Summary: The first in a series exploring the early chapters of Genesis, this three-point expository sermon highlights on the power of God, the planning of God, and the product of God.
A New Beginning (Part 1)
Scott Bayles, pastor
Blooming Grove Christian Church: 4/6/14
Have you ever wished you could have a do-over? I know of a teen-age girl in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, who wanted one. Police stopped the girl after complaints that a car had been seen doing laps around her neighborhood in reverse for some time. The girl told police that her parents had let her use the car, but she had put too much mileage on it. "I was just trying to unwind some of it," she said.
Unfortunately, cars don’t work that way. And neither does life, does it? The frustrating thing about time is that it always moves forward. There is no "R" on the stick-shift, no reverse in the gears. The hands of the clock always move clockwise, and the pages of the calendar are torn off in only one direction. Time never moves backward. Not an inch, not a step, never. But just because we can’t turn back the clock or run the odometer in reverse, doesn’t mean we can’t have a fresh start. Spring is a time of new beginnings and fresh starts. And, the God who created the world specializes in new beginnings!
That’s why, for the next few weeks, I’d like to go back to the first book of the Bible—the book of beginnings—and see what we can learn about God, ourselves, and how to experience a fresh start. I’d like to begin with the first chapter of Genesis—which, by the way, means beginning. The opening chapter of Genesis contains the creation story, but it’s much more than that. To say that Genesis is a literary masterpiece is to understate its elegance. With inspired brilliance, Moses interlaced a historical narrative with both symbolism and repetitive poetical structure, setting the stage for all of Scripture. So please open your Bibles to the first page of Genesis and read with me.
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.
And God said, “Let there be a vault between the waters to separate water from water.” So God made the vault and separated the water under the vault from the water above it. And it was so. God called the vault “sky.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the second day.
And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” And it was so. God called the dry ground “land,” and the gathered waters he called “seas.” And God saw that it was good. Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the third day.
And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years, and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so. God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. God set them in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth, to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the fourth day.
And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky.” So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living thing with which the water teems and that moves about in it, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the fifth day.
And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind.” And it was so. God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so. God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day. (Genesis 1:1-31 NIV)