Genesis 1 - The Sovereignty of God from the Beginning

Turn in your Bibles to Genesis 1:1;

 

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

 

May God bless the reading His word.

 

Let us pray.

 

 

With the opening verse of Genesis, the Bible lays down a firm foundation upon which to build our entire worldview and not simply our theology.

 

When the Bibles speaks of God, it speaks of the Creator of the heavens and the earth.

 

There can be no simpler, yet more challenging definition of God than that.

 

It is simple because when you are asked which god you worship you can simply state that you worship the Creator of the Universe.

 

 

 

 

 

You might be surprised to learn that even this simple definition will differentiate you from a great many people who live on this earth, including the billion people who call themselves Hindu and the 10 million or so people that call themselves members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

 

In fact, almost half the world does not worship the Creator of the Universe, whether or not they correctly understand His direct revelation to us or they are heretical in their beliefs is a different story.

 

But defining Who we worship is the simple part.

 

The fact that He is the Creator of the Universe, and everything in it, can be the most difficult truth for us to incorporate into our worldview.

 

Why is that?

 

Genesis 1:1 does not make it difficult.

 

There are no trying translations required to understand the primary principle.

 

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

 

But, as simple as it may be to read, to apply it is impossible for the unredeemed and even difficult for a person who is redeemed but who is not properly discipled.

 

There are two sources from which difficulties stem.

 

The first of those sources is our own reasoning.

 

Within our own minds there are two fundamental reasons for our inability to accept the idea of a Creator.

 

The first of those reasons challenges both the redeemed and the unredeemed equally.

 

Somewhere deep inside ourselves, our brains short circuit trying to comprehend a Being Who created this vast universe which we can't even fathom. The idea that our reality is created, including all of the solar systems, galaxies, and the myriad of plants and animals on the earth defies our understanding.

 

I know that I personally have a hard time remembering more than three items on a shopping list.

 

How can I even conceive of a Being Who, for His own purposes, just decides to speak our entire reality into existence?

 

There is the rub, as Shakespeare would say.

 

For if we live in a universe that is intelligently designed, then the Designer is even more vast and even more incomprehensible than the universe.

 

That is why those who oppose the spread of Christianity fight so desperately to keep any kind of research about the truth of Intelligent Design far from our children.

 

But God was upfront about it.

 

He didn't pull any punches.

 

When God pulled Moses aside and inspired him to write the first five books of His direct revelation to us, He gave Moses an opening line that in its briefness, frankness and authority challenges all other pretenders to worship.

 

 

So the vastness of a God Who created our entire reality is a challenge to the redeemed and the unredeemed alike.

 

But, there is an even greater challenge to those who do not worship the Creator and Master of this universe. Paul makes it clear in Romans 1:18-32;

 

Rom 1:18-32 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, (19) because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. (20) For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, (21) because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. (22) Professing to be wise, they became fools, (23) and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. (24) Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, (25) who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

 

Paul goes on to the end of the chapter describing the debauchery that resulted from this “exchange of the truth of God for a lie.”

 

The unredeemed are wont to worship the creation and not the Creator.

 

They have no intimate relationship with God and absolutely no desire to seek Him.

 

Their hearts are hardened.

 

Their minds are darkened.

 

They refuse to accept the truth of Genesis 1:1 because to do so is beyond the capability of unregenerate man.

These then are the internal reasons that it is difficult for the redeemed and impossible for the unredeemed to accept the simple truth in Genesis 1:1, that; “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”

 

If the first source of doubt is our internal reasoning, then obviously the second source for unbelief is the world. The world bombards us every day with excuses to deny God's existence or the need for any type of creator.

 

 

Darwin's legitimization of evolution, as primitive and as flawed as it is, gave mankind a panacea to remove all the implications that derive from the fact that, according to the Bible, we live in a universe created by God.

 

Science, and especially the idea that things simply evolve of themselves based on a primary rule, “the survival of the fittest,” gave all those people who had turned away from the Creator to worship the creation instead an even greater excuse to dismiss God...science.

 

Again, for the redeemed man or woman there is still a struggle as well.

 

A person growing up in the west today has been fed a steady diet of evolution from their infancy through graduate school. There is nary a secular institution that would abide an open, disinterested discussion of the merits of Intelligent Design, or ID as it is called.

 

And while there are inroads in the higher echelons of academia today to legitimize the Intelligent Design debate, you may as well forget any chance of it getting down to the rank and file.

 

But we can't digress down this path too far.

 

Suffice to say that modern world is bombarding believer and non-believer alike with a constant message that offers a seemingly more palatable alternative to the fact presented in Genesis 1:1.

 

In light of all this, I would submit to you that it is an insurmountable task for someone whom God has not regenerated to overcome these hurdles of their own volition.

 

With Darwin's theory there is no longer a need to carve wood or mold idols in the images of created things to worship as our ancestors did. Rather, the world simply worships at the feet of all of creation by trusting in that new god...science.

 

Now, I need to stop here for a brief moment and change tack. If you don't know it, some of the greatest scientists who ever lived were Christians. In fact scientific principles were developed not to repudiate God but to document the rule and order that were so obvious in His creation.

 

I am not anti-science and no man of God should be afraid to understand even some of the most complex scientific explorations of the day.

 

The trick is to not fall into the trap of leaving God out of the equation, but rather to see God's handiwork in every new discovery that is made. After all, “ ...since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead.”

 

But again, we need to stay on track.

 

The purpose of this sermon is not argue against evolution, or the school system, or even to lament the fact that lost people are lost.

 

The purpose of this sermon is point out what God's word simply and plainly states and then allow the Holy Spirit to rightly guide you in the application of this truth in not only your lives but in the lives of your progeny and all those with whom you have any influence at all.

 

God's word plainly states that “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”

 

If you are redeemed then I need not argue the fact with you.

 

 

The fact is what it is and you need to embrace the fact and the ramifications that come along with it if you are to truly and rightly worship the Creator.

 

It matters not that you cannot fathom a God so vast as to speak all of reality into existence.

 

He exists and did just that or else you would not be here today.

 

It matters not that the world has run off to worship at the feet of creation.

 

You have been brought to the feet of the Creator by His grace alone.

 

This is the very heart of worship.

 

Think of it.

 

 

The One Who spoke this world into existence reached into His creation and spared you for no other reason other than that He chose you to be spared from your rightful fate, an eternity separated from God and all men in the outer darkness where there is wailing and gnashing of teeth.

 

Even as He blew breathe into Adam, so He resurrected your dead spirit that you might be given into the care of His Son.

 

This is the birth in spirit that so perplexed Nicodemus, when Jesus told him in John 3:5-8;

 

Joh 3:5-8 ..."Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. (6) That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. (7) Do not marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born again.' (8) The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit."

 

Jesus knows that of which He speaks. He was not only present at the creation of the universe, but John tells us in his Gospel in chapter 1 verses 1-3;

 

Joh 1:1-3 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (2) He was in the beginning with God. (3) All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.

 

I pray that the wonderful truth of your salvation has not been lost upon you.

 

I fervently pray that you have not fallen into some misconception about your worth, or embraced the idea that God chose you as one of His sheep because He knew that you would “accept His offer of salvation.”

 

 

The truth is that there is no one who has been redeemed that was ever worthy of anything other than hell; not Luther, not Calvin, not Graham, not Moody, not Whitefield, not even Paul.

 

God in His Sovereignty resurrected your spirit.

 

When He did that two things happened.

 

First, He left you unprotected in His wrath and completely aware that unless someone else could spare you that you would spend eternity in hell.

 

And then, He gave you the faith to call His Son Lord and to believe that God raised Him from the dead.

 

As surely as God spoke the universe into existence, so He redeemed you for His reasons and His purposes alone. Purposes which Paul tells us in Ephesians 2:10;

 

Eph 2:10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

 

Notice how even this single verse speaks to God's creative power and His sovereignty.

 

We are His workmanship.

 

He made us.

 

We are created in Christ Jesus, even as John tells us as well.

 

But we are not just created in Christ Jesus, we are created in Christ Jesus for good works.

 

Don't miss that point!

 

The verse does not say that God created us and chose us because of something we would do.

 

Rather, it says that He created us to do good works which He “prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”

 

We are made.

 

Made by a God Who is vastly beyond our ability to comprehend.

 

Wherever we turn in God's word, if we are honest about it, references to the fact that we are God's creation abound.

 

 

 

Genesis 1:27 says;

 

Gen 1:27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

 

David writes in the 139th Psalm;

 

Psa 139:14-16 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well. (15) My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. (16) Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them.

 

 

 

In Isaiah 43:1 the prophet reminds the tribe of Israel;

 

Isa 43:1 But now, thus says the LORD, who created you, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel: "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine.

 

These are just a few of the places where God's creation of man are acknowledged.

 

If the premise of Genesis 1:1 is true then it only stands to reason that God then is sovereign over His creation.

 

Daniel Webster's dictionary gives the first definition of sovereign as;

 

1. Supreme in power; possessing supreme dominion; as a sovereign ruler of the universe.

 

Can anyone refute the proposition that He Who creates a thing is the Master of it?

 

Would you argue that once planted, the produce of a grain of wheat does not belong to the One Who plants it?

 

Would you deny the right of the One Who plants the vineyard to bring in His harvest when He deems best?

 

Why then do we seek to constrain God in anything that He desires as concerns us, or His creation?

 

We are made from dust.

 

We are God's handiwork.

 

But that is it.

 

The Psalmist asks rightly when He asks in Psalm 8 verse 4;

 

Psa 8:4 What is man that You are mindful of him, And the son of man that You visit him?

 

Though the teapot protest all the way to the dustbin, it is the Creator and the Creator alone Who is sovereign over His workmanship.

 

Those who are not redeemed, and even those who have been wrongly taught, and indeed even wrongly teach, will shout about fairness.

 

It's not fair.”

 

What about all of those people who will go to hell.”

 

It just isn't fair.”

 

To those who scream that God's sovereignty over all His creation, including every single man woman and child who ever was or will be born is unfair I reply in absolute agreement.

 

You are right.

 

God is unfair.

 

And I praise Him for His unfairness.

 

What would have been just...

 

What would have been fair..is that I and every soul that ever lived from the foundation of the Earth should be separated from God and all other men for eternity in the place of outer darkness where there is wailing and gnashing of teeth.

 

That is what would be just.

 

For God's word, and His rules have been very clear from the moment He gave his first, simple command to Adam;

 

Gen 2:16b-17 ..."Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; (17) but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die."

 

Praise God for His unfairness, for His holy word tells us in Rom 3:23; “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”

 

And in the first part of Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death.

 

He created us.

 

He created everything.

 

He made the rules in His omniscience and omnipotence.

 

If He were to throw up His hands this moment and declare His condemnation upon all of His creation and start again, He would be well within His rights.

 

I have even come to understand that if I am entirely wrong, if I am living a lie and I have not been truly regenerated and redeemed by the sovereign God of the universe then I am His creation and I will not protest, no, I cannot protest against His sovereign will.

 

I am His to do with what He will.

 

We all are.

 

 

But, fortunately, He does not throw up His hands.

 

Neither does He sit around helplessly waiting for us to decide to make His Son our Savior.

 

Such teaching is folly and poppycock.

 

Even as no man comes to the Father except through His Son, so no man is born of spirit, regenerated, made a new creation, and given into the charge of the Son except by the power and the sovereignty of God the Father.

 

Jesus makes this clear in John 6:37-40. He tells us;

 

Joh 6:37-40 All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out. (38) For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. (39) This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. (40) And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day."

 

I will not digress too far down this road as it is a sermon in itself. Suffice to say that it is God Who saves.

 

Even as He slayed the animals in the Garden of Eden and covered the nakedness of Adam and Eve, so He slayed His only Son and covers the unrighteousness of whom He will with the righteousness of the only Man that sin could not hold.

 

Do not give me the hypothetical that does not exist.

 

Don't ask me about the regenerated man who may not decide to accept Jesus as Lord.

 

It is a hypothetical that can never exist.

 

I know as well as any believer, that the fear of God when we are resurrected in our spirits is such that would our merciful Savior let us linger there any longer without relief we would die of shear terror.

 

That is the state of anyone who has truly been born of the spirit.

 

For the first time in his or her life, regardless of how many years they have lived, they become spiritually alive. And because God is spirit, the first thing they see in that new birth is a righteous and holy Creator from Whom there is no escape.

 

And then He wraps us in the righteousness of His Son, Jesus as He gives us the very faith to believe that the blood of Jesus is all that is required.

 

Thank God that He is not fair.

 

For in fairness there is no room for grace.

 

Do not give me justice, O Lord.

 

Rather give me that amazing, unfathomable grace that saves all whom You put into Your Son's hand.

 

The Apostle Paul summed it up succinctly.

 

In Romans 9:16-24 Paul writes;

 

Rom 9:16-24 So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy. (17) For the Scripture says to the Pharaoh,

 

"FOR THIS VERY PURPOSE I HAVE RAISED YOU UP, THAT I MAY SHOW MY POWER IN YOU, AND THAT MY NAME MAY BE DECLARED IN ALL THE EARTH."

 

(18) Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens. (19) You will say to me then, "Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will?" (20) But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, "Why have you made me like this?" (21) Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor? (22) What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, (23) and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory, (24) even us whom He called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?

 

From the very first verse of the Bible, God's sovereignty is proclaimed.

 

It is the most basic and fundamental principle not only of theology, but of life itself.

 

Let us proclaim along with David in the 8th Psalm;

 

Psa 8:1-9 O LORD, our Lord, How excellent is Your name in all the earth, Who have set Your glory above the heavens!

 

(2) Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants You have ordained strength, Because of Your enemies, That You may silence the enemy and the avenger.

 

(3) When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained,

 

(4) What is man that You are mindful of him, And the son of man that You visit him?

 

(5) For You have made him a little lower than the angels, And You have crowned him with glory and honor.

 

(6) You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet,

 

(7) All sheep and oxen— Even the beasts of the field,

 

(8) The birds of the air, And the fish of the sea That pass through the paths of the seas.

 

(9) O LORD, our Lord, How excellent is Your name in all the earth!

 

To God alone be all glory, honor and praise.

 

Let us pray.

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