I am writing this post to extend my support to my Sister Najma Zaman (in Christ), who is conducting a study for her Masters in Psychology on the effect of Christian practice in people’s lives. A study, which required me to reflect on Gen 1:1-3 over a period of two weeks and check for any improvements on my well-being by way of a psychometric test carried out before and after the reading period.
Let’s look at Gen 1:1-3 & John 20:20-22…
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. 3 Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.
20 And when He had said this, He showed them both His hands and His side. The disciples then rejoiced when they saw the Lord. 21 So Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” 22 And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.
When we look at the above verses, we get this idea that there was something formless and void, which God illuminated by simply saying “Let there be light”. Such is the power of God’s word. In this context, it would help you understand that prophesy in the Bible is not just God looking into the future and tell His people what shall come to pass but He instead defines the future by saying what He shall do in that time by the sheer power of His will. So too, the Bible is referred to as the Word of God because in it is that life giving breath of God, which gives the elect spiritual life. This is the spiritual life God breathed into Adam after he formed him out of dust, which Adam lost in his disobedience (Gen 2 below). This spiritual life was/is restored to God’s elect by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus, who paid the price of Adam’s disobedience with His perfect obedience to the point death (Phil 2 below), thus taking our place in death to pay the wages of our sins that we may have life in Him (Rom 6:23).
7 And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Reading Rom 5:17 should help you understand the context of the two verses, mentioned above. Gen 1:1-3 also has some startling similarity with baptism, where Rom 6:4 says that in baptism we die with Jesus to our sin and are raised to new life. It’s also interesting to note from Joshua 1:2 that the Israelites had to enter the Promise Land by crossing the Jordan. The waters of baptism therefore represent repentance where we are quickened from that spiritual death, which defines our self-righteousness, to spiritual life God offers His elect in the Lord Jesus Christ (John 12:24-26). About the Holy Spirit descending on Jesus when He was baptized, we must remember that the reason Jesus was baptized because He shares two complete natures perfectly i.e. Man (without sin) & God. So as much as it was not God the Son who died on the cross but the Man Jesus who did, so also it was not God the Son was baptized but the Man Jesus, to indicate He is the first born of the brethren leading them unto Salvation (Rom 8:28/1Pet 2:24). Let’s take a look at the baptism account of Jesus as given in John 1.
29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. 30 This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me. 31 And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water. 32 And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him. 33 And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.
So, what is the take home from this study? Well, for long as you out there in the world living for yourself and serving your own interest, you do not have spiritual life… your life lacks form and is void. The conversion however happens when we rest our faith in Jesus, who is the light of the world (Jn 8:12) and as we conform each day into His likeness, we become the light of Christ to a world (Mat 5:14) sold to darkness and bondage of sin. Remember, we were made in the image of God (Gen 1:26), meaning we were made to reflect that very nature of God in our being, and so in dying to ourselves and living for God, our spiritual ideology takes shape as we find divine purpose in life. It is also intriguing to note that scientifically as you journey into the depths of the oceans, there comes a point where there is no light and the creatures here that produce their own light as some of the most hideous creatures you’ve seen. I guess that is how spiritual death (sin) manifest itself in the lives of the reprobate that the farther they are from the righteous of God (light of Christ), the more hideous these creatures are who live by their self-righteousness (making their own light). Luke 5:31-32 is a nice verse to read in this context.
31 And Jesus answering said unto them, They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick. 32 I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
I shall now close this post, hoping that my effort in reflecting on Gen 1:1-3 in the light of scripture compliments Najma’s efforts in her study of Christian beliefs/practice positively affecting people’s lives. All the best dear Sister.