q8

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.

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).

Relevant quote from Alfred Edersheim:

It is scarcely possible to imagine a greater contrast than between the heathen accounts of the origin of all things and the scriptural narrative. The former are so full of the grossly absurd that no one could regard them as other than fables; while the latter is so simple, and yet so full of majesty, as almost to force us to “worship and bow down,” and to “kneel before the Lord our Maker.” And as this was indeed the object in view, and not scientific instruction, far less the gratification of our curiosity, we must expect to find in the first chapter of Genesis simply the grand outlines of what took place, and not any details connected with creation. On these points there is ample room for such information as science may be able to supply, when once it shall have carefully selected and sifted all that can be learned from the study of earth and of nature. That time, however, has not yet arrived; and we ought, therefore, to be on our guard against the rash and unwarranted statements which have sometimes been brought forward on these subjects. Scripture places before us the successive creation of all things, so to speak, in an ascending scale, till at last we come to that of man, the chief of God’s works, and whom his Maker destined to be lord of all.

Alfred Edersheim, Bible History: Old Testament, vol. 1 (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1975), 17ff.

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).

Relevant quote from Arthur Pink
“There is a wide difference between “creating” and “making”: to “create” is to call into existence something out of nothing; to “make” is to form or fashion something out of materials already existing. A carpenter can “make” a chair out of wood, but he is quite unable to “create” the wood itself. “

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

Relevant quote from Edward Young
Relevant quote from Edward Young

(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.

Relevant quote from Alfred Edersheim:
Some have imagined that the six days of creation represent so many periods, rather than literal days, chiefly on the ground of the supposed high antiquity of our globe, and the various great epochs or periods, each terminating in a grand revolution, through which our earth seems to have passed, before coming to its present state, when it became a fit habitation for man. There is, however, no need to resort to any such theory. The first verse in the book of Genesis simply states the general fact, that “In the beginning”—whenever that may have been—“God created the heaven and the earth.” Then, in the second verse, we find earth described as it was at the close of the last great revolution, preceding the present state of things: “And the earth was without form and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.” An almost indefinite space of time, and many changes, may therefore have intervened between the creation of heaven and earth, as mentioned in ver. 1, and the chaotic state of our earth, as described in ver. 2. As for the exact date of the first creation, it may be safely affirmed that we have not yet the knowledge sufficient to arrive at any really trustworthy conclusion.

Alfred Edersheim, Bible History: Old Testament, vol. 1 (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1975), 18–19.

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).

Relevant quote from Charles Ryrie:
Fifth, an act of creation would most likely include the appearance of age in the object created. Diamonds made in the laboratory appear to be as old as diamonds found in the earth, but in reality they are of recent origin. The wine that Christ created at Cana (John 2) looked as if it had gone through the long process involved in making wine, when in reality it was only minutes old when it began to be used. The account of the creation of Adam and Eve indicates mature people who only appeared to have passed through the normal time-consuming processes of growth. How much of this God did in other areas of His creation we do not know, but that He did it in several instances is clear.

Charles C. Ryrie, Dr. Ryrie’s Articles (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2010), 83.

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.

 

VI. Application.

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.

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