1. Genesis 1:1-2:3 - literal meaning - Hugh Clark
2. Genesis 1:1-2:3 - spiritual meaning - Michael Hardt
3. Genesis 2:4-17 - Graham Warnes
4. Genesis 2:18-25 - Hansruedi Graf
5. Genesis 3 - Paul Dronsfield
6. Genesis 4 - Mark Grasso
7. Genesis 5 - Derek Cooper
8. Genesis 6-7 - Geoff Hawes
9. Genesis 8 - Simon Attwood
10. Genesis 9 - Nick Fleet
11. Genesis 10-11 - Robert Wall
12. Genesis 12 - Andrew Poots
Summary - Michael Hardt
Q1 Genesis 1:1 states that God created the heaven and the earth (not in vain, but to be inhabited – Isaiah 45:18). Genesis 1:2 states the earth was without form and void. The length of time between these two verses is not known. Is there any scripture which gives the reason for such a separation?
A There is no Scripture making an explicit statement as to whether there was an interval of time between verses 1 and 2. Verse 2 describes the state in which the earth was at that point in time. The earth was “unformed and unfilled”. However, the furnishing of it as a place to live in is described from verses 3 to the end of the chapter. At the end of the sixth day, God declared everything He had made to be very good.
Q2 Why did God specifically curse Canaan out of Ham's four children, and not the rest of them as well?
A The scriptures do not tell us the reason, and we do not know the extent of Canaan's involvement (if any) in what Ham did. We do know that Canaan is named when Ham is mentioned in Genesis 9:22.25. More importantly, God (the judge of all the earth) does rightly (Genesis 18:25).
Q3 Animal meat given to eat to man was presented as a picture of feeding upon death. Can it not also be seen as a blessing introduced then, God granting in His grace to man to enjoy a thing that pleased Himself?
A God values every aspect of what Christ has done in giving Himself. We should seek to know more about that, also. While we may, by faith, meditate on the Lord Jesus when we eat, we must remember also that meat-eating was giving to all men, not only to those of faith, with immense consequences for the natural world.
Q4 If Ham be the father of African people, Shem that of what could be Indo-Europeans, would Japheth then be the ancestor of Asians?
A While there are overlaps and distinctions, Shem is generally accepted as the father of the middle-eastern peoples – and, specifically of the Jewish people, in whose line the Lord was born. His descendants “stretch from the Mediterranean to the Indian Ocean” (Morrish's Bible Dictionary). Japheth is the father of the northern and european peoples, while Ham is the father of people in and around Egypt, Canaan as well as of African people.
Q5i If the calling is linked to the principle of election for us, does it mean that only the elect are called? Does God not call every man to repent?
Q5ii Please explain 1 Peter 1:2 – election
A God does indeed – not only call, but command – every man to repent (Acts 17:30). That is man's responsibility. Note that: “Him that cometh to me, I will in no wise cast out” (John 6:37). God's sovereignty is a parallel line, which does not touch man's responsibility. God calls, elects, justifies, glorifies etc., and He foreknows (from before they were born) those who are His (see Romans 8:28-30). All are called but the call is effectual in some only. We cannot reconcile these two distinct, parallel, lines of truth, but can accept them by faith.
Q6 Can we worship in spirit and in truth collectively if we are not morally separated individually?
A Worship is (not limited to, but) rightly associated with the Lord's supper, as the remembrance should promote worship of the Father and the Son. The state of each individual taking part in the remembrance (whether taking audible part or not) has an effect on the gathered company. It should be a personal exercise for each brother and sister to ensure that their life away from the assembly is consistent with their position in Christ, and this will make needful a moral separation from the world, the flesh, and the devil.
Q7 What is the greatest form of evil in modern society (computers, mobile phones, internet, etc.)?
A Computers, mobile phones, or the internet, as such, are not evil but either of them can be harmful to our spiritual development if not used in a spiritual way. We are not qualified to provide a definitive answer as to which might might pose the biggest danger (there is One who judges all things). What we can say is that there are many things, good, bad, or indifferent, which can become time-wasters, or even idols, to those who engage in them. “Little children, keep yourselves from idols” (1 John 5:21). The course for a sincere Christian is pointed out in Philippians 3:7-8, and 13-14.
Q8 Does the Lord say in the Gospels that He desires mercy and not sacrifice? What does this mean?
A The Lord uses these words in Matthew 6:6 and 9:13, quoting from Hosea 6:6. Each of these contexts has a specific meaning, but the general meaning is that God would have men seek His mind, rather than be occupied with their own thoughts and actions alone. Our actions will not be of much value unless the heart is right with God.