Rev. Key is pastor of the Protestant Reformed Church of Randolph, Wisconsin.
Laying hold of the truth of Scripture, we consider the question: How did this world come into being? WithHebrews 11:3 we take our stand. “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.” We take our position without apology to any scientist.
The Theory of Evolution rejected
Our viewpoint is affected by our faith. But we would remind every man who considers this question:Your viewpoint also involves religious belief.
Our young people who attend or who have attended state colleges and universities almost without exception have encountered professors who insist on maintaining the theory of evolution. Sad to say, so have those who are taught at some so-called Christian colleges (as the editor pointed out in the September 15, 1995 issue of the Standard Bearer). In fact, in many instances, to call evolution a theory will bring vehement objection. But evolution is indeed a theory. No matter whether you call it evolution or “theistic evolution” or “progressive creationism,” it makes no difference. It is a theory.
More than that, to take the viewpoint that this world came into being by a process of evolution is a religious belief. Make no mistake. It is a false religion; but it is religion. The teaching of evolution extols a god. It is not the God of the Scriptures, the only true God;
Evolution rejects the God who reveals Himself and His work in the Bible. Evolution will not have God’s account of the world’s beginning. For evolution has a higher knowledge, the knowledge of man. Man and man’s mind has become the god of those who would maintain evolution’s account of the origin of all things.
That is the seriousness of the error of evolution. It is idolatry. It elevates man and man’s science to a place above God. It rejects the God who reveals Himself and His work in Scripture.
We lay hold of God’s Word by faith. That Word is infallible, authoritative, and easy enough for a child to understand.
In the very first verse of the Bible we are brought to the very beginning of time. We are shown “that which eye hath not seen, neither hath ear heard, nor entered it into the heart of man.” For God speaks. He calls us to lift our eyes toward Him, who is the eternal I AM, the Creator of heaven and earth. God created. So saysGenesis 1:1.
This is also the testimony of the whole of the Bible.
In Isaiah 45:12, Jehovah, the Holy One of Israel, says, “I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded.” And in verse 18 the prophet says, “For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else.”
In many of the Psalms – Psalm 33, Psalm 110, Psalm 104, and others – God reveals Himself as the Creator God. We read in Psalm 50:1: “The mighty God, even the LORD, hath spoken, and called the earth from the rising of the sun unto the going down thereof.”
This is God’s world. He has determined it from eternity. He created it with the Word of His power. Moreover, we must realize and confess that this Creator is the Triune God.
With God the Father in creation was the Son, who was to become Christ. So we read in John 1:1, 3: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God… All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” Christ was there in creation. So we read also in Hebrews 1:2, Colossians 1:15ff., and Proverbs 8.But also the Spirit was active in the creative handiwork of God. Already in Genesis 1:2 we read, “And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” In Psalm 104, a beautiful Psalm reflecting on God’s wonder work of creation, we read in verse 30: “Thou sendest forth thy Spirit, they are created.”
God, the Triune God., created the universe and every creature.
But we must say more. For God Himself says more.
He does not stop with the revelation that He is the Creator. After all, almost anyone who calls himself a Christian will confess that God created. But many will go only so far as to say, “God created the initial mass, from which all things then evolved.” So we must point out that the wonder work of creation is further revealed in the rest of the chapter of Genesis 1, as well as in Genesis 2.
How God Created
God not only says, “I created.” But He reveals how He created. And He reveals that work of creation in such a way that faith understands. “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 created. There are different terms used in Scripture to denote this wonderful act of creation. In Genesis there are especially three terms used.
First of all, Genesis 1:1 speaks of God creating. The term “to create” means “to divide; to give separate existence to something.” From eternity, everything had its prototype in the counsel of God. Is that not amazing! God knew it all from eternity! Things did not just “fall into place.” The creatures in this vast creation did not evolve haphazardly! Rather, the sovereign God gave existence to that which stood from eternity in His own divine counsel. He says, “I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand,, and I will do all my pleasure” (Is. 46:9, 10). By creating, God called into being that which stood before His mind and in His counsel from all eternity.
Secondly, God speaks of His work of creation as a work of making something. God, e.g., made the firmament, as we read in Genesis 1:7. That speaks of the creation being a masterpiece of God’s workmanship.
Thirdly, He formed His creatures. “The LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground” (Gen. 2:7, 8). “And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air” (Gen. 2:19). He formed them. That is, Jehovah God gave to each creature its own peculiar form and nature, after its kind. In the one unified creation of God, there is .distinction among all creatures according to God’s purpose. Each bears its own peculiar form, as shaped by the Divine Potter.
But then in Hebrews 11:3, we find a term used with respect to creation that is different from those used in the creation account of Genesis. The inspired writer to the Hebrews speaks of the worlds being framed by the Word of God.
There is a magnificent truth set forth in these words! The text speaks of the worlds being formed. Literally, rather than worlds, we read of the ages. The meaning, then, is this: Not only has God created the heavens and the earth, dividing the light from the darkness and waters from waters, calling forth the plants from the earth. Not only has He formed every creature in the creation. But He has laid out the entire course of history! And for that entire course of history, the creation is to serve as the stage!
God has framed it all, putting every creature in its divinely ordained place in this perfect organism of the creation, each to serve its own purpose as God realizes the history of His world.
When we understand that, we lay hold of the gospel! For all things point to Christ! And all things serve to unite the creation under Christ as its Head, the Savior of the world.
A Creation with a Purpose
All things are for Christ’s sake. So says the Bible. God will glorify Himself through Jesus Christ, His Son, our Lord.
Oh yes, creation is for God. In heaven His church shall acknowledge that truth. “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created” (Rev. 4:11).
For His pleasure He created all things.
“The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil” (Prov. 16:4). To say we understand doesn’t mean that we comprehend the wonder of it all. But we believe. The Lord rejoices in the works of His own hands.
But the most amazing thing is that God has sovereignly willed to glorify Himself in such a way that we His people may experience His glory. We shall do so in Christ.
The expression with which Scripture begins – “In the beginning” – speaks of a time frame to follow. Creation shall run through a course of history according to the counsel and will of God. All the creation shall be united in Christ as the Head, and that too in the way of sin and grace.
In wisdom and with purpose God created the heaven and the earth. With purpose He framed the worlds. All the various creatures in the vast creation must serve together the one purpose of functioning as the stage upon which man lives to serve the Creator. More specifically, all the creation must serve as the house in which man will dwell as God’s covenant friend-servant. Man, as the crown of the creation, created in God’s image, is to serve and to glorify his Creator, and to experience His’ fellowship and friendship through Jesus Christ.
So God shall be glorified. And we who are in Christ shall testify, “O Lord, our Lord, how wonderful are thy works and ways!”