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Don Stewart :: What Is the Biblical Account of Special Creation?

Don Stewart
The Bible says that the universe was brought into existence through a series of creative acts by an all-powerful, loving God. 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 Gods 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.

The biblical account of creation teaches the following things about man and 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).

Creation was accomplished by the Word of the Lord,

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).

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.

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).

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 Gods original creation. Imperfection eventually entered the universe as a result of mankinds sin, not Gods design. Thus, the universe as it exists today is not the same as God created it. Sin has brought into it abnormality and imperfection.

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 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).

Creation And Preservation

The Bible says that God not only created the universe He is also presently preserving it. Creation is dependent upon God. The prophet Nehemiah wrote:

You alone are the Lord; You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all things on it, the seas and all that is in them, and you preserve them all. The host of heaven worships You (Nehemiah 9:6).

Jeremiah commented:

He had made the earth by His power; He has established the world by His wisdom, and stretched out the heaven by His understanding. When He utters His voice - there is a multitude of waters in the heavens; he causes the vapors of earth to ascend from the ends of the earth; He make lightning for the rain; He brings the wind out of His treasuries (Jeremiah 51:15,16).

Days

There was a division of the creative activity into days. In the Old Testament the usual meaning of the Hebrew word for day, yom, is a twenty-four hour day. The days have usually been understood to be solar days, though there are other ways in which they may be viewed. As to the various ways we may understand the days of Genesis see our course Answering Bible Difficulties, Genesis: Volume 1).

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 mens 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.

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.

Summary

The following conclusions can be drawn from what the Bible says about creation:

1. The Scriptures give many references to the doctrine of creation. It is by no means something obscure.

2. 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.

3. Creation was regarded as a historical event. There is no indication that the Scripture writers considered the story a myth.

4. There are many references outside of Genesis that add details to the creation narrative.

5. Scripture also teaches that creation was out of nothing - no preexistent materials.

6. 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 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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