Monday, January 13, 2014

The God Without a Beginning

Part 1 of The Beginning, a series on Genesis 1-3

You can listen to the sermon here.



In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth (Gen. 1:1). 


Before the Beginning 

Recently, there was a post on mentalfloss.com called “30 Things Turning 30 This Year.” The list of things that turned 30 in 2013 included the McNugget, Return of the Jedi, the North American minivan, My Little Pony, the Mario Bros. arcade game, country singer Carrie Underwood, and Microsoft Word.

Everything and everyone has a beginning, with one exception: God.

1. When there was nothing, there was God. 

“In the beginning, God….” There was a beginning to the universe, but there was no beginning to God. God is eternal. He has always existed and will always exist. (Children often ask, “Where did God come from?” Our minds can’t comprehend eternity.) The psalmist declared, “Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God” (Ps. 90:2).

“God” in Genesis 1:1 is translated from the Hebrew word Elohim. Elohim is a generic word for both the true God and false gods. But God does have a personal name. When Moses asked God, “What is [your] name?” (Ex. 3:13), God answered, “I AM WHO I AM” (v. 14). In Hebrew, the name “I AM” is Yahweh. (It usually appears as “LORD” in the OT.) One of the meanings of “Yahweh” is “the self-existent one.” God is not dependent on anyone or anything for his existence. (Jesus identified himself as Yahweh in John 8:58: “Before Abraham was, I am.”)

2. Without God, there would still be nothing. 

“…God created the heavens and the earth.” God is the uncaused (eternal) cause (creator). This is one of the arguments for the existence of God (the cosmological argument). [During the sermon I showed a Lego creation. It’s obvious that someone made it. Isn’t it obvious that someone made the universe?] 

God created all things out of nothing. Genesis 1 says that God brought all things into existence by the power of his word. (“And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light,” v. 3). “By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible” (Heb. 11:3; cf. Ps. 33:6, 9). The NT says that all things were created through Jesus. “All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made” (John 1:3; Col. 1:16).


Re-Creation

God’s creation that was originally “very good” (Gen. 1:31). But eventually sin and death entered the world, marring God’s creation. And God could have decided to destroy humanity and the world forever. (In frustration, I’ve done that with a few of my “creations.”) Instead, in Revelation 21:5 we read these words from the mouth of God: “Behold, I am making all things new.”

The God who made all things is also the God who will make all things new. 

God is in the process of making all things new through Christ. The apostle Paul writes, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (2 Cor. 5:17). The God without a beginning gives a new beginning to all who put their faith in Christ.