Doctrine of Creation: Ex Nihilo and Sustaining of Creation
March 14, 2021 Series: Great Doctrines of the Christian Faith
Scripture Reading -> Psalm 33
Two weeks aog we looked at the impact empiricism and evolution impose upon mankind.
Evolution teaches there is no ultimate meaning or purpose to creation.
We heard from Dawkins and Darwin and even Monty Python as they told us, each one, of the meaninglessness and emptiness of life.
- According to them, the only reason why we are here is because our DNA happened to survive, and
- The only reason to continue is so that our DNA will continue.
In this system, despair and hopelessness are inevitable.
Without God and without understating the meaning He has given to life
- Man is forced to find purpose somewhere else, e.g., the approval of others
And, when they don’t get, they will resort to demand, threats, and even legislation.
We see the impact of that today.
We see mankind changing everything under the sun to
- To find acceptance
- To find some modicum of meaning
- To find relief – if only for a short period of time.
We also see, that without a grounding in the Scripture, in God
- Man in open to being controlled through mass hysteria and fear
- And they are willing to give up everything just so they can find some level of safety and meaning – again, just look at the events of this past year
In contrast to popular culture and the media…
We saw (and continue to see) that God has a very specific purpose for creation.
- Creation is not an accident – it was created intentionally.
- Mankind in not an accident – Man was created intentionally.
We read from John, Colossians, Hebrews, Proverbs, Isaiah, Timothy, Revelation.
We saw that God spoke creation into existence according to the counsel of His own will.
- Not out of necessity
- Not out of loneliness
- But for His own pleasure and purpose….for His glory.
Today, we are going to continue our discussion of the Doctrine of Creation.
Today, we will examine:
- The elements and conditions that were in existence prior to creation in order that creation might happen.
- The connection between creation itself and God.
- How creation is sustained and continues to exist.
Creation was made out of nothing
The Biblical Doctrine of Creation is unique from all other religions.
- Some speculate a big bang that ignited “life” particles.
- Some postulate chance and primordial ooze
- Still others claim everything originates from the universe (Pantheism)
But the Scripture teaches that all of creation was made out of nothing.
“for he spake and it was done. He commanded and he stood fast.
-- Psalm 33.9
“Let them praise the name of the Lord for he commanded and they were created” - Psalm 148:5
“through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the Word of God so that the things which are seen were not made of the things which do appear” - Hebrews 11:3
Gen. 1:1 records the beginning of the work of creation.
- There is no mention or representation that God brought forth the world out of pre-existent material.
- The world was creation out of nothing.
In the remaining part of the chapter, God is represented as calling forth all things by the word of His power.
- Remember Heb. 11:3, (which we just read)
It means “the production of all things out of nothing” (ex nihilo).
Since all things were created, they must necessarily have been brought forth from nothing because whatever might be supposed to have preexisted ought to have been contained in the universality of all things.
We should understand that cause and effect are not directly proportionate to each other in this understanding. This is another limitation of empirical science.
- It is not possible to start with the effects and reach backwards to the cause.
- It would not be easy to understand that something greater had to exist first before the effect.
- It is not the things that are seen that help us to understand what has come into existence.
- Rather, it is the Word of God which teaches us that He was the first cause and brings all things in to existence.
- And He is greater than the effect.
- And He does it by speaking creation into existence.
- And He does it by the power of his word
- And He speaks and the heavens and the earth appear.
Creation is a separate entity from God
The next thing we can learn from the study of Creationism is that Creation is not an extension of the being of God. Creation and God are separate.
This is a dualistic theory – not to be confused with dualism.
Dualism is the belief of two, supreme yet opposed gods; yin and the yang; good vs. evil, cause-and-effect, negative energy and positive energy, the circle of life, paying it forward, karma, etc……it typically ascribes more power to the devil than he possesses. It often talks about great cosmic battles engaged in a tug of war.
This is not what we are talking about.
When we say the Creation is NOT an extension of God, we are saying that they are separate.
- Creation is not of the same essence as God Himself.
- Nor is God dependent upon his own creation for existence.
- God is completely independent of his creation.
- Creation is not autonomous. (independent, self-governing)
- It does not operate on its own.
- There is no such thing as “Mother Nature”
- The universe does not balance itself out
- Creation depends upon God for its existence.
God’s substance is absolutely distinct from the substance of the created universe.
- Creation is not a part of God's substance.
- God is not a part of creation.
- That does not mean that God is not active.
- That does not mean that God is not involved.
- God is simply not of the same substance of that which he created and brought into time and space.
God is entirely separate from Creation.
- Otherwise, the belief that God is part of creation is heresy, known as pantheism.
Pantheism comes from two Greek words.
- pan, “all,” and
- theos, “God”
Pantheism is a theory that denies the transcendence of God, refusing to recognize Him as a being distinct from creation, God and the cosmos are one.
Thus, it identifies God and the universe:
- all is God, and
- God is all.
Theologically, it is the denial of the personality of God.
If the personality of God is removed, there is no longer any concept of a just, holy, or righteous, or loving God. There is no basis for good or evil.
Creation is upheld by the power of God’s Word
But creation is not a part of God.
- God did not break himself into tiny pieces to implant His essence into various aspects of Creation like some prehistoric horcux.
Creation is upheld by the Word of God (Hebrews 1:3)
“Who being the brightness of his glory. and the express image of his person and upholding all things by the word of his power when he hath made by himself purged our sins set down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.
- God is upholding all things by the power of his own word.
- Creation, in and of itself, exists in its current structure only upon the principle of God's own power.
- Creation would cease to exist if God would remove his power from creation.
- Creation (all things in it) is being upheld by the word of His power.
- Creation (each and everything in it) is held by the power of His word.
In all this, we see the simple truth, as expressed in Scripture that there were no pre-existent materials before creation.
There were not any star explosions or black holes compressing in upon themselves.
There was not any primordial ooze.
There was not any alien race that “deposited” humans here on earth.
Creation was spoken into existence by the Word of God.
Furthermore, there is a distinct separation between creation and God.
God is not creation and creation is not God.
There is no universal balancing act. There is no luck. There is no karma. There is no circle of all things…no sending out good vibrations that will make it back to you. There is God. He is the Creator. Creation is His work. A separate work.
More in Great Doctrines of the Christian Faith
September 17, 2023Doctrine of the Last Judgment - The Finality of Judgment
September 10, 2023Doctrine of the Last Judgement - The Great White Throne
September 3, 2023Doctrine of the Last Judgment