|Volume 21 Number 10 October 2019
13 Things Scripture
Teaches about Creation
- God created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1). Moses began the Bible by acknowledging God as Creator. While the world gives the credit to macro-evolution, which has no scientific basis and defies all common sense, Scripture credits God.
- God spoke the world into existence (Psalm 33:6, 9). The Bible does not simply say that God created the world, but it tells us how God created the world. The heavens owe their existence to the words that came from God. God commanded the world and its inhabitants to appear, and they did. The power in God’s word is seen by its ability to make things appear that were not previously there. In the first chapter of Genesis, the text repeatedly says, “God said…and there was…” (Genesis 1:3, 6, 9,11, 14-18, 20-21, 24-27).
- God created humans in His image (Genesis 1:26-27). Humans are the crown of God’s creation and the apple of His eye (Psalm 17:8; Zechariah 2:8). The “us” mentioned in Genesis 1:26 refers to all three members of the Godhead: The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. We are made in the image of God as we are able to think rationally, exercise free will and have a desire for morality and justice (Psalm 139:14). Though we often fall short of our role as image-bearers, we should remember that we are elevated above everything else that God created (Psalm 8).
- God described His creation as very good (Genesis 1:31). The problem with the earth was the sin that entered into the world as man disobeyed God. When God created the world, He described the end of each day as good and the sixth day as “very good.” The creation shows us the goodness of God as He provided things for people to enjoy (1 Timothy 6:17).
- Creation points to the glory of God (Psalm 19:1-6). While Psalm 19 is often quoted to show that God exists, that is not all this psalm teaches us. The heavens do not simply declare that God exists, but the heavens declare the glory of God (1 Chronicles 29:11). The God of Scripture is not only the Creator, but He is also the God and King of glory (Psalm 24:7-8; 29:2-3). Still, we should acknowledge that David pointed to the heavens and the sermon they preach to all who will hear them. When you go out at night and look at the stars, you know they did not hang themselves, but God’s natural revelation causes us to seek Him. When sought properly, they lead us to His special revelation—the Bible (Psalm 19:7-14).
- Since God is Creator, He rules over the nations (Isaiah 40:9-31). When the prophets wanted to warn foreign nations and the people of God about the powerful God who could punish them, they pointed to His creative power. Isaiah says that God measured out the waters in the hollow of His hands, marked off the heavens with a span, and weighed the mountains in scales and hills in a balance (Isaiah 40:12). Isaiah’s point to the nations was that if God so effortlessly created the world of which we stand in awe, the nations should beware not to bring on His wrath, because they would not stand a chance. Our own nation should remember that God, who created the world and every nation that exists, can and will destroy wicked nations that oppose His righteousness (Psalm 9:17).
- God created the world through Jesus (John 1:1-3; Colossians 1:15-17; Hebrews 1:1-2). Many people mistakenly think that Jesus’ existence began in a manger in Bethlehem. It is true that Jesus was born in Bethlehem to Mary and Joseph; however, Jesus is the only human that has ever pre-existed. Jesus is co-equal with God the Father. The New Testament credits Jesus with being the One through Whom the earth and everything in it was created. This means that Jesus Himself could not have been created, though some religions teach this false doctrine (Revelation 1:8). This should heighten our view of what happened on Calvary’s cross. Jesus our Creator was killed by His creation so that He could save the world.
- The Holy Spirit was involved in creation (Psalm 104:30). Like God the Father and Jesus Christ the Son of God, the Holy Spirit was involved in the creation of the world. Moses spoke of the Spirit of God being present as the earth was without form and void (Genesis 1:2). Elihu gave credit to God’s spirit for creating him (Job 33:4). The Spirit is eternal just like the Father and the Son and has an often overlooked role in the creation of the world (Hebrews 9:14).
- God created the world in six days (Exodus 20:11) A clear reading of Genesis 1-2 shows us that God created the world in six, twenty-four-hour periods. However, as some theologians have bowed the knee to evolution, they have tried to merge the biblical account of creation with the fictional account of evolution. Moses does not leave the door open for evolution in the biblical account of creation. He told Israel to keep the Sabbath and said they should do this because in “six days” God made the world and rested on the seventh (Exodus 20:8-11). If the days of creation are not literal days, but instead unspecified amounts of time, how would Israel be able to use Genesis 1 as a point of reference for Sabbath keeping?
- Those who deny creation are without excuse (Romans 1:18-20). The attributes of God are clearly seen by the creation of the world. Those who deny creation actually know better. They simply suppress the truth and ignore it because they want to serve the creature more than the Creator (Romans 1:18-19, 25). One does not have to have a Ph.D. to know that God exists. Looking in the mirror at the human body (Proverbs 20:12), looking outside at creation (Psalm 8:3) and exercising common sense leads one to the truth Paul says is “clearly seen” (Romans 1:20).
- The creation remains because God sustains it (Nehemiah 9:6; Hebrews 1:3). God preserves the earth by His power and sustains it through His word. God not only called the world into existence, but the only reason that it remains is because He wills it to do so. God makes the rain fall and the sun rise (Matthew 5:45). God holds everything in creation together (Colossians 1:17). Sometimes people think they can save the environment. We are to be good stewards over the place where we live, but never forget that God holds the world in place with or without our help.
- God will destroy the world He created (2 Peter 3:10-13). While God’s original creation was seen as good, sin has defiled the earth, and God has promised to destroy the earth with fire one day. Peter told his readers to look at what took place in the days of Noah for evidence of what will happen when Jesus returns (2 Peter 3:5-7; Genesis 7:17-22). The creation and everything in it will be burned up, and so Christians should live holy lives and prepare for their dwelling place in “new heavens and a new earth” (2 Peter 3:13; John 14:2-4; 1 Peter 1:3-5).
- The new creation is the most important (2 Corinthians 5:17). The creation of man and woman in Genesis 1:26-27 was corrupted by sin through disobedience. However, the new creation that takes place as one is in Christ will be saved through sanctification (Romans 6:3-5). The new creation is where we put on Christ as we are baptized into Him, and we receive all spiritual blessings that are present in Christ (Galatians 3:26-27; Ephesians 1:3). We want everyone to become a new creation in Christ Jesus because that is the only creation that will last (Galatians 6:15).
Drawing Closer in Fellowship
Ronald D. Reeves
The apostle John, in his treatise concerning godly fellowship, clearly identified the intended consequence of penning what he penned in the Book of 1 John, “…that ye also may have fellowship with us” (1:3). He noted that not everyone who affirms that he or she is in fellowship with God speaks the truth (1:6). In his efforts to promote godly fellowship, he affirmed that such fellowship is attained and maintained conditionally (1:7) and that specific spiritual blessings will be received and enjoyed while in godly fellowship (1:7). I trust that these declarations motivate every child of God to exercise fellowship with other children of God and to also make noteworthy efforts to maintain this fellowship through the trials of the Christian life.
The biblical fellowship entertained in these remarks is both a doctrinal matter and a practical matter. Yes, the Bible teaches us concerning godly fellowship (1 John 1:3-7; Ephesians 5:11), thus influencing children of God to ponder what we can do from day to day to practically enhance this fellowship in our daily lives, whether such is applied to those in our congregation or to other faithful children of God more distant. Accordingly, we ask, “What may we do to draw closer in fellowship with others in the body of Christ?” The brief answer that follows is not exhaustive but does include some practical suggestions that may assist any congregation as we seek to maintain the strength of godly fellowship. In answering this inquiry, I suggest that we may:
- Maintain doctrinal integrity in biblical matters within all the area congregations. The requirement of this election is biblical (1 Timothy 1:3). When doctrinal integrity is maintained among fellow Christians, each child of God possesses an identical spiritual foundation from whence to launch his spiritual ship of state. Unity of fellowship is thus preserved.
- Work side-by-side with other children of God in spiritual activities. That we are to be active in the Lord’s vineyard is biblically supported (Titus 2:14). When we work on joint biblically approved projects together in an intimate setting, we naturally draw closer to one another and our fellowship is both exercised and strengthened.
- Forgive others and oneself as the Word of God so directs. Surely, we understand that people of God must exercise forgiveness according to divine terms (Matthew 18:21-35; Luke 17:3-4). Timely forgiveness of another prevents such a matter from promoting division among brethren and avoids unnecessary hurt being inflicted on another, hurt which will damage relationships in the context of fellowship.
- Create opportunities for fellow Christians to enjoy meaningful experiences together. Such experiences may involve a measure of creative thinking, but the effort will be worth it as the results are measured. Simply put, the more that fellow Christians spend quality time together, the more likely they will bond more strongly together as the family of God. Families do things together in a quality manner for quality results.
- Build and improve Christian relationships with as many faithful children of God as possible. We should never be satisfied with failed relationships. Rather, may we invest a measure of diligence in any relationship with another child of God that has been damaged or is failing so that the relationship has the best opportunity of being maintained in a quality manner. Quality efforts in this arena often make it possible to withstand forces that otherwise may not be withstood, thereby avoiding a fracturing of the congregation of the people of God.
- Remove sin from the camp of spiritual Israel (1 Corinthians 5), thereby protecting the purity of the body of Christ. Though a delicate matter, faithful Christians can do this in accord with Scripture, in a timely manner and with divinely approved intent. When sin is allowed to go unchallenged in the camp of Israel and is allowed to be as yeast in the unleavened lump of Israel, the fellowship of God will be turned into a fellowship of evil (Ephesians 5:11). Unapproved things will occur in the camp of Israel when we allow sin to go unchecked in the context of fellowship.
“What will you decide to do in the near future so that the fellowship of God’s people is strengthened?”
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