Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Why Did God Create?

"For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen" (Romans 11:36).

Why did God create the world? One of the most foolish answers advanced is that God was lonely and needed to create someone with whom to have fellowship. The Christian doctrine of the tri-unity of God stands completely against any such idea. God has eternal fellowship within Himself, and has no need to create anything. Creation results completely from His sovereign will.

Some have said the purpose of creation was to prepare the way for redemption: God created it and predestined the fall of man so Jesus could redeem the world. At first glance, this notion looks very pious, since it focuses on Jesus and His work. As we shall see, however, it is inadequate to explain God’s purposes as the Bible sets them out.

Looking at Genesis 1, some have said that the purpose of creation was to provide a world for man’s glory and happiness. Man, after all, is the crown of creation, and the world was made for him. This idea is a distortion of the truth that man was created as the chief of creation, and in Jesus Christ is restored to that authority. Even in Genesis 1–2, however, the sixth day, on which man was made, was not the last day. The seventh day was the last day, and shows the goal and purpose of creation.

On the seventh day, God rested from His work and sanctified the time of His rest. God is glorified in holiness on the seventh day. Man was created to glorify God, and can only find fulfillment in serving the Creator-king. Man is the penultimate goal of creation; the glory of God is the ultimate goal. One way in which God is glorified by His creation is when we live in holiness and righteousness before Him. This, after all, is the response to the question, “What is the chief end of man?” in the Westminster Confession.

How can a fallen world please and glorify God? He is glorified through His just punishment of the wicked and through His merciful act of redemption at Calvary. Jesus fulfilled the purpose of creation and is enthroned in glory. As the redeemed people of God we seek to obey Him that we might manifest His glory and holiness in the world. Only by Christ and in Christ is it possible for the creation to shine with the fullness of the majesty of God.

Genesis 2:15 says that man was commissioned to “dress” (improve, glorify) the world, and to “keep” (guard) it. How does this relate to today’s lesson? In your own calling in life, make God’s glory manifest in the world in these two respects.