Summary: The beginning of a pastoral charge - where do we begin?
Sermon Title: Beginnings
Text: Genesis 1:1-3
Date: July 6, 2003 - AM
Context of Scripture:
As I prayed about where to begin my messages in this new charge that the Lord has called me to, I was drawn to the book of beginnings. What a better spot to begin looking at the Word together as a body of Christ then the Book of Genesis, written by God’s Prophet Moses.
There is something that we can learn from beginnings. When we speak of new beginnings, then we ought to set aside anything negative that deals with the past, not in a sense of ignoring or failing to learn from, but to keep it from prejudicing and tainting the new beginning. We deal with the hurts of the past, we pray about the things that have happened, we lay what we cannot correct on the altar of prayer and say Lord, work in me a new beginning.
As we set out as this body of Christ, in a new beginning of sorts, what is it that the Lord has laid upon our hearts. The advantage of beginning again over that of beginning anew, is that we have a wealth of experience to draw from that tells us what was wrong, what didn’t work, and it also tells us where we were successful and where there was progress being made. Beginning anew is not the starting over but the continuation at the point of past success.
Why do I begin with this? For each and everyone of us, whether we view it that way or not, we are at a new beginning. We are not starting from the beginning but continuing at some point of where we left off, even though it be different locations. As a congregation, you have the wealth of experience of things past, and I as pastor bring with me the experience of my past congregations. There are lost souls all around us, and we don’t need to be taught that we are to reach out and minister to them. This is where we combine all of the good experience of the past and set out to set the world ablaze for God, tempered by the things of the past that we have found to be ineffective and perhaps even wrong.
With this in mind let us turn our attention to the Holy Scripture beginning with Genesis 1 verses 1 through 3:
1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. 3 Then God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light.
I don’t know about the rest of you, but science fascinates me. Here we have a discipline, that at its roots are based in common sense and its basis of proof is are established facts. When we look at Scripture, we find that the Word of God is the best of common sense because everything that is contained in His Word is ultimately for our own good, though that may not be determined until we enter into eternity. God’s Word is fact. Look at all of the prophecies regarding Jesus from His birth, through His ministry, through His death and resurrection and ascension and on to His coming again. We find things that are told to do, that are included in His Word, that are factual or become factual when we follow what we are told. In many cases, when we look at this comparison, we might wonder why science is so blatantly contrary to what we see as Biblical truth. Or is there something in the Biblical truths that cause the sciences to question the morality and appropriateness of some of their pursuits?
The archaeologists have all of these wonderful tools at their disposal, and it seems like much of the drive behind their use is the attempted discrediting of the Word of God. Methods that are used to prove the age of certain things are based upon an arbitrary date of beginning, which they do not know. If they base their findings on a figure that they are guessing at, then why should we believe what they say? Since God created out of nothing, why would He be limited to creating age appropriate materials? If God wanted to create a rock that seemed to be thousand of years old at its inception, why couldn’t He? We got to remember that some of these scientists are of the same school of thought as the anthropologists whose claim of finding a missing link in the evolution of man had actually discovered the tooth of an extinct pig. How in the world do they get a complete drawing of a whatever, if they only have a tooth to start out with? Time was created by God and as such He governs what it entails.