Sunday, July 26, 2009

Creator God

by John D Ramsey
Lisa suggested the other day that I spend some time writing out a statement of faith for the sake of the kids. I replied that I thought that I already had. She clarified, saying that she meant something concise. I took that to mean something more concise than 150 pages. If you want the full version, just send me an email and I’ll send you a copy (while supplies last).

Saturday morning we sat down with the little girls and discussed the foundation of Christian faith. I explained to the girls that a statement of faith should emphasize the essentials, and not specify perspectives that are open to interpretation.

Our discussion of faith began where Scripture begins, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” From this statement we infer that God exists outside of time because He created the heavens and the earth at the beginning. Too often men attribute natural limitations to God as if he was bound by the natural laws of the universe. Rather, the universe is bound by the laws of God.

After the earth was created it was formless and devoid of life and dark. Genesis 1:2 says, “. . . and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.” From this we see that God’s nature is that of spirit. God is not, by nature a physical being even though he expresses Himself in the natural realm.

One cannot accept the New Testament without affirming that God is Creator. Furthermore, our perception of God in Creation impacts our perception of God in our daily lives. If we believe that God was distant and detached from Creation, then we must ask on what basis would we find God otherwise in our lives. On the other hand, if God was active and specific in His creation, then we might expect Him to be active and specific even now in our daily lives.

Reviewing the first chapter of Genesis we see that Creation occurred at God’s command.
  • “God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light.”
  • “God said, ‘Let there be an expanse between the waters to separate water from water.’ So God made the expanse . . .”
  • “God said, ‘Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.’ And it was so.”
  • “God said, ‘Let the land produce vegetation’ . . .”
  • “God said, ‘Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky' to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years . . .’”
  • “God said, ‘Let the waters teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the sky. . .’”
  • “God said, ‘Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds . . .’”
  • “God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea, and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.’”
Genesis 1:3, 6, 9, 11, 14, 20, 24, 26 (NIV)
Creation came about by the word of God. In John 1, we see likewise, “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men.” The Word, the Son of God, was active in Creation. The writer of Hebrews says,
In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, who he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe.
Hebrews 1:1-2 (NIV)
In Genesis, John, and Hebrews we see the Son of God, the Word of God, creating all that exists.

The Word of God, the Son of God, is God’s revelation of Himself to the Creation. Jesus said,

Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, “Show us the Father”? Don't you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me?

John 14:9-10 (NIV)

When God created man, He created him in the image of the Son of God. In other words, man reflected the appearance of God as He expressed himself to His physical creation. God created man in the image of God, but from the substance of earth. Consequently, the rule of man, or his domain, included all the earth. Man was not the same as God, but was rather God’s reflection upon the earth.

While God created man as an inferior being, the creation of man was an incredibly personal event.
God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.

Genesis 2:7 (NIV)

Because man was created personally by God and in the image of God, we see that human life is endowed with a divine glory. John says, that in the Word was the “true light that gives light to every man.”

In the creation account we can see the triune nature of God:
  1. God the Father
  2. God the Son
  3. God the Holy Spirit

We specifically see the Spirit “hovering over the waters” and we hear the Son of God, the Word in John 1, saying, “Let there be light.” From Hebrews 1, we see that the Word is speaking on behalf of the Father, “. . . in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son . . . through whom he made the universe.”

The Father reveals the will of God. In John 5:19, Jesus says, “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.”

Likewise, the Father possesses the omniscience of God. Jesus says in Matthew 24:36, “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” The Father alone is all knowing.

The Spirit of God possesses the omnipresence of God. It was the Sprit that hovered over the surface of the waters in creation. Moreover, David declared in Psalm 139, “Where can I go from your Spirit?”

The Spirit of God also releases the omnipotence of God. Jesus told his disciples, “. . .you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you . . .” Acts 1:8 (NIV) The power of God is often associated with the Spirit of God throughout Scripture. Paul wrote, “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7 (NIV)

In Creation, we can see that the Father willed it to be and the Son spoke it into existence by the power of the Holy Spirit.

The Son of God, the Word, is the expression of God to His Creation. The Son of God was active in Creation and the Son of God is the heir of all things created according to Hebrews 1.

While the Son of God created all things, and specifically created man in God’s image, the Son of God ironically also became the Son of Man. John says,

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

John 1:14 (NIV)

The God who exists outside of space and time, who created both space and time, entered space and time and took upon himself a human nature. Jesus, the Christ, who was with God and equal to God in Creation, became a man and forever future possesses the dual nature of divinity and humanity.

Why? That will be the next topic in the Statement of Faith series.

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