Summary: No. 2 in the series, "THe Story God is Telling," this sermon provides a quick survey of Genesis with emphasis on the beginning of Man, Sin, Forgiveness and Sanctification.
Series: THE STORY GOD IS TELLING
Title: “Let’s Begin …”
Text: Genesis 1:1, 26-27, 31a [NKJV]
Genesis 6:5, 8 [NKJV]
A. On our calendar January marks the beginning of a new year.
1. With that new year come a myriad of resolutions … to read the Bible daily … to pray more often than at the dinner table … to have perfect attendance in Sunday School … [Jeannie can remember the year her family’s resolution was to stay for church after Sunday School dismissed] … and then there’s most everyone’s favorite: lost weight!
2. If you’re at all like me, you’ve broken most of them already. We’re just starting the fourth week and I’m up four pounds … OK, maybe five.
B. January also marks the beginning of a new semester for many of our schools and colleges.
1. At Ivy Tech we have some new internet technology called Campus Connect. It‘s not working more than it is … I’ve never seen anything this slow … dial-up is faster. Of course it got more than 10 million “hits” the first four days.
2. Not a good beginning.
C. In the story God is telling there is both a beginning and an ending … that ending may be off in the far distant future, or as near as the next second, or the next, or the next … you get the idea.
1. We’ll talk more of that ending in this sermon series … if God allows us the time.
2. He has given us this time … and so we want to begin.
Central Idea: Genesis is a book of beginnings … that’s what the Hebrew word means. In this first part of the Law we discover the beginning of Man, Sin, Forgiveness, and Sanctification.
I. In Genesis We Discover the Beginning of Man.
A. Last week we mentioned that Man has a Maker … we came from God.
1. This is recognized in Scripture, especially by the Psalmist.
Psalm 139:13-16—For you formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well.
My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them.
2. And it is known in our hearts.
Helen Keller was nineteen months old when she was stricken by “brain fever,” [probably scarlet fever or meningitis]. The illness left her without sight, or sound, and thus she could not speak. But into her life came that most wonderful teacher, Anne Sullivan. Anne broke through the isolating barrier and eventually told Helen of her Creator. Helen is reported to have signed back, “I always knew He was there, but I didn’t know what to call Him.”
B. But today we want to focus on this thought … His image.
1. In Genesis 1 God says, “Let us make man is Our image, according to our likeness ….”
2. Does this mean that God looks like us? Does He walk through His creation on two legs … with two arms and hands … and one head?
3. Or, since He is a triune God, does He have three?
4. Don’t be ridiculous … the image we bear is spirit, not matter.
5. Genetically, man and chimp are 98.5 percent identical. But the differences between us are profound. [Maggie Fox, Health and Science Correspondent, Reuters]
6. With all apologies to the Planet of the Apes movies, we were given dominion over the chimp. We were created with a moral compass capable of knowing good and evil. We are capable of walking and talking with our Creator.
a. Our first parents shared every evening with Him … Genesis 3:8-9.
b. Enoch [the father of Methuselah, the oldest man in the Bible] walked with God [see Genesis 5:24].
Supposedly, God came down and visited with Enoch, and then the patriarch walked with Him back toward heaven. Each time they took that walk they ended up a little further from earth before Enoch turned back. Finally the day came when God turned to His friend and said, “We’re a lot closer to my house than yours, why don’t you just come home with me?”
… and he was not, for God took him!
C. God wants us to come home with Him, too … someday. That’s why we were made. According to the Westminster Catechism, our chief and highest end is to glorify God, and fully to enjoy Him forever.
Transition: In Genesis we find our beginning, and how marvelous it was. We were made in God’s spiritual image … just a little lower than the angels but crowned with glory and honor [Hebrews 2:7]. Then something terrible happened … SIN!