God’s gospel originates in and expresses the wondrous perfections of the eternal, triune God.
1. We believe in one God, Creator of all things, holy, infinitely perfect, and eternally existing in a loving unity of three equally divine Persons: The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Having limitless knowledge and sovereign power, God has graciously purposed from eternity to redeem a people for Himself and to make all things new for His own glory.
In an earlier post I highlighted some “Questions in Genesis.” In this post I want to think briefly about the rich “Answers in Genesis” that these two chapters present to gospel people. Rather than debating the mechanics of creation, I wish to affirm that these chapters provide us with deep, rich insights into the character and plans of our God. Many of these ideas are summarized in Article One of our EFCC Statement of Faith (which I have quoted above).
Genesis 1-2 reminds us that our God is Creator – and creative! Time and again in these chapters we see that the creation is good – very good, indeed! It is good because our God is good – He is holy, infinitely perfect, and eternally existing! If you have read any of the ancient stories about the Greek, Canaanite, or Roman gods, you cannot but be amazed at the goodness of our God (as introduced to us in Genesis 1-2). He isn’t malevolent, capricious, or immoral, or any of the things we see from the ancient pagan gods. He has good plans for His creation. He is goodness, through and through! His rule is benevolent. He invites Adam and Eve to join Him in a “tending” of the creation meant for its flourishing, not for His own personal abuse. He is sovereign over it – He is king, but He is a loving, wise king who revels in the beauty of what He has made and invites humanity to join Him in its flourishing.
We see that our God is a “loving unity of equally divine persons.” He declares, “Let us make man in our image!” Loving unity is such a central feature of His nature that He declares that it is “not good” for Adam to be alone – and He creates a perfect counterpart so that Adam and Eve can experience the same loving unity. The beauty of God’s plan for male and female reflects the loving heart of an infinitely perfect, relational God. Genesis shows us God’s plan of shalom – loving and flourishing community for His creation and for humanity, the pinnacle of His creation. Genesis 3 of course shows how sin and rebellion destroy so much of this beauty, and yet, we see throughout the Word that “God has graciously purposed from eternity to redeem a people for Himself and to make all things new for His own glory.” The first two chapters of Genesis remind us that our God is essentially a God of lovingkindness whose plan for creation and for male and female is beautiful and fulfilling. All human substitutes for His plan may seem good and satisfying in the short run – but in the end fall short of the beautiful plan God had for creation, creature, and community.
Even the Fall of Genesis 3 cannot destroy the dignity of humans (the image of God in us), nor the beauty of creation. We do well to anchor our vision of God, creation, sex, marriage, calling, vocation, and community in this beautiful passage that introduces our God and His plan for His creation!
EFCC Executive Director