Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Beginning of Advent

The following are my notes from the sermon today at church. It's the start of the Advent season, plus we were wrapping up a series in Genesis about creation. The timing was perfect as we begin contemplating the meaning of Christ's birth. There are so many new things to comprehend this year. I love that the learning never stops...God always opens my eyes to new and exciting things.

Genesis and Advent - Prophecy

The point is the game, not how we get there...

e.g., debating the creation - Literal (new earth) or older

  • What is metaphor and what isn't in the Bible?
  • What is literal and what isn't in the Bible?
  • Is a day literal?

Genesis 1 is in different chronological order from Genesis 2. There are many questions that science can answer and vice versa.

  • Why are we the way we are?
  • What is our purpose?
  • How do we function?
  • Who has a soul?
  • What happens when we die?
  • What makes us human?

Genesis 2:7 - We have body, soul and spirit. Science doesn't explain why we're so glorious and so tragic at the same time. WHY??

  • What is the image of God?

We can create tons of beauty and wonderful new things. No one except humans purposely inflict pain on one another. Some animals, but most are in more harmony than humans.

The larger point?

Adam's story is my story too.

What is Adam's story? There are two different stories::chapter 1 vs chapter 2

Genesis 1:

  • God is Eloheem ( Hebrew)
  • Speaks of God's power
  • Created things to sustain all life
  • If ruled properly, everyone has enough

Genesis 2:

  • God is Yaweh/ Jehovah/Lord
  • Yatsir - creation of man
  • Man is endowed with spirit
  • Though we're made in His image, we failed to do so - genesis 3
  • More of anything will not solve out problems
  • It's a human heart issue
  • We're supposed to be ruling, not dominating
  • God did not say the heavens and man were "good" like the other things

Act 1

Innocence; not perfection - Jesus learned obedience through his suffering. This is how He matured. Adam and Eve in the garden had a choice to obey.

  • If you can't obey, you can't grow in love
  • Love tries to learn what the other wants and following through
  • We have to choose to love in order to be loved
  • We will move from innocence into perfection
  • Adam fell short and did not obey

Act 2

Through one man, sin entered the world. Death spread from this sin to all men. Adam's spirit died after he sinned. Adam lived to be 960 years old. We are broken because we're from Adam and Eve and we know this brokenness on a global and personal level.

  • Peace is better than war
  • Generosity is better than greed
  • Justice is better than injustice
  • Life is better than death

We know we're made for justice, but we don't live like that. In one or many areas, I know how I should be living, but am living elsewhere. I fall short. Knowing the right thing isn't enough, because people know and still break the law. King David, a man after God's own heart slept with a married woman and killed the husband.

Act 3

Who will deliver me from this? Not what. Jesus came to deliver us. He came to fulfill what Adam was supposed to do. Jesus is an image bearer. He walked on water, performed miracles and defeated Satan on the cross. He loved his enemies and He is perfection and redeemed us to God. He is what we cannot be. There is a gap between where we are and where we're supposed to be. We need someone to help us close the gap.

Genesis gives purpose, calling and dignity

When we go to sporting events, we cheer for someone who can do what we cannot. Everything hinges on this player...Christ is worthy, and comes through with a home run.

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