1 In the beginning, God created Genesis 1:1 Creation The Architect Today marks the beginning of a four week sermon series on Creation. Now before we get too far into our discussion, I want to tell you that the understanding of Creation is crucial to your existence. Where you stand on creation is significant to understand God, His Word, your sin, the Gospel of Jesus, and your future. Creation is not secondary or academic or for politicians and school boards to discuss, it is foundational to the Gospel. Now one reason I believe this is that Creation is all over the Bible. It is in the new and old testament. It is in the law, the prophets, the psalms and the Gospels. It is in the beginning and the end. Many, many places and many, many people including Jesus Christ talk about the aspect of Creation. So make no mistake, it is fundamental. Now today, we are going to start, not focusing on creation, but we are going to focus on the Creator. Or to say it another way, we are not going to focus on the painting, but focus on the painter. Or to put it another way, we are not going to focus on the building, but on the builder. Hebrews 3:3-4 says, For Jesus has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses--as much more glory as the builder of a house has more honor than the house itself. (For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God.) Now to do this, we will be all over the Bible today. There is not going to be just one text that will shed light on God, the Creator. To get us in the right frame of mind, I want to start with a quote from AW Tozer. Towzer wrote a book titled, The Knowledge of the Holy. This is a great book and I recommend that all of you read it. This is what Tozer says, What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us. This is why I think dwelling upon the Creator and spending time in some of these weightier matters is so important. If our view of God is off, I believe our relationship with him will be off. I believe that we are, at times, too casual when it comes to the majesty of God. In this post-modern, everything goes world, our understanding of God has become a muddy mess. Paul tells Titus in his Titus 2:1, But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine. This is what a pastor is commissioned to do above all, to teach sound doctrine. And this is what I hope to do today by the Grace of God. Having said that let s begin with Genesis 1:1. It says that In the beginning, God created Now, what this tells us that creation had a catalyst, and this catalyst was God. He is the force behind all of Creation. Now this makes sense in how we understand cause and effect. The general understanding is that all things have a cause. For example this building had a builder. You have parents. Our bread was at one time a seed of wheat. Everything is linked to something before it. However, the question then becomes does this chain of events stretch back to infinity past. The answer is no. God is the beginning of all things. 1
2 Revelation 4:11 says, Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created." John 1:3, All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. Acts 14:15, Men, why are you doing these things? We also are men, of like nature with you, and we bring you good news, that you should turn from these vain things to a living God, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all that is in them. Colossians 1:16, For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities--all things were created through him and for him. This is just a sampling of scripture that tells us that God created everything; there are many more passages that point to this truth. Now the only way that this could be true, that God created all things, that he is the first link on the chain is if he is not created. He must be eternal. If he is not eternal, then he is just like you and I, a creature. He is the effect of some other cause. If he is not eternal, we owe our existence to something else other than God. If he is not eternal, it flies in the face of Revelation 4:11 and we owe glory and honor and power to something else, namely the something that created God. And God tells us in Isaiah 42:8, I am the LORD; that is my name; my glory I give to no other. So logically, we must recognize that God is eternal. However, God s word also tells us explicitly. Psalm 90:2 Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God. Psalm 102:27 but you are the same, and your years have no end. Isaiah 57:15 For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, Romans 1:20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. So the first thing we must recognize and should cause us to worship the Glory of God is that He is eternal, outside the bounds of time. He holds all of the past, present or future in His hands. And yes, this should make your head hurt. But this is our God and this is why we praise His name. Our Creator has no end and all things flow from Him. Now let us take another step into some deeper waters. When we say God, what do we mean? If we go back to Genesis 1:1 the word for God in Hebrew is elohiym. Now what is interesting about this word for God is that it is plural. It is saying that God is more than one. Likewise if you go down to verse 26 it says Then God said, Let us make man in our image, after our 2
3 likeness. These are the first verse that give us a window into the Trinity. God wants us to know that God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit were all a part of giving life. Now as we briefly tackle this subject, let me start with a quote from John Wesley. He says this, Bring me a worm that can comprehend a man, and then I will show you a man that can comprehend the Triune God. Now, make no mistake that God is beyond on comprehension, and the trinity is as complex it comes, but do not let hard things stop us. We should pursue the glory of God in the Trinity. So what is the Trinity? First, the word Trinity is nowhere in the Bible. It is believed to first be coined by a guy named Tertullian who lived from 155 to 220 A.D. What Tertullian saw as he read the Bible was an apparent contradiction. He would see text like the ones we just read and then see, Deuteronomy 6:4, "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. or Zechariah 14:9, And the LORD will be king over all the earth. On that day the LORD will be one and his name one. Then he would read John 1:1 where it says, In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. We didn t speak it, but our last month sermon series was really a sermon series on the Trinity. The entire point of Jesus saying over and over again, I Am is to say that he is God. And Last week we saw Jesus trying to get Martha to wrap her head around that the Jesus that stood before her was God. So the question is how can God be one, and also be more than one? So here is the definition of the Trinity pursuant to the Westminster Confession of Faith, In the unity of the Godhead there be three Persons of one substance, power, and eternity: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost. The Father is of none, neither begotten nor proceeding; the Son is eternally begotten of the Father; the Holy Ghost eternally proceeding from the Father and the Son. So God is one in essence or substance, but three in distinction. This is hard to wrap our heads around. Here is another attempt to say it. This is what Jonathan Edwards says about two parts of the Trinity, God, with perfect clearness, fullness and strength, understands Himself, views His own essence, that idea which God hath of himself is absolutely Himself. Or to say it another way, the image that he has of himself is lacking nothing. Therefore, if it lacks nothing it becomes Him all over again. What about the Holy Spirit? What Edwards says is that God images forth Himself, which is the Son. God loves and enjoys the Son, because He perfectly represent all that is God, and therefore all that is good. Likewise the Son loves and enjoys the Father because he is all that is good. This act of love and joy that flows, or proceeds, between the Son and the Father is so pure, so complete and so powerful that it manifests itself into a third person, called the Holy 3
4 Spirit. This is why we see the Holy Spirit so connected to love because it is the love that is be past back and forth between God the father and God the Son. Now, for me that explanation helps, but perhaps for you it does not. So this is what I want you to remember about the Trinity, God is one in substance, but simultaneously and equally three persons. God the Father is completely God, God the Son is completely God, and God the Spirit is completely God. So right now you are saying to yourself, so what. What does this have to do with creation, what does this have to do with me, why should I care? First, as we have already said, in the study of Creation we see the Trinity all over the place. First we see elohiym, then we see in Genesis 1:2, The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. Then we see things like our image and us in Genesis 1:26 and Genesis 3:22. Then we see God speaking creation into existence and in John 1:1-3 we see, In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through [Jesus], and without [Jesus] was not any thing made that was made. And then in Colossians 1:16 we see, For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities--all things were created through [Jesus] and for [Jesus]. And once again we see in Hebrews 1:2-3, in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. 3 He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. Make no mistake about it, God wants us to know that in the act of creation, it does not just involve God the Father, but it also involves God the Son and God the Spirit. Second, the Trinity demonstrates that the Creator of all things is not like the created. He is so OTHER. He is separate from His creation, even in form. This is why the creatures in Heaven say, Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty. Holy just means set apart. The reality that God is so complex and so mind blowing that it should demonstrate to us that our God is worthy to be worshipped. Earlier, I mentioned the great theologian AW Tozer, here is another quote from his book Knowledge of the Holy, The essence of idolatry is the entertainment of thoughts about God that are unworthy of Him. Due to our fallen nature, we tend to reduce God s majesty and Glory and put Him on the same level as humanity. When you do this, you are not worshipping God, you are worshipping your false image of God, an Idol. Third, the Trinity is important because it tells us that God is a relational God. In fact, His own being is a relationship. The Tri-Une God is relational at His core. The loving relationship between God and the Son has existed forever and it is the most powerful, joyful, loving, pure 4
5 and significant relationship imaginable. We should desire to know more about this love that flows between the Father and His Son so that we can participate in it, so that we can be caught up in it, so that we can enjoy it. This is the point of Creation to participate in the pure love that flows between the Father and the Son. Here is a quote from CS Lewis that demonstrates what I mean All sorts of people are fond of repeating the Christian statement that "God is love." But they seem not to notice that the words 'God is love' have no real meaning unless God contains at least two persons. Love is something that one person has for another person. If God was a single person, then before the world was made, He was not love. Our God is relational at His core, and we should view Him through this lens. Forth, it helps us in better understanding the depth and the richness of the Gospel. The Trinitarian participation in creation, in my opinion, is a foreshadowing of the Gospel. Think about it. When God desires to save us, chose us, make us a new creation in Him, God is the starting point. Your testimony doesn t start with In the beginning Phil It starts with In the beginning God. Right? The question isn t when did you find God, but when did God find you. And before you are saved the Spirit of God is hovering over your dark and utterly void life. Just like how the Spirit was hovering over the deeps before creation. And then God speaks His Word, the Gospel, into your life, and the Spirit of God that is hovering all around you penetrates your heart with the good news of Jesus Christ, and your eyes are open, and for the first time in your life you see the light of Jesus Christ. And God says, it is good. This should cause you to weep. God is so good and amazing. His creation screams out His Glory. He Word shows us how all things are created through Jesus and for Jesus. Even creation itself foreshadows the love God has for us that is eventually displayed on the Cross by Jesus Christ. Our builder is worthy of honor! 5
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