God the Father: What does creation teach us about God?
Genesis 1:1 reveals that “in the beginning, God created.” In the same way that a piece of music reveals something of the composer, and artwork reveals something of the artist, so too creation reveals something of the Creator. In this way, creation is a form of general revelation.1 Therefore, examining creation reveals fourteen glorious truths about God as Creator.
- God is the only God. The opening line of the Bible does not say, for example, “In the beginning, nothing made everything,” or, “In the beginning, Creator and creation were one and the same as they had been throughout eternity,” or even, “In the beginning, the gods made the heavens and the earth.” No, the opening line of the Bible reveals, “In the beginning, God created.” Likewise, Isaiah 45:18 says, “For thus says the LORD, who created the heavens (he is God!), who formed the earth and made it . . . ‘I am the LORD, and there is no other.’”
- God is Trinitarian.2 Genesis 1:26 reveals that the Creator God is the Trinity: “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.’” Therefore, when Genesis says that God is the creator, it speaks of the entire Trinity. This fact is confirmed in the rest of Scripture, where it is revealed that the Father created,3 the Son created,4 and the Spirit created.5
- God is eternally uncaused. This means that God eternally existed before creation, that God is not created, and that creation is not eternal.
- God is living. Life in general and human life in particular does not spring forth from the “it” of unliving matter. Rather, God is living and he makes life and, as we will see in the next chapter, he breathes his life into human beings to give us life.
- God is independent. While the rest of creation is dependent upon God, God himself is uncaused, independent, and without need, lack, want, or dependence upon anyone or anything. Everything apart from God is created by God and dependent upon God so that it simply would not have come into existence or continue to exist without God. This is precisely what Paul preached on Mars Hill: “The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything.”6 Because God is independent, he alone can truly and purely love; since he does not need us, his interactions with us alone are of pure motive.
- God is transcendent. God is separate from his creation. There is a clear demarcation between Creator and creation that does not exist in pantheism, panentheism, radical environmentalism, Wicca, or the New Spirituality.
- God is immanent. Not only is God transcendent over creation, but contrary to the deists’ claim, he is also actively at work in his creation, sustaining and providentially ruling over it.
- God is personal. Because God is personal, he made mankind in a personal way and gives to us personality and personhood. God is a personal “he,” not an impersonal “it.” Apart from a personal God, there is no way to explain human personhood.
- God is powerful. In creation, God’s power is seen in that he made everything from nothing by himself and that he rules over creation, even suspending natural laws as he wills to perform miracles.
- God is beautiful. Whereas God could have created air filtration machines, he instead chose to create trees. Whereas God could have chosen to cast creation in black and white, he instead chose to paint from a vast palette of colors. Why? Because God is gloriously beautiful, and creation reflects his beauty with ceaseless displays of breathtaking splendor that cause us to rightly feel in the presence of something sacred so as to create in us wonder and worship.
- God is holy. God is without evil, and creation originally reflected his holy purity until it was marred and stained by human sin. Our holy God moves in his sin-marred creation to make it pure. In re-creation, God will again restore all creation to a holy state, when he lifts the curse and removes its effects forever.
- God is a prophet. It was through speaking that God brought creation into existence by his word. Similarly, God also kindly uses the preaching of his Word to bring forth life.
- God is gracious. We see the grace of God in creation as he blesses his creation, including the man and woman whom he makes in his image and likeness. From the opening pages of Scripture to its final line in Revelation 22:20–21, God speaks words of grace, saying, “‘Surely I am coming soon.’ Amen. Come, Lord Jesus! The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.”
- God is a sovereign king. As creator, God is king over all that is made, including Satan, demons, mankind, planets, stars, suns, moons, animals, and so on. All of creation comes from God, is ruled over by God, belongs to God, and will give an account before God. As King of kings, God our creator is far superior to any false tribal, local, or trade deity worshiped around the world.
In sum, we see that God is not a faceless intelligent designer of the universe, but the living Lord, Yahweh, who alone created everything so we could live in loving relation with him now and forever. From the first words of the Bible, the Lord is distinguished from the gods of the nations. The other gods—demons, really—are created beings that can’t create anything.7 They are imaged by dead idols while God is imaged by living humans he created for loving relationship with him now and forever.
Which of these things we learn about God from creation is most impactful for you? Why?