The Beginning of Life as We Know It
VIDEO before sermon
Welcome - Join me in Genesis 1 this morning
First week of a 31 week series entitled “The Story”
Chronological look at how all of God’s Word fits together
Chapter 1 - Covers Genesis 1-8
Upper and Lower Story Emphasis
Our perspective of everyday situations
bills, relationships, sickness, pain, hobbies, family life, careers, etc
limited, linear, horizontal in nature
His sovereign ability to know the beginning from the end
unlimited, all-encompassing, vertical
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.
Upright man, rich
In the span of a day, he lost all of his possessions and then all of his 10 kids - later had boils from head to toe
Wife response - curse God and die
Friend response - Repent!
Satan approached God to accuse Job for following only because of God’s blessings
God permits trial except to touch Job’s body
takes his 3 businesses, and crushes Job’s kids in a wind storm.
Job doesn’t curse God
Satan approaches again - acquiring physical harm - God permits
Job gets boils - sits in ashes and scrapes with broken pottery
Job never sins…
Lower Story - “Ouch, this is not fair”
Upper Story - “Hold on Job, I have a bigger plan, trust me!”
Catechism 1 “What is our only hope in life and death?” “That we are not our own, but belong to God.”
Throughout this book, we are going to see the upper story, and lower story, and how our story is to line up with God’s story.
Did you get to read Chapter 1? I hope you did!
As you are well aware, Chapter 1 begins at the beginning. “The Beginning of Life as we Know it”
At Sunday School they were learning how God created everything, including human beings. Johnny was especially intent when the teacher told him how Eve was created out of one of Adam's ribs.
Later in the week his mother noticed him lying down as though he were ill, and said, "Johnny, what is the matter?"
Johnny responded, "I have pain in my side. I think I'm having a wife."
Look with me there in Genesis 1:1
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
First 4 words - introduces main character of the story - God
Everyone and Everything else finds life and breath from Him
How do I know this? Because the next seven words tell us: God created the heavens and the earth.
How exactly, other than simply by His word, He accomplished this feat we do not know. But that is not the intent of Genesis 1-2.
From my study and point of view it is completely appropriate to hold to a young earth creationism point of view, which means God created the earth in six earth-bound days, therefore leaving our earth rather young but with the appearance of age.
Sort of like today, when teenagers buy a pair of jeans with the appearance of age – a brand-new pair of jeans, whitewashed, with holes all over them. Doesn’t make any sense to me, but God could have done creation that way. A good resource for this debate is an organization called Answers in Genesis. They host the Creation museum and Ark Encounter in Kentucky.
OR, you could hold the view on the other end, called theistic evolution, which suggests there is a gap of millions of years between Genesis 1:2 and 1:3, or that each of the six days represents a longer period of time than 24 earth-bound hours.
The main point you need to embrace is that God is behind creation. Just know that you are not an accident, or happened by chance.
We need to conclude that God started with nothing and created all we can see and everything we cannot see. Once you conclude that there is a Creator God, frankly he can do what he wants, whether it’s over a billion years or in a nanosecond.
ILL: Naked Cheetoh
Days 1, 2, and 3 are places created by God.
Day 1—Light and Dark
Day 2—Sky and Water
Days 4, 5, and 6 those places are filled with the things the places were created for.
Day 4—Sun and Moon/stars
Day 5—Birds and Sea creatures
Day 6—Animals and human beings
Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
Now we move to the whole point of creation: Why did God do all of this? It comes down to a magnificent garden God created called Eden that the Bible tells us is located where the Tigris and the Euphrates River intersect down by the Persian Gulf in modern day Iraq.
In this garden God places his crowning achievement, the apple of his eye – he creates humanity. God created all of the universe and the 100 billion galaxies we have found to date to display his glory and he does his best work right here.
The Father, Son and Holy Spirit – the community of God, simply desires to come down and do life with the community of humanity.
But God wants to know if Adam and Eve embrace the same vision. So, he instills in Adam and Eve something that is different from the rest of creation; he instills within humans the freedom to choose. To give Adam and Eve a way to declare their decision, he places two trees in the middle of the garden – The Tree of Life and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
Turn with me to Gen 2.
And out of the ground the Lord God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
That leads us to the second part in the story of the Garden.
Look over at Genesis 3
1 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? 2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: 3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. 4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: 5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. 6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. 7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
Because Adam and Eve chose a different vision than God’s vision, sin became part of their spiritual DNA and they produced more sinners.
12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned—
5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me.
They now have two choices, signified by the name of the tree – the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
There’s the good option that is right, moral, good for the sake of others, and there’s the other option that is warring within us, the evil choice, which is immoral, all about me getting what I want at the expense of others.
That’s one of the best definitions of sin there is, and Adam and Eve are now faced with that warring within.
We get the signal this has occurred by asking, “What is the very first thing Adam and Eve do after they bite into the forbidden fruit?” The Bible says they clothed themselves with fig leaves. Why? Now they are looking at each other, and instead of having just good thoughts about each other, now an evil thought emerges. For the first time they feel shame and they feel vulnerable. They cover up to protect themselves from the other person, and we have been in this defensive mode ever since.
Because of this sin
Both are cast out from the Garden
Both are cursed
And humanity suffers the consequences of sin
so, Genesis 4 – 9 present sin and a sin nature permeating the human race.
One example of this immediate permeating of sin is with
Cain and Abel
Cain and Abel
The Bible tells us that this single decision affects all of us, even today. How do we know this? On page 7 of The Story or in Genesis 4 we are introduced to Adam and Eve’s two boys, Cain and Abel.
They make sacrifices to God (because of their sin nature)
God is please with Abel’s sacrifice of meat, not Cain’s of plants
Cain gets jealous and angry
Cain kills Abel
Here is what we will see over and over again in the story – when humanity is left alone apart from God, the expressions of evil gets worse and worse. This is precisely what happens in the unfolding of the first pages of the Bible. From Cain killing his own brother to the time of the flood, sin escalates to the point of the despicable.
Genesis 6 records a deplorable act, against the design and pattern of God.
Humanity apart from God calls wrong, right and right, wrong. From a society that says it’s okay for boys to go into a girls’ bathrooms or when tolerance is used to justify sin - just like in Noah’s day
Whenever society gets to that place, God has to intervene, and this is exactly what he does.
5 Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6 And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.
An awful declaration, but God doesn’t end there.
He enacts His plan to restore fallen humanity.
How does God enact this plan? Look with me at Genesis 6:7-8
7 So the Lord said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.” 8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.
The plan makes complete sense.
Let’s start over. Let’s wipe out everyone because the evil has gotten so significant and we’ll start over with our very best guy in the human race – a guy named Noah. If we start over with the best guy, let’s see if we end up with a better end-product. So, that’s what he does.
Noah builds the ark 510 feet long, 85 feet wide, and 51 feet high
Along with his sons Ham, Shem, and Japheth
God boards the necessary animals, supplies, and Noah’s family
The rain begins. and it continues 40 days and 40 nights.
The entire world is flooded
Sin is defeated - it’s no longer a problem… Right? Wrong!
That sin nature is still there.
Just like sin escalated after Adam, so it happens again after Noah.
Over time, after the flood, when humanity is left alone apart from God, evil always escalates.
In Chapter 11 of Genesis,
together in one location to build a tower to the heavens for the purpose of building a name for themselves totally apart from any allegiance to God.
4 And they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.”
God steps in, and he graciously confuses their language to weaken their ability to work together to save them from themselves.
This happens frequently throughout The Story of God. He intervenes in the Lower Story with the purposes of His Upper Story.
What will it take to get us back into the Garden with God? What will God do next?
Do you recall what God did for Adam and Eve? Look at:
21 Also for Adam and his wife the Lord God made tunics of skin, and clothed them.
He replaces their fig leaves with the skin of an animal to cover their nakedness. He is signaling to us that the solution to getting you back and covering your sin is going to require the shedding of blood. You see where this is going?
The rest of the Bible is God’s story of how he makes it possible for us to enter a loving relationship with Him through faith.
From the creation story we discover the value of all human beings. God wants to be with you. Think about that. You. God wants to personally be with you. At great cost to God, God has done everything possible to get you back. You are valuable to Him. How will you respond?
The Story is just beginning. Read chapter 2 in your copy of the Story this week, and join us next week for part 2 - “God Builds A Nation”