Then God said, that is to say, there is no process, millions of years, billions of years, thousands of years, add nothing to this, this is something that God completed. God simply said it and it came into existence. Welcome to Grace to You with John MacArthur.
I'm your host, Phil Johnson. A prominent biologist has said, evolution is doubted only by those who are ignorant of the evidence or who resist the evidence because of emotional blocks or plain bigotry. That's pretty much the view today from scientists and the media. The facts are in, evolution is real, you're a fool to dismiss it.
The question is, how does that stack up against the biblical record? And just how settled is the science when it comes to the theory of evolution? Consider that as John MacArthur continues his study from Genesis 1 titled, The Battle for the Beginning.
And now here's John with today's lesson. As I've been saying all along, and as science must attest, evolution is not possible, it is impossible. Any kind of spontaneous generation is impossible.
Any kind of upward complexity from simplicity is by chance impossible. Evolution has never been observed. Evolution has never been proven because it's impossible. And there is compelling, conclusive, unarguable evidence of a vast amount in every field of science to prove the utter and total impossibility of evolution, making all belief in evolution irrational and erroneous.
I've been exposed in this particular study to much more than I'm telling you about. I find myself reading and reading and reading and reading and then just pulling out little pieces that I bring to you. But I'm being exposed to every field of science, which in the past I wasn't necessarily exposed to, and the more and more I read, the more vast becomes the wealth of information that demonstrates beyond argument how impossible evolution is and how clearly what exists has to be the result of a supernatural mind and a supernatural act of creation.
For a moment, for example, let's bring it down to a smaller level. We go from the vastness of this amazing and immense universe to the minutest complexity of life, deoxyribonucleic acid, DNA. This is the material that we've been talking about in the past that carries the life code for the function of every organism, DNA. Now let me just tell you a little bit about DNA. DNA exists in every single cell.
Did you get that? In every single cell. Now just to make that come right down to where you are, just take a look at your body. You have in your body 100 or so trillion cells. Every one of those cells has a little strip, an actual material, physical strip of DNA. It is a copy of coded information and it's coiled up, it's in a coil in every single cell in every living organism including you. Now you have 46 segments in that little coil. Twenty-three of those came from your father and twenty-three of those came from your mother to make the 46. The combination then of your father and your mother's DNA and giving you 23 of each made the 46 uniquely formed to determine what you look like, much of your personality and abilities and precisely and explicitly that little coil determines exactly how every single cell in your body is to function throughout your entire life. That little cell operates off that little coil and the code on that coil.
Now let's get a little wild here. If the 46 segments of DNA in one of your cells and every one of your cells has the same 46 little DNA components, let's just uncoil them. If we just took one little cell and got the little coiled DNA strip and stretched it out, it would be seven feet long. It would be really thin. It would be so thin, I'm told we couldn't see it under an electron microscope, but if it were stretched out, it would be seven feet long. That's in every one of your hundred trillion cells.
It would be so thin that the details of it couldn't be seen. However, listen to this, if all the DNA in your body, let's just take all of it and stretch it out and connect it together, it would stretch from here to the moon one-half million times. Pretty incredible you are, huh? If all this very densely coded information were placed in typewritten form, if it was just typed out in you, just for you, it would fill the Grand Canyon fifty times.
That's how fearfully and wonderfully you're made, Psalm 139 4 says. So if you want numbers, I give you numbers. You can go to the farthest, most vast complexity of the universe, or you can look into the smallest complexity of the cells within the human body and all you're going to see is the hand of an intelligent and powerful Creator. Now let's take something in between.
We've been real big and real small. Let's take something not so big, not so small, your brain. I'm not going to get personal about what size you might have, but let's talk about your brain. There are so many things I could say about the brain. The study of the brain is truly an amazing, amazing study. Your brain has one...about one hundred thousand billion electrical connections.
Did you get that? One hundred thousand billion of them, 10 to the 14th power. In fact, your brain has more electrical connections than all the electrical appliances on the face of the earth. Yet your brain with its hundred thousand billion electrical connections fits in a quart jar and operates for 70 years on 10 watts of power fueled largely by cheeseburgers and French fries.
Well, enough about your brain lest we get more personal. The only reasonable view is that the universe was created by God, more powerful, more complex and more intelligent than we could ever, ever imagine. We don't have to imagine. We don't have to wonder how He did it because He told us how He did it. We have the account. I read source after source after source after source of evolutionary scientists trying to explain how the universe evolved into existence.
It's useless and hopeless. We don't need that explanation. In six days God made it and in one day He filled the universe with all the stars, suns and moons. Now let's go back to the text. The creation is introduced in verse 1 with an overview statement.
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. That's the summary statement. In that statement you have everything that is knowable categorized.
Herbert Spencer died in 1903. He said that all that is knowable in the universe can be summed up in five categories, time, force, action, space and matter. Everything that exists can fit into that. That's exactly what it says in the first verse of the Bible. In the beginning that's time. God, that's force created.
That's action. The heavens, that's space. The earth, that's matter. It's all in that verse. That process is described from chapter 1 verse 2 down to chapter 2 verse 3. And that's the section we're looking at in Genesis. So day 1, the material to shape His universe into its final form and light. Day 2, He creates the expanse of heaven between the waters above and the waters below. Day 3, He separates the dry land from the water which He gathers into seas and creates the trees and the plants. That brings us to day 4.
Now we go back from the earth into heaven and He populates this vast expanse of heaven with the luminaries. That corresponds to day 1. On day 1, He created light. On day 4, He created the lights that become the means by which light is transmitted.
He attaches the light to stellar bodies. On day 2, He created the water below and kind of matching up with that on day 5, He created the fish for that water. On day 2, He also created the heavens above and on day 5, He created the birds to fly in that heaven. On day 3, He created the land and the plants and trees. And on day 6, paralleling that, He created man and land animals who would live on those plants and live on the dry land. So there's a wonderful parallel, day 1, light and then the parallel day 4, that being the lights. Day 2, the water and the heavens and day 5, the fish for the water, the birds for the heavens. Day 3, the dry land and the plants and day 6, paralleling that, man and the animals. So there are six days of creation that are wonderfully balanced.
There's a parallelism there as we noted. We come then to day 4. In day 4, as verse 14 says, God created lights. Go back to verse 3 and you'll read, then God said, let there be light. Then look at verse 14, then God said, let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens.
Now I want to remind you again of what is so very important to keep stating. All of this flow of creation is introduced with this little phrase, then God said. Verse 3, verse 6, verse 11, verse 14, verse 20, verse 24, verse 26 and verse 29, always the mode of creation, always the means of creation, then God said. That is to say, there is no process, there is no time. Time adds nothing to this, millions of years, billions of years, thousands of years add nothing to this. This is not some process that God initiated. This is something that God completed. God simply said it and it came into existence. I said long ago in the study, there's nothing in the text, there's nothing exegetical that leads to any other conclusion than what we've always called divine fiat creation.
He literally speaks it into existence. The moon, the sun, the stars, the galaxies, the billions upon billions of galaxies, everything that is in space, all of the material that is there, all the gases that are there, all the components, all the atoms that are there, everything that is there is there exactly the way it was when God made it. And the complexity of it literally staggers me. You look up and you think stars are in the same place all the time.
They're not. They're moving so relatively slowly to the viewpoint of earth that they appear to be in the same place all the time. We can actually chart our courses by them because they don't appear to be moving, but the fact is they are moving. Our own sun is taking our entire solar system and dragging it from one end of the universe to the other in an orbit that is huge. In fact, the whole Milky Way galaxy is in an orbit that scientists calculate takes 225 million years to complete. And everything else is in corresponding orbits.
The whole thing is incredible. And it all is doing now exactly what God designed it to do and created it to do in a simple word. Then God said, let there be and there was.
That's it. Let there be lights, verse 14. Let there be lights, often called luminaries. And the lights were to divide. Back in verse 4, light was to divide. God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light day, the darkness He called night.
There was evening, there was morning, one day. So at the very outset when He created light, before there was a moon, before there were stars, before there was sun, there was light. It wasn't attached to any of those celestial bodies, but there was light. God created light. Light is not created by stars.
Light is not created by the sun. Light is simply created by God and attached to those luminaries. God said, let there be lights. And lights, luminaries, celestial bodies shining were to divide, verse 18 says, to separate the light from the darkness, just the same purpose that the original creation of light had intended to accomplish. And so we have the creation of light in verse 1, which identifies day and night and the evening and the morning and the first solar day, 24-hour day, and it's now that same light for that same purpose attached to these heavenly bodies, the sun, the moon, and the stars that are identified down in verse 16. Now notice again in verse 14, let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens. So we know that when God created the lights, they were to be placed into this expanse that is between the waters below and the waters above. Wherever those waters went, the heaven of heavens is between them. Now the creation of light on day four does produce an important issue because light was already shining, and I've referred to this a couple of times.
I want to make sure you're clear on it. People always say, well, you can't have light shining all over the place without any stars, without any sun, without any moon because the light that we know comes from those sources. And they say if there wasn't any sun, there couldn't be any plants on day three. How could God create plants on day three and a sun on day four? Because photosynthesis, which is critical to the life of plants, doesn't exist apart from the sun, and so this doesn't make any sense and critics depreciate the text of Scripture on that basis. But this is really silly.
This is trivial. There was light already on day one. And where there is light, there is heat. And where there is light and heat, there is photosynthesis. The requisite conditions for plant life to survive on day three were already in existence because light was already there doing what light always does.
It just hadn't been specifically attached to these stellar bodies. It is evident to all of us, should be evident, that stars and the sun are not the creators of light. God is the creator of light. He happens to use them as radiating bearers of light that was already there before them and without them. So God took the light He had already created and attached it to the luminaries He made on day four.
By the way, I thought this was interesting. John Calvin wrote in his commentary on Genesis this brief statement, the only difference is this, that the light was before dispersed but now proceeds from lucid bodies, which in serving this purpose obeyed the command of God. Long before any space travel, John Calvin knew the text of Scripture had it right, light existed, and it was at this point simply connected to these bodies. Now, follow along because this is very important as we look at the text. This account of the creation of the lights defines their purpose in three functions, three functions.
They're very clear. Number one function, verse 14, to separate the day from the night. Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And each of these three functions is introduced by the phrase, let there be, or let them. The first function, to separate the day from the night.
So we can say, if you're making a little outline, the first function of these was to separate, to separate. Now in order to separate one thing from another, in order to mark a distinction between two things, those two things must already be in existence. Darkness already was in existence, we know that back in verse 1. Light came into existence also on day one, so it was already in existence. This affirms that day existed without the sun and night existed without the moon and without the stars. Again, the sun is not the cause of daylight because there had already been three periods of daylight and three periods of dark before day four. But God created these bearers of light and gave to them the task of separation. And now from our standpoint, it is the sun that brings us the light. In the day, it is the sun that brings us the light at night along with the stars. The first purpose then of these luminaries was to separate the day from the night, or to create a day as we know it, a 24-hour day. The second thing was to dominate. First to separate, secondly to dominate. Follow in the text and it says in verse 14, and let them...and there's that let them again indicating a second category...let them be for signs.
What kind of signs? For seasons and for days and years. Now the verb here, let them be, means let them serve. God gave these luminous bodies to serve. Let them be as signs used in its normal connotation as a sign to the inhabitants of the earth. And what were they signs of?
Well it tells you there. They were signs pointing to seasons and days and years. That is to say, these stellar bodies would divide the year into seasons and they would divide the year...they would divide time, I should say, into seasons and into days and years. So you have seasonal times as well as calendar times. And that's true.
That's true. It is the moon, as you well know, that determines the months. And in the course of the movement of the moon through its somewhat odd orbit, it also generates the seasons.
The sun does the same because the earth is tilted on its axis. It causes the sun to be at varying distances from its surface at different points on the globe at different times of the year, which produces the seasons which are critical for the rejuvenation of life and the growing of crops and the flourishing of the earth and the blessing of mankind. God designed the sun and the moon to function in determining seasons. God also designed in particular the sun to serve in the matter and the moon to serve in the matter of days because a 24-hour day is simply determined by the fact that that's the cycle from sunset to sunset, or sunrise to sunrise, morning and evening, one period of time where the sun is shining and one period of time where the night is lit by the moon and stars. So God in determining the orbit of the sun...of the earth around the sun and the orbit of the moon around the earth determined a day. A day then is determined by the earth's rotation around its axis. One 24-hour period is the time of the earth's rotation. But it is also true that the sun is a determiner of years because it takes one full year for the rotating earth, each rotation meaning a day, to continue its orbit all the way around the sun.
That's a 365-day time period. So God created the sun and it dominates in the sense that it dominates life on the earth. It is the agency by which our time in light and dark is determined. It is the agency along with the moon by which seasons are determined.
It is the agency by which the calendar year is determined. Therefore, it is the celestial bodies that dominate our life. They dictate to us when we...when we work and when we rest, when we are awake and when we sleep, when we eat and when we don't.
By the way, an interesting footnote. It is the rotation of the earth on its axis that determined a 24-hour day. It is the rotation of the moon's orbit around the earth that determines the month. And it is the earth's rotation around the sun that determines the year. Did you ever ask yourself what determines a week? There is nothing in the celestial bodies that determines a week.
And yet universally across the face of the earth, mankind lives by weeks. Where do you think they got that out of Genesis chapter 1? That was the period of time in which God created the universe. This is Grace to You with John MacArthur, Chancellor of the Masters University and Seminary.
And today John continued his study titled, The Battle for the Beginning, an in-depth look at God's miraculous creative work. And John, I know you don't have some predisposition to believe that the world is just a few thousand years old. It's not as if you're looking for reasons to deny evolution just to be contrary. You're simply submitting to the clear teaching of Scripture. I'm sure some of our listeners want to know why you do that. Why do you submit all of life to the Bible?
So talk about that a little. Well because the Bible is the word of God, every word is pure, every word is true. And God is the creator and author of life and author of everything that exists, so he knows the reality of everything. Not only in the material world, but in the spiritual world, God is the final authority because he is the creator and the consummator of everything that exists.
It really is that absolute then. Any other truth claim that came to you, you would measure against God's word. Yeah, every truth claim has to be measured against the word of God, whether it's a scientific truth claim, or whether it's a psychological truth claim, or it's a behavioral truth claim, or spiritual truth claim, is always subject to the Bible as the plumb line, the absolute authority. If I didn't believe that, if I did not believe that the Bible was the word of God and the final authority, I couldn't teach it as such. That would be hypocritical.
I would be duping people. I would be using a device that was, if it wasn't authoritative, I would be using a device that was being deceptive. So the word of God is just that, the Bible, 66 books, Old Testament and New Testament, and God is the author of all of it, and it is the final word on everything. And that leads me to say, we want to mention a book called Final Word, a subtitle, Why We Need the Bible. Why We Need the Bible.
Final Word. This is really a great book, and we're going to send it free to anyone who asks for it. This is the foundation of everything we do, and this is the foundation of life. This is the foundation of everyone's life and everyone's destiny, understanding the final word from God. Without God's word, we wouldn't know how or why God created.
We wouldn't have any inspired record of the Lord Jesus Christ and what He did for us on the cross and in His resurrection. But we do have it all in the word of God. The Bible is the final word. And in this book, I respond to the attacks and defend the authority, inerrancy, and sufficiency of the Bible. Again, the good news, Final Word is available to anyone who asks free of charge. We can only do that for a limited time. Get in touch with us today and ask for a copy of Final Word.
Yes, make sure you do that soon. This book will show you how to stand firm in the truth of Scripture and how to answer any objection to the Bible's authority. Request your free copy of Final Word when you contact us today. You can call toll free at 855-GRACE, and that number translates to 800-554-7223. Or you can take advantage of this offer at our website GTY.org. Again, we'll send you this book on the life-changing power of the Bible for free.
Just ask for Final Word when you call 800-55-GRACE, or go to GTY.org. That's our website, and when you visit there, make sure you download both of our apps. The Grace to You Sermon app gives you access to 3500 of John's sermons. The Study Bible app provides the full text of Scripture in the English Standard King James and New American Standard versions. And for a nominal price, you can add the notes from the MacArthur Study Bible.
Both of those apps are available free of charge for Apple and Android devices at GTY.org. That's our web address one more time, GTY.org. Now for John MacArthur, I'm Phil Johnson. Thanks for joining us for this Tuesday edition of Grace to You, and make sure you're here at the same time tomorrow when John looks at day four of creation. He continues his look at Genesis 1 with another 30 minutes of unleashing God's truth one verse at a time on Grace to You.
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