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Verses of Genesis 1

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Genesis 1:1 Commentary - Discovering Christ In Selected Books of the Bible

Chapter 1

Creation

“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”

Gen 1:1-31

In 2Co 5:17, the Apostle Paul tells us, “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature.” And the work of God in the new creation of grace is beautifully symbolized in the creation of the world. As the creation of the world was the work of God alone, so the making of men and women new creatures in Christ is the work of God alone. Let me show you three things in Genesis 1 about God’s creation. In these three things we clearly see the work of God in the new creation. The first thing revealed in the Book of God is…

The Creation Of The World.

The Word of God opens with a simple statement of fact. “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Gen 1:1). That is all we are told concerning the original creation. No argument is given to prove the existence of God. Instead, his existence is simply affirmed as a fact to be believed. Nothing is given to gratify the curious minds of men. How long did it take for God to create the world? We are not told. How old is this world? We are not told. We are simply told, “In the beginning God created.” The truth of God is simply stated as a fact to be received and understood by unquestioning faith.

“In the beginning God” - This is the foundation of all truth. All true doctrine, all true theology, all true religion begins with this - “In the beginning God.” All human religion and philosophy begin with man and work up to God. The Scriptures begin with God and work down to man.

If we are to understand salvation, we must begin with God. In the garden of Eden, Adam sinned against God and brought in death; but God was not taken by surprise. In the beginning, before ever the world was created, in anticipation of the fall, God provided his Son as “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Rev 13:8), “who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world” (1Pe 1:20).

In the new creation the sinner who is saved by grace repents, believes on the Lord Jesus Christ, and walks with him in the newness of life. But it began with God. In the beginning God chose us in Christ (Eph 1:4), and predestinated us to be his children (Eph 1:5), and today “we love him, because he first loved us” (1 John 4;19). Everything begins with God. If we understand this fact of divine revelation, we will not stray far from the truth.

The Book of Genesis is the book of beginnings. In fact, the word “genesis” means “beginning.” Someone said, “The Book of Genesis is the seed plot of the Bible.” It contains in seed form all the great doctrines and truths revealed more fully in the rest of the Inspired Volume. In the Book of Genesis…

1. God is revealed. He is revealed as the Creator-God, the Covenant Keeping God, and the Almighty God, “the Most High, possessor of heaven and earth.” From the opening verse hints are given concerning the blessed trinity and the plurality of persons in the Godhead. The very name used for God “Elohim” implies a plurality of persons in the Godhead. The phrase “Let us make man,” certainly implies a plurality of persons in the Godhead.[1]

[1] The creation of the world was a work that involved all three Persons in the Holy Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, even as the works of redemption and providence involve all three of the Divine Persons.

2. The origin and character of man is setforth. First, we see him as God’s creature, then as a fallen sinner, then as one brought back to God, finding grace in his sight, walking with God, and made the friend of God.

3. Satan’s devices are exposed. The arch-enemy of our souls, the tempter, the deceiver seeks to ruin men by calling into question the Word of God, casting doubt upon the goodness of God, and raising suspicions about the veracity of God.

4. God’s sovereign election is exhibited. God approved of Abel and rejected Cain. God chose Abram and passed by his idolatrous neighbors. God chose Isaac and rejected Ishmael. God loved Jacob and hated Esau.

5. Salvation in Christ is typically displayed. Our fallen parents, Adam and Eve, were sought and found by grace and clothed with the skins of innocent victims. In order to clothe the fallen pair, blood must be shed, the innocent victim had to die in the place of the guilty. As those innocent animals were slain for Adam and Eve, so the Lord Jesus Christ was slain for sinners that we might be robed forever in his perfect righteousnesss.

6. Justification by faith is revealed. Abraham believed God and it was counted unto him for righeousness. Faith, by believing God’s testimony concerning his Son, receives righteousness, the very righteousness of God in Christ.

7. The believer’s everlasting, infallible security in Christ is beautifully displayed .As the Lord brought Noah and his family into the ark and shut them in, so every believer, being brought into Christ by almighty grace is shut in him, sealed, preserved and kept secure by the power of God. “They shall never perish!”

This list could go on. The incarnation of Christ is prophesied. The substitutionary death of Christ is protrayed. The resurrecrtion and exaltation of Christ is symbolized. The priesthood of Christ is anticipated. And the blessings of Christ upon the Israel of God are declared. Genesis is the book of beginnings. And in this book of beginnings everything speaks of Christ. Christ is the tree of life in the midst of the garden of God. Christ is the promised Seed of the woman, who crushed the serpent’s head. Christ is the Lamb whose blood was represented in Abel’s sacrifice. Christ is the One whom Enoch believed, by whom he pleased God. Christ is the ark by which sinners are saved from the flood of God’s wrath. Christ is the Seed of promise who came from Abraham’s loins, in whom all the nations of the earth are blessed. Christ is the Lamb of sacrifice whom God provided to die in the place of his chosen. Christ is the ladder Jacob saw, by whom the blessings of God come down to men, and by whom men ascend up to God. Christ is that Priest after the order of Melchezedek, by whom God’s elect are blessed. Christ is our Joseph, ruling over all things, in whom all things are, from whom all things come. Christ is the Surety portrayed in Judah. And Christ is the Lawgiver prophesied by Jacob. In the book of beginnings, “Christ is all, and in all.”

I want all who read this lines to know Christ who is the Beginning of the creation of God. All things were made by him and for him. He is before all things. He is in all things. By him all things consist. And all things point to him. The new creation, which is our subject, begins with Christ. We must know the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the One who made all things in the beginning. And he is the One who declares, “Behold, I make all things new” (Rev 21:5).

Look at Gen 1:1 again. “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” The creation was a reflection of the Creator. In verse two, we read that the earth “was without form and void.” It certainly was not created that way (Read Isa 45:18). In its pristine beauty the earth was perfect beyond imagination. Then something happened. It became “without form and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.” In the beginning there were no groans of suffering, --no worms of corruption, --no darkness of iniquity, --and no shades of death. God reigned supreme, without rival. But then the earth became without form and void, filled with darkness. Verse two describes…

The Ruin And Confusion Of God’s Creation.

The word “was” in verse two really should be translated “became” (Strong’s Concordance). God did not create the world in a state of confusion (Isa 45:18). Between verses one and two, some terrible catastrophe took place. Perhaps the castastrophe was the fall of Satan (Isa 14:12-17; Eze 28:14-18).[2] Whatever the catastrophe was, it left the earth “without form and void,” a desolate, uninhabitable, ruined mass of confusion. We have no indication of how long an interval there was between the creation of the world as it is stated in verse one, and the ruin of the world as it is described in verse two. However, all that took place from Gen 1:3-31 transpired in six twenty-four hour days, probably less than seven thousand years ago.

[2] I am aware of the opposition of many faithful, highly esteemed expositors to this interpretation. Perhaps, there are those who embrace it as an attempt to reconcile scientific speculation with biblical revelation. That is not my purpose. I am not at all concerned about the conflicts which exist between the changing speculations of science and the facts of divine Revelation. I simply believe this to be the most accurate interpretation of the text.

“In six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is” (Exo 20:11). There is a difference between “creating” and “making”. In Gen 1:1, God created the world out of nothing. In Gen 1:2, “the earth became without form and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.” In Gen 1:3-31, God made the earth in six days, forming it and fashioning it out of that which he had created.

“Out of the chaos was brought the ‘cosmos’, which signifies order, arrangement, beauty. Out of the waters emerged the earth. A scene of desolation, darkness, and death, was transformed into one of light, life, and fertility, so that at the end all was pronounced, ‘very good’” (A. W. Pinc).

As this is a picture of the world’s history, it is also a picture of man’s history. In the beginning of time, on the sixth day, God created man. What a creature he was, created in the image and likeness of God, gloriously reflecting the very character of God. God himself said man was “very good.” He had no sinful heredity behind him, no sinful principle within him, no sinful stain upon him, and no sinful environment around him. Man and woman walked together with God in the bliss of perfection, contentment and mutual delight. Man was delighted with God and God was delighted with man.

Then a catastrophe! It is described in Genesis 3. Sin dared to raise its horrid head against God. Man defied God’s right to be God. Sin entered into the world, and death by sin. Man died. He was separated from God. The earth was cursed. It began to bring forth thorns and thistles. God’s creature became without form and void. The dark slime of the serpent corrupted the race of mankind and is now found upon the face of all the earth.. This great catastrophe, the fall, is verified in hearts of all Adam’s descendants. Man is fallen (Ecc 7:9). Man is alienated from God (Eph 4:18). Man is depraved (Jer 17:9). Man is spiritually dead (Rom 5:12).

Gen 1:2 describes the condition of fallen man. Like the earth after Satan’s fall, so man after Adam’s fall is in a state of disorder. The fallen state of man is a state of confusion. “The earth became without form.” Nothing was in harmony with God. Nothing was right. So, too, fallen man is out of kilter. Nothing in him is in harmony with God. Nothing in him is right or good. It is a state of emptiness. “The earth was void,” utterly empty, incapable of life and fruitfulness. And man without Christ is spiritually void, empty and barren, incapable of life and fruitfulness toward God. And it is a state of darkness. “Darkness was upon the face of the deep.” To be lost is to be under the power of darkness, to be under the rule of Satan, the prince of darkness. There is not one ray of spiritual light in man by nature. Fallen man has absolute no spiritual knowledge or understanding. Until he is born again, man cannot see, know, or understand anything spiritual (1Co 2:14-16; Joh 3:3; Joh 3:5). The rest of this chapter (Gen 1:3-31) describes…

The Restoration Of God’s Creation.

I will not attempt to explain the meaning of every verse. That is not my purpose in this study. I will simply point out the spiritual significance of these verses. The order followed by God in restoring the physical creation is the same order followed by God in the new creation, in the restoration of fallen man by his almighty grace. The work of God in the restoration of his creation corresponds exactly to the experience of a believer. Here are seven works performed by God in the restoration of his creation which pictures his work of grace in the believer.

“And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters” (Gen 1:2). The earth, no doubt, moved in its orbit and rotated upon its own axis, but its motions could not mend it. It had to be moved upon by the Spirit of God. Otherwise, it would forever remain “without form and void.” Even so, regeneration is not accomplished by the works of man or the motions of the heart, but by the working of God the Holy Spirit. The new birth is not an evolution, but a creation. “It is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy” (Rom 9:16). “It is the Spirit tht quickeneth; the flesh profitteth nothing” (Joh 6:63). The new birth is not accomplished by man’s movement toward God, but by God’s movement toward and upon the heart of man.

“And God said, Let there be light; and there was light” (Gen 1:3). Mark this down - If the Spirit of God moves upon a man it is by the Word of God. No less than ten times in this chapter we read these words, “and God said.” God will not work apart from his Word. Without question, God could have refashioned and restored the earth without speaking a word. But he did not do so. His purposes were worked out and his counsels were fulfilled by his word. Light came and was produced by the word of God. These two things are inseparably joined together - The ministry of the Holy Spirit and the ministry of the Word of God. The Word of God is the power of God (Rom 1:16). The Word of God is the source of spiritual light (2Co 4:6). The Word of God is the seed of life (Jas 1:18; 1Pe 1:23-25). The Word of God is the conveyor of faith (Rom 10:17). The Word of God is the means of grace and salvation (1Co 1:23; 1Ti 4:16). “And this is the Word which by the gospel is preached unto you” (1Pe 1:25).

“And God divided the light from the darkness” (Gen 1:4). As God separated the light from the darkness in the old creation, so he separates the light from the darkness in the new creation. “Ye are the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness” (1Th 5:5). The Word of God, by the power of the Holy Spirit working in the new man, divides between the soul and the spirit, separates the spiritual from the carnal (2Co 6:14-18). Those who are born of God know light from darkness. And they walk in the light as he is in the light (1Jn 1:5-7).

“And God said, Let the earth bring forth fruit” (Gen 1:11). Where there is the work of the Spirit, the Word of God and the light of grace, there will be fruit unto God (Gal 5:22-23). This fruit is the result of a condition, not an effort. It is the result of what we are, not of what we do. The fruit of Christ in us is Christ likeness. Those who are born of God bear fruit after his kind. The seed within bears fruit after its kind on the earth. Apples produce apples. Grapes produce grapes. And grace produces grace. The grace of God working in a man gives him a new, gracious character; and that character is seen in his conduct (Eph 4:17 to Eph 5:21).

“And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of heaven…to give light upon the earth” (Gen 1:14-15). The lights must be above the earth if they are to shine upon it. Like the lights in the heavens, all who are are born of God have been raised above the earth. “Ye are the light of the world” (Mat 5:14). As the moon reflects the light of the sun, let us see that we reflect the light of Christ in this world (Mat 5:16). This is something we must do. Good works are the only lights by which the world sees Christ in his people. Let us be careful to maintain them (Eph 2:10; Titl. Gen 3:8). Let this be clearly understood. We are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. Good works have absolutely nothing to do with salvation. And that salvation which is wrought of God always produces good works (Eph 2:8-10).

“God created man in his own image” (Gen 1:27). Here is the climax of the Creator’s power. God made man in his own likeness; and he made him out of the soil of the earth, even the earth which had become “without form and void.” Yet, there is a work even greater than the work of creation. In the new creation the God of all grace creates sinners new in Christ (2Co 5:17; Gal 6:15; Col 3:10). God takes men and women who are utterly “without form and void” spiritually and makes them exact replicas of his Son. When God has finished his work in us, we will be exact replicas of the Lord Jesus Christ (Rom 8:28-29). Imagine that!

And God blessed the man he had made and gave him dominion over all his creation (Gen 1:29-31). Those who are born of God are blessed of God (Eph 1:3). “All things are yours, for ye are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.” And one day soon God shall put all things under our feet even as he has put all things under the feet of his dear Son (Heb 2:6-9; Rom 16:20). Then the purpose of God shall be fulfilled. Then God shall be all in all! Then the Sabbath, then God our Savior shall have finished his work.

Until we are one with Christ we are out of harmony with God’s creation. But all who come to Christ, all who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, all who are reconciled to God in his dear Son are new creatures in Christ, in harmony with God, with his purpose, with his providence, with his creation.

Verses of Genesis 1

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Consult other comments:

Genesis 1:1 - Albert Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Genesis 1:1 - Joseph Benson’s Commentary on the Old and New Testaments

Genesis 1:1 - Calvin's Complete Commentary

Genesis 1:1 - The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges

Genesis 1:1 - B.H. Carroll's An Interpretation of the English Bible

Genesis 1:1 - Through the Bible Commentary

Genesis 1:1 - Adam Clarke's Commentary and Critical Notes on the Bible

Genesis 1:1 - Commentary on the Holy Bible by Thomas Coke

Genesis 1:1 - College Press Bible Study Textbook Series

Genesis 1:1 - Companion Bible Notes, Appendices and Graphics

Genesis 1:1 - James Gray's Concise Bible Commentary

Genesis 1:1 - Expository Notes of Dr. Constable (Old and New Testaments)

Genesis 1:1 - Expositors Bible Commentary

Genesis 1:1 - Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers (Old and New Testaments)

Genesis 1:1 - Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures

Genesis 1:1 - Expositor's Dictionary of Text by Robertson

Genesis 1:1 - F. B. Hole's Old and New Testaments Commentary

Genesis 1:1 - F.B. Meyer's Through the Bible Commentary

Genesis 1:1 - Discovering Christ In Selected Books of the Bible

Genesis 1:1 - Gaebelein's Annotated Bible (Commentary)

Genesis 1:1 - Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary

Genesis 1:1 - Gary Hampton Commentary on Selected Books

Genesis 1:1 - Geneva Bible Notes

Genesis 1:1 - John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Genesis 1:1 - Grant's Commentary on the Bible

Genesis 1:1 - The Great Texts of the Bible

Genesis 1:1 - Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary (Old and New Testaments)

Genesis 1:1 - Matthew Henry's Whole Bible Commentary

Genesis 1:1 - Biblical Illustrator Edited by Joseph S. Exell

Genesis 1:1 - Jamieson, Fausset and Brown's Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Genesis 1:1 - Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament

Genesis 1:1 - The Popular Commentary on the Bible by Kretzmann

Genesis 1:1 - A Commentary on the Holy Scriptures, Critical, Doctrinal, and Homiletical by Lange

Genesis 1:1 - Neighbour's Wells of Living Water

Genesis 1:1 - Mackintosh's Notes on the Pentateuch

Genesis 1:1 - An Exposition on the Whole Bible

Genesis 1:1 - Church Pulpit Commentary

Genesis 1:1 - Grant's Numerical Bible Notes and Commentary

Genesis 1:1 - The People's Bible by Joseph Parker

Genesis 1:1 - Peake's Commentary on the Bible

Genesis 1:1 - Commentary Series on the Bible by Peter Pett

Genesis 1:1 - English Annotations on the Holy Bible by Matthew Poole

Genesis 1:1 - The Preacher's Complete Homiletical Commentary Edited by Joseph S. Exell

Genesis 1:1 - The Complete Pulpit Commentary

Genesis 1:1 - The Bible of the Expositor and the Evangelist by Riley

Genesis 1:1 - The Sermon Bible

Genesis 1:1 - Spurgeon's Verse Expositions of the Bible

Genesis 1:1 - Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments

Genesis 1:1 - John Trapp's Complete Commentary (Old and New Testaments)

Genesis 1:1 - The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Genesis 1:1 - You Can Understand the Bible: Study Guide Commentary Series by Bob Utley

Genesis 1:1 - Whedon's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments

Discovering Christ In Selected Books of the Bible