In The Beginning God

Posted by on Mar 25, 2012

In The Beginning God

“In The Beginning God”

MP3 Version: “In The Beginning God

Scripture Text: Genesis 1:1

By Pastor Mike Withem
First Baptist Church
Ranson, West Virginia

Introduction:

A. The first chapter of the book of Genesis is, no doubt, one of the most God-centered chapters in the Bible.
1. I say that because God is mentioned by name thirty-two times in thirty-one verses; and if we add to that the use of personal pronouns, God is mentioned no less than forty-three times.
2. Therefore, in the very first chapter of the Holy Scriptures, the Holy Spirit brings us into the presence of God and keeps us there.
3. It’s no wonder that Satan hates this chapter!
4. It’s no wonder that he has brought up his heavy artillery to discredit this chapter in the minds of men.

B. How important is this first chapter of the book of Genesis?
1. Suffice it to say that if we abandon this chapter, Satan has won!
2. If we abandon it as being either unfactual or unreliable, Satan has won.
3. If we abandon it as being mere mythology, Satan has won.
4. Why do I say that?
5. I say that because if the Holy Spirit cannot be trusted when He tells us about the CREATION, then He cannot be trusted when He tells us about SALVATION.
6. If what he says in Genesis 1 can be questioned, then what he says in Revelation 22 can be questioned as well (as well as every chapter in between).
7. If we cannot believe Genesis 1:1, then why or on what basis should be we believe John 3:16?
8. (Illus.- I like the way that one preacher put it, he said, “This opening verse of the Bible is…the foundational truth of the whole Bible. Without this verse the whole Bible would be like a mammoth building with many floors and no ground floor. Without this statement the Bible would be like a bridge with no support. You must have this verse if you are going to understand all of the rest of the Bible. But if you have this verse, and if you accept this verse, and if you believe this verse, then you have no problem ultimately believing everything else that the Bible says.”)

C. Now let’s notice how this first chapter in Genesis begins, it begins with theses words, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” (Gen. 1:1)
1. Only ten words, yet the wealth of knowledge about God that we find in this one verse is immense.
2. For example, in the one verse, we learn that…

I. God Is Real.

A. In other words, God really exists!

B. Now I realize that we are living in a day in which there are many who either QUESTION the existence of God, or outright DENY His existence.
1. According to a recent survey conducted by The Pugh Forum on Religion & Public Life, 1.6% of all adults in the US are atheists, and 2.4% consider themselves agnostics (they have no opinion).
2. When you add these two numbers together, there are MORE atheist and agnostics in the US than there are Mormons, or Jehovah’s Witnesses, or Jews, or Buddhists, or Muslims, or Hindus.
3. That’s a lot of people (8 & 1/4 million in the US alone)who either don’t believe in God, or don’t have an opinion.

C. Now it’s interesting that in this opening verse of the Bible, God merely asserts the fact that He exists.
1. He doesn’t present any proof.
2. He doesn’t put forward any arguments.
3. He doesn’t make any effort whatsoever to change the mind of those who may believe otherwise.
4. He merely asserts the fact that He exists.
5. He said, “In the beginning God…” (Gen. 1:1)

D. Now this is NOT to say that no evidence exists.
1. There is PLENTY of evidence that God exists.
2. For example, the CREATION itself is evidence!
3. David wrote in Psa. 19:1, “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.”
4. Paul wrote in Rom. 1:18-19, “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.”
5. Now this raises a question, “HOW has God shown it to them (how has God revealed himself to sinful man)?
6. He answers the question in the very next verse, “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:” (Rom. 1:20)
7. And so, there is plenty of evidence that God exists.

E. In fact, there is SO much evidence that anyone who does not believe God exists is a FOOL.
1. Now before you accuse me of being too harsh in my assessment, let me point out that GOD is the One who said that, not me.
2. The Bible says in Psa. 14:1, “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.”
3. Our atheist friends would say that WE are fools for believing in God, when in fact, it is the other way around.
4. (Illus.- Joseph Addison said it like this, “To be an atheist requires an infinitely greater measure of faith than to receive all the great truths which atheism would deny.”)
5. That is so very true!

F. And so, Gen. 1:1 teaches us that God is real. It also teaches us that…

II. God Is Eternal.

A. Thus far we have focused our attention on the fourth word in our text, the word “God,” however, notice how the verse actually begins.
1. It begins like this, “In the beginning…”
2. Now when you read that, the first question that comes to you mind is, “In the beginning of WHAT?”
3. Most Bible commentators believe that it’s talking about the beginning of TIME, as we (human beings) know it.
4. (Illus.- When I was in Bible school, we had a class entitled, “Ancient History.” As the name implies, it was a study of the ancient history of this world.)
5. Well, Genesis 1 is the most ancient of all world histories.
6. Why? Because it takes us back to the very BEGINNING of time as we know it, the very beginning of this world, as well as the entire universe of which it is a part.

B. Now we do no need to understand here that the phrase “in the beginning” in NO way implies that God Himself had a beginning.
1. You see, God had NO beginning.
2. “In the beginning,” God already existed.
3. “In the beginning,” God was already there.
4. “In the beginning,” God had already been around for a long long time.
5. How long had He been around?

C. Let’s let the Word of God answer that question.
1. Notice what the psalmist wrote in Psa. 90:1-2, “Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.”
2. That word “everlasting” is translated from a Hebrew word that literally means “ETERNITY.”
3. What it’s saying is that God is “from eternity to eternity.”
4. In other words, He had NO beginning, and He will have NO end!
5. Now I realize that this is far beyond our ability to comprehend, but it is true, none the less.
6. The psalmist put it like this in Psa. 93:2, “Thy throne is established of old: thou art from everlasting.”
7. Jesus said it like this in Rev. 1:8, “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.”

D. Please turn with me, for a just a moment, to Prov. 8.
1. There is a very interesting passage here, beginning with Vrs. 22, that I want us to read together.
2. While Solomon is the author of Proverbs, the speaker in this passage is not Solomon, but rather “WISDOM.”
3. If you will notice Vrs. 1, it says, “Doth not wisdom cry? and understanding put forth her voice?”
4. Now notice what wisdom says here, beginning with Vrs. 22, “The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was. When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water. Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth: While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world. When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth: When he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep: When he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth: Then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him; Rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth; and my delights were with the sons of men.” (Prov. 8:22-31)
5. What does this passage teach us about wisdom?
6. It teaches us that just like God, wisdom is ETERNAL, it is from everlasting to everlasting.
7. Because wisdom emanates from God, it is as old as God.

E. And so, not only does Gen. 1:1 teach us that God is real, it also teaches us that God is eternal. Notice finally, this morning, that Gen. 1:1 teaches us that…

III. God Is The Creator.

A. What does it say? It says, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” (Gen. 1:1)

B. As you know, there are basically two views that people hold as to the origin of the universe.
1. The secular humanist view asserts that the universe as it exists today is the result of an accident (big bang) followed by billions and billions of years of evolution.
2. The Bible, on the other hand, gives us a very different view.
3. In that ONE SIMPLE STATEMENT, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth,” the entire theory of evolution is swept away!

C. By the way, the secular humanist view of the origin of the universe and the Biblical view are diametrically opposed.
1. In other words, they have absolutely NOTHING in common (they are at opposite extremes).
2. Some have tried to combine these two views.
3. They are called Theistic Evolutionists.
4. Theistic evolutionists believe that God created the heaven and the earth, yet He used the process of evolution to do it!
5. As we are going to see later in this study, it only took God SIX DAYS to complete His work of creation, not billions and billions of years, and to say otherwise is deny the clear teaching of Scripture.

D. Not only did God create “the heaven and the earth,” He created them out of nothing (He started with nothing).
1. The Bible says in Heb. 11:3, “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.”
2. We often talk about the creative abilities of man, however there is a BIG difference between man’s creative abilities and God’s.
3. When man creates something, he must have some “raw materials” with which to work.
4. (Illus.- For example, when an artist creates a magnificent oil painting, he begins with a canvas, a brush and some oil paints. Without these raw materials he can do nothing, no matter how talented he may be.)
5. God on the other hand, begins with nothing.
6. In other words, He creates His own raw materials.

E. Now there is something else that I want you to see here.
1. The word “God” in Gen. 1:1 is translated from the Hebrew word, “elohiym.” (pronounced el-o-heem), which literally means “Almighty God.”
2. Of course, you probably knew that.
3. What you may not know is that the word used here is in the PLURAL form.
4. Now Hebrew is different from English.
5. In the English language, you have TWO noun forms, the first being singular, meaning one, and the other being plural, meaning two or more.
6. In the Hebrew language, you have THREE noun forms, the first being singular, meaning one, the second being dual, meaning two, the third being plural, meaning THREE OR MORE.

F. Someone asks, “Does this mean that there are three Gods?”
1. No, there is only ONE God.
2. In the book of Malachi, the prophet asked the following question, “Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us?” (Mal. 2:10)
3. And so, there is ONLY one God.
4. However, this one God is made up of three distinct personalities, the FATHER, the SON, and the HOLY SPIRIT.
5. By the way, all three of these personalities was involved in the creation.
6. The Father, no doubt, was the architect (master designer).
7. The Son, was the One who actually spoke (brought) everything into existence.
8. We know this from John 1:1-3, which says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.”
9. The Holy Spirit is the One who watches over the Creation.
10. The psalmist wrote in Psa. 104:30, “Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth.”
11. And so, all three Persons of the Godhead, (Father, Son & Holy Spirit) were and are involved in the creation.

G. And so, God is the Creator!

Conclusion:

A. Just ten words in this very short statement, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth,” yet so much truth in these ten words.
1. From this statement we learn that GOD IS REAL (really exists).
2. We also learn that GOD IS ETERNAL (from everlasting to everlasting).
3. We also lean that GOD IS THE CREATOR (of all things)
4. Our God is truly a GREAT God!!!!!!!!!

B. Do you know what’s really neat (cool)?
1. The fact that we can know, we can fellowship with, we can have a relationship with this great God.
2. How?
3. Through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ.
4. You see, even though we are all sinners unworthy of anything good from God, He loved us none the less, and sent His Son, Jesus, to die on the cross for our sins.
5. In addition to paying the penalty for our sins, Jesus also purchased for us the gift of eternal life.
6. Then He promised that those who put their faith in Christ would receive this wonderful gift.

C. How about you, friend?
1. Do you know this awesome God?
2. Do you have a relationship with the God Who really exists, the God Who is eternal, the God Who created everything???
3. You can, but trusting in His Son as your Savior!

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