The Miracle of Creation
Genesis 1:1-31 - In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.
6 And God said, “Let there be a vault between the waters to separate water from water.” 7 So God made the vault and separated the water under the vault from the water above it. And it was so. 8 God called the vault “sky.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the second day.
9 And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” And it was so. 10 God called the dry ground “land,” and the gathered waters he called “seas.” And God saw that it was good.
11 Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. 12 The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. 13 And there was evening, and there was morning—the third day.
14 And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so. 16 God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. 17 God set them in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth, 18 to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fourth day.
20 And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky.” 21 So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living thing with which the water teems and that moves about in it, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 22 God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth.” 23 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fifth day.
24 And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind.” And it was so. 25 God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.
26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals,[a] and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
27 So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”
29 Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. 30 And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so.
31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.
Luke 14:26-33 - “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. 27 And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.
28 “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? 29 For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, 30 saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’
31 “Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Won’t he first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? 32 If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. 33 In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.
Romans 12:1-2 - Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
1 Peter I:3-9 - Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, 5 who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9 for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
The Bible story of creation begins with God. He is the beginning and the end. The history of humankind and the world we live in is the story of God s creative activity.
Scientists are now accepting what has been derisively termed the "big bang theory." That theory recognizes that every thing started with energy. (Where energy came From is a question they want to leave unanswered, however, because the generally accepted goal of science is to leave God out of things.)
Energy exploded from a center, they say, So space expanded, and energy became a solid mass that formed into stars and planets. Some of this matter took on life in a process that defies natural understanding-- if you leave God out of the equation
The terms used in the Bible to describe the process of creation state that the universe as we know it started as a formless mass cloaked in darkness. The power that caused this formless mass to develop into the ordered universe, which obeys the laws making it all work, is the Spirit of God.
Evolution holds to the theory that there was no intelligence behind the process of creation. No intelligence was involved in even the complex laws that govern this clearly observable order.
The Bible story brings intelligence into the process through the simple statement, "God said. . Fourteen times in the 31 verses of the creation story in Genesis 1, the narrator tells us that God spoke.
EVERYTHING WAS GooD
After the creative acts described in this story, "God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good (Genesis 1:31). Our task, then, is to look at the stars, the mountains, the rivers, the Oceans and all the beauty of nature and echo the same assessment, "God s creative work is good.
This confession needs to be our expression of praise and worship to God, who does everything well. It expresses thankfulness for Him and His creation, and for what He has provided us.
It is a mistake to think that we are so important we deserve more than God has given us. Tragically, many are miserable because they go through life constantly complaining and always expecting more.
When we are thankful for what He has provided and has given to us, we can enjoy what we have. All blessings come from God. We need to be appreciative of those blessings and share them with others.
RENEWAL AND ENTROPY
The reality of renewal is built into the creative process. God separated light from darkness and established a cycle. The circular pattern goes from light to darkness, and back to light again. The designation day marks the complete cycle.
Daytime is a period of light that encourages activity. Nighttime is designed for rest and renewal. Days are combined into weeks, with the seventh day of the week designated by God as a holy day. It is set apart for renewal and thanksgiving.
Evolution is a philosophical understanding of creation based on a force that moves everything from a lower form of existence to a higher one. This process is called "the survival of the fittest." Life moves in a line from lower forms to higher forms, they say.
In contrast, the Bible identifies a creative power from God that is opposed by a destructive force of evil. Things can move upward...or they can move further downward. Often, destructive powers seem to take over, causing conditions to move to low point.
There is ample evidence, however, that new, creative efforts from God can, and often do, change the general and particular direction in which things move, A dynamic renewal or a redeeming resurgence can, and often does, occur.
We who disagree with evolutionary theory recognize the law of entropy. 1his law says that things wear out. Everything in life runs down. things move in a general downward direction, rather than always improving. Nothing ever evolves upward. Without God's creative efforts, things just don t evolve in that direction.
Clearly, reality and experience do not support the understanding that evolution is at work. This theory says that basically, when the creation is left alone, things will spontaneously improve.
Today, pollution and the abuse of the environment are taking their toll on our world. When left alone, disease and other destructive powers seem to become stronger. Cancer does not disappear or lose its power when ignored.
It is difficult to accept a law of automatic betterment. These ideas, were they were not cloaked in the respectable robes of science, would be laughable.
A PROCESS OF RENEWAL
It is strategically important for us to understand that the creative power of God moves to counteract the destructive forces at work in the world. This is thee record of Scripture and the record of experience. It is more acceptable to us than evolution.
That creative and renewing power is identified in the Bible as "blessings. God "blessed the animals He created, giving them the power to reproduce. This whole concept is renewal.
God also blessed the two people He created, instructing them to multiply and telling them to be masters over the created world. Creation then, is built around God's continued creative work in which creation functions as part of a process of renewal.
Regenerative renewal occurs through the blessings provided to humankind by the Spirit of God. Without blessing and renewal, we would have no hope, Entropy would bring about such a downward move toward destruction and death that we would soon perish, Becoming a disciple is the way to bring about spiritual renewal.
1. Does the "big bang theory as set forth by science agree with the Bible account of Creation, or explain where energy came from?
2. Evolutionists believe in intelligence, but deny intelligence is at work in the process of evolution. Do you consider this to be a scientific answer?
3. Was Creation complete after the original week, or is renewal built into the creative process?
4. Explain how the cycle of night followed by day and the concept of the Sabbath give insight into renewal in creation.
5. Does evolution support an understanding of evil, or explain the destructive power that is against creation?
6. Do you see anything evolving toward a better state? Or, left alone, do things get worse?
7. Explain the concept of the forces of destruction at work in the world, causing things to wear out and run down.
8. Can evolution solve earth's ecological problems?