April 14, 2010

Reflecting on the Bible – Part 6 – Genesis 1 and Your Faith

Genesis 1 and Your Faith

  • Creation is the first and perhaps most difficult article of faith. The author of Hebrews writes, “By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible” (Heb 11:3). The first thing the Bible commends to us, and expects us to believe is that in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. That by his word he created the visible world, not forming it out of preexistent matter, but simply calling it into existence. If we actually believe this, should anything else be in doubt? Augustine takes up this line of though as he argues that it is absurd to deny that God works visible miracles in the world, while holding that he is the creator of the world:

    For we cannot listen to those who maintain that the invisible God works no visible miracles; for even they believe that He made the world, which surely they will not deny to be visible. Whatever marvel happens in this world, it is certainly less marvelous than this whole world itself,—I mean the sky and earth, and all that is in them,—and these God certainly made. But, as the Creator Himself is hidden and incomprehensible to man, so also is the manner of creation. Although, therefore, the standing miracle of this visible world is little thought of, because always before us, yet, when we arouse ourselves to contemplate it, it is a greater miracle than the rarest and most unheard-of marvels. For man himself is a greater miracle than any miracle done through his instrumentality. Therefore God, who made the visible heaven and earth, does not disdain to work visible miracles in heaven or earth, that He may thereby awaken the soul which is immersed in things visible to worship Himself, the Invisible." (City of God, Book X, Chapter 12)
  • Belief in God’s wisdom, as manifest in creation, calls us to trust him. When we don’t understand what God is doing, or why he has done something a certain way, we are called to “stop and consider the wondrous works of God” (Job 37:14). Remember the Person who has done them, the One whom we can know and love. Seek him and trust him. In the darkest hour, commit your soul to the faithful Creator (1 Peter 4:19). This is the way of our Lord Jesus, who in the darkest of hour of all, under the weight of the sin of the world and under the righteous indignation of his loving Father, c omitted his soul to God (Luke 23:46). This is also the way of those who follow in his footsteps, as Stephen did (Acts 7:59). Those for whom the LORD is shepherd, can rest in the fact that he is with them and that, however dark the valley, he knows the path and is leading the way (Psalm 23:4).
  • As Christ is heir of all that is God’s, those who are united to Christ by faith are heirs of all things with him. As we saw in Part 3, Jesus Christ is heir of all that is God’s. Even more amazing is the testimony that those who trust in the name of Christ have been born again into God’s family (John 1:12-13; 1 John 5:1) by the gospel, the “living and abiding word of God...the good news that was preached to you” (1 Peter 1:23-25). This new birth is a new creation, in many ways parallel to the first creation, with God commanding light to shine in the darkness of our hearts that we might see and rejoice in the glory of God in Christ (2 Cor 4:4-6). The promise as children of God is that we have become co-heirs with Christ in glory. The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.(Rom. 8:16-17; See also Gal. 4:6-7; 1 Pet 1:3-5).

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