lesson one beginnings Genesis 1 3

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1 lesson one beginnings Genesis 1 3 Background: God inspired the Israelite leader, Moses, to author the first five books of the Bible (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy), also known as the Pentateuch. These books are a mixture of history and law, explaining the origins not only of God s people and His relationship with them, but of the world in which they lived. The opening chapters of the Bible s first book, Genesis, begin the account of world history, which culminates in the Bible s last book, Revelation. Reflection: God created a wonderful, beautiful world to be mankind s home. God created mankind in His own image to enjoy fellowship with Him. But human beings chose disobedience over these great gifts, and sin and death entered the world. Ponder where we would be if God had not chosen to rescue His people through His Son, Jesus Christ... then give thanks with a grateful heart. Creation In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1:1 The story of creation in Genesis provides the introduction and the foundation for the entire Word of God. The term create [Hebrew bara] is uniquely significant because only God can create. God s creation was ex nihilo (out of nothing), recent (thousands of years ago, not millions [tight genealogies in Genesis 5, 7, and 11 list 1948 years between the creation of Adam and the birth of Abraham c 2100 BC]), and special (six literal days). Every time day [Hebrew yom] is used in the Bible with a numeric adjective (first, second, etc.) it always refers to a literal 24 hour day. The use of a plural noun for God [Hebrew Elohim strong, mighty, supreme Deity; plural emphasizing power and majesty] with a singular verb implies the plurality of the Godhead in creation. The Trinity is also evidenced by God the Father creating (Genesis 1:1; Psalms 102:25; Jeremiah 10:12), God the Holy Spirit moving (hovering, vibrating, and energizing the creation Genesis 1:2; Psalms 104:30), and God the Son speaking creation into being (Genesis 1:3; John 1:1 5, 10; Colossians 1:16). They communicate and cooperate in creation: Let Us make man in Our image and according to Our likeness (Genesis 1:26; 3:22). Genesis 1:1 refutes atheism (there is a God), pantheism (God transcends His creation), polytheism (one God created all things), fatalism (God had a purpose in creation), materialism (matter has a beginning, and God existed before matter), evolution (God created all things), and humanism (God, not man, is the center of all). Creation is confirmed throughout both the Old Testament and the New Testament, not merely as a literary story but as a literal factual event (Job 38:4; Exodus 20:11; 31:17; Isaiah 42:5; 45:18; Psalms 121:2; Malachi 2:10; Mark 13:19; Acts 7:50; 14:15; Romans 1:20; Hebrews 11:3; Revelation 4:11; 10:6; 14:6 7). More than half of the 200 New Testament allusions to Genesis refer to Genesis 1 11, with Jesus quoting from Genesis 1 7, and 9. Genesis is the book of beginnings the beginning of creation, humanity, sin, judgment and numerous theologically significant words are used for the first time in the first 11 chapters. These concepts are developed throughout the Bible, often with ultimate resolution in the final book of Revelation. continued on next page... 12

2 Comparisons Between Creation and the New Heavens and New Earth Creation (Genesis) New Heavens and New Earth (Revelation) God walking in the garden (3:8) God dwelling among His people (21:3) Adam and Eve communicate with God (3:8) Servants see God s face (22:4) Man in a prepared garden (2:8 9) Man in a prepared city (21:2) River flowing out of Eden (2:10) River flowing from God s throne (22:1) Tree of life accessible in the garden (2:9) Tree of life accessible in the city (22:2) Gold and precious stones (2:12) Gold and precious stones (21:19 21) The Spirit moving and energizing (1:2) The Spirit inviting (22:17) Bride formed for her husband (2:21 23) Bride adorned for her husband (21:2) Creatures filling the earth (1:20 28) Creatures praising the Lord (5:13) Garden accessible to the liar (3:1 5) City closed to all liars (21:27) Let there be light (1:3) Lamb is the light (21:23; 22:5) The incredibly perfect creation of Genesis 1 2, while currently enduring the effects of sin (Romans 8:22), is still proclaiming the glory of God, and will be completely restored in the New Heavens and New Earth (Revelation 21 22). Creation (Genesis) is the foundation to the Bible, Revelation is the hope of the Bible, and these two events bookend the supreme message of the Bible: the Gospel of Jesus Christ. * The heavens are telling of the glory of God and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands. Psalm 19:1 6 13

3 days one and two Read Genesis 1:1 2:3. 1. The original readers of Genesis were the Israelite people God led out of Egypt by the prophet Moses. They had been led forth from the pagan land of Egypt and were heading into the pagan territory of Canaan. a. Surrounded by pagan societies, why do you think the first sentence of God s written word (Genesis 1:1) was so important for the Israelites? b. Why do you think Genesis 1:1 is important for God s people in the context of our culture today? 2. The initial created state of earth was formless and void or empty (Genesis 1:2). As creation progressed, God gave form to the formless on days one through three, and then filled the emptiness in days four through six. a. On day one (1:3 5), God gave the earth form by: God filled this realm on day four (1:14 19) with: b. On day two (1:6 8), God gave the earth form by: God filled this realm on day five (1:20 23) with: c. On day three (1:9 13), God gave the earth form by: God filled this realm on day six (1:24 31) with: 14

4 3. What was God s assessment of all that He had made? 4. What did God do on the seventh day of creation? How did this become significant for God s people? (See Exodus 31:12 17.) 5. Make a list of what we learn about God from chapter one of Genesis. 6. Read through the word box on creation at the beginning of this lesson. What new insights did you gain? 15

5 day three Read Genesis 1:26 3: In what way is mankind distinguished from the rest of creation? (1:26 27) What do you think this means? 2. Describe the home in Eden that God provided for His image-bearers. 3. What was the first thing in creation that God deemed not good? 4. What is the privilege and responsibility given to Adam and Eve (1:28 31)? 5. How did God remind man that despite the dominion God had given him, God was still in charge (2:1 17)? 6. What do you learn about sin from Genesis 2:16? (See also Romans 5:19, 6:23.) 16

6 days four and five Read Genesis 3. The fall of humanity refers to the first sin of Adam and Eve, which brought judgment upon both mankind and nature. Sin and death entered the world because Adam and Eve disobeyed God s commandment not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. 1. What do you think was at the heart of Adam and Eve s decision to disobey God and determine for themselves what was good for them? 2. Sharing: Thinking of Christians today, why do we disobey God? 3. Sin brought judgment. Summarize the curses (3:14 19) that God pronounced upon: a. The serpent/satan b. The woman c. The man d. The ground 17

7 4. God had warned that if Adam and Eve ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil they would die. How did Adam and Eve die when they ate the forbidden fruit? 5. Read Romans 5:12. What was Adam s legacy for the human race? 6. Amidst all of the curses, hope is found in Genesis 3:15. a. Who is the woman s seed (offspring)? (See also Galatians 3:16, 4:4 5.) b. What will he do? (See also 1 John 3:8 and Hebrews 2:14.) personal response to God God has never left mankind without hope. Even in the midst of the curses of the fall, God revealed the seeds of His plan of redemption. The apostle Paul stated it simply: So you see, just as death came into the world through a man, Adam, now the resurrection from the dead has begun through another man, Christ. Everyone dies because all of us are related to Adam, the first man. But all who are related to Christ, the other man, will be given new life. (1 Corinthians 5:21 22, NLT) What seemed like the end for Adam and his descendants has been turned around by Jesus Christ for all who believe in Him and trust Him for the forgiveness of their sins. If you have done that, thank the Lord for His redeeming love. If you have not trusted Christ, you can do so today. Repent of your sins, accept Christ s forgiveness, trust in Him as the resurrected Son of God, and begin to follow Him as your Lord and Savior. 18

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