This list was based off of a list compiled in the book Doctrine by Mark Driscoll and Gerry Breshears. The points are made in the book, the explanations are mine.
Genesis 1:1 is an amazing scripture. Have you ever wondered how anyone could read the first verse of the Bible and not be completely overwhelmed with excitement for the book that is about it unravel before them? Think about the words God speaks through Moses’ hand.
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”
WOW! I’m about to read a book that is written by the Guy who claims to have created everything I see and know. To many people this is such common knowledge that it seems mundane or boring. Imagine you grew up in a remote jungle. All you’ve ever known are the things you can see with your eyes and touch with your hands. You know smells and tastes but you’ve never encountered another human being. Your mother died at child birth and your father took off before your mother even gave birth to you. You survived by the hand of God, raised by monkeys (I know, a bit Tarzanish). Better yet… you ARE Tarzan. Finally, you meet someone. They teach you english and they begin to read the Bible to you.
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Whoa! Wait, He did what?? You mean all those trees? The Bananas I’ve been eating? The Puma that tries to kill me once a week? Someone created those things? Okay, give me a second here. This is intense. Now you are going to read me a 66 book account of the first 10 thousand years of creation? Can I just sleep on “God created everything” for tonight? Let’s pick up this whole Adam and Eve thing in the morning.
Do you think you’d be any less impressed? I certainly don’t. But we’ve been singing “Father Abraham” since we could speak, so to us this is a snoozer. Let’s see if we can revive our excitement? First of all, if you are a Christian, you have no choice but to believe that God created everything. You can not be a Christian and believe in the Big Bang Theory, or Evolution. Sorry, it’s not in the Bible and you either believe the whole Bible or none of it, we clear on that? Great.
I find it odd that God only put a portion of 3 chapters of the entire tome concerning the creation of the universe. Why? I don’t think God thinks that why or when was important. And really, is it? I think what the first chapter of Genesis artistically tells us about the creator is far more important.
There are 14 things that we can gather about God by reading Genesis chapter one. Let’s look at them.
1. God is the only god. Notice it didn’t say, “and nothing created everything.” Or “In the beginning, everything was and is. Creator and creation are one.” It doesn’t say that God is in the trees or the mountains or nature. It says GOD is GOD and HE created.
2. God is trinitarian. Genesis 1:26 says, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
Who is us? Who is our? Our is God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Within the first chapter all the mysteries of Jewish/Christian arguing are revealed.
3. God is eternally without cause. You’ve heard of cause and effect? I touch the stove (cause) I get burned (effect). Well, God has no cause. He was never created, He will never die. He is eternal, He was there when the world was empty. He’s been here since creation. And He will continue on after all things pass away.
4. God is alive. The first chapter reveals to us that God is alive. He is a living being, not an “it”. He breathes life into creation. In order to breathe life, you must first, what? Contain life.
5. God is independent. While all of creation is forever dependent on God to sustain life, God is dependent on no one. Contrary to what some religions teach, God did not create man because He was lonely. As a matter of fact the word tells us that God is always in communion with Himself by way of the Trinity. He didn’t need anything. He had perfect harmony within Himself (and He still does). He created us because He wanted to. He wanted us and still does. Only because God is fully independent is He able to fully love. Because He has no need of us, His interactions with us are guaranteed to be with pure motives.
6. God is transcendent. This simply means that God, the Creator, is separate from all things, the creation. Unlike what many other cults and religions (wicca, pantheism, polytheism, etc.)believe, God does not dwell in all of creation – He sits in His throne high above all creation. The Bible tells us that the earth is His footstool, not His blanket.
7. God is actively at work in creation. The Bible tells us that by God all life is sustained. In order to sustain something, you must be actively involved in that something. In other words, God didn’t create the earth and then bail. He constantly involves Himself in His creation. This would be the difference between a child playing with legos, building something and then setting it on a shelf, and another child who continually builds upon the same structure, playing out a story.
8. God is personal. God chooses to interact with us on a personal level. He walked and spoke with Adam in the garden. He visited Moses on the mountain. He continues to reveal Himself in a very personal way to men and women throughout the Earth. He is a He, not an it. He is personal.
9. God is powerful. This is one I feel I have no need to actually explain, however, I will. In six days, God created everything out of nothing. He spoke and trees popped up out of the ground. He spoke and a lion roared in the distance. He created the most powerful things ever created in dinosaurs. With another word He created volcanoes. God is power and powerful.
10. God is Holy. God is pure and without evil. His creation was pure, free from evil, until Adam and Eve were deceived by Satan. In re-creation the Earth will be returned to its sin free state. God is Holy.
11. God is Beautiful. God could have created any world He wanted to. We look at artists and movie makers who design worlds. We see worlds created that are purely mechanical (like in the movie Robots) and we see beautiful lands such as the world in the movie Avatar. God could have done anything… all we as movie makers and writers do is recreate things that have already been created. But God created everything out of nothing. His imagination created trees to give us oxygen. Couldn’t He very well have just created pipes coming out of the ground that spit out air for us to breath? Couldn’t the sky have been colorless? Couldn’t everything have been colorless? What if the world was just black and white? God imagined beauty and created it. God is therefore, beautiful.
12. God is prophetic. By speaking the world was created. His Word brings forth life.
13. God is gracious. By the simple fact that God didn’t snuff out Adam and Eve right from the get go He proves His never-ending grace. His providence daily is undeserved favor. At any time God could have chosen to stop allowing the trees to produce oxygen or the sun to cease giving off light. But He is full of grace.
14. God is sovereign. God is all knowing, all powerful and in all places at all times. There is nothing that can be hidden from Him. All creation comes from God, is ruled over by God, belongs to God and will eventually give and account to God. God is the King of kings and Lord of lords. He is above any name or power, any king or throne. God is completely Sovereign.