Monday, September 20, 2010

OTC Day 1: Genesis 1-2

In the beginning there was . . . community. Before God began the work of creating the earth, sun, moon, stars, seas, and all the critters, the Father was there in perfect community with the Son and the Spirit. The idea that God created us because He was lonely and needy is a great heresy. God did not create us to enable Him to experience community, but, rather, so He could share the joy that flows from the three-in-one community of the Trinity.

We see this in Genesis 1:26 - “Let us make man in our image . . . “. This means that God exists in perfect community. Each person of the Trinity is known to the others perfectly and completely, and we are created to mirror that. Therefore, we were created to know each other and God without hiding and pretending.

In the first two chapters of Genesis, everything that God did was good. He created Adam with his hands, getting them dirty while shaping Adam rather than simply speaking from afar. God put him in a garden to meet all his physical needs and gave him the job of cultivating it to give his life purpose. He walked and talked with God face to face, so his spiritual needs were fulfilled. Still, something was missing: Adam was alone and that was not good (Gen. 2:18). God was aware of that, even if He had to help Adam see it (Gen. 2:19-20).

We have been created for community: to know both God and our fellow men. Tragically, our culture teaches us that anyone who needs either of these is weak. It tells us to be a self-made man. Be tough, strong, a rock. Never let your guard down. Never ask for help. Pull yourself up by your own bootstraps. This way of living is opposed to how God designed us. We were created to connect with God and others.

I hope to accomplish many things on this journey. I hope you learn the character of God, the work of Jesus, and the truth about yourself. I want you to discover the excitement of hearing God through the Bible, but I also want you to experience fellowship with others who are part of God’s family.

Some of you are thinking, “I’ve got the Bible and I’ve got the Old Testament Challenge book. That’s all I need.” I hope that you’ll understand that God has designed you with other people in mind. Take this challenge to get involved in a Community Group and journey with others for these nine weeks. Don’t try to do it alone. You miss the benefits of community and others miss your input.

Find a Community Group and get involved in the journey.

1. What does John 1:1-3 add to your perception of Genesis 1:1-3 and 1:26? What is Jesus’ role in creation? How does this help you understand the idea that God existed in perfect community as the Trinity? What about Genesis 1:2?

2. According to Romans 1:20-25 and Hebrews 11:1-3, what should be our response to God’s self-revelation in the created order? What are the consequences for refusing to praise our Creator?

3. How do you feel when you hear that you were made in the image of God? Does knowing this help you feel better about yourself? Why or why not? How should this affect your relationship with God? With other people?

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