“To look at the window . . .as I did that first day . . . to look out at this kind of creation and not believe in God is to me impossible.”—John Glenn, speaking about his view of the Earth from the space shuttle Discovery
To think of creation when summer is upon us and we are outside more often, is appropriate. Yet, there is little else that is more controversial today than the subject of origins of the earth. The Bible is clear on such matters, as our Thought for Meditation is taken from the first verse of Scripture. Genesis 1:1: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”
And yet some get riled at that verse. Our children are indoctrinated from sixth grade that man came about by chance; and that God had nothing to do with how things came about. It was all natural selection, a process of the survival of the fittest.
The Bible is not a story book. Our God is a God of miracles. There is good evidence to support creationism, the belief that an Almighty God made all that we see. Christians have affirmed God’s creative power in the Apostles’ Creed states: “I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth.”
But today, I not only want to advocate for Genesis 1:1, that God created everything that we see, as well as you and me. But that Jesus holds first place in it. He is preeminent. Webster’s defines preeminent as having paramount rank, dignity, or importance : OUTSTANDING, SUPREME
Consider the following in our time together:
• Jesus was never created, but participated in creation as Co-Creator;
• Jesus taught creationism;
Let’s first understand that Jesus was not created. Note how Colossians 1:15 reads:
“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”
It is easy for the unbelieving world to assume that Jesus was just another man on the landscape of human history. But He was not. He was unique. Jesus was the God-man. He continually talked about being sent from the Father and having glory given to Him before the world began. He also said in John 8: “Before Abraham was, I am.”
Unfortunately, I heard a minister once pray to Jesus in a service: “For this purpose you were created.” I was shocked to hear such blasphemy. Jesus was never created. He is the Creator, as John’s gospel says in its opening statement: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.” The Bible is quite clear that Jesus participated in creation as Co-Creator.
Jesus was never created. As the Nicene Creed states concerning Christ:
“We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and of all that is unseen. We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, one in Being with the Father. Through him all things were made.”
Genesis 1:1 is also a doorway into the study of the Trinity. God the Father’s primary role is that of Creator, but Jesus also is creator. He is Co-Creator with the Father.
Jesus holds the highest place in the universe. He is the “firstborn of all creation,” which is a title of honor. He is worthy of our praise as the Divine Son of God. He proved He was God by doing Creator-like things such as walking on water, calming the storm, raising Lazarus from the dead, and healing the blind. And after He was raised from the dead, he appeared to His disciples and Thomas saw his wounds and proclaimed: “My Lord and my God!”
Jesus is God’s message and holds a place of honor as Co-Creator. Hebrews 1:2: “…but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.” In addition…
Secondly, Jesus taught creation.
He said of the Scriptures that not one stroke would be abrogated, until all is accomplished. What’s more is that He affirmed the truthfulness of the Old Testament Scriptures in John 17:17: “Sanctify them by Thy truth; Thy word is truth.”
The Bible teaches that God is a Father; and God is a Creator. Jesus affirmed that several times. God as Creator is stressed again and again throughout the Scriptures.
He is our Maker, worthy of our worship! Psalm 95:3: “For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods. In his hand are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountains are his also. The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land. Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the LORD, our Maker!” God as Creator ought to cause you to raise your hands, bow your head or hit your knees in awe!
In addition, He is our Helper, the One we call upon! Our God is loving and condescends to us when we need help! Psalm 121:1: “I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.” God did not create everything and then go on vacation. Rather, he is intimately engaged and sustains it all today.
And the Bible is pretty explicit on how this was done. Intriguing is how each of the increments is described, “Then there was evening and morning, the third day; then there was evening and morning, the fourth day” etc., etc. Is this literal language, or poetic language?
Historically, it would seem that creation week has been taken literally. Some cross references seem to indicate 24 hour increments: Exodus 20:11: “For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.”
Exodus 31:17 ‘It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever; for in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed.’ ”
Hebrews 11:3: “By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.”
Millard Erickson states about creation week: “…we cannot be dogmatic. The age of the universe is a topic which demands continued study and thought.”
Martin Luther said: “How long did creation take? When Moses writes that God created heaven and earth and whatever is in them in six days, then let this period continue to have been six days, and do not venture to devise any comment according to which six days were one day. But, if you cannot understand how this could have been done in six days, then grant the Holy Spirit the honor of being more learned then you are…. For you are to deal with Scripture in such a way that you bear in mind that God Himself says what is written. But since God is speaking, it is not fitting for you wantonly to turn His word in the direction you wish to go.”
So then, humility is needed on both sides of the argument. Even the most skilled scientist graduating from the most prestigious school, did not witness creation at its commencement and could not observe what took place or how it came to be. We must be careful of man’s explanation about the past.
But notice that Jesus was a creationist. He encouraged the Pharisees to read and believe Genesis in Matthew 19:3: “And Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful to divorce one’s wife for any cause?” He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”
Our Lord believed that the world had a beginning, citing that the tribulation that it would encounter at the time that Jerusalem was destroyed would be significant. Matthew 24:21: “For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be.”
Finally, Jesus taught that the Father is our provider, who takes away our worries. Jesus also taught that God takes care of His creation: In Matthew 6:26, Christ states that the Father is responsible for feeding the birds of the air. “…for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them.” And verse 30: “Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?” God is engaged with your world and your circumstances and wants you to turn to Him!
But Jesus’ teaching is offensive and has serious ramifications! The first sentence of Scripture states: “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” Dr. Johnny Gibson of Westminster Seminary says that Genesis 1:1 is the most offensive verse in the Bible. Why, you might ask? Because if Genesis 1:1 is true, then we are accountable to this Creator. And this Creator has stated that we have sinned against Him, greatly offending Him. And that we are not autonomous, but accountable to Him.
If you teach child they are graduated monkeys, don’t be surprised if they behave like it. Young people lack purpose and hope. Or if they live as if they are not accountable to anyone, don’t be surprised at the amount of trouble they get into or their dismal outlook on life. But if you teach them that they are here because of a loving Creator, then you are one step closer to the gospel.
If you deny the existence of a literal Adam, you undercut the gospel entirely.
It is in Romans 5, that Paul the Apostle refers to a literal Adam in his explanation of death. Verse 12 states: “Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned.” Was death the result of a cycle of biology, or did it come about as a penalty for disobedience.
What’s more is that John’s Revelation in chapter 21 records the arrival of the new heavens and the new earth, created by God. The creation/arrival of the new, presupposes the creation/arrival of the old/first.
And the Holy Spirit was also active in creation. We are told in Genesis 1:1: “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.”.
God is still creatively active in our world, especially in bringing men and women, boys and girls to Himself! And Jesus says that the Spirit is ever-active in the rebirth of a person, spiritually, from John 3:3: “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.”
All of God’s creative activity is not mechanical, void of relationship. Rather it is loving and powerful. What’s more is that God brings His creative power into our lives when we become a child of God through faith in Jesus Christ, which is by His doing. We are told in 2 Corinthians 5:17: “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold the new has come.”
Have you experienced this new birth? Can you testify that He has made you a new person to where you no longer want to live for yourself, but for Him?
More is there than meets the eye! Again and again, the Bible directs us to see God as our Creator who is ever engaged in our world and ever engaged in your life.
So let us not separate Genesis 1 from the rest of the Bible and be tempted to chuck it aside because our idea of science does not endorse a creator God. Rather, more science speaks of a creator than you think.
For instance, Dr. A Cressy Morrison, past president of the New York Academy of Sciences stated: “So many essential conditions are necessary for life to exist on our earth that it is mathematically impossible that all of them could exist in proper relationship by chance on any one earth at one time.”
Lee Strobel, in his documentary, The Case for the Creator, reveals that there are many indicators that our universe has a design. Take for instance, Physics where the force of gravity is at such a setting that all things hold together. If it were moved even slightly, then all things would cease to exist. Picture if you were to stretch a ruler across the universe, some 14 billion light years and that was its possibly range for gravity and the present setting were that of just an inch, making all life on earth able to exist. But move that setting just one inch, and the effects would be catastrophic. No large scale life forms could exist. Maybe bacteria, but not conscientious observers.
Or the cosmological constant, which states that the expansion speed of the universe is one part to 100 million, billion, billion, billion, billion, billion. If it were not so fined tuned, material objects could not form. It is so fine-tuned that it has been compared to if you were to travel hundreds of miles into space and throw a dart to the earth and it were to hit a bullseye the width of an atom.
Or the nuclear force that binds atoms together. If this were off just slightly, then Hydrogen would be the only element and life would cease to exist.
Or Richard Leakey, the World’s Foremost Paleoanthropologist, in a 1990 PBS documentary, stated: “IF pressed about man’s ancestry, I would have to unequivocally say that all we have is a huge question mark. To date, there has been nothing found to truthfully purport as a transitional specie to man… if further pressed, I would have to state that there is more evidence to suggest an abrupt arrival of man rather than a gradual process of evolving.”
The point is this: Science can only take us so far. And, upon a closer look, there is more in science that points to the design of the universe than that of naturalistic happenstance. And if there is a design to the universe, there must be a Designer. What’s more is this Designer speaks to us in His creative order, in His word, the Bible, and most specifically in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is only through trusting Christ and repenting of one’s sins that a life of meaning and purpose can be realized, as well as reconciliation to our holy and righteous God.
Robert Jastrow, in his book God and the Astronomers, states:
“At this moment it seems as though science will never be able to raise the curtain on the mystery of creation. For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.”