BASIC BIBLE PRINCIPLES:
God the Creator
The Bible opens with God describing His creation of the heaven and the earth, and throughout the rest of the Scriptures His supreme position as the Creator and Sustainer of the universe is set before us. God is from everlasting to everlasting, all-powerful and all-wise, a living God Who takes care of, and delights in, all that He has made:
- “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Gen. 1:1)
- “When I consider Thy heavens, the work of Thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which Thou hast ordained . . .” (Ps. 8:3)
- “He hath made the earth by His power, He hath established the world by His wisdom, and hath stretched out the heavens by His discretion” (Jer. 10:12)
- “Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them” (Mt. 6:26)
- “Thou hast created all things, and for Thy pleasure they are and were created” (Rev. 4:11).
Jesus and the apostles endorse the Genesis Creation account
Every major detail of the Genesis Creation is confirmed by the preaching of Jesus and the apostles in the New Testament. We cannot believe some things in Genesis but reject others. We must take our stand with Jesus and accept the Creation account given to us in Genesis.
- The seven days of Creation (Heb. 4:4)
- The creation of Adam and Eve (Mt. 19:4; 10:6; Lk. 3:38; 1 Cor. 15:45; Jude v. 14)
- Adam made in the Creator’s image (1 Cor. 11:7; Jas. 3:9)
- Adam made from the dust of the earth (1 Cor. 15:47)
- Adam first formed, then Eve (1 Cor. 11:8,9; 1 Tim. 2:13).
Adam was created about 6,000 years ago
A study of the Bible records of the ages of the men living before and after the Flood (Gen. 5 and 11), the 430 years of Exodus 12:40, the 480 years of 1 Kings 6:1, and the lengths of the reigns of the kings of Israel and Judah, enables us to calculate how long ago Adam and Eve were created. Such a study leads to the conclusion that today (A.D. 1999) we are living approxi- mately 6,000 years after.
Other studies lead to the same conclusion. Genealogies are given in Genesis, 1 Chronicles 1 and Luke 3. These enable us to trace the descendants of Adam, and in particular give us the pedigree of the Lord Jesus Christ. The unbroken line of descent from Adam to Christ places a limit on how far back Creation can be dated. The number of generations is compatible with Adam being created 6,000 years ago.
Thirdly, there is evidence that God’s overall plan and purpose with the earth spans 7,000 years, with 6,000 years of spiritual creation and development followed by 1,000 years of completion and rest in the Kingdom (Heb. 4:4,9; Rev. 20:2-7).
How old is the universe?
Scripture gives no clear answer to this question. Some believe the heaven and earth to be ancient, already in existence when the six days of Creation began. In this view the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters 6,000 years ago to fit the earth for living organisms to live in. Others believe that the entire universe was created in the six days, and that the universe, including the earth, is therefore young, only 6,000 years old.
Both views have fervent adherents who can set forth evidence to support their respective standpoints. In the absence of clear Scripture teaching there is liberty for difference of opinion, much as there was in the first century over keeping or not keeping special days, or eating meats or not. We must be prepared to be open-minded about the age of the heaven and earth, and have respect for those whose views differ from our own.
Creation, not evolution
Science can be rightly used to give glory to the Creator. Great scientists such as Isaac Newton, Michael Faraday and Ernst Chain believed the Genesis account and worshipped the Creator. The theory of evolution, however, introduces a denial of God as the Creator of life. The theory is plainly contrary to Bible teaching, and we must reject evolution on Scriptural grounds. But there are also several scientific objections to evolution.
The powerful witness of the creation to its Maker
Throughout Scripture we are encouraged to see the greatness and complexity of creation as a witness to the power and wisdom of God, in contrast to the puniness of man:
- “Where wast thou [Job] when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding” (Job 38:4; see also the whole of this chapter)
- “I will praise Thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are Thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well” (Ps. 139:14)
- “For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead” (Rom. 1:20).
Even in its present cursed condition creation silently witnesses to God’s power and wisdom, His love of variety and His great generosity. The evidence is there for all to see, particularly today when, by means of powerful microscopes, telescopes and other techniques, we are privileged to know more of the Creator’s handiwork than in any previous age.
The spiritual creation
The natural creation foreshadows God’s spiritual creation which takes place over a period of 7,000 years. The millennial Kingdom is described as a sabbath rest in Hebrews 4:9 (mg.), which lasts for the final thousand years of this 7,000-year period (Rev. 20:2-7). It is termed by Isaiah and Peter “new heavens and a new earth” (Isa. 65:17,18; 2 Pet. 3:13). God’s faithful servants undergo renewal (Ps. 51:10; 2 Cor. 5:17; Gal. 6:15) after the pattern of the man Jesus Christ, who is called the first-born of this new creation (Col. 1:15,16). This new creation will ultimately bring pleasure and glory to the great Creator.
May we remember our Creator and obey His Word, so that we become part of that blessed and glorious creation which the Almighty will once again pronounce “very good”.
Further Material to consider.