Q. How doth God execute his decrees?
A: God executeth his decrees in the works of creation (Rev. 4:11) and providence (Dan. 4:35).
Q9: What is the work of creation?
A: The work of creation is, God’s making all things of nothing (Gen. 1:1), by the word of his power (Heb. 11:3), in the space of six days, and all very good (Gen. 1:31).
- I. Providence is God’s most holy and wise preserving and governing of all things.
- II. Creation is ex nihilo: “all things of nothing” (Gen. 1:1-3).
- III. Creation is by the “Word of His power” (Heb. 11:3).
- IV. Creation took “six days”: a literal interpretation of the creation account.
- V. Creation was all “very good” (Gen. 1:12, 18, 25, 31, etc.).
- VI. Application.
I. Providence is God’s most holy and wise preserving and governing of all things.
A. Providence is dealt with in questions 10 and 11.
I. Q9: Creation is not a myth, but is historical fact (Gen. 1:1–2:4).
A. Jesus appealed to the creation account (Matt. 19:1-6; cf. Gen. 1:27; 2:24; Mk. 13:19).
B. Paul appealed to the creation account (1 Tim. 2:11-14).
1. Appeals to creation account are perpetually binding; no cultural relativism (e.g., 1 Tim. 2:11-14), meaning that women exercising authority over a man was not something forbidden due to culture.
II. Creation is ex nihilo: “all things of nothing” (Gen. 1:1-3).
A. “Created” (see here for the original word) has a basic meaning of “to create, the initiation of the object”—concept of creation by divine fiat.
1. Used in the Qal only of God’s activity: purely a theological term.
a. Can denote concept of “restoration” or “initiating something new” (Isa. 41:20, Isa. 48:6-7).
b. Can denote “bringing into existence” (Isa. 43:1; Ezek. 21:30, Ezek. 28:13, 15).
(1). Some object that from nothing comes nothing (ex nihilo nihil fit).
(a). Refuted: God’s will is the a priori cause.
B. Creation account refutes opposing “scientific” theories on origin of universe.
1. No conflict between genuine science and the Bible. Conflict arises because men err in the investigation of facts, or in their theories about them, or both.
2. One cannot apply human wisdom (2 Pet. 3:4). Because we see life grow now, does not mean this is the way it has always happened. God is outside of time and not limited as we “see.”
III. Creation is by the “Word of His power” (Heb. 11:3).
A. The work of creation is common to all three persons of the Trinity.
1. Father (1 Cor. 8:6; Eph. 3:9); Son (Jn. 1:3; Col. 1:16); Spirit (Gen. 1:2; Job 26:14).
B. God’s “breath” is creative (Ps. 33:6, 9).
1. “Breath” (see here for the original word) is also used for “Spirit.”
a. Creation is in answer to God’s “command.”
b. Creation should elicit awe and praise (Ps. 148:1-6). [See Appendix A]
IV. Creation took “six days”: a literal interpretation of the creation account.
A. There are many theories of the length of days in creation.
1. Twenty-four hour days; Day-age; Non-historical framework. There is strong exegetical proof for an ordinary twenty four hour day.
2. The word “day” (see here for the original word), in its vast majority of uses designates an ordinary day cycle.
3. The recurring phrase, “and the evening and the morning” taken together constitute one day (Gen. 1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31).
a. “Evening and morning” outside of Genesis (Ex. 18:13).
4. Moses grounds Sabbath observance upon divine example (Ex. 20:8-11; 31:15-17).
B. There is difficulty dating the age of the universe.
1. Some date Abraham’s birth, add ages of patriarchs backwards (genealogies of Gen. 5, 11), arriving at creation (c. 4004 BC , Ussher).
a. Genealogies are incomplete
(1). Matthew 1: Abraham father of David; David father of Jesus, 14 generations x 3 (v. 17).
b. Genealogies are symmetrical, showing selectivity, purpose.
2. Some date the earth to be billions of years old.
a. Carbon dating is imprecise and contradictory.
b. Things can be created with an appearance of age.
(1). Adam was fully grown (Gen. 2:7).
(2). Jesus made aged wine (Jn. 2:1-11).
3. Tendency of Scripture, limiting its known gaps in genealogies to tens and hundreds of years, advocates relatively young earth and history of man.
V. Creation was all “very good” (Gen. 1:12, 18, 25, 31, etc.).
A. Evil is not inherent to nature, but is to moral perversion.
1. Wine as a created thing is not bad in itself (Ps. 104:15).
2. Drunkenness is sin; but wine is not to blame.
a. Not what enters mouth, but what exits defiles a man (Mk. 7:15).
b. Every created thing is good (1 Tim. 4:4).
3. Tendency, blame “things” for sin instead of fallen man (Col. 2:21-22).
a. Result is that “things” increasingly become taboo.
B. The Fall brought the curse to the ground (Gen. 3:17).
1. The cultural mandate was reversed (Gen. 2:15).
a. The ground now “groans” awaiting restoration (Rom. 8:20-22).
C. Purpose of creation is the glory of God.
1. Heavens “declare” God’s glory (Ps. 19:1-4; Rom. 1:20).
a. The sense is eagerly and continually “writing out” (see here for the original word) the glory of God.
2. Creation is the stage upon which redemption is played out.
A. Use, of knowledge.
1. God is a most glorious Being. He created all things for His glory, investing in them perfections and amiable qualities. Whatever beauty creation holds, God does so most eminently (Ps. 94:9).
B. Use, of testing.
1. Do we believe the creation account to be literal? Can we defend it as such?
C. Use, of exhortation: sinners and saints.
1. Sinners. Give yourself to God through Jesus Christ, making a hearty dedication of your life, that, since He made you for His glory, you may in some measure answer the end of your creation.
2. Saints. This doctrine affords a ground of love, peace, and mercy between man (Mal. 2:10), which should be carefully cultivated by all that desire to be with God forever.