Rev. Ronald C. Purkey, an ordained Baptist minister, claims no originality for this Bible study outline.
However, every Bible study posted on this website has been taught by Rev. Purkey.
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CREATES HEAVEN AND EARTH
September 2, 2018
SCRIPTURE: Genesis 1:1-13
KEY VERSES: 1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. 2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. (Genesis 1:1-2)
INTRODUCTION: Some people call the President of the United States “the most powerful leader in the world,” but more than one former President would disagree. Ex-Presidents have confessed that their executive orders weren’t always obeyed and that there wasn’t much they could do about it.
For example, during President Richard Nixon’s first term in office, he ordered the removal of some ugly temporary buildings on the mall, eyesores that had been there since the World War I era; but it took many months before the order was obeyed. When journalists began writing about “the imperial Presidency,” Nixon called the whole idea “ludicrous.” Presidents may speak and sign official orders, but that’s no guarantee that anything will happen.
However, when God speaks, something happens! “For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast” (Psalm 33:9). When you consider the acts of God recorded in Genesis 1, you can’t help but bow in reverent worship; for His creative acts reveal a God of power and wisdom whose word carries authority.
I. IN THE BEGINNING. (Genesis 1:1-2)
INSIGHT: Three books of the Bible open with “beginnings”: Gen. 1:1; Mark 1:1; and John 1:1. Each of these beginnings is important. “In the beginning was the Word” (John 1:1) takes us into eternity past when Jesus Christ, the living Word of God, existed as the eternal Son of God. John wasn’t suggesting that Jesus had a beginning. Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God who existed before all things because He made all things (John 1:3; Col. 1:16-17; Heb. 1:2). Therefore, John’s “beginning” antedates Genesis 1:1.
The Gospel of Mark opens with, “The beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.” The message of the Gospel didn’t start with the ministry of John the Baptist, because the good news of God’s grace was announced in Genesis 3:15. As Hebrews 11 bears witness, God’s promise was believed by people throughout Old Testament history, and those who believed were saved. (See Gal. 3:1-9 and Rom. 4.) The ministry of John the Baptist, the forerunner of Jesus, was the beginning of the proclamation of the message concerning Jesus Christ of Nazareth (see Acts 1:21-22 and 10:37).
A. In The Beginning. (Genesis 1:1)
(Genesis 1:1) In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Gen. 1:1) refers to the dateless past when God brought the universe into existence out of nothing (Ps. 33:6; Rom. 4:17; Heb. 1:3). Genesis 1:1-2 is the declaration that God created the universe; the detailed explanation of the six days of God’s creative work is given in the rest of the chapter.
B. Majesty And Power. (Genesis 1:1)
(Genesis 1:1) In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
Thirty-two times in this chapter, this creative God is called Elohim, a Hebrew word that emphasizes His majesty and power. (The covenant name “Jehovah” appears for the first time in Gen. 2:4.)
Elohim is a plural noun that is consistently used in connection with singular verbs and adjectives. (Hebrew tenses are singular, dual, or plural.) Some think that this plural form is what grammarians call the “plural of majesty,” or it might also be a hint that God exists in three Persons.
INSIGHT: In the Bible, Creation is attributed to (1) the Father (Acts 4:24) and (2) to the Son (John 1:1-3) and (3) to the Holy Spirit (Psalm 104:30).
C. God Created Everything. (Genesis 1:2)
(Genesis 1:2) And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
Elohim reveals His power by creating everything by merely speaking the word. Matter is not eternal; it began when God spoke everything into existence (Eph. 3:9; Col. 1:16; Rev. 4:11; 5:13).
The Bible doesn’t reveal why God chose to start His creative work with a chaotic mass that was dark, formless, and empty (Gen. 1:2-4) but the Holy Spirit, brooding over the waters (Gen. 1:2-5) would bring order out of chaos and beauty and fullness out of emptiness (Gen. 1:2-6). He can still do that today with the lives of all who will yield to Him.
INSIGHT: The nations that surrounded the people of Israel had ancient traditions that “explained” the origin of the universe and humankind. These myths involved monsters that battled in deep oceans and gods who fought battles to bring the universe into being. But the simple account in Genesis presents us with one God who alone created all things and is still in control of His creation. Had the Jewish people paid close attention to what Moses wrote, they would never have worshiped the idols of their pagan neighbors.
II. THE FIRST AND SECOND DAYS OF CREATION. (Genesis 1:3-8)
· DAY ONE. (Genesis 1:3-5)
(Genesis 1:3-5) 3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. 4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. 5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
A. God commanded the light to shine and then separated the light from the darkness.
But how could there be light when the light-bearers aren’t mentioned until the fourth day (Gen. 1:14-19)? Since we aren’t told that this light came from any of the luminaries God created, it probably came from God Himself who is light (John 1:5) and wears light as a garment (Psalm 104:2; Hab. 3:3-4). The eternal city will enjoy endless light without the help of the sun or moon (Rev. 22:5), so why couldn’t there be light at the beginning of time before the luminaries were made (Gen. 1:2-7)?
B. Life as we know it could not exist without the light of the sun.
Paul saw in this creative act the work of God in the new creation, the salvation of the lost. “For it is the God who commanded the light to shine out of darkness who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Cor. 4:6). “In Him [Jesus] was life; and the life was the light of men” (John 1:4).
C. In Scripture, light is associated with (1) Christ (John 8:12), (2) the Word of God (Ps. 119:105, 130), (3) God’s people (Matt. 5:14-16; Eph. 5:8), and (4) God’s blessing (Prov. 4:18).
Darkness is associated with (1) Satan (Luke 23:53; Eph. 6:12), (2) sin (Matt. 6:22-23; John 3:19-21), (3) death (Job 3:4-6, 9), (4) spiritual ignorance (John 1:5), and (5) divine judgment (Matt. 8:12).
INSIGHT: This explains why God separated the light from the darkness, for the two have nothing in common. God’s people are to “walk in the light” (1 John 1:5-10), for “what communion has light with darkness?” (2 Cor. 6:14-16; Eph. 5:1-14).
D. From the very first day of Creation, God established the principle of separation.
Not only did He separate the light from the darkness (Gen. 1:4) and the day from the night (v. 14), but later He also separated the waters above from the waters beneath (vv. 6-8), and the land from the waters (vv. 9-10).
INSIGHT: Through Moses, God commanded the people of Israel to remain separated from the nations around them (Ex. 34:10-17; Deut. 7:1-11); and when they violated this commandment, they suffered. God’s people today need to be careful in their walk (Psalm 1:1) and not be defiled by the world (Rom. 12:1-2; James 1:7; 4:4; 1 John 2:15-17).
E. Since God is the Creator, He has the right to call things whatever He pleases; and therefore we have “day” and “night.”
The word “day” can refer to the portion of time when the sun is visible as well as to the whole period of twenty-four hours composed of “evening and morning” (Gen. 1:5).2-8 Sometimes biblical writers used “day” to describe a longer period of time in which God accomplishes some special purpose, such as “the day of the Lord” (Isa. 2:12) or “the day of judgment” (Matt. 10:15).
INSIGHT: When we speak about spiritual things, it’s important that we use God’s dictionary as well as God’s vocabulary. Words carry meanings and giving the wrong meaning to a word could lead to serious trouble. It would be fatal to a patient if physician confused “arsenic” with “aspirin,” so medical people are very careful to use accurate terminology. The “Christian vocabulary” is even more important because eternal death could be the consequence of confusion.
The Bible explains and illustrates words like sin, grace, forgiveness, justification, and faith; and to change their meanings is to replace God’s truth with lies. “Woe to them who call evil, good, and good, evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter” (Isa. 5:20).
· DAY TWO. (Genesis 1:6-8)
(Genesis 1:6-8) 6 And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. 7 And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. 8 And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.
A. God put an expanse between the upper waters and the lower waters and made “heaven,” what we know as “the sky.”
It seems that these waters were a vaporous “blanket” that covered the original creative mass. When separated from the landmass, the lower waters eventually became the ocean and the seas; and the upper waters played a part in the Flood during Noah’s day (Gen. 7:11-12; 9:11-15).
B. The word translated “firmament” (expanse) means “to beat out.”
In Scripture, the sky is sometimes referred to as a dome or a covering; however, Scripture nowhere supports the pagan mythological notion that the sky is some kind of solid covering. The luminaries (i.e., sun, moon, and stars) were set in this expanse (Gen. 1:14-17) and that’s where the fowl flew (Gen. 1: 20).
III. THE THIRD DAY OF CREATION. (Genesis 1:9-13)
· DAY THREE (Genesis 1::9-13)
(Genesis 1::9-13) 9 And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so. 10 And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good. 11 And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so. 12 And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good. 13 And the evening and the morning were the third day.
A. God gathered the waters and caused the dry land to appear, thus making “earth” and “seas.”
Israel’s pagan neighbors believed all kinds of myths about the heavens, the earth, and the seas; but Moses made it clear that Elohim, the one true God, was Lord of them all.
For the first time, God said that what He had done was “good” (verse 10). God’s creation is still good, even though it travails because of sin (Rom. 8:20-22) and has been ravaged and exploited by sinful people.
B. God also caused plant life to appear on the earth: the grasses, the seed-producing herbs, and the fruit-bearing trees.
God decreed that each would reproduce “after its kind,” which helps to make possible order in nature. God has set reproductive limits for both plants and animals (Gen. 1:21) because He is the Lord of Creation.
There’s no suggestion here of any kind of “evolution.” God was preparing the earth for a habitation for humans and for animals, and the plants would help to provide their food. A second time, God said that His work was good (Gen. 1:12).
by Dave Branon
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. (Genesis 1:1)
· Talk about great opening lines! You can’t do better than the Bible does.
In just 10 words, Genesis 1:1 answers the age-old question of the origin of the universe. But what’s even more important, that opening verse introduces us to the majestic One who is behind it all.
· It’s appropriate for us to turn to the beginning of the Bible and read the account of how the eternal God spoke the world into existence.
Of course, God as Creator is just one of many descriptions of the Almighty that the Bible reveals to us. That’s why it might be a good idea to study God -- to find out more about who He is.
· For instance, in this great beginning chapter, we are awestruck by His power as He moves across the face of the earth, fashioning it as He wants, and furnishing it with plants, animals, and humans.
As this year moves along, why not make a special effort to know God more intimately. The best way to do this is to read the Bible every day and ask, “What does this tell me about God?”
You know Him as the majestic, Almighty Creator through Genesis 1, but He is so much more. He is also a loving God who forgives our sins when we accept His Son (Jesus Christ) as our Savior. (See John 3:16).
Now is the time to get to know God as never before.
Bible is God's Word to us,
Still fresh through all the ages;
But we must read if we're to find
The wisdom in its pages. -- Sper
-- Adapted from Dave Branon, Our Daily Bread, January 1, 1996
CONCLUSION: We are conscious every day of the visible world around us. We need to remember that this world speaks to us of God, His existence, His wisdom, and His power (Rom. 1:20; Psalm 19:1–3).
· First God Created: Everything begins with God and fulfills His purposes for His glory (Col. 1:16–17; Rev. 4:11).
He works by the power of His Word (Ps. 33:6–9), the same Word that can work in our lives (1 Thess. 2:13). He works according to a plan: first He forms, then He fills. He formed the earth and filled it with plants and animals. He formed the firmament and filled it with stars and planets. He formed the seas and filled them with living creatures.
He can form and fill our lives today if we will yield to Him. People who have trusted Jesus Christ are a part of the His new creation (2 Cor. 4:6; 5:17; Eph. 2:8–10).
· Second God Named: He named what He made, and we have no right to make changes: “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness” (Isaiah 5:20). God calls things by their right names; if we use His vocabulary, we must also use His dictionary (Proverbs 17:15).
THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: “When you open your Bible, ask the Author to open your heart.”
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REFERENCES: References used in these Bible studies are the King James Bible (KJV), The Moody Bible Commentary, Dr. J. Vernon McGee © Thru the Bible Radio Network (www.ttb.org), the Scofield Study Bible, the Believer’s Bible Commentary, Dr. Charles J. Woodbridge Bible Outlines, Dr. Lee Roberson’s Sermons, Dr. Charles Stanley: (http://www.intouch.org/), Don Robinson’s Bible Outlines, Women’s Study Bible, The Bible Reader’s Companion Ed. 3, The Nelson Study Bible: New King James Version, KJV Bible Commentary, Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines of the New Testament ed. 4, Dr. David Jeremiah: (http://www.davidjeremiah.org/site/), Dr. Cliff Robinson’s Bible Outlines, Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines of the Old Testament, Dr. Alan Carr’s The Sermon Notebook (www.sermonnotebook.org), With the Word Bible Commentary, Wiersbe’s “Be” Series: Old & New Testaments, RBC Ministries (http://rbc.org/), selected illustrations, and other references.
REV. RONALD PURKEY’S OFFICE
E-mail: Ronald Purkey