Chapter 4 of the London Baptist Confession of Faith immediately tells us the reason God made all things. He did not make the universe especially for man. He made it “for the manifestation of the glory of his eternal power, wisdom, and goodness.” That is, He made it to bring glory to Himself. When we consider that God called all things into being out of nothing, and when we consider the vast size of the universe and how large the sun and stars are, and when we behold the great power of the winds and the oceans, we realize that the One who made them has exceedingly great power. Paul wrote, “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead” (Romans 1:20). Jeremiah wrote, “He has made the earth by His power” (Jeremiah 10:12). We are led to humbly adore and worship such an almighty God.
Further, when we consider how the stars and the planets of our own solar system move in perfect harmony, and when we see how the human body works, or when we behold the intricate design of a bird’s feather, we must marvel at God’s great wisdom. Jeremiah said, “He has established the world by His wisdom, and has stretched out the heavens at His discretion” (Jeremiah 10:12). We are led to say what the psalmist said: “O Lord, how manifold are Your works! In wisdom You have made them all. The earth is full of Your possessions” (Psalm 104:24). God made the world full of glory in order that we would praise Him, the Lord of glory. He did not make the world so that we might bow down and worship the creation itself. To worship the creation, or to worship any mere creature, is an abomination before God (see Romans 1:20-25). But God’s creation does move us to glorify the blessed Creator of all things. “For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen” (Romans 11:36).
The Time of Creation
The confession says two things about the time of creation. First, it echoes the statement of Scripture that God performed the work of creation “in the beginning” (Genesis 1:1). He created the universe in the beginning of time. Various philosophers and theologians through the centuries have speculated that matter has existed eternally or that God could have created the world from eternity. However, this is contrary to both logic and the Scripture. A creature is by definition a product of the creating power of God. If a creature existed from eternity, it would have to have a being before it was brought into being. The idea is absurd. As the Scripture says, “You, Lord, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, And the heavens are the work of Your hands” (Hebrews 1:10).
The second assertion about the time of creation is that God created the world “in the space of six days.” Since the days of Charles Darwin and the adoption by most of the world of the theory of evolution, many scientists and theologians have asserted that the world could not have been created by God in six twenty-four hour days. Some simply dismiss the Bible’s account as myth or legend. Others assert that we ought to understand each of the six “days” to refer to a much longer period of time–an epoch. There have been good Reformed theologians and writers who have held that the days mentioned in Genesis 1 are not literal twenty-four hour days. We need not cave in to the pressure of these arguments to give up the doctrine of six twenty-four hour days of creation, however. We must not allow “science” to cause us to call into question the truthfulness or authority of the words of the Bible. Also, we must never doubt for a moment that God has the ability to create in six days. God has the ability to create the universe in six hours–or six seconds if He pleases.
Two considerations should help us to resist giving in to unbelieving arguments at this point. First, however “old” scientists may tell us the earth is, we must remember that it is indisputable that God has created things with an “apparent age” that is greater than the actual age of the creatures themselves. This is obviously true of Adam. When he was one day old, he did not have the appearance of a one day old infant, but he appeared to be a fully grown man. Second, scientists’ methods of determining the age of elements in the earth assume that the earth’s process of “aging” has occurred at a uniform rate for centuries and millennia. They are unwilling to take into account the tremendous impact and upheaval of God’s acts of creation itself and of the worldwide flood.
Such willful unbelief is predicted by the apostle Peter in his second epistle:
“Scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, ‘Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.’ For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water.”
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