Created by the Triune God
Created by the Triune God
Genesis 1.1-2.3 (NIV)
Dear friends in Christ,
When building a house, you do not start by putting the roof on. When teaching a child to read, you do not start with thousand page novels. When teaching someone to play baseball, you do not start throwing them 90 mph fastballs. You start with the basics. You build a solid foundation for the house before framing it and eventually putting on the roof. You teach children to recognize letters and sounds before putting them together to make words, sentences, paragraphs and eventually thousand page novels. You hit a baseball off a tee and then work your way up to the 90 mph fastball.
Moses lays a solid foundation for us today. In the words God gave him to write in the book of Genesis, we start with the basics. We get some basics about who God is, how the world came about, who we are, how we relate to the things of this earth and how we relate to God.
Created by the Triune God. The Earth for us. Us for God.
The Earth for Us
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. (Genesis 1:1-3)
God is one and God is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. That is the Triune God, three in one. Why this reading was chosen for us on Trinity Sunday may be obvious to you as a New Testament believer. You see God the Father in verse one. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” You see the Holy Spirit in verse two. “The Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.” And we also see the Son of God in verse three. “God said, ‘Let there be light.’” He is the Word that created all things.
In John’s Gospel, he calls Jesus, the Word. Listen to what John writes about the Word in the first three verses of his Gospel. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.” (John 1:1-3). The Son of God was not only there at creation, he was active. Without him, nothing would have been made.
So we see through faith that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit created the heavens and the earth and everything in them. He creates with his word. God speaks everything into existence. Our Triune God is powerful beyond understanding. And we have his powerful word today in the Bible. God no longer uses his word to created light and plants and creatures. He uses his word to create faith in the hearts of people. He uses his word to bring us closer to him. He uses his word to forgive sins. His word is still powerful beyond understanding.
Now, we look at some of the details of God’s creation. The second verse of Genesis gives us an outline of what God will do for the next six days. “Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep.” Over the next six days, God will form the formless, fill the empty with life and bring light to the darkness. He does the last one first.
“Let there be light…and there was light.” But where was this light coming from? He does not create the sun or stars until the fourth day. Light has to come from somewhere doesn’t it? The skeptics love things like this in the Bible. “See how foolish it is to believe what the Bible says. You can’t have light existing by itself for three days.” In heaven, we won’t need the sun to give light because God will be all the light we need and it will never be dark. So maybe the light came from God himself at creation. He certainly could have light exist before the sun.
As God lays the foundation and the basics for faith in Genesis, the world scoffs. Most scoff at the idea of light before the sun. They scoff at the idea of God creating the world and everything in it in six regular days. And amazingly, even Christian churches join in the scoffing. Some Christian denominations will even twist and bend these words in Genesis to fit modern thinking and theories. The make days represent millions and billions of years. They squeeze evolution in between verses. They say the whole thing is just a story to teach a lesson and therefore not really true. Or they just say that Moses got it wrong and the Bible is not all true.
Why is it that when God’s Word conflicts with human ideas, humans choose their own ideas? It is simply sinful human pride. Why couldn’t it be human ideas and theories that are wrong? If our calculations and science tells us something different than what God tells us don’t you think that just maybe we got it wrong? We forgot to carry the two? We missed something? Our logic was flawed? By faith we look at the first chapter of the Bible in awe as our Triune God creates everything. And where we don’t get it, we marvel that God is wiser and more powerful than we will ever know.
So, God continues to form the formless and fill the emptiness. He forms the water into the sea and the atmosphere on day two and three days later fill it with life, birds in the sky and fish in the sea. He forms dry land and vegetation on day three and three days later fills it with all the creatures that move along the ground including a man and a woman. And did you catch the repeating, “God saw that it was good.” It was all good and all for us humans to use and to rule.
“God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so. (Genesis 1:28-30)
God finished off creation with the crown of his creation, humans. He created a perfect place for men and women to live. He gave water for drinking, plants for food, animals to care for, and the sun to shine during the day and the moon at night. He made the heavens and the earth for human beings. When we look at how well we have done in ruling over creation, we could probably see a few areas for improvement. Where humans have not deliberately destroyed and killed, we have unintentionally messed things up. It was not always like this. Adam and Eve were at peace with all the creatures of the earth and ruled them well until they sinned. Our relationship with the earth and all other living things is no longer “very good” as God created it. Our relationship with God is sadly the same.
Us For God
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:26-27)
As God creates the first man and woman, we again see clues about our Triune God. He says, “Let us make man” instead of “Let me make man.” He addresses himself in the plural. It is not just God the Father who creates mankind. It is not just God the Son. It is not just the Holy Spirit. It is our Triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Mankind was created by the Triune God and mankind was created for God.
God created people to be in a perfect relationship with him. He created Adam and Eve in his own image and likeness. This does not mean that we look like God – although one day the Son of God would take on human flesh and look like us. To have God’s image and likeness is to be perfect and righteous. It is to be holy as God is holy. Adam and Eve loved God. They loved what God made. They loved what God said. They did what God said and loved doing it. Their minds were right in line with God’s. There was zero conflict. Oh, to have that relationship with God now!
However, Adam and Eve did not keep the image of God. They wanted more. They wanted to know everything like God knows everything. They did not just want to be like God, they wanted to be their own god. So they rebelled against God’s simple command to not eat from one tree in the middle of the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve were no longer in a good relationship with God. They hid from God. They evaded God’s questions. They put the blame on others.
It only takes a look in the mirror to see people who are descended from Adam and Eve, people who are not born with the image of God, but with a sinful human nature. We try to hide our sins from God and others. “I didn’t do it. Someone else made me do it.” “I wouldn’t have said those nasty things if they didn’t say it to me first.” “They started it.” “It’s not my fault.” Oh, but it is my fault. It is your fault. We are each responsible for our own sin. We may be good at getting away with it on earth, but we get away with nothing in God’s sight. Our sin wrecks our relationship with God.
God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day. (Genesis 1:31)
When God looked over the earth, the plants, animals, and humans he created, he judged it to be very good. It was just right. It was perfect. What does God see now? Most importantly, what does our Triune God see when he looks at you? Very good?
Yes, through Christ. When Adam and Eve sinned, our Triune God set in motion his plan to save us. Just as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit worked together in creation, they work together in our salvation. God the Father sends his Son to be born of a virgin at Christmas. Jesus Christ, God’s Son, lives the only human life that God the Father can rightly judge to be very good. God created us to love and serve him perfectly, and Christ actually did it. To wipe out our failures, our rebellion, and our sins, Christ offered his perfect life on the cross. By his death we are forgiven. And where is the Holy Spirit in all this? He is hovering over us in love as he hovered over the waters at creation. He is hovering over us, bringing the good news of Jesus to us, bringing us to trust in Christ. He is hovering over us, protecting us in our faith and bringing us safely through this life into heaven.
Sin has ruined this creation. But God has heaven waiting for all who believe in Jesus Christ. It is very good, just as creation was before sin. When a believer leaves this earth God will say to you that you are very good. In Christ, we have that image of God restored to us. And in heaven we will never lose it. We were made to be in a perfect relationship with God forever. Through Christ Jesus, we will be.
Major League baseball players still practice their hitting by using a tee. You are never too advanced to go back to the basics. So go back to the basics with God this week. Get into your Bible. See how our Triune God shows himself to you. See his plan of salvation unfold on the pages of Scripture. See his love and care for his people. And why not start with the book of Genesis in the Old Testament or one of the Gospels in the New Testament? Be filled with wonder again at God’s plan to save us and Jesus completing that plan of our salvation.
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