The Beginning of Our Faith and All Things.

This year’s theme is “By Faith.” Hebrews 11 lists many of the faith-filled saints we will meet as we walk through the book of Genesis in 2014. The faith they exemplify is saving faith – faith that turns from sin and looks only to Christ for salvation. We can mirror their character in this dark world as they mirrored Jesus’ character for us. As they faced various afflictions, so we too will endure for the fame of His name.

Introduction to Genesis

Genesis is not primarily a book of scientific evidences. Debates about evidences and proofs for Creation are not the greatest need of souls in our world – they need first and only need to know Jesus. Genesis is primarily a book of faith.

The name of the book means “beginnings.” Genesis begins the universal stories of the earth, people, and salvation. It introduces the revelation of doctrines such as the doctrine of God, mankind, sin, the nations, and salvation. The seeds of these doctrines are planted in Genesis, and God’s redemptive plan is progressively revealed in more detail through the whole Bible.

The author of Genesis is historically and traditionally understood to be Moses. The Pentateuch itself (Genesis through Deuteronomy), Jesus Christ, and other New Testament writers attest to Moses’ authorship.

Outline of Genesis

Most Bible commentators divide Genesis into two large sections – chapters 1-11 and chapters 12-50. G. Campbell Morgan splits the book into 3 simple sections.

  1. Generation (chapters 1-2)
    How things began.
  2. Degeneration (chapters 3-11)
    How things went wrong after the Fall.

  3. Regeneration (chapters 12-50)
    How God set His plan of redemption into motion.

Why is Genesis Important to Study?

As stated above, many doctrines are introduced in Genesis. It serves as the source and foundation for the rest of the Scriptures and is frequently referenced by later writers. Genesis 3:15 contains God’s first promise of a coming Savior. Genesis 12:3 and 49:10 reveal more details of Israel’s future hope.

As with all of God’s Word, the book of Genesis sheds light on contemporary events. The struggle in the Middle East, for example, is explained by the story of Isaac and Ishmael in Genesis.

Genesis is important to preach as well as to study for at least 3 reasons:

  • It is an inspired and preserved Word of God, not merely scientific.

  • It is vital for knowing God. Much of God’s character is revealed in Genesis.

  • It is an authentic historical record.

Application Points

  • Personal Bible study can greatly enrich our corporate study of Genesis this year. Consider reading through Genesis in your own devotional time, or purchasing a guided study or a commentary. By Pastor Tim’s recommendation, G. Campbell Morgan’s The Analyzed Bible would be a good investment in your personal Bible study. More Info

  • How do you approach the “Creation debate”? What is your attitude towards those who don’t believe as you do? Remember that proofs don’t save. Evidences are not to be used as evangelistic tools. Our aim when sharing with any unbeliever should be to show them Jesus, who can meet their greatest need. Is this at the forefront of your mind when relating to lost people? Contrary to some evangelical belief, our goal is not to reform the culture but to preach repentance.

Tools for Further Study

Cross References to Explore:
  • 2 Samuel 7:14-16, Micah 5:2 – More progressive revelation of the Messiah, who he is and why he is coming.
Quotes to Ponder:

There can scarcely be another part of Scripture over which so many battles, theological, scientific, historic, and literary, have been fought, or so many strong opinions cherished.

-- Derek Kidner

The other writings of the Bible are inseparably bound up with Genesis, inasmuch as it gives us the origin and initial explanation of all that follows. The major themes of Scripture may be compared to great rivers, even deepening and broadening as they flow. And it is true to say that all these rivers have their rise in the watershed of Genesis – or, to use an equally appropriate figure, as the massive trunk and wide-spreading branches of the oak are in the acorn. So, by implication and anticipation, all Scripture is in Genesis.

The Bible is an account of God’s activity in history. As such, it must have a beginning. The book of Genesis gives us our historical point of reference from which all subsequent revelation proceeds.

We are immersed in secular culture, bombarded with an ever-increasing vitriol and hatred. In bestselling books such as The GodDelusion, God is not Great, Breaking the Spell, and The End of Faith, well-known atheists are advocating an all-out cultural war to remove any vestige of Christianity from the public arena. Christians are blatantly branded as the enemy, a scourge to be eliminated.

Evangelicals are slipping more and more deeply into hybrid theologies and doctrines that seek the praise of man rather than the praise of God.

The Emerging Church movement has Christianized the damnable error that absolute truth does not exist, and it is leading hordes of seekers into the mouth of Hell. Popular Christian Rob Bell is preaching that Love Wins in his book about the ultimate salvation of all humanity no matter whether they know Christ or not. Peter Enns, known for his disbelief in biblical truth such as a literal Adam and Eve, a literal Fall, and the historical accuracy of Genesis, etc., has just published a Bible curriculum for homeschool children.

Darrel Falk and a growing number of fellows in the BioLogos Foundation are insisting that the idea of an inerrant Bible is foolish and that Creation by evolution is the best way to understand God’s message in Genesis.

How can we break this powerful onslaught against God and His people? May I humbly suggest that we teach our people Genesis, beginning with God and the fame of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

-- Dr. Henry Morris (Read more)

A Hymn to Encourage: “My Hope is Built on Nothing Less”

My hope is built on nothing less
than Jesus' blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
but wholly lean on Jesus' name.

On Christ the solid rock I stand,
all other ground is sinking sand;
all other ground is sinking sand.

When Darkness veils his lovely face,
I rest on his unchanging grace.
In every high and stormy gale,
my anchor holds within the veil.

His oath, his covenant, his blood
supports me in the whelming flood.
When all around my soul gives way,
he then is all my hope and stay.

When he shall come with trumpet sound,
O may I then in him be found!
Dressed in his righteousness alone,
faultless to stand before the throne!

The Analyzed Bible by G. Campbell Morgan