Behind the creation of everything in the universe stands the living God who had eternally existed as God but had not always been Creator. But here He becomes Creator and He creates everything...absolutely everything.
A while back, scientists used specifically equipped airplanes to study the composition of meteors. The reason, as reported by the Associated Press, to hopefully find clues to how organic chemicals were first brought to Earth. Well if you want to know how life came to Earth, look no further than your Bible. It spells out exactly how all things began. And today on Grace to You, John MacArthur continues his series from the book of Genesis showing you the Creator who put His glory on display in bringing the universe into existence. The title of John's current study, The Battle for the Beginning.
So turn to Genesis chapter 1 and here is John MacArthur. The Bible opens with a monumental statement. In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. And with that statement, the Word of God, Holy Scripture, affirms the existence of the universe and everything in it as the product of God's creative act.
It's a very important statement. We are here shown in this verse that evolution, the dominant theory of science, is not true. What exists, exists not because it evolved but because God created it. We've tried to show that evolution is not scientific. Evolution is not reasonable. Evolution is impossible and irrational. We've been saying that there has never been one shred of evidence that matter on any level chemically can or will...can or will organize itself all by itself. Even when energized, let alone organizing itself by itself upward to viable life and continually higher life and finally reaching human life.
There has never been one shred of evidence that matter does that or can do that. It was over a hundred years ago that Louis Pasteur proved that spontaneous biogenesis cannot occur. A cell cannot increase its complexity. A cell cannot add information necessary in its DNA or its genetic code to take itself to a higher level. That is impossible. It has never been done.
It has never been seen. Evolution with its theory of chaos and its theory of unintelligent matter existing in random features, organizing itself by chance into highly complex forms and ultimately to the level of human intelligence and personality is so preposterous and so impossible and so scientifically inaccurate that no honest person could believe it. Evolution is a violation of all that modern science knows to be true. On the other hand, we don't need evolution to explain anything because we just read how it happened in Genesis 1 to 1. Inorganic matter cannot organize itself upward to become organic matter. Organic matter cannot organize itself by random features to become more complex and ultimately reach the level of human intelligence and personality.
That can't and doesn't happen. Well people ask, and this is a very popular view today, but couldn't God, we acknowledge God, we acknowledge a Creator, but couldn't God have used evolution after creating the original matter? Couldn't God have used evolution in the sense of theistic evolution?
No, God couldn't have used evolution because evolution is impossible. Evolution assumes that matter can organize itself upward by itself. A. E. Wilder Smith, a brilliant scientist who has done some literally groundbreaking work on this subject and who is a staunch creationist wrote, The necessary information to build man does not reside in the few elements it takes to compose him, end quote. You cannot explain man even by the components that he can be reduced to in a lab. Genetic information cannot come from nowhere. Genetic information cannot rise spontaneously, nor does matter itself operate itself into organizing itself into some higher level of complexity.
Well you get the message. Everything requires information from the outside. Intelligence is critical to all matter and all energy, information from an intelligent life-giving source, namely God. There shouldn't be any question about how the universe came into existence.
It is clearly answered right in verse 1 of the Bible. And I believe...I think it's accurate to say that if there was a theory other than evolution except divine creation, if there was something other than divine creation or evolution, scientists would line up to get it. Scientists would gladly take a more rational explanation or a rational explanation than to continue to postulate evolution, but they don't have any alternative except divine creation and that is intolerable to sinful men because the Creator is also the moral authority of the universe and the judge of all men.
Evolution doesn't make any sense at all. On the other hand, the Bible does. Now starting in verse 2, the first chapter of the Bible expands on verse 1. Verse 1 says that God created the heavens and the earth and starting in verse 2 we find out how. And the earth was formless and void and darkness was over the face of the deep or the surface of the deep and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. Then God said, Let there be light and there was light. And God saw that the light was good and God separated the light from the darkness and God called the light day and the darkness He called night and there was evening and there was morning one day. Then God said, Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters and let it separate the waters from the waters and God made the expanse and separated the waters which were below the expanse from the waters which were above the expanse and it was so.
And God called the expanse heaven and there was evening and there was morning a second day. And God said, Let the waters below the heavens be gathered into one place and let the dry land appear and it was so. And God called the dry land earth and the gathering of the waters He called seas and God saw that it was good. And God said, Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed and fruit, trees bearing fruit after their kind with seed in them on the earth and it was so.
The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed after their kind and trees bearing fruit with seed in them after their kind and God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning a third day. Then God said, Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years and let them be for lights in the expanse of the heaven to give light on the earth and it was so. And God made the two great lights, the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night, He made the stars also. And God placed them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth and to govern the day and the night and to separate the light from the darkness and God saw that it was good.
And there was evening and there was morning a fourth day. Then God said, Let the waters teem with swarms of living creatures and let birds fly above the earth in the open expanse of the heavens and God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves with which the waters swarmed after their kind and every winged bird after its kind and God saw that it was good. And God blessed them saying, Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas and let birds multiply on the earth.
And there was evening and there was morning a fifth day. Then God said, Let the earth bring forth living creatures after their kind, cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth after their kind and it was so. And God made the beasts of the earth after their kind and the cattle after their kind and everything that creeps on the earth after its kind and God saw that it was good. And God said, Let us make man in our image according to our likeness and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth. And God created man in His own image.
In the image of God He created him male and female, He created them. And God blessed them and God said to them, Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth. Then God said, Behold I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth and every tree which has fruit yielding seed, it shall be for food for you.
And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the sky and to everything that moves on the earth which has life, I have given every green plant for food and it was so. And God saw all that He had made and behold it was very good and there was evening and there was morning the sixth day. Thus the heavens and the earth were completed and all their hosts and by the seventh day God completed His work which He had done and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done.
Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made. Now there is the accurate eyewitness account of the creation of the universe. The creation account is laid out from Genesis 1-1 to Genesis 2-3. And the outline of the book of Genesis falls into two parts. The first part is the creation, Genesis 1-1 to 2-3. The second part is called the generations. Starting in chapter 2 verse 4, you start to follow the history of man. The whole creation, 1-1 to 2-3, starting in 2-4, you start to follow the history of man all the way to the end of Genesis and through the patriarchal period. We could say then that Genesis 1-1 gives a general and inclusive account of creation. God created the heavens and the earth.
You cannot make a broader statement than that. That covers everything. That's a way of saying God created everything in the universe, everything that exists, whether you're talking about galaxies or whether you're talking about nebulae or solar systems, whether you're talking about those things that are at the farthest reaches of the universe in space, or whether you're talking about the smallest grain of sand, or whether you're talking about a bacterial microbe on the planet earth, absolutely everything was created by God. He is the Creator of all things visible and invisible, and all things means everything from various ranks of angels, every form of life from whales and elephants to viruses, everything. All things include every form of energy, every form of matter, the speed of light, nuclear structure, electromagnetism, gravity, every law by which nature operates was created within the framework of this creation. All things...all things behind the creation of everything in the universe stands the living God who had eternally existed as God but had not always been Creator. But here He becomes Creator and He creates everything, absolutely everything. Starting in chapter 2 verse 4, as I said, He singles out man and goes back over the creation of man and then tells the story of man, which flows right really to the end of Scripture.
But this is the only eyewitness account of creation, Genesis 1, 1 to 2, 3. It is not allegory. There's nothing in the Hebrew text or in the English text, for that matter, to indicate that this is a fanciful story, that this is some kind of an allegorical picture.
There's nothing here to indicate that this is some kind of mystical poetry, that this sign is some kind of lyrical literary style that is something other than actual history. To put it to you, this is purely expressed history from God written down by Moses. The Creator Himself gave Moses this accurate account of history and we accept the Scripture as inspired of God and inerrant. And there's nothing in this text to indicate that it's anything other than plain history. Now when it says in verse 1, in the beginning, God created, it uses the word bara.
Bara when used in what's called the cal-stem of Hebrew is used in Scripture only with reference to the divine work of God. It has a uniqueness about it here and that uniqueness is its absoluteness. It means basically that the infinite, eternal, personal, triune God of the universe brought things into existence which were not in existence prior to this moment. He created, the Latin says, ex nihilo, out of nothing. That is, there was no preexisting material.
Hebrews 11, 3 says, through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the Word of God so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. The things that we see in the created universe were not made from something else. They were made from nothing, ex nihilo, without preexisting material.
So it's a way of saying everything around us, your body, the bench you're sitting on, the building you're in, the streets around us, the trees, the flowers, the city, the state, the nation, the continent, the world, all of it, the stars, the moon, everything. Everything you can see, everything you can't see, protozoa, amoeba, or sheer dust, any arrangement of matter at all came into existence instantaneously out of no preexisting material. It didn't come from things that do appear. It came from nothing. And Genesis is the only record of creation. It is the only source of creation information. Now as we look at this first verse, how did God create? By what method? We've already suggested to you that He couldn't have used evolution for two reasons, we affirm that.
Number one, the text of Genesis 1 leaves no room for evolution, and two, evolution doesn't happen. How did He do it? How did God do this?
Very simple, really. Verse 3, and God said, let there be light and there was light. Verse 6, and then God said, let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters and let it separate the waters from the heavens.
And that's what happened. Verse 9, then God said, let the waters below the heavens be gathered into one place, let the dry land appear, and it was so. Verse 11, then God said, let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, fruit trees bearing fruit after their kind with seed in them on the earth, and it was so. Verse 14, then God said, let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens, separate the day from the night, let them be for signs and for seasons, for days and years, let them be for lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, and it was so. Verse 20, then God said, let the waters teem with swarms of living creatures, let birds fly above the earth in the open expanse of heaven, and goes on to talk about that creation, and God saw it and it was good. And then in verse 24, then God said, let the earth bring forth living creatures after their kind, cattle and creeping things and the beasts of the earth after their kind, and it was so. Verse 26, then God said, let's make man. How did God do this?
What was His method? He spoke. He spoke. He spoke it into existence out of nothing.
This is...this is God. Psalm 33, 6 and 9, by the Word of the Lord were the heavens made and all the hosts of them by the breath of His mouth, for He spoke and it was done, He commended and it was established. That is the psalmist's affirmation of the Genesis account of creation. God said, let there be, let there be, let there be, and every time He said it, there was.
This is what we call fiat creation. He willed it and spoke it into existence. Psalm 148 5 says, He spoke and they were created. This is where everything came from. It didn't exist. God willed it to exist. He spoke and it came into existence. That is the divine account of creation. In Mark 13 19 it talks about the beginning of the creation which God created, just in case somebody might question. And you have that all through the New Testament, the emphasis on the fact that God created.
Matthew 19 4, Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female? Again and again the Scripture makes reference to God as Creator. Romans 1 says, It's so evident that God is the Creator that if you don't see it, you're without excuse. Colossians, that great first chapter, verse 16 where it says, By Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisibles, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities, all things have been created by Him and for Him.
That sums it up. That is always the biblical, the New Testament and Old Testament affirmation of God as Creator. Hebrews 1 10, And thou, Lord, in the beginning didst lay the foundation of the earth and the heavens are the works of Thy hands. I mean, Scripture just continually affirms God as the Creator and He created simply by willing it and then speaking it into existence. Listen to Romans 4 17, this is another testimony. It says, As it is written, A father of many nations have I made you, in the sight of Him whom he believed, even God. And here's the definition of God, God who gives life to the dead, listen to this, and calls into being that which does not exist.
That's Romans 4 17. Creation is God calling into existence what does not exist. There's no room in that for evolution.
Evolution is something appearing that has mutated from something else. That's not creation. At a particular point in eternity, the eternal God spoke everything into existence, made up of components which had never before existed. Therefore we say the material space, time, universe had an absolute beginning, not some kind of relative beginning. And the plain...go back to Genesis...the plain meaning of Genesis 1 1 is frankly not arguable.
It's unmistakable. In the beginning, God created everything. St. Augustine wrote in his confession, For you created them from nothing, not from your own substance or from some matter not created by yourself or already in existence, but from matter which you created at one and the same time as the things that you made from it, since there was no interval of time before you gave form to this formless matter, end quote. There was no preexisting material and nothing is in existence that God didn't create. John 1 3, All things came into being by Him and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. There isn't anything that exists that God didn't create. Go back to Genesis 1 for a moment and I want to remind you of something that's very important. All creation began and ended in six days, clearly.
There's...there's no...no argument about it. Look at chapter 2 verse 2, And by the seventh day God completed His work which He'd done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. He created the entire universe out of nothing, from no preexisting material, and He did it in six days. This is Grace To You with John MacArthur.
Thanks for being with us. For over five decades John has taught the Bible here on Grace To You. He's also Chancellor of the Masters University and Seminary. And our current series from the Bible's first book is titled The Battle for the Beginning. Now, if you've followed the creation versus evolution debate very much, you've heard professing Christians say the creation account is, well, embarrassing in light of the latest scientific evidence. And they'll tell you that taking a literal approach to the Genesis account may just cost us our credibility when it comes time to communicate the gospel.
What do you say about that, John? Well, if you don't believe the book of Genesis, it's because you don't believe the Bible. If you don't believe Genesis 1 and 2, it's because you don't believe the Bible. There is no evolution in chapter 1, and there is no evolution in chapter 2, and there is no evolution anywhere else in the Bible. And the Bible affirms that God is the Creator, and He's to be glorified as the Creator, and that He did it in six days and rested on the seventh day.
If you don't believe that, you don't believe the Bible. Science has nothing to do with it. Because creation is not a scientifically explainable event.
Yeah, you've made that point the last couple of days, and it's an interesting one. You're right that if you reject creation based on the fact that it's not scientific, it would take a miracle. What's to stop you from making a similar conclusion about the resurrection of Christ? Well, yeah, and the resurrection of Christ has no scientific explanation. The virgin birth of Christ has no scientific explanation. Any other miracle in the Bible has no scientific explanation. Why would you think that the most massive miracle ever, the creation of the entire universe in six days, has a scientific explanation? Science is simply deductions from observation. Nobody was there to observe that. And the very fact that any believer would allow some false claim of science to undermine the miraculous creation of God is, in fact, I think sinful.
I think it is stealing from God the glory that belongs to Him. So again, this isn't about whether you believe the Bible or science. Science has nothing to say about creation. Only God can tell us how He created. You've got to trust the Word of God.
That's the bottom line. I want to tell you about a book called Final Word. How should you believe that God inspires the Bible, every word of the Bible?
How can you be sure the Bible has no errors? Can you believe it to be relevant and pertinent today? Is it as true today as it was when it was written? Is it inspired?
Is it inerrant, sufficient, all of these things? Here's really exciting news. This hardcover book, Final Word, we will make it available to anyone who asks free of charge.
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You can call our customer service team at 800-55-GRACE or go to the website gty.org. Final Word shows you how to stand firm on the truth of Scripture and how to answer objections to the Bible's authority. It's a very helpful book, especially for new believers. And again, for a limited time, we'll send a free copy of Final Word to anyone who asks.
Just call us at 800-55-GRACE or go to gty.org. And if you're looking for more resources on the reliability of Scripture or creation or any biblical topic, let me encourage you to visit our website. We have thousands of free resources available on issues like the marks of saving faith, God's design for the family, the life of Christ, and much more. You will find 3500 full-length sermons, blog articles, other Bible study tools as well, and all of it will help you grasp the life-changing truth of God's Word and how it applies to you. Our website one more time, gty.org. Now for John MacArthur and the entire Grace To You staff, I'm Phil Johnson inviting you back tomorrow when John continues his series on the battle for the beginning with another 30 minutes of unleashing God's truth one verse at a time on Grace To You.
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