(Genesis 1:1) Genesis 1:1 ‘In the beginning’ – Jesus the lamb who sheds his blood and takes our place is set for the task before creation. The Father’s plan of amazing grace predates creation 1 Peter 1:19-20, 2 Timothy 1:9, Titus 1:2..
Just as creation comes by God speaking (1:3) so too the new creation comes in exactly the same way – 2 Cor 4:6 – as the gospel of the glory of God in the face of Jesus is shone into our hearts.
A world to be cultivated.
(Genesis 1:2) Genesis 1:2, 27-30 – God paints the broad brushstrokes and appoints man to do the detail, colouring in the maps, planning in the details, using a diary, And hiefly through the ultimate Image Bearer Colossians 1:15, who brings God’s life to his world. God does this by speaking. Things into being and the spread of his word continues the process of bringing divine order into creation.
A world to be populated.
(Genesis 2) Genesis 2:24-25 – the man and his bride walk with God, she lives because he was wounded – and this refers to Christ and the church Ephesians 5:32. – one day to be a global people, a multitude from every culture and every where, gathered by the spreading of the word of God.
A world to be liberated..
(Genesis 3-4) He is wounded to save the world. And that is necessary because man overthrows God in search of wisdom Genesis 3:1-7. The world is cursed and frustrated. It waits for glory but is left in emptiness – personified by Abel (hebel) whose name is Meaninglessness… lost hope. Only a later son, the second Adam will lift the curse by his death – that speaks a better word. Comes to bring life to the world.
The direction of the gospel is outward from God to us – and so too the shape of the Christian community isn’t a crowd of individuals but an ecstatic community: "...personhood is ‘ecstatic’, in terms of a going out or being drawn out of oneself by the Spirit into the life of Christ, a life lived for and with others. So we might also say that persons are ‘eccentric’, that they find their lives in the lives of others. Enter the man curved in on himself, who stubbornly refuses to go out of himself and smugly stays at home in and with himself. He is ego rather than ec-centric, finding his life in and living his life for himself... sin "the urge towards relationlessness and dissociation". And the sinner? "The sinner is, to put it simply, a person without relations, with no relation to God or to self".
Matt Jenson, The Shape of Our Sin - at The Other Journal
"Our nature...is so deeply curved in on itself that it not only bends the best gifts of God towards itself and enjoys them...but it also fails to realize that it so wickedly, curvedly, and viciously seeks all things, even God, for its own sake. Martin Luther.
- Without the gospel I’m defined by me and the things I do: “I’m busy juggling lots of things, including evangelism” My world is about me.
- With the gospel I’m defined by my relationships with God and with others: “We’re a community on a mission” The world is about God's plans which find even me.