Series 1 Episode 10

Creator of Heaven and Earth 

Welcome to Series 1 Episode 10 of our theology 101 class. We’ve been covering the first portion of the Apostles’ Creed – “I believe in God, the Father Almighty Creator of heaven and earth.” And so far we’ve looked at “I believe.” We looked at beliefs – why they’re important, where they come from, and how to discern them. We’ve also looked at God and we’ve discussed the nature and substance of God. We explained what the Trinity was and talked about God’s personhood. And in episodes 7,8, and 9 we looked at God’s attributes. The Apostle’s creed refers to Him as “almighty.” So we looked at one way to categorize His attributes, how we’re to understand them, and looked at some various examples.

In this episode we want to explore how God the Father relates to creation.
 

So first off – Why did God create?

  1. He’s generous (to share)

  2. He’s free (He wanted to)

  3. He’s Independent (He didn’t have to)

  4. He’s ordered (He did so with purpose and intent)

  5. He's creative (He enjoys the creative process) 
     

Creation is on a trajectory/path

We’re moving towards a goal but we aren’t there yet. Creation was the beginning, the start, but not the final product. There is an end in mind: God created the world to find a bride for His Son. The Church is the end goal of creation. And we were created to glorify God and enjoy him forever


What you see is not the whole story. You are a minor character.

Secondly – How did God create?

Which person created?

The persons of the Trinity have separate wills and separate motions. While all persons are involved in every work – one person generally takes the first seat so to speak.
 

  • The Father Creates

  • The Son Redeems

  • The Spirit Sanctifies
     

Or another way to understand it:
 

  • We depend on the Father for existence

  • We depend on the Son for deliverance

  • We depend on the Spirit for assistance
     

Yet each Person tends to be involved in the other’s work in some way or another. So we see the Trinity at creation. And we see throughout scripture how the Trinity was involved in creation

  • God spoke

  • The Spirit hovered over the waters

  • Christ was the Word
     

Creation Ex Nihilio (out of nothing)
 

Implications:

  • Not Pantheism

  • Not Dualism

  • Not emanation (Creation doesn’t accidentally leak out of God. There is not blurred line between God and creation nor is there purposelessness in creation).

  • Mutability (subject to change)

 

Considerations: 

  • Zero-energy universe

  • Universe that came from nothing

  • Entropy

All Creation is good

  • Spiritual & Physical

  • Emotions & Intellect

  • Mankind & Animal kind

How he made man:

  • Apex of Creation

  • Dirt & Divine Breath

  • Creatures are spoken into existence but man intimately is shaped from the dirt in the hands of the creator  & breathed life into

  • In God’s Image (Animals and plants are made according to their kind but man is made according to the image and likeness of God)

    • Personhood

    • Finitely Free (ordered freedom, shalom)

    • Responsible for our actions

    • Given Work: Procreation and care for creation 

  • Created as equals

  • A worthwhile move
     

Questions:

Is it fair that we weren’t consulted in creation?
 

For one to have been consulted first about whether or not one wanted to live, one would have had already to be in existence. No creature who has ever lived has ever had to earn it’s existence of even ask for it’s existence. Life is an unpurchaseable gift that comes from a generous, good, and wise God.
 

Why did God Rest? 

To make the 7th day holy and provide a pattern for human life (working 6 days, resting 1). To mark the completeness of His work  
 

How does God exercise care over creation?

 

Preservation
(Sustaining Creation)

 

Scripture

  • Hebrews 1:3

  • Psalm 36:6

  • Acts 17:28

  • Colossians 1:17
     

Tradition

“What is preserved depends on the preserver in such a way that it cannot exist without it. In this way the being of every creature depends on God so that not for a moment could one subsist, but would fall into nothingness, were it not kept in being by the operation of the divine power.” (Thomas Aquinas., ST 1 Q104)
 

Implication

Your existence is proof, not just evidence, of God’s love for you.

For God to annihilate anything is simply for him to cease to act upon it
 

Cooperation
(Enabling, Empowering Creation)

Natural laws, adaptation, evolution, bodily systems, seasonal changes, migration patterns, and even human thought and action. Any movement of creation is both enabled and empowered by God – although people can use it for harm if they wish.


Scripture

  • Isaiah 26:12

  • Phil. 2:13

  • John 15:5
     

Governance
(Guiding Creation Through Natural and Supernatural Means) 

  • God works through natural law

  • God works through humans – not through coercion but through persuasion and enabling and perhaps stoking or encouraging our the goodness in us 

  • God may permit, hinder, overrule, or limit our sins

    • God permits our sin and the consequences of it

    • God hinders by creating obstacles that make it difficult for us to sin (although not impossible)

    • God overrules by using our sin for his purposes (Joseph & his brothers)

    • God limits by going ahead and preventing or preparing a way of escape

  • Supernatural (Miracles)

 

Heretical Views of the Care of Creation (From Oden’s Classic Christianity)

  • Pantheism – God is creation

  • Deism – God created but doesn’t participate

  • Dualism – Good and evil compete for control

  • Indeterminism – There is no intelligible control over the word

  • Determinism – The world is absolutely controlled so that is destroys human responsibility, freedom, and accountability

  • Omnicausality – God does everything like a puppet master putting on a show

  • Chance – The controlling power is not intelligible, personal, or rational

  • Fate – The controlling power is not benevolent or free

 

Did God create pain? Did God create evil?

 

God created a good world where creatures had freedom to do evil. In that sense, God permitted evil but others made it manifest. Evil only came as a result of intentional disobedience to God’s will and God’s plan from those that were not God.

Evil can be attributed to God but only as God is the first cause for all things. It’s an indirect effect. God does not directly cause evil.

Evil is the absence or perversion of what’s good just as cold is nothing more than the absence of heat. As God is good and created all things good it was only through direct disobedience that evil was made possible.

A free world without evil is impossible.

A world without freedom is not good.

Evil is temporary, will be judged, and sentenced to death.

Waite Park Church is a multi-generational, neighborhood church that strives to share the life Jesus promised in our community and around the world.

ADDRESS

1510 33rd Ave NE

Minneapolis, MN  55418

(612) 781-7434

office@waiteparkchurch.org

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