Summary: What Genesis teaches about God’s character
A PORTRAIT OF GOD
TEXT: Genesis 1:1-5
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. Quickly, God was faced with a class action suit for failure to file an environmental impact statement. God was granted a temporary permit for the project, but was stymied with the “cease and desist” order for the earthly part. Then God said, "Let there be light!"
Immediately, the officials demanded to know how the light would be made. Would there be strip mining? What about thermal pollution? God explained that the light would come from a large ball of fire. God was granted provisional permission to make light, assuming that no smoke would result from the ball of fire, and that he would obtain a building permit and to conserve energy, He would have the light out half the time. God agreed and offered to call the light "Day" and the darkness "Night". The officials replied that they were not interested in semantics. God said, "Let the earth put forth vegetation, plant yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit." The EPA agreed, so long as only native seed was used. Then God said, "Let the waters bring forth swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth." The officials pointed out that this would require approval from the Department of Game coordinated with the Heavenly Wildlife Federation and the Audubon Society. Everything was okay until God said the project would be completed in six days. The officials said it would take at least two hundred days to review the applications and the impact statement. After that there would be a public hearing. Then there would be ten to twelve months before...At this point, God created Hell.
Aren’t you glad creation didn’t happen that way?
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth wasformless 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.
Genesis is called the Book of Beginnings. It sets forth the beginnings of the world, of life, of domestic relationships, of institutions, of the moral order, of sin and its consequences, God plan of redemption, of nations, and God’s choosing of His people, Israel. Genesis spans a greater range of time than any other book in the Bible. It extends from the beginning of the world to the death on Joseph in Egypt. There are three distinct periods of time: Time before the Great Flood, From the Flood to the call of Abraham, and the rise of the Patriarchs or Fathers of the nation of Israel.
1. GOD EXISTS – In the beginning, God…
The first verse of the Bible simply presents us with God. The Bible makes no attempt to explain God. The Bible say anyone who denies God exists is a fool. The rest of the Bible is an expansion on the theme of who God is, what He is like, and what He is doing. God has no beginning—He is eternal; He is without beginning and without ending.
In our supposedly sophisticated culture, many believe in God, but He is fashioned out of their own image – The humanist sees God as man deified, the Secularist sees God in his money and greed, the hedonist sees God in his pleasures.
Levels of Faith
Level 1. Atheism, which is a combination of two greek words - "a" meaning "not" and "theism" meaning "God"- which when you put them together yields "not God", in other words ... God does not exist.
Level 2 is Agnosticism, again from two greek words - "a" meaning "not" and "gnosticism" meaning "knowledge" - which together gives "not knowledge", in other words ... "God" exists, but is unknowable.
In practical terms, an agnostic person looks almost identical to an atheist. But philosophically, they’re different because they’re not willing to rule out the possibility of God’s existence.
Level 3 is Theism, which removes the objections of both atheism and agnosticism and says that "God does exist and can be known."
Now, what theism in its most basic sense doesn’t say is who that God is. In other words, you can be a Muslim who believes in Allah or a Jew who believes in Jehovah or a Christian who believes in Jesus or a New Ager who believes in the Great Spirit and be a theist.
Level 4 is Christianity, which claims that God exists and is knowable because he has been revealed in the person of Jesus Christ.