The Gospel in the Beginning

“Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion…’” – Genesis 1:26

  1. How does the Creation narrative in Genesis 1:1-2:3 frame the Kingdom of God?
    • Throughout the ancient world, the temple was a significant part of the cosmic landscape. It was considered to be at the center of the cosmos, the place from which the cosmos was controlled, and a small model of the cosmos—a microcosm” (Walton, J. H. (2011). Genesis 1 as Ancient Cosmology)
      • Could the creation narrative be a way of talking about God inaugurating the world as his temple?
        • Isaiah 66:1
        • Psalm 132:7-8
        • 1 Kings 8:62-9:3 (The inauguration of the Temple was a 7-day process, after it took Solomon seven years to build it (1 Kings 6:38))
      • What does “rest” mean in Genesis 2:2-3? What does a “god” typically do in a temple?
        • They reign and rule from their throne
        • This part of the narrative isn’t a footnote, it’s the climax! God has taken his place as an engaged ruler on his throne over his newly ordered system.
          • Who does he expect to be working with him to continue to maintain this order?
            • Genesis 1:26-31
            • 1 Corinthians 3:9
            • Jesus reflects on this in Matthew 11:28-30
  1. How does the Garden of Eden reflect God’s Kingdom?
    • A connection between the heavenly realm and the earthly realm (Genesis 3:8-9), which is also reflected in the Tabernacle and Temple.
    • The Tree of Life (Genesis 2:8-9)
      • God invited Adam and Eve to live by his life, but they chose to go their own way (Genesis 3:6-7). God then sends them out of the Garden and blocks them from access to the Tree of Life (Genesis 3:22-24).
      • When Jesus comes, he is the return of the Tree of Life. Following him means coming back into God’s Kingdom rule.
        • John 6:53-58,19:41,20:15
        • Revelation 2:7,22:2
  1. What was God’s purpose for Adam and Eve before they sinned?
    • What does “work and keep” mean in Genesis 2:15?
      • These two verbs ‘abad (עבד) and shamar (שמר) are used together as a phrase to refer to the priestly roles of the Levites who serve God in the temple and who guard the temple (Numbers 3:7-8; 8:25-26; 18:5-6; 1 Chronicles 23:32; Ezekiel 44:14).
    • As God’s priestly representatives, Adam and Eve were to be mediators between God and others—relating with God on behalf of other people and reflecting his character to others. Like all people, they were called to be his image-bearers, his representatives, and exercise rule over the creation (Genesis 1:26-28).
  1. God’s plan for his Kingdom has existed from the very beginning. Adam and Eve were created to keep and guard God’s dwelling place and represent his Kingdom to the world. When sin interrupted their mission, they were removed from this role. Salvation will be needed to deliver them back to his presence. In the same way for us, salvation is a deliverance back to living under God’s rule and reign so that we can represent him as his image, working and keeping his Garden, his Kingdom.
    • Romans 12:1-2 – We worship God by being who he made us to be—His Image! That’s how we keep from taking his name in vain (Exodus 20:7).

(Click here for referenced Scripture printout.)