1-MEANING AND PURPOSE --In the Beginning
By Colleen Donahue
In this first study, we'll look at what God has revealed to us about Himself. It's something we could never know unless we were told, because God was "in the beginning" before we were ever created. This revelation by God is the reason for love, and love is the reason that God created men and women.
1. The scriptures teach that God is ONE.
Deuteronomy 4:35 / Deuteronomy 6:4 / Isaiah 43:10 / Isaiah 44:6 / Mark 12:29
In Hebrew that word for ONE denotes a compound unity -- not a simple unity. In the Old Testament the word used most frequently for God is plural in form. So what does this mean?
2. Well, the scriptures also teach that this ONE God makes Himself known as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It's a mystery for sure and yet we see many other examples of similar "triad unions" in nature.
WATER - It has one formula --H2O--- yet it exists as liquid, solid, or vapor
The SUN is 1 star and yet exists as light, fire, and heat
My DAD was one man yet he was a son, husband, and father
In the New Testament we see how:
A. the Father testified of the Son
B. The Son testified of the Father
C. The Son testified of the Holy Spirit
D. The Spirit testified of the Son
3. This triune nature of God could never have been known by man at all except that God chose to reveal it. For how can we know what happened before we were created? God wanted us to know him as he was in the beginning. What does the Holy Spirit reveal to us?
1 Corinthians 2:9-13 (especially vs. 9-10)
4. The existence of ONE God in three persons is important because it means there can be love. The Bible tells us that God is love. He's not merely a God who loves but rather love is the very essence of His moral nature and therefore he is the source of all love.
1 John 4:8,16
5. Love always requires an object and for the eternal God that object was His Son Jesus. God's Son is the original and eternal object of His love -- the eternal beloved.
Matthew 3:17 / Matthew 17:5 / John 17:24
Since love is the most positive, creative force in the universe it will always flow out to others. The Holy Spirit is that out flowing of love between the Father and the Son and He has been given to us as well.
1 Corinthians 3:16
6. It was out of this love for each other that this "trinity God" desired to have many sons and daughters whom they could adopt into the family of God and shower their love upon. The Holy Spirit dwelling within our own spirit was the means of our adoption into the family of God. He bears witness within us that we are part of God's family.
Romans 8:15-16 / Galatians 4:6
Jesus, the Son, was to be the first born of many sons and daughters.
Romans 8:29 / Colossians 1:15-17
7. After God made the universe, he made man. Man was the only part of creation that God made in his own image.
Notice in these verses that it says, "Let US (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) make man...."The entire Godhead was involved in our creation. Being made in God's image refers to our intellectual and moral nature that becomes like Him.
8. God intended to express his nature through man and that could only happen if man's spirit (the real part of every person) was filled with God's own Spirit. It's this indwelling Spirit in our own that is to be the engine driving our life on earth. In fact without the Holy Spirit we can not be part of the family of God.
Romans 8:9 / 1 Corinthians 6:19
9. What was God's further intention for man?
Genesis 1:26b, 28
From this mandate by God we see that man was to have an exalted position over all living things. King David in this psalm describes it.
10. God's Heavenly kingdom was going to expand to earth and man was commissioned by God to rule over it. The Kingdom of God was the first form of government on earth. It issued from Heaven and was God's choice for the earth (not democracy, or socialism, or communism etc.). Earth was to be a kingdom ruled by a sovereign, righteous, and benevolent king. Since man had the Spirit of the King-God dwelling within his own spirit, he had the ability to communicate directly with the heavenly government and carry out God's will on earth. Therefore, when Jesus was teaching his disciples to pray he told them this:
11. Our presence on earth was a colonial decision made by our King. We were to own nothing and yet have everything.
1 Chronicles 29:11-14 / Isaiah 45:18
We will not be able to really understand the Bible and God's purposes for us until we understand that we are stewards or managers over earth and not owners.
SUMMARY OF "IN THE BEGINNING"
Scriptures reveal to us that in eternity God has always existed as three persons in one God and because of this, there can be love and relationship in the Godhead. Love is God's very nature. Wherever there is love it spills over to others. God desired to share the love of the Trinity family with others and therefore he made man in his own image and likeness.
God made the universe first with the intent to expand his heavenly kingdom. Heaven is God's kingdom and earth is his colony. God owns it all but he gave it to us to rule over in partnership with Him. His Holy Spirit would dwell within man's spirit and we would be able to have constant communication with the home country. Man was to be free to fill the earth and subdue it. That was our purpose -- to develop this world in partnership with God.
As individuals within God's colony we could then enlarge our own personal influence. For example:
A businessman or woman might provide new products and services that would change the way others live.
An artist would express the domain of his mind and heart through a painting or a sculpture that would be "soul food" for others.
A mom and dad would raise their children to be productive citizens of the colony so that they could continue to carry on God's mandate to fill the earth and subdue it.