Four Words That Change Everything

By Paul GIlbert

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There are certain songs, books, and documents that are immediately recognizable by their opening words - “We the People” (Declaration of Independence); “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times” (A Tale of Two Cities); “A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away” (Star Wars); and “Four score and seven years ago” (Gettysburg Address) are just a few of the historical and cultural ditties that we are all familiar with.

This Sunday, we are going to be looking at the first four words from the book of Genesis that most of us know by heart but maybe haven’t fully grappled with on a personal, cultural, historical, and theological level:

“In the beginning, God…”

I’m not sure that there are four other words that someone could utter that have as many implications as do these. If untrue, then everything that we have built our lives upon as Christians is a house of cards, a sandcastle on the shore, a candle in the winds – in other words, worthless. A sham. Useless. However, if these six syllables are indeed true, then they change absolutely everything about ourselves as well as our families, relationships, theology, culture, nation, and world.

Part of our task this Sunday as we begin a new sermon series on the book of Genesis is to begin to unpack the reality-changing, eternally-bearing relevancy of these four words. Either they are true, or they are not. If false, then we need to get our heads out of the clouds and start living for the here and now. If true, however, God is going to call us to shape the most basic areas of our life around Him and who He reveals Himself to be. There is no more important task that we face as 21st Century Christians.

I hope and pray that God will meet us in the book of Genesis over this coming season.