Monday, January 14, 2019

God In Genesis #1: Omnipotent God Chapter 1

God In Genesis #1: Omnipotent God Chapter 1

Just a little background about the book we’ll be preaching from. Genesis is the book of beginnings, its opening word in Hebrew is genesis and it means of course beginning.

Genesis 1-11 gives us the beginning of man and of mankind, Genesis 12-50 gives us the beginning of God’s chosen people, the nation of Israel.

The Beginnings of Mankind. 1:1-11:32.
The creation, the beginning of all. 1:1-2:25.
The temptation and fall, the beginning of sin 3:1-24.
The two brothers, the beginning of the family. 4:1-26.
Seth and his descendants, the beginning of the holy line 5:1-32.
Sin and the Flood, the end of the original beginning 6:1-8:22.
Noah's later life, and his descendants, the beginning of peoples. 9:1-10:32.
The Tower of Babel, the beginning of languages. 11:1-32.

The Beginnings of Israel. 12:1-50:26.
Abraham. 12:1-25:18.
Isaac. 25:19-26:35.
Jacob. 27:1-36:43.
Joseph. 37:1-50:26.- Wycliffe Bible Commentary.

A man once asked God, “God what is a billion dollars to you?” God replied, “A billion dollars to me is like a penny to you.” Then the man asked what is a billion years like to you? God replied a billion years to me is like a minute to you.” The man thought for a moment and then asked, “God will you give me a penny.” God replied, “Yes I will, in just a minute.”

We can have no greater no higher thoughts in our minds than to consider God. Who he is, what he has done and what he will do. His power, his justice, his mercy his grace. This morning I would like to attempt to do that by looking at God’s power.

Genesis 1:1
 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

This is familiar territory, for those trying to read through their Bible every year and starting with Genesis, this verse is pretty familiar. We may be hard pressed to make it past Leviticus or Chronicles, but Genesis chapter 1 is never an obstacle. We know the story of creation, of the different forms of life that God created to reproduce after their kind and what day they were brought into existence.

For this sermon, I want us to concentrate on this first initial burst of unimagined, unmeasurable, unrepeatable power. Power that could only come from God and could only be used by God.  Throughout this series from Book of beginnings, I want us to look at the God who made those beginnings. I want us to better stand in awe of the omnipotence of God today. I want to better see  the God of all power as He unleashed that power on the first day of creation.

The Persons of Creation Genesis 1:1-5

 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.  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.  And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.  And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.  And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

The Power Of Creation Seen in Three

Vs. 1 God: In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth: the Hebrew word translated God is the word Elohim. It is the plural of the word for god, El. In the plural Elohim, it shows that from the beginning was the concealed but one day would be revealed revelation that God was not alone.
Elohim is found in the Hebrew scriptures fifty-seven times in the singular and about three thousand times in the plural. The root probably means to be "lasting, binding, firm, strong." Hence, the noun means the Everlasting, and in the plural, the Eternal Powers. It is correctly rendered God, the name of the Eternal and Supreme Being in our language, - Barnes' Notes on the Old Testament.

In the plural we also find the first hint that God, though he is one God, is not one person. Later in the chapter God says “Let us make…” and we again see that before time began, God was not alone. Even in these first few verses of Genesis we are introduced to the persons of the Godhead, though in a form that would not be perfectly clear until the full revelation of the New Testament.

Vs. 2 The Spirit: And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. The third person of the Holy Trinity is represented as taking part in the work of creation by moving upon the face of the waters. Here we see the Holy Spirit in the work of creation. The word move here at first seems to have the connotation that the Spirit is moving over the waters, but the word “moving” means to shake. This gives us the sense not of the Spirit move over the waters but of the Spirit moving the waters themselves, being involved in the act of creation that will not begin to unfold.  In a sense He seems to begin to take the elements, the molecules or the atoms that God brought into existence from nothing and begins to combine and shape and form them.

We often overlook the role of the Holy Spirit in our lives and even in creation but from the very beginning He is there, he is involved.

Vs. 3 The Word of God: And God said, Let there be light; and there was light. In verse three God for the first time speaks. Was this an audible word in a the language of heaven or simple the expression of God’s will and power. We cannot fully know but God revealed it to us by saying, God spoke and we in our finite minds should understand that way.
In this expression we also see our first glimpse of the second person of the Godhead.

John 1:1-3 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

John opens his gospel account by writing an almost parallel passage to Genesis 1:1-3. In this he fully shows that Jesus, God the Son, the second person of the Godhead was present in Creation.
Paul expands on this truth in Colossians 1:16-17  For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether [they be] thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

After the Spirit is seen in verse 2 and now in verse 3 The Word is introduced, we can see that the creation of the universe is a work of the Triune God, The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit.

Focusing on God

God is the Creator of all things. From the outset in the Book of Genesis, the focus of the strong light of revelation turns upon the Almighty. He is the Beginning, the Cause, the Source of all that is. He brought into being all the things and the persons that were to fit into his plan for the ages.  -The Wycliffe Bible Commentary.

The eternal, independent, and self-existent Being: the Being whose purposes and actions spring from himself, without foreign motive or influence: he who is absolute in dominion; the most pure, the most simple, and most spiritual of all essences; infinitely benevolent, beneficent, true, and holy: the cause of all being, the upholder of all things; infinitely happy, because infinitely perfect; and eternally self-sufficient, needing nothing that he has made: illimitable in his immensity, inconceivable in his mode of existence, and indescribable in his essence; known fully only to himself, because an infinite mind can be fully apprehended only by itself. In a word, a Being who, from his infinite wisdom, cannot err or be deceived; and who, from his infinite goodness, can do nothing but what is eternally just, right, and kind. - Adam Clarke's Commentary

That is what I want to do as I read and preach through Genesis and I pray that that is what we will all do in this upcoming year, focus and concentrate upon the Greatness of the God who spoke and the universe appeared.

Transition: Now lets move from the persons of creation to the act of creation itself.

The Power of Creation Genesis 1:1

 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

God Created

Let me throw a little Latin at you this morning, “Ex nihilo” that was the first Latin I ever learned in college. That was also basically the only Latin I learned in college. They didn’t really teach Latin at my college. Ex nihilo means “out of nothing.” When God created the universe, he created it from nothing but Himself. He brought it into existence simply by the power and energy of His own creative power, His omnipotence.  

What we should understand from this phrase and from this scripture is that only God “creates,” everything else is simply reassembled from what God created on that first day of the beginning. Man, made in the image of God, has invented and designed amazing things, but everything he has done was only taking what God has provided and put it together in a different way.

Man, in all his scientific and technological power is as nothing compared to what God did “in the beginning.”

Joke: “Get your own dirt.”

Glimpsing The Power of Creation

Now if we could let us for just a moment try and consider the actual power involved in creation. In reality of course we cannot, anymore than we can look upon the face of God and not be completely undone, nor can our minds even come close to comprehending the power of God as it was unleashed “in the beginning” but perhaps like Moses hiding in the cleft as God passed by, we can catch a glimpse of God power.

Let us consider the power of one very small part of God’s creation, one gram of uranium 235. One gram of U235 realeased through nuclear fission, has the same energy as 1 million grams of oil or 2 million grams of coal, or to really give it a more dynamic definition, it would be equal to 20 tons of TNT. One gram is about the weight of a paper clip. 

So, now try to imagine the power a much larger part of God’s creation. Instead of a lowly gram of uranium, lets think about the sun. The sun is 2.2 octillion tons, or 333,400 times Earth's mass, or 2 x 1033grams. The sun is powered not by fission but by fusion which has 2-3 times the power of fission. Are we all now way past the outer limits of trying to grasp the power of God that was unleashed in creation? Well take it one step further if you can because God did not create just our earth and sun, but a billion suns in a billion galaxies. That is the power of the omnipotent God, who merely spoke all that into existence from nothing.

Scripture: The Bible states the power of God in the most undeniable way.
Genesis  18:14  Is any thing too hard for the LORD?
Job 42:2  I know that thou canst do every thing..
Psalms 62:11  God hath spoken once; twice have I heard this; that power belongeth unto God.
Jer 32:27  Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?
Mark 10:27  And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.
Luke 18:27  And he said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.

Theologically we call this God’s Omnipotence.
Here is some more Latin, maybe I learned more than I thought. Omni in Latin means all and potence means power. God’s has all power.

Henry Thiesan, in his Systematic Theology, said it this way, “By the omnipotence of God we mean that God can do anything He wills.”

Transition: His power toward me.
In Genesis 1 we see God’s inconceivable power bring the universe into existence from nothing but if that is all we see then we miss the point of God’s revelation of that event to Moses.
The purpose of Creation is not just to bring something from nothing but to make something for God’s greatest creation man.

The Purpose of Creation Genesis 1:26-28

 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.  So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.  And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

Power for a Purpose

If we had time we would go through all the first chapter of Genesis and all the days of creation. We would be reminded that God took the elements of creation from the opening of creation and then over the course of six literal, actually 24 hour days, He formed everything upon the earth.

On the First Day was light (1:3-5)
On the Second Day He Divided the Waters (1:6-8)
On the Third Day He formed the dry land and Plant Life (1:9-13)
On the Fourth Day, He made the Lights in the Heavens (1:14-19)
On the Fifth Day, the Living Creatures in the Waters and in the Air (1:20-23)
But then on the Sixth Day after he had made the creatures of the land we find the purpose of creation for on that day God created man In His own image (1:24-31)

God created everything in the universe to have a place for his highest creation, the only creation he breathed into and made a living soul. Creation was for man and for God to have fellowship with man in that creation.

All of the beauty of the world, all the glory of the stars, all the hope of a sunrise and all the solemnity of a sunset, all the awesomeness of the oceans and all the grandeur of the highest mountains, God made for man’s dwelling place. For man to live in and fellowship with Him.
That is an incredible reality, God did it for us. We are not just a part of creation, but we are the purpose of creation.

Remember what Psalms 8 says?
O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens. … When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?   For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet: All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field; The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas. O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!

How humbling to realize what God has done for us and then how horrifying to realize what we have done in turning away from God.

We are a people who have determined that it was not God that brought the universe out of nothing but that nothing by the power of nothing became something.

We have said it is not God who is eternal and has all power but that somehow the universe itself is eternal and all powerful. What blindness, what hypocrisy to deny God, while worshipping that which He created and that we can plainly see all around us.

Paul was in shock when he saw this in the pagan world, how much should we be in shock today.
Romans 1:18-25
 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;  Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.  For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:  Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.  Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,  And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.  Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:  Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

God’s Greatest Power 

After such a flagrant disregard of God, after man turned his back on his creator and in blindness beheld the wonders of creation but no longer would seen God, would not God be justified in ignoring man? Would God not be righteous in seeking vengeance on all mankind who had turned from Him and no longer saw Him as God and creator of all?

Yes he would be justified but it is at this point that the greatest power of God is seen. Even greater than the power of creation, for now we see the power of God’s love and redemption. It only took one word from God to bring the universe into existence for man but it took the all the life and death of his own son to redeem that universe and man.

Scripture: Romans 1:16-17
 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.  For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.


As you go through Genesis this month as part of your Bible readings, I pray you don’t just see another book of the Bible, read for another year, but I pray that all of us will see more of the God of creation, the Omnipotent great God who spoke all things into existence with but a single word. I pray we all stand a little more in awe of his power this year.

And I pray that as you see the sunset tonight or hear a thunderstorm rumble through our skies you’ll not just think of the beauty or power of creation but that you’ll stop to consider and yes even take time to worship at the display of God’s power. If, however all you can see is just what is in front of you, if you have somehow forgotten or turned away from the God of creation and deny his creative power then my most sincere prayer is for you to experience God’s greatest power offered to us through the death and resurrection of Jesus. May you experience for yourself the power of God’s love and forgiveness.

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