In these next set of blog articles, we are going to consider God’s work of creation and the days of creation. Previously, we considered the biblical and confessional fact that God created all things visible and invisible out of nothing by His very Word. This is at the heart of Hebrews 11:3. We now move from the big picture to narrowing our focus upon the days of creation and what exactly God did make and how this helps us today as we live in this evil present age striving to serve God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
When one reads Genesis 1:3-2:4a, one finds what God has made, what God has blessed, and the fact that even God rested. God created light, the heavens, land and oceans, plants and vegetation for food, birds and fish, animals, and humankind. As God created, He looked out upon all that He created and blessed His creation by calling it good. Then, when all was said and done, God rested. We will investigate these three factors of creation in future articles.
In this article, we will consider the reality from Hebrews 11 that what we say concerning creation is a matter of faith. Hebrews 11:3 says, 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. (NKJV)
As we consider this verse, there are three conclusions we should come to with respect to the days of creation. First, creation is a matter of faith. This is a point we have started making in this article and we must dive a little deeper. The author of Hebrews is starting one of his most famous chapters and applications of the theology in the preceding chapters. This is the “by faith” chapter, also called by some: the heroes of faith or the hall of faith.
Yet, he begins by a statement of confession. He begins with something all believers share and that is creation is a faith statement. I have thought and argued that if one is not able to make it past the first two chapters of the Bible and see and believe God, then how are they going to get the rest of Scripture? If a person, upon reading the first two chapters of the Bible, begins with skeptical questioning of God, then it would be hard to see them explain the various signs and wonders in the rest of the Bible. Would they be able to believe in the crossing of the Red Sea, the Virgin Birth, or the Resurrection? The author of Hebrews begins where the Bible begins, where our faith and existence begins: God, by His Word created all things visible and invisible out of nothing. We must believe this.
Second, creation came about by the power of God’s Word. Once again, we see that this takes faith, and it is directly and intimately connected to our next confessional truth. Yet, we must see this distinction. God spoke all things into existence. This is the power of His Word. This powerful Word points us to two fundament truths of the Christian religion.
The first truth, God speaks and power is seen. This is the reason for all the signs and wonders following the prophets, Jesus, and apostles in the Bible. God said in Deuteronomy 13 that signs must accompany the prophets’ words, but if the prophets’ words point us in a direction that contradicts God’s already revealed word, then we must reject this prophet. The concept of word and sign go together.
Today the sign happens when the Gospel is proclaimed; we see God’s power in converting sinners. This act of regeneration and conversion is by the power of God and through ordinary means of preaching the Word. Therefore, the second truth claim is we must recognize the Word became Incarnate in the person of Jesus Christ. John says in his prologue to his gospel that Jesus is the Word made flesh. (John 1) Jesus is the Word. He speaks to us today through the preaching of the Gospel (Romans 10). He continues to minister to us through the Scriptures and His Spirit. Jesus, the Word, is what changes lives. Think about creation. It was through speech or through the Word that God created everything there is, which is why Paul could say, 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. (Col. 1:16 NKJV) The “Him” is Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Word Incarnate. This is how God created everything visible and invisible, namely through His Son Jesus Christ.
Third, God created everything out of nothing. Here is where we will find one of greatest contradictions of our time, namely confessing Christians who argue for any view of theistic evolution. According to Hebrews, God did not have any substance when He created the heavens and the earth. He created everything out of nothing, but with the power of His Word He created all things visible and invisible. Therefore, if theistic evolution were to be true, Hebrews 11:3 would be wrong because evolution teaches that the world and all that is in it was created by already existing matter. To put it another way, theistic evolution either teaches God did not create everything out of nothing or thus must use some serious hermeneutical gymnastics and theological stretching in order to teach any other view of creation besides God created everything out of nothing by the power of His Word. It is here we see a similar attack upon God’s Word that the serpent gave to man, “Did God really say He created everything out of nothing? Just look at the science. Trust the science.”
We must stand with those in the hall of faith by clinging to a faith that looks to the truth of creation from God’s perspective. Remember. He was there and He clearly explained how He did it all.
In our next article, we are going to jump into Day One of Creation.