Week 1: In the Beginning
THE MAIN POINT
We are created in God’s image and for perfect relationship with Him. Yet creation fell into chaos and sin when humanity rebelled against Him, deciding to do things our own way.
Genesis 1:26-31 & Genesis 3:1-24
Genesis is a book of new beginnings. It reveals the beginning of the heavens and the earth, of humanity and marriage, of sin and nations and languages, and the beginning of our need for a Saviour. In Genesis we see that all of God’s creation was, in the beginning, thoroughly good; and in Genesis we see mankind’s first sin and the consequences of that sin. All of our brokenness begins here, in the first book of the Bible, as does God’s covenant to redeem His people.
Though Genesis is technically anonymous, both the Old and New Testaments recognize Moses as the Torah’s author, of which Genesis is the first of 5 books in the Torah (law). It was likely written in the 40 years when the Israelites wandered the desert. The events in Genesis begin at creation and conclude about 1800 BC.
What we learn from the apostle John, in the New Testament, that before the dawn of time, Jesus was. John shows us that Jesus is the Word behind the word. Meaning Jesus is in all and through all. He was there when Genesis happened. He was there when Moses wrote about it. Jesus is the eternal Word who was with God and is God. To understand Genesis, a relationship with God, the fall of humanity and the promise of a Saviour, we must see Jesus in the story.
As you prepare the core of the message using personal story and questions, keep in mind these points:
- Throughout history, humans have tried to correct what was wrong. The age of revolution proposed that if we just overthrew monarchies and had democracies, the world would become better. The Enlightenment promised that if we just educated ourselves, human beings would become better people. Science suggested that if we just advanced technology, civilizations would become more peaceful. But what happened? Revolutions and democracies still oppressed people. Education made evil people more clever. Science and technology brought about the atomic bomb, cybercrime, and tech addiction. Democracy, education, and science are good things, but they won’t fix what’s wrong with human nature.
So why would God create the world? The best answers include the idea of his goodness and desire to display his glory. “God’s dazzling display of sovereignty in creation was a primer on His right to rule in matters of salvation. God, who commanded the light to appear on day one of creation, soon would order gospel light to shine into the darkened hearts of spiritually blind sinners.” (Steven Lawson)
God did not make us because because he was bored, but creation from the beginning was an act of love, of affirming the goodness of the other. God saw all that he had made, and it was very good; but it was not itself divine, it was different to Him.
3. Beyond looking at the big brokenness of the world that humans have tried to fix, at a personal level we know there are areas in which we all have brokenness. We have addictions that we can’t stop. We try to fill the emptiness in our lives with money, sex, power, stuff, relationships. Insecurities get the best of us, and we become prideful, envious, lacking any love for other people. The Bible describes this impact on our life as sin. Sin has corrupted our thoughts, emotions, and actions (Romans 1:21–32). Sin at its core is selfishness.
4. Genesis chapter 3 describes the beginning of the darkness in the human experience. However, God gives a glimmer of redemption in verse 15. While he is condemning the Serpent and the woman, he declares, “I will put contempt between you and the woman, between your offspring and hers. They will strike your head, but you will strike at their heels.” For many theologians, this verse marks the introduction of the redemption found in Jesus. “When Adam and Eve failed … God did not destroy them (which would have served justice), but instead revealed His covenant of grace to them by promising a Savior (Gen. 3:15), one who would restore the kingdom that had latterly been destroyed. God’s method of grace is costly: the heel of the Savior will be bruised”.
As you prepare the application, challenge and/or encouragement, keep in mind these points:
- We are created in God’s image, and he cares for his creation. He deserves our worship.
- This world is fallen, and we must look to Jesus as the answer to sin and evil.