Doctrine of Creation: God's Purpose in Creation
March 7, 2021 Series: Great Doctrines of the Christian Faith
Scripture: Colossians 1
Scripture Reading -> Colossians 1
As we continue looking at how Scripture presents, defines, and explains creation, let us once again start by refreshing our memory of the over-arching, systematic overview of the Doctrine of Creation.
Chapter 4, Article 1 of the Westminster Confession of Faith:
“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
Last week, we laid the foundation towards developing a sound, Biblical understanding of creation.
We spoke about the limitations and inappropriateness of the typical approach to understanding creation – that is, the Empirical Method.
Remember, we learned that Empiricism, which is based and limited by one’s sensory experience…
- Whatever one can touch, see, smell, hear, taste, and feel…
- And then what can be tested and observed is true
We learned that Empiricism cannot be used to derive or verify creation.
Review: A Priori of Creationism or Empiricism
We also spoke about a priori knowledge.
that starting set of assumptions which is believed and accepted to be true – without any external proof.
These axioms are accepted as true – just because.
These axioms are then used to guide everything else that proceeds from them.
For example, the axioms in Empiricism might be:
- Only the observable by the senses can be true
But the a priori knowledge of Empiricism cannot be used to answer the question of Creation.
The question of creation is not a scientific question – but a theological one.
Therefore, creation must be investigated from a theological foundation as presented in the Holy Scriptures. It must be investigated from a Creationist perspective.
Review: A Priori of Creationism
Therefore, Empiricism, while valuable in other fields of study cannot be used to reveal the truths of creation. Creationism can.
Creationism is the only study suitable for understanding creation.
What is Creationism? – the study of the creation, described by God in the Bible
And what is the source of truth for Creationism? – The Scripture
And what is the foundation for Creationism? – Faith
What is the a prior knowledge, the axioms, for the Christian to use?
- There is a Creator.
- The Creator is the God of the Bible.
- The Bible is the infallible, inerrant, and inspired Word of God.
Introduction: The Purpose of Creation
The next step in our study of the Doctrine of Creation is to look at God’s specific purpose in Creation.
That there is a purpose in creation is in direct opposition to some of the beliefs held by Empiricists or by those holding to some compromise between Creationism and Evolution.
Listen to what some famous evolutionists believe:
Humans have always wondered about the meaning of life...life has no higher purpose than to perpetuate the survival of DNA...life has no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind pitiless indifference. --Richard Dawkins
Evolution must be without plan or purpose because its core tenet is the natural selection of the fittest, produced by random copying errors called mutations. – belief by Darwin
Monty Python offers this:
"It's nothing very special. Try to be nice to people, avoid eating fat, read a good book every now and then, get some walking in, and try to live together in peace and harmony with people of all creeds and nations."
I wonder if he realizes the irrationality of such a belief and adds humor to try and minimize the silliness of such a position.
But you see, evolution claims the purpose of life, the purpose of creation is not really a question at all.
The question really has to do with why anyone is here at all.
To them, the answer is simple: Because we evolved.
That is it. There is no purpose. There is no meaning. There just is.
Psychology Today helps us understand this position a bit farther when they tell us, in no uncertain terms, that there is no meaning or purpose in life.
- There is no ultimate meaning.
But, they say, we are not to be upset or disappointed or filled with despair.
They tell us that this understanding makes us free and unencumbered.
According to Dr. Steve Stewart-Williams:
“...if there is no meaning or purpose imposed on us from outside ourselves, then that leaves us in the position where we are free to choose our own meanings and purposes in life,
both as individuals and as a species.
The Impact of No Purpose
Now you can easily see, when man “holds the truth in unrighteousness” and when he “exchanges the truth for a lie” … man has nowhere else to go but to determine their own meaning and their own purpose….
We can see the impact of that today.
Since their identity is rooted in the meaningless purpose of creation, they are forced to find their identify in other things
- In how they seek affirmation from others – almost demanding affirmation and acceptance
- In how they shift in determining was it right and wrong because it all based on how they feel – at that point in time – and not upon anything solid
Where we are today is the natural progression of such a foundation of meaninglessness.
God’s specific purpose for creation
But you see,
- There is a very specific purpose in Creation.
- There is a very specific meaning.
Empiricism completely misses this purpose and is, in fact, left with despair.
Creationism understands this purpose from the truth of Scripture.
Creationism understands this purpose to be rooted in Christ.
Creationism provides man with answers and with purpose and with a future both in this life and the one to come.
While we working towards an understanding, it will be important to maintain a very clear focus concerning the centrality of creation is of Christ.
It is not to be found in any self-centered, man-elevating understanding.
In continuing to understand creation, we must also understand that creations is a free act of God, according to His own mind, and is a separate entity from God.
John 1:1-4 and Colossians 1:15-17 and Hebrews 1:2-4.
- His purpose in creation
- His purpose in redemption
- His purpose of bringing all things together in Christ.
- His purpose for the church
- His purpose for the end times of all things
Creation is a free act of God.
It is important for us to maintain a distinct understanding of creation.
- Creation is not a necessary act.
- God's self-sufficiency negates the concept of necessity.
- God was not and is not in need of any individual fellowship in order for Him to continue to exist.
- There are some schools of theology that teach that the reason why God created is because God was lonely.
- There are some schools of theology that teach that the reason why God created is because God needed fellowship.
- The truth is God does not need fellowship.
- Nor did God create the universe because he was lonely and needed man as a companion.
- He has a perfect existence and fellowship in the tri-unity of the Godhead.
- Therefore, it is not necessary for us to be created in order that God have fellowship and not be lonely.
- God created the universe to demonstrate the glory and the majesty of his own being.
- That was the purpose of God in creation.
- Creation is an act of God according to the counsel of His own will.
- Ephesians 1:11
“In whom also we have obtained an inheritance according to the purpose of him who work of all things after the counsel of his own will.”
- God creates mankind for a particular purpose.
- God creates the universe for a particular purpose.
- That purpose is according to the Council of him who works all things together for his will.
Creation is the perfect act of God according to his mind
Also note: God did not set down various plans of creation.
- God does not choose of many possibilities of what He would do in creating the universe and bringing it into existence. (Isaiah 14:24)
- God’s mind is perfectly omniscient and knows all things.
- God knows is the perfect plan of creation.
- All that comes to pass in time and space is the creating act of God.
- All that will be worked out of that time and space from the beginning of time to the end of time is of God – especially as it related to His creatures (2 Timothy 1:9)
- All things in Creation work according to the purpose of God.
(Proverbs 16:4, 9; 21:1)
- Revelation 4:11
- “Thou art worthy O Lord to receive glory and honor and power. For thou hast created all things and for thy pleasure they are and were created.”
- God creates all things for his own purpose according to his own glory and pleasure.
- It is important, therefore, to understand the purpose of God in creating all things.
- It gave him pleasure.
- It glorified him as a sovereign God.
Creation is a separate entity from God
The next thing we can learn from the study of Creationism is that Creation is not an extension of his own being.
This is a dualistic theory – not to be confused with dualism.
Dualism is the belief of two, supreme yet opposed gods; yin and the yang; good vs. evil, karma, etc…it typically ascribes more power to the devil than he possesses. It often talks about great cosmic battles engaged in a tug of war.
This is not what we are talking about.
When we say the Creation is NOT an extension of God, we are saying that they are separate.
- Creation is not of the same essence as God Himself.
- God is not dependent upon his own creation for existence.
- God is completely independent of his creation.
- Creation is not autonomous.
- It does not operate on its own.
- There is no such thing as “Mother Nature”
- The universe does balance itself out
- Creation depends upon God for its existence.
God’s substance is absolutely distinct from the substance of the created universe.
- Creation is not a part of God's substance.
- God is not a part of creation.
- That does not mean that God is not active.
- That does not mean that God is not involved.
- God is simply not of the same substance of that which he created and brought into time and space.
God is entirely separate from Creation.
Otherwise, the belief that God is part of creation is heresy, known as pantheism.
We’re going to end here for today. But I want to take a moment and remind all of us about what is going on here.
- We are here, today, to serve God.
- We are here, today, to worship God.
- We are here, today, for Him.
Not for ourselves.
- We are not here to recharge.
- We are not here to be fed.
- We are not here to make ourselves feel good.
- We are here for God.
- We are here to be obedient to him.
- We are here to learn how we can best serve Him. The Creator. The only God.
We are filling our hearts and our minds with the Biblical knowledge of God.
We are building foundations upon Christ.
You should already be able to see it.
Each week, we are learning more and more about what the Bible teaches.
Each week, we are learning, that each bit of knowledge is built upon the last bit.
We are beginning to see the value of having a systematic approach to God.
We are beginning to see the value of not twisting Scripture to fit us but instead twisting and changing ourselves to fit Scripture.
We are learning how to stand strong for Christ.
We are learning of the immeasurable grace and mercy of our God.
So, when we look out at this world, and we see violence, and heathenism, and anarchy, and selfishness, and wickedness, and evil, and disease, and everything else that is in opposition to the God of the Scripture….
- We do not need to respond with fear.
- We do not need to conform to society.
- We do not need to despair.
Why? Because we know the God that we serve.
We are learning the truth from the only place that truth can be found.
- It does not matter what happens in the world.
- It does not matter what others think of us.
All that matters is knowing that we were created to serve God and that He has us in His hand and that we are to serve Christ. That it it. Christ. All in all. Christ.
Hold Fast to Christ.