Summary: Today, be reminded that you and I have been created Imageo Dei; in the very image of the perfect and triune God who created! Amen.
The God Who Created, Genesis 1:1-2:4a
Does one duty ever take the precedence over another? It is the old question over which the rabbis disputed. “Which is the first and greatest commandment?” The question was, after all, a legitimate one. Even among unmistakable obligations there are those which have the right to rank first.
The man who builds a house can not leave out the framework, but before that must come the foundation. Roof and framework and foundation are all essential, but imagine the result if he attempts to reverse the order and begin with the roof!
Jesus did not condemn thrift and carefulness about material concerns, but he did say, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God” (Matt. 6:33). It is a significant fact that the first words of the Bible, taken alone, set forth the same thing; “In the beginning God” (Gen. 1:1).
When a person puts God first in considering that which claims their time and talent and in mapping out his plans, they will not be unfaithful to any other obligation.
Today we will consider the nature of the God who created the Heavens and the Earth and everything which is in it. We will consider the Holy Trinity; the triune nature of God. The very first words of the Bible are beautiful in their simplicity yet profound in the fullness of their meaning; “In the beginning God.”
God is the measure of all things. God is not only the creator but also the sustainer of all things. The God who gave us life also continually gives us meaning for that life. The God who fills us with hope gives us a purpose for that hope.
Deuteronomy 6:4-5, “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one! You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.” (NKJV)
If God is one then it is important that we understand the nature of His unity and if we are to love Him with all of our heart, soul, and strength then it is important that we know who it is we are to love.
What greater question can be asked than, “Who is God and what is He like?” But who can comprehend the nature of God? Who can plumb the depths of God?
While much can be known, there is a great deal about God that we cannot understand. Who can understand the Trinity? John Wesley very appropriately said, “Bring me a worm that can comprehend a man, and then I will show you a man that can comprehend the Triune God!”
This morning we will not seek so much to completely understand the Trinity; rather we will seek to more fully appreciate the nature of God in a way that we can apply to our lives as followers of the God who created us to worship Him!
Genesis 1:1 says that “In the beginning God created.” The Hebrew word used here is the word Bara and that word is reserved only for God in the Bible. Bara means to create but it means much more than that. It means that God created the universe and all that is in it from nothing.
The Bible does not tell us that God stumbled upon some matter which He shaped into the material universe. Outside of the biblical account there is no explanation of origins to be found. All ancient creation myths begin with a preexistent universe complete with space, time, and matter and work from there.
The Greeks believed that the material world was born in fire and that every 10,000 years or so fire would once again consume the world and the process would begin again. Many Native American tribes believed that the world had been created on the back of a giant sea turtle.
Modern evolutionary thought, which dominates the postmodern worldview, does not provide an explanation of origins. Evolutionary thought begins with the “big bang” theory but it fails to offer any explanation of the cause of that monumental event or the source of the material which exploded into the universe.
The Bible’s account of creation is unique. It tells us that God created the world ex-nihilo, that is, out of nothing. When we gaze at the creative nature of God we find meaning for our lives because we do not look merely at our physical surroundings. We look beyond limitations of this world into the face of eternity.
It is only in the biblical account of creation that we find a purpose to this universe and to our lives. Genesis is appropriately the first book in the Bible because it is the starting point for all of the rest of the doctrines and the teachings of the Bible. If God did not create then there is no purpose. Yet, God did create!