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 What We Believe Part 01.1 |What We Believe Part 01.2 | What We Believe Part 01.3 | What We Believe Part 01.4
What We Believe Part 01.5 | What We Believe Part 01.6 | What We Believe Part 01.7

WHAT WE BELIEVE
Part 1
Pastor Marlin Harris

We are beginning a new series of teachings tonight and we are talking from the subject or the series "We Believe".  We are looking at a category of our faith and the doctrines of our faith and what we believe, so that we might be able to know how to give an answer to every man who asks of us concerning the hope that lies within us.  So our desire is to investigate, study and to know what we believe.

Now I want to say if I could a little of the, I guess, the encouragement and inspiration behind teaching this particular lesson over the next several weeks that we will be teaching is because there is a whole lot that is happening in the body of Christ that seems to be so inconsistent with what we believe as a Christian church.  There is a whole lot going and taking place and I honestly believe that there are so many believers who don’t know what they believe, and when you don’t know what you believe you will follow anything, you will do anything, you will live anyway, you’ll believe anything.  So the issue for us is to know what we believe so that we may be able to stand upon that.

Now I want to be very clear about a couple of things regarding my intent.  My intent is not for us to come together on Tuesdays and learn what we believe so we can leave out of here and argue with somebody else about what we believe as opposed to what they believe, and all of that – that is not my intent.  I have one purpose and one purpose only and that is that you will know what you believe because what you believe will govern how you interact with God.  What you believe will govern your interaction and your life before God, and a lot of us relate to God the wrong way because we don’t know what to believe, and there is so much that’s in our airwaves and TV waves that trick us and deceive us into believing simply what is not true about God. 

You cannot trust everything that you see on TV and everything that you hear that has been popularized in Christian circles today.  Much of it is not true.  Now some of it is true, of course, but all of it is not and what I would stand to ask you to do is that you have a firm solid understanding and a firm conviction as to what the Bible teaches about these issues of faith, and these issues of truth – what does the Bible teach about God, about Christ, about faith, about grace, about salvation, about suffering, about pain – what does the Bible teach about that so that you’ll know how to believe based on what the Scripture teaches.

The second thing I want to say is (1) it is not so you would argue with others about what you believe, but that it would establish how you relate to God and interact with God.  The second thing is that what you believe becomes critical when you go through critical experiences in life.  What you believe becomes critical when you go through critical experiences and circumstances of life.  I’ll give you a prime example.  A loved one dies in your family, someone close to you – a mother or a parent – a child, a sibling, you name it, someone you love and they die and immediately you are now thinking about God, about Him being fair, about His love – and if He loved you why would He do such and such to you, about heaven, about hell, you are thinking about all of these major subjects as it relates to this person who died or your confidence in God and your trust in God or getting over the grief, or dealing with the disappointment and sorrows, and the list goes on and on, at that moment you don’t need to be trying to figure out what you believe about God.  You need to know what you believe about God because it is that belief that you have about God and about spiritual things that will settle you, that will give you foundation and weight in those kinds of circumstances of your life.

You lose a job, you go through financial calamity, you go through marital distress or failure, or any list of items that I could mention and name and I promise you, you will react and respond based upon what you truly, genuinely, authentically believe about God and spiritual things.  So what really bothers me a lot is that a whole lot of us we want to come to church so the church can tell us not so much how to live, but how to get stuff, and how to be blessed and how to prosper and all of those kind of things.  We really come to church and flock to church so we can learn about those areas of our Christian life and all of that is wonderful – you need to know how to be blessed, especially not how to be cursed, etc., but guys I promise you that stuff, how to be blessed and prosper and all that stuff – that stuff is not going to hold you when you go through critical experiences of pain and suffering and loss in your life.

It is what you believe that is authentically and truly going to be your foundation.  Now listen to me very carefully if you would.  What you believe is not just cranial, its not just in your brain, its not just in your mind.  What you believe is what happens and what you are convicted of in your heart.  Belief is a persuasion and a conviction of the heart --   that is what it is.  Your heart is the true you, the inner you, the real you – this is who you really are.  Now granted and noted whatever is in your heart did pass through your mind, through your head, YES, so the things you believe you had to learn them.  But the learning process or the mental assent or the cognitive knowledge of what you believe is not what you believe.

Let me say that one more timely slowly.  The mental ascent, the cognitive knowledge of what you believe is not what you believe.  That is what you are coming to believe, what you are growing to believe but whatever has reached your heart is what you authentically, genuinely believe.  Let me say that again.  WHAT IS IN YOUR HEAD, COGNITIVE KNOWLEDGE, THE STUFF YOU KNOW, IS NOT WHAT YOU BELIEVE – ITS JUST STUFF YOU KNOW, ITS INFORMATION, ITS STUFF YOU ARE COMING TO BELIEVE, YOU ARE LEARNING TO BELIEVE IT, YOU ARE GROWING TO BELIEVE IT, BUT IF ITS JUST IN YOUR HEAD – YOU CAN SPIT IT OUT, YOU CAN RECITE IT, REPEAT IT, YOU CAN KNOW IT BACKWARD AND FORWARD, YOU CAN READ IT OFF IN YOUR SLEEP – But if it is in your head only I promise you it is not what you believe.

It is what you know, it is what you learned, it is what you are learning, its what you are growing in, yes, it’s got to be in your head before it gets to your heart but if it is not in your heart I’m telling you, you don’t believe it because you only believe that which has permeated and penetrated to your soul; to the soul of the person.  That’s the first thing I need to say regarding belief.  It is a persuaded, convicted belief – what you are persuaded and convicted of in your heart. 

The second thing I want to say about belief is everything you believe you cannot necessarily explain.  Everything you believe you cannot necessarily explain.  This is one of the strongest issues that I have with folks who don’t believe in God, who are not convinced there is a God, or don’t know if there is a God, and what they’ll say is “I would believe in God if there were enough evidence to prove that there is a God” and here is the whole thing:  The whole thing about God and about spiritual matters is faith.  The whole notion of God is faith.  If God wanted you to have empirical evidence of His existence, trust me He could give it in copious measures – wouldn’t you agree?  That if God wanted to erase all questions whatsoever from science all the way through anthropology to archaeology to cosmology to geology – if God wanted to settle everyone of those arguments about His existence, He could do it without any trouble or any issues at all.  Wouldn’t you agree with that? 

So the mere fact that there is no empirical, measurable, verifiable, test tube style laboratory type evidence that there is a God is because He didn’t want there to be.  Are you getting it?  You simply have to believe.  Are you getting it?  Now there are some enormous hints, there are some extremely convincing arguments that point toward, there are some heavy evidence that weighs on His existence but it falls short of giving you verifiable proof because God actually wants for you and I to have a persuaded, convicted belief in our heart that we cannot fully explain with our head.  Alright now let me just back up for just a moment.  There is an enormous weight and enormous amount of good that is done when trying to persuade someone that God exists, excellent you’ve got to do that, you should know how to do that, you should learn it because for some people they need those arguments to step over the line of faith.  But I want to share with you that once you step over the line of faith, and you believe in God and you are going on to believe in Christ, and you are going to believe in the resurrection and all of that – at some point to step over the line of faith you’ve got to step into the realm of miracle.

You can’t step over the line of faith unless you step into the realm of miracle, and the whole nature of miracle is that you can’t explain it; you can’t explain how it happens.  There is no scientific measurement, there is no equation, e=mc squared will never figure out miracle; are you getting the idea?  So if you are saying that I want to come to faith but in order for me to come to faith I gotta have every viable, empirical, every measurable, every laboratorial (that’s not a word but it sounds good) evidence that there is a God or that Jesus rose from the dead or that a dead man can rise or that a virgin can have a baby.  Here is what I’m saying to you – you will never ever reach it in this world.  I don’t care what doctor you go see virgins don’t have babies, and if you are saying I would believe that Jesus came, that God came through Christ through a virgin, a womb, I would believe it if you could prove it to me – the conversation [hear me clearly] stops at the word prove because it is a matter of faith.  Are you understanding? 

Now if you want to say “How is it that you can believe that such and such a thing is true”?  Now we go back to some arguments from history, there are great arguments from history, that this virgin had a baby.  We go back to non-biblical writings that this virgin had a baby, etc., etc. but at some point if you are going to step across the line of faith you got to step into miracle because miracle is where God is.  God is miraculous.  The notion of God, the idea of God, the concept of God, the whole thought of God, for human man to wrap his mind around God requires of him to give spiritual thought to that kind of discussion.  Because God is spiritual, and you cannot talk about God, discuss God, understand God or believe in God without stepping into the realm of the spiritual, and the spiritual is the mystical, and the mystical is the mysterious and the mysterious is the miraculous, and the miraculous is unexplainable. 

So what I want us to do at least in this first outset we are going to spend the first couple of sessions talking about God, and what we believe about God because a whole lot of us in our attempt to relate to God and to swallow, if you will, the notion of God we have minimized him greatly.  We have made God a man, we have humanized God, minimized him greatly.  We have made God to be nothing more than a grandiose man whereby God must get our permission, whereby God must follow our desires, whereby God is bound to what we want, whereby God feels the same things we feel, He’s lost when we’re confused, God doesn’t know what’s going to happen, God can’t make it any better, God is limited by what you say – all these silly dumb notions that we say about God.  It’s almost like how can you say man and God and between that put command -- like man can command God – that’s dumb.

If you understand God, that’s dumb.  If you understood sovereignty, if you understood omnipotence, if you understood Lordship – that’s a dumb statement that man could command God – are you getting the idea?  But you hear people when they pray, they pray commanding prayers.  Have you ever heard them say that and you have to ask yourself, “Who are you talking to?”  “I command that you come down”.  You can’t command God.  “Lord I want to send you to the hospital”.  You can’t send, how you going to send God.  Like God is in heaven waiting for somebody to send Him somewhere.  You don’t understand omnipresence at all if you are going to send God to the hospital.  “I command healing”.  How you going to command healing?  “I command your deliverance”.  You cannot command deliverance.  You can ask it, you can plead for it, you can beg Him for it, you can lay on the altar all night until you get it, you can say like Jacob “I’m not going to let you go until you bless me”, but you cannot command it.  We have humanized Him, we have made Him so small, we’ve made Him just a figment of our own creation.  Not even our imagination, our own creation.  We have made God in our image and not God made us in His. 

Now the second issue that I want to clear up in this whole idea of God is that we have not only just humanized him, but we have also deified man.  We’ve elevated man to the wonderful, illustrious position of being God, and if not ourselves, we’ve made other men God and may I say a word about that for a moment.  Anything or anyone that you put in God’s place is idolatry, and idolatry is as the sin of witchcraft.  It is sorcery; it is an abomination to God.  He says “I am God and there is no one else” and when you put your family, or your spouse or your children or your boss or anybody in the position of God, that is a dangerous thing for you to do.  Never put any person in the position of God.  God is God and He is God alone, and for god sake don’t put you in His place.  That is Luciferian pride, that is a scary kind of pride; when you start worshipping yourself.  When it is your will be done.

The first thing I want to say is that God is Creator.  I want everybody, please if you would turn to what the Scriptures say in Romans 1.  The first attribute that I need us to investigate is that God is Creator.  Here is what the Scriptures say as a matter of fact of His creation.  It says in verse 19

19Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.

Okay, it says that which may be known of God is made clear unto them because God has shown it unto them.  I am going to talk about creation in just a second but I want to make sure I set this up the right way.  Here’s what he is saying:  You don’t know everything about me, you’ll never know everything about me, not even in heaven – you’ll never know everything about me, that’s what eternity is all about, learning about me.  You’ll be worshipping me every time you learn something new about me.  So I’m infinite, you can’t know every thing about me but what I want you to know about me I’ve made known unto you.  He says that “which may be known of God is manifest in them” [this is the unrighteous but this is all of us because we all were unrighteous before Christ].  It says “for God has shown it unto them”.  God has shown to men that which may be known about Him.  So God is mysterious, miraculous, spiritual, cannot be proven, cannot be test-tubed.  You cannot scientifically measure Him but He has allowed some things about Himself to be known to us TC "So God is mysterious, miraculous, spiritual, cannot be proven, cannot be test-tubed.  You cannot scientifically measure Him but He has allowed some things about Himself to be known to us" \f C \l "2" .

As a matter of fact He said “Not just known to us, but look at what the verse says here in that middle clause “that which made me known of God is manifest [catch the phrase, catch the preposition] in themUnderline that word “in”, circle it, highlight it, do something to it – that which may be known is manifest in them.  “Them” is me, you, us.  That in us, manifest in us, is a funny little term called “Ontology.  You don’t need to know it unless you want to know it.  Ontology is the ontological argument of God’s existence.  Ontology simply means it is that which I may be persuaded of within me.  That which I am convinced of, persuaded of, regarding God within me.  It is innate to me, it is germane to me, it is inherent within me.  I know it but I don’t know how I know it.  It is that thought, that concept, that notion, that desire, that drive, that pull that says to me there is something greater out there, there is someone greater than me – it is ontology and God has manifest – which means He didn’t hide it, or cover it up, He actually made it bloom in me that this is the knowledge of Him that may be known of Him, He put it inside of every single person and we have to spend the rest of our lives covering it up and silencing it.

See you learn to be an atheist, you don’t come here that way.  The sense of awe and the sense of wonder and the sense of amazement is that which may be known of God manifested in us.  The thing that the two year old kid’s eyes get big about – we know there is no Santa Claus but tell a two year old there is a Santa Claus and he is prone to believe you.  Do you know why?  Because he desires to believe that there is something greater than what he sees with his eyes.  Ontology.  That’s why you don’t play by telling your children that there is a Santa Claus because when you do that you tickle the ontological passion in the child and the child puts trust, confidence, faith and hope in that thing that is bigger than it.  We got more children who pray to Santa Claus more than they do to God and when they find out there is no Santa Claus, if you lied to me about Santa Claus how do I know you haven't been lying to me about God.

How many of you guys have ever been to Niagara Falls or the Grand Canyon or some great amazing place on the earth, Lake Lanier, Myrtle Beach (laughter).  Whenever you go to some beautiful amazing wonderful waterfall and you see this majestic glory and you look at all of nature and you know that thing you feel, that “WOW, that “AWE”, that thing that takes your breath away – that wonderment that makes you get quiet and still and appreciate its beautiful, knowing it is beautiful in a way that you could never be, nor could you ever imitate or duplicate.

That wonder, that amazement, that passion you have that says “Wow”, that is Ontology; that is the ontological manifestation that there is something in this world greater than you and God put that manifestation within the heart of every human being the moment that child is born.  He put that wonder, that desire for awe and amazement in that child because He knows that is the thing He is going to tickle and use and pull out to bring that child to the wonder of His presence.  It is a sad thing when you look at the sky and you are no longer impressed.  It’s a sad thing – in the Color Purpose toward the end of the movie, Celie and Shug were walking in the field and Shug said to Celie, while looking at a flower and Celie or Shug said “It must tick God off, but they didn’t say tick, “for you to look at the Color Purple and not be amazed – in essence.  Think about that statement for a second.

It angers God for you to look at something so beautiful that you couldn’t do and not be amazed.  Are you hearing me?  The stuff that we call awesome isn’t awesome.  We’ve used that word wrong.  You’ve called your car awesome and your car is not awesome.  You’ve called your woman or your man awesome and they are good looking but they are not awesome.  You think your job is awesome, or your money is awesome – man you don’t know what awesome is.  Awesome is whenever you can look at something that you couldn’t create – not only could you not do it, but nobody could do it.  Only someone or something, some power, some person who is greater than you, stronger and bigger than you, mightier than you could’ve done something like this.  How in the world can gravity work?  How in the world can water be wet and birds can fly?  What in the world makes stars stay in the sky?  What in the world causes rivers and streams to cut through mountains and gorges?  There has got to be a God.  God made foxes, birds and squirrels but yet God made elephants and tigers, God is an awesome God.  The human eye, the leg, the organs, the heart, the liver – what an amazing God – Now That’s Awesome. 

And here’s what He is saying in this verse, He is saying that I didn’t tell you everything about me because you couldn’t’ handle it but I gave you enough information about me, and because I knew you would try and measure it, I put it in your heart so that when you see something that you know is bigger than you, I make your eyes go wide.  Are you getting the idea.  He says “

20For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen

Amazing statement – that God used creation to write His autobiography; that God used creation to describe the things about Him you can’t see.  I was having this discussion the other day, it was a great discussion, I never thought of it this way, with a young man and he actually said to me – “Is God more of an artist or a scientist”?  And I said “Wow, I don’t know”.  Because on the one hand He is an awesome scientist.  Oh my God; is He not a scientist!  I mean you think about Newton and you think about Einstein, all those great scientists and all the stuff they spent their lives figuring out – God had already established before the foundation of the world; before quantum physics ever came into existence – God had already quantified the physics, created the physics, He created the laws upon which the quantum physics is built upon.  He didn’t just abide by gravity, He made the whole concept of gravity and then He did it in one little bat of an eye, or one click of His finger or one Word from His mouth.  I mean He called hydrogen and oxygen and carbon dioxide together and He did it all in all of its perfection by just saying “Let there be light”.  He’s an awesome scientist. 

But then He is a great artist.  As a matter of fact all of the great artists of history are only imitating art that He already created.  The Mona Lisa is beautiful, but God made Mona Lisa before DeVinci ever made Mona Lisa.  All we can do is imitate the art that God has already created.  When you look at the beauty of the world we live in and the universe that is around us, you are looking at art.  I mean have you ever looked at the colors of a flower; have you ever seen a rainbow in its perfection.  Have you never looked at the skyline and the horizon, the waters and the beaches blue and the sand is white, and the trees are green.  Have you ever seen how a fruit is one color on the outside, another on the inside and perfect in both ways to the extent that everything we know about color God already created color before we ever thought about color.  Every color you have on right now, do you not know that all we did was imitate what God created.  That’s all we did; nobody can create.  You can’t create a color that He hasn’t already created.  Are you getting the notion here? 

So He’s a powerful scientist and He’s an amazing artist and here’s what He said – I didn’t tell you everything about me, that’s a lot but I put enough in you so that if you ever wanted to wonder if I exist all you got to do is walk outside and open your eyes and I have made my autobiography in the stars and the blue sky, I made it in everything around us so that you don’t need evidence – the evidence is all around you.  You got to be a fool to say in your heart there is no God in light of all the awesome things He has already created around us. That’s why David said “The fool has said in His heart there is no God” because if you can’t see there is a God you are blind and prideful and arrogant and lost and foolish

Now lets back it up a little bit.  Alright, here’s what bothers me and that whenever you pray don’t you know you are praying to the man who is the scientist and the artist.  You are praying to the man who created law, who created nature, who created every concept that we have lived by.  You are praying to Him that has all that power in the palms of His hands and you doubt if He can help you find a job.  You doubt if He can help you get your bills paid.  You doubt if He can help you find your future – is anybody hearing this.  You don’t know who God is?  Here’s what he says “For the invisible things of Him, the things you can’t see and can’t quantify and can’t measure and can’t put your finger on and can’t explain – the invisible, mysterious things of Him, from the creation of the world are clearly seen being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead [look at the last phrase]; so that they are without excuse.

No Maam, you don’t need to have some great theologian to come and prove to you there is a God before you can believe.  The Bible says He put the proof inside your soul ontologically that when you get before Him you have no excuse.  It’s amazing to me.  There is one atheist who said that whenever he gets to heaven, when he stands before God, if there is a God and he stands before him, and he asks me what am I going to say, I’m just going to tell him “Well God you didn’t give us enough evidence”.  After everything I’ve just taught you so far from these first two verses doesn’t that sound extremely arrogant to you.  He didn’t give you enough evidence?

If anybody ought to be – this is why I know the devil is busy.  If anybody ought to be believers, strong believers, it ought to be doctors, astronomers, astronauts, if anybody ought to be believers they ought to be because they get to see how this amazing thing works.  Are you hearing me?  Do you not know that every time you sneeze that is God putting in action His autoimmune, involuntary reflex system so that if something got in your body that don’t belong, He has wired your body to work hard to get it out.  When you eat bad food and you throw up, you should be saying “Thank you Jesus” because it’s your body’s way – God wired your body to reject stuff in it that don’t belong because if your body weren’t working that way, and that bacteria got in you, trust me you wouldn’t make it.  But because God already knows what your body needs, He wired the body to live in the environment that He put the body in, and if Adam and Eve hadn’t messed around and ate them grapes (laughter) it would never break, but it breaks from time to time and it goes down and breaks because God knows sin brought about a broken and fallenness to His system, but even in a sinful, fallen world you can still make it about 85-90 years. 

In a world in which God has said “Your heart will stop beating, He has said that.  I know that ain’t good news for you all but I got news for you, one of these old days your heart will stop beating.  As a matter of fact He said “In the day that you eat of it your heart shall surely stop.  But His love said “Okay, okay, okay – I’m going to stop it but I’m not going to stop it right now.  I’m going to let it beat for 90 years and if you take good care of it, I might extend it a little bit.  That’s the Grace of God.  When you look at all that God has done in human history, in human biology, in human sciencey (because scientology is something else), if you look at all that God has done how dare you say there is no God.  He put the knowledge of Himself on the inside of your heart.  Here is what He says “you ain’t got no excuse and here is why, verse 21 this is critical – you’ve got to hear this. 

21Because that, when they knew God

Alright stop, stop – class if you asking yourself when did I know God, can I share with you – you have always known God.  You have always known God.  “I ain’t always known God”.  Yes you have.  You have always known God, before you knew you knew God you knew God.  If you know you, you gotta know God because God made you.  The knowledge of self is to understand the knowledge of God because you can’t understand yourself unless you understand yourself is alive and the only way you are alive is because God knelt down and breathe life into you.  You have always known God.  It’s just that when you knew God, [listen] they glorified him not as God [stop right there.  You knew that you were alive, you knew you had breath in your body, you knew there was something greater than you, you knew the sun didn’t just show up one day and the moon didn’t just show up one night, you knew something is out there, someone is out there, something great is out there, but rather than glorifying that someone or something as God, you called it something else. 

You went to school, you got educated and your education told you to call it something else.  You knew there was a God.  I had a guy tell me “He said Pastor “I used to believe in God but whenever I lost my family member in a negative experience, I said there is no God because God could never do this to me”.  And here’s what I said to him “Wow, you both denied God and you confessed God in the same sentence.  He said “What you talking about Willis”?  I said “You said there is no God but then you said because God could never do this to me”.  And the mere fact that there is something inside of your heart that has an expectation of a God says you knew there is a God or else He cannot disappoint you if you don’t know that He is there to disappoint you.  So the mere fact that you are disappointed in God says you knew there was a God” – are you getting the idea.  We can deal with the disappointment but can we first erase the thought that says there is no God, because if there is no God why you disappointed?  “It ain’t fair?  If God was real He would be fair”.  Why do you say if he was real he would be fair because you expect Him to be fair and that expectation is your ontological passion, your ontological desire for there to be a God.  Who put that desire inside of you?  Are you hearing me.  The Scriptures say “When you knew God you didn’t call Him God, you didn’t glorify Him as God, you called Him something else.  Then he goes on and says

neither were thankful;

Wow.  You were trying to make Him fair as opposed to being thankful.  You were trying to make God out of what you think He ought to be, as opposed to being thankful.  You are mad at God because of what He didn’t do or what He did do rather than being thankful.  I know you lost somebody you love but can you be thankful that you are still here.  I know you went through a difficult moment on your job or lost everything you had, but can’t you be thankful that you didn’t lose your life because there’s something to be thankful for.  As a matter of fact when you think about it if you know how wise God is, if you know how supremely intelligent – as a matter of fact He is supraintelligent.  He’s intelligent in a way you can’t understand.  To say He is supraintelligent means He is intelligent like the most intelligent person you know just a bit more, but God is so far other than anybody you know, He is far more intelligent than you could ever fathom intelligence.  Knowing this about God how can you not say thank you for what you have done.  I didn’t like it, I didn’t want it, I didn’t understand it but based on how intelligent you are I know you’ve got a good plan in store for it.  I don’t know how you are going to do it but somebody as intelligent as you has already figured it out.  Are you hearing me.  And if he had enough power and enough wisdom and enough smarts to make you, don’t you think he has enough power, wisdom and smarts to sustain you and direct you and lead you.  He says “for because when they knew God, they didn’t glorify him as God, they weren’t thankful but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

22Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,

And had the nerve

23And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man

Man corruptible – evil, sinful, wicked, lost, confused, powerless, impotent – that’s man and there are many people who respond to God as if God had those same attributes I just named.  As if God is evil, as if God is wicked, as if God is impotent – without power, as if God is confused, as if God don’t know what He is doing – are you getting the thought.  And he says that you made it, in Paul’s day like birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.  In our day we’ve made it like BMW’s, Benzes and Beamers and Bentleys, cars and houses, jobs, prestige, prominence and significance and bling bling, and here’s what he is saying.  Haven’t I shown you enough for you to know that I am nothing like you at all. 

Genesis 1 please.  He is creator.  The Bible makes the statement “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth”.  It did not waste time trying to give us any other proof about God.  It assumes from verse 1 that God is.  And it says God is in a thing called “the beginning, in a thing called the beginning.”  The beginning is sort of an unusual and interesting term because it is the only beginning that man can recall.  It is the only sensible beginning that man can conjure up but the beginning of Genesis 1:1 is not the beginning of God.  God has no beginning.  There is a part of God’s history that man can never tell because God existed when there was nothing else to exist so man could not write about God or describe God – or man could not talk about God in historical context, beyond the beginning because he has no concept of a beginning beyond the beginning.  But God had no beginning so that means before the beginning ever began, God had already spontaneously begun. 

People are always asking about this God who had already begun and they say things like “Isn’t it boring out there all by yourselves in eternity past.  There’s nobody else out there but you and isn’t that a boring, lonely, useless existence; maybe that’s why God created the world because He was lonely.  No, no, no, no, no!  God did not create the world because He was lonely.  God has no needs.  But for you to say God is lonely, you don’t know Hebrew. Because Hebrew reads in the very first verse, in the beginning – Elohim – and Elohim, the bottom (him or IM) is the plural tense of the word meaning that he pluralizes God.  So when it says in the beginning God – its not saying in the beginning one thing – it is saying in the beginning a plural of one thing.  It is in its plural form but it speaks about a singular entity.  It is plural and singular at the same time.  Because in the beginning, before the beginning ever begun, God was in the beginning loving God, relating to God, fellowshipping with God – there was community in the beginning.

The Father could not be lonely because the Son was there.  And the Son could not be lonely because the Holy Spirit was there and the Holy Spirit and the Father and the Son they were in unity – they were one in a diverse community; that’s why He’s three in one.  There is unity in diversity.  Do you know what we do?  We go to school and spend four years, and then four more years and then more years to get a Bachelor’s Degree and a Masters and a Doctorate and another and another trying to figure out what God has already personified.  We go to a university; a university is the thought, the idea, the desire to get unity in diversity.  University, and God says “I am the first university, I am unity in diversity.  I am God, Father, Son, Holy Spirit wrapped up in One.  I am three in one.  I am one God in three persons; unity in diversity.  He is the essence of all knowledge.  Everything about everything is in Him. 

So when it says “In the beginning God”, it is saying in the beginning there was this pluralized concept of One Being who was pluralized and this One Being [pluralized] created (and here’s what it says)

Genesis 1

1In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

2And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

3And God said,

Here’s how He did it.  Verse 2 is condition.  Here’s the condition.  Verse 3 is method.  Here is how He did it.  And God said

Let there be light: and there was light.  Wow.

4And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.

5And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

That is a literary concept and term that means “first segment, first phase

6And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.

7And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.

8And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.

I like the word “firmament” (laughter).  Does anybody know what a firmament is?  I want you to wave your hand; you just waved your hand through the firmament.  I want you to go outside and look at high noon tomorrow and as far as you can see is the firmament, and He said let there be a firmament and the firmament became, then he divided the firmament with waters above it – we call that water vapor.  And water beneath it – we call that ocean, rivers, streams, seas – and ain’t it funny how the water beneath the firmament comes from the water above the firmament.  Ain’t it interesting that when it rains it’s the water from beneath the firmament that evaporates above the firmament and then it comes back down to the firmament, and then it goes back up to the firmament – ain’t that a beautiful thing.  God made a cycle system of air and precipitation and water vapor and I don’t know how He does it but science tells us that you have just as much water above us as you do beneath us.  Isn’t that amazing and every now and then God reminds us of how powerful that little system of firmament is through a Hurricane Katrina – are you hearing me.  And you mean to tell me that you don’t believe there is an awesome God.  He goes on now and he says

9And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.

10And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.

11And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding  [skip to verse 14]

14And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:

I wish I could explain to you how the lights in the sky – these are stars and all of the celestial beings of the sky – how they are directly connected to the waters, the seas and the oceans whereby tides go in and tides go out, and as the seasons change or as the sun and earth and all of the planets rotate around that sun so it changes temperature, seasons, it changes all of the astronomical concepts of the sky and we have seasons of summer and winter, fall and spring and in those seasons you have different weather patterns and weather changes and it happens all over the earth so that the earth can be maintained as a place for man to exist on.  So God is constantly adjusting the thermostat every winter, every summer, every spring, every fall – to make sure that we can live and we complaining because its too hot and God is saying “It is hot for a reason” and God said, and God said, and God said - verses 20, 24, and 26.

20And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.

24And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.

26And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

Now when God was speaking everything about God is what we call effectual.  The efficaciousness of God produces, is effective, has an effect.  When God said the very word that He said was efficacious, it was effective.  Not only was it effective and efficacious, the very Word that He said was Deified.  As a matter of fact His Word is an extension of His Godhead.  His Word is just as much Him as He is Him.  John 1, and then we’ll come back to Genesis 1.  When I say Word I say word from the concept of our human understanding of speaking.  I am saying the word anthropologically but I’m not speaking about word as we say it.  When God’s Word is said it is thought, perception, it is the very mind of God; that’s called “Logos”.  In John 1:1, here’s what it says about what God says

John 1

1In the beginning was the Word

Do you see that?,

and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

An interesting Word, the Word was both with God and the Word was God.  It was with Him and it was Him at the same time.  So the Word was with God and the Word was God; in reality, in person – the Word and God are the same.

2The same was in the beginning with God.  

That’s why God had community in His diversity; that God was one in many.  The Word was with Him in the beginning.  Now here’s the interesting thing – verse 3.

3All things were made by him

The Him is the Word and the Word is God;

and without him was not any thing made that was made.  

Now stop!  Wasn’t all things made by the Word and God said, and God said, and God said, and God said, and God said, and every time God said His Word became an extension of His Godhead and it effected change so much so that this Word is God and then of course we know the Word was made flesh; dwelt among us and we beheld His glory as the only begotten of the Father.  Now the next verse says

4In him [in this Word] was life [that’s when we’ll go back to Genesis 1:26 and find out how God created life from dust; that’s next week I’m sorry]  and the life was the light of men.

I’m seven minutes over, give God the Praise and the Glory. 


 

 



 


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