Creation and the Fall
Over the years many different approaches to reading the Bible have been offered. The reason I like Covenant and Kingdom – the DNA of the Bible is that it makes the whole of Scripture accessible, with it you can find the meaning of every book, prophecy, story or song.
The two great themes of Scripture – covenant and kingdom – are found on every page.
Covenant, which is where ‘two become one’ helps us to understand Relationships. Kingdom, which is the expression of God's rule helps us to understand our Responsibilities and how he calls us to be his Representatives. And so these two great themes of the Bible help us to understand how our relationship with God defines all other relationships and how his rule in our life calls us to the awesome responsibility of representing him and the world.
Relationship and Responsibility
Or more correctly
Relationship and Representation
Of course these themes spiraling like the double helix of DNA through every story, song and sagely saying of Scripture are first revealed at the very beginning – in creation.
The book of Genesis tells us that God has created the whole universe and that when he turned his attention to creating of human beings he chose to do something that until then he had never done – he chooses to make them in his image – literally he created them to bear the imprint of his presence. From the very beginnings God's intention for each one of us was that the imprint would always carry his presence (Genesis 1:26).
Think of God crafting us with clay (Genesis 2) and leaving the impression of his hand on us. The imprint is not simply an artifact of our creation but a place where God's hand could always rest. As soon as that hand was removed – when Adam and Eve pulled away from God and declared their independence – the mother and father of humanity immediately experienced nakedness and shame. The hand that covered them – that made them feel safe and secure was gone.
Fortunately for us there is one who has never left God's side and who bears the perfect image of God in his humanity. He lives within us by his Spirit and now through the New Covenant established for us by Jesus we are always at one with God because the one who lives within us – Jesus – is always at one with God. Amazing!
But there was more to God's plan for humanity than simply being in relationship with him, he also wanted us to rule on his behalf (Genesis 1:26 and 28). The king of the universe, sovereign in all things wanted us to be agents of his sovereignty. We were designed from the beginning to be Royal representatives of the household of heaven. Her sons and daughters of the living God and our task was to steward the creation for which God had given us responsibility. But of course our role as representatives all went wrong when we pulled away from our relationship with our father in heaven.
Fortunately for us one came from heaven as the royal representative of that household who declared on every occasion that the kingdom or the kingship or the rule of God was available through him. Jesus, is the long-awaited ‘anointed one’, ‘Messiah’, ‘Christ’, ‘King’ – they all mean the same thing in Scripture – he is the perfect representation of God's kingship in human form.
So as you read the wonderful and awe inspiring story of creation look for everything that speaks to you about our relationship with God and also our relationship with one another and the rest of the world. And look for what your responsibilities are as you function as God's representative here on earth. Hopefully this will help you understand the meaning of Genesis and help you to pray to the Lord as you seek to put his Word into practice.
The Covenant and Kingdom Study Guide
is now available in the store.