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The Doctrine of Creation - Part 1

Why Do We Believe That?  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  54:57
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Where did we come from?
Why are we here?
Are we the product of an intelligent creator/designer?
Why did He choose to create?
What's His relationship with His creation?
These fundamental questions have baffled the minds of humanity since the beginning of time.
These are honest, thought-provoking, challenging questions.
Some worldviews, when confronted with the crushing weight of these questions, give up in defeat.
Postmodernism doesn't even attempt to answer… if you're a postmodernist, you're on your own to make the best sense of such questions.
Naturalism, the juggernaut of the scientific elite, pretty much avoids these questions by refusing to give direct answers and at best skirting around them the best they can.
For the Darwinian evolutionist, it isn't about origins (where did matter itself come from), but about beginnings (how did humanity arise as one species among other species).
Thankfully the Bible's not bashful about these things… it's bold and confident in its assertions.
Hmm… so, where can a person go to learn the truth about our origins?
The Bible? The book of Genesis chapter one and verse one? Bingo!!!
Genesis 1:1 NIrV
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.
Let's begin by concentrating on these first ten words by looking at what they tell us about creation.
God created… therefore, creation owes itself not to chance and impersonal forces, but the one true God.
God created in the beginning.
God created time
He's pre-existent and eternal
Matter doesn't exist yet; matter comes later
God created the heavens and the earth.
So, all that we see, all that there is, all that exists owes itself to Almighty God.
Unlike many, God's not embarrassed by the biblical worldview. He doesn't bury this account deep within Israel's history because he's timid and apprehensive.
He didn't say… "you know all this might be hard for my people to accept… so I'll introduce it later, you know, kinda soften the edges a bit, make it compatible and palatable for them."
No, God doesn't do that. Instead, He boldly and confidently declares and leads with the doctrine of creation.
If you want answers to some of the most pressing questions in life - look no further than the first ten words of the Bible. There's an enormous amount of theology contained in those ten words!
For example… listen carefully… there is no Christianity without creation!
The fact that the Bible begins with creation establishes who God is and the entire God-world relationship.
It establishes the proper interpretation and place of human beings in the world.
It teaches the original goodness of the world and what eventually goes wrong with it.
But the beginning of history also points to the end of history.
Creation—fall—redemption—to new creation. It points us forward and upward to our everlasting hope as Believers.
It's hugely important, especially in today's age of never-ending skepticism.
This word, Genesis, literally means "beginnings."
Moses penned these words; he obviously wasn't there to observe and record what happened, so, like the book of Revelation, which speaks of the end of all things, it had to be revealed to him by God.
So, this raises the question about how Genesis 1-2 should be read?
Is it merely mythical? Poetic? Scientific?
I mean… it's not a scientific textbook… it's not merely giving cause-and-effect as if we live in a natural world governed by impersonal forces, nor is it only poetry.
Moses uses lots of symbolism (like John does in Revelation), yet he speaks plainly and concretely.
The primary purpose of Genesis 1-2 is to give us a theology of creation, especially God's relationship with humanity.
There are many parallels between this account and various pagan accounts of the time Moses was writing, which shouldn't surprise us.
It's what we should expect as God wants his people, after their deliverance from Egypt, to shed itself of the polytheism and paganism of the Egyptian people.
Therefore, it's the points of difference, not similarities, that are most significant. Namely, Yahweh is Covenant-Lord.
Here in 2020, when you tell someone on the street that God created the heavens and the earth - what kind of discussions arise?
Most likely, you're bombarded by a barrage of questions… like, what about dinosaurs? How old is planet earth? What about Carbon 14 dating, the fossil records, evolution? Etc. etc., etc.
But if we're not careful, all these competing voices can drown out the one voice we need to hear the most – the voice of The Creator, God's voice.
So, what does God have to say about creation?

7 BIBLICAL TRUTHS ABOUT CREATION

Today I want us to consider seven specific statements from the Bible related to the opening chapters of Genesis.
Beginning with this...

1. God Created Everything Out of Nothing

The Bible say… "In the beginning, God created." Not "when God began to create."
In other words, God created without the use of pre-existing materials.
He didn't somehow stumble across some cosmic play dough and refashion or shape what already was.
He spoke, and things came into existence.
Listen to what the Word of God has to say about creating the universe out of nothing.
Hebrews 11:3 NIrV
We have faith. So we understand that everything was made when God commanded it. That’s why we believe that what we see was not made out of what could be seen.
Romans 4:17 NIrV
It is written, “I have made you a father of many nations.” God considers Abraham to be our father. The God that Abraham believed in gives life to the dead. Abraham’s God also speaks of things that do not exist as if they do exist.
Psalm 33:6–9 NIrV
The heavens were made when the Lord commanded it to happen. All of the stars were created by the breath of his mouth. He gathers the waters of the sea together. He puts the oceans in their places. Let the whole earth have respect for the Lord. Let all of the people in the world honor him. He spoke, and the world came into being. He commanded, and it stood firm.
And because God created the entire universe out of nothing, there's no matter in the universe that's eternal.
All that we see came into existence when he spoke it into existence.
Yes, there was a time when—matter—didn't exist.
Psalm 90:2 NIrV
Before you created the world and the mountains were made, from the beginning to the end you are God.
So, creation strikes a fatal blow to naturalism, which suggests that in the beginning, matter existed, and through a random, blind, purposeless series of events, poof, we get our world.
But the Bible says, "in the beginning"… not "matter created,"… but "God created!"
So, the first truth is God created the world out of nothing.

2. God Created All Things, Both Visible and Invisible, Both in The Heavens and The Earth

This is clearly proclaimed in Genesis 1:1.
But not just there… listen to the universal statement in John's gospel...
John 1:3 NIrV
All things were made through him. Nothing that has been made was made without him.
Revelation 4:11 NIrV
“You are worthy, our Lord and God! You are worthy to receive glory and honor and power. You are worthy because you created all things. They were created and they exist. That is the way you planned it.”
Acts 4:24 NIrV
When the believers heard this, they raised their voices together in prayer to God. “Lord and King,” they said, “you made the heavens, the earth and the sea. You made everything in them.
The inclusion of heaven and earth and everything in them indicates that God created the entire universe.
The creation of the entire universe includes the creation of an unseen, spiritual realm of existence.
In addition to creating the visible, tangible, physical universe, God created the angels and other heavenly beings.
He also created heaven as a place where his presence is especially evident.
This is explicitly stated in both the Old and New Testaments.
In the book of Nehemiah, Ezra prays…
Nehemiah 9:6 NIrV
You are the one and only Lord. You made the heavens. You made even the highest heavens. You created all of the stars in the sky. You created the earth and everything that is on it. And you made the oceans and everything that is in them. You give life to everything. Every living being in heaven worships you.
The host of heaven refers to the angels and other heavenly creatures.
Since Ezra says that they engage in worshiping God – the same term "host" is used to speak of angels who worship God in Psalm 103:21 and 148:2.
In his letter to the Colossians, Paul specifies that in Christ…
Colossians 1:16 NIrV
All things were created by him. He created everything in heaven and on earth. He created everything that can be seen and everything that can’t be seen. He created kings, powers, rulers and authorities. Everything was created by him and for him.
So, God is the creator of all things, the physical as well as the spiritual… and “Everything was created by him and for him.”

3. God Created Time

Physics tells us that time is a property resulting from matter… the succession of moments one after another, which depends on the existence of a material substance.
Accordingly, time exists when matter exists. But God isn't matter; God created matter. Before matter was created, God existed.
Since there was no matter, and since God doesn't change, time didn't exist and therefore held no meaning and no relationship to Him.
Therefore, he can say in verse 1, "in the beginning"… He created the beginning.
So, what exactly does this mean?
It means that God isn't bound by time like human beings are.
God's existence is independent of time.
He created the reality in which we live… not only did he create you and me… he created the space-time continuum in which we exist.
Can we pause here and declare… How amazing our God is! (applause)
Psalm 90:2 NIrV
Before you created the world and the mountains were made, from the beginning to the end you are God.
Revelation 1:8 NIrV
“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,” says the Lord God. “I am the One who is, and who was, and who will come. I am the Mighty One.”
Psalm 102:26 NIrV
They will pass away. But you will remain. They will all wear out like a piece of clothing. You will make them like clothes that are taken off and thrown away.
These verses settle the argument that God is eternal. And in contrast, it also confirms that the universe is not eternal. The universe had a beginning, so; it's temporal.
This strikes a fatal blow to our Darwinian friends who look for a time-space answer to the problem of beginnings.
Since God has no beginning, He has no time-space limitations.
So, God not only created the universe; he created the time-space continuum that the universe exists.

4. God Created by His Word

What's one of the common refrains found in Genesis 1 through the beginning of chapter 2? "And God said…"
Ten times in the Genesis account, we find those words, "And God said…"
The point is unmistakable - God calls things into existence by his word.
God spoke the universe into existence by His word and created something where there was nothing before.
He spoke, and it was done.
As we discussed in the first message, God's Word is necessary for salvation, but it's also the means to life as we know it.
And so, we see that God's word brings life both spiritually and physically.
Hebrews 11:3 NIrV
We have faith. So we understand that everything was made when God commanded it. That’s why we believe that what we see was not made out of what could be seen.
Pause and think for a moment about the power of God's word!
The picture of creation is not of God sweating, toiling, laboring for years, if not millennia.
He simply speaks, and it's so.
His word is effectual. It creates.
The world doesn't just turn at God's command; it hangs on God's word.
The picture is not one of trial and error, like some crazed, wiry-haired, wild-eyed inventor scratching his head.
God's word is powerful (it creates) and perfect (it creates what he intended them to create).
So, God created everything by his word.

5. Creation is a Triune Act

Genesis 1:26 NIrV
Then God said, “Let us make man in our likeness. Let them rule over the fish in the waters and the birds of the air. Let them rule over the livestock and over the whole earth. Let them rule over all of the creatures that move along the ground.”
Yes, God the Father was a primary agent. We see this in Genesis chapters one and two and texts such as…
Psalm 19:1 NIrV
The heavens tell about the glory of God. The skies show that his hands created them.
But God the Son also created.
John 1:3 NIrV
All things were made through him. Nothing that has been made was made without him.
Colossians 1:16 NIrV
All things were created by him. He created everything in heaven and on earth. He created everything that can be seen and everything that can’t be seen. He created kings, powers, rulers and authorities. Everything was created by him and for him.
And… God the Holy Spirit also created.
He's generally pictured as completing, filling, and giving life to God's creation.
Genesis 1 hints at the preserving and sustaining function of the Spirit when it says…
Genesis 1:2 NIrV
The earth didn’t have any shape. And it was empty. Darkness was over the surface of the ocean. At that time, the ocean covered the earth. The Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
Job 33:4 NIrV
The Spirit of God has made me. The breath of the Mighty One gives me life.
Psalm 104:30 NIrV
When you send your Spirit, you create them. You give new life to the earth.
In John 6, we see that it's the Spirit that indwells a person upon regeneration, upon being born-again, giving spiritual life to the spiritually dead.
John 6:63 NIrV
The Holy Spirit gives life. The body means nothing at all. The words I have spoken to you are from the Spirit. They give life.
So, the Father creates.
The Son creates.
And the Holy Spirit creates, bringing new life.

6. The Universe God Created is "Very Good"

What's the constant refrain of Genesis 1?
Genesis 1:31 NIrV
God saw everything he had made. And it was very good. There was evening, and there was morning. It was day six.
God delighted in the creation that he had made, just as he purposed to do.
Although sin has marred the material world, even to the point that creation groans (Rom 8.22), the material world is still good in God's sight and should be seen as "good" by us as well.
This knowledge will free us from a false asceticism; that is, the belief that the use and enjoyment of God's material blessings is wrong.
It also puts the rest the foolishness of Global-Warming alarmist.
Paul clarifies this by saying that those who "forbid marriage" and "order [people] to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth" (1 Tim. 4:1-3) are giving heed to the "doctrines of demons."
One author put it like this, "whereas God could have created air filtration machines, he instead chose to create trees. Whereas God could have chosen to cast creation in black and white, he instead chose to paint from a vast pallet of colors." (Doctrine, 88).
God's not stingy
He's not a scrooge
He's not tight-fisted
Creation teaches us he's a wonderfully good God who's open-handed with his people.
He's pro-pleasure, pro-joy.
His good gifts are for our gratification so that we might give him praise and thanks.

7. God Created the Universe to Show His Glory

Both humanity and the universe were created for the glory of God. (repeat)
Psalm 19:1 NIrV
The heavens tell about the glory of God. The skies show that his hands created them.
The song of the living creatures in Revelation 4 shows that God's creation is to give praise and glory to its creator...
Revelation 4:11 NIrV
“You are worthy, our Lord and God! You are worthy to receive glory and honor and power. You are worthy because you created all things. They were created and they exist. That is the way you planned it.”
We're designed and created to glorify God for his creation.
That's why God can say…
Isaiah 43:6 NIrV
I will say to the north, ‘Let them go!’ And I will say to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’ Bring my sons from far away. Bring my daughters from the farthest places on earth.
He designed it all so that he could bring glory to his name.
But it's important to understand that God didn't need to create to bring glory to himself.
Again, this proves that it's not about me, and it's not about you; it's ALL about JESUS!
He is, by himself, already infinitely glorious.
God chose to create the universe to demonstrate his excellence.
He created it to take delight in his creation and creating powers.
So, God created the universe to show off his glory… and what an amazing job he did!!!
Amen?
Let’s Pray...
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