January is a brand new month in a brand new year in a brand new decade! As we look ahead we need to look back. Winston Churchill said, “The farther back in history a person can see, the further ahead in the future a person can see.” If we are going to face this new decade with courage, optimism and faith, we need the right foundation. A proper foundation for this new decade is found in the Book of Genesis. If we are going to understand where we are going, we need to understand where we came from.
There is much confusion today on the issue of origin. Many people believe in naturalism. Naturalism teaches that everything arises from natural properties and causes. There is no supernatural. Spiritual explanations are excluded or discounted.
Naturalisms produces hopelessness. The leading proponent of naturalism in modern times was Carl Sagan. He said, “Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.”
Another option is pantheism. Pantheism says that the universe is the product of a series of emanations from God. The universe is God and God is the universe. Buddhism believes in pantheism.
A third option of origins is dualism. Dualism teaches there are two opposing and equal forces in the world today. God didn’t create matter. He exists alongside matter. God and matter are eternal. Plato and Aristotle taught this. Star Wars with the dark and light sides of the force is a modern form of dualism.
A fourth belief is polytheism. Polytheism says that there are many different gods. Hinduism believes in polytheism with millions of gods. Everything came into being through the working of these many gods.
Many people today believe in theistic evolution. Theistic evolution says that the universe evolved with God superintending the process.
The Bible teaches creationism. Creationism says that God created the universe out of nothing by His own free will. You and I were created by an omnipotent God. Genesis 1:1 says, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Genesis 1:5 says, “And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.” Verse 8 says, “And there was evening and there was morning, the second day.”
In the Bible whenever the Hebrew word yom (day) is used with a numeral it always means a twenty-four hour period. The phrase “the evening and the morning” limits it to twenty -four hours. Our seven day week is based on God’s creation of the universe. Jesus quoted Genesis 1 and 2. Jesus said, “But from the beginning of creation, God made them male and female” (Mark 10:6). Jesus viewed Adam and Eve as literal and historic.
Why does Satan attack Genesis 1 and 2 so vociferously? Why is the attack on creation so relentless? Because if God is the Creator He is also the Owner and we are obligated to obey Him! Psalm 104:24 reads, “O Lord, how manifold are Your works! In wisdom have You made them all; the earth is full of Your creatures.” If God made us then we are obligated to obey Him.
There are two implications for our lives. First, we must respond to the gospel. The gospel is the good news that Jesus died for our sins. We must come to Christ for salvation. The gospel is an invitation. “Come to Me (Jesus), all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). The gospel is an announcement. “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, Who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11). The gospel is also a command. “But they have not all obeyed the gospel” (Romans 10:16). We must be saved.
Second, God is the Potter and we are the clay. Isaiah 29 and Isaiah 64 and Jeremiah 18 and Romans 9 all teach that God is the Potter. He is the Creator. We are the clay. He can do with us as He wishes. Our task is to love Him and obey Him. We know God through His Word. As we read the Bible and obey it, we know God better.
God is good and gracious. The Father sent His Son Jesus to die for us. Jesus willingly went to the cross and bore our sins. He never fails anyone. As we serve Him ways are perfect.
The right foundation makes all the difference. Let’s make certain we understand where we came from so we understand where we are going!
Ethan Hansen is a pastor at Faith Bible Fellowship in Big Lake.