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Day One

Thursday, July 08, 2010

“The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters.” It’s a short and well-known verse of Scripture, but don’t let brevity or familiarity eclipse the significance of Genesis 1:2. God is introducing us to some incredible things about to take place on the very first day of creation.

John MacArthur explains . . .

Listen to this 10-minute clip:

Launch Player  |  Download  |  Full Sermon

Now that you’ve heard John explain the meaning of Genesis 1:2-5, what parallels do you see between the creation of the universe and the new creation of a Christian? (See 2 Cor. 4:6.) Also, what impact does evolutionary theory have on such parallels? Take it to the comment thread.


#1  Posted by Keith Farmer  |  Thursday, July 08, 2010at 9:02 AM

"what parallels do you see between the creation of the universe and the new creation of a Christian?

There are numerous parallels but I will list a few that come to mind:

1)- Salvation, like original creation, is totally of the Lord (Jonah 2:9)

2)-Undeserving rebels who were once darkness, like the original creation, have now become light only and totally by God's will(Ephesians 5:8). This parallels Genesis 1:3

3)-We were once not alive due to our sins and trespasses but have been made alive by God (Ephesians 2:4-5). This parallels the original creation where there was no life and God created life.

4)-We exist to bring glory to God as do the heavens and the earth.

5)-As Ephesians 1:10 declares the end-goal of God for all of His creation is to: "bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ."

"what impact does evolutionary theory have on such parallels?"

There can be no parallel since evolutionary theory totally destroys the account of creation...

#2  Posted by Paul Tucker  |  Thursday, July 08, 2010at 9:40 AM

Hi Folks:

Very interesting! We could really get caught up in metaphor or typology. John 3 expresses the basic features of redemption, born of water and the Spirit. Creation mimics this birth and new birth relationship. If this were a fairy tale, as some would have us believe, God should have used 40 weeks, that number pops up frequently in scripture in relation to "gestation"- e.g. forty years in the wilderness, Christ tempted for 40 days, etc. And considering some of the myths I have read, numbers sometimes have "magical" properties.

Evolution would not fit in this revelation. And I think it is telling that folks won't give El Shaddai the attribute of "creativity" which they would take for themselves. As an aside- I must tell you that I am awestruck at The Everlasting One's GREATNESS, he is certainly more than worthy of our affection and praise! And I trust that what he has told me is true, regarding creation, and re-creation; regarding birth and rebirth. Evolution does not fit the HIStory. Just a thought.

#3  Posted by Keith Farmer  |  Thursday, July 08, 2010at 9:42 AM

Comment deleted by author.
#4  Posted by Jorge Alvarado  |  Thursday, July 08, 2010at 8:55 PM

Hello. I see it can be rather obvious. When God said "let there be light" to separate darkness from the light of day is exactly what happens to us wen He allows Jesus to come into our lives; we get separated from the darkness of the world and can now see how lost and in need of a savior we were.

"what impact does evolutionary theory have on such parallels?"

Since I don't believe in evolution, I don't think it has any impact.

If anything, evolutionary theory is in keeping with living in darkness.

#5  Posted by Peter Heffner  |  Thursday, July 08, 2010at 9:02 PM

And so a tight hermeneutic of the Creation Week begins!

Now that you’ve heard John explain the meaning of Genesis 1:2-5, what parallels do you see between the creation of the universe and the new creation of a Christian?

What come to mind right now is that God said "Let there be light!" and that John says that Jesus is the light. When we receive the Lord, he as Light heals our minds of the noetic effects of sin. In the instant, we receive enough light to find the faith He has given us and to see clearly our sinful ways.

What impact does evolutionary theory have on such parallels?

Creation took place in an instant. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. But instead if existence must evolve slowly over immense epochs of time, then must we wait eons to receive salvation? So maybe we have to do something to hurry the process along. Maybe the free gift from the Lord was not final. Maybe we are not new creations yet after all.

#6  Posted by Paul Tucker  |  Thursday, July 08, 2010at 10:44 PM

Thanks Keith for the link.

#7  Posted by Douglas Grogg  |  Friday, July 09, 2010at 11:59 AM

"What parallels do you see between the creation of the universe and the new creation of a Christian? "What impact does evolutionary theory have on such parallels?"

Both the creation and the new creation of a fallen sinner is the miraculous fruit of God’s word. Regarding the former, God said “Let there be…” and it was so. Regarding the latter, “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which lives and abides for ever. For all flesh is as grass, and the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withers, and its flower fades away: But the word of the Lord endures forever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached to you.” (1 Peter 1:23-25) What glory, this word of God! Evolutionary theory knows nothing of this glory.

As a side note, let us not fail to notice the difference between the two. “And this is the word…preached to you.” God did not “preach” the word to those to whom Peter was writing. As it is written, “How then shall they call on Him whom they have believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?” (Romans 10:14) You have no doubt heard it said many times that it is the role of the Holy Spirit to convict the world of sin, righteousness and judgment to come and that it is not our role to do this. “And as he (The Apostle Paul) was discussing righteousness, self control (to master self) and the judgment to come, Felix became frightened…(Acts 24:25). True believers are very much a part of this “convicting the world of sin, righteousness and the judgment to come”.

“God did not ‘preach’ the word to those to whom Peter was writing.” But then again, is it not the Spirit of God within the believer (as he walks in obedience to the Holy Spirit) the one who is actually the one who “speaks” the word of God (the outward call) (see 1 Corinthians 15:10). And is it not the Spirit of God who convinces the hearer (the inward call) of the words being preached? This is yet another parallel to the creation account. “And the Spirit of God was ‘hovering over’ the face of the waters (Genesis 1:2b).” Even the call of an unregenerate sinner to come out of darkness is indeed a miraculous event. Furthermore, the obedience of a true believer to faithfully proclaim the outward call, as Paul “discuss[ed] righteousness, self control and the judgment to come” to Felix, required an enabling grace that can only come from God (again see 1 Corinthians 15:10). Evolutionary theory knows nothing of, and for that matter, is hostile to, the miraculous workings of God. –His Unworthy Slave

#8  Posted by Douglas Grogg  |  Friday, July 09, 2010at 5:01 PM

Another parallel between the creation of the universe and the new creation of a Christian is that of being both instantaneous and dramatic. I have hesitated to discuss this because of the great need for caution. Therefore, if any man be in Christ he is a new creation; the old things passed away, behold, all things are become new (2 Corinthians 5:17). “The old things passed away” indicates the event is instantaneous. The believer’s old self was crucified with Christ (Romans 6:6, 7). The new birth is not some long drawn out evolutionary process, as many preachers would have their listeners believe. We hear much about “progressive” sanctification but very little about distinguishing traits of genuine Christian character. The new birth is not a process whereby a person is “Christianized”. “Behold” indicates the event is both dramatic and visible. Nonetheless, there is a true biblical sense where the “all things are become new” indicates an actual progressive growth in holiness, without which no one will see the Lord (Hebrews 12:14).

Because, unlike the original creation, this new creation is an eternal creation another word of caution is in order.. The new birth is a work of God which takes place on the inside of someone. God takes away their heart of stone and gives them a heart of flesh (Ezekiel 11:19), He not only puts His law within them but He writes His law on their hearts (Jeremiah 31:33), He gives them a heart to “know” Him, for He is the Lord (Jeremiah 24:7), He puts His Spirit within them (Jeremiah 24:7, Ezekiel 36:27). Though this work of God takes place on the inside of someone it finds its expression in their lives, as it is written, “that they may walk in My statutes and keep My ordinances, and do them. Then they will be My people and I shall be their God” (Ezekiel 11:20).

Dear reader, have you truly been born again? Does the above description fit your own experience? A shallow “Christianity” that builds its house upon the sand will never survive in the day of testing. Dig deep before you “build”. Build your “house” upon the rock- even Christ, the rock that can never be shaken, the rock that is eternal. If Christ were to return today would you be ready? -His Unworthy Slave.

#9  Posted by Rudi Jensen  |  Friday, July 09, 2010at 5:41 PM

Here is my simple answer:

John 8:12 "I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life"

Who other than Jesus can possible be the beginning of the Christian life.

From darkness to light. The once blind that now can see.

#10  Posted by Carol Gayheart  |  Friday, July 09, 2010at 8:40 PM

I’ve seen some good correlations already mentioned. I’ll add another:

Gen 1:3-5 “And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4) And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. 5) God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. And there was evening & there was morning, the first day.”

Note vs 4: “And God saw that the light was good.” Interesting! It does not say that God called the darkness good. I’ve never noticed that before. (Is that consistent with the Hebrew translation?)

Now when I think of light, Who do I think of? Jesus, Who IS Light (Jn 8:12), God, Who IS Light (1 Jn 1:50-7).

And when I think of darkness, who do I think of? Satan. (2 Cor 6:14, 11:14-15, Rev 16:10)

Eph 5:8 seems to describe the Christian’s “Salvation” state, as well as his “sanctified” state, as it says “for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9) (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good & right & true), 10) and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. 11) Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.”

Now just as the earth was initially covered in darkness, so were we until the light of Jesus illuminated us through the saving power of His blood (Salvation state) So as Christians we are now “children of light” & we are to seek: to produce the “fruit of light” – things that are good & right & true (by God’s definition), to discern what is pleasing to the Lord, & to take no part in unfruitful works of darkness, which would describe our sanctified state until He comes.

Also, as the old earth will pass away & a new earth is to take its place, so will our old bodies be replaced by new ones, fit for eternity with our Lord & Savior. Hallelujah! :)

#11  Posted by Carol Gayheart  |  Saturday, July 10, 2010at 5:52 AM

Oops! Type-O! Sorry! That shoudl have been 1 Jn 1:5-7 :)

#12  Posted by Mary Kidwell  |  Saturday, July 10, 2010at 6:18 AM

I have really enjoyed reading these comments and thinking on the parallels between creation and the salvation of believers. I feel like an exclamation mark belongs after each sentence in Genesis 1:1-5 that we might ponder God’s majesty and glory in it all.

I particularly enjoyed thinking about the Spirit hovering. As parent, I could certainly relate to the mention of Deuteronomy 32:11 and praise God that He is not distant but involved and His love is greater than our comprehension. I think of Him hovering over as He calls us from darkness into light. As mentioned, by His will, we are instantly made alive and new creations. This is His work as He is the author of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). But while both creation and our salvation are instantaneous and complete (can’t wait to discuss day 7), He is still watching over us, hovering as the eagle. Psalm 121 tells of His constant watch. He neither slumbers nor sleeps. He is our keeper and protector.

#13  Posted by Daniel Wilson  |  Monday, July 12, 2010at 4:43 PM

God made the heaven and earth. We did'nt make the heavens and

the earth. What God said, it came from nothing. God is something

that has life of no beginning and no end. We came from nothing

to be something. God is right when He said in Psalms. 'A person

whom does not believe in God is a fool.' In the New Testament,

Jesus says Without me, you are nothing. A child of Satan.

Remember in Gospel, Jesus said if a person teaches half truth to others, causing them to sin, the person will be least in the

Kingdom of God. Jesus said if a person teaches the absolute truth

of God's Word to others, causing them to grow strong and wise, the person will be the most in the Kingdom of God.

#14  Posted by Carmen González  |  Tuesday, July 13, 2010at 5:40 PM

Everything Mary Kidwell said!!!

“The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters.”

I can, actually, close my eyes and "imagine vividly" a dark ocean and sky...everything is black and the only sound is the one made by the waves...and, of course, the breeze moving the waves is the Spirit of our Lord.

That thought brings me peace beyond believe.