Dr. Jack L. Arnold

Genesis

 

 

 

Lesson 2

The Key to Scripture

 Genesis 1:1

 

I.  INTRODUCTION

A.   Genesis 1:1, “In the Beginning God created the heaven and the earth,” is perhaps the most important verse of the whole Bible. In this verse, the foundational truths for Christianity are laid, and it is the key to the whole Bible.

B.   This verse is simple and yet complex and it meets the need of every man. One of the marvels of the Bible is that it uses language that communicates with people of the most primitive and limited understanding, while at the same time it still has significance and inexhaustible meaning to the most erudite and learned of men.

C.   The Bible was not written to be a textbook on science, but it was written to be a book of religion or redemption. There is much about science that Scripture says nothing about. However, when the Bible does speak on some scientific matter, it is infallible, for God is the final authority on all things in creation, whether it deals with history, geology, anthropology, astronomy, and all other sciences.

 

II.  THE EXISTENCE OF GOD IS ASSUMED

A.  Introduction. A blanket statement about God’s existence is set forth in an uncompromising way. If a person does not accept the existence of God, the rest of the Bible is a fairy tale and life has no meaning. NOTE: If one accepts that God is the ultimate source of all things, and that God created this world out of nothing, then he has no problem with other miracles, for the omnipotent God stands outside His own creation and can intervene into it at any time.

B.  Biblical Argument. The Bible is dogmatic--God exists! The creation teaches the existence of God (Psa. 19, Rom. 1:18--23) and only the fool says there is no God (Psa. 14:1). NOTE: While men can reason out that there is a Supreme Being, it is not necessarily true that all men want the God of Scripture or Jesus Christ. Man needs special revelation to learn of Christ and the gospel.

C.  Rational Arguments

1. Cosmological. Every effect must have a cause. When one traces effect and cause to its ultimate source, he ends at God.

2. Teleological. Every design must have a designer. The ultimate designer of the universe is God.

D.  Religious Argument. Wherever man is found you will find him acknowledging and worshipping a God of some kind. It may be an idol, the moon, a mountain or an animal, but he owns a god. NOTE: It has taken culture and science to produce atheists. Yet there are no atheists among the primitive nations of the earth. They have enough sense, not yet spoiled by “science, so called” not to doubt the existence of God.

E.  POINT: For the Christian, God is the starting point, the first cause, the beginning and the final point of predication. God is the great Originator and Initiator. It is the ignoring of this, which is the basic error in all human schemes. False systems of theology and philosophy begin with man, and seek to work up to God. Christians must, in all their thinking, begin with God, and work down to man.

 

III. THE CHARACTERISTICS OF GOD

A.  His Attributes. God is eternal, for He existed before His creation. He is omnipotent, for He created all things. Be is sovereign, for all things are under His control since He is the creator. Lastly, He is a personal being, for only a personality could create.

B.  His Plurality. The title given to God here is Elohim. The him ending in the Hebrew is a plurality. While this title does not directly state the Trinity, it certainly may be implied. This would be further supported from Genesis 1:2 where it speaks of “Spirit of God”, implying a plurality in the Godhead.

 

IV. FALSE DOCTRINES DENIED

A. In the beginning God.  Denies ATHEISM (no God).  Denies POLYTHEISM (many gods).

B. In the beginning God created.  Denies FATALISM (chance).  Denies ATHEISTIC EVOLUTION (infinite becoming).

C. God created the heaven and earth.  Denies PANTHEISM (God is so immanent that God becomes nature). Denies MATERIALISM (eternality of matter).

 

V.  THE CREATION AND GOD

A.  God Is Creator (Gen. 1:1-2)

1.  TIME: (In the beginning).

2.  SPACE: God created the heaven).

3.  MATTER: (and the earth).

4.  FORCE: (and the Spirit of God).

5.  MOTION: (moved).

B.  God Is the First Cause. Genesis 1:1 opposes atheistic evolution. There are only two logical positions: creation or evolution. Either the record of Genesis is true or it is false. Creation and evolution cannot both be true. NOTE: Evolu­tion is defined as a scientific and philosophical effort to explain the origin and development of things in the universe. Yet evolution fails to give the answer to ultimate origin, which Genesis declares is God. The Bible asserts that God created (bara) the world out of nothing (creation ex nihilo). Scientists cannot explain the origin of the universe. They may theorize how the world came into existence but they cannot disprove the Genesis account, for they know nothing about ultimate origin. NOTE: The atheistic evolutionists have to say this universe came about by accident rather than by the creative hand of God. It takes more faith to believe in chance than it does in direct creation. In an interview with a prominent zoologist, Dr. Henry Morris questioned him about his beliefs on evolution, and the zoologist said, “There is no clinical proof of evolution, but we accept it in faith because the alternative of a direct creative act of God is irrational.” Yet it seems far more irrational to accept the origin of things by sheer chance than by the creative hand of God. This is contrary to all true scientific investigation.

 

IV.  THE ULTIMATE QUESTIONS ANSWERED

A.  The first verse of Genesis gives us the answers to the three big questions of origins: How did it begin? When did it begin? Who is behind it?

B.  The next big question is how do we know it is true?

1.  Scientific Evidence. There is much evidence to refute evolution and many scientists do hold to creation.

2.  Never Disproved. Science has never disproved direct creation, they may ignore and discredit those who are creationists, but they cannot disprove it.

3.  Eye Witness to Creation. God was there at the creation and He has given us an accurate account of it in Genesis. You may say that Moses wrote Genesis not God. True, but God spoke to Moses about the creation. Only one who was there could give an accurate account of creation.

4.  Faith Believes God. By faith, we Christians believe that God is the Creator (Heb. 11:2). Reason is not abandoned, but faith takes up where reason ends.