Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Lesson # 3 "God Formed"

Having looked at “God created” [vs. 1-2], we now move to the second section in our outline, how “God formed” His creation.

In the first 3 days God made the uninhabited earth productive. The last 3 days He filled the uninhabited earth.

2. God Formed [vs. 3-13]. Day 1-3.

1. Day One [vs. 1-5].

Verse 3: God spoke light into existence out of the darkness [v. 2]. The Hebrew says, “Light be.” Nobody can tell us what light is but we do know what light does.

The Latin word is Fiat. Each of the creation days begin with God speaking “And God said,” [v. 3, 6, 9, 11, 14, 20, 24, 26, and 29]

Q- How can there be light before the sun and moon were created on the fourth day [v. 16].

The light came from God himself who is light.

John 1:4-5, “In him was life; and the life was the light of men. (5) And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.”

The New Jerusalem will enjoy light with no sun or moon.

Rev. 22:5, “And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.”

It is probably here that the earth’s axis began. Light is a form of energy with gravity, electro-magnetic fields, and nuclear force.

Verse 4: God spoke light into existence then separated the light from darkness. Darkness was not a creation like light but the absence of light [v. 2].

The first day of creation, God set forth the principle of separation. Light from darkness, and the day from night [v. 14], but later separated the waters above from the waters below [vs. 6-8], and land from the waters [vs. 9-10].

Verse 5: Note than word “day.”

The Hebrew word is “Yom.” It refers to a 24 hour period [evening and morning.]

Q- Did God create in six literal 24 hour days or are these ages of long periods of time. Are these Solar Days or Ages?

Actually there are two popular views:

(1) The literal solar-day view in which the days of Creation are understood to be solar days (which we now calibrate as twenty-four hours).

(2) The day-age view that understands the days to be long ages. This view, of course, accommodates the geologic ages easily.

The Bible teaches six literal 24 hour days: Why?

1. The qualifying phrase “evening and morning” attached to each of the six days of Creation supports the meaning of the days as twenty-four-hour periods.

Proponents of the day-age idea reply that evening and morning is a figure of speech for beginning and ending.

Each “evening” saw the completion of the work of that age, which was followed by the “morning” of renewed activity.

But evening and morning, each occurring more than 100 times in the Old Testament, are never used to mean anything other than a literal evening and literal morning, ending or beginning a solar day. Notice the phrase in Dan. 8:26 referring to solar days.

2. Moses believed it to be literal 24 hour days. Ex. 20:11; Ex. 31:17 state that God made everything in six days. In both these passages, these are the words God spoke directly to Moses.

3. When the numerical adjective is used before day [Yom] it means 24 hour days.

Sometimes a day can mean a longer period of time such as “the day of the Lord,” the “day of judgment.”

2. Day Two [vs. 6-8].

God put an expanse between the waters that surrounded the earth and called it heaven or the sky or expanse.

The lower waters became water bodies on and under the earth. The upper water was vital in the flood.

Gen. 7:11-12; 9:11-15

The atmosphere was now inhabitable with air.

3. Day Three [vs. 9-13].

Verses 9-10: God made the earth and the seas.

Here we have the first mention of being good. Probably because it was now ready for man.

Many believe the water was in one place and the dry land also in a large continent later broken up in the flood [Gen. 7:11].
Psalm 104:5-9

Verses 11-15: Plant life created.

God created plants and trees with the seeds in them. Full grown and producing with the appearance of age. Adam was an adult and trees had rings.

“After its kind” or “species” with no mention of evolution yet. Evidently, God created several kinds of plants and trees already preprogrammed with DNA and genetic information.

Next week- God fills [1:14-31; 2:7].

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Lesson # 2 "God Created"

Last week in our introductory lesson we saw what God was doing before creation “In the beginning God…”

1. God existed eternally.
2. The Eternal Godhead was in communion.
3. The Eternal Godhead planned redemption.

Tonight we begin to move thru the creation process. God created the entire universe and then formed and filled it, all in six-24 hour days.

1. God Created [vs. 1-2]. “Heavens and earth”
2. God Formed [vs. 2-13]. “Days 1-3”
3. God Filled [vs. 14-27]. “Days 4-6”

1. God Created [vs. 1-2].

Verse 1b: “created the heaven and the earth”

In the dateless past God brought the universe into existence out of nothing.

Ps. 33:6, “By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.”

Heb. 1:3, “Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;”

God declares his creation in six days and begins to explain how he did it.

Note the word “create.” This is the Hebrew word “Bara” and is used in 1:1, 21, and 27. The word can refer to create out of nothing or with something. The word “asa” is used in 2:2, 8, and 19. It is the word formed.

God created everything by the spoken Word. Matter is not eternal but spoken into existence by God.

Scientists say there are five things necessary for existence- time, force, action, space, and matter. Beginning that’s time, God that’s force, created that’s action, heaven that’s space, and earth that’s matter.

Heaven in verse 2 is plural in the Hebrew. There are 3 heavens mentioned in the Bible:

The first heaven is the home of the birds, clouds, and the atmosphere [Dan. 4:12]. Sky

The second heaven is the home of the sun, moon, planets, and stars [Ps. 19:1]. Stellar

The third heaven is the home of God, angels, and departed saints [2 Cor. 12:2].

Verse 1 refutes 6 popular world philosophies:

1. Atheism- God exists.
2. Pantheism- God is separated from his creation. God is not all.
3. Polytheism- there is one God.
4. Materialism- Matter has a supernatural origin and was not eternal.
5. Naturalism or evolution- God created.
6. Fatalism- A personal God who freely chose to create with a purpose and plan.

Verse 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.”

v. 2 describes the conditions that existed before God formed and filled the earth. Verse 1 describes the creation of the universe. Verses 3-31 describe the process of creation by which God formed and filled what was void.

God created and it was chaos, dark, formless, and empty. God made no mistake and there was no catastrophic judgment between verse 1 and verse 2. Creation vs reconstruction.

Gap proponents say “was” means “became.” They say between v. 1 and v. 2 were chaos from judgment and what we have in v. 2 is a reconstruction of creation. The gap could be millions of years.

What we have in v.2 is just the beginning of creation as God progresses in his creation. God then formed it and filled his creation.

Gap proponents put the fall of Satan, geological ages, pre-Adam race which Lucifer ruled over from the Garden of Eden and a judgment between v. 1 and v.2.

There are two great arguments that refute the gap concept:

1. You can’t have death or judgment before sin [2 Cor. 15:21; Rom. 5:12].

2. Ex. 20:9-11; 31:17-

God created in six 24 hour days and verses 1 and 2 are included in the 6 days, not million or billion of years between them.

Let’s define some words in v. 2

“Without form, and void” means not finished in its shape and uninhabited by creatures [Isa. 45:18]. Gap proponents fail to read the rest of verse.

“Darkness” can refer to sin and judgment, but it just means there was no light yet. Evening was part of the days God declared good [v. 5]. In Ps. 104:19-24 darkness can be good.

“Deep” is the water that covered the earth before dry land was formed. The earth’s surface was like a vast sea with no land.

What about angels? Angels were created before creation.

Job 38:4-8, “Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? Declare, if thou hast understanding. (5) Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it? (6) Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof; (7) When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy? (8) Or who shut up the sea with doors, when it brake forth, as if it had issued out of the womb?”

Who are the Sons of God? [Job 1:6; 2:1; 38:7; Gen. 6:2, 4

Ps. 148:2-3, “Praise ye him, all his angels: praise ye him, all his hosts. (3) Praise ye him, sun and moon: praise him, all ye stars of light.”

Next week we will begin to speed up as we look at the rest of day 1 thru day 6.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Lesson # 1 "What was God Doing Before Creation

I am currently teaching through the Biblical account of the six creation days contained in Gen. 1:1 - 2:3 on Wednesday nights. Here are my notes and others will be added each week.

Lesson # 1- "What Was God Doing Before Creation?"

Gen. 1:1a, "In the beginning God..."

God simply states His creation as fact without any defense. So there is no need to mention evolution because it carries no credence with God.

I will not present evolution or study creation and evolution side by side, but simply present creation as God presents it. Genesis chapter 1 teaches us that God created the entire universe and then formed and filled it all in 6-24 hour days.

The “beginning” of Gen. 1:1 apparently refers to the beginning of the Creation of the world. Young earth creationists fix the time as 4004 B.C., and no further than 10,000 b.c. Evolutionists suggest 4,500,000,000 B.C.

The writer to the Hebrews reminds us that it is by faith that we understand that the ages were framed by the Word of God and that what is seen was not made out of visible things (Heb. 11:3).

The ages refer to all the periods of time as well as all that they contain. Since obviously there were no human spectators to Creation, and since the first man was placed in an already existing universe, we must accept by faith whatever God has revealed about Creation. Otherwise we will know nothing with certainty about Creation. We have an eyewitness account.

“In the beginning God” [the dateless past before time and creation], God does not explain His existence; neither does He explain His creating work. He just states, “In the beginning God.” So that is how we will conduct our study of the six days of creation.

Someone said, “God created heaven for those who believe verse 1, and hell for those who don’t believe verse 1.

It basically comes down to believing one of two beliefs, either one believes in Eternal matter or Eternal God.

Q- What was God doing before creation? What was God’s purpose in creation? What was before Genesis?

1. God eternally existed in His glory.

God is eternal; He has neither beginning nor end. He is totally self-sufficient and self existent. He needs nothing outside Himself to exist.

God needs nothing, the universe, the earth, or man. But He chose to create them.

Ps. 90:2, “Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.”

1 Tim. 1:17, “Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.”

2. The Divine trinity existed in communion.

There is one true God who exists in three persons: God the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.

Warren Wiersbe says, “This does not mean that one God manifested Himself in three different forms, or that there are three Gods; it means that one God exists in three persons who are equal in their attributes and yet distinct in different offices and ministries.”

Matt. 28:18-20, Acts 2:32-33, Eph. 4:1-6

Note the name “God” which is ELOHIM in the Hebrew. This name speaks of God’s almighty power. This is in the plural noun and can be translated “Gods.”
This identification of Elohim as Creator refutes several serious heresies that we will look at next week.

The Holy trinity was involved in creation. Note the “let us” statements in the in the Book of Genesis and a few others.

Gen. 1:26; 3:22; 11:7; Isaiah 6:8; Ps. 2:7

What was happening before creation? God existed eternally, the Holy Trinity existed eternally in communion, and also the Holy Trinity planned the plan redemption.

3. The trinity planned redemption.

The trinity took counsel in eternity past and planned salvation. Salvation was not an afterthought, but a predetermined plan.

Eph. 1:4-5, “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will.”

Rev. 13:8, “And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.”

Rev. 17:8, “The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.”

We were chosen by the Father and given to the Son. The death of Christ on the cross and our belief in Him secured this transaction.

God created a world that He might share His love with man who He made in the image of God.

According to Eph. 1:3-14; the plan of salvation included the Holy Trinity. We were chosen by the Father [vs. 3-6], purchased by the Son [vs. 7-12], and summons and sealed by the Holy Spirit [vs. 13-14].

Someone said, “Try to explain these things and you may lose your mind; but try to explain them away, and you will lose your soul.”

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Election and Eternal Security

John 6:37-40, "All the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.38. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine will, but the will of him that sent me. 39. And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. 40. And this is the will of him that sent me, and every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day."

What quick nuggets of truth about divine election and eternal security of the true believer can we learn from this passage as we "let the Scripture speak."

1. Election- Believers are a love gift to the Son and all will come [v. 37a].

This transaction took place in eternity past [John 17:6, 8,11-12; 2 Tim. 1:9; Rev. 13:8;17:8].

Here we see both the sovereignty of God in salvation and human responsibility in hearing the gospel and believing.

All those given to the Son in eternity past will come to the Son in time.

2. Eternal Salvation- The repenting believing sinner who comes to Christ is eternally secure in Christ v. 40].

Our security is not in us but in Christ. He is the one who does the persevering work.

There is no such thing as a true believer losing salvation by quit believing.

We sin and undergo the correction of the Lord because we are children [Heb. 12:5-11]. Correction proves Son-ship.

We are eternally secure because we have been elected.

We have everlasting life given to us by the Son and the Father. We have a guaranteed bodily resurrection at the rapture or the resurrection of the just.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Collection for the Saints

“The Collection for the Saints" 1 Cor. 16:1-4

The believers at Corinth, as carnal as they were, asked Paul about the collection he was taking for the poor saints in Jerusalem. Paul answered their question and gave directions.

One of the most important ministries Paul had during his third journey was the gathering of a special “relief offering,” for the poor believers in Jerusalem.

Even though this was a special missionary offering, from Paul’s instructions we learn some basic principles that relate to Christian stewardship or giving.

1. Giving is to be particular [v. 1]. “For the saints”

This offering was for the saints in Jerusalem. He wanted to achieve three purposes in this offering:

1. For one thing, the Gentiles owed material help to the Jews in return for the spiritual blessings the Jews had given them.

2. At the Jerusalem Conference years before, Paul had agreed to “remember the poor,” so he was keeping his pledge. Paul not only preached the Gospel, but he also tried to assist those who had physical and material needs.

Why was there such a great need in the Jerusalem church? It is likely that many of the believers had been visiting Jerusalem at Pentecost when they heard the Word and were saved.

This meant that they were strangers, without employment, and the church would have to care for them.

In the early days of the church, the members had gladly shared with each other but even their resources were limited. There had also been a famine and the relief sent at that time could not last for too long a time.

Acts 11:28, “And there stood up one of them named Agabus, and signified by the Spirit that there should be great dearth throughout all the world: which came to pass in the days of Claudius Caesar.”

3. Paul’s greatest motive for taking up the offering was to help unite Jewish and Gentile believers. Paul was a missionary to the Gentiles, and this bothered some of the Jewish believers (Acts 17:21-25).

The primary purpose of giving is for the support of the saints.

Gal. 6:10; 1 John 3:17

2. Giving is to be an act of worship [v. 2a]. “First day of the week”

Each member was to come to the Lord’s Day gathering prepared to give his share for that week. The early church met on the first day of the week in commemoration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. (The Holy Spirit came on the church at Pentecost on the first day of the week.)

Acts 20:7, “And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.”

It is tragic when church members give only as a duty and forget that our offerings are to be “spiritual sacrifices” presented to the Lord

Phil. 4:18, “But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God.

3. Giving is to be systematic [v. 2a] “Upon the first day”

Some teachers have suggested that many people were paid on the first day of the week during that time in history. But even if they were not, each believer was to set aside his offering at home and then bring it to the assembly on the first day.

Paul did not want to have to take up a number of collections when he arrived in Corinth. He wanted the whole contribution to be ready.

If today’s church members were as systematic in their giving as they are in handling their other financial matters, the work of the Lord would not suffer as it sometimes does.

Statistics tells us the average Christian gives 2.7% with 20% being tithers.

4. Giving is to be personal and individual [v. 2a]. “everyone of you”

Paul expected each member to share in the offering, the rich and poor alike. Anyone who had an income was privileged to share and to help those in need. He wanted all to share in the blessing.

“Lay by him in store” means treasury, storehouse, cellar, or chest, a place were valuables are stored. It’s seems to be saying, “Put aside in the church treasury these offerings.”

To equate this with the OT temple treasury in Malachi 3:10 is a gross misinterpretation of God’s Word.

The storehouse in the OT is different from what Paul intends in 1 Cor. 16:2. “Storehouse” refers to a special room or rooms in the temple for keeping produce and grain.

The OT required giving of 3 tithes which totaled about 23% annually to fund the national government of Israel, take care of public festivals and provide welfare.

5. Giving is to be proportionate [v. 2b]. “As God has prospered him”

Paul did not mention any special proportion for this special offering. Certainly the tithe (10 percent of one’s income) is a good place to begin our stewardship, but as the Lord gives us more, we should plan to give more.

The trouble is, too many saints, as they earn more, gain more financial obligations; and then they do not have more to give to the Lord. As the old saying goes, “When your outgo exceeds your income, then your upkeep is your downfall.”

Paul made it clear in 2 Corinthians 8-9 that Christian giving is a grace, the outflow of the grace of God in our lives and not the result of promotion or pressure. An open heart cannot maintain a closed hand. If we appreciate the grace of God extended to us, we will want to express that grace by sharing with others.

6. Money is to be handled honestly [vs. 3-4].

The various churches involved in this special offering appointed delegates to help Paul manage it and take it safely to Jerusalem.

It is unfortunate when Christian ministries lose their testimony because they mismanage funds entrusted to them. Every ministry ought to be businesslike in its financial affairs.
Paul was very careful not to allow anything to happen that would give his enemies opportunity to accuse him of stealing funds (2 Cor. 8:20-21).

There were no “chapter breaks” in the original manuscripts, so the readers would go right from the resurrection to money. Doctrine and duty go together; so do worship and works. Our giving is “not in vain” because our Lord is alive. It is His resurrection power that motivates us to give and to serve.