Genesis 1 – Made in God’s Image

This Week’s Devotion Theme: God Created!

Today’s Bible Reading: Genesis 11-12 and Matthew 6

The final piece in God’s creation, on day 6, is humankind.  Man stands out in all of creation, having been made in God’s own image.

Genesis 1:26-28 – Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

27 So God created mankind in his own image,
    in the image of God he created them;
    male and female he created them.

28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

Adam and Eve were the first humans, as recorded in Genesis and other places such as in Timothy 2:13 – For Adam was formed first, then Eve.  Adam is mentioned quite a few times throughout scripture, including in the genealogy of Jesus in Luke chapter 3.  But there are many Christians who question if Adam and Eve were even real people.  Why?  Primarily because of Darwinian Evolution.  If Darwinian Evolution is true, then there really were no exact pair of first humans per se, because humans would have evolved slowly from an ape-like ancestor.  For Christians who believe Darwinian Evolution to be true, it has led some to question how there could have been an actual Adam and Eve in that scenario.

But Darwinian Evolution is not possible, as I shared in yesterday’s devotion, and so there is no reason to try to explain away all of the references to Adam in scripture.  Doing so creates the need to start discounting the veracity of a lot of scripture.  Another reason to toss the idea that man evolved is that if you allowed one random step in evolution to occur every hour on the hour (much, much faster than evolutionists suggest it happens), it would take around 6.8 billion years for man to evolve from a single cell, which is too much time, even given the incorrect ancient age of the earth.

The supposed evolution of humans is full of a history of hoaxes, exaggerations, and errors.  For example, you may have heard it reported that humans and chimpanzees have anywhere from 95% to 99% genetic similarity, as this image from the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History claims.

  This is intended to support the idea that humans and chimps share a common ancestor.  But the truth is that that percentage is arrived upon because researchers only compared the most similar sections of the genomes.  But if you compare the entire genomes, it is more akin to a 70% similarity.  And still, there are over 900 million DNA differences that divide humans and chimps!  This is known to be true, but misleading information that states otherwise still appears in museums and in textbooks today.  No wonder so many Christians believe it. 

“There is no encompassing theory of human evolution,” concedes Berkeley evolutionary biologist F. Clark Howell.  “Alas, there never really has been.”

Is there any evidence that points to an actual Adam or Eve?  Yes!  Using comparisons of mitochondrial DNA, which is only passed on from the mother, creation scientists, and many secular scientists agree that evidence indicates all humans are descended from a single pair of humans that lived in the relatively recent past.  (This study was published in the journal Human Evolution in May 2018.)

Another recent study published in Science Magazine (337, p.64-69) suggests that humans haven’t been around very long.  Regarding human genetic diversity, the study concluded, “The maximum likelihood time for accelerated growth was 5,115 years ago.”  This time frame aligns rather closely with scripture, and specifically the time that Adam would have been created.

It is exciting for me to see that real world observation continually confirms the Bible.  As more and more Christians learn these truths, I hope it leads to an abandonment of attempts to throw out or twist sections of scripture that are not compatible with some scientific claims.  In regards to human evolution, you should feel confident that you did not evolve from an ape-like ancestor.  You were specially designed, created in the image of God, just as Adam was, in the beginning.  Jesus confirmed as much in Matthew 18:4 when he said, “at the beginning, the creator made them (Adam and Eve) male and female.”

-Greg Landry

If anyone has any questions or comments they would like me to address on any of the devotions dealing with creation this week, please reach out to me at gregrlandry@gmail.com

Editor: Do you know someone who could benefit from reading today’s devotion? Pass it on. I believe it could really save a life – an eternal life! Evolution has been used to distort God’s truth and lead youth and adults to question God’s existence, power, and love. It’s time to fight back. And how encouraging to know that Science Really IS on God’s side!

And, keep going on your daily Bible reading. Lots of good stuff in Genesis and Matthew!

Genesis 1 – According to their Kinds

This Week’s Devotion Theme: God Created!

Today’s Bible reading: Genesis 9-10 and Matthew 5

One of the great questions in life is, “How did I get here?”  Job 33:4 says, “The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.” As Christians, we believe we were created by God, with a purpose.  But so many in this world believe that they are a result of random processes, believing they are essentially an accident, and thus there is no greater purpose to their existence. 

According to the Bible, during the creation week, not only did God create the heavenly bodies and the planet we live on, He also populated this planet with life.

Genesis 1:9-13 – And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” And it was so. 10 God called the dry ground “land,” and the gathered waters he called “seas.” And God saw that it was good.

11 Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. 12 The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. 13 And there was evening, and there was morning—the third day.

Then, in Genesis 1:20-25 – And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky.” 21 So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living thing with which the water teems and that moves about in it, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 22 God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth.” 23 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fifth day.

24 And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind.” And it was so. 25 God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.

Note that the Bible says that God created plants, sea creatures, land creatures and flying creatures, at the beginning, according to their kinds. In other words, the various types of animals such as elephants, big cats and whales were there from the beginning.  Many scientists instead believe in Darwinian Evolution, an alternate explanation of how life came to exist on the Earth.

That is the worldview that results in people believing they are merely accidents and serve no purpose.  But which explanation is actually supported by what we observe in nature?  Can we trust how scripture says it happened?

The key idea in Darwinian Evolution is that all life that has ever existed descended from a relatively simple common ancestor, and became more complex over time, branching into different kinds of life as a result of random mutations.  Although this idea is widely accepted within scientific circles, thankfully, more and more scientists are questioning its validity.  There is a group called Dissent from Darwin, that lists over a thousand professors and scientists that do not believe the claims made by the Darwinian theory are valid. https://dissentfromdarwin.org

The problems with Darwinian Evolution are many.  Perhaps the biggest problem for evolution is that random mutations are not capable of adding new features to an organism ultimately leading up to a different type of organism altogether.  In lab settings, scientists have intentionally introduced mutations into thousands of generations of fruit flies, and have observed that the mutations only lead to inferior fruit flies.  Not better fruit flies or different kinds of flies altogether.  Mutations NEVER, under any circumstances, add information.  They only scramble up whatever information is already there, or instead, there is a loss of information.  Even if mutations were able to add new information, it is mathematically impossible for mutations to account for the vast variety of life on Earth, even if the Earth was much older than the ancient age some scientists believe it is.

Secondly, all that has ever been observed are small changes within an animal or plant kind, not changes that have ever led to a different animal or plant kind.  Yes, sometimes we can observe changes in a type of fish, for example, that some scientists then label as a new species.  But those changes have never been observed to lead that fish to turn into a non-fish.  

Finally, there is no record of evolution in the fossil record due to a complete lack of transitional fossils (fossils that clearly show a transition from one animal kind to another) that even evolutionists can agree on. 

On the other hand, real world observation shows that living organisms are far too complex to have evolved due to random chance.  Not only are the systems that make up your own body, such as the circulatory system, nervous system and so forth unimaginably complex, they are irreducibly complex.  That means, that these systems could not have evolved slowly over time because the entire system had to be in place from day one, or else it would not work.  Not only does the entire system need to be in place, but the various systems are interdependent, and so they had to all be there together from day one as well.  What good is a circulatory system if there is no respiratory system?  What good is a skeletal system if there is no muscular system?  What good is any system if there is not reproductive system?

As complex as any system is, the individual cells that make up the parts of the system are even more complex.  Cells function as tiny cities that work off of a set of blue prints to know what to do at any given time.  The blue prints are the DNA in the nucleus of the cell.  But if cells came about through evolution, did the nucleus of the cell evolve first, or did the DNA contained within the nucleus, which has the instructions of how to build not only the nucleus, but the entire cell, evolve first?  You see, again, everything had to be there together that first time, or it just doesn’t work.

What we actually observe around us fully supports the Biblical account of creation in that God created the different forms of life fully formed from the beginning, according to their kinds.  At the same time, what we observe leaves no possibility for Darwinian Evolution.

-Greg Landry

If anyone has any questions or comments they would like me to address on any of the devotions dealing with creation this week, please reach out to me at gregrlandry@gmail.com

Editor: Thank you for reading with us this week as Greg shares on his study of creation. We have an amazing God!

Not a Blind Faith

Romans 1-3 (& Acts 20:1-3)

This is the first of 5 straight days going through the book of Romans.  That’s not much time for a book loaded with so many great refrigerator verses.  This is also my favorite book to read through, and something different stands out to me almost every time I read from it.  So my intent is to share one or two things that stood out to me THIS TIME from each section.

Romans 1:16 says, For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.

I hope you are not ashamed of the Gospel.  I do understand the temptation to be somewhat embarrassed or secretive of it.  Many of the ideas and truths in scripture are no longer “acceptable” in today’s progressive world.  That’s not really new, but it seems to be more true than ever before.  I think we also are often afraid of appearing foolish for believing many of the miraculous aspects of scripture, up to and including the existence of a Creator God.

1:17 For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.

We as believers must live by faith.  We have never seen God.  We did not witness the mighty miracles recorded in the Bible.  But thankfully, we do not have a blind faith that is not backed up by evidence.  We have had life changing experiences due to our decision to accept Christ.  We have had direct answers to prayers.  We have an abundance of historical documents and artifacts that confirm scripture.  We also have evidence of our faith all around us and even inside of us.

1:18-20 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

Simply put, we can know there is a Creator because we reside in His creation.  You can know there is a Creator because you are reading this right now, and YOU were created!  Well, at least that’s what scripture tells us.  But the secular world has different ideas, doesn’t it?  The secular world is only interested in what can be proven.  Or at least that is what they claim.  This is where the foolishness comes in.  We Christians are viewed as foolish for believing “a big guy in the sky” made everything in nature, when science has clearly shown that all living things have evolved from a common ancestor over millions of years.  Those who deny Darwinian evolution are mocked by its adherents.

Either the world was created or it wasn’t, and those who fall on the wrong side of belief in this area probably are foolish.  So which side does the actual evidence back?  As a side note, I have presented this very topic at churches and camps in the course of hours and sometimes days, so this is going to be a VERY abbreviated version of that.

As a Creationist, my confidence in the world being created is because everything actually appears to be created.  Staunch evolutionist Richard Dawkins even admits that (though he proposes that possibly aliens created our world).  Again, if everything appears to be created, then there is likely a Creator.

Perhaps the best evidence that living things specifically are created is the DNA found within every living cell of every living thing, including you.  This DNA is essentially a programming code, much like your computer uses, but DNA is much more complex.  Bill Gates has said that DNA is a more complex code or programming language than any of his best programmers could have created.  Languages and codes do not arise by chance, and to suggest otherwise is actual foolishness.  Beyond that, living cells themselves, as well as the systems that they combine to create, are so unbelievably complex, that they are beyond the law of probability to have evolved by chance.

So to believe in a Creator does still require faith, because we have not seen our Creator.  But it is not a blind faith, because we have ample evidence that we reside in His creation.

On the other hand, if you do not believe in a Creator, then you also must have a large amount of faith.  You must have faith that something can come from nothing (even though this has never been demonstrated to be possible) because this is how big bang theorists imagine the universe started.  You must have faith that living things can come from non-living things (even though this has never been demonstrated to be possible) because this is how most secular thinkers imagine life began.  And you must have faith that less complex organisms can become more complex over time, completely by chance (even though this has never been demonstrated to be possible) because this is the essence of a belief in Darwinian evolution. 

Do not be ashamed of the faith that we hold dear.  It is indeed a faith-based belief system, but not a blind faith.  And keep in mind that those that do not share our faith have also been created by our Great God, and are also loved by Him.  If we have opportunities to share our faith and the reasons we believe with non-believers, I sure hope you will take them.  In the end, they will be without excuse if they have not accepted Christ, but what a shame it would be if they had an opportunity to hear truth from someone like you, and you passed on that opportunity.

-Greg Landry

Today’s Bible passage can be read or listened to at BibleGateway here – Acts 20:1-3 and Romans 1-3.

Tomorrow we will continue with Romans 4-7.