Summary: What happens when something good goes bad? It happens all the time...so what do we do?
Welcome to the beginning of the New Year and our nine-month journey through the Old Testament. I want to encourage you to make a commitment to plug into one of the community groups that meet during the week and to complete the Growth Seeds, our daily devotional. The combination of Sunday services, mid-week community groups and Growth Seeds will help you in your quest for spiritual maturity in 2004. Last week we talked about fulfilling our four main points of our life travel by establishing in 2004 Spiritual Training, Physical Training, Financial Training and Evangelistic Training.
During the next nine months we will be reading through the Old Testament as part of our spiritual training. What we glean from this overview will help us not only in our spiritual training but the other three areas of discipline as well. The study will also be available on tape for $2 ea for the series or you can listen to it on line. So lets get ready to dig in.
There is so much we could look at as we begin, in fact, we could spend the rest of our lives in Genesis so understand, you might have favorite passages you enjoy, and I might not spend time there. It doesn’t mean they don’t have meaning, it just means for the purpose of this overview, I did not have time to park and dig out all the great nuggets that are available.
I want to begin our study by looking at the question, when does good go bad. It happens, we have probably all experienced it, a relationship that goes south, and a friend who does the seemingly incomprehensible. It doesn’t have to be as notorious as Gary Ridgeway, Jeffrey Dalmer, Ted Bundy or whatever number of serial killers you can think of. When good goes bad it may not be a physical act of aggression that plummets a person from the goodness scale, it could and most commonly is another form of action or deed when some falls from the good graces of life. It is a problem as old as time.
Before we can say something has gone bad, we must first acknowledge the existence of good. To do that, lets go to the beginning of creation, the book of Genesis. The problem begins to develop in the first verse. As we look at how good goes bad, we need to understand some key issues along the way. The first being…
1. God created.
It tells us that right off the bat. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
This is probably one of the most controversial statements in the Bible, especially today where our worldview denies the creation by God because it denies God’s presence. There has always been a clash between accepting God’s creation and man’s attempt at creating God. History has shown the worship of the sun, moon and stars, it has seen people model images from stone or wood and bow down and worship these created objects as some form of deity. Human sacrifices have been offered up as appeasements in an attempt to manipulate or influence these created gods of this world in a vain attempt to gain favor. Although it wasn’t until our modern setting when the separation of those who hold to the truth of God the supreme being and creator of the heavens and earth against those who hold there is no god but ourselves, has come to the forefront of debate, discussion, and eventually legislation.
Bernard Ramm wrote, “This deep moving secularism—life without God, philosophy without the Bible, community without the Church…was an irresistible tide.”
Man has replaced the first verse of Genesis, in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth with evolution, genetic mutation, and chaotic happenstance. In order to justify flawed thinking, in order to elevate man as god of his universe, society has sought to explain away divine creation, failing to realize, you can write it out of the books, you can legislate it from public schools and public places, but you cannot remove it from the factual truth, God created the heavens and the earth.
What is the standard for good? That’s the next thing we need to understand…
2. God created good.
Here is how it works. First, God created. Genesis goes on to say; Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the face of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said let there be light, and there was light.
We have Father God creating, His Spirit hovering over the water, and He speaks the word and light comes into existence. John 1:1 tells us in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. Verse 14 points out The Word became Flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. The Word is Jesus Christ, so at Creation is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. I point this out because we need to recognize the God of the Old Testament is the same God as the New, and although the Trinity in its makeup is somewhat of a mystery in its detail, it is nonetheless God in three persons, working in harmony to create. And together they created good. Look at these verses of creation…