Terms in the Bible are specialized words of particular significance. In Coming to Terms we explore the significance of these terms to deepen our understanding of biblical truth through a question and answer and fill in the blank format.
(Fill in the blanks where applicable to gain a deeper understanding of the term. I’ve used the New Living Translation for the Scripture passages.)
Unpacking the term
The term “creation” refers to the act by which God created everything. Miraculous creation by God is the major presupposition of the Bible and the foundational truth for all of Scripture. If God did not create then the rest of the Bible is irrelevant.
Was God obliged to create? No. He did it because He wanted to.
What is the purpose for which God created everything? To bring glory to Himself. To create the universe with design and purpose out of nothing with a command brings glory to God because only He can do the impossible.
What is required for us to accept this great presupposition that God created everything out of nothing? Hebrews 11:3, “By ________ we understand that the entire universe was formed at God’s command, that what we now see _____ _____ come from anything that can be seen.”
What does creation tell us about God? It identifies who He is. He is not an idea or moral standard. He is the Maker of all. Creation is filled with pointers to God showing His power and handiwork (Psalm 8:1; 19:1) and reflects His wisdom (Proverbs 8:1-21).
Why is it significant that God made everything out of nothing? Because it means He is separate from what He created. Creation totally depends on God but does not emanate from Him. God does not want to be confused with His creation and so forbids idols representing Him (Exodus 20:4-6).
How long did creation take? It can’t be determined from Scripture. The original cosmic creation may have been millions of years ago. And if the six creative days were literal days, large periods of time may have expired between them.
What does creation tell us about man? It identifies who man is. Man is not just a body or a product of natural processes. He is made in the image of God. Creation gives us our origin, identity, purpose and destiny. It means we are accountable to God. So creation means there will be a judgment day (2 Corinthians 5:10).
To whom does everything, including you, belong? Psalm 24:1, “The _______ is the Lord’s, and _______ in it. The _______ and all its _______ belong to him.”
How did God feel about what He made (Genesis 1:31)? His final verdict when He looked over all He made was it was ______ ______. It was perfect.
What was the impact of sin on creation (Romans 8:19-21)? Humanity—the pinnacle of God’s creation—became depraved, affected in every aspect of our being by sin and not taking God seriously. Creation is intertwined with redemption. Christ’s work of redemption brings about new creations in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17) and eventually a new heaven and earth (2 Peter 3:5-13) in which righteousness dwells (Revelation 21:1).
How is creation related to the Gospel? Creation is the basis for the Gospel. Creation was very good but man sinned and affected all creation (Romans 8:22). Death entered creation and needs a Saviour.
So, how should we His creatures respond to God and why? Psalm 148:13, “Let them all ______ the name of the Lord. For his name is very ________; his _______ towers over the earth and heaven!” It only makes sense that we and all He created would praise Him and give Him glory (Psalm 100:3; Revelation 4:11).
How should you feel about what God has made? First Timothy 4:4-5, “Since everything God created is _______, we should not reject any of it but receive it with thanks. For we know it is made __________ by the word of God and prayer.”
What is our responsibility toward creation? God’s original mandate was for man to govern and tend the earth (Genesis 1:28; 2:15). That became distorted when man sinned. But since we are new creations in Christ, we should be the best ecologists and stewards of creation as we live redemptively under Christ who is Lord over all.
If God can do the impossible in creation do you believe He is able to save you, keep you, and supply your every need in Christ Jesus?
Elizabeth Barrett Browning summed up the difference between comprehending the significance of creation or not. “Earth's crammed with heaven, And every common bush afire with God, But only he who sees takes off his shoes; The rest sit round and pluck blackberries.”
Do you live with shoes off or are you a blackberry plucker?
1. Elizabeth Barret Browning, Aurora Leigh: Book 7 (Oxford University Press, New York, 1998), Lines 821-822.