Summary: A sermon on creation ex nihilo (adapted from Dr. Jack Cottrell's book, God Most High, chapter 3)
GOD is like GENERAL ELECTRIC ... He brings good things to life. A newer slogan for them is “Imagination at Work.” God imagined it and it came to be. GOD is like SEARS ... He has everything. Another slogan for Sears: Where It Begins. God is where it all begins.
Want to learn about God. Let’s start at the very beginning a very good place to start. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Genesis 1:1, NIV.
In the beginning- “In the beginning you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands.” Psalms 102:25, NIV.
God- “yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.” 1 Corinthians 8:6, NIV.
Created the heavens and the earth- “God, who created all things.” Ephesians 3:9, NIV.
One who does not know God as creator, does not know God. Knowledge of God must begin with the doctrine of creation. The whole Christian faith rests upon this foundation.
Thesis: Three basic ideas this morning about creation
Creation ex nihilo (from nothing)
God created without using any preexisting material.
The universe was not made out of God’s own essence. Everything is God, no!
The universe was not formed out of a mass of eternally existing matter. Out of nothing
Before creation there was nothing except God. After creation in addition to God there was also universe which was not God but rather was distinct from God’s own being and existence.
I believe in the Big Bang Theory: Show the bumper sticker.
Some may feel uncomfortable with the concept of creation from nothing because the term ex nihilo is not found in the Bible. Even so, the concept is taught in both OT and NT:
Genesis 1:1-2. Some might read into this a concept that is not there when putting these two verses together. Some say from vs. 2 that God took preexisting material and formed heavens and the earth. With that idea it seems that vs. 1 is unnessary. Why not just start with vs. 2 if God made the earth out of stuff already here? Vs. 1 uses the word created and this word means an extraordinary act, the initiating of something new. Not enough for some people.
Go to John 1 and read first three verses. Talking mainly about vs. 3. John is using the language of Genesis 1:1 because it is used twice in John 1:1-2. The main point is discussing the Word or Christ in relation to the creation. John is exalting the Logos, Word, and placing Him in the category of God, but declaring that He shares eternal preeexistence with God the Father. He was “in the beginning” with God. This equates the Logos with deity and also sets Him apart from all created beings. Two things possible: all things came into being ex nihilo- from nothing- or there are some things out there who have existed eternally with the Word apart from God. This cannot be. For this to be would deny the whole point of the passage.
“By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.” Hebrews 11:3, NIV. Things were not made out of other things. No preexisting material.
“As it is written: “I have made you a father of many nations.” He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed--the God who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were.” Romans 4:17, NIV. We see here the two greatest works of God laid side by side: giving life to the dead, and calling things into existence out of non existence.
One day a group of scientists got together and decided that man had come a long way and no longer needed God. So they picked one scientist to go and tell Him that they were done with Him. The scientist walked up to God and said, “God, we’ve decided that we no longer need you. We’re to the point that we can clone people and do many miraculous things, so why don’t you just go on and get lost.” God listened very patiently to the man. After the scientist was done talking, God said, “Very well, how about this?” Let’s say we have a man making contest.” To which the scientist replied, “Okay, great!” But God added, “Now, we’re going to do this just like I did back in the old days with Adam.” The scientist said, “Sure, no problem,” and bent down and grabbed himself a handful of dirt. God looked at him and said, “No, no. You go get your own dirt!”