Is Biblical Creation Important?

Is Biblical Creation Important?

What is Biblical Creation and Why is it Important?

by Dr. Donald ChittickWes Olson, and Sylvia Baker on August 4, 2006

Biblical creation is supernatural. In plain language it was a miracle. Creation was by direct acts of the Creator as opposed to some naturalistic process.

Biblical creation is supernatural. In plain language it was a miracle. Creation was by direct acts of the Creator as opposed to some naturalistic process. “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). Creation took place in the beginning and was finished and complete. Creation was not spread out over a major portion of the supposed evolutionary vast time history of the universe. Creation was by the word of the Creator. The Creator spoke things into existence. In Genesis 1, we read of a series of “And God said” statements. Also we read in Psalm 33:6 & Psalm 33:9, “By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast.”

Biblical creation is also creation ex nihilo. First there was nothing and then there was something. No time was involved. The Creator did not need matter or energy or anything else. He is first. All else is second. In fact, the basic meaning of the word create implies that there was nothing and then there was something. Some other religions have concepts of creation and a creator, but in all other cases the creator is inferior to the biblical Creator. Other creators had to use material that already existed and they simply rearranged it.

Mormonism is an example. In the Bible and only in the Bible do we have the high concept of creation ex nihilo. Scriptural passages documenting creation ex nihilo are Psalm 19, Proverbs 8, Colossians 1:16–17 (“For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers, all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.”) and Hebrews 11:3(“Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.”). Thus biblical creation is supernatural.

Why is biblical creation important?

Literal biblical creationism identifies God. Our culture today is confused over the meaning of the word god. In today’s culture, God could mean a set of moral standards, or an idea, or the universe itself, or an individual such as Shirley MacLaine, or even each individual himself.

When I lecture on university and high school campuses, I seldom use the word God, because it has lost its meaning. Instead I use the word Creator. Generally people understand this word and concept.

The first verse of the Bible identifies who God is (see The Creator). He is the Creator, not an idea, not a moral standard. All of Scripture agrees and supports that point. The Bible begins that way, and continues on through the Psalms (Psalm 19:1, “The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament shows His handiwork”), the epistles (Colossians 1:16–17), and the last book of the Bible (Revelation 4:11, “Thou are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created”). Thus the concept of an actual, historical creation identifies the Creator.

The second point is that creation identifies man. Man is not just a body—not just a stack of chemicals that arrived by natural processes. Yes, man does have a body, but he also has a mind and a spirit (Genesis 1:26–27 says, “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”). Man is in the personality image of the Creator (see Man: The image of God).

That is the basis for our praising the Creator, our worship of Him (Psalm 100, “Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.”).

The third point is that creation is the basis of the gospel. Man was created perfect, but in Genesis 3 we have the account of the Fall. Man was tempted to substitute his own autonomous truth standard for the Creator’s absolute. Up until the Fall, the Creator’s Word was the test and standard for truth. The Creator said, “Don’t eat this fruit.”

All ideas were compared to what the Creator said. Any idea that didn’t agree would therefore be wrong because the Creator would not lie. At the Fall, man was tempted to move away from the Creator’s standard of truth and substitute his own standard.

As a result, death came into the universe. Death is an intrusion. Man was not created to die. We have a right to cry at a funeral. Romans 5:12 says, “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.”

Death entered the world when man sinned. In fact, man’s sin affected the entire creation (Romans 8:22, “For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.”). Man therefore needs a Savior and the first promise and prophecy of that was Genesis 3:15. The phrase is, “the seed of the woman.” That phrase should stand out like a red neon sign. All of the rest of Scripture, and even in our culture today, children take the father’s name. But here we have “seed of the woman” (offspring of the woman); a child would be born, a virgin-born Son of God, “seed of the Woman,” to be our Savior. So man was created, has fallen, and needs a Savior.

Now, when man fell, it wasn’t just a moral fall (it was that), it wasn’t just a spiritual fall (it was that), it wasn’t just an emotional fall (it was that), but it was also an intellectual fall. Instead of being spiritually in tune with our Creator, man is now spiritually dead and normally uninterested in spiritual things. Instead of being excited and at peace with God, man is emotionally estranged from God and angry at Him. Instead of normally wanting to do what is right, our normal tendency is to do what is wrong; we fell morally. We have to work at being good. A baby does not have to be trained to be bad, but to be good. Bad comes naturally.

But we also fell intellectually. Instead of using the Creator’s Word as our test of truth, our natural tendency now is to use our own opinions, the opinions of rebellious, fallen man.

Because the Fall affected all aspects of man, salvation also is for all aspects of man. Man has to be converted spiritually (to be alive and alert and responsive to God the Creator); he has to be converted emotionally (to have peace with the Creator); and there has to be repentance (a moral change); but man also needs to be converted intellectually. He has to again move back to the Creator’s Word as his test for truth. Romans 12:2 describes this, “And be not conformed to this world; but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

Conversion involves a renewed mind. Saying it in our terms, we start with a new worldview, the worldview of absolute truth given to us by the Creator. The Fall was a rejection of the Creator’s word as truth test. Conversion involves a rejection of man’s opinions as truth test and a return to the Creator’s word. Our presupposition now is that Scripture is our standard for truth.

Conversion may involve all four steps at once, spiritual, emotional, moral, and intellectual. Often it does, but many times it does not. I was spiritually converted, emotionally converted, and morally converted before I was totally intellectually converted. It took a long while to sort out all the issues. Therefore I must be patient with those who are still working on these issues.

May the Lord grant you His wisdom as you continue to search for His truth.

Your brother in Christ,

Donald E. Chittick

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