Creation: The Way Forward Genesis 1-2

Genesis 1-2

We’re beginning our series through some of the major redemptive moments of the Bible.  My goal is twofold: first it gives us a grid to understand the Bible; second like all of the Bible these moments give us spiritual food for our faith and living.

As we see the Bible through these big moments it will help us to see that this is God’s story of redemption through Jesus rather than the story about how we’ve been redeemed.

  • Subtle difference
  • The way it plays out can vary depending on a variety of factors.  But, for instance, if it’s the story about how we’ve been redeemed then you might:
    • Seeing that God’s aim is to redeem a people and not see the importance of the church
    • Or you end up making the stories that point to Jesus to be about you
      • Putting some meat on those bones:
      • You’re not David killing Goliath—you’re the Israelite watching your king kill the enemy you never had a chance to defeat
  • So, that’s the idea with this series
  • And I don’t know how long we’ll do this, but we’ll know when we’re done.  If you have any suggestions for what to cover feel free to let me know.

In a technical sense we aren’t looking at redemption this week

  • We’re looking at Creation—before sin
  • Genesis 1 and 2 should form the grid for our understanding of the world
  • How to know what it is good
    • God made all things good—7x in ch. 1, ending with very good
    • And when God describes the goal of redemption, he uses terms familiar from Genesis 1 and 2, like a river running through the New Jerusalem with trees of life. 
    • Revelation 22:1-2  Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
  • God’s good things in creation should be our goals and form our motivations for this life

Today, we’re going to look at our presuppositions with the goal of making our presuppositions distinctly biblical and Christian

What’s a “presupposition”?

  • Something we believe without having tested it 
  • We do this all the time—when you sat down…
  • When I was in college walking back from Burger King with friends we saw this great big mountain of rocks…we thought
    • Rocks were our presupposition
    • When we came back down and were covered in black dust…COAL!
  • These beliefs form our understanding of the world and even shape how we will learn to understand
    • Anselm:  I believe so that I might understand.  Belief enables intellectual knowing.

We never start with a totally blank slate, the question is, what presuppositions will guide you?

The Creation narrative gives us presuppositions for living a godly life:  (these are very generalized)

  1. God is sovereign, good, and loving
  2. Mankind, male and female, are made in God’s image—we should exercise dominion, we should be good and loving.  In short: image bearers should act like the original
  3. Life is good and work is good
  4. Marriage should be sought after

Just so you know where we’re going and where we ain’t:  we ain’t looking at specific views on the days of creation, however, we are looking at the presuppositions inbuilt in Genesis 1 and 2

Three points—  1.  Creation and Presuppositions;  2.  The Creator and His Place;  3. The Image Bearer.

  1. Creation and Presuppositions
    1. The creation account makes three things very clear
      1. God created everything out of nothing—he is sovereign over everything
        1. Sovereign= “supreme authority”
      1. God is orderly, logical
        1. He is the source of logic
        1. As such, if our logic is truly logical, it will yield true results because it will match God’s logic which coincides with truth
        1. How do I prove God’s logic in Genesis 1?  Look at v.2 “the earth was without form and void”
        1. Then in the six days of creation he makes a structure—he forms it in the first three days, then in the final three days he fills the structure that he made
        1. The six days of creation are “forming” what was formless and “filling” what was empty, or void
      1. Adam and Eve were made in God’s image
      1. These three truths all have a bearing on redemption, which is why they are fundamental to the Bible’s story.
        1. God’s sovereignty extends even over rebellious creatures—to redeem them
        1. God’s redemption is orderly—Jesus became man to redeem men, he lived among us in love and died for us in justice—holiness and love are never at odds, they are perfectly defined in Christ
        1. It’s the image of God in man that makes us redeemable at all
  2. The Creator and His Place
    1. A little misleading because you probably think I’m gonna talk about how God is in a different place than the creatures
      1. Which is true
      1. “Heaven” in the sense God is where heaven is, but not yet the New Heavens and New Earth which is the goal of redemption
      1. Big Biblical Picture:  creation-fall-restoration (or re-creation)
    1. I mean to point us to God’s character in creation—all creation is God’s place in that he’s the one who made it
      1. The Character of God revealed in creation:  Sovereignty, Care, Presence
    1. Sovereignty—already touched on
      1. Created out of nothing (ex nihilo)
      1. By speaking (divine fiat)
      1. What the King says goes…he doesn’t have to do anything but speak it
    1. Care
      1. Image bearers to subdue and fill the world—imitating God’s sovereignty over creation for creation’s overall good, to promote its health and prosperity
      1. Care for his image bearers too—“the LORD God planted a garden in Eden” 2:8
        1. Eden=the world
        1. The garden is God’s special place for his special creatures, his image bearers
    1. Presence     
      1. The special place, the garden, wasn’t just for Adam and Eve, but it was the place they met with God
      1. A temple, which is why we’ll see so many features of creation in the temple when we get there
      1. We can understand 1:28’s commandAnd God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” This means that Adam and Eve will extend the borders of the garden until all of Eden is cultivated and tended and under the dominion of God’s image bearers.
    1. So what do we see in God’s sovereignty, care, and presence? 
      1. We see that God is all powerful, but his power is also kind and his purpose is for humanity to fulfill his command so we will be with him. 
      1. It’s like our first catechism says…”to glorify God and enjoy him forever”
  3. The Image Bearer:  three things here: male and female; pre-fall realities; God’s purpose
    1. Male and Female 1:27  So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
      1. God’s image is in everybody
      1. Male and female is the most basic distinction
        1. Two sexes and genders match your sex, so two genders
        1. If your gender idea doesn’t match your sex, it’s a fault of logic on your part and it’s sinful at that
      1. Our point here:   the image of God is in us all, therefore we have what is called an equality of being, not ability.
        1. Man and woman are equal in their being
        1. But there are different roles for them to fulfill—no matter how hard I try, I can’t be a mother.
        1. Men and women complement each other in their roles
    1. Pre-fall realities—this is important.  This is where we’ll find the stuff that will guide us in faith and in life.
      1. What God gave us before sin came into the world should shape our desires, goals, and understanding of life.
      1. Before sin came into the world, God gave mankind two things:   marriage and work
      1. These are good things God gave before sin
      1. They are desirable and they should be goals that we work toward
      1. Think about that for a second:  marriage and work are good, we should aim to do both
        1. How counter-cultural is that?
        1. Marriage is shunned or redefined
        1. Work is avoided at all cost
        1. The Bible tells us that they are both gifts from God that we should desire and make a goal
    1. God’s purpose for his image bearers
      1. Worship—proof in three ways from the text
      1. Seventh day never ends—the day of rest, meant for worshiping God is never ending. 
      1. Their work tending the garden, to work it and to keep it, 2:15, was prescribed using language that is reserved for the priests in the rest of the Pentateuch
        1. Pentateuch—5 books of Moses, sometimes called Torah
      1. Thirdly, Add to those the command of subduing and filling in 1:28 and how it refers to extending the garden into all of creation
        1. Remember how I suggested the garden was like temple—a meeting place with God
        1. So, we see that God’s grand purpose for creation and his people is His Worship
  4. Application
    1. Align your presuppositions to God’s revelation, not the opposite.
      1. Election year—we’ll see plenty of Christians trying to make the Bible plead their case for their candidate, really what the Bible says about politics is that we should first look for godly candidates.
      1. In the absence of that (which is the case) we should look for leaders who apply principles most closely aligned to the Bible
      1. Some examples:
        1. Pro life
        1. Pro citizenship—we aren’t just citizens of heaven…
        1. Pro stewardship of resources—natural, financial, military, political
        1. Honesty
    1. What do you believe about God?  Do you believe he is truly sovereign?  Do you believe he’s good?  And caring?
      1. In the throes of life these truths are easy to question and doubt. 
      1. Make the Bible your foundation for what you know about God.  Look for these truths in the creation story, how he created, and how he made a special place and special provision for his people.
      1. And Even more than that, we see that after Adam and Eve sinned his care and sovereignty work together to give us a Savior—God took on flesh to redeem sinners.
    1. Marriage is good and desirable.  It is God’s plan for the world.
      1. This is how society should be ordered—a man will leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife. 
      1. The source of children, the foundation of earthly authority.
      1. Our world doesn’t teach this.  Many Christians don’t believe that marriage is better than singleness—it is. 
      1. Why is marriage better?
        1. Children
        1. Sanctification
        1. The earthly foundation of the church
      1. Different times and different situations
        1. Young and never married—seek to be married and seek a godly marriage
        1. Older and never married—seek to be married and godly marriage
        1. Widow/widower/divorced—you have experiences and circumstances unique to you, marriage is still good, but you’ve already done that maybe now isn’t your time
    1. Work is good and desirable, too
      1. It’s nice to find something you like to do, but not finding it doesn’t excuse you from not working
      1. Work for your boss as if you are working for God, even if he’s not a believer
      1. Work with honor, making the most use of your time, to the best of your ability
    1. Remember your overall goal:  to glorify God by extending his worship to all the world, especially your world, worshipping him in all you do and enjoy him forever.  Amen.

Chalcedon

115 All Creatures of Our God and King

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.

The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.