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Creation Day 6, Part 1 B

Grace To You / John MacArthur
The Truth Network Radio
May 16, 2023 4:00 am

Creation Day 6, Part 1 B

Grace To You / John MacArthur

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When God created man, He immediately said it is not good for man to be alone.

Why? Because the image of God is the capacity for personal relationships, and most importantly, for a personal relationship with God. Struggling to believe that DNA could result from evolution alone, Francis Crick, one of the two scientists who discovered the structure of DNA, co-wrote a paper that proposed a theory called directed panspermia. It basically says that aliens brought DNA to earth. That's one of the more creative and tragic ways that brilliant people have tried to find an alternative explanation to the creation account in Genesis. Thankfully, you can know exactly how DNA and everything else in this world came to exist, because it's all laid out in Genesis 1. I would encourage you to turn there now in your Bible as John MacArthur continues his study on grace to you, titled, The Battle for the Beginning.

And now here's John. Now we find out about the creation of man on Day 6. Let's look at the text of Genesis chapter 1 verse 24.

And the pattern of creation is the same as it was on the other days. 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 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. Now we've already been through the first five days of creation. The first five days really were outfitting the house in which man would live. Man is king of the earth. Man is the pinnacle of God's creation, created in God's image, and all the rest of the creation simply provided his house.

Preparation for man's arrival on the scene. And even on day six, as I just read, there was a finishing touch in creation. On day five, you remember, God had created all the animals in the sea and all of the birds in the sky.

And so, at the beginning of day six, it was necessary to create the earth creatures who are identified in verse 24 and 25 in three categories, cattle creeping things and beasts of the earth. That was the final touch as God was preparing the house that man would live in. Man was the object.

Man was the main issue here. It was the creation of man with his redemptive purpose that God really had in mind. We find the text of Scripture spending more time on the creation of man than any other element of the creation. And also, all of chapter 2 expands that creation of man because it is so critical.

Let me give you a little bit of a parallel. The sixth day, creation of animals and man, corresponds to the third day. On the third day, the earth was created. On the sixth, the living creatures on the earth were made.

On the third day, immediately after the organization of inanimate nature had been completed, the plants whose dominion extends throughout the earth were brought into being. So, too, on the sixth day when vegetation and animal life had been fully established, man who bears the rule over all created life on the earth was formed. So this corresponds to the sixth day.

And we've seen those parallels all the way through. Day one corresponds to day four. Day two corresponds to day five.

And day three corresponds to day six. Now the pattern is the same, verse 24, then God said, verse 25, and God made. Those are really parallels God creates literally by speaking things into existence.

In Hebrew fashion, typical Hebrew fashion, this work of creation is repeated in two different ways to seal the unmistakable clarity of the record. Then God said is a parallel statement and God made, which reinforces what then God said accomplished. And in general, God said, let the earth bring forth living creatures. These are land animals, the sea animals already created on day five, the air animals, the birds and those that fly created on day five, only the land animals remained. By the way, they didn't evolve, they were created instantaneously, created living creatures. And it refers to the land animals in three categories.

I think they're quite fascinating, by the way. And these would not agree with contemporary taxonomy, I guess you could call it, temporary categorization of animals such as amphibians and reptiles and all of that and mammals and so forth and so on. The Bible just gives you three simple categories, cattle, creeping things, beasts of the earth. Cattle likely, and I think almost all Hebrew scholars agree on this, is a word that speaks of animals which can be tamed and domesticated for man's use. We think immediately, when we think of domesticated, we think of a dog, but that's not what the Bible would have in mind since a dog really has no use unless you've trained it to get the paper.

Apart from that, it has no use. They can't pull a plow and I suppose a dog can herd sheep if it's appropriately trained and maybe there is a use there and that would fit into that category. But generally these would be the kind of animals, for example, that would provide milk such as a goat and a cow, an animal that could be ridden such as a beast of burden and things like that. Animals that can be tamed and domesticated and used by man. And then the second category is creeping things, of course immediately comes to mind, snakes and lizards and things like that, but it probably stretches beyond that. Anything that creeps or crawls on the ground, that would include a whole world of insects as well as, and most Hebrew scholars would say also, it refers to small animals with short legs who appear to just be scurrying across like the rabbits that come all the time into our yard and eat the flowers. Short legged, one Hebrew writer says, animals with short legs whose bellies are not far from the ground, insects, rodents as well as snakes and amphibians, etc., etc. Such animals are referred to, by the way, in Leviticus chapter 11, verse 29, these are to you the unclean among the swarming things which swarm on the earth, the mole, the mouse, the great lizard, the gecko, which is a kind of lizard, the crocodile, the lizard, the sand reptile, and the chameleon. So there you have a combination of those things, the mole, the mouse, along with the reptiles.

And that's probably a pretty general category for creeping things. And then the third category, beasts of the earth, would be four legged animals of some size which are generally not tamed. You know, we think immediately of lions and giraffe and elephants and rhinos and hippos and tigers and animals like that that are not domesticated for any purposes of man, generally speaking, although it is possible, I suppose, at least to use the Indian elephant. But in general, this would be the large mammals that roam the earth in an untamed or wild form. And so there you have it.

I mean, there's really nothing more to say. There are domestic animals and there are non-domestic animals. There are those that are above ground and there are those that are creeping and crawling around on the ground. That's the categories.

Now this general classification, as I say, has really no relationship to the arbitrary system of man-made taxonomy. It's just a simple natural system. Now I want to point out the fact that all three were simultaneously made because look at verse 24, cattle, creeping things, beasts of the earth. Somebody might say, oh, the cattle came first and out of them evolved the creeping things and out of them evolved the beasts of the earth.

That's a problem because you have repeat of the very same thing in verse 25, only it's in reverse order. The beasts of the earth come first, the cattle come second, and the creeping things come third. You see, the mixing of the order is a very good way to indicate to us that these were created simultaneously.

They weren't progressing out of each other, all simultaneously by the power of God created. No evolution, no struggle for existence, no survival of the fittest, no mutations at all. God just created all these animals. And isn't it astounding and amazing the variety of it all? I mean, just the variety of fish in the sea and animals including mammals that swim the seas is staggering and they're even discovering more. And there are thousands of categories of animals which are extinct already, the birds that fly in the sky.

Some people are into ornithology and they poke around with their little binoculars discovering all the wonders of birds in the sky. And then you see the animals and the insects and all the reptiles and all the things that crawl all over the earth. And it's just mind-boggling that God has such a vast capability intellectually to conceive of and design all these creatures. But He did. In verse 24, let the earth bring forth, let the earth bring forth.

Now why did He say that? Why did He say, let the earth bring forth? Well, I think it's just another way of saying, let them appear on the earth. But it also is true, and I need to point this out to you, that the bodies of animals are composed of the same elements as the earth. That's right, the bodies of animals are composed of the same chemical elements as the earth. And they come out of the earth to be shaped and formed and when they die, they go back to the earth, as it were, because they're made of the same elements. In fact, that is true of man even.

Look at chapter 2, verse 7, the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground. And so, with the same components that made the earth, God made the animals, same chemical material. Now, when He brought them forth, they're called living creatures.

And I just remind you that that's a very important concept. Plants are never called living creatures. Trees are never called living creatures. You have the vegetation created back in verse 11 and 12.

It is called vegetation there, some translated herbs, but the best translation is vegetation. But they're never called living creatures. When you go down to verse 20, the first time you have living creatures is when the creatures of the sea are created and the creatures of the air, the birds and the fish and others that are in the sea, they're called living creatures. And what did I tell you was the characteristic of living creatures? They move, plants don't.

They move and they have consciousness. Now notice again in verses 24 and 25, it repeats the phrase, after their kind, a couple of times in verse 24 and a couple of times again, three times actually, in verse 25. That is becoming very familiar to us. We have it ten times in Genesis 1, after their kind, after their kind, after their kind. Listen, let me say it as simply as I can. This indicates limitation of variation. This indicates limitation of variation. You don't want to get technical and say it means species or genus or family or phyla or whatever the scientific terms of categorization might be.

But what we will say is it means there is a limitation on variation. In each case, there is a genetic code. In each case, there is a DNA, a chromosomal strip that determines that living thing's nature and it will be true to its nature.

It can be varied within that DNA, but it cannot become something other than it is. That is controlled, as we've learned many times, by the DNA and that's implied by the concept of kind...of kind. Finally, the creation of these land creatures gets a comment from God at the end of verse 25. Basically, God saw that it was good.

God has been saying this, by the way, all along. Verse 4 tells us that God saw the light was good. Verse 10, God saw that the dry land and the sea was good. Verse 12, the plants were good. Verse 18, the stellar bodies, that was good too. Verse 21, the creatures of the sea and the air, that was good. Verse 25, the land animals, that was good. Finally, verse 31, after He made man, it was very good. Everything God made was good.

Now listen to this. No deformities, no mutations, no inferiorities, no natural selection, the survival of the fittest because there were no unfit animals. It was all good. There was no imperfection.

There was no natural selection. There was no inferiority at all. It was very good. And we'll say more about what very good means when we get to verse 31. At this point, everything was good.

It was good. There wasn't even death in the world. There wasn't even death in the world. Death wouldn't come until man sinned in chapter 3. At this point, the earth was ready for man. Man who was to be the king of the earth and have dominion over it.

But let's look at verses 26 and 27, at least look at it very briefly. We come to the epitome of God's creation. Then God said, let us make man in our image according to our likeness. 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.

Here it is. That's the apex of creation. That is the reason for it all. And again, you have the same formula. Verse 26, then God said. Verse 27, a parallel statement, and God created. And God created.

The very same formula. God speaks and creates, one and the same. This is what is called fiat creation. Fiat because the Latin word fiat means let there be.

God speaks it into existence. Let there be. Let there be.

We've heard that over and over and over. Let there be. Let there be. Let there be. But notice this. Hmm. Verse 26 doesn't say let there be. It says what?

Let us make man. This is brand new, folks. This is a very important difference. This is a major shift in the language all the way along. Verse 3, verse 6, verse 9, verse 11, verse 14, verse 20, verse 24. Let there be. Let there be. Let there be. Let there be.

That is an impersonal form of the Hebrew verb. Let there be. Let there be. Almost as if God is not intimately involved. Let there be. Let there be.

But here, let us make. At this point, God becomes personal. And, listen, because God is a Trinity, when He introduces Himself personally, it is in the plural language.

It is in the plural language. I mean, in John chapter 1 it says that Jesus Christ created all things that were made by Him and without Him was not anything made that was made. Here it says God created and John 1 it says Jesus created everything.

Even the Spirit of God is said to have shaped the creation earlier in Genesis 1. The whole Trinity is engaged in this. When God comes to the creation of the human race, He doesn't employ the impersonal fiat terminology, let there be, but He uses language that reveals He is speaking within Himself.

Let us...let us make man in our own image. You know what He's letting us in on? He's letting us in on a Trinitarian plan.

He's in communion with Himself about this most important of all creatures. Now I believe that this is a clear and...actually it's an unmistakable and inarguable reference to the Trinity. I admit, I think any Bible student does, that the full clarification of the doctrine of the Trinity awaits the New Testament. In the New Testament where you get the full theology, the full clarification of the theology of the Trinity.

But certainly the Trinity is evident in the Old Testament. You have the Spirit of God repeatedly referred to in the Old Testament. You have the angel of the Lord who is none other than the pre-incarnate Son of God. You have God Himself.

You have an inter-Trinitarian communication here, let us make man in our own image. You have the psalmist saying, and the Lord said to my Lord, a conversation between the Father, no doubt, and the Son. There are a number of revelations of the Trinity in the Old Testament. Psalm 2, the Father saying to the Son, today I've begotten You and given You the nations as an inheritance, a messianic promise, a prophetic promise in Psalm 2. There are a number of Trinitarian references in the Old Testament.

I don't mean to imply that there are not because there are. In fact, talking of Christ, the second member of the Trinity, Psalm 45, 7, thou hast loved righteousness, hated wickedness, therefore God, thy God has anointed thee with the oil of joy above thy fellows. Well that is a statement directly attributed to the Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ. That's again an indication that God is communing with the Son. So there are Trinitarian references in the Old Testament. It's important to acknowledge that. But the full understanding of the Trinity really blossoms in the New.

We understand why, don't we? Because the second member of the Trinity becomes what? Becomes man.

Becomes incarnate. Now what you have then, what do you have in let us here? I confess to you that I could launch on this because I know to some degree what that discussion was about or what it had been about. Say how in the world do you know that? Well, there's only one way I know anything and that's because it's in the Bible. But I know something of what that conversation was about. It was about redemption. It was about redemption because, listen to this, the earth had already been formed, right?

Is that true? Okay. And according to the Bible, Revelation 13, 8, Revelation 17, 8, our names were written in the Lamb's book of life when? Before the foundation of the earth, okay? So we know something of what that conversation was about before the shaping and the creating of the earth and before the creation of man. It was a conversation that had reached such a level that names were actually recorded in God's book.

Names...whose names were there? Mine, right? Yours if you're a believer. And I also know, according to Ephesians chapter 1, that we were predestined to be in Christ from before the foundation of the world, right? Isn't that what Ephesians 1 says?

So I know something of what that conversation was about. They had been talking about redemption in the Trinity, or communicating about redemption. And a plan had unfolded in the mind of God and this was the plan. God perfectly loved the Son. God wanted to demonstrate His love to the Son and we've gone over this in the past.

This is a perfect place to insert it. God perfectly loved the Son. He wanted to demonstrate His love for the Son, the pure love that He had for the second member of the Trinity, and He determined that He would do that in a remarkable way. That is, He would get a bride for His Son. And by a bride, He meant He would get a redeemed humanity who would honor His Son, adore His Son, love His Son, worship His Son, and serve His Son forever. And literally, He would bring that redeemed humanity up to where the Trinity lives in the glories of heaven and they would live there forever.

That was the plan. Bringing the earth and the whole universe and everything that was in it was merely the stage for the plan to unfold. You say, well, was it necessary to do all that creation?

Sure, because that creation spoke about God and who He was and it told man of His greatness and His glory and His power, didn't it? The heavens declare what? The glory of God.

The firmament shows His handiwork. And Romans 1 says, you look at the earth and you can see that God exists so that His invisible nature is manifest by His visible creation and we're without excuse. All that was to reveal who God is. And you look at the creation and you see His power and you see His intelligence and you see His wisdom and you see His love of beauty, His incredible mind, staggering wisdom.

You see His softness and gentleness and tenderness in the petal of a flower. You see His power in the lightning and the thunder and in the massive bodies that careen through endless space in the billions of galaxies that exist out there. You see so much about God there. All of that puts God on display. But what puts God on display in an especially remarkable way is that He is gracious enough to save sinners, right? And that could never be demonstrated, that God is gracious, God is merciful, God is forgiving, God is kind, God is tenderhearted.

That could never be displayed unless there were some sinners out there that God could be gracious to, right? So somewhere before the foundation of the world, there was a plan put in place. And God who cannot lie, 2 Timothy 1-9 says, purposed in Christ Jesus to redeem humanity. First He had a purpose to create them.

And so the plan was we're going to bring to glory a redeemed humanity. We have angels also being created at this time and they were created for the glory of God. But beyond that, there's no grace shown to angels so God can't display His grace and mercy and His forgiveness to angels because there is no salvation for angels. Angels were either holy or they were fallen and the fallen ones are irremediably fallen and damned to the lake of fire. God determined at some point before the foundation of the world that He would save sinners, that He would save humans. He would create them, He would save them. He would bring them to glory and they would be a bride for His Son who would serve and love and adore His Son forever and ever and ever and ever. And He would populate heaven literally with a hallelujah chorus that would do nothing but praise and serve Him through all eternity. That's Grace to You with John MacArthur.

Thanks for being with us. John's current study is one of his most popular ever. It's titled, The Battle for the Beginning. And as John pointed out today, man is made in the image of God and that's a critical point. It's one that has serious implications for how we approach everything from the nature of our bodies and souls to individual rights and to what it means to be human.

And with that said, John, I'm wondering if you could expand on that point a little bit. Talk about how we are made in God's image. In other words, what about human beings reflects the image of God? I think there are two things that reflect the image of God. One is man's mental capacity.

And by that I mean the full range of his mental capacity from reason to emotion. We can reason. We can reason in ways that every other creature in the world cannot, that shows up in our ability to speak, in the complexity of our language, in the complexity of the things we invent.

You're never going to wander into a jungle and find that the monkeys have developed a computer system and a whole lot of software and they're operating it. There is such a massive gap between any animal and man, and that is because man has been given the ability to reason and to reason in complex ways so that man can take the just amazing riches of this planet and harness them and capture them and develop them to enrich his life. When Scripture says God has given us richly all things to enjoy, he has loaded this planet with all the amazing resources, all the things that are just there lying in the ground, as it were, that man has been able to harvest and harness to bring about the complexity of life today, something as simple as fire. Without fire, we wouldn't have an advanced culture, but God designed fire and God designed man to be able to function so that he could take fire and out of it could create skyscrapers and out of it could create massive ships and all kinds of complex things made out of all the metals and things like that.

That's just one illustration. So man's ability to reason, problem solve, come up with medical solutions, come up with scientific solutions, massive indication of reason that is like God. And another part of the mental thing is creativity.

Animals deal within an instinct boundary. People bust those boundaries all the time with their creativity, massive creativity. This reflects the creativity of God. And beyond that, the second thing, and maybe this is so obvious, but it gets overlooked, is relationships. God himself is a Trinity. Let us make man in our image, three in one.

And it is our ability to make meaningful relationships that become the richest part of life. I see the image of God in the mental part of it and the relational part of man's existence. Thank you, John.

That's a helpful answer. And now if you're listening today and you want to learn more about the image of God and what that means for the creation evolution debate, let me encourage you to get John's classic book also titled The Battle for the Beginning. Order yours today. The soft cover book is available for $11 and shipping is free. To order, call 800-55-GRACE or visit our website

Like many of John's books, The Battle for the Beginning is also available in Spanish. You can place your order if you call us at 800-55-GRACE or shop online at That's our website, and remember, you can listen to all of John's verse-by-verse teaching. You'll find 3,500 of his sermons available there at the website free of charge. You can search them by topic, by specific verse, by book of the Bible, and if you're not sure where to start, Grace Stream is always on, it continuously airs John's verse-by-verse teaching, goes straight through the New Testament in sequential order, and we reset it about every two months. Grace Stream, it's ideal for listening in your office, in your car, around the house. You just jump in and follow along. And all of that and more is available free of charge at Now for John MacArthur, I'm Phil Johnson encouraging you to come back tomorrow when John looks at what it means and what it doesn't mean to be made in the image of God. Be here for another 30 minutes of unleashing God's truth, one verse at a time, on Grace to You.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-16 05:33:58 / 2023-05-16 05:45:13 / 11

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