Previous article in this series: August 2016, p. 449.
So far we have considered principles regarding how God reveals Himself to us. This next section will consist of articles on the subject of creation. First, we consider how creation is understood only by faith. In other words, we will understand the truth about creation only when we believe what God says about something that we ourselves did not see.
What the world refers to as science involves studying the visible creation through observation and experiment. But what about the invisible things? What about creatures and activities that cannot be detected by observation and experiment? What about events in the past that really happened but that we today cannot prove any other way than from Scripture? The science of this world rejects these. They do not take them into account. They walk by sight, and in doing so they fall into many errors.
We believers walk by faith, not by sight. It is in this way, and in this way only, that a person comes to an understanding of what the truth really is.
Believing the Unseen
The invisible God tells us about Himself and about spiritual things that we cannot see with the eye of the body. He tells us about events that no human being saw, and many events that no one today has ever seen.
Even our first parents, Adam and Eve, did not see God’s act of creating all things in six days. Man was created last and did not see what God did when He called the various creatures into existence. Even when God built the woman out of the man, the man was in a deep sleep. He did not see that event either.
We also were not there when God created all things. We were not there when Christ was crucified, or when believers saw Him alive on the third day. When our Lord ascended into heaven before the eyes of His disciples, we were not there.
Yet we believe these events happened. We believe they happened precisely as God tells us they did. We have no doubt that what we read in Scripture is true, because it is a record not of the word of men but of the Word of God Himself. Whatever God tells us we believe, even when He tells us about creatures and events that we have never seen.
We believe, for example, that angels exist and that God directs them for our profit. Yet we have never seen them. Man cannot detect them with any of the five senses, and the scientists of this world would say that there is no proof that they exist. Yet we know that they do. We have proof that they do. God has told us about them, and that is certain, infallible proof that they exist.
The same could be said about the believer’s spiritual soul and its being taken up to Christ at death. The soul is spiritual. It cannot be detected by our senses, and no one on earth can see the soul of a person depart at the moment of death. Yet we know this happens. When we say that we believe this happens, that means we know it with certainty. Faith is certain knowledge. We believers know with certainty that our souls will be with Christ at death. About this we have no doubt because God Himself has told us in His Word.
We believe what God tells us about angels, about our souls, and about His act of creating all things in six real days. We walk by faith, not by sight (). We do not need to see visual “proof” that what God says is correct. We do not walk by faith and by sight. In fact, if we walked by sight, requiring visible evidence to prove that what God has said to us is true, we would not be walking by faith.
Understanding that God Created by His Word
That God created by His Word is not something that can be understood by the creation all by itself. It is only from the Scriptures that we know that this is how it happened.
An unbeliever who has never read the Scriptures or heard them preached can look out at the creation and see that there must be a Creator who has eternal power (). But it takes faith to understand that God created all things simply by speaking His Word: “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” ( ). God spake, and it was done. He expressed His will, and what He willed took place. He “calleth those things which be not as though they were” ( ). We believe this because our God has told us that it is true.
On the first day God spoke the words, “Let there be light,” and light came to be. There are other days on which God created something in such a way that one creature was brought forth from another. For example, God said “Let the earth bring forth grass” (a) and “Let the earth bring forth the living creature” ( a). But one thing that was consistent in every creative act was this—it was by God’s Word that each creature was made.
A scientist studying the creation under a microscope cannot detect this. He can see certain characteristics of this or that creature, but he cannot detect that it was simply by His Word that God created it. It is by faith that we understand this.
Going to Scripture, not the Stars
Many reject what God says and instead look to the stars as if one can learn from them how everything began. The popular big-bang theory is said to be based upon information from the stars. The light from the stars is said to indicate that stars in all directions are moving away from us. This, they say, is proof that the universe is expanding in all directions, and that this expansion must have started billions of years ago at a single point.
We do not need to go into any more details of this theory to see that those who try to persuade us to embrace it are tempting us to walk by sight, rather than by faith.
If we could go back in time and walk with Adam and Eve just a few days after they were created, how would things appear to us? Looking at Adam and Eve, we would conclude that they must be far older than just a few days. Similarly, if we would look at the stars, thinking about how far they are away and how long it would take for the light from them to reach the earth, it would seem to us that they must have been created a great many years before Adam and Eve. Yet the truth would have been that those stars were only two days older than our first parents. We would be mistaken if we judged according to outward appearances. Only by believing what God says would we give a correct age for Adam and Eve, the animals, the plants, and the sun, moon, and stars.
Our Lord teaches us to walk by faith, and not by sight. Believing what our Lord says on all subjects, we have great joy in our heart. What a blessing it is to understand the truth, the truth about the past as well as about the future! Those who believe the unseen, they are blessed indeed. What our resurrected Lord said is true also regarding the subject of creation: “Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed” ().