What do you believe about the beginning? The thing is, whatever you believe about the beginning – about how things came to be – will have an impact on how you live. Christians do all they do for the good of their neighbour, all they do to the glory of Jesus, because they believe there’s a God who is the creator of all things and who’s recreating all things in Jesus.
But both the traditional African and Western worldviews are different.
I Believe in God The Creator
Nic Kyalangalilwa delivers his second in a nine week sermon series unpacking the foundations of the faith – working through The Apostles’ Creed, a statement of belief penned in the 4th Century AD.
It’s really the foundation of what a Christian believes.
“It’s really the foundation of what a Christian believes. This is what makes the difference between what we would call a Christian faith, and a non-Christian faith.”
This sermon looks at the second phrase: I believe in God… creator of heaven and earth. Nic walks through why we believe God created all things, and how we believe he is recreating all things in Jesus – for the good of man.
Creator or Chaos? It Impacts How We Live
This sermon also explores the impact on our lives if we really understand this truth.
“Our theory of how the world came about, our theory of the beginning, will determine how we live; will determine the kind of life that we live.”
The Impact of a Far-Away God
How God created, and his ongoing role as creator is also important.
“If we think that God is far away and we are left to ourselves, then it will be very desperate for man. Then we might even tend to be fatalistic: expecting that bad things will happen to us all the time.
If we think that God is far away and we are left to ourselves, then it will be very desperate for man.
If you believe that the creator God is very far away, like in African creation stories, then chances are we will also believe that the most powerful here will be the one who will reign; will be the one who is successful, and will be the one who is happy.
And so if you are not strong physically, then get strong spiritually. So get a witch doctor. Get some guide to help you. Because you have to be strong!”
The Impact of A World Based on Chaos
If you believe that the world is a result of chaos then guess what? Your life will be full of chaos.
Equally, if you believe that the world is a result of chaos then guess what? Your life will be full of chaos. You will struggle to find meaning. Because in the end it’s really chaos. I mean things are just falling into place – there is no particular order.”
The Impact of A Creator God
Christians believe that in the beginning it all started with God. But there are still important questions we need to answer about why? Why did God create the world? Why did God create man? What is our purpose on earth? Why was his creation good, but now it’s broken?
In answering these questions Nic helps us see the impact this has on our lives today.
“So the story of creation, the doctrine of creation, becomes even richer with the gospel. Because we are not just saying God created everything, and it was good, and then it was messed up. No! We are saying God is busy recreating everything in Jesus, and it’s gonna be awesome.”
Understanding The Apostles’ Creed
Find the other sermons in this series here:
- I Believe… In God, The Father Almighty
- I Believe… In God The Creator
- I Believe… In Jesus’ Incarnation
- I Believe… In Jesus’ Death & Resurrection
- I Believe… In Jesus’ Ascension & Return
- I Believe… In The Holy Spirit
- I Believe… In The Church
- I Believe… In The Life Everlasting
Text: Genesis 1
Date preached: 16 April 2016
Location: Le Phare Church, Bukhavu, DRC-Congo
So we started a series of teaching last week on what we call the foundation of faith. In other terms it’s what we call the Apostles Creed. So, Joel is going to project that right behind me on the screen, and together we are going to read it. To remind us again what it is we will be talking about for the next 7 weeks.
The Apostles Creed
I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
and born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to the place of the dead.
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of the Father,
I believe he will come again to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy universal Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting.
Looks like there’s a few glitches between my version and your version! But anyway, you go the point. Right! And that’s what we will be looking at for the next 7 weeks. We’ve done one week already.
What Do Christians Believe?
It’s really the foundation of what a Christian believes. It’s really what makes the difference between what we would call a Christian faith, and a non-Christian faith.
God, The Father Almighty
And so last week we started talking about “I believe in God, the Father almighty”. Christians believe there is a loving God who has become so close to them – who has revealed himself in a special way, in a personal way – that they can actually call him Father.
They believe that Father is Almighty. He can do all things. Now that makes a huge difference between the Christian faith and many other faiths. Many other faiths don’t think of God as a personal God, to the point of calling him a Father.
God, The Creator
This week, and today, we will be looking at the second part. It says “I believe in God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth”. What we are really talking about is God the creator. So it says: I believe in God the creator. That’s the title that you have in your bulletin.
And as Christians, we believe that our God – that God that was revealed as a Father – that God that we see revealed in the Bible in many and different ways: as Elohim, El Shaddai and Jehovah – but ultimately we see revealed in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ – that God who is powerful, and can do all things. Well, we believe that that God made all things.
How Did The World Come To Be?
There is an African story about how the world came about. How did the world come to be? It’s a story of the beginning. And it’s an interesting thing. If you want at some point, you can go on the internet and google it or do some research on what are actually the things that… the different stories about the beginnings.
An African Creation Story
Now, it is said that there was a man and a woman. god created a man and a woman. And god said the the man and the woman, “You can have this forest, it’s all yours. But never, ever use a mortar and a pillar”.
So, the man went to hunt and the wife stayed behind. And the wife said, “Why shouldn’t I look at what the mortar looks like?” So she took a stick, a pillar, and you know, put some stuff in the mortar, and started pounding. And Every time she was pounding, the heavens were moving higher. And every time she would pound, the heavens would move higher, and higher and higher.
A Far Away God
So by the time the husband got home, the heavens are so far away, that god was so foreign to man. And man was left to feed for himself – you know do all the things by himself – because there was no god to help him.
I think that’s why Africans still believe that God is very far away, and man is just so vulnerable by himself here. Because of the pillar and the mortar. Actually people say that’s why if you go into the villages you will see the women using a pillar and a mortar, because they are hoping that it will go… and then one day he will start coming back again.
So they keep on pounding, you know? Everybody smiles – well.
But it did explain, for many people it did explain, why is it that heaven was so far away, and the earth was so below. Why is it that man was very desperate and didn’t have anyone to help him.
What am I getting to? This is what I am getting to.
The Impact Of What We Believe
So our theory of how the world came about, our theory of the beginning, will determine how we live; will determine the kind of life that we live.
If we think that God is far away and we are left to ourselves, then it will be very desperate for man. Then we might even tend to be fatalistic: expect that bad things will happen to us all the time. Well, because God is very far away and he doesn’t care about us. And he can’t even intervene in our business.
The Rule Of The Strongest?
This can also lead us to be people who believe in the rule of the strongest. So a) because God is gone, well I can fend for myself. And I must just do my best to look after myself. Because if I don’t do it, who is going to do it for me?
If you believe that God is very far away, like in the story, then chances are we will also believe that the most powerful here, will be the one who will reign, will be the one who is successful, and will be the one who is happy.
They believe the people who have the strongest witch doctor, are the people who are going to rule over the rest
Getting Spiritual Strength
And so if you are not strong physically, then get strong spiritually. So get a witch doctor. Get some guide to help you. Because you have to be strong!
You know, and the people who have the strongest witch doctor, are the people who are going to rule over the rest. If you think that God is not there, and he is far away, and we have to look after ourselves, then you look for the strongest witch doctor, to give you the strongest medicine, that will protect you.
Maybe you trust in your ancestors… Because God is so far away, he can’t look after you.
You look for other people who are going to help you. And maybe you trust in your ancestors and you think that those ancestors have gone up there, they can look after me. Because God is so far away, he can’t look after me.
A Western Creation Story
Now that’s typical African. In the West, if you believe that the world was chaos, you know they will teach you about this random making of the world, that they might call big bang or whatever you call it.
If you believe that the world is a result of chaos then your life will be full of chaos. You will struggle to find meaning
If you believe that the world is a result of chaos then guess what? Your life will be full of chaos. You will struggle to find meaning. Because in the end it’s really chaos. I mean things are just falling into place – there is no particular order.
Our beliefs on the first things – what we believe about how the world came to be, what we believe about the origin of the world – will have a great impact on how we live.
Is This Creator God Aloof?
Now let me say something my dear friend, you might be saying “yah. I believe in God the creator”. Now I do know most of us here in this room would be believing that there is a God who created everything. But what kind of God is that?
You see? Is he a distant God? Is he a caring God or is he a God who is very aloof; he doesn’t care about what happens?
When we were small kids we used to watch the movie of Hercules – now did you watch it? Hercules. And the movie started (I’m going to say that in French buy I will translate it): “Dans les temps anciens, ou les dieux étaient mesquins et cruels”. So the movie started by saying: In the old times, when the gods were cruel, and they smiled when they were giving a hard time to men.
So if you believe in such a God, well then you’ll have a very different approach to life! What kind of God do you believe in?
Do You Have A Fatalistic View of God?
You see we claim that we believe that God created everything, but what kind of God is that?
Do you believe in the same God that we will see just now? Surely reliable? Or is it your own God? Why is it that some of us are very fatalistic? Why is it that some of us think that things will just go from bad to worse in life? Why is it that actually some of us go and pray? That’s a good question, isn’t it.
We are very fatalistic. So we think that we are doing things to please this angry God!
Why is it that some of you are here? Because if you don’t come to church today… tomorrow your week will just go bad. We are very fatalistic. So we think that we are doing things to please this angry God! And then somehow get some favours.
So he might be the creator, but he is not a loving creator. He is not a Father creator.
We Are Just Looking For Spiritual Protection
We are not any different from the guy who goes to see the witch doctor so as he can give him some witchcraft – to protect him. So what we are doing in church is really trying to get some form of protection in a very chaotic world. Where God is very distant and you have to do something to protect yourself. And so try and get some spiritual power from a church, or from prayer, or from reading the Bible.
We are not any different from the guy who goes to see the witch doctor to get some witchcraft – to protect him.
This evening again as I said is we are going to look at at the doctrine of creation. And we are going to see how that should impact our belief and our action as Christians.
What We Believe & The Impact
Now some of you might even think that, you know, “I’m not a Christian, why should I believe in those things?” Well maybe this would be a good time for you to see what is it that Christians believe. And then stop back and think, “You know maybe it makes sense”.
So if you are a Christian, at the end of this evening I hope that your faith in God as a creator will have a genuine result in your day to day life.
If you don’t believe in Jesus, if you are not a believer, then I hope that at the end of this session you will at least walk out of this place and think, “hmm it’s not that bad actually, they are not really that stupid”.
We’ll do that in two points and then we will apply it.
So the first point is, in the beginning it all started with God. The second is, God made men to worship, so a call to worship. And the third, which is application, is really just: I believe in God, the creator.
1. In The Beginning It All Started With God
First point, and that we will pick up from our verse, that was so well read to us earlier. In the beginning, it all started with God.
Now, when you go to Genesis – which is the first book of the Bible – and we have the privilege of reading the first page of the Bible – you see that it starts with “In the beginning”. So in the Hebrew world, that same word was given as the title of that book. So we talk about Genesis. We are really talking about the origins, the beginning. How it all started. Where it all started.
Christians believe that at the start of everything, there was God.
Now it’s interesting, if you come with me to Genesis 1:1, the first ever book of the Bible; the first ever verse of the Bible, what does it say? “In the beginning, God created”.
Christians believe that at the start of everything, there was God. God was at the beginning.
Who Is God?
And the kind of God we talk about here is not a very foreign God. It’s not a God who is out there. No, if you come with me – and I mean I will make you move a little bit – but come with me to John 1. Right.
And I think John 1 Helps us to understand what it is that we are talking about here. When we say “God”, what are we talking about?
John 1. It says: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” So what is he saying? Well, the Word equals God. “He was in the beginning with God. 3All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men.”
What the Bible still emphasises is that from the start there was no chaos, there was God.
The Importance of The Trinity
Later on he tells us who this Word is. John 1:14: “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
So what the Bible still emphasises is that from the start there was no chaos, there was God. And that God was not alone. There was the Son, Jesus. And so when we talk about the God of the Bible – and I mentioned that last week – we are talking of a trinitarian God. We are talking of God the Father, God the son, God the Holy Spirit. You can’t take that away.
The moment you take away that trinity, then there’s no substance to whatever we will be talking about. It’s a trinitarian God; God in fellowship – who was there at the beginning.
The Son Was Involved In Creation
As much as the Father was involved in creation, we see the Son – John 1 – involved in creation.
Colossians 1:13: “He”, the Father, “has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”
Now listen to what he says: Colossians 1:15-17:
“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”
The Son Is The Purpose Of Creation
You see Paul goes even further than John.
Paul is saying not only Jesus was creator, but he is the goal, the purpose of creation. All things were created for him, by him. All things were created through him, by him, and for him.
And he is not a God who is far away, who says, “I’ve created and that’s it”. No. He is God who is there. Because he says in Colossians 1:17: “in him all things hold together.”
All Things: Visible and Invisible
Now what are all those things that are still holding together up to now in Jesus? Well those things are the thrones, those things are the dominions, the rulers, the authorities. Now he is talking here about the spiritual realm. He is talking here about the things that you see, and the things that you don’t see.
So we believe as Christians, that God created all things – visible and invisible. That God governs all things – visible and invisible. It’s not like there’s a God who cannot really interfere with existence, and cannot really do anything on earth, that’s not what we believe. That’s not what the Bible teaches.
The Bible says there is a God who made everything – visible and invisible. Who has power over everything – visible and invisible. And who still holds everything – visible and invisible; physical or spiritual.
A Trinitarian God
That God is the God three in one: He is God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. It’s a little bit complicated to understand all that, and that’s not why we are here, but I do want to insist that it is a Trinitarian God.
So sometimes the Jehovah’s Witnesses will corner you and then you will be afraid to say that you believe in God who is the Trinitarian God. Now let me say that Bible does not give you any more right to say that you believe in god the Creator, if you don’t believe in the Trinitarian God. Because all over, the Trinity was involved in creation.
So if you don’t believe that the Trinity was actually a genuine thing, then biblically you cannot have a basis to believe in creation. Because they were all involved in making what is today.
So in our passage that we read today, Genesis 1:27, so you see he gives us a small summary and he says “So God created man in his own image”. Because he’s already told us from Genesis 1:1 that God created.
What God Created Was Good
Now, I want us to realise a few things: that God created, that what God created was good. Genesis 1:31 “And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good.”
Imagine if God says something is good, then it really, really is good.
God didn’t make a world full of pain and suffering and evil. Now, we will explain why is there evil and suffering later. But God didn’t make that. God made the world and everything was good. Now imagine if God says something is good, then it really, really is good.
God made not only nature and things around, but also God made men!
Man Was Made In The Image of God
And Genesis 1:27 says “So God created man in his own image”. Man was made in the image of God. Man has value. Man looks a little bit like God.
Man was made in the image of God. Man has value.
But the author here wants us to understand, it’s not just that man is a small God, that’s not what he wants us to realise. He is telling us that man has value. But I will come back to that a little bit later, in terms of the purpose, or the things that man is meant to do. And we’ll model that on God.
But what we know from this verse is that man was made in the image of God. God made everything; the powerful God, Trinitarian God, made everything.
We see John reminding us, and we see again Paul reminding us, that the Son was as much involved in creation as his Father. We also see that what he made was good. So the world that God made was good, inherently good. There was nothing bad about it.
But we also see that God made man, and he made man in his image. I’ll come back just now to what that means in our second point.
Did God Make Us To Suffer?
Now the question somebody might ask is, OK well, now some people think God made us to suffer. Did God really make us to suffer? Well I don’t see that.
If you come with me to Genesis 1:28, what does he say? It says God blessed them. He gave them his blessing
And what does he say? He says to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
Now some people think that God made us to suffer, that God put us on earth so that we could be his small little slaves. Now I don’t see that anywhere in the Bible. The Bible does not say that. It says God created man in his own image – he gave him value – and now we see what? He gave them power to rule over the creation.
Was God Bored?
Did God need man? Can an all-sufficient god need companionship? And say, “well, I’m God, it feels like I’ve got nobody to talk to, so I’m going to make a man.”
You know sometimes in Africa – it’s very sad to say this – but you hear women say, “yah, I sit at home, my husband goes to work and I’ve got nobody to talk to or to play with, so I’m going to have a child. We are going to have a baby so as I’ll have somebody to look after.”
God was in perfect relationship with the Son and with the Holy Spirit, they didn’t need anything else!
Was God bored? Did he feel like he was all by himself? No! And that’s where this trinity is very important to us. God was in perfect relationship with the Son and with the Holy Spirit, they didn’t need anything else!
God Created Out Of Love
So God created out of love. God made man and gave man things to do for the good of man. What did God benefit from making the garden and saying to man, “there you go”? It was all for our good; all for man’s good.
So we don’t believe that God made man so as man can suffer. As I’ll talk about later, suffering came through a different way – from man’s own choice.
So God the trinity created all things. All things were good. God made man in his own image: male and female had great value to the eyes of God. God gave them to rule, so he did not make them so as they could be slaves. He created them so they can also have dominion – just like he has dominion.
What we remember again as Christians is that God continued to uphold all things up to this day. That’s what Colossians tells us.
Man Benefits From Creation
So the Christian believes that God made everything, because they believe that a loving, caring, creator created the whole world for the sole purpose of humanity. So in this equation the only person that benefits is not God, he was all-sufficient from the start. The person that benefits is man!
But why was man made? That takes us to Genesis 1:26. So it all starts with God. It all starts with God – Christians believe that. We don’t believe that it starts with man, it starts with God. Right.
God created out of love. God made man and gave man things to do for the good of man.
It starts with a loving God who created the world. It starts with a God who created and everything was good. A God who takes everything that was created and gives it to man. Man was made in his own image, in the image of God. This is not just a God who is a lone ranger, no it’s a God who is in perfect relationship: The Father, the Son and the Spirit. And it feels almost that they are trying to include man into that relationship.
What Does God Want Man To Do?
“Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them”, it’s interesting that he says man in singular and then he goes on to plural, “let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.””
God creates man. And what’s the first thing that God says he wants man to do? To rule. To have dominion. But is it just power for power? Is it power for the sake of power?
Ruling Is An Act Of Worship
Now I think this becomes very clear when we move to Psalm 33 – so I am going to read through two Psalms that will help us understand a little bit what this ruling is. Because then it will match with my point that we are made to worship. And so as we rule, it’s an act of worship.
2. God Made Men to Worship
It’s not just men being in power and claiming that I am in power. It’s an act of worship: giving God the respect that is due to him.
“By the word of the Lord the heavens were made,
and by the breath of his mouth all their host.
7 He gathers the waters of the sea as a heap;
he puts the deeps in storehouses.
8 Let all the earth fear the Lord;
let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him!
9 For he spoke, and it came to be;
he commanded, and it stood firm.”
Giving God The Respect He Is Due
You see David here looks at the creation, it’s almost as if he is trying to remind himself of what God did, and all that he learned when he was a kid about creation, about Genesis and how God created everything.
And what does David see in the fact that God created out of nothing, and just because he spoke things came to be? Well what is the reaction of man? Well, let all the earth fear the Lord. Now fear here is not run away. He is saying here give him his due respect. Honour him.
Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him!
“Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him!” Let them be amazed! Let them rejoice! Wow he is such a mighty God, such a great God! Let them worship.
So there is a sense in which, if we follow what David is saying here, man was meant to stand and look at creation and say, “Wow! This guy is so great! This guy is so powerful. Let me thank him, let me give him the honour that is due to his name.”
Psalm 104:24. Again David picks up the same idea and he says: “O Lord, how manifold are your works!” There is a sense of amazement. There is a sense of worship. It says they are so great!
What Does Worship Mean?
But what does worship mean? Is it just you stand by a tree, you stand up the mountain and you say, “God is so great, this is a beautiful lake, let’s praise God”.
Is that worship?
Well I’m going to go back to Genesis 2. I think worship goes through obedience, and that’s what God says. Genesis 2:15. God created everything for man to enjoy, for man to actually rule over it, but he says to him, this is what I want you to do.
Worship Is Synonymous With Obedience
“The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
Will man, who has been so graciously given all these things, live under the authority of God?
It’s interesting that God created all things, and he gave man everything, except that. Now people have huge debate over whether it was really a fruit, or whether it was an apple. You know I have heard people say they cannot eat apples because it’s a forbidden fruit or whatever.
That’s not the point.
The point here is will man, who has been so graciously given all these things, live under the authority of God? Will man trust God? Will man obey God? Will man marvel at what God has done to the point that he brings obedience into his life? That’s the question.
So you see early on we are reminded again that man was meant to worship God, and the way he would worship God is by obeying.
And the command wasn’t just to rule man, take care, the command was also to live under the word of God. Not to eat of the fruit of the tree. Did man keep it? Me and you know that he didn’t, and that will be our next point.
Two Commands From God
But for now let’s stop and, you know, sum up what we’ve just said now. God made man so as man can worship him, so as man can look at all of creation and give glory to God; give him the respect that he’s due. God made man so as man can look after his creation. So as man is being a steward – he is looking after the creation of God – it’s also an act of worship because it is an act of obedience.
The two commands that man is given: take care and don’t eat.
The two commands that man is given: take care and don’t eat. The question is, will man do that?
Psalm 8:6: “You have given him [man] dominion over the works of your hands”. Stewardship. God has given us everything so as we can look after it for him, to his glory.
But Man & His Wife Disobey
But did man keep it up? Did man actually keep both commands of God? If you read Romans 1 you know it’s not true. Why is Romans 1 very important to us? Well, because there’s Genesis 3. In Genesis 3 what do we see? We see man not taking seriously what God has told him. And so man and his wife decide to eat of the fruit of the forbidden tree. Man and his wife disobey God.
In Genesis 3 we see man not taking seriously what God has told him.
Romans 1:18 Paul reminds us and he says: “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honour him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.”
Man Is Without Excuse
This is a terrible portrait that Paul paints for man.
So although God created everything, and God created everything good – he created man in his own image with great value, God the Father and the Son created – and although God took man and he said, “Well I’m going to put you in this garden and I want you to look after it and I want you to obey me”, man disobeyed.
Man does not think that it’s just good enough to enjoy what God has created. And through disobedience – through man ignoring God’s love – Paul says through man suppressing the truth about God, through man deciding that God is not good enough – God cannot tell him what to do, because he knows as much – things have gone wrong.
Things Have Gone Wrong
So what was good initially, has become bad. That’s why me and you hear of stories of people being killed. That’s why me and you we switch on the news and we hear that in Japan there is a terrible earthquake and people are dying. That’s why me and you hear on the news that there are people being killed and raped.
So what was good initially, has become bad.
Because what was good, has been tarnished. What was good has been spoilt. Because the person who was supposed to look after it has chosen to do his own things and not to follow God.
This Is Sin
Now my dear friends, that’s what the Bible defines as sin.
Sin is rejection of God. Sin is not sitting under the authority of God. Sin is really saying to God, “No thank you, I’ll do things my way”. Sin is not acknowledging that God is the creator, and as a creator – a loving creator – he needs to tell us how things must work.
Sin is when man doesn’t trust that God is good for him – that God knows what he needs
Sin is when man doesn’t trust that God is good for him – that God knows what he needs. And so man tries to do things by himself.
You see now this is the source of all trouble in the world. It is the source of all trouble now, and it will be the source of many troubles for many people in the world to come.
Death Entered The World
Because when God says to the man and he says, “well, you shall not eat of this fruit; if you eat of it you will die”, he really meant what he said! Because at that particular moment that connection, that communion between man and God got broken.
The proof of it is me and you die. Babies die. Why do we die? Well we are not connected with God anymore. The proof of it is we are born, but we are not spiritual beings. We are born dead spiritually. We are born with no connection to God. We are born with a propensity to sin like Paul has said. We are born wanting to reject God.
We are born dead spiritually. We are born with no connection to God. We are born wanting to reject God.
And one day – that is almost certain – that if we ignore God, one day, it will not just be spiritual death and physical death, one day it will be eternal death. Because it will be forever separated from God. We will be forever separated from God; it will be eternal death.
This takes me to my last point.
3. I Believe In God, The Creator
As an application point, remember again we said this all started with God in the beginning it all started with God. God created all things. God created man so as man could worship him, and so man was called to worship. And his worship, in giving God the honour that is due to him, was meant to be done in two ways.
And the primary way is really looking after, as God has asked him to do, but looking after it as he is living under God, under the authority of God. And I’ve just said that man has failed to look after creation because he’s rebelled against God.
What’s It Mean To Believe In God The Creator?
Our third point is really application. And that’s now where it comes in: we believe, I believe in God the maker of heaven and earth. I believe in God the creator. Well what does this mean?
Creation Doctrine In The Gospel
Well it means first of all that this creation doctrine becomes even clear in the gospel.
So in the gospel this wonderful news of Jesus coming – what do we hear? We hear that man has messed it up. We hear that the bad news is that man has rejected God. As a result of rejecting God he will die physically – he is dead spiritually already – he will die physically and one day he will die eternally away from God.
That’s what we hear.
We hear that man desperately is trying to sort this problem out: By going to church, by being good, by doing all these wonderful things. But it will never work because a dead person cannot wake themselves up.
The good news – and that’s the gospel – says to us that God sent his Son to die. God sent his Son to walk on earth, to live the perfect life. That me and you failed to do, what Adam failed to do, is obey God fully. Jesus lived a perfect life: never sinned, was fully obedient to his father, and yet he died. Went on the cross.
How Can Someone Who’s Never Sinned Die?
Now how come the person who has never sinned can die? If death is the wages of sin, if death is the consequence of sin, so how come someone who’s never sinned died?
He dies because he takes my place and your place.
Well he dies because he takes my place and your place.
He dies because he takes the place of those rebels that we are. He dies in our place, pays our penalty and our sins, and then raises from the dead on the third day, to show that God has accepted what he has sacrificed.
And now this Jesus stands and he says, “I am here and I’m calling you. Come back home! Come back to God. I’ve made everything right – come back”. And almost as if let’s go back and start again.
And that’s the wonderful part, is when you go back to the last book of the Bible – we started with the first book of the Bible, you go back to the last book of the Bible – what do you see? You have a new earth, and a new heaven and a new creation. It can start again.
God says there is a possibility for you to have life, but will you take it?
That’s what he’s saying. “It was messed up but I’ve made a plan for it to start again. Will you join me?”
So in John 3:18 he says:
“Whoever believes in him [the son] is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.”
God says there is a possibility for you to have life, but will you take it?
So the story of creation, the doctrine of creation, becomes even richer with the gospel. Because we are not just saying God created everything, and it was good, and then it was messed up. No! We are saying God is busy recreating everything in Jesus, and it’s gonna be awesome.
What Are The Implications of This Belief?
What are some of the implications?
Some of the implications if we are truly to believe that God created all things then we need to remember that those who will not be found in Jesus will not be part of this new creation. Those who will not be found in Jesus, they will not be part of the new creation.
Are You Part Of The New Creation?
The question, my friend, is to know are you part of the new creation? Are you part of those who’ve trusted in Jesus and are being recreated in him?
Are You A Worshiper?
The second thing is for those who say, “Yes! I believe in Jesus and I am being recreated”, well my dear friends, are you a worshiper of God? Now when I say worshiper, most of us will think, “do you go to church? Do you pray in the morning? Do you read your Bible?”
Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
No. We’ve just seen what? That man was made to worship. And how was he supposed to give God worship and the glory that God deserves? Well, by doing what God asked him to do. And what did God ask him to do? Well, “take care of what I’ve given you and obey me”.
Are we taking care of what God has given us? Are we working with an understanding that we are not doing it for men but we are doing it for God? Paul says 1 Corinthians 10:31, “whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
Live All Of Your Life To The Glory Of God
You see he understood that the whole of man – the whole of his life – is God’s creation. And if he’s a new creation. in Jesus then he is supposed to live all of it to the glory of God.
There’s no sacred life and un-sacred life. There’s no Christian life and non-Christian life. All of it is to God.
Because there’s no sacred life and un-sacred life. There’s no Christian life and non-Christian life. All of it is to God. Even the simple things like eating and drinking.
He says again in Colossians 3:17: “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
Stewarding The Life God Gave You
In the end, my dear friend, whether I’m a student, if I believe in God the maker of all things then I know that what I do as a student is my mandate from God. And even more, much more so, because I’m a new creation.
My life is not my life primarily. It’s God who has given it to me so that I can look after it.
If I’m a business man then I know that my business is not my business primarily, my life is not my life primarily. It’s God who has given it to me so that I can look after it. It’s called stewardship. It’s not mine, it’s God’s. What am I doing with it?
If God created all things and he is recreating all things in Jesus, then I am not here by chance! I have a purpose, I have a reason! And so my life is not just my own – it’s God directing me to do the things that he wants me to do.
Looking Like Christ
Am I living under him? Am I connecting with him to find out exactly what it is that he wants me to do? And I can guarantee you already he wants you to look like Christ, and he wants you to live to the glory of Jesus.
He wants you through how you use your time, how you use your money, how you use your relationship, how you use your ambition – to make Jesus beautiful. To make Jesus wonderful, to glorify Jesus.
So as we end my dear friend I’m going to ask you, what do you believe in? What do you believe in about the beginning? Because if you believe in something – whatever you believe about the beginning, about how things came to be – will have an impact on how you live.
Christians do all they do for the good of their neighbour, all they do to the glory of Jesus, because they believe there’s a God who created all things and who’s recreating all things in Jesus.
What do you believe in? What do you believe in about the beginning?
Let’s bow our heads.