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Don Stewart :: Was the Universe Created by God?

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Don Stewart

The Bible is clear that the universe came into being by a series of creative acts by God.

God Is The Creator

Both the Old and New Testaments recognize God as the Creator.

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1).

Isaiah wrote.

This is what the LORD says: "Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. Where is the house you will build for me? Where will my resting place be? Has not my hand made all these things, and so they came into being?" declares the LORD (Isaiah 66:1,2).

John declared.

All things were made by him, and without him nothing was made that was made (John 1:3).

Paul testified.

For by him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through him and for him (Colossians 1:16).

The writer to the Hebrews said.

By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible (Hebrews 11:3).

The United Testimony Of Scripture Has God As Creator

The first chapter of Genesis makes about seventeen references to God as the Creator. The remainder of Scripture speaks of the creative works of God approximately fifty times. It is clear that the Bible teaches that God is the Creator of the universe. Scripture also teaches that God created humankind.

So God created humankind in his own image; in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them (Genesis 1:27).

There Was A Series Of Creative Acts Of God

The Bible says that the universe was brought into existence by means of a series of creative acts by an all-powerful, loving God. These acts were freely done of His own accord - there was nothing forcing Him to create the universe.

The Scriptures clearly teach that God is the Creator of all things.

The concept of creation is not an obscure doctrine in the Scriptures. There are at least one hundred references in the Bible referring to God's creative activity. It is the first doctrine to be stated:

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1).

Creation is also one of the last to be restated:

You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; for you created all things, and by your will they exist and were created (Revelation 4:11).

The fact that God made the heaven and the earth is taken for granted by the biblical writers. Furthermore, the Bible assumes the creation account as literally having occurred. There is no hint in Scripture that it is to be taken as poetry or as an allegory.

From Creation We Learn About A Number Of Important Truths

The biblical account of creation teaches the following things about humanity and the universe.

There Was A Limited Duration In The Past

The Bible gives both direct and indirect evidence that the universe has not always existed. Scripture teaches that the duration of the world in the past is limited.

Because those will be days of distress unequaled from the beginning, when God created the world, until now - and never to be equaled again (Mark 13:19).

Jesus said.

And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began. (John 17:5).

Paul wrote.

For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. (Ephesians 1:4).

The Godhead Existed Before The Universe

Scripture also teaches that each member of the Godhead existed before the world was created.

Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God (Psalm 90:2).

In Proverbs we read.

I was appointed from eternity, from the beginning, before the world began (Proverbs 8:23).

John wrote.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God (John 1:1).

Paul wrote.

He is before all things, and in him all things hold together (Colossians 1:17).

Therefore the Bible gives both direct and indirect evidence of God creating the universe.

Creation Was Supernatural

The account of creation recorded in the Bible is a supernatural work of God. The Lord says:

I am the Lord, who makes all things, who stretches out the heavens all alone (Isaiah 44:24).

The Word of the Lord accomplished Creation,

By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth. He gathers the waters of the sea together as a heap . . . For he spoke, and it was done; He commanded and it stood fast (Psalm 33:6,7,9).

God gives a challenge to those who would attempt to give their account of the origin of the universe.

Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell me if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements? Surely you know (Job 38:4,5).

Creation Was Out Of Nothing

Scripture further indicates that God created the universe out of no pre-existing materials. The word translated "create" in Genesis 1:1 is the Hebrew word bara. God is always the subject when this verb is used. The verb bara is used for creating out of nothing in Genesis 1:1, and in most other places it appears in the Bible.

In addition, the New Testament makes it clear that God created the universe by His spoken Word alone:

By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible (Hebrews 11:3).

Hence, with regard to physical entities there were no pre-existent materials used. Man, however, was made from the dust of the earth that God had previously created.

Matter Is Not Eternal

One of the modern theories that attempts to explain the origin of the universe teaches that matter is eternal. The Bible refutes the idea of the eternity of matter by stating that God created the world out of nothing. That the God of the Bible has the ability to create something from nothing can be summed up in a rhetorical question God asked the prophet Jeremiah:

Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for me? (Jeremiah 32:27).

The Original Creation Was Perfect

After each act of creation, God pronounced it good. When God finished creating the heavens and the earth they were perfect:

Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good (Genesis 1:31).

There was no imperfection in God's original creation. Imperfection eventually entered the universe as a result of humankind's sin, not God's design. Thus, the universe as it exists today is not the same as God created it. Sin has brought into it abnormality and imperfection.

The Details Of Creation

Scripture gives various details of the creation narrative. God has counted the stars and given them all names:

He counts all the number of stars; he calls them all by name (Psalm 147:4).

Scripture speaks of God creating the elements:

For he looks to the ends of the earth, and sees under the whole heavens, to establish a weight for the wind, and mete out waters by measure. When he made a law for the rain, and a path for the thunderbolt (Job 28:24-26).

It is God who created the heavenly bodies:

Do you know the balance of the clouds, those wondrous works of him who is perfect in knowledge . . . With him, have you spread out the skies, strong as a cast metal mirror? (Job 37:16,18).

The psalmist wrote.

The day is yours, the night also is yours; you have prepared the light and the sun. You have set all the borders of the earth; you have made summer and winter (Psalm 74:16).

Jeremiah records the limitlessness of creation:

As the host of heaven cannot be numbered, nor the sand of the sea measured (Jeremiah 33:22).

The prophet Amos speaks of the creation of constellations:

He made Pleiades and Orion; he turns the shadow of death into morning and makes the day dark as night; he calls for the waters of the sea and pours them out on the face of the earth; the Lord is his name (Amos 5:8).

The Bible contrasts the changelessness of God with an ever-changing creation.

Of old you have laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you will endure; yes all of them will grow old like a garment; like a cloak you will change them, and they will be changed. But you are the same, and your years will have no end (Psalm 102:25-27).

The New Testament

The New Testament gives reference to God as Creator. On Mars Hill the Apostle Paul said:

God, made the world and everything in it, since he is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. Nor is he worshiped with men's hands, as though he needed anything, since he gives to all life, breath, and all things (Acts 17:24,25).

John the Apostle writes:

You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; for you have created all things, and by your will they exist and were created (Revelation 4:11).

The Apostle Paul says the creation gives the atheist no excuse.

For since the creation of the world his invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse (Romans 1:20).

When Paul wrote to the church at Corinth he refers to God commanding the light to appear in Genesis 1:3:

For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness who has shown in our hearts (2 Corinthians 4:6).

Peter makes reference to Genesis 1:9:

For this they willfully forget; that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water (2 Peter 3:5).

Supernatural creation is an important truth that is emphasized in both testaments.

The Testimony Of Jesus

We have already seen that the Scriptures testify that Jesus is the Creator. Last, but certainly not least, we have the testimony of Jesus Himself as to the creation account in Genesis.

Have you not read that he who made them at the beginning made them male and female, and said, 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'? (Matthew 19:4,5).

Jesus quotes Genesis 1:27 and 2:24, which demonstrates that He believed God created Adam and Eve in the beginning.

If Jesus is the One whom He claimed to be, God the Son, then His testimony settles the issue. His Word is the final authority on every issue.

What Did God Specifically Create?

Scripture list seven specific spheres in which God created.

1. Angels

God spirit beings called angels.

For by him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities - all things have been created through him and for him (Colossians 1:16).

Angels would be part of the category of things invisible. This was probably prior to creating the physical universe.

2. The Physical Universe

The Lord also created the entire physical universe.

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1:1).

3. Vegetation

On the third day of creation God made vegetation.

Then God said, "Let the earth sprout vegetation: plants yielding seed, and fruit trees on the earth bearing fruit after their kind with seed in them"; and it was so (Genesis 1:11).

4. Fish

Fish were created on the fifth day of creation.

Then God said, "Let the waters teem with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth in the open expanse of the heavens" (Genesis 1:20).

5. Birds

Birds were created on the fifth day of creation.

Then God said, "Let the waters teem with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth in the open expanse of the heavens" (Genesis 1:20).

6. Land Animals

The land animals were created on the sixth day of creation.

Then God said, "Let the earth bring forth living creatures after their kind: cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth after their kind"; and it was so. God made the beasts of the earth after their kind, and the cattle after their kind, and everything that creeps on the ground after its kind; and God saw that it was good (Genesis 1:24,25)

7. Humankind

The crown of God's creation, man and woman, was created on the sixth day of creation.

God created humankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them (Genesis 1:27)

Summary

The Scriptures give many references to the doctrine of creation. It is by no means something obscure. God is assumed to be the Creator of heaven and earth. There are no arguments in Scripture given to prove it. His existence is accepted as a fact. Creation was regarded as a historical event. There is no indication that the Scripture writers considered the story a myth. There are many references outside of Genesis that add details to the creation narrative. Scripture also teaches that creation was out of nothing-no preexistent materials. Finally, and most importantly, Jesus testified to the fact that God created the heavens and the earth.

Ultimately, the Christian believes what God has revealed about creation because it has been recorded in His Word, the Bible. Though there was no human being present when it happened, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, were all there. Though not all details are included in the record, many facts are, and they should be understood in the same way as other Scriptures. Hence, the biblical account of creation recorded in Genesis should be accepted as what actually happened in the beginning.

CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

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