Questions like these can fill our minds, as we contemplate the majesty of creation next to the present suffering in our world. The answers to all these questions – and more – can be found in the opening chapters of Genesis; a word meaning ‘beginnings,’ or ’origins.’ This book of beginnings records the awe-inspiring preexistence of our Creator God, documenting the events that shaped the course of our cosmos and framed the future of our world. Chapters 1-11 define the identity and purpose of humanity, and form the seed-bed of the Bible’s story-line of salvation. Studying this foundational book will build your faith in God, boost your sense of significance, teach you about grace, and fill you with hope.
Study Genesis 1-11 to know who God is
‘In the beginning… God created the heavens and the earth’ (Gen 1:1). God reveals himself in Genesis as the reigning, Sovereign Creator. His amazing creation reflects His glory, revealing his attributes to the extent that every person – everywhere and in every age – stands accountable to Him. Everyone who has ever been born has been given enough evidence of God’s power and divine nature to know that he is worthy to be worshipped, adored and obeyed. Incredibly, this great Creator who spoke worlds into existence also desires to be close to His creation. Beginning with Adam and Eve, He relates intimately with the people He fashions by His hand, walking closely with them and lovingly revealing Himself to them.
Study Genesis 1-11 to learn who you are
In the beginning, ‘God created humankind in his own image’ (Gen. 1:27). Genesis reinforces that as the pinnacle of his creation, humans are uniquely made in God’s image. God graciously includes Adam and Eve in His work of cultivating and caring for the earth. He tells them to be ‘fruitful and multiply’ (v28). Eden was a paradise of perfect relationship and productive work. Each person finds their highest life purpose in knowing God, loving Him, enjoying fellowship with Him, and glorifying him forever.
Study Genesis 1-11 to understand the problem of sin
In the beginning… humankind fell (Gen. 3). The Genesis story also teaches us about humanity’s greatest problem: sin. When Adam and Eve disobeyed God in the garden of Eden, all humanity fell with them and inherited a sinful nature, along with the resulting penalty of death. The brokenness we experience in this world can be explained by this sinful nature, which values satisfying self over glorifying God.
The depth of sin in people’s hearts impacts not only individuals, but society and the created order as well. In Genesis 3-11, we watch Cain’s family line arrogantly embrace this sin nature and prefer self, darkness and rejection of the truth about God. All those who perished in the Flood and rejected God at the Tower of Babel rebelled against God’s loving rule and faced sobering consequences, which continue to this day.
Study Genesis 1-11 to discover humanity’s only hope
In the beginning… God had a plan. Right through Creation, the Fall, the Flood and the Tower of Babel, God’s consistent faithfulness is contrasted with humanity’s constant failures. The darkness of human sin sets a striking backdrop for the light of God’s mercy and grace to take centre stage from Genesis 12 onwards. When Adam and Eve first sinned, they faced God’s just consequences, but also His promise of a remedy for sin.
Jesus Christ – the One through whom all things were made (John 1:3) – is God in all His glory. He came to earth to die for sinners, fulfilling God’s plan to redeem fallen humanity. He lovingly took sin's judgment upon himself, so that by grace through faith we could be brought from the bondage of sin back into free fellowship with God; our brokenness restored to wholeness and abundant life. What a sure and certain hope that is! He is the God of new beginnings!
Begin the new year with God
Do you feel like you need a fresh start in your Bible study rhythms this upcoming new year? Maybe you sense it’s time to rediscover the firm foundations of your faith. Or perhaps your Bible study group is simply on the lookout for new Bible study material. There’s no better place to start than in the book of beginnings! Our Genesis courses will help you lay the best foundation possible for the year ahead.
… Get to know God as the ultimate Life Giver.
… Learn more about His purpose for you.
… Take an honest look at sin, and
… Be assured that there is always hope.
Could you think of a better way to start 2021?