The New Life Mission

Sermons

Subject 18 : GENESIS

[Chapter 1-5](Genesis 1:1-5) The Lord Has Changed Darkness to Light

(Genesis 1:1-5)
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. Then God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day.”
 
 
We believe that the God who created the universe is our God. If this is true, then it is most urgent for us to find out how we can get to know this God and how we should follow Him. In other words, on what basis should we believe in God our Creator and follow Him? The answer to this question is the following: We should get to know this God our Creator and follow Him based on His Word written in the Bible. Put differently, only when we realize the Word of God, who made us and has saved us from sin through the gospel of the water and the Spirit, can we really live by faith.
God created us and has remitted away all our sins, and it is through His Word that He blesses everyone who believes in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. God manifests Himself to all of us through His Word. It is with His Word that God makes His promises to us all. And God infallibly fulfills these promises made to us. Our God is revealed to us as the God of covenant. Therefore, we must believe that it is through His Word that God speaks to us and promises us. The God who created us is a holy God, and He is the God who reveals Himself through His spoken Word. As such, it is only through the written Word of God that we can meet this holy God, and it is also with the written Word of God that we can wash away all our sins.
The Book of Genesis in the Old Testament begins by saying, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. Then God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good.” We can see from this passage that it is by the Word of God, spoken here in Genesis 1:3—“Let there be light”—that we are freed from confusion, void, and darkness.
Genesis chapter one shows God’s plan of salvation for mankind. In other words, this Book is the blueprint for the salvation of mankind. In God’s creation, everything was planned in Jesus Christ, from the temptation of Satan to the fall of man, God’s salvation through Jesus Christ, the adoption of man as God’s child in Jesus Christ, and all the heavenly blessings that are prepared for God’s children in Jesus Christ. That’s why God said, “The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.” In Genesis 1:1, God made it clear that it was He who created the heavens and the earth, and then in verse two He said, “The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep.” By this, God is speaking about the fallen state of every mankind.
The will of God and His purpose for everything are hidden in His providence that created the universe. Even before making man in the beginning, God had planned to make everyone His child through His salvation. So God the Father had everything planned to not only blot out all our sins through Jesus Christ, but also make us His children and give us the gift of the Kingdom of Heaven. All this amazing plan of God was already designed in Jesus Christ independent of any creature’s intention. From time to time we see that some of the things we want to do sometimes run contrary to the will of God. But we eventually come to realize that God gives us everything we need to live on this earth according to His plan.
Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). Believing only in the Word of God, we must realize who Jesus Christ is and follow Him. We should realize that if we instead set our own will according to our liking and try to find God in our own way, then we will end up falling into deep confusion, void, and sin. Only when we understand God and follow Him according to the Word He spoke to us, can we then really meet God who created us and has saved us from all our sins. That’s why even now, our God is always guiding us through His Word. In other words, it is through the written Word of God that we can truly encounter Jesus Christ. This means that without the Word of God, it is impossible for us to really meet Jesus Christ who has saved us from sin.
The Bible is the treasury chest of the Word of covenant that God promised to us. God speaks to us through His Word, and He meets with us through this Word. You must grasp that because God is true, it is through His Word spoken to us that He truly meets with us. Therefore, we should not treat and read the Bible as if it were just a novel or a history book. The Scriptures say, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). The incarnation of the very Word of God written in the Bible itself is the God who spoke to us. All of us must realize this and believe in it. As such, the Bible that we are reading is the Word of God that He has given us, and it is also the testimony of God revealing Himself through His Word.
 
 
God’s Plan to Eradicate Confusion and Void
 
It’s written in Genesis 1:2-5, “The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. Then God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day.”
From the above passage we can see the will of God manifested in His Word. We can see that it is God’s will for us to free every soul bound by sin. Here we see how God is making His intention so clearly revealed, which is to drive out confusion, void, and darkness that are in people’s hearts.
What does the light that God spoke of here mean then? And to whom does it refer? This light shown in the Bible refers to Jesus Christ who has saved us from our sins. Who, then, are those trapped in confusion, void, and deep darkness? They refer to none other than us—that is, the human race trapped in the sins of the world. This passage explains that all of us were deceived by Satan’s temptation, and that there are confusion, void, and deep darkness in our hearts. When God created the heavens and the earth and made man, He planned to elevate us humans to His children. And according to this plan, God has indeed saved us from all our sins.
God had a purpose when He created us humans. Even we humans don’t make anything without a purpose. Everyone has a certain purpose whenever he makes something. When God created us humans, He said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth” (Genesis 1:26). This passage shows clearly that from the very beginning, God made us humans in His image, and He also gave free will to all of us. In other words, God is saying to us, “I have given all of you the free will and choice to either accept into your hearts or refuse My grace and My heavenly blessings that I am offering to you.” At the same time, however, this right to choose that has been given to us requires us to be fully responsible for our choices. So the Lord said, “He who does the truth comes to the light” (John 3:21). He is therefore saying that even now, those who willingly accept the righteousness of God come before the Lord to show their faith in this righteousness of God. However, those who still love darkness rather than the light do not come to this light, for they are afraid that their darkness would be exposed.
We the believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit are able to discern clearly what is the light of salvation and what is the darkness that leads us to destruction. And we can choose the light. We must realize that God is saying to us, as His creatures, we have to decide by ourselves which one we would choose and accept between truth and untruth. God said that He gave us real freedom of choice. If God permitted Heaven and hell without giving us the free will and the right to choose, then God would have to be responsible for everything. If this were the case, then the God of Truth would not be able to be truly glorified by us humans. If God were not just, and if He were not fundamentally holy and merciful to bestow His grace on the wretched, then He would not be able to really accept our adoration and worship.
God is saying, “While I am God, I have given you the free will and the right to choose. So if you are yearning to receive the gift of salvation that I am offering you, come to Me and accept all the blessings of salvation by faith. But if you like darkness, confusion, void, and wickedness more than the light of Truth, then you will enter into the place of everlasting punishment. You should definitely know that you are fully responsible for your choice.”
God speaks to all of us through His Word of Truth. So we must realize that God is saying that He will give the blessings of salvation to those who come into the Truth of salvation by believing in His righteousness. Those who truly love only the righteousness of God look toward Him alone and live by believing in Him alone. Therefore, they will live with abundant blessings of glory both on this earth and in the Kingdom of Heaven. This is the love of God revealed through the Truth of salvation. In contrast, those who like darkness will enter into the accursed darkness and suffer forever, for they have chosen destruction out of their own volition. This is the just judgment of God. God is completely perfect, righteous, and just.
God doesn’t do everything on His own strength alone, but He manifests His will to us through His Word; He even works through His Word. Furthermore, God wants to judge justly, and He also wants to be praised and worshiped by us in thankfulness. God has given the opportunity to possess His righteousness to those who choose the light of Truth before God, and so He is pleased to give them all the blessings of Heaven. God is also a just God, and therefore He will infallibly judge those who are to be judged, and He will save those who are to be saved. God is indeed so just that He will judge all those who belong to wickedness without fail. It is therefore wrong to say that God is unjust or unfair. If anyone now wants to be blessed by God who created the heavens and the earth and who has saved us from sin, then he must realize the salvation that’s manifested through the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and to do so, he must learn about God and believe in Him as well.
God has prepared true salvation for us out of His love. He has given all of us humans the right and freedom to choose either His righteousness or darkness. He has prepared everything so that anyone can now believe in whatever he wants to believe. God wants to reveal the light, His righteousness, to anyone who says, “I like the light.” To all those who accept every Word of God, God wants to give His salvation, the real Truth, and all the blessings of Heaven, but to those who prefer darkness to the light, He allows them to follow this darkness.
Even now, God the Creator of the heavens and the earth is still speaking to us through the written Word of the Bible. God is the Creator God who made the universe and everything in it with His Word. Because God alone is righteous, He wants to clothe all creatures with His righteousness through His mercy. Only God is the Creator of all creatures, the Supreme Being, and the true God. Of course, one can choose to stand against the Word of God, but no one can win over the Word of God.
God created the heavens and the earth in the beginning. He made everything, both the visible and invisible domains. Do you admit this? Having made everything, God has given us the right to choose, that is, the free will. The grace of God is bestowed on people according to their choices. The Bible says, “For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us—by me, Silvanus, and Timothy—was not Yes and No, but in Him was Yes” (2 Corinthians 1:19). This passage means that in the Kingdom of God, there is no such a thing as “no,” and nothing that is irrational.
 
 
We Must Realize That It Was Also under God’s Plan That Man Was Permitted to Fall into Satan’s Temptation
 
Today’s Scripture passage says, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth,” and then continues on to say, “The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep.” This passage implies that in God’s plan, it was preconditioned that Satan would deceive man and make him fall into sin. If Genesis chapters one and two provide the blueprint of God’s plan, from chapter three and on, the implementation of this plan and its achievement are described. We may say that God started to carry out of His work of salvation for mankind.
About ten years ago, a department store in Seoul collapsed and left many casualties. Investigation into the cause of the collapse revealed that the design of this building had been changed several times not only during its construction phase, but even after the building was complete. Repeated changes to its structure weakened the building’s structural integrity, and that’s what led to its tragic collapse. In contrast to this, our God never changed His plan for our salvation, not even once. With the gospel of the water and the Spirit, He implemented the salvation of all mankind just as He had designed in Jesus Christ before the foundation of the world. Knowing that man, His creature, would fall into sin, God did not just leave him alone, but instead He formed man with a great plan to recreate him with the righteousness of God and make him be born again.
That is why God said, “Let there be light,” when the earth was without form and void, and darkness was on the face of the deep. The light here is the righteousness of God that Jesus Christ has fulfilled for our salvation. In other words, it is the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit made by Jesus. The gospel of the water and the Spirit is the gospel of Truth that enables sinners to be born again through the Word of God. Everyone was made a sinner because of his ancestors; and his thoughts were confused, void, and in deep darkness. But the gospel of the water and the Spirit is the gospel prepared by God to wash away every sinner’s sins and make them be born again. If man had not been tempted by Satan, then it would have been impossible for anyone to become God’s child. All of us could be born again because we received the remission of sin by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit that constitutes the righteousness of God. We had become sinners because we did not believe in the Word of God, but by putting on the grace of Jesus Christ who has become the righteousness of God, believing in it, and being born again, we were able to become God’s children. This is the plan of salvation God had established even before the creation of this universe.
When Adam and Eve, the ancestors of mankind, became sinners deceived by Satan, God the Father delivered us from sin through Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son. The fact that we were born in this world as Adam’s descendants was also all included in God’s profound plan and predestination. It’s said that a cicada has to stay underground for several years as a larva, climb out of the ground, and then cast off its shell before it really turns into a cicada. Just as the larva here has to spend sometime underground before it can turn into an adult cicada, it was also included in God’s predestination that people should be tempted and attacked by Satan and be imprisoned under sin for a while. The will of God permitted Satan’s temptation to occur, because only when we turned into sinners could we then become God’s people by believing in the righteousness of God.
That’s why God said, “The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep.” In other words, God is saying that the reason why people fell into confusion, void, and deep darkness is fundamentally because they did not believe in the Word of God with their hearts. It’s because everyone fell prey to Satan, the moment he left God his Creator, unable to trust in Him and His love. Even now, if people do not believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit that God has given us and depart from it, then confusion, void, and darkness will visit this unbelieving heart. Among the human race today—that is, the descendants of Adam—those who have not been able to meet the God of covenant are all seized by their own thoughts and falling into confusion. That’s because they all do not believe in the Word of God. Since they don’t believe in the Word of God, they don’t know how God has washed away their sins, and how He wants to meet with them in the house of the Lord. For people to escape from such confusion of their own thoughts, there is no other way but to return to God by believing in His Word. If we return to Jesus Christ who came by the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and believe in the Word of God, then we will surely be able to find the God of our salvation, for we will be able to clearly realize His will and be freed from all confusion.
Those who do not recognize Jesus Christ as their Savior who came by the gospel of the water and the Spirit are bound to fall into deep void and sin. Put differently, unless they realize the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit, they cannot escape from this sin. For such people whose hearts have no faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit that constitutes the righteousness of God, there can be no washing of sin in their hearts, nor true satisfaction. Fundamentally, when God made us humans, He did so under the precondition that He would make us according to His image. So, if we humans believed in the gospel of the water and the Spirit according to God’s will, we would then be made truly sinless. Therefore, as God made us according to His image, we could not be made whole unless we had faith in the righteousness of God. That’s why those who have not been remitted from their sins fall into void, confusion, and darkness. Therefore, everyone’s heart must have faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit that constitutes the righteousness of God. And as those who believe in the Word of God, our hearts must abide in His righteousness by faith. Jesus Christ our Creator must dwell in our hearts as the gospel of the water and the Spirit. And we can truly be saved only when we become whole by truthfully believing in the gospel Truth fulfilled by the Holy Trinity—God the Father, Jesus the Son of God the Creator, and the Holy Spirit.
Everyone who fails to find the God-given gospel of the water and the Spirit by faith has an empty heart, and he cannot live by true faith. If we encounter Jesus Christ by faith, who came by the gospel of the water and the Spirit, then we will truly attain everlasting life and live forever in God’s arms. Therefore, in order to make it possible for all of us to find Jesus Christ and attain God’s image, God had prepared Jesus Christ for us before the foundation of the world. God fulfilled His righteousness for us and gave it to us.
God said to us, “The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep.” In other words, deceived by the evil wiles of Satan, we had fallen into sin, void, and confusion. When we were still sinners, God sent His Son Jesus Christ, made Him be baptized by John the Baptist and be crucified. So God showed us why His righteousness was indispensable to us, and He also said that He would save us from sin through His Son Jesus Christ. Put differently, God promised that He would save us from confusion with His righteousness and through Jesus Christ. That the Lord has saved us from profound sin, void, and dissatisfaction is the Truth that was already promised to us in the Bible.
“Then God said, ‘Let there be light.’” This light here refers to none other than Jesus Christ, who has saved you and me from sin through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Jesus Christ is the Lord of your salvation and mine. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” It’s none other than Jesus Christ who made the first heavens and earth that are visible to our physical eyes now. Because Jesus is God Himself, the One who made this earth and these heavens is none other than Jesus, and by sending His Son Jesus, the Creator of the universe, God the Father blotted out all our sins and fulfilled His righteousness.
“God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night.” Although in this passage Jesus is revealed only as God, in the Bible, Jesus Christ is also revealed as our High Priest. Jesus Christ also manifests Himself as our Savior, as well as our Prophet who teaches us everything. This Jesus Christ is the “light” in which God the Father is well pleased.
Who was the One here manifested as God, the One who made the true light in this universe? It was none other than Jesus Christ who is the righteousness of God. So the Bible says that Jesus is the Son of God. And God the Father of Jesus Christ says in Psalm, “I have begotten You” (Psalm 2:7). The Son of God begotten by the God the Father is God Himself to you and me. So the Apostle John says, “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 nothing was made that was made” (John 1:1-3). This means that Jesus, the God of the Word, made this universe with His Word. With His Word, Jesus Christ made these heavens and this earth that are seen in our eyes now. And through His Son, God the Father made us righteous with the gospel of the water and the Spirit. We must grasp clearly that Jesus Christ is God Himself. To those who believe in His baptism and His blood on the Cross, He has given the remission of sins that enables them to attain the righteousness of God and become God’s children.
The Bible says, “God saw the light, that it was good.” God’s plan of salvation prepared in Jesus Christ is profound and beautiful. That’s why in referring to this great plan of God, the Bible says, “Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out! For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things” (Romans 11:33; 36). How can a creature fully understand its Creator? Everything came from God, and everything shall return to God.
God has promised His righteousness to us. And with His Word, He has divided His people from the Devil’s people. If you, now reading this book, accept the gospel of the water and the Spirit that constitutes the righteousness of God into your heart, then you will also become God’s child. Out of His infinite love, God the Father sacrificed His Son to give you His righteousness. Therefore the Bible says that not believing in the righteousness of God is a sin. Come into the Word of God, the gospel of the water and the Spirit that holds His righteousness. You, too, will then also be able to attain the righteousness of God.