To know God's love and to show God's love
A Very Good World - 16.1.21
Read Genesis 1 - 2; John 1
What God Promised.........
Read Genesis 1 v 1 - 25
What did God do ( v 1 ) ?
Made everything. Genesis does not deal with scientific theories; it wants us to grasp something theological......that God is creator of all. Science seeks to discover "how" and "when".......but not the "who" and the "why".
How did he do it ( v 3 ) ?
Through speaking. He spoke and it happened! God creates through his word.
Take a look at the sections of Genesis noted below and ask yourself what is happening in each one?
1 v 6 - 8
1 v 9 - 13
1 v 14 -19
1 v 20 - 23
What similarities do you see between them ?
. God is creating.
. God creates through his powerful word.
. It happens just as God says (notice the "and it was so ")
. Time passes in section. A "day" represents a period of time ,or an era.
. Days one and two. God names what he's created.( v 5, 8 )
. Days three and five. "God saw that it was good'. (v 10, 12 ,18 , 21 )
. Days three and five. God makes plants, fish and birds "according to their kinds "There is a purpose to and an order in, creation”.
. Each part of creation has a purpose to serve....no part is wasted, useless or valueless.
So what have we learned about God ?
. God is the creator.
. God is all-powerful.
. God creates through his word.
. God creates order and what is "good".
What was the last thing God made ( v 26 - 28 ) ?
Mankind. Male and female.
What is different about how this part of his creation is described and what does it mean?
Mankind is the only part of creation God makes "in his own image" ( v 27 )....so crucial that it's repeated twice ( v 26 ,27 )
Note three aspects to what this means........
1. An image of something is like the "original", although not identical. Mankind represents God on earth and shows something of God to the rest of creation.
2. God speaks to humanity ( v 28 ). Bearing his image means that we have a unique relationship with God; we can know and hear him.
3. Humanity is unique among creation; we are God's image- bearers, with great value and responsibility.
What job does God give them (v 28 )?
To rule his creation and fill the earth. Note that "subdue" doesn't mean "oppress" but "manage". Note also that God "blesses them; this means to enjoy life under God's loving rule.
What is God's verdict on His creation (v 31 ) ?
God is totally pleased; it is very good.
SNAPSHOT: Genesis 1 - 2
The people God made enjoy perfect life with each other,under his rule ,in his very good world.
The promise of Genesis 1 - 2 is that creation will be "very good" BUT we all know that our world today is a poor reflection of the world as it was created. Has God's plan gone wrong?
God's Promise fulfilled.........
Read John 1 v 1 - 5, 9.
What similarities are there between these verses and Genesis 1 v 1 - 5?
. Both start "in the beginning".
. Both mention God and his word.
. Both talk about creation.
. Both speak about light.
So we see that at the beginning of his Gospel ( ie Good News!) about Jesus ,John deliberately uses creation-type language.
What do we learn about "the Word " ?
. v 1: He was with God from eternity ......and he is in fact God.
. v 2: The Word is eternal.
. v 3: Everything that was made, was made through "the Word".....and he is seen to be a person.
. v 4: The Word gives life.
. v 5: The life (or "light")that the Word gives is misunderstood by those "in darkness".
Read verse 14 and think about what it means.......
The eternal ,creating, powerful Word became a human being .God stepped into his creation as a creature .At a particular point in history it was possible to see God, the one who came from the father's side and lived on earth.
God's word brought light to creation (Genesis 1 v 5 ). Here the word became flesh to bring" light" too .So what is that "light" ( John 1 v 4 )?
The "light" that God became human to bring .....was life.
This Word was called Jesus ( v 17 ). How is God "creating " through Jesus coming to earth?
He brings life.
If you would like to explore more.........
Read Genesis 2 v 18 - 25
What is "not good" and what does God do about it (v 21 -22 )?
The man responds with a "love song".
For what relationship have they been created (v 24 )?
What kind of relationship do they enjoy in God's creation ( 25 ) ?
What do these verses tell us about men and women?
That he is the Creator ,and for making you to enjoy life in his creation, and that he sent Jesus to bring life and begin recreating this imperfect world.
Confess to God.....
ways in which you make too much, or too little of this world.
To help you to be humble ,and to find your value in being made by God. Ask his enabling to live as he created you ......using each day to serve him and seek his honour and glory.
Next week we will be looking at Genesis 3 and Luke 11 under the title "Broken by Rebellion". You will see that each of our studies begins with a successive letter of the alphabet ;the following week's study beginning with C. The follow-up Zoom session has now transferred to Thursdays; the next one being on Wednesday Jan 20 at 10.00am (please note the change of time). The Zoom ID is 737 2295 9656 and the password is 3NZjXF. Many apologies for the confusion of details last week.
d Promises Kept. 9.1.21
Why study Promises Kept ?
One Saturday, less than a decade after the death of Jesus of Nazareth, a man named Paul stood up in a Jewish synagogue and proclaimed a mind blowing message.
"We tell you the good news ',he said." What God promised our ancestors, he has fulfilled for us,their children ,by raising up Jesus". (Acts 13. 32-33)
These two sentences summarise the whole bible.
The God Paul was talking about is a promise - making God. Throughout history he has made huge, extravagant ,wonderful promises to humanity, to the Israelites and to men such as Adam, Abraham ,Jacob and David. As we see what God did we see the shape of how he will fulfill what he has said, because our God is also a promise keeping God and what says he does. At a particular point in history he fulfilled all of his promises in the life, death and resurrection and rule of one man.....Jesus ,a carpenter from a small Jewish town.
The Bible tells the story of what God promised ,and of how he fulfilled all those promises
will be a whirlwind and breath-taking tour of the whole bible......Genesis to Revelation.
There will not be time to stop at every sight ......only to point out some of the highlights. Over 10 sessions we'll travel from the beginning of the past ,through our present, to the future. Each week there will be passages from the Old as well as the New Testament, this will help us see how the "Old" conceals the " New " and the " New " reveals the " Old ".
Each session we will see what God promised and something of how his promise was fulfilled......
What God has promised ......
We'll look at an Old Testament passage ,seeing what happened in that period of history ,and a promise God made.
.......he has fulfilled.
The study moves to a section of a Gospel ,to see an aspect of how Jesus is the One who keeps that particular promise of God.
Each session will include a "snapshot" ,which sums up what has happened in the period of history at which we are looking.
At the beginning of each session there will be a "Timeline".
This will be familiar to all those who came to the Bible Studies when we could meet in the Parish Church Hall. For each bible study series we had, there was always a timeline on the information leaflet. For this series there will be one for each session so we can recap on what we have seen in previous sessions. We will see the point in history on which the study focuses, the Bible books that cover that period and who the "famous " bible characters are in that particular period. For some sessions there will be a map showing where the action is taking place.
At the end of each study........
There will be some suggestions to explore more. Here we pick up on a part of the bible that lies between the current session and the next .
We need to keep on course.
We will all have questions ,(and hopefully some of these can be discussed at our Wednesday Zoom sessions) ,but do remember that we cannot unpack everything in the passage.
We need to keep it simple.
We will pass by some of the important Bible themes ,because we cannot do too much . "Spiritual indigestion" can be very real if we overload the study.
Some of the passages are long.......
This will be a good exercise for us in getting to grips with some of the "big landscape pictures " in scripture, rather than curtailing ourselves to a few verses. It will also help us to see things "in context", a very important issue when it comes to reading and studying scripture.
So let us pray as we prepare for the next few weeks of study......
Let us thank God.......
. for His word, the bible which speaks His truth to us ,both is the Old and New Testament.
Let us confess to God.......
. our failure to take His word seriously and for not trusting His promises to us in that word.
Let us praise God.....
. for Jesus ,that he was willing to come into this world to fulfill God's promises to us.
Let us ask God.....
. To speak through His word by the Holy Spirit ,to each one of our hearts ,that we might become more aware of His faithfulness ,fulfilled in His promises and trust Him more with our lives.
Next week we begin our studies with "A Very Good World" when we will look at Genesis 1 and John 1. We will be restarting our Zoom sessions next week on Thurs Jan 14 at 10.00am, looking at what we are expecting to discover looking at God's promises to each of us; do join us ......the Zoom ID is 719 2295 9656 and the password is 3NZjXF.