The Creation – Genesis 1

The first chapter of Genesis has been the cause of much controversy in more recent years. The assertions of science so-called, and the various schools of thought concerning the historical interpretation, have been so strongly advanced and argued about, that the church seems to have been put on the defensive and its lessons ignored. We accept that the scriptural facts must be correct because they come from God who cannot lie, but if we do not understand them in the light of present knowledge, we ought at least to understand that the implied spiritual truths both in this chapter and the rest of Scripture far outweigh the importance of understanding historical facts. All Scripture was given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine reproof, correction and instruction in righteousness.

Paul refers to Genesis 1. 3-5 in 2 Corinthians 4. 6, and connects it with the revelation of Christ giving light in our hearts, and again he refers to it in Ephesians 5. 8, but this time he connects it with believers having come from darkness into light. The early verses of Genesis 1 in actual fact give a summary of man’s relationship with God (as seen by Him), from Adam to the cross. In verse 1 we see a new creation, which according to Ecclesiastes 3. 11 had been made beautiful; yet in verse 2 we see anything but beauty on earth, all being darkness and emptiness. Nevertheless, it is not without hope, for the Spirit is seen moving over the face of the waters until the command rings out, “Let there be light”. Is it not true that God created Adam in His own image and likeness, but what do we see down through the centuries, but darkness and emptiness, until God, sending His Son into the world, gave light to it?

The bringing in of light which started at Bethlehem has been going on ever since, so that the words of Paul in Ephesians 5. 8 are true of all ages during the dispensation of grace. Truths concerning the church are here, as in all other parts of the Scriptures. Let us look at the daily progression.

Day 1. The first step out of darkness, emptiness and chaos is the giving of light. Having light, and giving light, are not the same thing, as can be illustrated by the children of Israel in Egypt. When the plague of darkness engulfed Egypt, the children of God were still in light, but they were anything but shining lights to the Egyptians. The action of light is immediately to cause a division. Light must cause a separation from darkness, for the two cannot live together, and when the light of the Saviour shines into the heart of a sinner, darkness has to flee.

Day 2. After light, comes an atmosphere which is called heaven. Just as light causes a division, so does this atmosphere. This time it is between that which was above from that which was below. Only believers appreciate the firmament above - what bliss is produced by the Lord in the hearts of those He has saved. Truly it can only be likened to a heaven on earth, which God makes known to the saint, but which is not understood by the sinner.

Day 3. At the command of the Lord, the waters are gathered together in one place, and the land is gathered together into another, so that it rises out of the waters and is dry. In the midst of the restlessness of the world, since Pentecost are to be found areas of stability forming the church. The movement gathers together in one place that which was spread out all over the waters. At the same time comes activity on the land. There is to be growth and production of fruit of all kinds. There was one restriction; only that which had seed within itself was produced. The first activity of the church relates to growth and the formation of fruit, but the fruit corresponds to that which is in itself, the fruit of the Spirit.

Day 4. Now comes the making of the two great lights; previously there had just been light, but now comes the giving of light, through the greater light that rules the day and the lesser light that rules the night. Whilst the Lord Jesus was on earth it was day, but then the night came and the church was left to give light to the world. The lesser light, of course, has no light of its own; it can only reflect the light that rules the day. The witness that the church gives to the world is not of itself. It can only reflect the light of the glory of Christ, and it can only do that when it makes much of the glory of His person.

Day 5. It is only now that further movement comes from the waters.

Making for the land, there is an abundant harvest of living creatures great and small, having the freedom of the air. After the witness given by the church to the world, there is to be an in-gathering of souls in an abundant harvest. People who are experiencing the liberty of grace as bondslaves of the Lord, being gathered together out of the world into the church, give increase and richness.

Day 6. In contrast to the sea bringing forth living creatures, the earth is now to bring forth others. These living creatures are of a higher order altogether. It is not enough for the church by witness to produce living creatures out of the world. The church itself has to grow and bear fruit, ever climbing on to a higher plane of spirituality until it comes to a perfect man; cf. Eph. 4. 12-16. There is coming a day when the Father shall head up all things in Christ, and the church shall reign with Him in full maturity.

Day 7. With everything consummated, all that is left is a rest, which for the Church will stretch through the eternal ages in everlasting life.

Here, then, very briefly are some spiritual truths suggested by the creation story. It sets the divine order of things in the will of the Lord, pronounced by Him as good. In the universal Church, these things will be seen to be so. It ought also to be so in the local church, for the order and progress have been divinely instituted by the Lord Himself. Light and a heavenly atmosphere lead to the gathering together of believers. Then before witness can be effectually made there has to be the production of fruit, so that the effect of both will bring others out of the world into the Church, where there will be continual * growth into spiritual maturity.


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