According to Design: Exploring God’s Vision for Life in Genesis 1-2
In many ways, Genesis 1-2 is like a blueprint for life. Here we have God’s design for his creation—his plan for how he envisioned life to be lived on his earth. And at the heart of this little story, we have God’s design for humanity, made in his own image and invited to live in his presence and under his rule, so as to make much of him and enjoy his blessing forever. If we want to know how to live as God’s people in this world, we need to familiarize ourselves with this plan. What does God envision for relationship with him? For relationship with others? What does he think about work? Marriage? Sex? Knowledge? Good and evil? How we treat his earth? What is our ultimate purpose in life according to God’s design?
Now it doesn’t take long to realize that the world does not work according to design. That’s because the biblical story doesn’t end after Genesis chapter 2. Rather, in Genesis 3 we see what’s called “the fall of humanity,” where humans rebelled against God and his rule, separating themselves from God’s presence, forfeiting his blessing, and spoiling his vision for life on earth. And because of the fall, it is impossible for us, left to ourselves, to live according to God’s design. The same sin that caused Adam and Eve to throw off God’s rule dwells in our hearts as well. As a result lives are thrown off course. Relationships disappoint. Dreams and desires go unmet. We get taken advantage of, and we take advantage of others. Life begins to feel meaningless. Good things, like food, friends, or sex, are misused, turning them into bad things, or even worse, ultimate things, which take the place of God in our life—demanding our allegiance but unable to make good on any of their promises. Worst of all, we stand guilty of treason before our Creator and King—the one who has the right to create the design for life and the authority to punish those who disobey.
Yet God’s design still stands. Our sin does not thwart his purposes. Neither will God allow human sin and rebellion to win the day. The rest of the Bible is all about how God, in his mercy, justice, and love, deals with our rebellion. It’s the story that centers on the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus and ends with a new creation, where God’s vision is finally and fully realized: God’s people living in his presence, under his rule, for his glory, and enjoying his blessing forever. And it’s a story that is unfolding even today, as the good news of Jesus rescues us from our rebellion and transforms our hearts, refashioning us into God’s image and reclaiming us for his purposes.
God’s rescue plan through Jesus is not just about what happens in the future (where we end up when we die); it’s also about how we live today. Are we living life according to design? Do we believe that the same gospel that rescues us from our sin also changes and strengthens us by God’s Spirit, to live each day increasingly according to design: in his presence, under his rule, for his glory, and enjoying his blessing?
So high school students: Join the conversation, bring your friends, spend your time on something that matters, and come along with me as we explore God’s vision for life in Genesis 1-2 this fall at Westgate Church.