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Systematic Theology: Creation

May 16, 2017 Pastor: Don Green Series: Systematic Theology

Topic: Midweek Sermons

70S-012

We return tonight to our study of systematic theology which we've been doing over the past several months. We've covered biblical authority and the character of God and something about the divine decrees and the doctrines of election and reprobation, all of those things that were rooted in eternity, you might say, and now we come to a most important topic tonight which is the doctrine of creation. The doctrine of creation and you know Genesis 1:1 says, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

 

Now, prevailing thought says that the earth and the universe are greatly and unsearchably ancient. The US National Aeronautics and Space Administration, otherwise known as NASA, estimates the universe to be 13.77 billion years old. The US Geological Survey estimates the earth to be 4.5 to 4.6 billion years old. These are unfathomable lengths of time and those dates rest on various scientific claims and assumptions. This is the official position of the United States Government based on men with a lot of doctorates behind their names, but they rest on various scientific claims and assumptions and the question that we need to ask this evening is: is that prevailing thought correct? Is it right? Is it accurate? Is it the way things really are?

 

Now, before you debate science, before you contemplate the claims of scientists on this issue, you must resolve a prior question. There is a more important fundamental question that is at stake as you contemplate and study these things and I'm already going to go on a tangent here just to help you understand that what we're trying to do tonight. We're not going to cover every important issue, by any stretch of the imagination, but what I want to do this evening is to help you know how to think, if I could put it that way, to give you a method of thinking about these issues, to understand the way that they must be approached.

 

It's so common when you get into discussions about creation to dive into questions of, "Well, what about the rocks? What about the dinosaurs and all of that?" and when you delve into that and when you start, I should say, with those details, you are already miserably lost in the discussion because these things must be discussed in a prior context. There must be other questions that are asked first before you can begin to approach the questions of the details properly and accurately, and you must resolve a prior question before you deal with this issue of creation. You must ask and answer the question: what is the authority for truth? How do we know what is true? What is right? What is real? What is correct? Until that question is answered, unless that question is addressed, everything else is off kilter, it is not going the right direction. 

 

And especially for those of us within the church, especially for those of us that are Christians, we must think properly about this whole matter and our study of theology over the past few months has established for us the truth claims of Scripture, of the 66 books of the Bible, and we very carefully spent hours developing the understanding and the authority of God's word as we looked at what it is and what it claims to be. You cannot, you absolutely cannot abandon that fundamental basis when you address creation. You must carry your study, your understanding, your thoughts about Scripture, all the way through the character of God, all the way through theology proper, all the way through the divine decrees and go straight into creation with that. You cannot abandon your position in Scripture when you study creation. 

 

God has revealed himself in the Bible. That is the authority and authority starts with the historical book of Genesis. We interpret science, we interpret geology, we interpret the world around us, through the lens of Scripture and we start with the book of Genesis as we do so. You cannot maintain consistent Christian thought, you cannot maintain a consistent Christian worldview and not let that be the cornerstone of your whole way of thinking.

 

Now, many issues of science are obviously affected by this doctrine of creation, you know that as well as I do, and I just want to state upfront that I am not qualified to speak on those issues of science and all of the different things that are impacted by this doctrine of creation. I am not qualified to speak on them but, beloved, our church is. Our church is. You can see Dr. Andrew Snelling about any of these issues that might concern you or raise questions. Or you could also pick up his two volume book titled "Earth's Catastrophic Past: Geology, Creation and the Flood," two very thick volumes, one dealing with the biblical aspects of this doctrine, the other dealing with scientific and geological matters pertaining to his area of expertise. Either one of those, speaking to him personally or the volumes of that book, would address many of the scientific questions that come up on it, and collectively, our elders speak on this issue. Not just me, not just Andrew, we speak in unified testimony in full agreement on the doctrine of our church as it relates to the doctrine of creation. And it is an honor for me to stand alongside and stand on the shoulders of Andrew Snelling as we address this matter here this evening. And I don't think it's inappropriate for me to say that in light of the immense work that he's done on this and that magnificent work that is that two volume work that we are greatly honored to have him as a part of the leadership of our church. If I said anymore like I wanted to, Andrew would rebuke me severely. I'd better stop with that, but that does need to be said, that there is weight behind our church's position that goes far beyond anything that I can do in my own teaching here this evening.

 

Now, I think I said that what I want to do is I want to not only teach you on creation, but I want to teach you a method of thought, a way to think about creation in a broader context. We always have to go back to broad general principles. You always, always, always start your thinking with general principles and then work into the details rather than starting with the incidental details that might particularly interest you. 

 

Creation is part of a bigger aspect of theology. It is part of a bigger system of theology that the Bible teaches and the firs thing that we want to look at tonight just briefly is the theological place of creation. The theological place of creation. Where does creation fit in our overall thought about systematic theology? After all, it is a series on systematic theology that we are pursuing over the course of a long period of time here in our church.

 

Well, we studied revelation, we studied the character of God, and then we also studied the divine decrees, the plan that God formulated for how the universe would go before time began. God in his eternal mind decreed everything that would happen in the course of the universe, in the course of human history. That was all set before time began. God planned everything that would ever happen in the universe, including as we saw, the eternal destiny of his moral creatures. We studied the doctrines of election and reprobation.

 

Now, the plan, as it were, is in place. What came next? Well, what came next was creation. God having formulated the plan from all of eternity, with the plan in place, now the creation is the beginning of the execution of the plan. It's the beginning of the outworking of the divine decrees and so we must understand creation as being rooted in the divine decrees rather than something that is studied separately and independently of its own accord. So Louis Berkhof defines creation as the beginning of the execution of the plan contained in the divine decrees. That's our definition of creation. We'll use two definitions. Creation was the beginning of the execution of the plan contained in the divine decrees.

 

Now, I think this elevates creation to a whole other level when you realize that there was an entire divine plan generated by the omniscient mind and the omnipotent power of God that is in place and creation is the beginning of the outworking of that. In other words, creation did not happen in isolation, it was part of the entire plan of God. And let's put a theological definition on creation, a theological definition of creation as we establish the theological place of creation and we'll use a definition from a theologian named Herman Hoeksema for this evening. "Creation," and I'm quoting here, "Creation is that act of the almighty will of God whereby he gave to the things that were eternally in his counsel, existence in distinction from himself." Creation is that act of the almighty will of God whereby he gave to the things that were eternally in his counsel, existence in distinction from himself. So in other words, God had all of this in his mind eternally, but there was only God before time began. Creation is the act of his will, the exertion of his will, where those things that were in his mind were given existence. No longer just in his mind, they had their own existence at the moment of creation. That's the theological place of creation. It follows sequentially from the authority of Scripture, the character of God, the divine decrees, now creation comes and we understand it in that sweep of systematic theology. That helps us establish its proper place in a mind systematically built on the theology that Scripture teaches.

 

Now, let's move on from there to point 2 here this evening: the biblical teaching on creation. The biblical teaching on creation. Now, God's revelation, the Bible begins with creation. This is the starting point of the way that God has revealed himself to us in Genesis 1:1.

 

Turn in your Bibles, if you will, just so you've got your Bible open there, Genesis 1:1, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth, and I want to point out something to you. I'm jumping ahead in my notes here just because I want to deal with something in a different sequence than what I had originally planned, but there is something very fundamental that you need to understand about that singular verse of Scripture. That single verse of Scripture, as S. Lewis Johnson has pointed out on numerous occasions, that single verse of Scripture, so simple in its language, so simple in its vocabulary, is sufficient to refute every prevailing philosophy about the origins of the world and the meaning of existence. 

 

If you think about it, Genesis 1:1 refutes atheism because it says, "God created." Genesis 1:1 refutes pantheism, the idea that God is in all and all is in God, because it establishes that God is separate from his creation. Genesis 1:1 refutes polytheism, the idea that there are many gods, therefore refuting Hinduism and every other polytheistic worldview. One God created the universe. It refutes the idea of materialism, that matter had an eternal existence. No, matter had a beginning. Things which we see had a beginning. Before that, things were unseen. And it also refutes humanism, the idea that man is the center focus of the universe. God, not man, is the ultimate origin and God, not man, is the ultimate reality.

 

So in a single verse of Scripture, you have multiple philosophies that govern world thought refuted in the simple language of the Bible and so what we see here is this, beloved, and part of the reason that I wanted to jump ahead in my notes to make that point is this: is that our view of creation is a very well-defined and a very specific worldview that stands over against every other prevailing worldview in the world. So this is a fundamental, of most basic importance. This is of supreme importance in the way that we think and because that is true, it is essential for us to get it right. To compromise, to get askew on your view of creation, is suddenly to compromise the power and the position of your worldview against everything else that would rise up against the knowledge of God.

 

So, beloved, we've said you have to start with the question of authority: what is the source of truth? You know, are we going to interpret the Bible in light of science or are we going to interpret science in light of the Bible? Those fundamental questions are at stake here. And if the implications of our prior position on the authority of Scripture and the nature of God lead us into conflict with prevailing thought about the age of the universe promulgated by NASA itself, then we're happy to take a position against NASA itself. We're not intimidated by that. Why would we be intimidated by the philosophies of men when we have the word of God teaching us what God has said? This clarifies, in other words, this clarifies for us our position and it calls us to faithfulness and it calls us to recognize that we've been called out of this world not only in our moral conduct, but we have been called out of this world by the power of the Holy Spirit in our salvation, we've been called out of the world and its whole system of thought. And because we love the Christ who gave himself on the cross to save us, we're glad to submit to what his word says and to believe it, to defend it, to teach it without shame and without apology.

 

So the biblical teaching on creation, let's go back to point 2. That'll save me time at the end. Now, there are some who say that we should not worry about the age of the earth or the time of creation; that Scripture doesn't really go into much specifics about that and, therefore, we really shouldn't concern ourselves with it. We don't agree with that position. We believe that we should study all that Scripture says about creation and come to the logical conclusions and the understanding that God's revelation would give us about it. Those who say we shouldn't worry about the time of creation would silence the full counsel of God if we deferred to them. They would forbid discernment on the spirit of our age, the spirit on the way that our world thinks. What I meant to say there, I'm getting ahead of myself here, they would silence discernment on the spirit of the world's thinking around us. If the world is young and if the world says it's billions of years old, then we shouldn't be silent about that. We need to honor the full measure of God's revelation and teach it and be faithful to it just as we would any other element of New Testament teaching on salvation, for example. The Apostle Paul made no apology when he said, "I taught you the full counsel of God." Well, we're not going to be silent on things where Scripture speaks simply to avoid conflict and to avoid the ridicule of those who say that, you know, we're hillbillies with swamp fever or whatever. No, we're not going to do that. We believe Scripture teaches clearly on creation and we believe, therefore, that we are responsible to proclaim it and that's what we're going to seek to do tonight.

 

So the biblical teaching on creation, what can we say about it? First of all, this is a subpoint, first of all we believe that Scripture teaches that creation was recent. Creation was recent. We do not accept the teaching that the earth is billions of years old. Scripture teaches creation was recent, within probably the past 10,000 years depending on how you view the genealogies of Scripture. The whole reasoning behind this is the combined ages of the men listed in the genealogies of the Bible totals only a few thousand years. One writer, one theologian well-known who hesitates to uphold a young earth view admits this and I quote, he says, "It would seem to be quite foreign to the narrative of Scripture to think that millions of years have been omitted from the record." Scientific theories on origins require long ages of time to be viable. For the whole process of evolution to take place requires millions and millions of years and if you take away the millions of years, the whole theory of evolution collapses of its own weight. And if Scripture says that creation was recent, as we believe that it does, then there is no room for evolution to have taken place.

 

Dr. Snelling said this in his work and I quote, "A choice has to be made between Scripture, which is authored by God, and modern science, which is authored by men." You have to decide. You cannot avoid the question. You cannot avoid the question: what is the authority for truth? That question determines the direction of this and you cannot avoid it. And while I have friends that are Christians that hold to an old creation view of things, I believe that they are sadly mistaken. I don't believe that you can avoid this question and do justice to the teaching of Scripture. Here's what this means, beloved: because Scripture is the authority for truth, therefore we must get our thoughts about time and the length of time that creation has been in place, we must get that informed by the historical book of Genesis. There is no other source of knowledge for us and so Scripture, we believe, teaches that creation is recent.

 

Secondly, Scripture teaches that God created in six literal 24 hour days. God created in six literal 24 hour days. And how do we know that the Bible teaches that? Well, you're in Genesis 1, let's just go through the narrative very quickly and simply. In Genesis 1:5, we're skipping over the details of each of the days of creation with what we're doing here just for the sake of time. Genesis 1:5, "God called the light day, and the darkness He called night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day." Verse 8, "God called the expanse heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, a second day." Verse 13, "There was evening and there was morning, a third day." Verse 19, "There was evening and there was morning, a fourth day." Verse 23, "There was evening and there was morning, a fifth day." And in verse 31, "God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day."

 

Now, beloved, going back maybe three years or so, we studied the book of Genesis in a very survey fashion. We did a single message on the entire Pentateuch, the first give books of the Bible. Here is something very important for you to remember flowing out of that: the first five books of the Bible, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy, were all written by Moses. Scripture makes this very plain. There was a single author behind those five books writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Now, that means something. That means something really crucial because just from a human level, there was a single author, you would expect a consistency of thought throughout those, what we call five books but was really a single book, when Moses wrote it. From a human perspective, there would be consistency on things. When you add on top of that the fact that Moses was writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, that God was guiding him in what he said, it means that he was protected from error in all that he said.

 

So from the perspective just on a horizontal level of a literary composition by a single man, added to the vertical dimension of the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, we expect and we believe that there is an utter consistency and no contradiction within the four corners of that document, right? Moses was consistent with himself, and more surpassingly, God was consistent with himself, and God who is true and therefore cannot lie, God who is omniscient and therefore cannot make a mistake, revealed things through Moses that we have recorded in this single book called the book of Moses, the law of Moses, and about eight other terms that Scripture uses to describe it. That's all really, really important for what I'm about to say.

 

To me, what we're about to say here, the most compelling manifestation of Scripture in terms of what God taught about the recent nature of creation and the fact that it happened in six 24 hour days, not six day ages and long periods of time. What we're about to see, I believe, is conclusive and has settled this issue in my mind, never to be raised again. You must ask yourself this: how did the original audience of Moses' writings understand what he was teaching in Genesis 1? How did they understand it? What did Moses intend? Now, if you only had Genesis 1 to go by, maybe, maybe you could twist it around and make it fit modern views of billions and millions of years. Maybe you could do that. I don't think so but if you only had Genesis 1, then there would be some, maybe some little margin of excuse for infidelity to the text. 

 

But that's not what we have. That's not all that we have. Contained within the same book of Moses is other instruction which tells us how to understand Genesis 1, and I invite you, I ask you, to turn to Exodus 20. Exodus 20. And going back, another thing that I could have said in this, some 2-3 years ago, we did a series of messages on how to study the Bible and how to interpret the Bible, and one of the key principles of biblical interpretation is to let Scripture interpret Scripture. Let other passages of Scripture throw light on the passage that you're looking at when that is possible. Well, here God has given us very clear instruction about how we are to understand it.

 

Look at Exodus 20:8. There is no other way to understand this and let Scripture be consistent with itself. In the Ten Commandments, the fourth commandment says, "Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath of the LORD your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you." Verse 11, "For," because, "in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day and made it holy." 

 

Keep your finger there and turn over to chapter 31 of Exodus, beginning in verse 12. I'll read this passage and then we'll draw out the import of these things afterwards. Exodus 31:12, "The LORD spoke to Moses." Okay, we've got the Lord speaking who spoke in Genesis, we've got Moses here so we have the same actors, so to speak, the same players, the same individuals, God and Moses that we were talking about earlier. You have them both here, God speaking to Moses, helping him to instruct the people of Israel. "The LORD spoke to Moses, saying," verse 13, "But as for you, speak to the sons of Israel, saying, 'You shall surely observe My sabbaths; for this is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the LORD who sanctifies you.'" Beloved, watch this, look at this, that as the Lord is saying this, he's going to be using the doctrine of creation to expand his revelation of himself and theology proper. Creation is going to be that which teaches us about the nature of God itself.

 

So he says, "I am the LORD who sanctifies you." Verse 14, "Therefore you are to observe the sabbath, for it is holy to you. Everyone who profanes it shall surely be put to death; for whoever does any work on it, that person shall be cut off from among his people." Look, the death penalty being instituted for those who violate the Sabbath in Old Testament Israel. This is supremely important to God. This is a manifestation of his character. This is a manifestation of his command to his people and he says, "You must live this way. You must honor this or there will be death upon those who don't." So this is no trivial matter. This is not something that's open to debate. This is a matter of strategic importance in the life of Israel.

 

And look at verse 15, "For six days work may be done, but on the seventh day there is a sabbath of complete rest, holy to the LORD; whoever does any work on the sabbath day shall surely be put to death. So the sons of Israel shall observe the sabbath, to celebrate the sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between Me and the sons of Israel forever; for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, but on the seventh day He ceased from labor, and was refreshed." This is so vital to understand. God commanded Israel to structure their entire lives, their entire workweek after the pattern of creation. Six days of work, one day of rest. And says the model for this is what I did in creation.

 

Now, beloved, that is incoherent, that makes absolutely no sense whatsoever, that is utter nonsense if the six days of creation in Genesis are long ages. That makes no sense whatsoever. You cannot pattern daily life, weekly life, after six days and a day of rest if they're long ages, if they are periods of interminable time, ill-defined. Can you imagine an Israelite saying, "You mean I've got to work for millions of years before I can get a day off?" That's not going to work. No, no, they structured the entire cycle of their life after this and the pattern was the six 24 hour days of creation. They structured their life around a creation parallel and that tells us that these were 24 hour days, not something else.

 

Now, those in the name of biblical interpretation who are influenced by scientific assertions reinterpret that simple narrative of Genesis. They turn the days of Genesis into long ages by saying that the text is poetic or the text is symbolic or it is an allegory rather than the straightforward historical narrative that it so obviously purports itself to be. We can't go into all of that tonight but, beloved, understand what's happening: they are evading the text in order to accommodate scientific presuppositions that are based on naturalistic assumptions.

 

We say that scientific assumptions of a natural order that has been the same for millions of years, that that presupposition is incorrect; that the fact that the world has always been the same as it is now, that is a fundamental misunderstanding of history that overlooks the biblical doctrine of creation and the biblical doctrine of a worldwide flood and that because you ignore those facts in your scientific presuppositions, everything that flows from your presuppositions is going to be mistaken as a result. Garbage in, garbage out. And it is an unnecessary accommodation to science to make those distortions of the biblical text.

 

We can look at this from a couple of perspectives, beloved, just to drive this home, and this is where I want you to see that a compromise in this area takes you places that you never want to go. You could ask the question, you say, "Okay, Genesis 1 is an allegory." Okay, there are those who say that Adam is an allegory in Genesis 2 and 3. Sooner or later as John MacArthur so poignantly asked, "Where do you kick in? When do you start taking Scripture literally? Is it Genesis 6 at the Tower of Babel? Is it at the flood? Is it at Abraham? When do you kick in? Why is it that you make this arbitrary distinction between sections of a unified book in order to accommodate science? When do you kick in? When do you start taking the Bible seriously at face value?" There is no answer to that question. It exposes the fact that this is based on arbitrary interpretive decisions rather than a consistent literal hermeneutic that would help you understand all of Scripture on its own terms. Where do you kick in? And why should I believe when you kick in at Genesis 6 that you're not going to check out later on when other things get difficult?

 

Think about it this way, beloved: science would deny the resurrection. Science would say there is no resurrection from the dead. Scripture says there is no salvation apart from the resurrection of the dead. If you are going to bend the knee to science in order to attain their approval of your worldview, understand that eventually when it seems that they are giving you a lollipop, you realize that you're licking on a ball of arsenic, something that will kill you, because science would deny the resurrection and without the resurrection there is no salvation.

 

So you cannot give science a role in determining or altering the clear meaning of the biblical text or eventually that leads you into places that will cause you to deny the testimony of Scripture and deny that which alone can save your own soul. You must understand that the implications of the way that we think this go far beyond whether we say creation is millions of years old or it's only a few thousand years old. The implications of it go far beyond that. It is the presuppositions that underlie science and underlie a biblical worldview that you must understand and grasp this issue at. Otherwise, you know, what's happening is that science has put a nice little piece of bait on the hook and tossed it in and you're the fish. The bait looks good and the bait looks harmless and then all of a sudden science has jerked you out of biblical revelation.

 

Not only that, it's not just a matter of interpretation, it's not just a matter of biblical presuppositions, this implicates the authority and the trustworthiness of Christ. Look over at Matthew 19:4-5.  The Pharisees are asking Jesus about the issue of divorce and listen to this carefully. Jesus answered them and said, "Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'?" Jesus ties the beginning to the sixth day of creation when God made Adam and Eve. If the biblical narrative is intending to teach long ages of millions of years in the first chapter of Genesis, what Jesus says makes absolutely no sense. How could you say that God made Adam from the beginning? That makes sense in a one week context of 144 hours, that makes sense calling that the beginning. To say that from the beginning, by which I mean millions and millions of years, then God created Adam, this turns language on its head. Then language is meaningless and what Jesus said cannot be trusted.

 

Why? Why would we go to some place where the words of our trustworthy, loving Lord who is God Incarnate, who is truth Incarnate, who is the way, the truth and the life, why would we distort his words in order to accommodate scientific presuppositions that are based on a natural view of the world that excludes the miraculous and excludes God from their worldview? Why would we do that? Why would we throw everything out? Why would we throw Christ out for their sake? Why would we do that? That's unthinkable. That's unthinkable. And if the people, the fine folks at NASA criticize us, mock us, hey, have at me. Have at me. I will not throw Christ out to get your approval. How can you call Jesus Master and Lord, how can you call him your teacher if you would distance yourself from him on something so fundamental? No, beloved, we can't do that.

 

Now, still dealing with the idea that creation is recent, some people will quote the New Testament to make room for long ages, quoting 2 Peter 3:8. Just listen to me as I read it. It's a familiar verse. 2 Peter 3:8 says, "do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day." So the argument becomes, "See, a day can be a thousand years and then it can just expand out from there and that accommodates it," and they would reinterpret Genesis based on this single verse in 2 Peter.

 

Well, when you read the text, he's not saying that one day equals one thousand years, he's only saying it's like that and it's like that to God, in particular, he's saying. Time is irrelevant to God because God is eternal and, therefore, the concept of time loses it's meaning inside his eternal mind. That's not an interpretive key to Genesis for us because for us men who are in time, man who is temporal, time is precise and time has a specific meaning. So God didn't give us 2 Peter 3:8 in order to undermine the whole foundation of his revelation on creation. That's not the point of that text. So we believe that creation is recent as covered by the things that we've said, and that God created in six 24 hour days. 

 

Now with what we have left here this evening, we'll go a little bit more quickly. So we're saying the biblical teaching on creation, creation was recent, creation was done in six 24 hour days. Third aspect, third subpoint of this is this: that God created ex nihilo. Ex nihilo. That is a Latin term that means "out of nothing." God created all that we see out of nothing. He did not use pre-existing matter. There was God as a spirit alone in existence and he spoke and matter came into being. 

 

Romans 4:17. I'm going to rush through a little bit on this just for the sake of time. Romans 4:17 says that God "gives life to the dead and calls into being that which does not exist." So there was a time, so to speak, when matter did not exist and God calls it into being. In Hebrews 11:3 it says, "By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible." That's Roman 4:17 and Hebrews 11:3.

 

Now, one other aspect of this still under the concept of God creating ex nihilo, and I am particularly indebted to Dr. Snelling for the way that I want to phrase what I'm about to say. God in six days created a mature and fully functioning universe. The trees that he created were bearing fruit. Animals were fully developed creatures. Adam had a body to work a garden and a mind to name animals. So there was a maturity and there was a full functioning taking place when God did his creation. So we don't strictly speak of this rightly as God creating it with an appearance of age, as if God were deceiving us, making it look older than it really was. God created it in maturity and then gave us his word, his revelation, that this is how it happened. So God created it all in a short period of time, God created it mature and then in his grace he gave us a word to tell us exactly what he did. There is no accusation of deception that could be raised up against God in these things.

 

So we've put it on the line tonight, haven't we? What about those who mock the biblical view of creation, that think we are hicks for believing such things? You know, "What hill did you come down from barefoot and missing your teeth?" Happy to quote my former pastor, John MacArthur, at this point who said this, "To those who will inevitably complain that such a view is credulous and unsophisticated, my reply is that it is certainly superior to the irrational notion that an ordered and incomprehensibly complex universe sprung by accident from nothingness and emerged by chance into the marvel that it is." 

 

The biblical teaching on creation adds a fourth aspect that we want to point to here just briefly, to say this: that God did not use evolution. God did not use evolution. Scripture says that God created Adam from the dust of the ground in Genesis 2:7, not from some pre-existing hominid, not some pre-existing ape or monkey. No, God did not put Adam on the earth in that manner. He created him out of the dust of the ground and dust is not an animal. You want to talk basic science, dust is not an animal. Dust is not an ape. So let's let Scripture have the word on it. Let's let Scripture speak for itself. He formed Adam from dust and breathed life into his nostrils. He did not take a pre-existing primate and make Adam.

 

Now, there's another aspect that many have pointed out. Evolution requires long ages for death and change to take place in order for us to get to the point that we're at today. Scripture utterly forbids that view. It rejects it. That cannot possibly be right. The order of Scripture is this: Adam came first and then sin and Romans 5:12 says, "death entered through sin." You cannot reverse that and say that death was going on, that evolution was taking place and there was all of this death and competition and then Adam showed up and then sin happened. No, that's a violation of the most basic teaching of the Bible. Death entered through sin, Romans 5:12 says. In 1 Corinthians 15:21 it says, "For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead." You cannot put death before Adam and keep biblical teaching. You cannot make Adam into some mythical allegorical figure and keep Christ because there was the first Adam and then there is the second Adam. If you make the first Adam an allegory, you turn Christ into a myth and, once again, you have forfeited biblical salvation. You are still in your sins.

 

So let's wrap this up. The implications of biblical creation. The implications of biblical creationism. We've looked at the theological place of creation. We said that it comes on the heels of the divine decrees. We have looked at the biblical teaching on creation. We said that it is recent; that God created in six 24 hour days, especially interpreted by the passages in Exodus. We have said that God created ex nihilo, matter is not eternal. And we said that God did not use evolution. What are the implications of this? Well, as I said at the beginning of the message, this is where that other stuff was supposed to come in, it refutes all the prevailing philosophies of the world. This is a call against those things.

 

We can also say this: the implications of this is that it establishes the purpose of all existence. The purpose of all existence. Creation establishes purpose in life. Again quoting my friend and colleague, Dr. Snelling, who said, "An origin at the hands of an all-powerful, pure and loving God guarantees a divine purpose in history and meaning to our existence, a future in the hands of a caring God who made us and has made provision for us and our future." All of a sudden there is purpose in life. If the world of creation just happened by chance, there is no purpose in life, let us eat and drink for tomorrow we die and go out of existence. On the contrary, if God created us and did it in accordance and in keeping with his divine decrees, then there is a divine transcendent purpose in everything that happens in creation and you and I are a part of it. Not only that, there is suddenly accountability. If we are creatures, we are accountable to our Creator. More could be said about that. 

 

The purpose of all existence, not just purpose in life from a human perspective but the ultimate goal of creation is the glory of God. Romans 11:36 says, "For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen." So in the context of everything coming from God, everything coming through him, everything aiming to him, Scripture says, "To Him be the glory forever. Amen."

 

So ultimately, where creation brings you is to this most magnificent and far-reaching point. The doctrine of creation brings upon your conscience, Christian and non-Christian alike, it imposes upon you an obligation to render worship to this greater one who made you and to render thanks to him for giving you life and sustaining you. Creation ultimately teaches you that you are under an obligation of worship and gratitude to your Creator and that the purpose of your existence is a small subset of the greater purpose of all of creation, to render glory to the one who made it, to join with the heavens who day and night declare the existence of God and the glory of God, Psalm 19, and that you join with the heavens in giving testimony to the existence of your Creator and giving glory to him.

 

What is the outcome of creation? Where does creation put you? What is the final word, the purpose of creation for all men everywhere, not just for us in this church, but for the billions of people who now walk on the earth? What does creation say? What is the purpose of it? It is simply this: Behold your Maker. Bow low and worship him.

 

Let's bow together in prayer. 

 

You cannot approach such a great God in your own merit. The creature cannot bridge the gap to his Creator, especially when that creature, all of us, you under the sound of my voice, you are a sinner and you need a Savior. And Scripture teaches us not only that God is a Creator, but that he has provided a Redeemer and the Lord Jesus Christ, my friend, your Maker, has become the only Redeemer, and your Maker went to Calvary and made an offering for sin for sinners just like you. He was crucified, he was buried and he was raised on the third day to show that God had accepted that sin sacrifice alone as the means of reconciliation to a holy God. 

 

Jesus said, "I am the way and the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me." My unsaved friend, young people in the audience, tonight is the night for you to come to your Maker through the Redeemer that he has provided in Jesus Christ. Do that tonight before you leave.

 

Our God, let the truth of creation lead us to humility. May you strengthen us to affirm your word against every hostile force that would deny it. And may the call of your Holy Spirit lead all men under the sound of my voice to saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. These things we pray in his name. Amen.

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