Intro: Romans 10:17 “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Our faith is derived from God’s word. Faith cannot exist apart from it.
One of the most powerful treatises on God’s Word is in Genesis – particularly Genesis 1.
I. The main character of this chapter is the Word of God… “God said” is used 10 times on this chapter and it is the force that is at work throughout. There can be no ignoring God’s voice in creation. Mark these words as the center. The rest of God’s revelation is based on the powerful impact of God’s Word.
II. The first 2 verses (Gen. 1:1, 2) are a general statement of what God did – Gen 1:1-2 “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. (NIV) – God brought the heavens and earth into existence. At this point the heavens and earth were formless and empty – (waste & void – ASV).
A. The rest of the chapter describes how God brought order and design to His Universe. What we see around us is the result of both initial creative power and intricate forming, so as to make this place suitable for man (the pinnacle of God’s creative work.)
1. In the spiritual realm it is also God’s word that brings order and value to God’s creation. The physical creation is a parallel to the spiritual creation.
a. On the first day of the first week God created light and divided the light from the darkness. What did God do another first day of the week? He brought the resurrected light of the Savior to the world. Notice 2 Cor 4:3-6 “But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, 4 whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them. 5 For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. Paul uses the event of that first day to illustrate how God has brought “light” to the spiritual world as well.
b. God called the light “good” and divided the light from the darkness. John 1:1-2 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.” 1 John 1:5 “This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.”
2. Notice the God’s word not only brought things into existence, but throughout the creative process, it divided and distinguished one thing from another. “And God said…”
- v. 3… Light (divided from darkness) – 1st Day
- v. 6… Sky (divided the waters) – 2nd Day
- v. 9… Land & Sea (divided from each other)
- v. 11… Plants (after its kind) – plant life is distinguished from animal life (blood) – 3rd Day
- v. 14… Sun & Moon (day & night, seasons) – 4th Day
- v. 20… Sea Creatures (after its kind – animal life begins – the breath of life – Gen. 6:17) – 5th Day
- v. 24… Land Creatures (after its kind)
- v. 26… Humans (in the image of God) – 6th Day
a. This reminds us of Heb. 4:12-13 “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account. God’s word can distinguish what may seem indistinguishable. (Watermelon & the rind). Eastern religion recognizes not distinction – God is both good & evil.
b. We must always be ready to accept the divisions that God’s word provides (evil & good; right & wrong) It is as impossible to dissolve the distinction between right and wrong as it is between light and darkness. Phil 1:10 “that you may approve the things that are excellent,” How do you approve the things that are excellent? You must make distinctions. How? By the word of God.
III. Creation is the Unique Work of God’s Word: The Hebrew word, “bara” helps us recognize the unique activity of God – only God can create out of nothing.
A. This Hebrew verb (bara) is never used without God as the Subject. In Gen. 1 we find it only 3 times. (that doesn’t indicate that the other Hebrew words do not signify the act of creation). But it does point out the absolute necessity of God’s intervention in all three places:
- Gen. 1:1- matter & energy
- Gen. 1:21 – Life (breath of life)
- Gen. 1:27 – Man in the image of God
B. Evolutionary theory supposes spontaneous existence of matter & energy (which is scientifically impossible), but even if you have that present, it takes another divine intervention to get life, and then another intervention (out of nothing) to create morally responsible life in the image of God!
C. Look at Heb 11:3 “By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible. We understand the unique work of God’ word (framing the worlds) by our faith (trust) in the revealed word of God.
D. 2 Peter 3:5-9 For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water. But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
1. The physical world was created to serve man in his spiritual struggle – teaches me about God. When I lose sight of the spiritual world, the physical world has no meaning.
2. 7 times in Gen. 1 God says that His created physical world is “good” – not morally good or w/o sin – but the word means suited to its purpose. (like a “good” lawnmower) This physical world is not an end in itself. It exists to bring glory to God, and ultimate glory through the redemption of men through Christ.
a. We see this in Rev. 4 & 5: In Rev. 4 the song of heaven praises God as Creator; in Rev. 5 the song of the Lamb praises Jesus as Redeemer.
3. When God is finished with this world He will destroy it with the power of His word. (It is now being preserved by His word, and will one day end with His word. Those who refuse to obey God will be condemned by the word of the Lord. Heb 1:10-12 “You, LORD, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, And the heavens are the work of Your hands. They will perish, but You remain; And they will all grow old like a garment; Like a cloak You will fold them up, And they will be changed. But You are the same, And Your years will not fail”. (Like a paper plate, do you put it in the dishwasher?) What a pity we invest so much energy and time into this world.
Conclusion: There is nothing more powerful than God’s word. How can you and I resist it? God has spoken to you through the inspired scriptures. Will you listen and obey?