Every parent has heard the question or knows it will come eventually. “Dad, where do babies come from?” To which the unprepared dad responds, “Um, um, go ask your mom!” There is something inherent in all of us that we wonders where we came from, who created us, when were we made, and who do we belong to.
Photo Credit: “Allegory of the Creation of the Cosmos” by Domenicus van Wijnen (1661-c.90)
In this post I want to show you how the Bible clearly and without a doubt shows that God is creator of our world and everything in it.
God Is Creator
I. GOD CREATED THE UNIVERSE
The Bible makes is clear that God created the universe.
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. (Gen 1:1)[ref]Gen 1:1 – “The Introductory Summary” according to Dr. Elliott Johnson this is a “literary summary” of what follows in creation. It is not a historical summary of what happened at first. Gen 1:2 – “The parenthetical Summary” is a summary of the judged condition of the earth (Dr. Johnson, class notes for BE102, Dallas Theological Seminary, Fall, 2013, class notes)[/ref] Then God looked over all he had made, and he saw that it was very good! And evening passaged and morning came, marking the sixth day. (Gen 1:31)[ref]Unless otherwise noted, all translations are from the New Living Translation (NLT)[/ref]
Later in the Bible,
By faith we understand that the entire universe was formed at God’s command, that what we now see did not come from anything that can be seen. (Heb 11:3)
Let’s look at how God created and how long it took him to create the heavens and the earth.[ref]Also see Gen 1:31; Neh 9:6; Pss 146:6; 1 Cor 8:4-6; Rev 4:11; 14:7.[/ref]
A. How God Created
Two Latin terms are used to describe how God created the heavens and the earth.
1. ex nihilo
The doctrine of ex nihilo means that God created “from nothing.” God did not have a mix in which he just added water to and the earth was created. No, he created the heavens and earth literally, “from nothing.” The author of Hebrews tell us that “what we see now did not come from anything that can be seen” (Heb 11:3, NLT). Francis Schaeffer explains ex nihilo like this,
A few years ago in England some Christians became excited about the Big Bang theory, thinking that it favored Christianity. But they really missed the point-either the point of Scripture or the Big Bang theory or both. The simple fact is that what is given in Genesis 1:1 has no relationship to the Big Bang theology-because from the scriptural viewpoint, the primal creation goes back beyond the basic material or energy (Francis Schaeffer, Genesis in Space and Time, 28).
2. divine fiat
The creation account of Genesis 1-2 is seamless and easy for God. God merely “spoke” and things were created (Gen 1:3, 6, 9, 14, 20, 23). The Psalmist wrote, “Let every created thing give praise to the LORD, for he issued his command, and they came into being” (Pss 148:5, NLT). He did not need assistance, help, or encouragement. He merely spoke and things appeared. In C.S. Lewis’s book, The Magician’s Nephew (book one in The Chronicles of Narnia series) Lewis described the lion known as Aslan who simply “sings worlds into existence.” In the scene in the book the lion enjoys the signing and enjoys the creation. I believe this might have been what it was like for God to create: a joyful experience for him.
B. When God Created in Seven Literal Days with the Appearance of Age
Within Christianity there are two broad views about the “time” of creation. Those two views are the “young earth” view and the “old earth” view. Well, there actually several more views, but for the sake of this post I have simplified it. For now all you need to know is that I believe in the young earth creation view. Read here on views on creation.
II. GOD EXISTED BEFORE THE WORLD WAS CREATED
The Bible makes it clear that God existed before the world was created. By “God existed” I don’t just mean that the Father existed before the world was created. I mean that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit all existed before the earth was created. The introduction to John’s Gospel clearly states that Jesus-the second member of the Godhead-was with God the Father when the earth was created,
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and God was the Word. The Word was with God in the beginning. Everything was made through him. Without him nothing was created that hadn’t been created. (John 1:1-3)
The “Word” that is described here is no other person that Jesus Christ. One commentator writes, “Much as our word reveal to others our hearts and minds, so Jesus Christ is God’s ‘Word’ to reveal His heart and mind to us. . . Jesus Christ is God’s last Word to mankind, for He is the climax of divine revelation” (Wiersbe, Be Alive, 20). Basically what John was telling his readers was that Jesus was with God when the world was created. Jesus has existed forever with God.
In Paul’s letter to the believers in Colossae he affirmed the same thing as John, writing,
Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation, for through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see— such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through him and for him. He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together. (Col 1:15-17)
Paul basically says the same thing in Colossians 1:15-17 as John did in John 1:1-3: Christ has existed before the creation of the world with God forever. Also see Romans 4:17.
III. GOD ALSO CREATED HEAVEN AND THOSE WHO LIVE THERE
Not only did God create the earth but he created heaven and the angels who live there.
One of the prayers that Nehemiah put in his book reveals,
“You [God] alone are the LORD. you made the skies and the heavens and all the stars. You made the earth and the seas and everything in them. You preserve them all, and the angels of heaven worship you.” (Neh 9:6)
The Psalmist wrote something similar saying that the angels, armies in heaven, sun, moon, twinkling starts and everything in heaven were created by God (Pss 148:2-5).
Also see Acts 4:24; Col 1:16; Rom 10:6.
IV. CONCLUSION AND APPLICATION
A. God should be the object of our worship, not his creation.
As a young kid learning what it meant to be loyal to God and follow him I remember being told, “Worship God not his creation.” A short time later I saw some people on the side of the road wearing orange vests picking up litter on a Sunday. I saw them doing that on “God’s day” and I immediately thought, “They are sinning because they are worshipping the earth and not God!” I was too little to realize first of all that they were probably required to do that work as part of their community service as well as the fact that just because someone picks up litter on the side of the road does not man that he or she is worshipping God and not creation.
B. “Who” created the world is important, not how.
In a later post in this anthropology series I will show you that Moses wanted to tell in Genesis who created the earth and not how he created the earth. For us as Christians how God created the world is less important than us loyally worshipping the God who created the world.