Sunday, January 24, 2016

The Work of Christ Typified in the Creation Account

The Book of Genesis is probably one of the most read books of the Bible among Christians. God gives his own commentary on the book through the New Testament. Reading through the creation account, without the help of the New Testament, no one would connect the events of creation with the works of Christ in the hearts and lives of sinners.

But the New Testament writers refer to the creation account as an object lesson of how God works in the hearts of sinful men. The beginning of the Book of John uses the exact opening as the Book of Genesis (“In the beginning…”) to direct attention to the contrast between light and darkness. In the case of the Book of John, the light and darkness refers to the Light of the world (Jesus Christ) and a dark sinful world. One reason God revealed in the creation account that he could shine light into darkness was to prove that he could shine light into the darkened hearts of sinful men through Jesus Christ. The Book of John continues this thought in 3:19:

And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

Paul used this approach as well in 2 Cor 4:6:

For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

The former passages of the New Testament reveal the dark and sinful nature of humanity and the life giving light of God, Jesus Christ. God has clearly revealed that there is no light in sinful men until he shines it in them. Just as Jesus told Nicodemus, men are born of the Spirit and not of the flesh because the flesh can only offer darkness (sin) and not light (life in Christ).

In the creation account, before light entered into the world it was described as formless, void, and dark. The first three days involved God giving form to the world (dry land, etc) and the last three days was God filling the world (animals, etc). Hearts of sinful men are formless and void when it comes to the holiness of God; it doesn’t exist within their hearts. God must act upon the hearts of men through the Holy Spirit to conform it and fill it with his glory. The Spirit of God moves upon, or hovers over, the hearts of men just as it moved upon the face of the waters in the creation account. In his own timing, he is waiting to shine light in those he has chosen to partake in the heavenly calling.

Once someone partakes of the heavenly calling that leads them to become a new creature in Christ, God continues working in them until their last day on earth. Just as God finished his creation in six days, God will finish the work he has started in a believer till the day he calls them home. Paul understood very well that nothing can separate a believer from the love of Christ. God will see to it that every believer will enjoy the eternal rest that the seventh day of creation typified (Heb 4:9-11). The creation account is proof that there is salvation, sanctification, and redemption with God.

Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: Phil 1:6