Imago Dei: Man as God Created Him to Be (Gen 1:26-31)

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 our previous three looks at Genesis — here, here, and here — we looked at the who, when, what, how, and why of creation. However, more time needs to be devoted to the thing which, after God created it, He was finished and declared all He had created to be very good. That “thing,” of course, is man. Us. You. Me. So in this study we’ll look closer in Genesis 1 at the creation of man in Genesis 1:26-31.

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”  God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.  God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”  Then God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you;  and to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the sky and to every thing that moves on the earth which has life, I have given every green plant for food”; and it was so. God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

Now we didn’t even read all of what God created on day six. Sometimes we forget He made the animals the same day He made humans. Even so, there is still more space devoted to the creation of man than anything else, and it’s fitting, since man is the pinnacle of God’s creation. Continue reading Imago Dei: Man as God Created Him to Be (Gen 1:26-31)

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The What, How, and Why of Creation (Gen 1:1-2:3)

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.

The late Carl Sagan was famous for saying, “The cosmos is all that is, ever was, or ever will be.” That is the necessary result of Darwin’s theory of evolution. It requires a closed system, where there is nothing outside of the system. That system may be as big as the universe, but it’s closed. There is nothing outside of it. And if nothing exists outside of the system, everything must be in the system, which leaves no room for a Creator who created the system. Thus, you have naturalism, the view that everything comes from natural processes. The supernatural is excluded. And, of course, out of that comes evolution.

In the past few decades some have tried to interject God into the equation. Some very respected thinkers in Christianity have attempted to reconcile the biblical account of Genesis with what has become accepted science. I mentioned John Stott, who wrote that Adam and Eve were two-legged creatures, hominids (ape-men), in whom God put His image. Still others affirm what is called theistic evolution, an evolutionary process where there is God somewhere on the outside in control of the evolutionary process. One such group is Biologos, which purports to be reconciling the Bible and science, but every time it’s reconciling the Bible to science.

Those trying to reconcile the beginning of Genesis with science do so in various ways. One of the most popular is to assert the word day is referring to an age in Genesis 1, even millions of years at a time. But in this series we’ve already addressed the word day, yom in Hebrew, and how it is always referring to a twenty-four day when coupled with words like night, day, evening, morning, or a number like first or second and so on. It’s not honest with the text to say it means something else completely in Genesis 1 when it is used consistently in a different way throughout the rest of Scripture. That’s eisegesis, reading something into the text, and it is to be avoided.

Still others assert Genesis 1-2, and really all the way to chapter eleven, is allegory and shouldn’t be taken literally. But read through it and tell me if there is any indication within the text itself why that should be the case, or why the opening chapters of Genesis were the basis for many things Jesus said and taught during His ministry, and why He sure seemed to consider it literal history, and not allegory?

The ultimate issue on how we read Genesis 1, 2, and so on, is an issue of authority. What are we going to submit to as our authority? A book we affirm as the real word of God? Or the scientific theories of fallible men?

If the word of God really is our authority — our only infallible, perfect, authority in all it says — then we can know, and we do know, the who of creation — God, and we know the when of creation, about 6000 years ago. And we know where the first whateveritwas came from. We know from Genesis the what and how, and even the why of creation. In this session we see that beginning in Genesis 1:1, going all the way to 2:3. Continue reading The What, How, and Why of Creation (Gen 1:1-2:3)

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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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