The record of creation in Genesis 1 is far more than just a record of the creation of the natural world. In Ephesians 3:9 we read that God “created all things by Jesus Christ.” In chapter 2:10 we read that “we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”

God’s ultimate purpose therefore is to accomplish a spiritual creation through Jesus Christ.

Before creation (Genesis 1:2)

Before God’s creative work began, the earth was covered in darkness. It was a wild and empty wasteland. This is a picture of the natural state of mankind, without the light of God’s Word.

In Ephesians 4:17-18, the Apostle Paul describes the ignorance of the natural man in the language of Genesis 1:2.

We also see the same idea taught in Jeremiah 4:22-23, where Jeremiah says, “For my people is foolish, they have not known me; they are sottish children, and they have none understanding: they are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge. I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was without form, and void; and the heavens, and they had no light.”

Genesis 1:2Ephesians 4:17-18
The earth was without form. This means, “formless, wild, vanity.”Mankind naturally walks in the vanity of their mind.
The earth is described as void, meaning “empty or waste.”Mankind naturally has a mind void of the knowledge of God.
The earth was covered in darkness.Mankind naturally walks in darkness.

In verse 22 Jeremiah describes the ignorance of Israel and in verse 23 he likens this state of ignorance to the state of the earth before creation. Furthermore, throughout Scripture the way of life of the wicked and ignorant is described as darkness (cp Prov 4:19; John 3:19-20; 1 John 2:11).

The state of the earth before creation is a picture of mankind in their natural state without the light of God’s truth.

Day 1 (Genesis 1:3-5) – Enlightenment

On the first day of creation God created light and divided light from darkness. This teaches us the principle of enlightenment.

In Scripture, light is used to represent God (1 John 1:5) and His Word (Psa 119:105,130; 2 Pet 1:19). The Lord Jesus Christ is also described as the light of the world (2 Cor 4:6; Luke 2:27-32; John 1:1-9; 12:46).

Having heard the gospel message and by applying ourselves to the Word of God, we become enlightened and the darkness is dispelled from our hearts and minds. Hence Jesus Christ was the Word made flesh, who brought light to the world.

As his disciples, we must walk in the light and have nothing to do with the works of darkness (1 Pet 2:9; Eph 5:8,11; 1 John 1:5-7; 2:8-10).

Day 2 (Genesis 1:6-8) – Separation

On the second day of creation God created the firmament and divided the sea (the waters under the firmament) from the clouds (the waters above the firmament). The second day of creation teaches us the need for separation.

Throughout Scripture, the sea is used to represent the nations (Isa 17:12; 57:20; Luke 21:25) and the clouds represent the saints (1 Thess 4:17; Heb 12:1). Just as the light and heat from the sun evaporates the water and forms clouds, so the Sun of Righteousness (Christ – Mal 4:2) draws people from all nations and elevates them into the heavenlies in Christ so forming the ecclesia of “called out ones” (cp Acts 15:14; Eph 2:6).

Having been drawn out of the nations into the heavenlies in Christ we must live separately from the world as disciples of Christ ( John 17:14-16; 2 Cor 6:14-18; 1 Pet 1:14-15).

Day 3 (Genesis 1:9-13) – Fruitfulness

On the third day of creation God formed the dry land and covered it with plant life so that the earth brought forth fruit. The third day of creation teaches us the importance of fruitfulness. Fruit represents attributes of godliness (Gal 5:22-23; Matt 3:8; Luke 8:15) and as disciples of Christ we are expected to bring forth much fruit ( John 15:1-16).

It is important to note the order of creation. Fruit can only be developed after enlightenment (Day 1, cp Matt 13:23) and being drawn out of the sea of nations into Christ (Day 2, cp John 15:4; Rom 7:4). It is sobering to consider that we are known by our fruits (Matt 7:16-20; James 3:12) in the same way a fruit tree produces fruit after its kind.

Day 4 (Genesis 1:14-19) – Light bearing

On the fourth day, God made the sun, moon and stars—heavenly bodies that provide light. This is teaching us the principle of being light bearers to those in darkness.

The sun in Scripture represents Christ (Mal 4:2; Matt 4:16; John 8:12). The moon represents the ecclesia. We know this because in Scripture the moon is likened to a woman/bride (Gen 37:9-10; Song 6:10). In a natural sense, just as the moon reflects the light of the sun, so the ecclesia as the bride of Christ must reflect the light of Christ (her husband) to those in darkness (cp 1 Cor 11:7). In so doing, we witness to those in the world of our absent bridegroom.

The stars also symbolise the saints, not as a bride, but as instructors in righteousness (Gen 15:5; Dan 12:3).

Just as we were enlightened on Day 1, we now have a responsibility as disciples of Christ (both individually and ecclesially) to shine as lights to the world (Matt 5:14-16; Phil 2:15).

(To be continued)