"In the Beginning"
We begin a journey through Genesis this year. Over the next three months, I want to look at the greatness of God. As we begin the year, we begin seeing the power and beauty of God.
In The Beginning
A. Let me ask you to listen for a just a moment to some passages in the Bible.
1. Job. 38:1-7
2. Ps. 136:1-9
3. Heb. 11:1-3
4. John 1:1-4
5. Gen. 1:1-3
B. The beginning. We are at the beginning of a new year. Beginnings call up on us to reflect and to ponder the future. The book of Genesis is a book called “beginnings.” It is the beginning of time, beginning of creation, beginning of man, beginning of sin, and the beginning of the story of the Hebrew people. It is about knowing who you are and where you came from.
C. But more than all of that the book of Genesis is our beginning to know the creator we call God. In the beginning… God. Just sit with that for a moment. Let your finite mind wrestle with the infinite.
D. The Bible does not seek to prove to man that God exists. It simply claims it and treats it as fact. The Bible does not seek to prove the awesome power of a divine creator, it simply tells you God spoke – the word of God – and something came from nothing. In the beginning… God.
I. Is God Dead?
A. In April of 1966, Time magazine ran a cover that for over 50 years has caused Christians to cringe. That cover asked the question, “Is God dead?” By the very question it presupposes that there at least was a God, but questioned the need for one any more. Has medicine, science, physics, all taken God’s place? Is God dead? A movie came out last year called “God’s not Dead.”
B. We live in a country where we have the freedom to believe or not believe, yet we also live in a country where the freedom to believe is seen by many as weak or even foolish. The populist view of God is that he never existed and our origin is a question.
C. The Wall Street Journal had an opinion piece that ran on Christmas Day. In it Eric Metaxas writes an article entitled, “Science Increasingly Makes A Case For God.” While giving just a few numbers to ask for a logical conclusion, Mr. Metaxas writes, “Multiply that single parameter by all the other necessary conditions, and the odds against the universe existing are so heart-stoppingly astronomical that the notion that it all “just happened” defies common sense. It would be like tossing a coin and having it come up heads 10 quintillion times in a row. Really?”
D. In my training to be a preacher, I had a class that helped us to understand that a being we call God must exist. It taught me about the teleological argument, ontological argument, cosmological and other arguments. But even though those arguments that help me to have a deeper faith, faith is still the basis. The Hebrew writer simply stated that “in order to draw near to God we must believe that he exists and that he rewards those seek him.” (11:6)
E. So we open our Bibles to Genesis 1:1 and read, “In the beginning… God.” The Bible teaches us that this God is self-existent. When he appeared to Moses through a burning bush, he called himself, “I AM” or “I WILL BE, WHAT I WILL BE.” God’s existence is not what I am here to prove to you today. We gather today to bask in the glory of the One whom we do believe exists. One of the reasons my faith declares the existence of God is the next word in Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning God created…”
A. When I look at the sky at night and see all the stars in the heavens I think about how each one is like our sun, I am amazed at creation. In the book of Isaiah, God is speaking about who he is and what he does says in Is. 40:25-26.
B. In our Genesis passage we read those opening words (Gen. 1:1-2) and beginning with verse three we get, “and God said.” By the very word of God creation took place. Light and darkness, waters above and below, dry ground and vegetation, the sun, moon and stars, the animals, and man. And God Said.
C. Creation is more than just a story, it is God bringing order out of chaos. It is God at work, pouring himself into his creation. It is love in action. God did not need to create the universe, he chose to create it. Why? God is love.
D. Love is seen in both creation and how one expresses himself towards that which he creates. An artist does more than paint, an author does more than write words, and in people we see love poured out in that which we create. A mom and dad hold a precious child in their hands and weep with joy at seeing life that has come from their bodies. And God Said… is more than words, it love in action. Don’t reduce Genesis 1 to an argument over scientific terms, instead, read it and see the self-existent one at work. See the power of God and the love of God expressing itself in every time you see a tree, rock, or animal; when you look up and see the sun, moon and stars; but the pinnacle of that creation of love is you.
A. Creation is a telling of power, love, beginning. Creation is a telling of the THE story. You see, in creation we get God, the Spirit, and the Word all together. In creation we begin to look back and ask the question, “why?” Why did God create me? We also get an answer.
B. After the first day of creation the Bible says that God saw the light “and it was good.” As you walk through each of the days we see that phrase used again and again, “and God saw that it was good.”
C. In Gen. 1:31 we read one extra word. “Very” good. God looked at all he crated and did not see evil, war, famine, anger, division, hatred or chaos. God looked at creation and saw that it was very good. God has been trying to get us to see what is very good since.
D. So look around you. What do see? When you look at your family, at your friends, at this congregation, what do you see? When you look within you and think about God’s creation and spiritual recreation in you as his child, what do you see?
E. I begin this year by looking at all God has done and saying, “it is very good.”