1. How would you define creation? Creation is an act of God alone, whereby, for his own glory and good pleasure of his will, he calls forth everything into existence out of nothing by the power of his efficacious creative word.
2. How would you express why God created? In other words, what do you think moved him or motivated him to create? God was moved to create not out of lack or want, but out of the abundant overflow of who he is, to bring glory to himself. That the reflection of his perfection may redound through all things. “For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.” (Romans 11:36) 3. What are some ways in which creation and redemption are similar? Since creation is such a vivid revelation of God’s lordship, we should expect significant parallels between creation and salvation. I believe this would be his presence aspect of his lordship attribute of creation. Creation and redemption also happen also happen by the Spirit through his word. As the word goes forth, the Spirit creates what it is calling forth to create. Creation establishes God’s ownership of the world and of the human race, and therefore his right and power to redeem, to buy back, his creation (Isa. 43:1–7, 14–21; 44:21–26)
Scripture often speaks of salvation in terms of creation. “God my King is from of old, working salvation in the midst of the earth” (Psalm 74:12)
The Apostle Paul says in 2 Corinthians 4:6, “For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” When God illumines us to receive the truth, it is like creation ex nihilo—for before God’s creative word, there was no light in us; we were darkness (Eph. 5:8) Yet, in some ways even more miraculous, as everything else that was created was nothing before it was created, but we are corrupt and when we become a new creation, God takes what is bad and corrupt and makes it to be something good and new. What was darkness becomes light. This is the power of God’s created If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. (2 Cor. 5:17)
Our new creation is the beginning of a cosmic renewal, a renewal as comprehensive as was the original creation.
waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. (Rom. 8:19–21) It is not as if the new creation were a “plan B” to replace an original creation that God had somehow failed to keep on course. Redemption was God’s plan before the creation of the world (1 Cor. 2:7; Eph. 1:5–11; 2 Tim. 1:9; Titus 1:2) The new creation is the goal. So Christians would do well to meditate on creation. To trust God’s salvation is like believing in creation: By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible. (Heb. 11:3)
as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”—in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist. (Romans 4:17)
God is the God of creation, who calls things that are not as though they were, who by his word brings being out of nothingness, light out of darkness. We can trust his Word, his promise, therefore, even when we do not see any visible evidence of the fulfillment.
4. Did God create ex nihilo, “out of nothing”? Why do you think so? What is the value and purpose of the doctrine?
To say that God created from nothing is to say that God created the world without any preexisting material or medium. He merely spoke and things appeared, along with space and time for them to occupy. That means everything he created; the stars, the sun, the planets and everything, not only did he create, but also he did create the space they would occupy. Nothing existed before God created, not even time, space or matter into which things with substance would come into existence. That is God even created the empty space where in which created things with substance would occupy. John Frame says, “Some have thought it would be better to speak of creation into nothing, rather than creation out of nothing. But in my mind the two expressions have equal advantages and disadvantages. Both ideas are important: creation is neither “out of” a preexisting material nor “into” a preexisting place. That is, we must oppose both the Aristotelian notion of an eternal “matter” and the Platonic notion of an eternal “receptacle.” Wayne Grudem weighs in, “This is the implication of Genesis 1:1, which says, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” The phrase “the heavens and the earth” includes the entire universe. Psalm 33 also tells us, “By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, and all their host by the breath of his mouth. . . . For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood forth” (Ps. 33:6, 9). In the New Testament, we find a universal statement at the beginning of John’s gospel: “All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made” (John 1: 3). The phrase “all things” is best taken to refer to the entire universe (cf. Acts 17: 24; Heb. 11: 3). Paul is quite explicit in Colossians 1 when he specifies all the parts of the universe, both visible and invisible things: “For in him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or authorities — all things were created through him and for him” (Col. 1: 16). The song of the twenty-four elders in heaven likewise affirms this truth: “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.” (Rev. 4: 11) This is the clear testimony of scripture, though there is not a specific passage that teaches that God created all things (time, space, matter, beings) out of nothing, it is clearly implied throughout scripture. I think the doctrine of creation ex nihlio is true because there was nothing existing prior to God creating it, as well as the fact that creation is not an extension of God, it is completely distinct. Therefore there is no other alternative. The value of this doctrine is that there is clear distinction between Creator and creation. There is only one Creator, that is the one true God, Yahweh, and all of everything else is creation. Creation is not part of God, nor is it partly God, not even a little. Creation is also not eternal, there was time when creation was created. And the Lord of all did that, and he rules over it well. 5. How do you think Gen 1:1 and 1:2 are related? What do you think are the main teachings of Genesis 1:1–2:3 intended to be understood by both its original audience and us today? I believe Genesis 1:1 is where God created all things. It is where he created time, and matter and even the spiritual realm of existence. It is where he created heaven, and all the angels and everything that inhabits it. It is where he created the universes, the galaxies, the solar systems and all the stars and planets that inhabit them, including the Earth. Genesis 1:2 and on into chapter 2 is subsequent creation after that specifically focused on the Earth. Genesis 1:1 is the original creation. It is creation ex-nihlio. The subsequent creation of 1:2 and on “presupposes already existing realities”. The main teaching and purpose of Genesis 1:1-2:3 is “to display God’s glory in his creative work and to provide background for the narrative of the fall. It is certainly not the primary purpose of the narrative to tell us precisely how God made the world, when he did it, how long it took, and how all of this relates to the theories of modern science. It may be that the narrative is such that it answers some of these questions on the way to achieving its primary purpose.” But the primary purpose is to display God’s glory in creation, and to also set the stage for the rest of history and the Bible.