Creation: Necessary Biblical Inferences
by C.G. "Colly" Caldwell
via Truth Magazine, Vol. 52, No. 5, May, 2008.
The points we bring to your attention in this article are in themselves clearly taught in Scripture. They are, however, also necessarily inferred or implied by the very fact of Divine Creation. When one by faith accepts that Almighty God created all things other than Himself, the resulting "worldview" (or God-view) necessitates unequivocal basic convictions concerning material things, human beings, and human response to God (i.e. worship, service, and ethical responsibility). Understanding that, we are provided answers to many of today's great social issues which are addressed and resolved in the very first chapters of the Bible.
Again, for further consideration of this subject, I recommend that you read Jack Cottrell's chapter 4 in God the Creator, a major source (other than the Bible) for our study. In that chapter Cottrell quotes Langdon Gilkey in Maker of Heaven and Earth: "the idea that God is the Creator of all things is the indispensable foundation on which the other beliefs of the Christian faith are abased. It affirms what the Christian believes about the status of God in the whole realm of reality: He is the Creator of everything else. On this affirmation logically depends all that Christians say about God, about the world they live in, and about their own history, destiny, and hope" (pg. 143).
Inferences Regarding The Material Universe
We begin by accepting through faith that God is truly the Creator. We believe in creation, not macro-evolution. That clearly declares that all matter and the natural processes which manage it were created by God. The fact that a good God made it implies that matter itself, with regard to its basic innate nature at least, is good. "And God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good" (Genesis 1:31). "For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude" (1 Tim. 4:4).
Many philosophical and religious systems have denied that matter is good. Plato acknowledged the reality of matter but regarded it as a hindrance to man. Early "Christian" philosophies such as gnosticism and Manichaeism contrasted matter with God. Modern metaphysical notions such as those held by Christian Science are similar in derivation. In Sankaran Hindu, the notion of maya says that matter is unreal ... based on the concept that it is evil. New Testament Christians teach that matter is good as created by God.
The Bible nowhere teaches that anything God made is intrinsically evil. There is nothing evil, for instance, about the human body. When Paul talks about the "works of the flesh" (Galatians 5:16-21), he is not talking about the composition of physical flesh, but about the sinful dispositions of individuals who do not follow God's Will in their lives. Even the desires and needs of the body (food and drink, sexual satisfaction, etc.) are not in themselves sinful. And things composed from the matter God created are not in themselves evil (television, computers, etc.). The purposes may be evil (as with many instruments of either torture or pleasure), but their material elements are not evil. While we may say that computers are evil because one can view pornography there, the evil is found in the corrupt mind of the user, not in the machine itself.
God's creation was designed to glorify Himself. "The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament shows His handiwork" (Psalms 19:1). Therefore, His creation announces His greatness both in terms of power and goodness. Evil proceeds from man's corrupting what God has made, not from God's physical creation itself. Man should live in the world using what God has made to glorify the Creator.
We must realize that matter is finite and limited. Matter is not
eternal. Only God is eternal. The very fact that it came from nothing by the powerful hand of the Creator argues that matter depends upon God for its existence. If it could be brought into existence by His Word, it can as readily be taken away and cease
While it exists, however, matter is generally reliable and predictable. We speak of the laws of nature which are also created and sustained by Almighty God. When a woman is impregnated by a man, she does not expect to give birth to a baby orangutan. We can depend on nature to act according to fixed patterns. While we admit to change within species, science itself argues against Darwinism by the very fact of predictable "laws" of nature.
If matter and the material natural world as we know it evolved without rational planning and/or purpose, it would be capricious, unpredictable, and absurd. One could not depend on the fact that the atmosphere around him would sustain him from day to day. The recent predictable testing of RNA and DNA providing microbiological confirmations would be unreliable. When one accepts that God created from His rational, orderly, and reliable nature, he accepts that God's creation is also rational, orderly, and reliable. It is not random!
Inferences Regarding Man
If God created man, man owes every part of his existence to God. Not only did God create our bodies, but our spirits as well. "Know that the Lord Himself is God; it is He Who has made us and not we ourselves; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture" (Psalms 100:3). We are, therefore, totally dependent upon God for our being. We did not come into being on our own and we are not sustained by our own power or effort.
Likewise, being created by God argues that we have meaning and purpose. Only human beings are made in the image of God. That implies that we also are good and not evil by nature. The fact that we are in the flesh does not argue that we must sin. I do not like to hear brethren pray, "Lord, we are only human. Please forgive us," as if that somehow justifies our sinfulness and weakness. Our obligation is to commit to righteousness and glorifying God in our bodies. We should be praying that our existence on earth be dedicated to the fulfillment of God's purposes in creating us. "What" I am explains "why" I am and provides understanding as to "who" I am.
That forces me to conclude that animals are not equivalent to man. Man is made in the image of God. Adam had animals but he had no comparable helper until God made Eve. It is politically correct in our society to place the protection of animals on a par with safeguarding the well being of humans. While I am happy that we severely punish people who grossly abuse and sadistically torture and slaughter both domesticated dogs and wild cats, animals are not human beings. Further, I must conclude from the creation that I do not have the choice to kill innocent human beings. Man may not with impunity interrupt the continuum of human life for his own selfish purposes once it has begun in the womb. Animal rights and abortion are two more issues at least fundamentally answered in the first two chapters of Genesis.
In light of these implications, I owe God my submission. I want to be in fellowship with Him and in harmony with His Will. I can in fact do nothing less in light of my debt to my Creator. That leads to three other points: worship, service, and morality.
Inferences Regarding Man's Responsibility
The fact that we have been created evokes our worship. We worship because we owe it and because we are driven to it by the sheer awesome realization that the Being Who brought us into existence is far above ourselves. "By the Word of the Lord the heavens were made, and by the breath of His mouth all their host. He gathers the waters of the sea together as a heap; He lays up the deeps in storehouses. Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him. For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast" (Psalms 33:a6-9). "Come, let us worship and bow down; let us knell before the Lord our Maker" (Psalms 95:6). "Worship Him Who made the heaven and the earth and sea and springs of water" (Revelation 14:7). "Worthy art Thou, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for Thou didst create all things" (Revelation 4:11).
The fact of creation also makes God the One and only object of our worship. Nothing else in our existence is worthy to be worshipped. Everything other than God is created. He alone is infinite and above all things made. Paul says that one is a fool who "exchanges the truth of God for a lie and worships and serves the creature rather than the Creator" (Romans 1:22-25).
Creation gives the true meaning to service and the concept of stewardship. All things belong to God ultimately. "For every beast of the forest is Mine, the cattle on a thousand hills. I know every bird of the mountains, and everything that moves in the field is Mine" (Psalms 50:10,11). The fact that God made all things provides His right to claim all things as His own. Because He made all things from nothing for His own purposes, they are His. A steward, by definition, is one who cares for by properly using that which belongs to another. All that we think of as ours is only ours to use for a time. When we pass, it is placed in the hands of others. We must remember, it always belongs to God.
Look at the clear statements of scriptural argumentation on this point: "The earth is the Lord's and all it contains, the world, and those who dwell in it. For He has founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the rivers" (Psalms 24:1,2). "The heavens are Thine, the earth also is Thine, the world and all it contains, Thou hast founded them" (Psalms 89:11; 95:4,5; 100:3). "You are blessed, Lord God of Israel, our Father, forever and ever. Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, the power and the glory, the victory and the majesty; for all that is in heaven and in earth is Yours; Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and You are exalted as Head over all, both riches and honor come from You and You reign over all. In Your hand is power and might; in Your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all. Now therefore, our God, we thank You and praise Your glorious name. But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly as this? for all things come from You, and of Your own we have given You. For we are aliens and pilgrims before You, as were all our fathers; our days on earth are as a shadow, and without hope. O Lord our God, all this abundance that we have prepared to build You a house for Your holy name is from Your hand, and is all Your own" (I Chronicles 29:10-16).
The answer to the ethical questions, "What ought I to do?" and "Why ought I to do it?" is founded upon the truth that God is the Creator with the inherent right to set ethical standards. It is upon that basis that God gave the Ten Commandments: "I am the Lord thy God." Enough said. If that is not good enough, all ethical and moral responsibility is relative and subjective.
If you want happiness, you ought to do what God says. If you want certain relationships, you ought to listen to the moral Governor of the universe. If you want to extend life, you ought to follow guidelines recorded in God's Word.
When God says, "Listen to My voice" (Jeremiah 11:7), why should we? When Jesus says, "Keep My commandments" (John 14:15), why should we? When men read, "You should diligently keep the commandments of the Lord your God, and His statutes which He has commanded you" (Deuteronomy 6:17), men ask, "Who says?" The God who made you said! God has the absolute right...not just the power but the moral right and we have an absolute obligation to obey Him. Whether we acknowledge it or not, we owe it to God to obey Him and it is rebellion to refuse.
That moral responsibility speaks volumes to the thoughtful person in today's world. First, God did not intend to create a unisex society. He created human beings male and female. God made men and women equal in personhood but different in roles and the gender qualities to support those roles. That argues, second, that God did not intend for man to practice homosexuality. That kind of deviant lifestyle is strictly forbidden by God as opposed to nature; that is, to the way in which man was created (Romans 1:22-27; I Corinthians 6:9,10). Third, God created male and female to come together in unity which would produce progeny. He governed that so that one man and one woman would live together for life. That prohibits promiscuity (pre-marital or extra-marital) and infers God's answer to divorce and remarriage. It also speaks to the establishment of the family as God's domestic relationship in which a male and female are responsible in their roles to provide for their children. All these social issues are addressed and resolved early in the very first book of the Bible. Jesus appealed to this exact concept when He said "Have you not read that He Who made them at the beginning made them male and female?" (Matt. 19:4). On all of these issues, we might also say, "Have you not read" about the wonderful Creator and His masterful work?