January 3, 2021
Sermon notes January 3, 2020
Today is our first Sunday together in 2021. Hope abounds in the New Year and we all look forward to what may be. Resolutions are made, and there are life changes. One thing we are going to encourage among ourselves is the goal to read the Bible each day in 2021 and to read all the Bible. We have the Bible reading plan on Facebook, and it was passed out last week. If you read Day 1 and 2, you have already covered seven chapters in the Bible from Genesis, which is the record of how everything began. These seven chapters reveal to us the origin of life, creation, God’s design for people, the Fall when people first sinned, God’s love to help sinful people, people’s continued sin and pursuit of evil, and the account of the Flood with Noah and his ark.
There are so many things we could choose to preach on in these seven chapters, but I want us to focus on Genesis 1:1 – 2:3. This is the origin of life. These verses tell us how night and day came to be, the earth and the heavens, the waters, the sky, land, plants, stars, sun, moon, the animals, and people. This morning I want us to establish a few facts from Genesis that are essential to a proper worldview.
First, God is the Creator. Genesis 1:1 states, “In the beginning God”. God has always existed, and it is by God that all things were created. There are some people who question the origin of the universe or the origin of life. Some question the beginning of all things because they have not been given the answer which is here in God’s Word. Some would deny God’s Word and suggest a lie in place of the truth – lies such as The Big Bang Theory, evolution, primordial soup. Why? Why push a lie over the true Word of God? Because of the desire some people have to not be accountable to a Higher Being. People do not want a God to answer to so they try to convince themselves of an alternative and Satan is more than willing to offer deceptions that lead people away from God. And so, Satan and his workers develop lies in the minds of people, and people looking to escape the authority of God cling to the lie. But some would object to the Bible’s account and claim science says otherwise. True science does not contradict the Bible. Bad science poses alternative theories that cannot be proven but exist only as deceptive false narratives. Science is not infallible, it makes mistakes. Science once “knew beyond doubt” the earth was flat and the earth was the center of the universe, but that was wrong! The false narratives persist only because sinful people choose to promote them over God’s Word. By God’s Word all things came into existence by God speaking. In verses 3, 6, 9, 14, 20, 24 we see that God said, and it was. We cannot remove God from our worldview. We exist only because God existed first and made us.
Why is this so important to understand that God is the Creator? Accepting God as Creator frames much of how we view life as we will discuss later. And the rejection of God as Creator, that allows a person to reject other parts of God Word, such as the commands to love God, to love all people, and the way of salvation through Jesus. It is dangerous to reject any part of God’s Word.
Secondly, God made people special compared to everything else. Genesis 1:26-27 tells us God made people in His image, and mankind was made to rule over the rest of creation. There is no special blessing given to nature, a “Mother Earth”, or any animal. Only people are made in God’s image and made to rule. People are treasured by God in creation and are to be treasured by us. We need to respect and hold dear people, over any other created thing because people alone and all people have God’s image. We have souls, creative reasoning, morality, love, wisdom, and knowledge. All of this is because God made us special. Our worldview needs to value human life. With a Biblical worldview regarding others then we will not value one type of people over another, we will not value the environment to the detriment of people, we will love other people, and we will share the hope of the Gospel with others.
Thirdly, God’s actions and plans are good. Genesis 1:31 reveals when life exists per God’s ideal, it is indeed very good. Repeatedly through Genesis 1 we see God declare what He created as good and it culminates in day 6 with the creation of people that God’s creation was very good. The plans of God are good but things cease to be good when there is rejection of God’s plan. Adam and Eve rejected God’s plan to not eat from the tree of knowledge and the result was bad: The Fall. Repeatedly we will see as we continue through the Bible that when people reject God’s plan, when they disobey God’s commands bad things result. We can testify to own lives that when we have ignored God’s plan there were negative consequences. Also, so very important is the acceptance that God’s will is good even when we do not understand it. God’s good will triumphs over people’s disobedience to Him. God had a plan to help Adam and Eve after they sinned. It was a bad plan by Joseph’s brothers to sell him into slavery and it harmed their family, but God took what they meant for evil and used Joseph in Egypt to ultimately save their family from starving. The Israelites thought it was a failure to flee Egypt only to be trapped by the Red Sea, but God’s plan parted the sea so they could cross on dry ground. Surely some thought it crazy to circle the mighty city of Jericho in silence and then to blow some trumpets, but God worked a miracle to topple and impenetrable fortress to give victory. It was madness for Gideon to confront the enemy with such a small army that God repeatedly culled, but God won the victory. How could the young David face the giant champion Goliath with any hope but by God’s power Goliath fell. Esther risked her life to speak on behalf of her people but it saved them all. It was crazy to just throw a fishing net on the other side of boat after hours of not catching anything but the net came back full. Wasn’t it absurd for a group of people to climb a roof, tear open this home’s roof all to lower their paralyzed friend down to Jesus – but that man walked. It was crazy for Ananias to go visit the murderer Saul, but he gave credibility to Paul. It was against all sense for Jesus to surrender to the authorities in the garden and go to an execution! But thank God for His great plan that used what people thought was an execution as the sacrifice for all people’s sins, so we might have forgiveness – and it was followed by the Resurrection! The ways of life may not always make sense to us and there is evil in our world now that results in bad things. But our God, the Creator, has good plans that are greater than anything in this world and God overcomes the world and its evil for God’s victory! May our worldview understand the supremacy of God over all things and that God will overcome according to His good plan!