The When of Creation (Genesis 1:1)

Author’s Note: I am preaching through Genesis on Wednesday nights. Here I will present edited notes in blog form. You can access the audio of this sermon here. May God be glorified and His people edified. Comments below if you like.

In the last post I wrote about how the most offensive verse in the Bible is Genesis 1:1, where we find out that everything has come into being through a Creator… the Creation… God… the Hebrew word Elohim. He is the who of creation, and the implications of that are huge. You can read more here.

ageearthThe topic of this post, then, is the when of creation — when creation happened. What does it mean when Genesis 1:1 says, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth”? When was that beginning?

This is, of course, a controversial subject for some, and to be sure, it’s not of first importance. That is to say, it’s not the gospel. It’s not the doctrine of who God is. You could say it’s a secondary issue. But then again, if we don’t get the beginning right, there are ramifications to that. How we answer the question of when creation happened is important, and I’m convinced it says much about what we really believe regarding the authority of Scripture.

The more I study it all, the more this becomes a conviction, because if the Bible is our authority for all we believe and how we are to live, and if we hold to sola scriptura, the Reformation principle of Scripture alone (and I believe we must), then we know — and I’m not speculating when I say that — we know the when of creation. Using the Bible, using biblical history, using the genealogies, we can pinpoint creation to around 6000 years ago, something around 4000 BC. It may seem far-fetched to think we can be that precise, but it’s only because the Bible is fairly precise. We can know the when of creation. Continue reading The When of Creation (Genesis 1:1)

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The Who of Creation (Genesis 1:1)

Author’s Note: I am preaching through Genesis on Wednesday nights. Here I will present edited notes in blog form. You can access the audio of this sermon here. May God be glorified and His people edified. Comments below if you like.

We live in a day and age much like other days and ages, where the Christian worldview — and those who hold it — are demeaned and dismissed. Such demeaning an dismissing is more overt a it used to be, as the facade of cultural Christianity collapses under the weight of its own largesse. Recently the fire chief in Atlanta was fired for having the temerity of holding an opinion about homosexuality and so-called “same-sex marriage” that isn’t in line with the cultural narrative’s prevailing winds. When you go against the flow you’re no longer deemed different. You are intolerant, outdated, bigoted, and/or a hate-monger.

Genesis1The difference between those who hold the Christian worldview — that is, the biblically faithful worldview — and those who do not is that when it comes to controversial issues like the definition of marriage, homosexual and transgender what not, a woman submitting to her husband, and fill in the blank, our answers are not (and cannot be) determined by the so-called progress of the culture, or by tradition and history for that matter.

The truth is offensive, and if you want to cut to the core there is something much more offensive to unbelievers than Christian views on human sexuality or marriage. There’s something more offensive than the idea that some day, as I recently heard it put, a once dead man now alive again will arrive in the sky on a horse. All of those issues really are, believe it or not, periphery. The world just nibbles around the edges when they attack us on those points, and we are wasting time when we defend ourselves on those things apart from the core issue. That core issue is the most offensive thing you can believe.

The most offensive thing I believe is “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth,” and everything that verse implies.(1) Continue reading The Who of Creation (Genesis 1:1)

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Observations from A.D. The Bible Continues – Ep. 1, “The Tomb Is Open”

Capitalizing on Christians’ celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and the culture’s acknowledgement at large of Easter, NBC premiered the new mini-series A.D. The Bible Continues on Sunday night with episode 1, titled “The Tomb Is Open.”

A.D. The Bible ContinuesA.D. is the sequel (of sorts) to The Bible mini-series a couple of years ago. Like its predecessor, A.D. is produced by Survivor creator Mark Burnett and his wife, Touched By an Angel actress Roma Downey.

I approach A.D. with significant skepticism based upon the content and presentation of The Bible two years ago. While The Bible had some good things in it, I felt like the overall message of the real Bible got lost. Jesus did not come to “change the world,” as the actor portraying Him said in the miniseries. He came to save His people from their sins. And, by the way, if there was a mention of sin in the first miniseries I don’t remember it. Jesus’ message was love and compassion and so on, and He upset the people in charge and so He was killed. Of course, the previous sentence has truth in it, but it’s not the whole story, and any attempt to present The Bible, or A.D. as it were, should attempt to tell as much of the whole story as is possible, and certainly be faithful to the gospel. That didn’t happen with The Bible, I’m not expecting it with A.D.

What follows, then, are just a few observations from the first episode.  Continue reading Observations from A.D. The Bible Continues – Ep. 1, “The Tomb Is Open”

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The indispensable doctrine

Outside of the church, Muslims are killing people, American taxpayers are giving over a half-billion dollars a year to Planned Parenthood so they can murder babies, and judges nationwide are giving a middle finger to God and Christians by forcing “same-sex marriage” down our throats, and there is so much more I could say.

Inside of the (professing) church, Joel Osteen still has clean teeth and is making his millions peddling fortune cookie wisdom, Christian bookstores are bowing the knee to the dollar by peddling his heresy and the unbiblical and antibiblical teachers of others, the largest Southern Baptist Church in the world is led by a man who has redefined the Ten Commandments as promises, and oh, there is here also so much more I could say.

sola scriptura - the indispensable doctrineWhy is all of this happening? Why are there so many problems both inside and outside of churches? Why is the world the way it is?

The easy answer, of course, is sin. And it’s the correct answer, too. Rebellion against God. A dissatisfaction with His provision and His command and a lust for the idol of self, the idol of more, the idol of my way.

But let’s dig a little deeper. Where does sin come from? Well, not so ironically, the same place we find out what sin is.

The first sin of man, resulting in the fall of man, occurred in the Garden of Eden. You know the story, but you should read it again anyway to be reminded. God told Adam, He “commanded the man, saying, ‘From any tree of the garden you may eat freely, but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die'” (Gen 2:16-17, emphasis mine).

So God spoke. Continue reading The indispensable doctrine

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Let us run

What follows is a transcript of the sermon I preached this morning, edited for blog form. Audio can be found here.

Beloved, let’s take our Bibles — if you didn’t bring one, grab one from the pew — and let’s turn to the twelfth chapter of Hebrews. Hebrews 12. It’s here we will prepare on this first Lord’s Day of 2015 to come to the table for the Lord’s Supper. Hebrews 12, and this morning our focus will be on verses 1-3.

Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

Father, as a new year has dawned you are still God, and we still come to You in the power of the Holy Spirit and in thanks for the grace You have afforded us. You have given us one more day to proclaim Your word to a world, and in a world, that is passing away. I pray, Father, that we here today will be able to comprehend Your glory more fully this year, that we will understand better the amazing grace and depth of mercy You bestow on all whom You save. And I pray right now that this, the preaching of Your word, might be done better, more faithfully, more fearlessly, and be received more gratefully and fruitfully in this new year than in the last — starting now. Please, Father, we ask You now to continue conforming us to the image of Your Son, Jesus, the Messiah, our Lord and Savior, in whose name we ask these things. Amen. Continue reading Let us run

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