What Is God Creating?
Delivered By
Pastor Doug Groen and LaVerne Wiginton Accompanist
Delivered On
January 11, 2015 at 10:00 AM
Central Passage
MARK 1:4-11
What Is God Creating?

Mark 1:4-11

John the baptizer appeareda] in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. He proclaimed, “The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. I have baptized you withb] water; but he will baptize you withc] the Holy Spirit.”

The Baptism of Jesus

In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. 11 And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved;d] with you I am well pleased.”


  1. Mark 1:4 Other ancient authorities read John was baptizing
  2. Mark 1:8 Or in
  3. Mark 1:8 Or in
  4. Mark 1:11 Or my beloved Son


Pastor's Summary of Genesis 1:1-5

This passage answers the question: how did the world come to be?  But, being written long before the dawn of modern science, it is obviously not, and cannot be, scientific in our terms.  Even so, it is valuable.  We ask: did life arise when elements in the primeval ooze by pure chance formed DNA? Even if our answ3er is yes, we maintain that, behind all of creation, is a transcendent being (supernatural and involved in earthly affairs) whom we call God.  He has total control of creation.

Vv. 1-2 were first translated as a sentence in the 200s BC, but in Hebrew these verses are a phrase.  A modern tranlation is: "When God began to create heaven and earth-the earth being formless and void, with darkness over the surface of the deep, a wind of God sweeping [hovering] over the waters-then God said..." Vv. 1-2 are the when clause, and v. 3 the then.  "Heavens and earth" is a way of saying everything.  (Hebrew cosmology held that there were multiple heavens, with God living in the highest one.) Non-existence of the earth involved darkness and deep waters.  Even at this time, God was in control: his wind, breath, rushing-spirit, ruah, were here. The text is orderly (note: "God said...God saw...God separated...God called...", a pattern repeated through the six days of creation); and so too are God's acts.  Vv. 3-5 are the events of the first day.  His first priority is to overcome darkness: he created light.  Rather than destroying darkness, he relegates it to night-time: it too becomes part of the good, godly world, and is declared so by God.  Naming night and day show God's mastery of them.  Jewish feast days begin at sun-down, so "evening" is first.  This pattern is repeated for five more days.  On the seventh day (the Sabbath), God rests.  Is this account unscientific?  The writer worked with the cosmology of his day to show divine power and purpose, and the unique place of humans.  Unlike other ancient Near East peoples, Israel's story of how humankind came to be is peaceful, effortless (all God does is to speak); what is created is good, beautiful.  God intended that the world be wholly good.