Covenant Words
Covenant Words

Episode · 6 years ago

Getting A Worthy Conception of God


Rev. Christopher Chelpka

Well, we begin this morning preaching a series through the book ofGenesis and we begin rightfully in Genesis, one verse one. So let us hear God's Word Genesis one verse, one in the Beginning, God created theheavens and the earth. You may be seated. You have in genesis one one, a verysimple sentence in the beginning: God created the heavens and the Earthif you're are still young and you're just learning to diagram sentences.This wouldn't be a bad one to work with it's very simple, very easy. You have avery clear actor, a very clear verb, very clear action being done. I you take this simple sentence, thoughit is something also that is not only simple in its form but simple and itstruth. It's very understandable. It's something that is very obvious, isn'tit in the beginning? God created the heavens and the earth, but even though it's something that'svery obvious, and people still, of course suppress this truth. Paul saysthis in Romans one he says they suppress it in unrighteousness. He saysthat something that we all know deep down. It's something that in many waysyou don't even have to argue for, though, of course you can and probablyshould, but at the same time he recognizes that it's something thatbecause of who we are, as those been have been created by God, it'ssomething we know in Atle. Naturally, it's in US Paul I'll quote him from Romans, oneeighteen and nineteen. He says what can be known about. God is plain to them for his invisible attributes, namelyhis eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, they've been clearly perceived ever since the creation of the world in the thingsthat have been made, you see what he saying there. He saysthat people don't come to a recognition of God and his creation of the world ata certain point of time in their lives. He says they know this from their verybirth. He says men have known this ever since the creation of the world and inwhat, in the things that have been made, which is everything that we know andinteract with, including in ourselves to know ourselves, is to know ourselvesas created beings as those who have been created by God and yet insomething, that's so simple and so obvious, wrapped up in this single sentence orall the foundations of true religion, the honour and the glory of the onlytrue God and our most honorable position under him as those who arecalled to rule under him to live under him and for him, Peter Martyr, ver Migley, a a reformersaid that, should God, as Creator be taken away, this truth, this doctrinetaught in this first verse of the Bible.

Should God, as Creator be taken away,the first sin will not stand out. The promises of Christ will collapse andall the power of religion is sunk to the bottom. That's what I mean when I say it servesas this very foundation for everything that we believe that God is God who is above us who isabove everything that he has a right to rule us and that we belong to him, and so, as we begin hearing God's wordfrom Genesis, we begin with a due consideration of the beginning, thebeginning of the beginning, but as we see true knowledge and worship of God is,creator is really impossible. Apart from a second work that he does asaviour, this verse comes to us in a veryparticular and a very saving context. But for the moment, let's just considerthe beginning, as you consider this first sentence, it's worth noting thatGod could have started the Bible in any number of ways. He could have told usabout the account of creation in a number of ways for you, those of you who enjoy toright, enjoy, writing and reading. This will be something maybe a little bitfun to think about think about the various ways God could have constructedon this first book. He could have started by ungiving sort of present daytime. I remember Moses. Is Writing this here, he's speaking to Israel as they're about toenter into the promised land having been rescued from Egypt? This is sortof the contemporary moment in which this book has been being written. Mosescould have started there, he could have started an exodus right and then sortof flash backed to genesis or God could have given a differentperspective altogether, instead of giving it from God's perspective, hecould have given this whole account of the creation of man from Adam'sperspective or he's perspective. He could have told a story within a story:Abraham could have sat down by a camp fire and then revealed to his sons in avision how things begin all kinds of different ways. literarilyspeaking, this book could have begun, but God shows to begin it in this waywith this particular simple, clear sentence in the beginning: God createdthe heavens and the earth. Well, not only could God have doneother things literarily, but he could have also done different things.topically people have often wanted to know otherthings than what this book starts with in the Early Church, people often triedto find, find theophanes or pre incarnateexpressions of Christ in this first verse. I'm thinking trying to find waysto make those first three words in the beginning to refer to Jesus Christhimself. Others have really sought to find and want to defined in these earlystories of what happened before the creation of the heavens and the earth.What about the angels where's that back story right? Why didn't? God startthere with the fall of Satan and the fall of the angels and give us thedetails about that? We've often wondered that in people throughout thehistory of the church have constructed all kinds of stories and things to fillthat out, because in many ways we've wanted to start there. But that's wehaven't started there either.

Today we don't think so much aboutChristology or angels. Perhaps we should think more about those things onto day. We wish this was a scientific explanation of the events of creation.We want to focus in on the secondary causes. What's the way, the actualprinciples and the things that brought these things about, sometimes, when I hear speaks peoplespeak about the beginnings of the Bible about Genesis, one and two. I thinkthat they'd be much more pleased if it began with equations and formulas withgeographic can geologic data with biologic detail and and all kinds ofexplanations. The answer that things that we really want to know about thecreation of the world in the past. It's been a various spiritual topics. Today,it's various science scientific topics that we want. Instead of what we have now. This is not to say that the Biblehas no relation or that the Theis beginning has no relation to Christ. Itabsolutely does we just read in Colossians one fifteen that Christ inhim all things were created through him and for him everything that was madevisible and invisible and, of course, of the angels are involved in thebeginning of creation as well, and we read that in other portions ofscripture and likewise too, the Bible is veryrelated to the natural world as we know it and have known it it. It clearly isrelated to the beginnings of things. It says: God created the Heavens and theearth in many ways. That's what this is about. It's about creation. It evengives us some of the details of God's creating the world in thee this and thefollowing chapters. But the point is this: We want to take the Bible on its ownterms. It's critical that we take the Bible from the perspective that God hasgiven it to us, it's not to say that these things aren't related or thatthere are other places that talk about them or e. There are certain tasks thatwe have in synthesizing things together, but first and foremost is to be quiet,be still before the Lord and to listen. God does not give us a back story on the angels, nor does hegive us a scientific text book. He gives us a theological perspectiveand we shouldn't be disappointed about that. We shouldn't be disappointed about that. So how does God begin the book? Well, God begins. The Bible of thePentatone is in this way, as I've said in the beginning, God created theheavens and the earth, and he begins in a way in thisparticular way, so that we would have what to borrow from Vermigli again aworthy conception of God. God begins. This way begins the wholebook in this way, so that we would have a worthy conception of God that our idea of God, our knowledge ofhim, our understanding of him, that everything that we would think aboutwhen we think about God, would be founded on some very cor and essentialtruths immediately from the beginning, and that worthy conception is summed upvery simply that God is the creator of everything. This is made us very strikingly, ofcourse, as you have it there in your in your bibles, but it's even a little bitstronger in the Hebrew. This word...

...created is a word that is used only ofdivine, creating. There are other words for creating making fashioning formingthat could have been used, but here Moses by the inspiration of the HolySpirit picks this particular word- God did God creating God. Did this divinecreation activity it's a way of sort of taking this fact, God created and thenunderlining it when red God created father, son and Holy Spirit createdeverything, and when we hear that when we hear thathe created not just something but the heavens andthe earth, we have something that is really quite marvelous. Every single aspect of all of creationis comprehended in this again to Calote Colossians, one fifteen.All things were created in heaven and on earth visible and invisible were often impressed by the creationand the works of other people. You know, if I say, if I introduce you to myfriend, I say this is my friend Bob and you say Oh nice, to meet you Bob, and Isay no. This is Bob. This is Bob who made this building and wrote this bookand did these things in business? Your oh Bob. I see we're impressed at the way people dothe way they work, the things that they produce. We put it on our resumes. Weare with the way in which we establish our credentials. This is what I havedone in the beginning. God created the heavens and the earth, he didn't create a family or he didn'tcreate a country or a or a robot or even a mountain. He created everything everything that could be created, Godcreated it immeasurable power, bewildering, imagination and wisdom.One commentator puts it that way. You look at the things that have beenmade that you're not just the the tangiblethings that you can eat and smell and collect and walk on and live in, but laws principles, rules. Everything that we see, there's so many ways that you canconsider. This read a little bit of the book of Job to feel the weight of thison your heart, God pommels job with question after question: Were you therewhen I set the courses in the sky? Were you there when I created this monstercreature in the sea or were you there when I, when I did when I set the Sunand its courses? We not only weren't there, but wedidn't do it either people give their entire lives tostudying the tiniest sliver of God's creation. One recently published PhD just thetitle: The royal of Vitamin D receptor in insolent, secretion and bade us selffunction. Some one just gave a significant portion of their life to study the role of the Vitamin Dreceptor, an insolent secretion and bade a self function. That's not in any way to make fun ofthem or or demean them. It's just to show how much we can devote and putinto the tiniest tiniest of subjects and not even begin to understand howthey relate to a whole vast system of...

...the world. It's amazing its mind, blowing to consider what Godhas done in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. Will this worthy conception of Godshould leave us to a humble conception of ourselves? A worthy conception of God should leadto a humble conception of ourselves who can begin to compare to the awesomepower of God in creating the apple in creating a fish, but not only these particular points ofcreation, but the way in which they were created to consider that the things were createdin all wisdom and all righteousness. Some of us are very handy and are ableto make good things. I was talking with someone this morning and she told methat her father does wood working. Perhaps some of you are familiar withthat and are able to take bits of wood and craft them into fine pieces offurniture. Others of US can barely hang some blinds in our house. We a we find that we lose the screw andwe miss the parts and we can't get it quite level, and here God is creating all of these things that we see, but not only that not only does hecreate them, but he creates them in wisdom and righteousness. I've notalways been very holy in hanging. Blinds in my house, get angry and frustrated over such asimple and silly thing, but God goes about creation withmasterful power, great ease and ability. You see this insome ways among us humans, people that play tennis or the violinor can do math proofs with such ease and ability that we go. How do they dothat and that's just human creative power and ability all the more truewith God, but he does it with this righteousness as well. With holiness,we often create things that, not only in anger but in pride and selfishnessand unholy ambition. God does it in perfect righteousness and he creates us. He creates us in a relationship withhim between a ruler and the ruled again going to clason's. One remember how theThe apostle says that Jesus not only created all these things and throughhim all things were created, but it also goes on to say whether thrones ordominions, or rulers or authorities, all things were created through him orfor him. It's a reminder that God's work of creation has this particularaspect of rule. The fact that God has created meansthat he also has a right to rule over us. We belong to God as those made by himas those who are rightly owned it by him. Now mankind balks at this, but it'sbecause we impute to God the unrighteousness that people display, but, as I've said, God created theWorld In Holiness and righteousness and his rule is that way as well when he establishedi his rule andauthority over man. It was not so that...

...he could act as a tyrant or act in evilways or according to injustice, everything the opposite. He God acts in relationship to man thathe has made in holiness and goodness the creatures that he loved and madeand cared for were done so by his tender and holy hand. Mankind was made to dwell with God toserve him, not as a slave under an evil master,but as a vice regent, as a king, under the king of kings to govern all that hehad made. This should humble us. This worthyconception of God should humble us. It should give us a humble conception ofourselves instead of doing what Romans talks about and exchanging the glory ofGod for creatures in worshipping after them and worshipping them andworshipping ourselves and our abilities in our pride, when we hear a verse likeGenesis, one one, it should cause us to worship God. But, as I said at the beginning, this relationship between a worthy Godand humble creatures requires a saving act of God in orderfor us to enter it. That's not because God failed in the way that he madethings. God made things in such a way that weregood and were holy. But here we remember that at thebeginning of the world, though, made good by God, it was also made evil byman when man, particularly Adam and Eve, rebelled against their creator. They sought their own way. They soughtto be kings above the king of kings and in this rebellion in thisrebellious act. They took everything that should be comprehended in Genesis,one one and tore it to shreds in the beginning. God created theheavens on the earth. He is worthy and we are to worship him and serve him, but in the rebellion of sin that theycommitted and in the rebellion of sin that we commit, we confess and we do exactly theopposite. We say no, I want what I want now. I amin charge an I rule and I am good. It is my ways that are worthy of worshipand praise and not yours. They did not conceive of God in aworthy manner and they fell into sin and the relationship ever after betweencreature and creation was torn apart because of God's holiness, because ofGod's goodness he could not bear. He could not dwell with this sin and hecast man out of the garden away from him, but God acting not in his justice, as he did incasting in them out of the garden, but in His grace, sought to save them, sought to redeemthem and bring them out of this, and this is why the Bible exists. Adam andEve knew how the world was created. We know how the world is created. God doesn't need to tell us this in theBible, but he does because not only does hewant to confirm what is true in our hearts by virtue of his creating us,but because he's setting the stage for...

...a saving message he's setting the stage with his ruleand his authority and our sin against it, so that he can tell us about how heis saving us again about how he brings us back to himself through that same creative power thathe began the world with the beginning of the Bible. Genesis.One one begins in this way, because it's setting the stage for that messagefor a Gospel Message. And again you see this all inColossians, one fifteen. Through twenty, we read that Jesus not only created allthe world and everything in it being the ruler of it, but even goes on tosave it by becoming the head of the church, thebody through his death on the cross,reconciling all things s to himself. That is the message of Genesis. It isthe message of the Bible. This message that the one whom werebelled against was not only immeasurably powerful in his creativeacts, but also saving act is very good news to us, because it means that when we suppressthese great truths of Genesis, one one in unrighteousness, we can turn to that same God of Genesis,one one for forgiveness, not in his creator power but in hiscreator, saviour power, Jesus coming into the world as a man and his Holy Spirit coming to changeour hearts to create, in US new life, to cause us to be born again and unto a hope that is described as anew heavens and a new earth. I tell you that this morning, becauseuntil you are changed on this particular point until you recognize God's saving powerin Jesus Christ and find all your hope and your forgiveness there until you can see your sin being a tonefor on the cross until you can see God's righteousnessbeing given to you on the cross. The no amount of reflection on thecreation of the world will bring about the worship, God desires and requires of you. You can go wander the forests andexplore the seas. All Your Life, you can go, earn PhDs and spend yourentire career, engage your mind fully and every way in studying God's createdworld, but you will never give him the worship and the due consideration and a worthyconsideration of him unless you first come to him throughthe cross, unless that brokenness of thatrelationship and when we, which we in which we were first made, is healed, you must come to see by faith the Giftof God in Christ in heaven before you can properly. Thank him for the manygifts on earth is Calvin puts it, I'm paraphrasing,it's not the earth which nourishes us, but its Christ, who gives us eternallife. It's not this by ultimately by the sun that we will see, but by theglory of God, in the Gospel that we will see not only in this life by faiththat which we can't see,...

...but also for ever by faith in what we will see. This is how much we must consider allthings, and so, whether you're getting your Ph d ineconomics or your studying God's world at the very beginning of your life and you're, five years oldand you're learning about all kinds of interesting facts about the way Godmade this creature and that creature put your hope in the saviour first trust in the one who save you come tothe creator of the world through the saviour of the world. And as you do, this God's creation will open up before younot only in a way that you can see, but in a way that you can worship him forit and live rightly before him in the world that he has given you. Moreover, when we do this when we receive thisgood, not good news by faith. God promises to prepare for us a place thisnew heavens and a new earth that we might do this worshipful actionthat we might dwell with God in peace and unity and pleasure for ever and ever. And so as you look at creation.Consider Him who made it bow before His Majesty, but do so asyou bow before the cross. Let us pray.

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