Journey Through the Bible 5 – In The Beginning

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See full series: journey-through-the-bible

Journey Through the Bible 5 – In The Beginning

Sermon by  Thomas Thornhill Jr

Passage: Genesis 1:1-5


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Tonight, we continue our study of our extended journey through the Bible, a monthly study where we will trace some of the major events of scripture historically and orderly, bringing us to Christ as the central figure of all history and the Bible.    In previous lessons we have noted the 17 time periods that I encourage each of us to memorize, as well as an introduction to the 3 dispensations (or ages) – the patriarchal (From creation to Moses), the Mosaic (From Mt. Sinai to Christ’s death), and the Christian age (From Christ’s death & the foundation of the church to today and will last until our Lord returns).

In this lesson, we are going to begin our examination of the 1st of the 17 periods of time.  We want to notice Genesis 1 and the creation.  Likely, this will be part 1 of 2.


  1. Before the Flood – Period 1
    1. 1st period of 17 – It consists of a few key events:
      1. The creation account – Genesis 1 & 2 records this creation. Of note, some look at supposed conflicts between the accounts of Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 concerning the creation of man.  But the simplest explanation is to see chapter 1 as a general account of creation including man.  Chapter 2 deals primarily with Adam and Eve, so it is a more detailed account of the creation of man, because that is the focus of the rest of the Bible.
      2. Adam and Eve – the first man and woman. The “parents” of all mankind. Genesis 3 describes the fall of man and being cast out of the garden of Eden.
      3. Cain and Abel – Genesis 4 records God rejecting the offering of Cain and his subsequent murder of his brother out of jealousy.
      4. An increasingly wicked world – leading to God’s decision to destroy the world by flood
      5. Genealogies – From Adam to Noah (why?) – Genesis 5-6. This gives us an understanding of the approximate age of the earth.
    2. Genesis, the book
      1. Written by Moses – alluded to in passages like:
        1. Matthew 19:4-7 – Genesis 1:27 (Moses is mentioned in vs.7 as part of this discussion)
        2. Mark 12:26 – quoting from Exodus 3:6 (also Luke 20:37)
        3. John 5:46 – Moses “wrote about Me”
        4. Romans 10:5 – Leviticus 18:5
        5. Acts 3:22 – Deuteronomy 18:15
      2. The book is clearly attributed to Moses by the Jews – as they ALL respected the Pentateuch as from Moses. If so, this would have been written around 1500 BC, like during the 40 years in the wilderness (last 3rd of Moses’ life).
      3. The book (and section) of beginnings – we find many beginnings, even in this period of time: Creation of the world, First man, First sin, First lie, First promise of redemption – Genesis 3:15, First acts of worship, First murder – Cain murdered Abel, etc.
  2. God – where we begin (1:1)
    1. In the beginning – note that this is intended to say the beginning of EVERYTHING physical. God willed everything that is into existence at that time.  Whenever that moment is, BEFORE, nothing of the material universe existed.
    2. God – the eternal force
      1. Why believe in God? Some arguments that make the case for God.
        1. Cosmological argument – because the universe exists, it MUST have a cause. An examination of the universe BY SCIENCE declares that it had a beginning.  Laws of energy are among the proofs.  What caused it to start?
        2. Teleological argument – design demands a designer. There is abundant evidence of design in this world and the universe.  This is true at both the microscopic and macroscopic level.  The heavens declare the glory of the God – Psalm 19:1, Psalm 139:14, I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
        3. Life demands a source that gave it – a supernatural creator – nature cannot produce life from nothing OR that which is non-living.
        4. The aesthetic argument – because beauty exists, there must be a God. Why do we appreciate beauty? It cannot be explained naturally, and is a quality only found in man, so far as we can tell (i.e. no animal chooses to live and “work” based upon the beauty of the scenery).  Animals live where it is practical.
        5. The intuition argument – at our core, we believe in God. We WANT to worship.  Why do we have this desire?  Ecclesiastes 3:11 – He has put eternity in our hearts.  There is NO evidence of this with any creature OTHER than humans.  Genesis 1:26 – we are created in His image.  ADD to this, our ability to reason about ANYTHING.  This is not explained naturally and atheistically.
        6. The moral argument – our understanding of right and wrong. Where did it come from? IF there is a true moral standard, there needs to be an intelligent source OUTSIDE of the natural realm.  It is the ONLY logical explanation.
      2. The word of God and creation – God spoke, and it came into existence.
        1. One of the first things we learn about God and creation is that He speaks and it happens. This attests to His power as we addressed in our lesson this morning.
        2. Genesis 1:3 – ‘Then God said”
        3. Psalm 33:6, By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, And all the host of them by the breath of His mouth.
        4. Hebrews 11:3 – the worlds were framed by the word of God
        5. 2 Peter 3:5 – the heavens were of old by the word of God.
        6. Proverbs 3:19-20, The Lord by wisdom founded the earth; By understanding He established the heavens; By His knowledge the depths were broken up, And clouds drop down the dew.
        7. Psalm 19 – begins by pronouncing “The heavens declare the glory of God…” Beginning in vs. 7, we read of, “The law of the LORD….”
    3. God – a plurality (Elohim) –
      1. While some might refer to expression of majesty or intensity, we know that God is triune (3 persons).
      2. The word “God” is found more than 30 times in the creation account (Genesis 1:1-2:4).
      3. All 3 persons of the Godhead were present in creation –
        1. God the Father – Isaiah 45:12, I have made the earth, And created man on it. I—My hands—stretched out the heavens, And all their host I have commanded. Romans 1:20, Since the creation His invisible attributes are clearly seen…
        2. God the Son – Jesus – John 1:3, 10, Colossians 1:16
        3. God the Spirit – Genesis 1:2 – the Spirit of God was hovering….
          Psalm 104:30 – a psalm praising the sovereignty of God notes, You send forth Your Spirit, they are created; And You renew the face of the earth. (created is the same word found in Genesis 1:1) The Spirit used in the expression, “spirit of God” in Hebrew language is often associated with the Holy Spirit and His work (Numbers 11:17 – concerning the “Spirit” in Moses to the 70 elders to help him judge the people; Exodus 31:3* concerning the gifted artisans in building the tabernacle.; 1 Samuel 10:6, 10* – Samuel sent to anoint Saul, “the Spirit of the LORD will come upon you…” & “the Spirit of God came upon him”;  )
      4. God – eternal. Implied in the expression, “In the beginning God…”, clearly God is that which is outside of nature.  He is NOT bound by time.  He is the eternal one.  Romans 9:5 describes Him as the eternally blessed God;  Psalm 90:2, “From everlasting to everlasting, You are God.”
      5. An eyewitness account – when talking to a naturalist, if you ask them how it all began, all they can go is speculate. They have NO plausible explanation, only theory.   If we establish the existence of God, and the Bible as His word, we have an eyewitness – God Himself.  He was there and told Moses about it, who wrote it down as He directed (cf. 2 Peter 1:19-21).  There likely was “oral tradition” involved, but ultimately, it was God directing Moses in his writings.
  3. Created –
    1. The word for create is one that means to create something from nothing. Before God spoke there was nothing.  He spoke everything into existence.   The word in the Old Testament is always attributed to God.
    2. The heavens and the earth – the expanse of the universe.
    3. NOTE: IN Genesis 1:1 you have the 5 building blocks of the universe – Time (beginning), Force (God), Action (Created), Heavens (space), Earth (matter). NOTE:[1] It is observed that the expression, “the heavens and the earth” is intended as a merism, (a literary device where two contrasting parts of the whole refer to the whole).[2]  If that is the case, the description would be the earth and everything else (that is not the earth – hence heaven).  Together, they would be the universe.
    4. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was on the face of the deep – there was SOME chaos after the initial creation. How long it lasted we are not told.  Some want to use this to say that after God created the universe, He let it set for a prolonged period of time.  They argue that this explains the age of the earth being billions and the universe being billions more (about 7 billion) or some other number.  BUT this is not necessarily and reads into the text what is not there.  Exodus 20:11 notes that in 6 days God made the heavens and the earth.
    5. The Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. We find here the Holy Spirit involved in creation as mentioned above.  He was doing His work as well.
  4. Let there be light – Genesis 1:4
    1. The God said… – previously we addressed the word of God associated with creation.
    2. God creates lights in the midst of darkness. It is worthy of note, that in this creation, the natural light we depend upon has not yet been created (that will be day 4 – Genesis 1:14).
    3. We of course, know the spiritual significance of this statement as we understand that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all – 1 John 1:5, James 1:17 – He is the Father of lights, 1 Timothy 6:16 speaks of dwelling in unapproachable light. etc. We will address the subject of God’s light in fuller detail as we deal with His holiness.
    4. And there was light – consider the power of God in this statement and all of creation – He speaks and it happens! No wonder we ought to give consideration to Him.
    5. God saw that the light was good – everything that God creates IS good!
    6. He divided the light from the darkness (and can and will do so spiritually as well).
    7. The evening and the morning were the first day. Here we are introduced to the concept of day.  While I will deal with this in greater detail in our next lesson of this series (we want to address the fallacy of theistic evolution, and other theories advanced by “believers”), suffice it to say that the expression “morning and evening” alone implies a 24 hour period.  This also complements Exodus 20:11 previously noted, which declares that in  6 days God made the heavens and the earth.  That ought to settle it, and Christians ought to believe it “by faith” (cf. Hebrews 11:3).
  5. Days 2 – 6 – the other days of creation.
    1. In conclusion, we mention each day here.
    2. Day 2 (Gen 1:6-8) – the firmament (the expanse above the earth) and waters above and below it to be divided. Or “oceans and atmosphere” as described by some.
    3. Day 3 (Gen 1:9-13) – land and sea are divided, and plant life (notice this is described as being created BEFORE the sun was created)..
    4. Day 4 (Genesis 1:14-19) – Sun, moon and stars – the bodies in the heavens. The sun assigned for its purpose where the earth is concerned.  NOTE that it is in the PERFECT location to sustain life on earth.
    5. Day 5 (Genesis 1:20-23) – sea creatures and birds in the air.
    6. Day 6 (Genesis 24-31) – land creatures, insects, and finally human beings created “in the image of God” (1:26-28)
    7. Some observations about these days:
      1. The 6 days of creation fit nicely into 2 patterns. Days 1- 3 are preparatory, Days 4-6 find their use. Consider –
        Day 1 – Day and night; Day 4 – Sun and moon to rule the day and night
        Day 2 – Firmament separated from waters, Day 5 – fish and birds that dwell in the firmament and waters
        Day 3 – Sea and land separated, Day 6 – land creatures, including man created to dwell on land.
      2. Kind – In this chapter we find a law of reproduction that to this day still holds. Note vs. 11 is the first mention of the word “kind” which will be found 10 times in Genesis 1.
  6. God saw that it was good – mentioned 7 times in chapter 1. What God creates is good.  Furthermore, when he completed His creation, and after man we read in vs. 31, “And it was VERY good.

There are many lessons to consider as we notice the creation of God.  As noted, in our next lesson we are going to examine why we need to take this chapter (AND the next several chapters – through 10) and accept them as literal historical events.    We have show briefly in this lesson why we ought to believe in God, and accept His awesome power AND word.  Consider, IF His word can materially create everything in this world, what does that say about how we ought to consider what He tells us spiritually.  Will you accept what He says?  Think about it!

[1] Willis, Mike.  The Book of Genesis 1, Truth Publications, Athens, AL.  © 2021.  Pg. 124.

Merism, [2] Wikipedia. , 6/10/2022.