If you’ve ever watched NCIS or crime scene investigation shows like it, you know that what the investigators do is try to gather all the evidence they can for making an effective case as to what happened at the crime scene. Since they weren’t there when the crime took place, they try to reconstruct the scene and course of events from the evidence they have in the present, usually involving key witnesses.
The same thought process can be carried out in the debate about our origins and the history of the universe. The present evidence is going to give us clues about what happened in the past. The past determines the present and not the present, the past. And because God was actually there at the His creation of the world, we can trust His witness in the Bible to give us an accurate record of what took place. This is one of the reasons that evolutionary scientists are always changing their minds about the past and God’s account stays the same. He was there and He knows. Evolutionists were not and thus are guessing and making ever-changing assertions.
I guess after going out to Kentucky recently and visiting The Ark Encounter that the Answers in Genesis ministry has marvelously and miraculously put together (you should check it out sometime! It’s worth it!), it has me all fired up to get back to get back to Genesis because Genesis explains the present reality! It explains this universe and all areas of life. It explains who we are, why we are the way that we are, why this world is the way that it is, and how we should live in it. In Genesis, we find the foundations of all Christian doctrine. As one man, Del Tackett, said,
“Nothing in the world makes sense except in light of Genesis.”
Think about these big questions: Where did this world come from? Did we evolve or were we created? Why did Christ die? Who are we? Why do wear clothes? Why is abortion wrong? Why is lying wrong? Is it okay to eat meat? Why are there so many languages? Why do we have human government? Why do we get married? Where did this Jewish nation of Israel come from? Is there an answer to racism? All of these, and more, can be answered by understanding the Genesis record!
This is important because our belief about the past is going to determine how we live today and we should want to know why we do what we do. We should also want to be able to give reasonable and logical answers to those who have questions about the Christian worldview. We should want to be able to answer our kids with foundational reasons as to why we are raising them the way we are. Many kids have rebelled against God as their Creator and Redeemer because they simply weren’t given reasons as to why they should believe in the first place.
As one girl, Lisa Baker at age 20 said,
“All I want is reality. Show me God. Tell me what He is really like. Help me to understand why life is the way it is and how I can experience it more fully and with greater joy. I don’t want empty promises.
You see, for young people like Lisa, we need to not just be able to tell her what to believe, but why she should believe it.
More than one teenage daughter has been told to change her clothes and put on something a little more modest before going out of the house. The typical response from the teenager is, “Ugh… why?! What’s wrong with my clothing?” And the typical response is something along the lines of, “Because that’s just what we do as Christians.” Responses like these are an unreasonable response. Quite often, because we don’t really know why, we’ll even get defensive and threatening. A better response would be to have them change, and tell them you will sit down with them later and explain from Genesis why we even wear clothes in the first place. With the path that our LGBTQ+ culture is on, we’re going to have to defend to the “plus” people in LGBTQ category why clothes are necessary someday, believe it or not! I hope this is not prophetic but in a morally relativistic society, anything goes!
Over the next several weeks or off and on throughout this year, I plan on taking us back to our foundations in Genesis for why we believe what we believe. We’ll get to the clothes-wearing issue later, but since we’ve talked a lot about relationships and how important it is for us to be building bridges to share the gospel through them with our neighbors, I want to go back to Genesis and explain why it is foundationally critical to build relationships with our neighbors. Have you ever thought about why we are relational beings and sense the need for relationships in our lives? Have you noticed how depressing and dark life has been since the mask wearing and isolation mandates? We just weren’t made for isolation and loneliness. Genesis explains why.
In Genesis 1:26-28, God said,
“Let us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God bless them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply.”
One of the things that stands out to pretty much anyone who reads this passage is the significance of the plurals and singulars. For the first time in the Bible, God is talking about Himself as plural and singular. This is because God is a Trinitarian God. We know that from the Old Testament and New Testament He is One God in 3 Persons – not 3 modes or 3 forms – but really, 3 different Persons. The Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God – but the Father is not the Son and the Son not the Spirit and vice versa. All 3 Persons are also eternal. They’ve always existed. There is a plurality and oneness to God and these 3 have been in perfect harmony and unity in community throughout all of eternity. God is a relational being by nature and always has been – even before man or angels were created.
This is the answer to our question:
We are relational beings by nature because God is by His very nature,
Some theologians call what we’re talking about here “The Dance of God”. One theologian writes this,
“The persons within God exalt each other, commune with each other, and defer to one another. . . . Each divine person harbors the others at the center of his being. In constant movement of overture and acceptance, each person envelops and encircles the others….God’s interior life [therefore] overflows with regard for others.… The Trinity is utterly different. Instead of self-centeredness, the Father, the Son, and…the Spirit are characterized in their very essence by mutually self-giving love. No person in the Trinity insists that the others revolve around him; rather each of them voluntarily circles and orbits around the others.
Life-shaping and glorious implications it is! It’s foundational in Genesis too! Notice that right after God says that He’s going to make man in His image, He creates both Adam and Eve. First Adam and then Eve, because it is not good for man to be alone (Gen. 2:18). Adam and Eve on their own were created with a personality that is able to communicate with God and also with each other. We were made as relational beings as He is relational. Marriage is designed to be the most perfect and intimate picture of God’s plurality and oneness, where Genesis 2 explains that Adam and Eve became one flesh from one flesh. Eve was taken from Adam and for Adam. They are different persons and yet from the same person. Remind you of something? God is 3 in one! It’s a very powerful reality and picture of God’s nature.
Only the Trinity explains relational beings.
No other singularly monotheistic god like Allah or Jehovah’s witnesses idea of God or the Mormon’s distortion of God can really explain at a foundation level why we are relational. Neither can a mindless cause of evolutionary forces and natural selection explain it, and how we’re built, male and female, for relationships. The reality is that it’s because we have a Trinitarian God who even before time, space, matter, people, or angels, has been and always will be a relational being.
With many not recognizing this creative reality of human design today, it has led many into times of great spiritual and social darkness and loneliness. Maybe because of hurts in our past, we’re afraid to get too close to someone again, but listen closely – we were made for relationships. This is why in the long term, it is more loving to break the barriers of isolation and reach out to our lonely neighbors. People need to see your smile. They need to spend time with others. Our governments who have prescribed isolation and social distance out of “love” for too long really don’t understand man (biblical anthropology). God Himself said in Genesis 2:18...
“It is not good for man to be alone”
...because we were made like Him for love, communication and fellowship.
So here’s my challenge to you that goes along with the sermon: Pray for opportunities to love your neighbor (and be ready for them!). If you have to, get out of the house and knock on your neighbors door and invite them over for a barbeque. Intentionally run into them while they’re outside.
We weren’t made for isolation so love your neighbor in ways that they are comfortable with at this point. By doing this, you’ll also fulfill the law of Christ and the greatest commandments (Mark 12:28-34; Galatians 5:14, 6:2; James 2:8). Show them the love of Christ that He showed you.
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