried at Machpelah  (23:1-20)
      19. Isaac and Rebekah  (24:1-67)
      20. Death of Abraham  (25:1-10)
    2. Isaac  (25:11-27:46)
      1. Death and genealogy of Ishmael  (25:12-18)
      2. Jacob and Esau  (25:19-34)
      3. God’s promise to Isaac  (26:1-5)
      4. Isaac and the Philistines  (26:6-35)
      5. Jacob gets Esau’s blessing  (27:1-46)
    3. Jacob  (28:1-36:43)
      1. The stairway to heaven  (28:1-22)
      2. Leah and Rachel  (29:1-30)
      3. Jacob and his children  (29:31-30:24)
      4. Jacob and Laban  (30:25-31:55)
      5. Jacob wrestles with God  (32:1-32)
      6. Jacob and Esau reunited  (33:1-20)
      7. Dinah and the Shechemites  (34:1-31)
      8. Jacob returns to Bethel  (35:1-29)
      9. Genealogy of Esau  (36:1-43)
    4. Joseph  (37:1-50:26)
      1. Joseph’s dreams  (37:1-11)
      2. Joseph sold into slavery  (37:12-36)
      3. Judah and Tamar  (38:1-30)
      4. Joseph and Potiphar’s wife  (39:1-19)
      5. Joseph in prison  (39:20-40:23)
      6. Pharaoh’s dreams  (41:1-36)
      7. Joseph, prime minister of Egypt  (41:37-57)
      8. Joseph helps, forgives brothers  (42:1-45:28)
      9. Jacob and family settle in Egypt  (46:1-47:31)
      10. Jacob’s last days  (48:1-49:33)
      11. Joseph’s last days  (50:1-26)

Excerpted from Willmington’s Bible Handbook

Theological Outline of Genesis

Theological Outline of Genesis

Genesis can be outkined a number of ways, by theology, content, literary narrative etc. Below is an outline of Genesis based on theology.

  1. CREATION (1-2)
    1. Of the Universe (1)
    2. Of Human Beings (2)
  2. CHOICE AND CONSEQUENCES (3-11)
    1. Sin and Personal Consequences (3-4)
    2. Wickedness and Universal Consequences (5-9)
    3. Disobedience and International Consequences (10-11)
  3. COVENANT OF PROMISE/ABRAHAMIC COVENANT (12-50)
    1. Made with Abraham (12-25)
    2. Confirmed to Isaac (26-27)
    3. Confirmed to Jacob/Israel (28-36)
    4. Worked out through Joseph (37-50)

 

The Gospel in Genesis

The Gospel in Genesis

The Gospel in Genesis

The foundation stories of Genesis set the stage of the drama of Scripture in many ways. First, the Creator is the King over all of his creation. He has made everything well and has chosen humans to be his image-bearers on earth. They were created to live in glad relationship with their heavenly Father.

Second, sin entered the world and took away human freedom—through the consequences and dominion of evil. Sin, alienation, and death now mark human existence.

Third, in contrast to the continual disobedience of humanity, God reveals the depth of his grace and love. Though all human beings bear the scars of the sin of Adam and Eve, the Lord continues in his everlasting grace to work out his purposes. He is the heavenly Father who does not give up on his earthly children. In the wake of the flood that came to punish pervasive evil and destroyed almost all life, God promised to maintain his grace to all created life, both animal and human.

Fourth, God called frail humans to represent him: Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph. Each of these men was profoundly flawed, a point to which the Bible gives ample testimony. Yet God gave them grace upon grace, keeping his promise, at whatever cost, to bless them and through them to bless all humanity.

Fifth, these giants of faith learned to love God more than the goods of this life. They served God, and despite their flawed humanity God made them lights in their dark generations. They walked with God by his grace and learned wisdom from him. Through these stories Moses taught Israel that there are one of two paths people must choose: folly and death, or wisdom and life.

Sixth, Genesis reveals that the riches of God’s grace render people without excuse. People at the time of Enosh, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph received God’s grace and walked with him. Others received messages of grace and spurned them—with evident consequences (e.g., Cain, the generation of the flood, and Esau).

Seventh, the Lord of the universe committed himself by oath to one man, Abraham. Then, God promised to extend his grace to all humanity through that one man’s “offspring.” Though Israel was numbered among Abraham’s offspring, the sad stories of that nation evidence her lack of faith, her inability to accomplish what God required, and her need of God’s provision. That provision was ultimately made through the eventual coming of Jesus Christ from the lineage of Israel. Only in him do we learn how the promises of God are made true (2 Cor. 1:20). He is the true and final Good News in which all of God’s promises find decisive fulfillment. He is the promised “offspring” of Abraham who will accomplish God’s covenant purposes (Gen. 3:15; 12:7Gal. 3:16). Beginning with his first coming and to be completed at his second coming, Jesus opens the doors to the new creation and the new humanity—to a world without the sin, death, and evil that found their entry as first described in Genesis. The final triumph of Jesus over all evil is first described in this Bible book as well (Gen. 3:15).

 

Taken from the ESV Gospel Transformation Bible