Beginning and the End - Part 1

April 22, 2020

 

This Sunday (26th April 2020) we commence a new series “Beginning and the End”, during which we shall compare the opening chapters of our Bible with the closing chapters. Why? Because both Genesis and Revelation are fundamental to our understanding of the word of God, for it is on these two books that so much of that which is written on the pages in between rely. It is Genesis which provides the context of all which comes after and everything in the Bible is inseparably bound up with Genesis. It is Genesis that gives us the origin and initial explanation of all major biblical doctrines which follow.

 

Whilst preparing for this series I found this quote from Dyson Hague, Vicar and Professor of Liturgics at Wycliffe College, Toronto, Canada, who writes thus: -

 

Genesis is the plinth of the pillar of the Divine revelation. It is the root of the tree of the inspired Scriptures. It is the source of the stream of the holy writings of the Bible. If the base of the pillar is removed, the pillar falls. If the root of the tree is cut out, the tree will wither and die. If the fountain head of the stream is cut off, the stream will dry up.

 

The Bible as a whole, is like a chain hanging upon two staples. The Book of Genesis is the one staple; the Book of Revelation is the other. Take away either staple, the chain falls in confusion.

If the first chapters of Genesis are unreliable, the revelation of the beginning of the universe, the origin of the race, and the reason of its redemption are gone. If the last chapters of Revelation are displaced the consummation of all things is unknown.

 

If you take away Genesis, you have lost the explanation of the first heaven, the first earth, the first Adam, and the fall. If you take away Revelation you have lost the completed truth of the new heaven, and the new earth, man redeemed, and the second Adam in Paradise regained.

 

When I was at school, theories such as the Big Bang Theory and the Theory of Evolution were taught as if they were fact. Consequently, when I came to faith in Jesus Christ, I struggled for a time with the creation narrative. That is until it dawned on me that Christ Himself was there. The very first reference to the name of God in the first verse of Genesis is that of Elohim, which is plural. Therefore, along with God in the first, we find the Spirit in the second verse hovering over the face of the waters and in the third verse the Word, by which creation was spoken into being… and as John’s gospel informs us, that Word was Jesus Christ Who is the Word made flesh and everything that was made, was made through Him.

 

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. (John 1:1-3)

 

And so, it dawned on me that the same Jesus Who dwelt among men (Emmanuel ‘God with us’), being one and the same as Him through which everything was made, never once contradicted the creation narrative as given by Moses. Quite the opposite in fact, he relied on it as a source of spiritual truth on which He faithfully based His teaching (examples of which I shall give during Sunday’s message). As a result, we discover that Genesis does indeed, provide us with the origin and initial explanation of all major biblical doctrines which follow.

 

I would suggest that if we are to contend earnestly for our faith, then we cannot do so from a starting position of compromise. We will surely struggle to defend sound Biblical doctrine if we do not believe Genesis to be a fully reliable revelation of the beginning of the universe, the origin of race and the source explanation for man’s desperate need for a Saviour. Yet regrettably, many professing believers within the church today dismiss Genesis as being at best allegorical and at worst a fable. Any wonder that the doctrines it teaches, such as the doctrine of marriage as one notable example of many, are under such severe attack.

 

Furthermore, in regard to Revelation, though some over allegorise its teaching, the majority appear not to teach it at all. The result is that when the last chapters of Revelation are displaced, the consummation of all things is unknown and there is a deprivation of the hope it gives; a time when all things are made new, a time of return to the Eden like state in which we were created to live.

 

I hope you will join us as we begin this new series and ensure that during this time of self isolation and lockdown when we are unable to assemble together in person, that the fundamentals of our faith are fully secure and our foundations remain firm.

 

Until then,

 

May God bless you and keep you.

 

In Him

 

Ian

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