God saw all that He had made and behold, it was very good. This time He says, it's very good.
That's the first time. And not so much the parts, but He saw all that He had made. Again, reiterating that He is the Creator and the Maker of everything. No death because no evil and no sin and no fallenness. Welcome to Grace to You with John MacArthur.
I'm your host, Phil Johnson. In a letter sent to several pastors, an animal rights group argued that God created animals to, quote, experience pain, fear, sadness, and happiness just as we do, unquote. In effect, they said that animals are really not different from people. The group also said that killing animals for food is surely the greatest denial of God in human history.
What do you think? The same God who created animals did create us as well. Aren't you somehow disrespecting God?
Is it somehow wrong to use His creatures for food? John MacArthur answers those questions today on Grace to You as he considers how the human race got here and what your role in it is. The title of his ongoing study from Genesis chapter 1 is The Battle for the Beginning. To review some specific aspects of God's creation of man, here's John. Starting with the statement, let us make man, just stop at that point. There are four features in the making of man that are outlined here.
Four features. The first one is the most defining one. Let us make man in our image and then it is said immediately another way, according to our likeness. Down in verse 27, and God created man in His image, in the image of God He created him.
As if we might somehow miss the point, it's repeated four times. Man is made in the image of God. Number two, man is not only made in the image of God, man is the King of the earth.
He is the King of the earth. We look at that in verses 26 and 28. In verse 26, after saying, let us make man in our image according to our likeness, God said, and let them rule and let them rule. Man then was given this sovereignty at the very beginning.
He rises above all the created order and is the sovereign, the King of the earth. Thirdly, we find in creation this is also man's responsibility. It says, verse 28, and God blessed them and God said to them, be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.
Now in verse 27, it says that He made them male and female. Now this is the third responsibility of man. He is to manifest the image of God, personhood and relationship. He is to be King of the earth. He is to tend the garden of God and do everything He can in leading and subduing the created order to put God's glorious power on display. And He is the propagator of human life.
He is the propagator of human life. So God made them male and female. That was God's design for marriage and procreation. We've been talking about the fact that procreation exists in all of the animal world.
There is even a procreative capacity among the plants who reproduce by means of seed or seed in fruit. God gave man relational capacities and then God gave man a helper. It says in verse 7 of chapter 2 that God formed man out of the dust of the ground, breathed into his nostrils the breath of life. He became a living being.
And as you read down this passage a little bit, verse 18, the Lord God said, it's not good for the man to be alone. This isn't going to work because I'm going to have to keep creating people. He can't have this. I have to make a helper suitable for Him.
Now, I know what most people think. This means there's somebody to do the dishes, somebody to take out the trash, somebody to make the bed. That's not the kind of helper. That's not the kind of helper. He needed help in one main thing and that was procreation, propagation of the human race.
That was the issue here. He needs a helper. He needs a partner.
He needs a perfect match. Out of the ground, the Lord God had formed everything. But there was something different about the way He formed this helper back in verse 20. God looked all around His creation and there wasn't a partner for Adam. There wasn't anything in the created order that was at his level.
And we need to keep affirming that now. To be a human being is not to be a glorified animal. It's to be an eternal being made in the image of God and there was only one and that was Adam. So God caused a deep sleep to fall on the man and he slept. He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that place. And the Lord God fashioned it into a woman, the rib which he had taken from the man and brought her to the man. And the man said, this is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh. She shall be called woman because she was taken out of man. For this cause a man shall leave his father and his mother and shall cleave to his wife and they shall become one flesh and the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed. What was there to be ashamed of?
It wasn't any sin. Now this section that I just read you there in chapter 2 expands the simple statement of verse 27b which says, male and female He created them. And there you have the story of how He did that.
Chapter 2 is not an additional story, it's an expansion on the original. Now in both places, the male is first. He created them male and female. And chapter 2 tells you in verse 7, He created the man and down in verses 18 and following, He created the woman following.
Now this is important. The male is placed first and this is necessary in creation. And it shows the amazing accuracy of the book of Genesis.
Let me tell you what I mean. Genetic research confirms this for the male has both X chromosomes, which by the way engender females, and Y chromosomes, which engender males. Males are X and Y, females are not. If the female had been created first and the male taken out of her body, then reproduction would have been impossible for there would have been nothing but X chromosomes, in which case only females could have been reproduced because females don't have a Y chromosome. A man had to be created first because he has an X and a Y chromosome and the Y chromosome produces a male and the X female.
God knew exactly what He was doing. And so He reached in and took a bone, and that bone, if we get a little scientific here, had the encoded DNA in the cell structure which could create a male. He made a woman out of that bone, made a partner for Adam, and together they could produce both male and female.
So X chromosomes and Y chromosomes were well known to God, even though they don't appear in the book of Genesis. The male had the genetic material so that a female could be taken out of him and be genetically related to him in the same kind and then through relationship with her be able to procreate both male and female. And so together they fulfill the dominion mandate of verse 28, be fruitful and multiply and subdue the earth. Fruitful and multiply, that technical word for that is fecundity.
It means the ability to procreate. And by the way, that's just all through Genesis. I'm not going to take the time, but you can...chapter 9, God blessed Noah after the flood and his sons and said to them, all right, you've got to carry on this original mandate, be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth, make babies in the vernacular, produce children. And in the seventeenth chapter of the book of Genesis, verse 16 speaks about Abraham and Sarah, I'll bless her, indeed I'll give you a son by her, I'll bless her and she shall be a mother of nations, kings and people shall come from her. In verse 20, as for Ishmael, I will bless him, make him fruitful and multiply him exceedingly. That's...to make you fruitful and multiply is the Old Testament expression for procreation.
So the male and female design would allow man to procreate, which would allow man wonderful, wonderful responsibility and privilege of producing others in the image of God. What an incredible, incredible blessing. You bring a little baby into the world, that's an eternal person made in the image of God.
That's a...and there's nothing like it. There's absolutely nothing like it because that little life has a capacity for relationship...for relationship. And we have the privilege and the joy of enriching our own relationship in marriage by multiplying and bringing into that union others capable of deep personal communion, conversation, conversation and fellowship.
We can enjoy with them the same personal relations that we enjoy with each other. And therefore, God is saying you can extend this dominion over the face of the earth. Fill the earth, Genesis 9-1, fill the earth. Same thing in Genesis 1-28, fill the earth. God designed marriage, one man, one woman, that's clear from what I read you at the end of chapter 2.
The man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife. They become one flesh and the way they become one flesh is in the life that comes from them. One flesh could mean you have sexual intimacy. One flesh could mean that you think alike and you do things together. But the truest and purest expression of one flesh is when both of you come together in one flesh, one life. And that was man's mandate because in so doing, man multiplies the image of God.
That's why we talk so strongly to Christian parents who have little children to understand the stewardship you have from God, to bring that little one made in the image of God back to the knowledge of God through faith in Jesus Christ. So God established this capability, this fecundity, as it's called, this ability to procreate, and God established marriage as the environment, one man, one woman, for life in which that would take place. It was an evolutionary resource that was trying to explain man's behavior in an evolutionary way and they couldn't figure out why it is that...this was the statement...why it is that humans almost always end up in what they call pair bonds. They couldn't figure out the evolution that produces that. It seems in our culture that doesn't happen that way, doesn't it? That people just run around willy-nilly and have babies and there's all kinds of illegitimate children being born.
But the fact of the matter is, according to this resource, they said 98 percent of the human beings on the earth end up in a pair. That's because God has made us that way. Man then is created in the image of God. He is created to be King of the earth. He is created to be the propagator of life.
And finally, He was created as the recipient of enjoyment. God just wanted to bless Him. It says it in verse 28, and God blessed them. God blessed them.
He just wanted somebody He could bless. He blessed them. How did He bless them?
Well, He blessed them with dominion. He blessed them with the divine image. He blessed them with the ability to have relationships. He blessed them with personhood. He blessed them with the ability to understand His creation. He blessed them with the capability to know Him as well as to know each other. He blessed them with the ability to reproduce themselves and fill the earth with others made in the image of God.
And He blessed them one other way. Verse 29, God said, "'Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed, it shall be food for you.'" Now did you ever ask why it is that God filled this world with such a variety of food?
Just from the plant side alone? Just fruits and vegetables take away man because there's no death at this point, so man is a vegetarian when he's originally created. But there seems to be absolutely no end to all the vegetation, all that grows, that hangs on trees for the joy of man. I mean, I've often thought God could have made a brown sky and brown water in a colorless world and rice.
And so all you do all your life is eat rice or whatever else. But why did God fill this world with such a vast array of plants and vegetables? It's fruits and vegetables just abound. Every time I go to another culture, another place in the world, I'm introduced to another thing that people get out of the ground and eat.
It's pretty astonishing. Some of them I don't want a second helping of, but that probably has more to do with how they're prepared than what could be done for them, you know, like covering them with a lot of cheese or something. But I continue to be amazed, you know, and God has accommodated this with another amazing human ability and that is the ability to taste.
You take that for granted, don't you? And the ability to smell. You primarily think you taste, but you really smell more than taste. But God has given us the capability to taste certain things. What a blessing, so that we can literally just enjoy the immense bounty that God has provided for us. So Adam and Eve first were vegetarian. They could eat every plant yielding seed on the surface of the earth. Every tree yielding fruit with seed in it was food for them. And to every beast of the earth and every bird of the sky and everything that moves on the earth which has life, I've given every green plant for food, and it was so. It was so, again, as that sort of punctuation statement that indicates this was the permanent established pattern. Man was a vegetarian and animals were also vegetarian at creation.
Why? Because there was no death. Nothing died.
Nothing died. God established this as the original fixed pattern. It was permanent at that time. It was so indicates its permanence.
Now there was just one exception. Chapter 2, verse 9, there was this tree of life in the midst of the garden, this tree of the knowledge of good and evil also. Down in verse 16, and they were commanded, you could eat from the garden anything you want, but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in that day that you eat from it you shall surely die. They could eat the tree of life all they wanted, but they couldn't eat the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. To eat what was forbidden would devastate the original design, producing death and decay. Well, it's a sad story, isn't it?
Because that's exactly, exactly what they did. Chapter 3 tells the terrible story, and we don't know how much time passed. We don't know whether it was decades or whether it was hundreds of years. But the time came when Eve was beguiled by the serpent, and the serpent lied to her and she bought the lie, and she disobeyed God and she ate, and then Adam knowingly disobeyed God and ate, and everything changed...everything. Chapter 3 verse 19, all of a sudden taking care of the garden wasn't easy. Well, back to verse 17, because you have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you saying you should not eat from it, cursed is the ground because of you and toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life. Thorns and thistles going to grow, you shall eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground.
Your whole life is going to be one very, very great challenge. You're going to have to work hard for your food from vegetation that once was readily accessible to you. And then in verse 21, it says, the Lord God made garments of skin. Now, that's the first death. In order to make a garment of skin, God had to kill the animal. God killed the first animal to cover the nakedness of Adam and his wife. Down in chapter 4 and verse 4, Abel brought firstlings of the flock and their fat portions, that means he brought an animal sacrifice, killed an animal and the Lord had regard for Abel and his offering. The Lord accepted the death of animals as a sacrifice, which means animal death was inaugurated by God, acceptable to God within the framework of His sacrificial system because, of course, it pointed to the wages of sin, which is death. And God later allowed people to eat meat. Over in chapter 9, when Noah and his sons came out of the ark, God said, be fruitful, multiply and fill the earth, chapter 9, verse 2, and the fear of you and the terror of you shall be on every beast of the earth. Now, all of a sudden, you're going to be king of the earth, you're going to have authority over these animals, but they're not going to be amiable to that. They're going to fear you, every beast of the earth, every bird of the sky, everything that creeps on the ground, all the fish of the sea, every moving thing that is alive shall be food for you.
I give all to you as I gave the green plant. So don't think being a vegetarian is the Christian way. It was originally the way, but once there was sin, God allowed people to eat meat.
And I think that was very, very important because God demonstrated through those deaths, originally, that there was death for sin, death required a sacrifice, death even required a substitute. Now, in the glorious millennial kingdom to come, the question could come up, is it going to be the same? Well, no, animals are going to be tame, not wild, but there will be some animals killed during the millennial kingdom for, according to Ezekiel 40 to 48, there will be sacrifices held in the millennial temple. So some of them will be killed, at least for commemorative feasts in the millennial temple, and sin will exist, as I said, in the millennium. But there will be some return to the original design. The prophet Isaiah wants us to understand, and I noted some reference to that earlier, but he wants us to understand that the world will be, to some degree, different. The cow and the bear will graze, the young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like an ox, the nursing child will play by the hole of the cobra, the weaned child will put his hand in the viper's den, and it won't be harmed.
There's definitely going to be some reversal of the curse, though it's not going to be total. In Isaiah 65, 25, the wolf and the lamb shall graze together, the lion shall eat straw like an ox, etc., and the serpent will eat dust. So there will be some changes. Well, summing it up, God created man in His own image, created man to be king of the earth, created man to procreate, to propagate and fill the earth with others who would be made in the image of God. He created man to enjoy the bounty of His blessing. And when that was all done, verse 31 says, and God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. Not just the parts. He's commented on the parts being good. This time He says, it's very good.
That's the first time. And not so much the parts, but He saw all that He had made. Again, reiterating that He is the Creator and the Maker of everything, no death because no evil and no sin and no fallenness. Folks, that ends all possibility of evolution, including any kind of theistic evolution which depends on death. There was no death.
Things weren't mutating and dying for billions of years during this time. When God says a day, He means an actual day. And so you come to chapter 2 verse 1, thus the heavens and the earth were completed and all their hosts. That's it, folks. There ain't no more. That's the story. It started and ended 32 verses and gave us the complete picture of the created universe and all its wondrous perfection.
Do you believe that? It's God's Word, isn't it? It's God's Word. Father, we thank You for being our Creator, sustainer, consummator of the universe. Thank You for being our Savior, our Lord, our Friend. Thank You for being our Father, that the great Creator became my Savior. It is a wondrous reality.
We bless You and thank You. That's John MacArthur, chancellor of the Masters University and Seminary. His study here on Grace To You is all about equipping you in the battle for the beginning. Well, John, as we've seen today and over these past weeks, what a person believes in terms of evolution and creation does have serious implications.
The battle that's being fought has much more at stake than simply what's going to be taught in a child's science class. Yeah, you know, science has just encroached on this doctrine of creation in a horrific way. It is, I think, the part of Scripture that evangelical Christians are willing to give up before they would give up any others. They don't want to give up John 3 16. They don't want to give up the account of the resurrection.
They may not even want to give up the story of Moses and Elijah and Elisha, but they seem to be in a big hurry to give up creation, to give up Genesis 1 and 2 under the intimidating heat of science, falsely so-called. And I've been saying this all along, you can't explain creation by any scientific process. Science is simply the observation of what is reality.
You look at reality and you conclude that this is what is going on. There is nothing to observe about creation except that there is nothing to do about it. There is nothing to give about creation except that it's here. How it got to where it is was not observable.
No one was there. It's not repeatable either. It's not repeatable. And by the way, we know that because nothing new is created since the original creation. So the only way we can know what happened is to find out if the Creator gave us an eyewitness account, which He did in Genesis 1 and 2. And what we've been trying to say is science has never said anything or discovered anything that in any way at all alters the Genesis account. It can't alter the Genesis account because it can't intrude into the miraculous. Science only explains what is natural, not what is supernatural. Creation is supernatural. Now look, I want to remind you that in the series on the Battle for the Beginning—and it is a battle—we have been tackling a subject that has confused literally hundreds of thousands of professing Christians.
It should not be, because it steals God's glory and it denies the clear account of Scripture. If you have any remaining questions about this, or if you have some folks you want to share this with, you can get this entire series, The Battle for the Beginning, 12 MP3 downloads from GTY.org, and use them to share with others. Use them with your kids.
They may be going through tax on creation in their school experience or wherever. Get this series so that you can use it to teach others as well. And we also have a book by the same title, The Battle for the Beginning, which is available as well. That's right, and these helpful resources can give you greater confidence in God's Word and what it teaches from beginning to end. Pick up John's book titled The Battle for the Beginning, or download the audio series, or do both when you get in touch today.
Call us toll-free at 800-55-GRACE or go to the website GTY.org. The Battle for the Beginning, the book, is a great reference tool when questions about creation and evolution come your way. The book is $11, and shipping is free. And again, to order The Battle for the Beginning, you can call us at 800-55-GRACE or go online to GTY.org.
And if you'd like to download The Battle for the Beginning audio series, you can do that for free at our website GTY.org. In fact, all of John Sermon's over 3,500 total are free to download at our website. If you want teaching on the family, or God's view on work, or how to study the Bible, or building self-discipline, or how to pray, dealing with sin, all kinds of topics like that, you will find sermons on those subjects and a lot more. Again, 3,500 free sermons at GTY.org. Now for John MacArthur, I'm Phil Johnson, reminding you to watch Grace to You Television this Sunday on DIRECTV Channel 378, or you can check our website to see if the program airs on a station near you. And then be here Monday when John MacArthur kicks off a series that will help you understand why believers worship on Sunday. It's another half hour of unleashing God's truth one verse at a time, on Grace to You.
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