ITB: The Power of His Word
Resource: Lead Pastor Justin Dosch
Topic: Genesis 1:1-25
There are two kinds of people in the world. There are people who are washcloth
people and there are people who are loofah people…can I get an amen?! You know who you are loofah people and washcloth people. Now I used to be a washcloth person until my wife opened my eyes a few years ago. Autumn said, “you got to switch to a loofah!”. Men, and I know what some of you guys are probably thinking, like “come on man, like that's girly, right? Guys don't use loofahs.” Well guys, I'm here to tell you that if using a loofah is wrong, I don't want to be right. It was a game changer for me. You just get so much more lather, it exfoliates so much better. I don't want to get too graphic but it's a good time. The loofah is so much better than the washcloth and there was a time when I just didn't know what I didn't know.
This is week 3 of a series we're calling “In the Beginning” (recap of week 2 here) and really what we're doing is we're looking at the creation story, going back to the beginning in Genesis, and we're studying out how God created the world. The reason that we're doing this series is because I so believe there are many people in this world who just don't know what they don't know, and we have a passion as a church to help people understand who this God is that we serve. Who we believe, DID create the universe and everything in it, including all of us who are sitting here today.
He created everything and what He created is good. The truth is there's so many people who are in the camp of distrust and unbelief because they cannot get past this beginning part of the Bible. What we're on a mission to do in this series is to change that and to help people see and understand with some rational thoughts, some real rational thought, that yes it takes faith, but there is evidence for the creation of the universe by this God that we serve.
There’s so much debate over how God created, even amongst Christians themselves.
You have Christians who believe that God used a process over millions or billions of years to create the world, “old Earth theologians” if you will, and then you have people who are what we call, “New Earth creationists,” people who believe the Earth is young and that God created the world in six literal days. The question we are going to unpack today is which one of those is the truth and most importantly,
does it really even matter?
To start, it matters. It absolutely matters. One, because to question whether God could create the world in six days is to question his power. Yes, he absolutely can create anything out of nothing in as short of an amount of time as he desires. Why? Because he is God, ruler of all the universe. He is over time, space and matter. Secondly, it matters because if the Creation Story isn’t true and is just an allegory, then it’s just a nice story and it calls into question the rest of scripture. But as we look at scripture, what we see repeatedly is scripture supporting one scripture. The rest of scripture corroborates that beginning story of Genesis. That it WAS created in six days.
So let’s unpack this today;
First, what does God’s Word say about it?
"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. 3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day. 6 And God said, “Let there be a vault between the waters to separate water from water.” 7 So God made the vault and separated the water under the vault from the water above it. And it was so. 8 God called the vault “sky.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the second day. 9 And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” And it was so. 10 God called the dry ground “land,” and the gathered waters he called “seas.” And God saw that it was good. 11 Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. 12 The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. 13 And there was evening, and there was morning—the third day. 14 And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so. 16 God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. 17 God set them in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth, 18 to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fourth day. 20 And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky.” 21 So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living thing with which the water teems and that moves about in it, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 22 God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth.” 23 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fifth day. 24 And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind.” And it was so. 25 God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good." - Genesis 1:1-25
1) HOW DID HE CREATE? HE CREATED BY HIS WORD, HE SPOKE AND IT WAS
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. 3 And God SAID let there be light, and there was light.
There’s no process of billions of years here. He said it and it was
In Psalm 33:6 it says, “By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth.” Hebrews 11:3 states, “By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.” There was nothing and then he spoke and there was something. That is power. Power that we cannot fully understand as human beings and yet, it’s a power that is important for us to at least begin to recognize. This is the God who spoke the world into existence.
I think the most fascinating and greatest piece of evidence for this is to actually flip to the New Testament and look at the life of Jesus. The Bible says that the word became flesh and it dwelt among us (John 1:14). Jesus Christ himself, it says, was the Word, who was there in the beginning, came into being as flesh, both fully God and fully man. While He was here on this Earth He had incredible power to do miraculous and supernatural things. Remember when Jesus turned water into wine? Remember when he resurrected someone from the dead, when he resurrected HIMSELF from the dead!? He does these miracles and he doesn’t wait for some process to get rolling, he simply speaks and it happens. There was no process of fermentation when he turned the water to wine. It was instantaneous. Why should we think his creation of the world would be any different?
2) HE DID IT IN SIX LITERAL DAYS
There’s as verse 2 Peter 3:8, where Peter talks about how, to the Lord one day is like a thousand year. And they have tried to use this to argue for an “old earth.” But, this is why it's so important to understand context when we read our Bibles. We can read that and easily take it out of context and go, “well maybe a day in the creation story is actually like a million years”. Context tells us though that Peter is specifically talking about the day that the Lord will return and wondering when Jesus is going to return. Meaning that it may feel like a long time but one day Jesus is coming back, so stay faithful and don’t lose heart.
“But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.” – 2 Peter 3:8
We also know that the Hebrew word used here for day is the word yom; it means DAY, one literal 24 hour day!
As we study this out further let’s go back to an important part in Genesis 1, Over and over it says, “And there was evening and there was morning”
Everything about this says literal day, it is the rhythm that God established for the world and humanity. From day one there was this pattern of light/dark (a day)
After each new act of creation there is evening and morning, a DAY
7 days is God’s pattern for the rhythm of mankind. We work and we rest. We still operate on a 7 day week. That isn’t a coincidence. That’s a perfectly designed pattern that has been since the beginning.
Furthermore; all of scripture corroborates a literal six day creation of the world by God
Just look at Jesus, who took Genesis and the OT LITERALLY;
Jesus was speaking to some Pharisees who were questioning his teachings and said this; 46 If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me. 47 But since you do not believe what he wrote, how are you going to believe what I say?” John 5:46
And what did Moses say about creation? 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. - Exodus 20:11
Jesus didn’t just believe the creation account. He believed in other miraculous accounts such as Jonah; 40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. Matthew 12:40
Jesus recognizes these stories. People want to make them allegories, just good metaphorical illustrations. But he's recognizing them as real actual events that happened and I believe if our Savior does, we must as well..
3) THERE WAS AN INTELLIGENT ORDER
There was an intelligent order when we read those first few verses in Genesis and the creation of the world. We see an intelligent design, this intelligent order. First of all, it says in the beginning God created the heavens and the Earth. He created the heavens and the Earth and it was: formless and void. So in the very beginning there was nothing. This is a really hard concept for us to grasp; that in the beginning there was nothing. There was no time, space, matter. All those things did not exist and it hurts our finite human brains to think outside of those three things. How is it possible that there could not be time, matter, or space? There are many people who would question and say “okay, if there is a God, where did God come from?” … this is going to blow your mind. It’s a very valid question, but it is an infinite question. Because even if you can answer the question who created God, then you have the question of who created whoever created the one that created God!? It can go on for forever. So what does that tell us? God has always been. He has always existed outside the realm of time, space, and matter and when he created, he did something called ex nihilo, “out of nothing God created.”
In the Hebrew language it uses these two words to describe what the world was like in the beginning: Tohu (formless, wasteland) and Vohu (void, empty)
Think a mass of watery clay(surface of the deep) without design, lifeless. Over the next 6 days God would “shape” it and fill it. Another way scripture supports Genesis where something was created from nothing.
So let’s break down the days and the intelligent order that took place
Day 1: Light - which we KNOW is essential to life
Light is the single most important source of energy and heat on earth, without it life on earth would be impossible > nothing would grow, earth would be cold
God is light > His Light is LIFE > it is WHO God is
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:1-5
It was not the light of the sun, but the light of life
It was temporary, like temporary construction lights
Day 2: Vault (aka: The Sky)
Hebrew word meaning “to spread an overlay”. Water was pulled from the earth making a giant canopy of vapor that spread over the earth; creating our breathable atmosphere
Day 3(a) Land and sea
The third act of separation finalizing the foundation for life to be created (Light from dark > sea from sky > water from land
Day 3(b) Plant life
It was Instantly created > mature plants that were ready to bear seed
Ever think about the amazing design of seeds and how they blow, drop, and spread to create new life? Just amazing!
Day 4: Lights in the Heavens
We know the first light was God’s glory, like what it will be like in heaven! See Revelation!
So, why did God create the “lights” if there was already light?
God set them in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth, 18 to GOVERN the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness.
“Govern;” means serve as markers for seasons, days, years > our whole calendar is determined by them
To Control weather patterns, oceans, ecosystems etc.
To power the earth; how amazing is photosynthesis!? Plants give off oxygen, humans give off carbon dioxide. It’s all powered by the sun and we take for granted the brilliance!
Finally, to display his glory and remind us how BIG God is and how SMALL we are
When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? Psalm 8:-3-4
Day 5: Populating the seas and skies
Like the seed bearing plants the animals were fully grown
If you ever want to know what came first, the chicken or the egg? That’s easy, the chicken!!
Ever look at the design of woodpeckers? Check it out sometime. Truly brilliant!
Day 6: Populating the land
“Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals
The Bible’s three classifications of land animals;
Livestock > domesticated animals like cattle/sheep
Creeping things > reptiles, insects, rodents etc.
Wild animals(beasts) > larger animals
A Brilliant parallel
On day one God separates light from dark and on day four he puts light bearers in the sky for day and night
On day two he separates sea from sky and on day five he fills the sea and the sky
On day three he creates the land and on day six he fills the land
I share all of that so you can see there was an intelligent process that went into this. God did it in six literal days but it wasn't like he didn't plan this out. It was planned out to perfection, each step needing to happen before the next. This is how God created with his word. But I want to share one more thing because for me this is so critical…I look at Genesis 1:1-2 and I recognize how intimately involved our creator was in creation. I think sometimes people think God just kind of got the process going. Like a music box. He turned the little crank on the back, wound it up, and then just let it go. Now it's just it's going and God removed himself from the process. And he's not really part of it anymore. He's just kind of standing up there watching the chaos…
I don't believe that's true at all and this is powerful and important for us today.
God was and is intimately involved in His creation and because of that it is GOOD.
He's intimately involved in his creation and because of that, where we live, this planet, it is good. I know it's hard to see that sometimes. We are going to talk about the fall and sin and why the world has deteriorated to where it is now but God created the world and it was a good place. I want us to go back to Genesis 1:2. I want us to see this, it says, and the spirit of God was hovering over the waters. The Earth was formless and void; he had created the universe and the Holy Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
The word hovered is a hebrew word used to describe a mother hen hovering over her chicks. In other words there’s an intimacy to the creators involvement. He lovingly hovered over the earth as he created it. Giving great care and attention to it. His affection for his creation knows no bounds.
Another translation for hover is, “vibrated or hummed over.” It is as if the Spirit “hummed” over the surface of the earth and He transferred His power and energy into it.
Bottom line; God didn’t just set the earth in motion like a wind-up toy. He was and continues to hover over his creation with great affection. And after each day; “God saw that it was good.”
As you go throughout your day today remember this; God lovingly, intricately created this incredibly beautiful paradise for the creature he planned to make in His own image, YOU! And He did it with a WORD.
That same power that spoke the world into existence is the same power he used to resurrect Jesus Christ from the dead, and ultimately resurrects every person who repents and calls on the Lord Jesus for salvation!
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