The Significance of Adam and Eve as a Special Creation (Genesis 2:15-25)

The Significance of Adam and Eve as a Special Creation (Genesis 2:15-25)

Prepared and preached by Pastor Steve Rhodes for and at Bethel Friends Church in Poland, OH on Saturday, January 29 and Sunday, January 30, 2022

We have been talking about how Genesis chapters 1-11 are foundational to our faith. Today we will talk about Adam and Eve. I read the following humorous story:

My 7-year-old daughter, Jessica, is a deep thinker when it comes to theological questions. Recently we discussed why bad things happen sometimes, re-reading the story of Adam and Eve and how sin came into the world.

Later that week, Jessica was ill and had to stay home from school. Feeling miserable, she told me: “If only Adam and Eve hadn’t eaten the fruit, I wouldn’t be sick.” Before I could answer, she added: “Of course, if they didn’t eat it, we’d be sitting here naked.”[1]

We can probably think of other humorous jokes about Adam and Eve. Today, I want to make the case to you that they were a special creation. They did not evolve, God specifically created Adam and Eve.

My theme today is:

The special creation of Eve and the purpose of Adam and Eve.

  1. In Genesis 2:15-17 we see instructions for man.
    1. Genesis 2:15-17, ESV 15The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
    2. So, now we have one man, Adam. He is the only one. He has been created and he is in the garden by himself. Now, we see his purpose: God put the man in the garden to work it and take care of it.
    3. We see the idea of stewardship.
    4. Notice it says that God put the man in the garden.
    1. Verse 17 is the command not to eat of a certain tree: the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Throughout the coasts of the Caribbean, Central America, South America, and even in south Florida, there can be found a pleasant-looking beachy sort of tree, often laden with small greenish-yellow fruits that look like apples.

You might be tempted to eat the fruit. Do not eat the fruit. You might want to rest your hand on the trunk, or touch a branch. Do not touch the tree trunk or any branches. Do not stand under or even near the tree for any length of time whatsoever. Do not touch your eyes while near the tree. Do not pick up any of the ominously shiny, tropic-green leaves.

The aboriginal peoples of the Caribbean were familiar with the tree and the sap was used to tip arrows. It is believed that the Calusa people of Florida used it in that manner to kill Juan Ponce de Leon on his second trip to Florida in 1521.

This is the manchineel, known in Spanish-speaking countries as “la manzanilla de la muerte,” which translates to “the little apple of death,” or as “arbol de la muerte,” “tree of death.” The fruit, though described as sweet and tasty, is extraordinarily toxic.

Nicola Strickland, who unwisely chomped down on a manchineel fruit on the Caribbean Island of Tobago, describes what it was like:

I rashly took a bite from this fruit and found it pleasantly sweet. My friend also partook (at my suggestion). Moments later we noticed a strange peppery feeling in our mouths, which gradually progressed to a burning, tearing sensation and tightness of the throat. The symptoms worsened over a couple of hours until we could barely swallow solid food because of the excruciating pain.

Over the next eight hours our oral symptoms slowly began to subside. Recounting our experience to the locals elicited frank horror and incredulity, such was the fruit’s poisonous reputation.[2]

  • The consequence of death would happen if they eat of that tree.
    • Now, we know they did eat from that tree and they did not die right away. But they did die spiritually right away and they died physically later on.
    • This is suicide. To eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil means to take their own life.
    • Realize that the first sin in Genesis 3 was satan tempting Adam and Eve with suicide. He is still tempting people with suicide today.   
  • In verses 18-23 God creates woman.
    • Genesis 2:18-23 (ESV)
    • 18 Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” 19 Now out of the ground the Lord God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. 20 The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him. 21 So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. 22 And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. 23 Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones
          and flesh of my flesh;
      she shall be called Woman,
          because she was taken out of Man.”
    • God observes the problem of man being alone.
    • “It was good…” was repeated in the creation account. That is a benediction. “Bene” means “well” or “good.” “Diction” is speaking. This means “good-word.” “Good word” is repeated.
    • “Malediction” is speaking evil, a curse. The first malediction is Gen 2:18 when God says it is not good that man is alone.[3]
    • This is an ethical statement: “it is not good for man to be alone.”
    • There has never been aloneness before. In the Trinity there was/is socialness, individuality and community.  Social order is bound up in the nature of God because He created social institutions with the imprint of Who He is.[4]
    • Better translation of “helper” is “counterpart.” Oftentimes in the Old Testament that Hebrew word is used for God as our helper.
    • NET Bible note:
    • Genesis 2:20 (NETBFEN): Here for the first time the Hebrew word אָדָם (’adam) appears without the article, suggesting that it might now be the name “Adam” rather than “[the] man.” Translations of the Bible differ as to where they make the change from “man” to “Adam” (e.g., NASB and NIV translate “Adam” here, while NEB and NRSV continue to use “the man”; the KJV uses “Adam” twice in v. 19).
    • The Lord causes animals to come before Adam to show that they are different. By the way, it is likely that there are not as many animals as there are today. There would not be as many species either.  
    • The NIV says “had formed” as past tense.
    • The Lord God caused sleep to come upon man.
    • This is not unlike anesthesia today prior to surgery.
    • Does God use the DNA of man to form woman?
    • Verse 23: Adam names the woman as he does the other creatures.
  • Verses 24-25: marriage:
    • Genesis 2:24-25 (ESV) 24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. 25 And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.
    • The idea of marriage is told. This is the foundation, the idea that a man leaves his parents to join with a woman and have family.
    • They are naked and there is no shame.
    • This is an ironic statement considering the next chapter.
    • R. C. Sproul shares: In Biblical times nakedness brought shame…
    • The ultimate defeat of an enemy was not just stripping them of their weapons but clothes. Even Jesus was crucified naked.
    • First redemption is God giving clothes. He could have said you must stay naked and shivering.
    • We can be comfortably naked in 2 places: 1) with God and 2) family.
    • Why is divorce so bad? That person knew you… [5]
  • Significance in the rest of the Bible.
  • Adam and Eve had purpose before sin entered the world (verse 15).
  • Work is not because of sin. Work gives us purpose. Adam and Eve were to be stewards of the Garden of Eden.
  • We also must steward the resources that God gives us. Adam was not to be alone (verse 18), we, also, are not to be alone.
  • This may not mean marriage for everyone, but it does mean we need each other. Animals were not the helper that Adam needed (verses 18-20).
  • Likewise, humans need human companionship and other humans of the opposite sex to procreate.
  • God met the need for Adam by creating woman (verses 21-25).
  • God provided what Adam needed. God did not create another man for Adam, nor multiple women, but one woman for one man.
  • Likewise, marriage to this day is patterned after the first marriage.
  • Jesus and Paul endorsed this passage: Matt 19:4-5; Mark 10:6-7, 8; 1 Cor 6:16; Eph 5:31.[6] Therefore, if we believe it is not actually true then that changes other parts of the Bible.
  • Jesus affirmed the special creation of Adam (Mark 10:6) and so must we.
  • Luke connects the human lineage of Jesus to Adam and so must we (Luke 3:38).
  • Paul connects the doctrine of the church to Adam and Eve and so must we (Eph 5:30-32).
  • Paul argues for family order because of Adam and Eve and so must we (1 Cor. 11:8-12).
  • Paul references Adam in 1 Cor. 15:22: “as in Adam we all die.”  
  • Paul attached the origin of sin in the world to Eve (1 Tim. 2:13-14). We cannot change this part of the Bible without it changing the rest. Paul also connects death from sin to Adam and Jesus as the second Adam (Romans 5:12-14). We will talk more about that next week. Again, we cannot change this part of the Bible without it changing the rest.[7]

One writes:

“Adam and Eve must have had fun working together in the garden. No commutes, no child care, no financial worries. Just the opportunity to be with each other all day and feel the satisfaction of doing something together that neither could do alone.

We hunger for this today: cooperating together, meshing, working like a mountain climbing team, ascending the peak of our dream, and then holding each other at the end of the day. God has planted this hunger deep within every married couple. It’s more than a hunger to create new life. It’s a third hunger, a hunger to do something significant together. According to God’s Word, we were joined to make a difference. We were married for a mission.

Marriage expert Dennis Rainey says, ‘One of the missing ingredients of couples today is they do not have a mission; they do not have a sense of God having called them together to do something as a couple.’ But often, as we begin to feel this basic longing, we don’t know what it is. We get the ‘seven-year itch’ or the ’12-year anger’ or the ’18-year blahs.’ We think, WHAT’S WRONG WITH US? OUR COMPANIONSHIP MAY NOT BE PERFECT, BUT WE HAVE EACH OTHER. AND, many can add, WE HAVE OUR CHILDREN. SO WHAT ARE WE MISSING?

We may be missing one-third of what God created marriage for—serving Him together. Counselor James H. Olthuis writes, ‘To try to keep love just for us . . . is to kill it slowly . . . . We are not made just for each other; we are called to a ministry of love to everyone we meet and in all we do. In marriage, too, Jesus’ words hold true; in saving our lives we lose them, and in losing our lives in love to others, we drink of life more deeply.’ “[8]


[1] Sarah Ames, “Kids of the Kingdom,” Today’s Christian (January/February 2006), p. 6

[2] Source: Dan Nosowitz, “Do Not Eat, Touch, Or Even Inhale the Air Around the Manchineel Tree,” Atlas Obscura (5-19-16)

[3] Sproul; Renewing Your Mind; 06.07.2021

[4] Truth Project lesson 7

[5]  Sproul; Renewing Your Mind; 06.08.2021

[6] New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update (La Habra, CA: The Lockman Foundation, 1995).


[8] Source: Kevin and Karen Miller, More Than You and Me, Touching Others Through The Strength of Your Marriage, Focus On The Family Publishing, 1994, pp. 8, 9.

The Significance of the Seventh Day as Consecrated (Genesis 2:1-3; Ex. 20:8-11)

The Significance of the Seventh Day as Consecrated (Genesis 2:1-3; Ex. 20:8-11)

Prepared and preached by Pastor Steve Rhodes for and at Bethel Friends Church in Poland, OH on Saturday, January 22, and Sunday, January 23, 2022

Pussy cat, pussy cat, where have you been?

I’ve been to London to look at the queen.

Pussy cat, pussy cat, what did you there?

I frightened a little mouse under her chair.

Stupid cat. She had the chance of a lifetime. All of London stretched out before her. Westminster Abbey. The British Museum. Ten Downing Street. Trafalgar Square. The House of Parliament. The Marble Arch in Hyde Park. She could’ve heard the London Philharmonic or scrambled up an old wooden lamp post to watch the changing of the guard. I doubt that she even cared she was within walking distance of St. Paul’s Cathedral. She probably didn’t even realize it was the historic Thames rushing by beneath that big rusty bridge she scampered across chasing more mice.

After all, she didn’t even scope out the queen as Her Majesty stood before her. Not this cat. She is such a mouseaholic, she can’t stop the same old grind even when she’s in London. What a bore!

There is an old Greek motto that says:



Which, being translated loosely from the original means, “There’s more to being a cat than tracking mice.” Or, “There’s more to life than hard work.”[1]

I love that! Think about work, and overwork, and rest, and ceasing from labor. Think about being tired. Imagine perfect rest. Imagine, really imagine what it is like to be rested. At the same time, rest is not the same as not working. Right? We may rest while doing a hobby. Still, at some point we must cease from certain labors.

I am in a sermon series on Genesis chapters 1-11 and my goal is to show how these chapters are foundational to our faith. Today, I want to talk about God ceases from His labor. Today, I want to talk about how God consecrates the sabbath day.  

My theme today is:

The Significance of the Seventh Day as Consecrated (Genesis 2:1-3; Ex. 20:8-11)

  1. The Sabbath in Genesis
    1. I want to begin talking about the sabbath being set apart, sanctified, consecrated in Genesis Then I want to show that in another place in the Old Testament, and then the New Testament.
    2. My goal is NOT to show that we are bound by the sabbath law now. I do not think that is the case. The sabbath is the only one of the Ten Commandments not repeated in the New Testament.  
    3. My goal is to show that Genesis matters. This passage matters. We cannot cut verses out of the Bible without that effecting other parts of the Bible.
    4. We will see that God uses this text in Genesis 2:1-3 as the principle for the sabbath command in Exodus 20:8-11.
    5. We will see that in the New Testament this idea is shown to be even greater in that we will have true rest through Jesus.
    6. Read with me Genesis 2:1-3: Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. 2And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. 3So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.
    7. We see in this passage that God is done creating.
    8. Then verse 2 shows that God finished working and He rested.
    9. In reality this means that God ceased from creating.
    10. This is not God taking a nap. Actually, God does not grow tired or weary.
    11. This is showing that after 6 days God’s creation is complete.
    12. This is also setting an example for us.
    13. Look at verse 3: God blesses the seventh day. God makes the seventh day holy. God is saying that this is a different day. God consecrates the seventh day. God declares the seventh day sacred, holy. Now, this is not the commandment, we see that in Exodus 20:8-11. Let’s go there.
  2. The Sabbath in Exodus
    1. Read with me Exodus 20:8-11: “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, 10but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. 11For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
    2. Now, we see the commandment. Now we see it. Remembering the sabbath is the 4th commandment.
    3. Six days you labor and on the seventh day you cease from your labor.
    4. Your animals are not to work. Your servants are not to work. The strangers are not to work.
    5. Now, later on, there will be more laws about this and they are permitted to work to save a life.
    6. What does God do? He appeals to creation. In six days the Lord created and the seventh He rested. In Deuteronomy 5:13 and following Moses, inspired by God, refers to their slavery, but here God has Moses refer to creation.
    7. Now, this is why this matters.
    8. The Hebrew word “yom” is translated as “day.” It can also mean a period of time as well as other things. But think about it. Suppose we believed that the days in Genesis 1 were not 24 hour days but ages, maybe even thousands of years. But that would not work here, would it? That would mean it should have the same meaning here. If we believe the days in Genesis 1 were thousands, or millions of years, that should be the same in Exodus 20:8-11. In that case, it should be “for six thousand years God created and then rested.” That is my paraphrase. That would mean we should work for six thousand years and then rest for a thousand years. But that is not what this is saying.
    9. So, right here, we see that cross referencing Genesis 2:1-3 with Exodus 20:8-11 clarifies that the days in Genesis 1 were solar days.
    10. Further, we cannot tamper with one part of the Bible without it affecting other parts of the Bible.
    11. But what about the New Testament?
  3. The Sabbath in the New Testament
    1. Read with me Colossians 2:16-17: Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ.
    2. One person writes about this:
    3. “What Paul says here is remarkable,” Tom Schreiner writes, “for he lumps the Sabbath together with food laws, festivals like Passover, and new moons. All of these constitute shadows that anticipate the coming of Christ” (40 Questions About Christians and Biblical Law, 212). And since Christ has now come, observing the Sabbath is no longer a matter of obedience or disobedience. Rather, Paul says, “Let no one pass judgment on you.”[2]
    4. The author of Hebrews brings us closer to the heart of why the new covenant does not require a literal seventh-day rest. Christ’s first coming did not abolish rest; rather, it ushered in a deeper kind of rest than the Sabbath could ever offer.[3]
    5. Read with me Hebrews 4:9-10: So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his.
    6. According to Hebrews 4, Israel’s Sabbath day always pointed forward to a far greater day: the still-future day when all creation will enter fully into the rest foreshadowed and promised in Genesis 2:2–3, the very first seventh day. “So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God” (Hebrews 4:9). The ultimate Sabbath rest is coming, when God’s people will enjoy work without toil, hearts without sin, and an earth without thorns.[4]
    7. Yet even now, Hebrews implies, we feel the first waves of the coming rest. In Christ, we “have [already] tasted . . . the powers of the age to come” (Hebrews 6:5), rest included. For, the author writes, “We who have believed enter that rest” (Hebrews 4:3) — not “will enter,” but “enter”: fully later, truly now.
    8. And how do we enter that rest? Not mainly by putting aside our weekly labors for one day in seven, but by believing: “We who have believed enter that rest.” Faith in Jesus Christ brings the rest of the seventh day into every day.[5]
    9. So, again, we see the sabbath of Genesis 2:1-3 referred to in other parts of scripture.
  4. Summary
    1. The Exodus passage links back to Genesis 2:1-3.
    2. Notice that these Sabbath passages think back to the origin as authentic.
    3. Also, we are not bond by a sabbath law today, but there is a principle here. We do need rest.
      1. We must understand the significance of this teaching to the rest of the Bible.
      2. We must not compromise the sabbath part of the creation narrative.
        1. This means we must understand that God did not literally rest, but He did cease from His labor.
        2. This means we must understand that God also did not literally labor, but He did cease from creating.
        3. We must not view this as only part of an allegorical story. No, this is significant in the rest of the Bible.
        4. We must recognize that the Scripture says that God rested for a day, and we are to rest for a day (Ex. 20:8-11). This has significance for our interpretation of the rest of the creation narrative.
      3. We must believe that this part of the Scriptures is accurate just like all the rest of the Bible.
      4. We must understand that as God ceased from labor we also need rest one day a week.
      5. Further, we must understand that as God ceased from labor, some day as Christians we will also have rest in the new heavens and earth.
      6. We must understand that through the Gospel we have a taste of this sabbath rest now.
      7. We have rest through the peace of God Jesus gives us through the Gospel (John 14:27).
      8. We have rest from the weariness of trying to take care of our sin problem.
      9. We have a relationship with God (Romans 5:10).
      10. We have the Holy Spirit within us (John 15:1-5).
      11. We must understand, the seventh day as consecrated is significant in our faith.

I read the following:

I smile when I read this from the newspaper. “The world is too big for us. Too much going on, too many crimes, too much violence. Try as you will you get behind in the race. It’s an incessant strain to keep pace. You still lose ground. Science empties its discoveries on you so fast you stagger beneath them in hopeless bewilderment. The political world is news seen so rapidly you’re out of breath trying to keep pace with who’s in and who’s out. Everything is high pressure. Human nature can’t endure it much more!”

Now it wasn’t that that made me smile. It was that it appeared June 16, 1833—150 or more years ago. That was the “good old days.” And you don’t have any idea, nor did I, what the Boston Globe had as its headlines November 13, 1857—three words: “ENERGY CRISIS LOOMS.” That’s 1857. The subheading said: “World May Go Dark since Whale Blubber So Scarce!”

You’re smiling, aren’t you? You can’t help but smile, because everything has to do with perspective. For some, the “good old days” means what was simple and uncomplicated and beautiful and free of the horrors of our present times. Or was there ever a time like that?

My “good old days” take me back to a world war where there were little markers on windows up and down the little street where I lived in Houston. And grieving parents peeled those little markers off when their son died in that war.

The “good old days” would take you back to the time when, horses died in the streets of New York because of cholera. The “good old days” were times in my father’s era when cars couldn’t be started from inside. You had to go outside and crank them. And you had to walk in rainy days on boggy streets because back then there weren’t hard surfaces and beautiful freeways and roadways.

One news commentator said it very well. It was Paul Harvey. “Had the first product using electricity been the electric chair, we would all be afraid to plug in our toasters in the morning!” It’s how you look at it, isn’t it?[6]


[1] Charles R. Swindoll, Growing Strong in the Seasons of Life. Charles R. Swindoll, The Tale of the Tardy Oxcart and 1501 Other Stories (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2016), 621–622.

[2] Desiring God; April 20, 2021; Scott Hubbard:

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Ibid.

[6]Charles R. Swindoll, The Tale of the Tardy Oxcart and 1501 Other Stories (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2016), 624–625.

The Significance of the Creation Account (Genesis 1:1-31)

The Significance of the Creation Account (Genesis 1:1-31)

Prepared and preached by Pastor Steve Rhodes for and at Bethel Friends Church in Poland, OH on Saturday, January 15, and Sunday, January 16, 2022

Last week we began a sermon series on foundations. My aim is to show how Genesis chapters 1-11 are foundational to our faith. Today, we talk about Genesis 1 and God’s orderly account of creation.

I read the following:

There are two very practical and human answers to the creation of man and woman. One is the man’s view; the other is the woman’s view. Are you ready? The woman’s view of creation is this: God made the man and looked at him and said, “I can do better than that,” and He made the woman. Now the man’s view is: God made the beasts and man and then He rested. And then He created woman. And neither beast nor man nor God has rested since.[1]

However, think about this:

On August 21, 2011, an American software engineer named Jesse Anderson created the Million Monkey project, which featured millions of virtual simians typing away randomly. In just forty-six days, Anderson claims, the mindless authors recreated all of Shakespeare’s thirty-eight major works. “This is the largest work ever randomly reproduced,” he crowed.

The media trumpeted the achievement uncritically. Yet the claim is so misleading as to border on deception. In truth, what the digital monkeys produced randomly were unbroken strings of letters. It took a computer program (a digital maestro) working behind the scenes to recognize correct sequences and break them up—intelligently, not randomly—into the proper words.

My purpose is not to criticize Mr. Anderson or accuse him of any wrongdoing, nor even to lament the ignorance of the popular press. It is to illustrate the lesson that creativity is not a random process. Science and the Bible agree that in order to create something from nothing, there needs to be something or someone behind the scenes directing the show.[2]

In Genesis chapter 1 we see how God created everything in six days. We see a broad view of creation. This sermon series is about the significance and because of that I am going to emphasize certain verses and not read the whole text.

My theme:

The Significance of the Creation Account (Genesis 1:1-31)

Read with me Genesis 1:1-2, and 31:

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. 31And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

  1. Overview:
    1. In between Genesis 1:2 and verse 31 we see the six day creation. How important are these six days to the rest of the Bible? In a moment, we will talk about that. First, let me give an overview of this chapter.
    2. God created the earth. Now, the first two verses are an overview of the creation of time, space and matter. Starting in verse 3 God gives order to this matter. God arranges His creation so it is not such a mess.
    3. So, the rest of this chapter deals with the details of the earth and its surroundings. God chose to create everything in 6 days.
    4. On day 1, God creates light, this light may not be the sun. Most have believed the light is light emanating from God.  On day 1, God also created the idea of the day and night.
    5. On Day 2, God creates the atmosphere. Notice the waters are already there.
    6. On day 3, God creates land and vegetation.
    7. There is an idea that days 1-3 are forming and days 4-6 are filling.
    8. On day 4, God creates the moon and the stars.
    9. Notice that the Bible doesn’t use the noun “sun,” or “moon.”
    10. If you study the ancient religions of the Middle East, you can see that they worshipped the sun and the moon. So, Moses was careful not to use those terms.  In fact, if you really study this text, you can compare it with the other religions of the Middle East. In comparing you can see that Moses is writing this correcting those religions and showing that there is one God, and He is supreme.
    11. On Day 5, God creates the creatures of the sea and the air.
    12. On day 6, God creates the land animals and humans. Humans are the only creation specified. Humans are also created in God’s image.
    13. Notice also that it takes male and female to reflect the image of God.
    14. How did God do this?
    15. Why do we limit God? Were you there? If we don’t believe God created in 6, literal, 24 hour days because you don’t think it could be done, that is problematic. If you think because of evolution, God didn’t create in 6, literal, 24 hour days, then that is a problem. That is idolatry, you are putting something else in front of God.
    16. How did God create daisies? I say, “Like a child.” You throw a child up in the air or bounce him off your knee. When you sit him on the floor, the first thing the kid says is, “Do it again!” Throw him in the air; catch him; bounce him off your knee; set him on the floor. The kid’s going to yell, “Do it again!” Do it fifty times. The fiftieth time, the kid is yelling hysterically, “Do it again! Do it again!” The excitement of a little child.
    17. That’s how God created daisies. He created one daisy. I’m sure of this. In the childlike heart of God, he clapped and said; “Do it again!” He created daisy number two. Something within God said, “Do it again!” He created daisy number three and four and five. Fifty billion, trillion daisies later, the great God of the universe is still creating with childlike excitement and joy and yelling, “Do it again!”[3]
    18. I have read a lot and studied a lot on how to interpret Genesis chapters one and two. There is a lot of geological evidence for a young earth. There are definite complications with the Bible if you take evolution to its fullest form, called macroevolution. 
    19. If you have an NIV study Bible it says this:
    20. In the ancient near east most of the people’s had myths relating to how the world came to be. Prevalent in those myths were accounts of how one of the gods triumphed over a fierce and powerful beast that represented disorder, then fashioned the ordered world that people knew, and finally was proclaimed by the other gods to be the divine “king” over the world he had created—a position ever subject to the challenge of disorder. Over and against all these pagan myths, the author of Genesis taught a totally different doctrine of creation: the one and only true God did not have to overcome a mighty cosmic champion of chaos but simply by a series of His royal creation decrees called into being the ordered world, the visible Kingdom that His decrees continue to uphold and govern.
    21. God created, this implies, God is in charge. Let’s apply this.
    22. Why be afraid?
    23. We must trust God; why shouldn’t we, if He is powerful enough to create everything we see, then He is trustworthy.
    24. If God didn’t create than we shouldn’t trust Him. Why trust God if He didn’t create, but if you believe Genesis chapters 1 and 2, then you have every reason to trust God.
    25. If God is not limited by time, then we don’t need to worry about the future.
    26. God knows the future and that is important. More than that, Revelation chapters 20-22 teach us that God has a plan for the future. That plan includes followers of Christ.
  2. Significance
    1. In between Genesis 1:2 and verse 31 we see the six day creation. How important are these six days to the rest of the Bible? What is the significance?
    2. Scripture affirms God as creator and a 6 day creation:
    3. Exodus 20:11: For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
    4. Nehemiah 9:6: “You alone are the Lord.
      You have made the heavens,
      The heaven of heavens with all their host,
      The earth and all that is on it,
      The seas and all that is in them.
      You give life to all of them
      And the heavenly host bows down before You
    5. Col. 1:16: For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. 
    6. Rev. 4:11: “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.”
    7. Mark 10:6: But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’
    8. 2 Peter 3:5-7: For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.
    9. In that passage Peter is referring to creation and the flood and talking about people who deny these things.
    10. To change the creation account of Genesis is to change the foundation of our faith.
    11. Genesis is foundational to our faith.

In Crazy Love, Francis Chan writes:

Why would God create more than 350,000,000,000 galaxies (and this is a conservative estimate) that generations of people never saw or even knew existed? Do you think maybe it was to make us say, “Wow, God is unfathomably big”? Or perhaps God wanted us to see these pictures so that our response would be, “Who do I think I am?”

R. C. Sproul writes, “Men are never duly touched and impressed with a conviction of their insignificance, until they have contrasted themselves with the majesty of God.

Did you know that a caterpillar has 228 separate and distinct muscles in its head? That’s quite a few, for a bug. The average elm tree has approximately 6 million leaves on it. And your own heart generates enough pressure as it pumps blood throughout your body that it could squirt blood up to 30 feet. (I’ve never tried this, and I don’t recommend it.)

Have you ever thought about how diverse and creative God is? He didn’t have to make hundreds of different kinds of bananas, but He did. He didn’t have to put 3,000 different species of trees within one square mile in the Amazon jungle, but He did. God didn’t have to create so many kinds of laughter. Think about the different sounds of your friends’ laughs—wheezes, snorts, silent, loud, obnoxious.

How about the way plants defy gravity by drawing water upward from the ground into their stems and veins? Or did you know that spiders produce three kinds of silk? When they build their webs, they create sixty feet of silk in one hour, simultaneously producing special oil on their feet that prevents them from sticking to their own web. (Most of us hate spiders, but sixty feet an hour deserves some respect!) Coral plants are so sensitive that they can die if the water temperature varies by even one or two degrees.[4]

We serve an amazing God!

[1] Charles R. Swindoll, The Tale of the Tardy Oxcart and 1501 Other Stories (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2016), 122.

[2] Michael Guillen, “Amazing Truths: How Science and the Bible Agree,” (Zondervan, 2016), Page 98

[3] Source: Tony Campolo, “If I Should Wake Before I Die,” Preaching Today, Tape No. 124.

[4] Excerpt From: Francis Chan. “Crazy Love.” iBooks.

The Significance that God IS Creator (Genesis 1:1; John 1:1-5)

The Significance that God IS Creator (Genesis 1:1; John 1:1-5) Why does it matter that God created? I will also introduce the series in this sermon.

Prepared and preached by Pastor Steve Rhodes for and at Bethel Friends Church in Poland, OH on Saturday, January 8 and Sunday, January 9, 2022

On Christmas Day 1968, the three astronauts of Apollo 8 circled the dark side of the moon and headed for home. Suddenly, over the horizon of the moon rose the blue and white Earth garlanded by the glistening light of the sun against the black void of space. Those sophisticated men, trained in science and technology, did not utter Einstein’s name. They did not even go to the poets, the lyricists, or the dramatists. Only one thing could capture the awe-inspiring thrill of this magnificent observation. Billions heard the voice from outer space as the astronaut read it: “In the beginning God”–the only concept worthy enough to describe that unspeakable awe, unutterable in any other way. “In the beginning God created”–the invasive, the inescapable sense of the infinite and the eternal.[1]

G. K. Chesterton shared:

It is absurd for the Evolutionist to complain that it is unthinkable for an admittedly unthinkable God to make everything out of nothing, and then pretend that it is more thinkable that nothing should turn itself into anything.[2]

Today, I begin a new series on Genesis chapters 1-11 and my goal is to talk about how these chapters are foundational to our faith. Today, we begin with God as creator.

My theme today is:

God as creator is foundational to our faith.

Read with me Genesis 1:1:

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

  1. Let’s talk about God as creator from Genesis 1:1.
    1. God created….
    2. The passage begins with “first” or “the beginning.”
    3. It is like this is a lesson on when time began.
    4. This is the beginning of time.
    5. God created. God is creating.
    6. In the beginning is the best translation, “beginning” implies the definite article within it, though in Hebrew there is no definite article “the.”[3]
    7. This is also the beginning of the Torah. Torah means “instruction” not “Law.”
    8. The Torah is a book of instruction about the Law.[4]
    9. First, distinction in Scripture is the separation between Creator and creation. Later distinction between humans and the rest of creation.
    10. God created the heavens, plural, and the earth.
    11. They would view heavens as plural and the earth.
    12. This encompasses everything.
    13. This means that God created matter.
    14. God had to also create the space to fit the matter.
    15. This is a figure of speech called a “merism” this means He created everything. Dr Rydelnic believes heaven has always been there (Open Line, Moody Radio, Oct 19, 2019).
    16. Dr Rydelnic: There is nothing in Genesis 1-2 that reads like poetry until the end: “bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh… the rest is narrative and narrative we read as narrative.[5]
  2. Why does this matter for the rest of the Bible?
    1. I aim to make the case that Genesis chapters 1-11 are foundational to our faith.
    2. This means that we start with God. In a moment, I will share applications as to why God as creator matters to our life, but what about the rest of the Bible?
    3. Why do foundations matter?
    4. I heard about a building at Ohio State University, it is a postmodern building. It has staircases that go nowhere and all kinds of odd stuff.
    5. One author writes about it: I remember lecturing at Ohio State University, one of the largest universities in this country. I was minutes away from beginning my lecture, and my host was driving me past a new building called the Wexner Center for the Performing Arts.
    6. He said, “This is America’s first postmodern building.”
    7. I was startled for a moment and I said, “What is a postmodern building?”
    8. He said, “Well, the architect said that he designed this building with no design in mind. When the architect was asked, ‘Why?’ he said, ‘If life itself is capricious, why should our buildings have any design and any meaning?’ So he has pillars that have no purpose. He has stairways that go nowhere. He has a senseless building built and somebody has paid for it.”
    9. I said, “So his argument was that if life has no purpose and design, why should the building have any design?”
    10. He said, “That is correct.”
    11. I said, “Did he do the same with the foundation?”
    12. All of a sudden there was silence.
    13. You see, you and I can fool with the infrastructure as much as we would like, but we dare not fool with the foundation because it will call our bluff in a hurry.[6]
    14. The foundation is critical. Genesis is the foundation of our faith. God is teaching us important foundational elements to our faith.
    15. If we cut out the foundation what happens?
    16. Is Genesis 1-11 we have:
      1. The origin of the doctrine of marriage.
      2. The origin of clothing is in Genesis.
      3. Genesis records God’s plan for gender.
      4. The Gospel is found in Genesis: We need a Savior because Adam (the father/head of the human race) sinned and brought literal death into creation (Genesis 3). That’s why Jesus had to come and literally die a physical death to take our place.[7]
    17. We see these ideas repeated in the New Testament and the rest of the Bible. We will talk about them in the coming weeks. But what about God as creator?
    18. John 1:1-3: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.
    19. Colossians 1:15-17: He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
    20. Those texts in the New Testament connect God as creator with Jesus as creator.
    21. God created through Jesus.
    22. As Piper writes: So Paul teaches us that Jesus Christ created all that is. They were created through him. He was with and in God — and was God (John 1:1–3) — as God created all things through him.
    23. And all things were created for him. All that came into being exists for Christ — that is, it exists to display the greatness of Christ. Nothing — nothing! — in the universe exists for its own sake. Everything from the bottom of the oceans to the top of the mountains, from the smallest particle to the biggest star, from the most boring school subject to the most fascinating science, from the ugliest cockroach to the most beautiful human, from the greatest saint to the most wicked genocidal dictator — everything that exists, exists to make the greatness of Christ more fully known — including you, and the person you have the hardest time liking.[8]
  3. Some applications:
    1. If God created then, we have a purpose.
    2. God created: this is NOT nihilism which means life has no purpose. We have a purpose because God created us. We are created and if we walk through Genesis chapters 1 and 2 we see God giving man and woman a purpose. Man and woman were called to tend the garden of Eden (Genesis 2:15). We are still called by God to steward the planet. We are called to have children, that is still part of our purpose.
    3. God created: this is NOT existentialism, which means I must find meaning in my life because my life has no meaning.
    4. No, God gives us meaning to our life. God created us.
    5. God created: this is NOT hedonism: life has no purpose, have fun, go for it! Funny as it is, those who make life all about their own purpose are the most unhappy.
    6. No, life has a purpose and it is not simply about our fun.
    7. God created: this is NOT humanism, I must make the world a better place for humans.
    8. No, God is the creator. Humanism is closely linked with naturalism, which I already mentioned.
    9. God created: this is NOT transcendentalism which is nature is God, not pantheism, not panentheism.
    10. God created: this is NOT Pantheism which teaches that all is God. “Pan” means “all” and “theism” means God.
    11. God created: this is not panentheism which teaches that everything is in God. “Pan” means “all” and “en” means “in” and “theism” mean God.
    12. God created: this IS Theism
    13. God created and this also means that God is separate from His creation. God is not the same as His creation. God is separate from His creation.

As we build on this idea about Genesis 1-11 being foundational to our faith. I want to share that the whole Bible is about Jesus. I did not write the following, but it is good:

Whole Bible is about Jesus[9]

Genesis: He (Jesus) is the promise to Adam and Eve. He is the seed of the woman that would crush satan’s head.

Exodus: He (Jesus) is the Passover Lamb that saves us.

Leviticus: He (Jesus) is our great High Priest.

Numbers: He (Jesus) is our smitten Rock.

Deuteronomy: He (Jesus) is the prophet like Moses (Deut. 18:15).

Joshua: He is the Captain of the Lord’s armies, Captain of the Lord of Hosts.

Judges: He is the Creator and final judge.

Ruth: He is the Heavenly Kinsman Redeemer.

1 Samuel and 2 Samuel: He is the Anointed One.

1 and 2 Kings: He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

1 and 2 Chronicles: He is the glory of God in the Temple.

Ezra: He is the teacher that comes from God.

Nehemiah: He is the rebuilder of broken lives.

Esther: He is the protector of His people.

Job: He is the only comforter in times of trouble.

Psalms He is our good Shepherd.

Proverbs: He is the Wisdom of God.

Ecclesiastes: He is the preacher of the Kingdom of God.

Song of Solomon: He is the bridegroom whose coming to His bride, the church.

Isaiah: For to us a child is born, to us a Son is given and the government will be on His shoulders and He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace (Isa 9:6).

Jeremiah: He is the Potter that shapes the clay of our lives into the image of God.

Lamentations: He is the weeping profit.  

Ezekiel: He is the Wheel inside the Wheel (Ezekiel 1).

Daniel: He is the Son of Man coming on the clouds in Great Glory; the fourth man in the furnace (Daniel 7 and Daniel 3).

Hosea: He is the Love of God to the back slider.

Joel: He is the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.

Amos: He is the author of judgment and mercy.

Obadiah: He is the God of vengeance.

Jonah: He is the Salvation of our Lord.

Micah: He is the great intercessor.

Nahum: The stronghold in the days of trouble.

Habakkuk: He is the God of mercy.

Zephaniah: He is the establisher of the Kingdom of God upon the earth.

Haggai: He is the Desire of all nations.

Zechariah: He is the Branch of Jehovah.

Malachi: He is the Refiner’s fire, the Son of righteousness that will rise over the whole world with healing in His wings.

Matthew: He is the Kingly Messiah.

Mark: He is the miracle Worker.

Luke: He is the great physician.

John: He is the Lamb of God that takes a way the sin of the world (John 1:29).

Acts: He is the Risen Lord.

Romans: He is our justification.

1 and 2 Corinthians: He is our Sanctification.

Galatians: He is Liberator.

Ephesians: He is our perfection.

Philippians: He is our joy.

Colossians: He is the Head of the body, the church.

1 and 2 Thessalonians: He is the coming Lord Who will reign and rule forever.

1 and 2 Timothy: He is the judge of man.

Titus: He is the redeemer of the world.

Philemon: He is the Friend that sticks closer than a brother.   

Hebrews: He is the author and finisher of our salvation (Heb. 12:2).

James: He is the healer of all nations.

1 and 2 Peter: He is the Chief Shepherd and bishop of our souls.  

1, 2 and 3 John: He is the Word of God.

Jude: He is the coming Lord with 10,000 of His saints to exude judgment on the earth.

Revelation: He is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of Jesse, the root of David, the Lamb of God, the Word of God, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. 


[1] Ravi Zacharias, “If the Foundations Be Destroyed,” Preaching Today, Tape No. 142.

[2] Source: G. K. Chesterton in The Quotable Chesterton. Christianity Today, Vol. 31, no. 13

[3] Open Line, Dr. Rydelnic. Moody Radio; 11.28.2020

[4] Dr Rydelnic; Open Line; Moody Radio; 05.08.2021

[5] Dr. Rydenic; Moody Radio; Open line second hour; 06.27.2020




[9] Dr. Michael Yousseff; His radio program, Leading the Way, LTW; Nov 1, 2019