Creation Old and New
- A mighty Fortress and Pensive Doubting Fearful Heart
What is the Genesis 1 account about?
Is it about how God created the world in the span of six days?
- Yes, Genesis 1 gives us the best historic account of how the world began.
But is this what Genesis 1 is about.
- Rom 15:4 For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
An example of what I mean ...
- Deut 25:4 “You shall not muzzle an ox when it is treading out the grain.
- 1Cor 9:9-10 9For it is written in the Law of Moses, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain.” Is it for oxen that God is concerned?10Does he not speak entirely for our sake? It was written for our sake, because the plowman should plow in hope and the thresher thresh in hope of sharing in the crop.
- Genesis 1, though it does gives an account of the creation of the world, is about far more than that.
What is the purpose of the story, what is the intent of the author, who was it written by and why was he writing, what did it mean to the original audience, how does the rest of the Bible reference the passages contained in the story? Most of all, what does God intend us to know here?
For example: one purpose is that we might fear God.
- Ps 33:6-9 By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, and by the breath of his mouth all their host. 7He gathers the waters of the sea as a heap; he puts the deeps in storehouses. 8Let all the earth fear the LORD; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him! 9For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm.
- For example: one purpose is that we might fear God.
- This is the end of my first point which is: while Genesis 1 is written to give an account of creation it is also written for a bigger purpose. But I have yet to say what I think that purpose is.
- Is it about how God created the world in the span of six days?
Six days of creation
- We say that in six days God created the heavens and the earth.
- "It pleased God the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, for the manifestation of the glory of his eternal power, wisdom and goodness, in the beginning, to create or make out of nothing the world, and all things therein, whether visible or invisible, in the space of six days, and all very good." -Savoy
Misnomer "6 days"
- "It's something of a mistake to think of the six days as six days of creation because in reality creation does not take place on all six days. Creation took place in Genesis chapter one verse one, and then in verse two. But the rest of these days, the days 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 days of creation so called are really days in which the chaotic world is being ordered and shaped. It would be better to speak of them as the six days of shaping or ordering of the universe. That becomes very important because creation ex nihilo creation out of nothing which we believe in, occurs in Genesis chapter verses one and two, not in the rest of the chapter. Instead, in the rest of the chapter God takes what he has created and puts it in an ideal form. [Genesis The Primeval History 26:08]" -Richard Pratt
- I think Pratt is onto something here, but even if you disagree with this particular point, the point in general of the sermon depends only on your agreement that God created from nothing at some point in the creational process.
- The testimony of Genesis is God created from nothing in one moment.
- Before creation there was nothing. Nothing existed, save God alone.
- God had existed for all eternity.
- There was nothing there was darkness there was void
- In one moment God said, "Let there be" Let there BE. And existence happened.
- The state of the universe went from is not to is. Nothing to something.
Void to paradise
- God said, looking at that isness. It is empty it is void it is formless it's like a howling waste
- He spent six days making that howling waste good.
- From those six days we get the phrase that everything that is was made in six days.
- But it appears in Genesis 1:1 that it was created out of nothing in one moment. It wasn't and then it was.
Then, the six days of creation, or if you will, the six days of forming happened.
- God took what was formless and void, what is compared to a howling waste and a wilderness and God began another work.
- And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.
- And God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.”
- And God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.”
- And God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth.”
- And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth.”
- And God said, “Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the heavens.”
- And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds-livestock and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds.”
- Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
- In six days he made everything good.
LORD of hosts
- Gen 2:1 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.
This forming power belongs to God as he is the LORD of hosts
- Hosting is taking something that is wrong and making it right
- taking something unordered and setting it in order
- its having control over a thing such that you can order it, and guide it, move it and craft it
this power as the LORD of hosts God is using everywhere
- God is the LORD of hosts over his angels who are his hosts
- God is the LORD of hosts over his church who are his hosts
- God is the LORD of hosts over the insects which are his hosts
- God is the LORD of hosts over the heavenly bodies which are his hosts
- God is the LORD of hosts over the wind, hail, rain, and snow which are his hosts
- God is the LORD of hosts over the nations which are his hosts
- All order, all beauty, all power of a people comes from their being hosted together
- An army is terrible when they are arrayed as a host with a singularity of purpose to destroy their enemies
- If they don't have that not only are they not terrifying they are not even an army.
- It is a bunch of men walking around with no purpose
- For a captain to come and host them together into an army with a singularity of purpose and a power to enact that purpose is what gives an army its terribleness
God is a God who can take a bunch of insects, which in themselves where not terrible, and host them together into an army which no nation can stand against.
- God's hosting ability is so powerful as he could wipe out this nation of ours simply by hosting together an army of bugs, or hail, or angels, or men, or meteorites, or dust, or anything else he wanted to should he so choose to do. And there would be nothing we could do to stop him.
- We see this power of God as the LORD of hosts used throughout the scriptures
- Amos 4:13 For behold, he who forms the mountains and creates the wind, and declares to man what is his thought, who makes the morning darkness, and treads on the heights of the earth- the LORD, the God of hosts, is his name!
- A host properly is a number of men put into a certain order, for some certain end of purpose; and all their strength and power, all their terror and beauty, consists in and arises from that order. Without this they are but a confused multitude. But a host or army with banners is beautiful and terrible Song 6:10. Before things were cast into this order, the universe was, as it were without form and void," Gen 1:2.
- Song 6:10 “Who is this who looks down like the dawn, beautiful as the moon, bright as the sun, awesome as an army with banners?”
- Gen 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.
- The forming and perfecting of this host of heaven and earth is that which is assigned peculiarly to the Spirit of God; and hereby the work of creation was completed and finished.
- Job 26:13 By his wind the heavens were made fair; his hand pierced the fleeing serpent.
- Ps 8:3 When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, (translate Spirit for finger based on Luke 11:20 and Matt 12:28)
- Ps 19:1 The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
- We see then two distinct types of power at work in creation. We see God bringing into being out of nothingness and we see him ordering that which was by hosting together the formless, void world into paradise.
2 Cor 4:6
Aside the moment of creation God has never that I can find in the scriptures used the same creational power except one other time. To save us.
- 2Cor 4:6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
- God who said, "let there be light" God who said "take from nothing and let there be something" God who said "take from is not and make is"
- The very God who did that has said to our souls "let there be"
- Regeneration, being born again, is of the same creational power that the creation of the universe was made with.
- In other words, I am claiming that there have been 2 acts of creation out of nothing in the history of the universe. 1 is the creation of all that you see, the other is the re-creation of you when God called you from darkness to light.
- God said let there be light in this one's soul and there was light.
- To put it another way, the story of Gen 1 is the story of salvation in prototype form.
- God, starting with absolutely nothing, made in you something, but that something was a howling waste, it was made incomplete and not yet good, just like in Genesis 1:2. But just like in Gen 1:2, the Holy Spirit was hovering over you. Then God said to that waste, "Let there be light" and the light burst forth into the darkness.
- In God taking nothing and making it into something in a moment, I see our justification.
- In God taking that imperfect something and by his Holy Spirit carefully crafting it into perfection, I see our sanctification.
Sick, Dead, or Nothing?
- Matt 9:10-13 And as Jesus reclined at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were reclining with Jesus and his disciples.11And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”12But when he heard it, he said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.13Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”
Spiritually Dead (Ez 37)
- Ezekiel compares men to a valley of dry bones
- Ezek 37:11-14 Then he said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. Behold, they say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are indeed cut off.’12Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I will open your graves and raise you from your graves, O my people. And I will bring you into the land of Israel.13And you shall know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves, and raise you from your graves, O my people.14And I will put my Spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I am the LORD; I have spoken, and I will do it, declares the LORD.”
- We look at this and say that this is like salvation.
- Man without God is not just spiritually sick, he is spiritually dead.
- Man without God doesn't need a push in the right direction he needs to be raised from the dead.
- God came to us in our condition of death and said to us in our death "live!"
- In Ezekiel 16, we are compared to an unwanted, dead, and discarded infant.
- Ezek 16:6 “And when I passed by you and saw you wallowing in your blood, I said to you in your blood, ‘Live!’ I said to you in your blood, ‘Live!’
- Or as Jesus says to Lazarus in his tomb under the stench of death, "Lazarus, come forth!" John 11:43
All 3 of these stories our about us.
- We were dead, but God said; "I will open your graves and raise you from your graves, O my people."
- We were dead, but God said; "in your blood Live!"
- We were dead, but God said; "Lazarus, come forth!"
Spiritually Nothing (a 3rd category)
- Our condition without God goes beyond even spiritual sickness and death
- To give life to the dead is a great miracle that only God can do.
- Yet, to take nothing and make it into something is an even greater miracle
- Dry bones are something at least, at least there is a starting place
- Like when he created Adam, he molded him out of the dust and breathed life into him
- But he didn't create Adam from nothing on the sixth day, he created Adam out of something.
- But when God decided to make you his, you had no light, you were nothing, you were not.
- It's not like you were quickened from something already moving, nor quickened from something stopped, you just weren't. There was nothing.
- And now because he's saved you because he's regenerated you there's something.
Remember from where you come
- This is where we come from -- from nothingness. I had no praise I had no thankfulness I had no worship I had no joy I had nothing. And now in my soul there is a glorious something.
- Eph 2:11-12 Therefore remember ... 12remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.
- Eph 5:8 for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light
- Deut 26:5 “And you shall make response before the LORD your God, ‘A wandering Aramean was my father. And he went down into Egypt and sojourned there, few in number, and there he became a nation, great, mighty, and populous.
- Isa 51:1-2 “Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness, you who seek the LORD: look to the rock from which you were hewn, and to the quarry from which you were dug. 2Look to Abraham your father and to Sarah who bore you; for he was but one when I called him, that I might bless him and multiply him.
- Ezek 16:1-6 Again the word of the LORD came to me:2“Son of man, make known to Jerusalem her abominations,3and say, Thus says the Lord GOD to Jerusalem: Your origin and your birth are of the land of the Canaanites; your father was an Amorite and your mother a Hittite.4And as for your birth, on the day you were born your cord was not cut, nor were you washed with water to cleanse you, nor rubbed with salt, nor wrapped in swaddling cloths.5No eye pitied you, to do any of these things to you out of compassion for you, but you were cast out on the open field, for you were abhorred, on the day that you were born.6“And when I passed by you and saw you wallowing in your blood, I said to you in your blood, ‘Live!’ I said to you in your blood, ‘Live!’
God did not call the nation of Israel because they were great and mighty there were not they were nothing.
- Deut 7:7-8 It was not because you were more in number than any other people that the LORD set his love on you and chose you, for you were the fewest of all peoples,8but it is because the LORD loves you and is keeping the oath that he swore to your fathers, that the LORD has brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.
- Deut 32:9-11 But the LORD's portion is his people, Jacob his allotted heritage. 10“He found him in a desert land, and in the howling waste of the wilderness; he encircled him, he cared for him, he kept him as the apple of his eye. 11Like an eagle that stirs up its nest, that flutters over its young, spreading out its wings, catching them, bearing them on its pinions,
God did not call you because of anything in you he called you when you were nothing
- Rom 5:6-8 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.7For one will scarcely die for a righteous person-though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die-8but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
- You, on your own, according to Romans 5:7 were not worth dying for. Except to God. You were nothing, but to God, you were lovely and worth dying for. And only he gets to decide what is worthwhile and what is not.
- Remember from where you come
- Look at nature.
- Nature shouts to the glory of God. (Spend time here)
- So we testify to God's greatness because he has made us from nothing.
Point on Sanctification
- The something on its own was not good, God, as the LORD of hosts crafted it over the course of a week into paradise. This is what he is now doing in us.
The V of the Trinity.
The beginning of all divine operations is assigned to the Father
- He is the fountain head of the deity
- Rom 11:36 For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.
The subsisteing establishing and upholding of all things is ascribed unto the Son
- Col 1:17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
- He is the power and the wisdom of the Father.
- He is the great actor of the Trinity
- And the finishing and perfecting of all these works is ascribed to the Holy Spirit
- The beginning of all divine operations is assigned to the Father
- The very God who made light shine out of darkness, who made all of creation out of nothingness, who took is not and made it is has taken your darkness, your nothingness, your is-not-ness and has called into being that which was not, has taken your nothing and given made it into something new living and holy has shone in your heart light to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ
- What has God done for us?
Christianity cannot be backed into
- Salvation is not improving on man's natural abilities and moral ability until it reaches the level of acceptable to God.
- Salvation is the creation of an entirely new heart, nature, or person inside the sinner that is so completely unlike anything that has existed inside of you before that it is a higher degree of the same creative power with which God called forth the universe out of nothingness.
- There is therefore no way to back into salvation. God does it or it will not be done.
- From faith for faith
- I do not want a stack of one work upon another building up unto an everlasting pile of waste, refuse, and nothingness. I would rather have one seed of true holiness and righteousness created by the Almighty Hand of God then all the dross of morality that the world could make combined. Can you see why we should be desolate if we trade the one for the other. Can you taste the desolateness of all that you have ever done outside of what God has made in you with this creational power?
For the unregenerate
- If you are not yet saved there is no help for you, there is no hope for you, save that of God's mercy and power. Plead your case on Christ. Seek salvation from him for it will come from no where else.
- You are nothing spiritually speaking. Can you feel this? Do you know this?
- God will give you everything,
- You need but look to him and be saved as the scriptures say "Look to me all the ends of the earth and be saved for I am God and there is no other."
- There is help for you no where else.
- Look to him.
- You don't need an education to look, you don't need a great job to look, you don't need a noble birth to look; you need only look, any child can look.
- Look to him and be saved for their is salvation no where else.
- Jesus alone is the way the truth and the life no one comes to the Father except through him.
- There is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.
- If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead you will be saved.
- The great difference between God making the universe from nothing and making us from nothing, and it would be the great mistake of this sermon if I failed to mention this, is that ...