Online Text Sermon - The Biblical Doctrine of Creation
|Preacher||Mr. Simon Padbury, Stockton on Tees|
|Sermon Title||The Biblical Doctrine of Creation (Scottish Reformation Society Meeting)|
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"Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding" (Isaiah 40, 28).
You will see towards the beginning of the chapter: "The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God" (Isaiah 40, 3). The same God who is said to be the Creator of the "ends of the earth" is the one whom John the Baptist [for he is the one crying in the wilderness, in this prophecy] is speaking about here. Let's continue: "And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed..." (Isaiah 40, 5). It is the Lord Jesus Christ whom we are speaking about. He is the Creator. Through Him all things were made. Without Him nothing was made that has been made, and He is the glory of the Lord. And the apostle John could say, "We have seen his glory." I hope to be able to show you something of the glory of the Lord this evening.
I made a happy observation recently. I was concerned about the matter, but then suddenly I found that it is as things should be: there is no Reformed creationist movement, and for that we should be glad. We should be glad that creationists within the Reformed camp have not needed to group together outside the churches and establish a Reformed creationist movement. We should be glad because this points to the fact that our pastors are faithful to the Word of God on this issue; faithful to the Confessions of Faith of our churches. And we should be very glad for that because it keeps the biblical doctrine of creation in the churches - in the hands of the leaders of the churches - and therefore, when it is taught from the pulpits of our churches, it is taught by people who are good all-rounders. We should be glad of that because it means that it is in the hands of the Reformed ministers whom we have in our generation, who are faithful to the Word of God, particularly on this issue I am talking about this evening. What it means is that when this subject is taught, it is not taught in a lopsided fashion. If we come across a book written by a Reformed man concerning the biblical doctrine of creation - and I'm sorry to say, there's not that many books - it's something that we can read and benefit from throughout the whole book. We don't have to cringe when it comes to the gospel chapter at the back, or at some position of eschatology taken up by the author, or something like that. If we believe in the Reformed faith, and we have a Reformed book on creation in our hands, we should be happy to use it in our evangelism and give it to those in whom we are trying to stir up an interest with the subject here.
I also made another happy observation two days ago when I was speaking to a Reformed minister in Dingwall. He asked me if I knew of any good Reformed creationist books and I was able to say - no. But the fact that he asked me meant a lot, because here is a man who is concerned that there are not many books, and he was asking me because he hadn't found many; it meant he had been looking. We should cherish such pastors as that.
I wish to talk to you under five headings this evening. First of all I wish to point out to you that the biblical doctrine of the creation is Trinitarian, and, secondly, that it requires the doctrines of providence and the sovereignty of God over all things. Thirdly, that the biblical doctrine of creation teaches that God created mankind with bodies and spirits. Fourthly, that the biblical doctrine of creation teaches that God governs the world according to His great covenants which were made with mankind in Adam, or in Christ. And fifthly, and most importantly (and I do hope I can get on to this), that the biblical doctrine of creation has as its primary focus, not the creation but the Lord Jesus Christ, and gives Him all the glory. "all things were created by him, and for him" (Colossians 1, 16). So let us briefly consider all these things. Let us see how the world really is, how it really came into existence, and how things will really go with this world and all things therein.
1. THE BIBLICAL DOCTRINE OF THE CREATION IS TRINITARIAN
Sometimes it is said that the biblical doctrine of creation need not be expounded in the public arena in total. We can leave out certain aspects of it in order to find common ground with other monotheistic religions who are creationist, in order to platform-share with them, so that we can have a bigger voice in the schools of our land, in the media and in the scientific world. But we should never do that. We should never be unfaithful to the Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord Jesus Christ makes the exclusive claim: "And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent" (John 17, 3). That is an exclusive claim, that our God is the only true God. The Christian's God, the God of the Old and the New Testaments, is not the same as the god or gods of those who reject the Trinity and the deity of Christ. As far as another religion disagrees with the doctrine of the Holy Trinity and the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ, so far does it deny that the God of the Bible is the Creator of the heavens and the earth. And we are unfaithful if we compromise on this issue. The biblical doctrine of creation, which we should hold dear as Bible believing Christians, is Trinitarian - and that has to be part of our creationism.
The Westminster Confession of Faith has an excellent summary of the biblical doctrine of the creation in Chapter 4, Section 1: "It pleased God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, for the manifestation of the glory of his eternal power, wisdom and goodness, in the beginning, to create, or make of nothing, the world, and all things therein whether visible or invisible, in the space of six days; and all very good." Now although it says "the world" there, we know from the proof texts that the Westminster Assembly were using the word "world" to refer to the cosmos, the whole created order of things. They didn't just believe that the world was created by God, but the whole heavens and the earth: "the world, and all things therein whether visible or invisible" is what it says. I wish to point out to you that all three Persons of the one God were the Creator of the heavens and the earth.
However, God manifested His glory in three of His divine attributes in His personal involvement in the creation: His eternal power, eternal wisdom and eternal goodness. It is not possible to discern between the Persons of the Godhead from a consideration of the creation itself. But what we can deduce from the creation is that there is a Creator God and that He possesses sufficient personal resources of wisdom and power and goodness - wisdom in order to design all things both in particular and in their interdependent relationships; power in order to actually create matter and energy in the first place and then to fashion all things from this matter and energy; and goodness in making all things suitable for their purposes and their intended interdependency in their ecosystems.
But we shouldn't stop there - because God didn't stop there. So many creationists whom I know, whose books I have read, stop there - and we shouldn't, because what is God doing now? We know from the Bible that God is the sustainer of all things. The Lord Jesus Christ is said to be the "upholder of all things by the word of His power. In Him do all things consist. It is God who sends the streams down the valleys, makes the sun to shine on the righteous and the unrighteous. Things have not been left to chance, or to the governance of natural laws, or to Satan or demons and angels, with only the occasional intervention of God. But "in him we live, and move, and have our being." God is God in the fullest, most absolute sense of the word.
So we must continue on with the biblical doctrine of creation - that's what we are talking about this evening. In order to be biblical creationists we must also be biblical providentialists. When I came to the Reformed faith, I had started off as an Arminian and a Charismatic. When I was taught their worldview it was like some great science fiction fantasy, with demons and angels fighting over a fourth dimension, influencing the affairs of men. And depending on those men and women in prayer, one side or the other was going to win, and the occasional intervention of God would see that although Satan may win some battles God would win the war. Satan never wins any battles. God is God. We must never forget that. Every heartbeat that He is giving you right now is a gift of God. It's not of chance, it's not a natural law, and it's not just chemistry, it's the work of God. This whole universe in its creation and continued existence is miraculous.
Let us consider how the biblical doctrine of the creation is Trinitarian. "God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds" (Hebrews 1, 1-2). So we have here both God the Father and God the Son proved to be the Creator of the cosmos, the worlds. The Greek word is kosmos and it means the whole created order of things - everything. "Without him [the Lord Jesus Christ] was not any thing made that was made" (John 1, 3). As we look into John 1, we see an especially clear declaration of the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ and His involvement in the creation of all things. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made" (John 1, 1-3). This is the Lord Jesus Christ as verse 14 proves to us. Notice also herein that if all things were made by Christ, the He already co-existed with the Father in eternity past as His only begotten, and He possessed sufficient personal resources of power and wisdom in order to design and make all things very good. We know from the Bible, from the scriptural revelation, that God is not just sufficient in His wisdom, power and goodness, but infinite. We call these attributes the perfections of God. Concerning God's wisdom, He is "the only wise God" whose "understanding is infinite." Concerning His power, He is called "the Lord Almighty," or "the Lord God omnipotent." Concerning His goodness, we read in the Psalms: "O taste and see that the LORD is good" and "the LORD is good to all".
Concerning the Lord Jesus Christ being referred to as "the Word of God" or we might say, God's expression of Himself. That's not adequate, but He is the Word of God. Let's just think about what words are. Words are vehicles for the conveyance of information, and information can only come from an intelligent source. This Word is the Word through whom all things were made. It should tie up what we see in the real world with what we read in the Bible; and what we see in the real world is intelligent design by an Intelligent Designer. The Word of God portrays God as being intelligent, and a designer, and all-powerful enough to create all things. So there is unity in natural revelation and Scriptural revelation. We should never be ashamed of that.
We are also taught in the Bible that the Holy Spirit is directly involved in the creation of the heavens and the earth. We know that the Holy Spirit is God. We know that "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters" (Genesis 1, 1-2). All the members of the Holy Trinity were present and active in the creation of everything. We sang from Psalm 33. Let's just read it in the Authorised Version - Psalm 33, 6-9, concerning God the Holy Spirit: "By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. He gathereth the waters of the sea together as an heap: he layeth up the depth in storehouses. Let all the earth fear the LORD: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him. For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast" (Psalm 33, 6-9). Looking at verse 6: "...all the host of them by the breath of his mouth" and that word "breath" is the Hebrew word ruach, which is also translated as "spirit" in other places. It's the same word as we met in the first chapter of Genesis. God's own verdict on His work at the end of the creation week was: "And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good" (Genesis 1, 31). What is meant here is both that God saw His handiwork was well designed in the various parts of His creation where suitable, indeed optimal, for their independence and harmonious functions and laws. This involved thoughtfulness of God shows how that He is good, merciful and kind in the way He established the world. And also, God saw His creation bore eloquent testimony to His existence and His perfections.
2. THE BIBLICAL DOCTRINE OF THE CREATION REQUIRES THE DOCTRINES OF PROVIDENCE AND THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD OVER ALL THINGS
I said that in order to be a biblical creationist one must also be a biblical providentialist. My second point is that the biblical doctrine of the creation requires the doctrines of providence and the sovereignty of God over all things. We must ask the question: What has God been doing since creation week? Is He an absentee landlord who leaves all things to natural laws and chance, human free will, demons and angels, who only Himself occasionally intervenes? Or is He governing all things according to His eternal decrees, and causing all things to remain in existence by His sustaining or upholding power? Well I know what the Bible says. And for a summary of that I bring your attention again to the Westminster Confession of Faith. In Chapter 5, Section 1, it says this: "God the great Creator of all things doth uphold, direct, dispose, and govern all creatures, actions, and things, from the greatest even to the least, by His most wise and holy providence, according to His infallible foreknowledge, and the free and immutable counsel of His own will, to the praise of the glory of His wisdom, power, justice, goodness, and mercy." This was understood by the people of God in the Old and New Testaments, and the Holy Spirit revealed this to His people, those "holy men of God [who] spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." This is what we find throughout the whole Bible. I know there are many in the church today who do not believe in providence, or who live without much thought of it in their day-to-day lives, but we must be biblical in our thinking, we must take this in; we must live by it.
Will you turn with me please to Nehemiah's prayer: "Thou, even thou, art LORD alone; thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all things that are therein, the seas, and all that is therein, and thou preservest them all; and the host of heaven worshippeth thee" (Nehemiah 9, 6). I must ask the question: If God stopped preserving them all, what would happen? It would be an unimaginable catastrophe because everything would disintegrate and fall apart and return to nothing. God preserves all things, according to the Bible. Turn with me please to Isaiah 40, 26. We have read it already but it is worth repeating: "Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things," - that must be the eyes of faith, for God isn't visible but we must behold Him - "behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: he calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power; not one faileth" (Isaiah 40, 26). Not one star or planet faileth unless and until God stops upholding it. Elihu in Job 33, 4, says this: "The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life." But Elihu was not created during the creation week. Therefore his pointing to God as having made him and given him life is a reference to God's providentially bringing him forth, or bringing his flesh forth, from his parents, and also of giving him his human spirit. Turn with me please to Hebrews 1, 1-2. We've been here before and I've mentioned it already, but this is the Word of God so let's have a look at it: "God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high" (Hebrews 1, 1-2). Who is he who is upholding all things by the word of His power? "When He had by Himself purged our sins..." - well, that's the Son of God. He is the Creator and Upholder of all things. Colossians 1 says: "by him all things consist". This is our Lord Jesus Christ we are talking about. "All things were created by him, and for him... and he is the head of the body, the church." Already we see the wisdom and power and goodness of God in providing for the needs of His creatures. "The LORD is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works" (Psalm 145, 9). But we cannot understand the mercy and the justice of God in their outworkings in providence unless we consider the covenants as well - the covenant of life, the covenant of works that was made with Adam and broken by him and us in Adam, and the covenant of grace which God made from all eternity past with the Lord Jesus Christ, God manifest in the flesh who is referred to as "the last Adam". So we need to consider the covenants.
3. THE BIBLICAL DOCTRINE OF THE CREATION TEACHES THAT GOD CREATED MANKIND WITH BODIES AND SPIRITS.
Before we do, I shall spend quite a bit of time now talking about how the biblical doctrine of the creation, thirdly, teaches that God created mankind with bodies and spirits, because this is forgotten by-and-large by the modern creationist movement. Because the evolutionist doesn't believe in spirits and believes that all things that were traditionally ascribed to the human spirit - conscious thought and emotions - are actually just chemistry. Because they have dictated where the battle is at, and the modern creationist movement has by-and-large limited itself to countering the attacks on scripture and on the Christian religion by the atheistic evolutionists and the theistic evolutionists, this one has dropped out of sight. "And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul" (Genesis 2, 7).
You go to creationist bookshops or internet sites and the vast majority of books [and materials] are on matter and chemistry and genetics, but Adam wasn't just a body, he was also a spirit. Because the modern creationist movement has been moved outside the church and has become mainly parachurch, and because it doesn't see its primary aim as preaching the gospel but preaching creationism, like, they call it 'pre-evangelism', the spirit and matter concerning human beings have become divorced in their presentation. And that is wrong, because we have to move from physical things to spiritual things in order to lead someone to the one thing needful. So I hope to draw your attention to this very important matter which I find really gets to me.
Now, the Bible gives no details concerning what was involved in the imparting of this spirit to the first man, Adam. All we know is that in the case of Adam there was something called the breath or spirit of life which was imparted into his body on the very occasion when God created his body out of the dust of the earth. Moreover, contrary to what pantheists believe, the spirit of life given to our first parent was an individual spirit, not some fragment or portion of some world-spirit. But the Bible says "man" - the first man, Adam - became a living soul. We are individuals. We are individual souls and that soul consists of two parts: body and spirit.
Next we are taught in the scripture that Eve's body was derived from Adam's body. "And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man" (Genesis 2, 21-23). Some Christians would also add that God took of Adam's spirit and fashioned Eve's spirit from it. They would have preferred Adam to have proclaimed that Eve was bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh, and spirit of my spirit, though this is not what is said.
Can we please turn to Hebrews 12, 9: "Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?" In order for the apostle (whichever one it was who wrote the Epistle to the Hebrews) to write this, he has two sets in his logic that he is talking about here. He has "the fathers of our flesh" and "the Father of spirits". In order to make sense of what he says here, we have to deduce that the fathers of our flesh were not the Father of our spirits, otherwise this passage becomes nonsense. So this passage, and the deduction I made from Genesis 2 - and we could have gone to Isaiah 42 or Zechariah 12 or Ecclesiastes 12, and the same point is made, or the same point is inferred - the human spirit is a direct creation from God; it's not a budding off from either one of our parents' spirits or some fusion from both but it's a gift of God and it returns to God when our body returns to the earth. "It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgement" (Hebrews 9, 27). Just as we do not fail to notice that we have bodies, so it does not escape our notice that we also have spirits. We are more than merely chemistry and we know it. But western naturalistic atheists, who like to think the evolution theory is the truth about our origins, must live in denial of the obvious fact that each of us has a spirit. This they must do, for the human spirit has no place in their evolution theory since it is not itself composed of chemicals and could not have evolved from chemicals. The real world is not the world of the evolutionist. All those things that have historically been ascribed to the human spirit such as conscious thought and emotions - or affections as the great theologians of the past prefer to call them - evolutionists are constrained to say that these things are nothing more than the actions of hormones and brain chemistry. But if we really do not have spirits this would mean that all our lives, and all our relationships, with other people and with God, are utterly meaningless. You are just chemistry... or are you body and spirit?
What world do you live in? Evolution theory says, for example: Although you may talk about love, you must not fool yourselves; you are nothing more than machines composed of complex chemistry which evolved all by themselves from nothing. You are at the mercy... (sorry, can't use the word mercy; mercy has to do with soul - but it's chemistry we are talking about). Your genes only desire one thing... (sorry, can't use the word desire either)... - but you get my point). Your genes only desire one thing, to find a mate and reproduce; to bring up children who will pass on their genes to the next generation; your body is driven by a combination of hormonal drives, some of which are urging you to seek out the fittest members of the opposite sex - and that's all there is to it. There is no such thing as true love. And moreover, you have no more purpose in life than bacteria have. To exist, reproduce, eat and fall apart and die... (sorry, not death - you can't have death if you're just chemistry) ... just, your chemistry stops working.
This belief, that human beings are just chemistry, is tragic, for we know well what human nature is like. There are many millions of men and women who will take to heart... (oh sorry, they don't have a heart - not in a spiritual sense) ... who will take to heart such false conclusions and find in them scientific justification or allowance for all kinds of sexual immorality (oh, no, sorry, can't bring morality into it - we're just chemistry!). What can be wrong, for example, with sexual promiscuity before marriage if such behaviour is thought to be just chemistry and only natural? And why bother with marriage anyway? After all, the levels of these so-called 'love' hormones rise and fall. And that provides no basis for a stable, long-term relationship. (Oh, sorry, relationship - we can't have a relationship; we're just chemistry). Our relationships must be utterly meaningless if we're just chemistry - as meaningless as the relationship between hydrogen and oxygen in water, because water is just held together by chemical attraction as well. This 'no spirits' belief is very sad. It means that we human beings do not fall in love, but instead we have in our bodies only chemistry that make us feel as though we are in love. (No, not feel - we can't feel anything except pain, and that's just chemistry.) And all our love relationships therefore are completely at the mercy (sorry, can't say mercy) of those chemicals as they rise and fall.
Now if this is all that love is, it must follow that the most intimate of human relationships is robbed of all wonder, all beauty, and all meaning. Praise God that this 'no spirits' belief is untrue. If it is true, I must believe that no-one really loves anyone or has even been loved by anyone with a love that is more than just chemistry. But there is such a thing as true love, and I have no doubt about it, and nor do you. And there are many millions of happily married couples the world over. I am not saying that such people have never had any problems in their relationships. But I take issue with those who would tell me, on the basis of wrong scientific conclusions based on false presuppositions, that there is no such thing as true love. Why, even the heartache that is felt by all involved when marriages fall apart is evidence that love is more than just chemistry.
I have focused on one part of human life - love - which is rendered meaningless at least and destroyed at worst by the 'no spirits' belief which is taught to our children in our schools, and is taught to us on television and on the radio and in most books that you can pick up. But there are many other such things that I could have brought to your attention. Some examples: What is joy? What is grief? What is happiness? What is sadness? What is morality? What is sin? What is justice? What is mercy? What is repentance? What is faith? What is grace? What is forgiveness? The modern western atheist is compelled by his religion to believe that all these things are utterly meaningless fantasies. According to his creation story - evolution theory - these things are all unreal explanations for the feelings that pass through the human body which are in reality merely brain chemistry and hormones.
Now, I am speaking to the Scottish Reformation Society. Those who know about the kind of personal religion both preached and lived by the Reformed in Scotland - sadly this is more abundant in the past than in the present time, you will agree - will appreciate that all these affections are an integral part of our spiritual forebears' Christian experience. They knew that all these religious affections came from the human spirit and that they were an intense operation of the human will and God's will.
4. THE BIBLICAL DOCTRINE OF THE CREATION TEACHES THAT GOD GOVERNS THE WORLD ACCORDING TO HIS GREAT COVENANTS WITH MANKIND "IN ADAM" OR "IN CHRIST."
Fourthly (I've got two points in 10 minutes!), the biblical doctrine of the creation teaches that God governs the world according to His great covenants with mankind in Adam, or in Christ. God established the covenant of life with the whole of mankind, Christ alone excepted, in Adam. Therefore God accounted mankind as standing, or later falling, in Adam. God the Father established the covenant of redemption with His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Lamb that was slain before the foundation of the world. "But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons" (Galatians 4, 4). Therefore God has entered into a covenant of grace with His people in which He saves them and gives them new life. "And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit" (1 Corinthians 15, 45). It is according to these great covenants that God deals with mankind in His providence. Human beings are either in Adam, fallen, totally depraved, and it is appointed unto them once to die and after that the judgement; or God, in His sovereign grace, delivers them from the power of darkness and gives them to His Son. "All that the Father giveth me shall come to me..." (John 6, 37) - to be His people, in Christ.
The first Adam's covenant breaking sin against God brought death into the world both of himself and all mankind in him, Christ alone excepted, as I have said. And this death was of three parts: it was spiritual, and physical, and eternal. We know that it was spiritual because when Christians are born again it is said of them "And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins" (Ephesians 2, 1). It is physical - natural revelation can point that out to you; "Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it" (Ecclesiastes 12, 7). That death that Adam brought into the world was eternal. Punishment of having sinned against God will be suffered for ever by those that know not God. "...the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction..." (it doesn't matter if you're just chemistry, but you're not) ...everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power" (2 Thessalonians 1, 7-9). (The last Adam's covenant-keeping faithfulness to His Father brought life into the world. If for Himself and all His people in Him, "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly" (John 10, 10), this life was a new spiritual life, a new physical life, and eternal life. A new spiritual life, in that His people are born again and given a new heart; a new physical life, "Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we [Christians] shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality" (1 Corinthians 15, 51-53).
Thirdly, it is eternal life, it is everlasting, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3, 16). "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him" (John 3, 36). "He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son" (1 John 5, 10). "He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God" (1 John 5, 12-13). "For the wages of sin is death..." (and "in Adam all die") "...but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 6, 23); "... even so in Christ shall all be made alive" (1 Corinthians 15, 22).
5. THE BIBLICAL DOCTRINE OF THE CREATION HAS ITS PRIMARY FOCUS, NOT IN THE CREATION ITSELF, BUT IN THE LORD JESUS CHRIST.
Fifthly (two minutes for it, but it's the most important part), the biblical doctrine of the creation has as its primary focus not the creation itself but the Lord Jesus Christ. "All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made" (John 1, 3). "[He] Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist" (Colossians 1, 15-17). It is He whom God the Father "hath appointed heir of all things". God "hath committed all judgment unto the Son" (John 5, 22). And He [Jesus] said: "All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth." (Matthew 28, 18). And therefore does He commission the Church to "teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost" (Matthew 28, 19).
We may be daunted by such a commission, such a world transforming optimistic eschatological commission. We may be daunted by it when we consider the enormity of the task, and the hatred and violence by people who know they have a spirit, who hate you for telling them where it's going to go if they do not know God. You may be daunted by the hatred and violence directed against Christ and His people. But let us learn the lesson of what the apostle Paul taught the Church at Ephesus. "Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints, Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all" (Ephesians 1, 15-23).
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