THE ESSENTIALS TRUTHS IN LIFE
Introduction: Having a Right Worldview
In today’s society, many people have significantly lost definitions. Men and women do not know what exactly they believe and even why they believe so. Many simply go along with the “tide” of secular and common knowledge. Having knowledge of the truth is a necessary thing in life. If truth should be relative of different persons and societies, there will be a chaos. For instance, the society’s lack of absolute position/stand in matters of homosexuality, divorce, and abortion has brought significant political and social conflicts. Moreover, knowledge of truth is necessary to answer deep questions in life, including God, life, relationships, suffering, and more. This knowledge of truths about life constitutes one’s worldview – which defines and directs a person’s life. Interestingly, the Scripture is full of these truths, and having true knowledge of Biblical truth results in having sound direction in life.
Biblical Truths in Genesis 1-11
The book of Genesis gives the account of the history. In one sense, along with all other books in Scripture, Genesis is the story of God. Nevertheless, it also shows, in many ways, the relationship of humanity with God in terms of his life. While the entire book accounts various themes of life, Genesis 1:1-11:9 discusses some basic and essential truths in human life.
1. The Natural World
The book of Genesis opens with the account of creation of the universe and the material world. It first assumes that God exists right before the beginning of all things. Genesis 1:1 reads, “In the beginning God” The existence of everything in the universe points to the necessity of the existence of its Creator. For even the law of science affirms that for something to happen or exist there should be an outside cause. Thus, for things to exist there should be an origin, and this should be superior and self-existent – the description which accurately fits God.
Second, it affirms that creation was fulfilled out of nothing. In the beginning, the material world was formless and there is nothing but darkness (Gen. 1:2). God did not need any material to create the heavens and the earth, and the entire creation not a transformation of a preexistent world. This absolute beginning of all things was made by the infinite power of its Creator.
Third, the account shows that creation was made beautiful and good. After every day of creation, God states that what He made is good. In Genesis 1:31 God considered all that He made as good. Other passages in the Scripture tell that God made it with wisdom (Pro. 8:22-23, 27, 30). The creation was made with wisdom, power, and excellence.
1.1 Practical Implications
The account of creation clearly refutes the concepts of Atheism, Pantheism, Polytheism, Materialism, Humanism, and Naturalism. All other views contrary to the truth of God and the relation of creation, including mankind, to God are not the truth.
Second, this shows that all things owe their existence from God. This implies that man cannot boast in himself. It contradicts the idea of self-esteem, which psychology suggests. Also, it implies that man’s life is not his own. The secular knowledge, “Follow your heart no matter what”; the Biblical worldview says, “Follow God.” Further, this implies that God is trustworthy and dependable. The power of God in creation and man’s dependence on Him for existence bids everyone to come to God. This truth answers the questions about life’s sufferings.
Third, the account of creation gives knowledge of how sin negatively impacted the wonderful creation of God. After the fall of man, things have had a drastic change, thereby giving us a clear presentation of the nature of sin and its consequences.
2. Human Identity
Genesis also identifies mankind as part of God’s [wonderful] creation. In fact, man is the pinnacle of God’s creation in that he was made in the likeness of God (Gen. 1:26-27). Although man was not like God in His self-existent and eternal being/nature, man was made as a reflection of God’s character. The existence of man was meant to manifest the glory of God. Moreover, Genesis tells us that man was given the privilege of being administrators who would rule over the creation on His behalf. Man was called to be good and faithful stewards over God’s work.
However, Genesis 3 gives us the record of man’s rebellion against God. He was the crown of creation, but he sinned in going against God’s command. It resulted in their spiritual death, and although God gave the promise of redemption for mankind, the sin of Adam and Eve was passed on to all generations of mankind. Clearly seen in society, this biblical doctrine on the depravity of the human race has no lack of empirical evidence.
2.1 Practical Implications
Knowledge of the identity of man in the beginning gives understanding of how a person should live. People are called to manifest God in his life. Christians, who are being sanctified by God, are to reflect God in his thoughts, desires, actions, speech, tempter, character and so on.
Moreover, the truth about man’s depravity lays the foundation for the necessity of the Gospel – which is the sacrificial work of Christ on the cross. It implies that all men are in sin and are bound to death and to the wrath of God, and that everyone needs salvation by faith in Christ. If sin is the problem, then there is a need of the sacrifice for sins – which Christ has fulfilled.
3. Human Relationships
Further, Genesis 1-11 gives the view of human relationships. Although there are some themes on human relationships such as the conflict between Cain and Abel, the most essential theme is about the marriage relationship between Adam and Eve. We see that marriage between a man and a woman was instituted by God, and He blessed it. It was there even before the fall of man. Thus, it is also part of God’s marvelous work. Moreover, it includes biblical basis on the principle that marriage results in the establishment of another family. The man is called to separate from his previous family and to be entirely one with his wife (Gen. 2:24-25).
3.1 Practical Implications
These imply that anything outside the context of God’s institution of marriage is sinful, immoral, and lacking of God’s blessing. It directly opposes all acts of adultery, fornication, homosexuality, bestiality, and all other forms of sexual depravity accepted in today’s society.
The development of society in the early days is not marked by the development in technology, trade, or education. Instead, the Bible simply tells that sin increased as men became involved in perpetual wickedness. In fact, it clearly tells of the great flood and the dispersion of the people of Babel as the result of their disobedience.
4.1 Practical Implications
This implies that a society filled with sinful human beings will always result in a sinful society. Moreover, it shows that the real problem of society is not lack of education, poverty, or pollution, but the sinful condition of mankind.
Hindson, Ed and Gary Yates. The Essence of the Old Testament: A Survey. Tennessee: B&H Publishing Group, 2012.