Sunday School Notes 9-13-2015

God as Creator

Genesis 1

Opening Questions

  • Why do you think Genesis 1 was written?
    • What questions does it answer?
    • What audience is asking these questions?

Genesis 1:1-5 (HCSB)

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness covered the surface of the watery depths, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day,” and He called the darkness “night.” Evening came and then morning: the first day.

Who was the audience of this creation story?

  • The Israelites after being slaves in Egypt.
    • In Egypt, people worshipped lots of gods and the Hebrew people (the Israelites) worshipped the Hebrew God: Yahweh.
    • What questions do you think the Israelites had about who God was?
      • Is our God really the true God?
      • Is He really greater than all of Egypt’s gods?
    • In our culture, do we ask the same question?
        • Is our God the true God, or is the true god the god of Islam, the gods of Hinduism? Am I actually my own god? Does religion matter at all?
        • Genesis 1 seeks to answer this question for the Israelites, and for us.

Scripture claims that there was a beginning and that God was actively present in the beginning. Why might this be important?

  • In the Egyptian creation myth, all of the gods were created: beginning with Nu’ who was the dark waters of chaos.[1]
    • Genesis 1 claims that God was present at the beginning, meaning that He had no beginning; He just is.
    • Genesis 1 also claims that God actively created everything for a purpose!
  • After reading the Egyptian creation myth, we are left asking, where did the water come from and how did the hill come up out of the water?
    • Most importantly, it begs the question: How can the Egyptian gods be true gods if they were created?
    • Scripture answers this question by implying that God, the true God, never began to exist. He is the starting point for all of creation.

What are some other things you notice in Genesis 1 that speak to the nature of God?

  • God alone created everything. When we think about it, the true God would not need help with creation. There only needs to be one true God.
  • When God created everything, it was good.
    • Some things that came from the Egyptian gods were not good.
    • People were not good much of the time.
    • The true God would be the standard for what is good and we would have no way to measure good and bad without a standard.
    • God is good, that is why His creation was good.
  • God created humanity in His own image.
    • The true God would not need slaves because He would be self-sufficient.
    • He would not need people to worship Him or even please Him.
    • Thus, God created people for relationship. He created us to be like Him (v. 27).
      • This means that a true God would not need us to act in judgment, condemning others.
      • This also means that we cannot earn a place with God, it must be given as a gift from God.
        • Because of all this, the God of the Bible is the only candidate.

Questions for class discussion

  • Is it possible that there are no gods at all?
    • If there is no God, there can be no creation (something cannot come from nothing).
    • If there is no God, where do our standards for good and evil come from? (there can be no such distinctions without God)
  • How old is the universe, and what about evolution?
    • Genesis 1 was not written to answer these questions.
    • There seems to be room to speculate on both questions, though I have to seriously doubt most evolutionary theories present today.[2]
  • Why does it matter who the true God is?
    • Because if we were created, we were created for a purpose.
    • If we have a purpose, we ought to know what that purpose is.
    • An inventor doesn’t create something without purpose, neither would anything be created without purpose.

[1] http://www.ancient.eu/Egyptian_Mythology/

[2] I believe that Genesis 1 is a literal account of how God created the world; but no one can deny the Genesis 1 account simply because he/she believes in one theory of evolution or another.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s