Sermon title: The Creation Account—Believable, Not a Myth

Genesis 1:1-13

Immanuel Baptist Church – Sunday, August 15, 2021

 

 

Over the course of a couple of years

our sermons have taken us through the Gospels

and through the Acts of the Apostles.

 

So, now seems like a good time

to go back to the beginning.

 

Not the beginning of the Gospels again,

but the very beginning of the Bible,

the book of Genesis.

 

More than any other portion of the Bible,

the book of Genesis has been dismissed

as a collection of myths and fairytales—

not just by atheists and non-believers,

but also by many who

consider themselves to be Christian.

 

There are some professed Christians

who reject other parts of the Bible—

small segments or large portions.

 

And there are some who reject most of the Bible.

 

In fact, I recall a man in a nearby town

who was a life-long church-goer and church member,

who told me he believes only the words of Jesus

displayed in red letters in his red-letter Bible.

 

But, of course, the problem with rejecting

other parts of the Bible like that

is that people often reject parts that Jesus

quoted or cited as God’s truth.

 

If you reject those parts of the Bible,

then you are rejecting Jesus,

because Jesus affirmed those parts as true.

 

For example, Jesus quoted Exodus, Leviticus, Deuteronomy,

Hosea, Isaiah, Daniel, Micah, Malachi, Zechariah,

and several of the Psalms.

 

And Jesus mentioned as historical facts the portions

of Genesis most often dismissed as myths.

 

When discussing marriage,

Jesus quotes from the 1st 2 chapters of Genesis

concerning the creation of Adam and Eve.

 

Jesus refers to Adam and Eve’s son Abel,

whom his brother Cain killed,as the first martyr.

 

And Jesus refers to the time of his Second Coming

as being like the Flood of Noah’s day.

 

Anyone who rejects those parts of Genesis as myths

implies that Jesus didn’t know

what he was talking about

when he cited them as historical facts.

 

If we believe that Jesus is

the Way and the Truth and the Life”

as he said at John 14:6,

then we must believe what he said about

the Genesis accounts of Creation and the Flood

is truth.

 

So, let’s look at the Creation account

found in the Bible’s opening words,

beginning with Genesis 1:1.

It says,

 

1 In the beginning,

God created the heavens and the earth.

2 The earth was without form and void,

and darkness was over

the face of the deep.

 

And the Spirit of God was hovering

over the face of the waters.

 

3 And God said, “Let there be light,”

and there was light.

 

4 And God saw that the light was good.

 

And God separated the light

from the darkness.

 

5 God called the light Day,

and the darkness he called Night.

 

And there was evening

and there was morning, the first day.

 

6 And God said, “Let there be

an expanse in the midst of the waters,

and let it separate the waters

from the waters.”

 

7 And God made the expanse and

separated the waters that were under

the expanse from the waters

that were above the expanse.

 

And it was so.

8 And God called the expanse Heaven.

And there was evening and

there was morning, the second day.

 

9 And God said,

“Let the waters under the heavens

be gathered together into one place,

and let the dry land appear.”

And it was so.

 

10 God called the dry land Earth,

and the waters that were

gathered together he called Seas.

And God saw that it was good.

 

11 And God said, “Let the earth sprout

vegetation, plants yielding seed, and

fruit trees bearing fruit in which is

their seed, each according to its kind,

on the earth.”

And it was so.

12 The earth brought forth vegetation,

plants yielding seed according to

their own kinds, and trees bearing

fruit in which is their seed, each

according to its kind.

And God saw that it was good.

 

13 And there was evening and there

was morning, the third day.

 

14 And God said, “Let there be lights

in the expanse of the heavens

to separate the day from the night.

And let them be for signs and for

seasons, and for days and years,

15 and let them be lights in the

expanse of the heavens to give light

upon the earth.”

And it was so.

 

16 And God made the two great lights—

the greater light to rule the day

and the lesser light to rule the night

—and the stars.

17 And God set them in the expanse of

the heavens to give light on the earth,

18 to rule over the day and over the

night, and to separate the light

from the darkness.

And God saw that it was good.

19 And there was evening and there

was morning, the fourth day.

 

20 And God said, “Let the waters swarm

with swarms of living creatures,

and let birds fly above the earth

across the expanse of the heavens.”

 

21 So God created the great

sea creatures and every living creature

that moves, with which the waters swarm,

according to their kinds, and every

winged bird according to its kind.

And God saw that it was good.

 

22 And God blessed them, saying,

“Be fruitful and multiply and fill the

waters in the seas, and let birds

multiply on the earth.”

23 And there was evening and there

was morning, the fifth day.

 

24 And God said, “Let the earth bring

forth living creatures according to

their kinds—livestock and creeping

things and beasts of the earth

according to their kinds.”

And it was so.

 

25 And God made the beasts of the

earth according to their kinds and

the livestock according to their kinds,

and everything that creeps on the

ground according to its kind.

And God saw that it was good.

 

26 Then 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 birds of

the heavens and over the livestock

and over all the earth and over

every creeping thing that creeps

on the earth.”

 

27 So God created man in his own image,

in the image of God he created him;

male and female he created them.

 

28 And God blessed them.

And God said to them, “Be fruitful

and multiply and fill the earth and

subdue it, and have dominion over the

fish of the sea and over the birds of

the heavens and over every living

thing that moves on the earth.”

 

Wow!

 

That is one of the most beautiful passages

in the whole Bible.

 

It wraps into just a few words

how God created everything we see around us,

and even our own human ancestors.

 

It’s also one of the most disputed passages in the Bible,

ridiculed and rejected by unbelievers,

and pointed to as unscientific myth.

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When we seek to answer those objections,

it’s helpful to realize that it is speaking

from the viewpoint of the surface of the earth

where we live.

In the beginning,

God created the heavens and the earth.

 

And then, from that verse onward,

it discusses how God prepared the surface of the earth

to be our home.

 

“Let there be light” signifies that God

cleared up the primitive atmosphere

to allow light to reach the surface of the earth.

 

But the atmosphere was still so thick

that you couldn’t make out the sun, moon and stars,

if you looked up from below.

 

You could just see darkness at night and light by day.

 

It wasn’t until the 4th day of Creation that God

cleared up the atmosphere enough

so that you could make out the sun, moon and stars

from below.

 

“God set them in the expanse of

the heavens” on the 4th day,

so they could be seen from below.

 

We can better understand that, if we appreciate

how the Hebrew word for “heavens”

is used in the Bible.

 

Heaven can refer to the earth’s atmosphere,

the sky above us where eagles and hawks

soar, looking for prey.

Above that is the heaven where the stars and planets are,

along with the sun and the moon.

 

And still above that is the highest heaven

where we find the holy angels and God on his throne.

 

At 2 Corinthians 12:2 the Apostle Paul wrote,

 

I know a man in Christ who

fourteen years ago was caught up

to the third heaven—whether in the body

or out of the body I do not know,

God knows.

 

That “third heaven”—

above the heaven where the birds fly,

and above the heaven where the stars and planets are—

that “third heaven” would be the heaven

where we find God’s throne.

 

And Deuteronomy 10:14 says,

according to some translations,

Behold, to the Lord your God belong

heaven and the heaven of heavens,

the earth with all that is in it.

 

Or, as some other translations put it,

 

Behold, the heavens

and the highest of heavens

belong to the Lord your God,

the earth and all that is in it.

 

That can help us understand how God could say,

“Let there be light” on the First Day,

resulting in Day and Night,

as seen from the surface of the earth

when he cleared up the atmosphere

to allow light to reach the surface of the earth.

 

But the atmosphere was still so thick

that you couldn’t make out the sun, moon and stars,

if you looked up from below.

 

It wasn’t until the 4th day of Creation that

“God set them in the expanse of

the heavens.”

That “expanse” of the heavens was the part of the sky

between the waters on the surface of the earth

and the waters above the expanse.

On the 4th day God cleared up the atmosphere enough

so that you could make out

the sun, moon and stars

in that lower “expanse” of the heavens.

 

There is no contradiction or confusion

about what happened on the 1st and 4th Days

if we understand the way

the Bible uses the word “heavens.”

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Notice, too, that the Bible agrees with modern science

on the sequence or order

of 7 significant events.

 

First, the whole earth was covered with water.

2nd, dry land appeared.

 

3rd, vegetation appeared.

 

4th, fish and other sea creatures appeared.

 

5th, birds appeared.

 

6th, land animals appeared.

 

7th, humans appeared.

 

Now, ignore for a moment whether these events

happened over a few 24-hour days,

or a few thousand-year days,

or a few million years.

 

Let’s just look for a moment

at the order or sequence of these events:

water,

dry land,

vegetation,

sea creatures,

birds,

land animals,

and humans—

in that precise order.

 

Modern science and the Bible both agree

that this was the order or sequence of these 7 events.

 

We Christians would expect that agreement,

because the same God who inspired the Bible

was the Creator who performed those 7 events

in that order,

and he had it written down in Genesis.

 

But atheistic scientists think the Bible

was a product of the imagination

of primitive people who didn’t know anything

about where life and the earth came from.

 

So, those primitive people would have had to

just make a lucky guess

that those 7 things happened in that precise order.

 

But, what are the odds of some primitive writer of Genesis

just guessing the correct order of those events?

 

Water,

dry land,

vegetation,

sea creatures,

birds,

land animals,

and humans

are 7 different items.

 

The odds of guessing that water came first

would be 1 out of 7.

 

After guessing that right,

the odds of guessing that dry land was

next out of the remaining 6 would be 1 out of 6.

 

So, the odds of guessing the first 2 in the correct order

would be 1 out of 7x6, or 1 chance out of 42.

 

The odds of guessing the first 3 in correct order—

water, then dry land, then vegetation—

would be 1 out of 7x6x5, or 1 chance out of 210.

 

Continuing to figure the math for all 7 of these events,

shows the odds of guessing all 7 in the correct order

would be 1 out of 7x6x5x4x3x2,

or 1 chance out of 5,040.

 

So, if the Bible’s Creation account were just a myth,

made up from the imagination of primitive people,

how did they happen to list these 7 events

in the same order modern science observes?

 

The chances are less than 1 out of 5,000

that they could guess the correct order of events.

 

That really makes it virtually impossible

for the Genesis account to be someone’s lucky guess.

 

Rather, these facts point to the Bible’s Creation account

being inspired by the Creator himself—

the One was there from the beginning, and

whose power caused these things to happen

in that order or sequence.

 

The writer of Genesis was inspired by the Almighty God

who himself said,

 

“Let the waters swarm

with swarms of living creatures,

and let birds fly above the earth

across the expanse of the heavens.”

 

And who said,

 

“Let the earth bring

forth living creatures according to

their kinds.”

 

Our God accomplished these acts of Creation,

and he inspired the writer of Genesis

to write them down in the correct order.

 

Yes, the Bible is inspired by God from beginning to end—

from the Genesis Creation account

that documents the beginning of this world

to the prophecies in the Apocalypse or Revelation

that mark the end of this world.

 

The closer we look at the Bible,

the more evidence we find that it is true

from beginning to end.

 

And the more reason we have

to put faith in Jesus Christ

and everything the Bible says about him.

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But, what about the dinosaurs?

 

That’s an objection people often raise against

the Bible’s creation account.

 

So, next week we’ll look at

what the Bible says about the dinosaurs.

 

But I’ll give you a clue right now:

 

The word “dinosaur” wasn’t invented until 1841,

so, the Bible used other words

when speaking of the dinosaurs.

 

We’ll see what they were next week.