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THE FIRST DAY OF CREATION

(SERMON #2 ON THE BOOK OF GENESIS)

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached on Lord’s Day Evening, July 8, 2007
at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles

“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And 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. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light” (Genesis 1:1-3).


Dr. Henry M. Morris was the founder of the Institute for Creation Research. He received his degree in science from the University of Minnesota and for twenty-eight years served on faculties of major universities, including thirteen years as chairman of the Civil Engineering department at the Virginia State University.

The Genesis Record is the only commentary on the entire Book of Genesis written by a creationist scientist. Dr. Morris wrote this commentary with the conviction that the first eleven chapters of Genesis are as truly historical as the remaining chapters. This conviction was not based on faith alone, but on many years of study of the scientific aspects of the Genesis record.

In his book, The Genesis Record, Dr. Morris guides the reader through the historical account of earth’s early history, providing the background so necessary in understanding, not only the Book of Genesis, but the whole Bible (adapted from the jacket statements of The Genesis Record, Baker Book House, 1986 reprint). Dr. Charles C. Ryrie, then professor of Systematic Theology at Dallas Theological Seminary, called The Genesis Record by Dr. Morris, “One of the very best commentaries” (jacket statement).

“And 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. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day” (Genesis 1:3-5).

Dr. Morris said,

Verse 3 is the first record of God speaking in the Bible. “And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.” The Word of God brings light!...When light appeared, “God divided the light from the darkness.” Darkness was not removed completely, so far as the earth was concerned, but only separated from the light. Furthermore, “God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night.” As though in anticipation of future misunderstandings, God carefully defined His terms! The very first time He used the word “day” (Hebrew yom), He defined it as the “light,” to distinguish it from the “darkness” called “night” (Henry M. Morris, Ph.D., The Genesis Record, Baker Book House, 1986 edition, p. 55).

We agree with Dr. Morris that the Genesis account of creation is literally true. We believe that God created the world because the Lord Jesus Christ said so. He spoke of “the beginning of the creation which God created” (Mark 13:19). He said, “But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female” (Mark 10:6). Since we trust the Lord Jesus, we accept what He said – the world was created by God exactly as we read about in the first chapter of Genesis. Christ Himself settles the question for us.

But the creation of light on the first day also has a typical meaning. The Scofield Study Bible says correctly that “The ‘greater light’ is a type of Christ…Christ is that light.” The New Testament says,

“In him was life; and the life was the light of men” (John 1:4).

Christ Himself said,

“I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life” (John 8:12).

In this sermon I will not speak directly about God creating light on the first day but, instead, I will explain how the creation of light in the beginning is a picture, or type, of the way the light of Christ comes to a man in the second creation, when he is converted. Much of what I say will be a simplified version of C. H. Spurgeon’s sermon, “Light, Natural and Spiritual” (The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Pilgrim Publications, 1979 reprint, volume XI, pp. 636-648). We will take notice of several parallels between the first day of creation and a man’s conversion.

I. First, the chaotic condition.

Please look at Genesis 1:2.

“And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep…” (Genesis 1:2a).

The Keil and Delitzsch commentary tells us that the words “without form, and void” (tohu vabohu) “signify waste and empty…the coming earth was at first waste and desolate, a formless, lifeless mass…The chaotic mass in which the earth and the firmament were still undistinguished, unformed, and as it were unborn, was a heaving deep, an abyss of waters, and this deep was wrapped in darkness” (C. F. Keil, Ph.D., Commentary on the Old Testament, Eerdmans, 1973 reprint, volume I, p. 48).

Arthur W. Pink said, “The early history of the earth corresponds with the history of the believer in Christ. What occurred in connection with the world of old, finds its correspondence in the regenerated man” (Arthur W. Pink, Gleanings in Genesis, Moody Press, 1981 reprint, p. 14).

What a picture this is of an unconverted man! “Without form, and void” – “waste and empty, desolate, a formless, lifeless mass…an abyss of waters…wrapped in darkness” (C. F. Keil, ibid.).

“The wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt” (Isaiah 57:20).

Man in his fallen state is like the earth at the beginning – empty and desolate, a lifeless mass, wrapped in darkness,

“Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart” (Ephesians 4:18).

Man in his natural state is like the old world at the beginning,

“without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep” (Genesis 1:2a).

II. Second, the Spirit of God moved.

“…And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters” (Genesis 1:2b).

This pictures the starting point of conversion. As it was in creation, that which was “without form, and void,” which was as Dr. Keil said, “A formless, lifeless mass,” could not bring life to itself. The world that was “wrapped in darkness” could not, by itself, find light. The earth in its primitive state could not transform itself. If order was to be brought out of chaos, God Himself must do it! If light was to come to a darkened world, God must create it!

The analogy holds true in conversion. A lost man never seeks God. The Bible says,

“There is none that seeketh after God” (Romans 3:11).

The unconverted man is like a lost sheep. The sheep which is lost does not seek the shepherd. It is the Shepherd who goes, it is Christ who goes,

“after that which is lost, until he find it” (Luke 15:4).

Conversion begins by God Himself seeking the lost soul and drawing it to Christ, who said,

“No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him” (John 6:44).

The activity of the Holy Spirit is the first thing that happens when a chaotic, unborn sinner, wrapped in darkness, is brought to salvation. A fallen man is as helpless as the early earth. The lost sinner can no more regenerate himself than the chaotic world could form itself! God must do it!

“…And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters” (Genesis 1:2b).

I wonder tonight if God is moving in your life. I wonder if His Spirit is drawing you out of sin to the Saviour. You will never find Christ by yourself. It depends entirely on the grace of God, drawing you to the Saviour for cleansing and salvation.

III. Third, the Word of God spoke.

Please look at Genesis 1:3. Let us stand and read it aloud.

“And God said, Let there be light: and there was light”
      (Genesis 1:3).

You may be seated.

First there was the activity of the Holy Spirit, and then came the spoken Word of God. The very first thing God said was, “Let there be light: and there was light.”

It is the same in conversion. The Holy Spirit never operates outside the ministry of the Word of God. Arthur W. Pink said, “Light comes to the sinner through the Word applied by the Spirit” (Pink, ibid., p. 17).

“The entrance of thy words giveth light” (Psalm 119:130).

Just as the Word of God created light in the early world, so the Word of God brings light to the darkened soul.

“Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever”
      (I Peter 1:23).

If the Holy Spirit is drawing you, your heart will be opened to hear the preaching of the Word of God, and to receive Christ Jesus, who said,

“I am the light of the world” (John 8:12; 9:5).

Great Spurgeon said that the light of creation and the light of conversion both operate

unaided by the darkness itself…Look at your own fallen nature: is there anything there which could assist in the great work of salvation? If you think so, you know not yourself. The power which saves a sinner is not the power of man. The power of man must die, for its only use is to stand out as far as possible against the power of God…Do not think Christians are made by education; they are made by creation. You may wash a corpse as long as you please…but you cannot wash life into it…you cannot make it live: the vital spark must come from above. Regeneration is not of the will of man…but by the power and energy of the Spirit of God, and the Spirit of God alone (Spurgeon, ibid., p. 640).

“And God said, Let there be light: and there was light”
      (Genesis 1:3).

Again, Spurgeon said,

There came no voice out of the thick darkness, “Oh God, enlighten us;” the desire and thought began with [God] not with the darkness. He said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. The first work of grace in the heart does not begin with man’s desire, but with God implanting the desire…See then the ruin of nature and the freeness of grace. Void and dark, a chaos given up to be covered with blackness and darkness for ever, and, while as yet it is unseeking God, the light arises, and the promise is fulfilled. [The Bible says] “I am found of them that sought me not” (Spurgeon, ibid., p. 641).

You have no more power to make yourself become a Christian than the ancient world had to bring itself out of chaos and darkness. You have no more power to bring light to yourself than the old world had of finding light. The light that came to the early earth came by the power of God’s grace alone.

“And God said, Let there be light: and there was light”
      (Genesis 1:3).

It is the same with the salvation of your soul.

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).

Salvation is “not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.” Just as light was a gift to a chaotic darkened earth, so is the light of Jesus a gift of grace to sinners, whose lives are “without form, and void,” whose souls are lost in darkness. The salvation of the early earth was by the grace of God in Christ. And if you are ever drawn out of darkness to the living Christ, it will happen by a sheer work of God’s grace alone.


Amazing grace! how sweet the sound,

   That saved a wretch like me!

I once was lost, but now am found,

   Was blind but now I see.

(“Amazing Grace” by John Newton, 1725-1807).


“Oh,” I have heard many say, “I was lost and I knew it. I was resisting God, and I knew I was resisting Him. But then somehow, I cannot explain it, my heart was broken by my sin. And somehow, I cannot fully understand the reason, my resistance was broken down. I came to Jesus, and He washed my sins away and made me clean in the sight of God!” That is salvation by the grace of God in Christ!

If such marvelous grace should come to you, it will come suddenly, as it always does, just as it did on the first day of creation, when

“God said, Let there be light: and there was light” (Genesis 1:3).

May the marvelous, unmerited grace of God come to you soon, to save you from a life of chaos and an eternity of ruin. May the grace of God draw you to the light of the Lord Jesus Christ soon, and may you come to know Jesus, whom to know is “life from the dead” (Romans 11:15).


Come to the Light, ‘tis shining for thee;

Sweetly the Light has dawned upon me;

Once I was blind, but now I can see;

The Light of the world is Jesus.
   (“The Light of the World is Jesus” by Philip P. Bliss, 1838-1876).


O come, come to the light! Come to Jesus! Come to Him and be saved instantly! Come to Him tonight!

(END OF SERMON)
You can read Dr. Hymers' sermons each week on the Internet
at www.realconversion.com. Click on “Sermon Manuscripts.”

Scripture Read Before the Sermon by Dr. Kreighton L. Chan: Genesis 1:1-3.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:
“The Light of the World is Jesus” (by Philip B. Bliss, 1838-1876).


THE OUTLINE OF

THE FIRST DAY OF CREATION

(SERMON #2 ON THE BOOK OF GENESIS)

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And 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. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light” (Genesis 1:1-3).

(Genesis 1:3-5; Mark 13:19; 10:6; John 1:4; 8:12)

I.   First, the chaotic condition, Genesis 1:2a; Isaiah 57:20;
Ephesians 4:18.

II.  Second, the Spirit of God moved, Genesis 1:2b; Romans 3:11;
Luke 15:4; John 6:44.

III. Third, the Word of God spoke, Genesis 1:3; Psalm 119:130;
I Peter 1:23; John 8:12; 9:5; Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 11:15.