TRUHT FOR TODAY - BIBLICAL ESSAYS BY PASTOR PAUL MIZZI

Godís power and creation

In apologetics, and even in our regular witnessing, the primary fact that God is the Creator and Maker of the universe surely must be presented forcefully and its implications brought out. Mr. Charnock wisely and prudently gives much space to this doctrine of creation as exhibiting the Almightiness of the Triune God.

Evangelists and Christian workers who leave out or disregard this fundamental doctrine of creation as showing the power of God do so to the hurt of their hearers, and more than that, to the dishonour of God himself, who so emphasises it in Holy Writ. Not only does the Scripture opens with an extended account of creation, but the same time-space miracle of miracles is mentioned or alluded to throughout, both by prophets and apostles, even by our Lord Jesus Christ ("since the beginning of creation which God created").

Christians need to give ample space to this doctrine, using the latter part of Job to expand on it and show forth the implications of it.

The creation of the world is the beginning of the actual enactment of God's eternal decree. To accomplish his purposes there must be a creation. The making of the world and all things is the setting of the stage so that God's immutable and free counsel might be fulfilled.

Creation, then, is whatsoever God brought forth in the beginning of history (Genesis 1:1), by the word of his power (Hebrews 11:3; Genesis 1:3,6; Psalms 33:6,9). He fashioned the world from nothing (Psalm 33:9; 148:5). "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" (Hebrews 11:3). This exercise of his power was directed towards his own glory, for "of him and through him and unto him are all things. To him be the glory, Amen" (Romans 11:36).

God's power was revealed in an orderly fashion; he made the universe in six days (Genesis 2:1,2), thus also setting a model for man to imitate, working for six days and resting on the Sabbath. Unto men throughout their generations (Psalm 19:1ff.) and unto angels, the creation is a tangible and extraordinary proof of God's awesome power. "Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof; when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?" (Job 38:6,7).

God's power is morally good and excellent in all its results. When He finished all his works, God pronounced it to be very good and blessed it (Genesis 1:31). His power is not arbitrary, neither is it blind or purposeless; his power is the springboard for the manifestation of his other attributes, for instance, his mercy and righteousness.

God exercised his power in creation not because he needed anything outside of himself, for he is the ever-blessed and all-sufficient God. His creation is a most free act; God wasn't forced or constrained to create by reasons outside of himself (Ephesians 1:11; Revelation 4:11). Now that the creation is given an actual existence, it at all times depends completely and thoroughly upon its Maker. All things hold together by Him (Hebrews 1:3).

Considering the above, it is no wonder that the apostle, in telling people about the unknown God, started just where the Bible starts: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." And that not only to worldly-wise philosophers but also to the common people: "You should turn from these vanities unto the living God, who made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein" (Acts 14:15).

Whether wise or foolish, this is what our society today needs to hear in contradistinction to the theory of evolution, a religious philosophy that poses as scientific fact. If God is not the creator and if he is not there, then man is unaccountable and can act irresponsibly in whatever way he chooses. And this is exactly what evolution does: in denying God's sovereignty and power over us, it gives free rein to all to do whatever they please, be it adultery, abortion, pornography, the denial of the family as God's institution, homosexuality, and so on.

But the Bible speaks a different language: "Know ye that the Lord he is God; it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture" (Psalm 100:3). The truth of creation renders us accountable to him, to recognise his possession over us.

Again, the same truth obliges us to give thanks to him and worship him as the only true and living God. "The sea is his, and he made it; and his hands formed the dry land. O come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord our Maker" (Psalm 95:5,6). Our worthy conception of God takes root in the doctrine of his original display of almighty power; this Paul makes clear to all: "God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands..." (Acts 17:24). As soon as we forsake the truth of creation we are on slippery ground, and soon forget that the true God is over all, the God of gods.

Furthermore, the permissiveness in western society is mainly due to the fact that it has forsaken the true God. Elevating evolution to the pedestal of worship, they logically come to the conclusion that since man is nothing but the product of chance, since man is nothing but a combination of atoms, then man can do what he likes, irrespective of its morality. Abortion is the order of the day for the foetus is but a piece of tissue, the product of evolution. What a contrast this is to the faith of the person who holds God to be the Maker of all: "I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being imperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them" (Psalm 139:14-16).

We need to retrace of steps to the very groundwork of our faith: God's power in creation and over creation. Otherwise our society will inevitably slide into scepticism and unbelief.