Where did it all come from?

Where did it all come from? (Creation) (Gen. 1:1-2)

Prepared and preached by Pastor Steve Rhodes for and at Bethel Friends Church on Sunday, March 11, 2018 

I will never forget the birth of Mercedes and Abigail. How amazing we are. It was such a miracle, such a miracle that I could hardly contain my emotions. Every day, so many babies are born; so many miracles are being born. Every day, so many humans are coming to life. How can we observe and not realize there is a creator? Let’s talk about this, let’s talk about creation.

My theme is to share with you that God created everything and humans were a special creation. Furthermore, God created with purpose.

Application: Creation has value because we are created by God.

Please read Genesis 1:1-2:

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters.

  1. From the first two verses of this text we see that God is creator.
    1. The Bible says, “In the beginning…”
    2. This means that God created time. This is the beginning. There was no time before this. Psalm 90:1-2: Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations.
      Before the mountains were born
      Or You gave birth to the earth and the world,
      Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God
      .
    3. I remember when I was a child I used to think, “Who created God?” How did God come to exist? This says, “In the beginning.” This means that this is the beginning of time.
    4. What was faulty in my thinking is that I thought God was in our realm of time. God is not limited by time. You see, I thought that God was limited by our limitations. I, as a child, was already stuck in chronological thinking. Chronological means that it has to do with time.
    5. The thing is that God is not limited by time. So, my thought of “Who created God?” goes back to the fundamental thinking that God had to have a beginning. But “beginning” goes back to this chronological thinking.
    6. The Bible says, “In the beginning…” This is our beginning, not His. There are philosophical articles written about how God relates to time. No one ultimately knows. If you ever deal with insomnia, call me and I’ll loan you some books that deal with this subject. We do know that God was able to transcend time. We know this from the prophesies in the Bible. If God was limited by time, as we are, then Isaiah, writing around 700 BC, wouldn’t have been able to write about Jesus. But Isaiah, writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit wrote prophesies that were fulfilled in Jesus. Read Isaiah chapter 53.

So, God created time and this is written about our beginning.

  1. God created the Heavens and the earth.
    1. What does this mean?
    2. This means that God created matter and space. God created time, space and matter. He had to have a place to put the matter so He created space.
    3. God created the Heavens. The Bible refers to at least three heavens.
      1. The Bible will refer to the atmosphere as “Heaven.”
      2. The Bible will refer to the outer space area as “Heaven.”
      3. The Bible also refers to the area where God resides as “Heaven.”
    4. God created the “Heavens,” plural. This means that God created all of these regions.
    5. We see pictures of outer space and must know that this verse is saying, God created those solar systems, those stars, that galaxy.
    6. God created the earth. Now, the first two verses are an overview of the creation of time, space and matter. Starting in verse 3 God gives order to this matter. God arranges His creation so it is not such a mess.
    7. So, the rest of this chapter deals with the details of the earth and its surroundings. God chose to create everything in 6 days.
      1. On day 1, God creates light, this light may not be the sun. Most have believed the light is light emanating from God. On day 1 God also created the idea of the day and night.
      2. On Day 2, God creates the atmosphere. Notice the waters are already there.
      3. On day 3, God creates land and vegetation.
      4. On day 4, God creates the moon and the stars.
        1. Notice that the Bible doesn’t use the noun “sun,” or “moon.”
        2. If you study the ancient religions of the Middle East you can see that they worshipped the sun and the moon. So, Moses was careful not to use those terms. In fact, if you really study this text, you can compare it with the other religions of the Middle East. In comparing you can see that Moses is writing this correcting those religions and showing that there is one God and He is supreme.
      5. On Day 5 God creates the creatures of the sea and the air.
      6. On day 6 God creates the land animals and humans. Humans are the only creation specified. Humans are also created in God’s image.
      7. Notice also that it takes male and female to reflect the image of God.
    8. If we read on to Genesis chapter 2 we see more specific detail about the creation of Adam and Eve.
  • God created everything, seen and unseen.
    1. Nehemiah 9:6: “You alone are the Lord.
      You have made the heavens,
      The heaven of heavens with all their host,
      The earth and all that is on it,
      The seas and all that is in them.
      You give life to all of them
      And the heavenly host bows down before You
      .
    2. 1:16: For by Him all things were created, bothin the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. 
  1. The Direct Creation of Adam and Eve
    1. Scripture affirms the direct creation of Adam and Eve.
    2. Theologian Wayne Grudem writes:
    3. The Bible also teaches that God created Adam and Eve in a special, personal way. “The Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being” (Gen. 2:7). After that, God created Eve from Adam’s body: “So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh; and the rib which the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man” (Gen. 2:21–22). God apparently let Adam know something of what had happened, for Adam said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” (Gen. 2:23)[1]
    4. In Genesis chapter 2 the Bible gives great detail about God creating Adam and Eve.
    5. It is not my intent to teach or preach against certain scientific theories today. However, it is my intent to share that humans are created specifically by God and that all of creation has a purpose.
    6. All throughout the Bible we see that God is in control and that God controls creation.
    7. I do have to say a few words regarding evolution or the big bang theory.
    8. First, it was a Christian who invented the big bang theory. I don’t have a problem with that theory because we know that space is expanding into nothingness. Please note, that doesn’t mean that I believe it has been expanding for billions of years. I don’t believe that. God began creation and it could happen as fast as He wanted it to.
    9. God created adult humans and it seems to me that He created an adult universe.
    10. Now, with respect to evolution.
    11. There is micro evolution and macro evolution. Micro evolution would be the belief that species adapt in small ways. Macro evolution would be the belief that we evolved all the way from one cell organisms.
    12. I am not a Scientist, I am a pastor and one could say a Biblicist and Theologian. I study Theology and the Bible for a living and that is the bulk of my education. Having said that, evolution in its fullest form, as in macro evolution, contradicts the Bible. Evolution is based on death. It took death after death after death to get to humans. Whereas the Bible clearly specifies the creation of humans in Genesis 1 and 2. Furthermore, macro-evolution has some major gaps. There is a book called “Darwin’s Black Box” that gets into that.
    13. Theologian Wayne Grudem writes: Some may object that Genesis 1–2 does not intend to portray Adam and Eve as literal individuals, but (a) the historical narrative in Genesis continues without a break into the obviously historical material about Abraham (Gen. 12), showing that the author intended the entire section to be historical,21 and (b) in Romans 5:12–21 and 1 Corinthians 15:21–22, 45–49, Paul affirms the existence of the “one man” Adam through whom sin came into the world, and bases his discussion of Christ’s representative work of earning salvation on the previous historical pattern of Adam being a representative for mankind as well. Moreover, the New Testament elsewhere clearly understands Adam and Eve to be historical figures (cf. Luke 3:38; Acts 17:26; 1 Cor. 11:8–9; 2 Cor. 11:3; 1 Tim. 2:13–14). The New Testament also assumes the historicity of the sons of Adam and Eve, Cain (Heb. 11:4; 1 John 3:12; Jude 11) and Abel (Matt. 23:35; Luke 11:51; Heb. 11:4; 12:24).
    14. Grudem continues: In modern Darwinian evolutionary theory, the history of the development of life began when a mix of chemicals present on the earth spontaneously produced a very simple, probably one-celled life form. This living cell reproduced itself, and eventually there were some mutations or differences in the new cells produced. These mutations led to the development of more complex life forms. A hostile environment meant that many of them would perish, but those that were better suited to their environment would survive and multiply. Thus, nature exercised a process of “natural selection” in which the differing organisms most fitted to the environment survived. More and more mutations eventually developed into more and more varieties of living things, so that from the very simplest organism all the complex life forms on earth eventually developed through this process of mutation and natural selection.

The most recent, and perhaps most devastating, critique of current Darwinian theory comes from Phillp E. Johnson, a law professor who specializes in analyzing the logic of arguments. In his book Darwin on Trial26 he quotes extensively from current evolutionary theorists to demonstrate that:

  1. After more than one hundred years of experimental breeding of various kinds of animals and plants, the amount of variation that can be produced (even with intentional, not random, breeding) is extremely limited, due to the limited range of genetic variation in each type of living thing: dogs who are selectively bred for generations are still dogs, fruit flies are still fruit flies, etc. And when allowed to return to the wild state, “the most highly specialized breeds quickly perish and the survivors revert to the original wild type.” He concludes that “natural selection,” claimed by Darwinists to account for the survival of new organisms, is really a conservative force that works to preserve the genetic fitness of a population, not to change its characteristics.27[2]
  2. The fossil record was Darwin’s greatest problem in 1859, and it has simply become a greater problem since then. In Darwin’s time, hundreds of fossils were available showing the existence of many distinct kinds of animals and plants in the distant past. But Darwin was unable to find any fossils from “intermediate types” to fill in the gaps between distinct kinds of animals—fossils showing some characteristics of one animal and a few characteristics of the next developmental type, for example. In fact, many ancient fossils exactly resembled present-day animals—showing that (according to the chronological assumptions of his view) numerous animals have persisted for millions of years essentially unchanged. Darwin realized that the absence of “transitional types” in the fossil record weakened his theory, but he thought it was due to the fact that not enough fossils had been discovered, and was confident that further discoveries would unearth many transitional types of animals. However, the subsequent 130 years of intensive archaeological activity has still failed to produce one convincing example of a needed transitional type.[3]
  3. I could share more about that, but that is enough. If you want more sources let me know. Now, that is mainly talking about macro-evolution.
  4. I came out of college being a strong believer in a 6, 24 hour day creation and I still am. But when I came out of college I probably thought you were not saved if you doubted the creation account.
    1. Then God had me serve 6 years with a pastor who called himself a Theistic Evolutionist. This gave me grace. One day he said he could not understand how people could invest their life work in something and be wrong. My main response is that if the foundation is wrong then everything collapses.
    2. On another, yet similar note. I did meet professors in seminary who did not believe in a 6, 24 hours day creation, but also did not believe in evolution. They looked at the type of literature and thought it was not to be interpreted literally. They made some good arguments.
  5. My final comment is that we do not change our interpretation of the Bible based off of anything beyond good Bible interpretation. We do not change our view of the Bible because of a scientific theory.
  1. Some final application:
    1. We are created with a purpose.
    2. God created. All of creation, seen and unseen comes from God.
    3. Do NOT worship creation. Worship God.
    4. Praise and worship God.
    5. God created, do not be afraid, He is the creator and He is in charge.
    6. When you see beauty, worship God who created it.

In Crazy Love, Francis Chan writes:

Why would God create more than 350,000,000,000 galaxies (and this is a conservative estimate) that generations of people never saw or even knew existed? Do you think maybe it was to make us say, “Wow, God is unfathomably big”? Or perhaps God wanted us to see these pictures so that our response would be, “Who do I think I am?”

C. Sproul writes, “Men are never duly touched and impressed with a conviction of their insignificance, until they have contrasted themselves with the majesty of God. 

Did you know that a caterpillar has 228 separate and distinct muscles in its head? That’s quite a few, for a bug. The average elm tree has approximately 6 million leaves on it. And your own heart generates enough pressure as it pumps blood throughout your body that it could squirt blood up to 30 feet. (I’ve never tried this, and I don’t recommend it.)

Have you ever thought about how diverse and creative God is? He didn’t have to make hundreds of different kinds of bananas, but He did. He didn’t have to put 3,000 different species of trees within one square mile in the Amazon jungle, but He did. God didn’t have to create so many kinds of laughter. Think about the different sounds of your friends’ laughs—wheezes, snorts, silent, loud, obnoxious.

How about the way plants defy gravity by drawing water upward from the ground into their stems and veins? Or did you know that spiders produce three kinds of silk? When they build their webs, they create sixty feet of silk in one hour, simultaneously producing special oil on their feet that prevents them from sticking to their own web. (Most of us hate spiders, but sixty feet an hour deserves some respect!) Coral plants are so sensitive that they can die if the water temperature varies by even one or two degrees.[4]

We serve an amazing God!

Do you know Christ?

Luke 9:23

God created us to be with him. (Genesis 1-2)

Our sin separated us from God. (Genesis 3)

Sins cannot be removed by good deeds (Gen 4-Mal 4)

Paying the price for sin, Jesus died and rose again. (Matthew – Luke)

Everyone who trusts in him alone has eternal life. (John – Jude)

Life that’s eternal means we will be with Jesus forever. (Revelation 22:5)

 

[1] Wayne A. Grudem, Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine (Leicester, England; Grand Rapids, MI: Inter-Varsity Press; Zondervan Pub. House, 2004), 262–314.

21 Note the phrase “These are the generations of “introducing successive sections in the Genesis narrative at Gen. 2:4 (heavens and the earth); 5:1 (Adam); 6:9 (Noah); 10:1 (the sons of Noah); 11:10 (Shem); 11:27 (Terah, the father of Abraham); 25:12 (Ishmael); 25:19 (Isaac); 36:1 (Esau); and 37:2 (Jacob). The translation of the phrase may differ in various English versions, but the Hebrew expression is the same and literally says, “These are the generations of …” By this literary device the author has introduced various sections of his historical narrative, tying it all together in a unified whole, and indicating that it is to be understood as history-writing of the same sort throughout. If the author intends us to understand Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as historical figures, then he also intends us to understand Adam and Eve as historical figures.

  1. compare

26 Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 1991.

27 Johnson, pp. 15–20 (quotation from p. 18). Johnson notes that in a few cases new “species” have been produced, in the sense of a part of a population that is incapable of interbreeding with another part: this has happened with fruit flies and with some plant hybrids (p. 19). But even though incapable of interbreeding with some other fruit flies, the new fruit flies still are fruit flies, not some other kind of creature: the amount of variation the fruit fly is capable of is inherently limited by the range of variability in its gene pool.

[2] Wayne A. Grudem, Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine (Leicester, England; Grand Rapids, MI: Inter-Varsity Press; Zondervan Pub. House, 2004), 280.

[3] Wayne A. Grudem, Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine (Leicester, England; Grand Rapids, MI: Inter-Varsity Press; Zondervan Pub. House, 2004), 282.

[4] Excerpt From: Francis Chan. “Crazy Love.” iBooks.

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