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Don Stewart :: What Does Biblical Creationism Teach about the Nature of God?

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Don Stewart
The biblical teaching on creation refutes four popular "isms:" atheism, polytheism, pantheism, and deism. All of these views are contradicted by what the Bible has to say about Gods creative activity.

Atheism

The biblical account of creation refutes atheism because Scripture maintains the existence of an all-powerful God. The existence of God is assumed in Scripture; the Bible never attempts to prove He exists.

Scripture says that God is Spirit:

God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth (John 4:24).

As such He is the invisible God:

Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God, who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen (1 Timothy 1:17).

No one has seen Him:

No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him (John 1:18).

Who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, who no man has seen or can see (1 Timothy 6:16).

A spirit has no physical form:

Behold, My hands and My feet, that it is I myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have (Luke 24:39).

Yet the universe that God created is both material and visible, and as such reflects His power and majesty.

Polytheism

Creation also refutes polytheism, the belief in many gods, by stating that only one God exists and creates. The Bible is clear that although there be other so-called gods, there is only one eternal God who exists:

You are my witnesses, says the Lord, and my servants whom I have chosen, that you may know and believe Me, and understand that I am He, before Me there was no God formed, nor shall there be after Me (Isaiah 43:10).

Though the Bible makes reference to false gods, it does not state that these are actual gods who exist. The Apostle Paul wrote:

But, then indeed, when you did not know God, you served those which by nature are not gods (Galatians 4:8).

Scripture shows that these false gods are not to be compared with the one true God:

To whom will you liken Me, and make Me equal and compare Me, that we should be alike? They lavish gold out of the bag, and weigh silver in the balance; they hire a goldsmith, and he makes it a god; they prostrate themselves, yes, they worship. They bear it on the shoulder, they carry it and set it in its place, and it stands; from its place it shall not move. Though one cries out to it, yet it cannot answer nor save him out of trouble (Isaiah 46:5-7).

These so-called gods were inventions in the mind of people who rejected the truth of the one true God. Only the God of the Bible has real substance.

Since the God of the Bible has given us reason to believe in His existence, whatever He might say on the matter of other gods is final. There are no other true gods. God says He is the only God who exists. That solves the question.

Pantheism

There is a view of Gods nature known as pantheism. The term is derived from two Greek words pan and theos. Pan means "all or everything" and theos means "God." Pantheism, therefore, means "God is everything."

Pantheism teaches that everything that exists is part of one single reality and that reality is called god. God is all and all is god. There is no distinction between the creature and the creator in pantheism. God is equal to anything and everything. The concept of a personal God who created the universe as a separate substance is foreign to pantheism.

Scripture makes the distinction between the Creator and that which He created:

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1).
For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead (Romans 1:20).

The universe has not existed eternally but God has. When God created the universe He brought into being something different from Himself:

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).

Pantheism blurs this distinction. The God of the Bible is not the same god of pantheism because He is not the same thing as His physical universe. God is the artist and the physical universe is His masterpiece. It is wrong to worship the creation. The Book of Romans speaks of those who do:

Who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen (Romans 1:25).

Worship of any other thing, living or dead, is condemned:

You shall not make for yourself any carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth (Exodus 20:4).

Deism

There are those that hold a view of Gods nature called deism. Deism believes that God created the world, set it in motion, but then backed off. The god of deism does not play an active role in his world but allows the universe to run by natural and self-sustaining laws that He established. Although deists believe in a supernatural creation of the world, they do not believe in supernatural intervention in the world. Because there is no supernatural intervention by God, deists believe that miracles do not occur. Hence, they deny the miraculous accounts given in Scripture.

Deism is in contradiction to the God revealed in Scripture. If God can create the universe, as deists agree that He did, then He certainly is capable of performing other miracles of less magnitude. This is what the Bible says occurred. The Bible, from the first page until the last, is an account of God intervening miraculously in human history. To admit the miracle of creation, and then to deny other miracles, is an inconsistent position.

The deist position would have God as a master "clockmaker." He made the clock, wound it, then left it alone. But the Bible portrays God as much more than a great "clockmaker." He is a loving Father who is personally interested in His children. God desires that humanity call out to Him when they have a need. God says:

Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you and you shall glorify Me (Psalm 50:15).

The deist position, that God created the universe but does not participate in the running of it, is contrary to what the Bible says.

God Of The Bible

The biblical position is that the creation was brought about by the God of the Bible-the only God who exists. In both the Old and New Testaments it is clear that there is only one God. The prophet Isaiah records God saying:

Before Me there was no God formed, nor shall there be after Me (Isaiah 43:10).

In the New Testament the Apostle Paul tells Timothy:

For there is one God (1 Timothy 2:5).

God Is A Trinity

In Genesis 1:1 the word translated God is the Hebrew word Elohim. It is a uniplural noun (meaning 3 or more) but is used with a singular verb. Within the nature of the one God there are three distinct personalities. They are named the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three personalities are co-equal and co-eternal. They constitute the one God; this is known as the Trinity. Although the Scriptures do not explain how the one God can be three separate persons, it does clearly teach it.

The Trinity Involved In Creation

We have already noted that the Bible teaches that creation was an act of God. As we search the Scriptures we find that creation was completed by all three members of the Trinity: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

God The Father

Scripture testifies that God the Father was the Designer, Architect and Planner of creation. Speaking of God the Father, Jesus said:

But from the beginning of creation God made them male and female (Mark 10:6).

In another place He said:

For in those days there will be tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of creation which God created until this time (Mark 13:19).

Jesus believed and taught that God the Father was involved in creation.

Jesus Was The Creator

Jesus Christ is recognized in Scripture as the Creator of the universe:

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

Here we have the statement that everything was created by Jesus. Not one thing has been created apart from Him.

The Apostle Paul also testifies to Jesus as the Creator:

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).

This statement makes it abundantly clear that Jesus created all things in the universe.

Sustains The Creation

Not only did Jesus create everything in the beginning, He also sustains His creation. The Apostle Paul, after testifying to the creative work of Jesus, writes:

And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together (Colossians 1:16NASB).

Jesus is the one who holds the universe together. He is the one who keeps it running in an orderly fashion.

The Book of Hebrews takes this a step further. It teaches that Christ is "upholding all things by the word of His power" (Hebrews 1:3). The idea is that Jesus is keeping all things together by His spoken word. Thus, it is the spoken word of Jesus that now upholds the universe.

Jesus Christ created the universe, He sustains it by His spoken word, and He also rules it. The Apostle Paul testified that Christ is "the head over all rule and authority" (Colossians 2:10NASB). The universe and all that is in it is ruled by Jesus.

The Holy Spirit As Creator

The Holy Spirit, the third member of the Trinity, was also involved in creating the universe. The psalmist writes:

You send forth Your Spirit, they are created; and You renew the face of the earth (Psalm 104:30).

Job testifies:

By His Spirit He adorned the heavens (Job 26:13).

As was true with God the Father, and God the Son, God the Holy Spirit also participated in creation.

Conclusion

The biblical account of creation refutes atheism, polytheism, pantheism, and deism. We could also include naturalism, materialism, secularism, and agnosticism.

The Bible teaches that the three Persons of the Trinity, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit were all involved in creating the universe. Creation, therefore, was accomplished by the one true God.
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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