I BELIEVE IN GOD THE FATHER ALMIGHTY,
MAKER OF HEAVEN AND EARTH . . .
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” – that’s how the Bible begins in Genesis 1:1. Genesis 1 gives us an overall account of God’s creation of “everything that is” while Genesis 2 zeroes in on the creation of man.
The message of these two chapters is this: “You have seen the sea, the sky, the sun, moon and stars? You have watched the birds and the fishes? You have observed the landscape, the vegetation, the animals, the insects, all the big things and little things together? You have marveled at the wonderful complexity of human beings, with all their powers and skills, and the deep feelings of fascination, attraction, and affection that men and women arouse in each other? Fantastic, isn’t it? Well now, meet the One who is behind it all!” It is like saying to someone at a Art Exhibition, “Now that you have enjoyed these works of art, you must shake hands with the artist!” or to someone after a concert, “Since you were thrilled by the music, we will introduce you to the composer.” At the end of the day, it was to fix our eyes, not on creation, but the Creator!
Now in creating this world, God was craftsman and more. Craftsmen shape existing material and are limited by it. But no material existed at all till God said “Let there be … ” This is often termed “a creation out of nothing”. Besides other things, it speaks of God’s power and uniqueness. He alone has the power to do this, and He alone can do it – to create something out of nothing!
It is important for man to remember that God is our Creator while we are but creatures. The Creator-creature distinction is basic to the Bible’s teaching on our relationship with God. Remembering this distinction will . . .
[A] Remove misunderstanding of God. God made us in His image, but we tend to think of God in ours! That’s God’s complain in Psalm 50:21, that we sinfully thought that God is like us! The Creator-creature distinction reminds us that God does not depend on us as we depend on Him. He does not exist by our will and for our pleasure, nor may we think of His personal life as being just like ours. As creatures we are limited; we cannot know everything at once, nor be present everywhere, nor do all we should like to do, nor continue unchanged through the years. But the Creator is not limited in these ways. Therefore we find him incomprehensible—not making no sense, but exceeding our grasp. Just like our dogs and cats cannot have a full grasp of us, so we cannot have a full grasp of God! When Luther once told Erasmus that his thoughts of God were too human! Are we guilty of that?
[B] Remove misunderstanding of the world. The world exists in its present stable state by the will and power of its Maker. Since it is His world, we are not free to do as we like with it. Instead, we are stewards, answerable to Him for the way we handle the world and its resources. And since it is His world, we must not depreciate it. Many religions in this world teach that the material order—reality as experienced through the body, along with the body that experiences it—is evil, and therefore to be refused and ignored as far as possible. This is not the teaching of the Bible. Matter are made by God, was and is good in his eyes (Genesis 1:31), and so should be so in ours (1 Timothy 4:4). We serve God by using and enjoying temporal things gratefully, with a sense of their value to Him and of His generosity in giving them to us.
[C] Remove misunderstanding of ourselves. As man is not his own maker, so he may not think of himself as his own master. “God made me for Himself, to serve Him here.” God’s claim upon us is the first fact of life that we must face, and we need a healthy sense of our creature-hood to keep us facing it. Who am I? I am a creature, made by God and answerable to Him!
To memorise . . .
• The order of creation as given in Genesis 1 – on the first day, God made . . .; on the second day, God made . . .
• 1 Timothy 4:4-5
Back to Contents