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1658. The Creation of Man

The Daily Platform / Bob Jones University
The Truth Network Radio
December 6, 2023 6:00 pm

1658. The Creation of Man

The Daily Platform / Bob Jones University

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December 6, 2023 6:00 pm

Dr. Eric Newton continues the series entitled “I Believe,” with a message from Genesis 1.

The post 1658. The Creation of Man appeared first on THE DAILY PLATFORM.

The Daily Platform
Bob Jones University

Welcome to The Daily Platform from Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina. Every school day, chapel is a time for the students to gather together around God's Word. Through faithful preaching and teaching, the students are challenged to know, love and serve God from the sermons preached from the chapel platform. Today we're continuing a study series based on the creed that Bob Jones University students recite each day in chapel services. We're honored this morning to have Dr. Eric Newton speaking in our chapel service as we continue our theme through our creed. Dr. Newton is a graduate of Bob Jones University. He has earned a PhD in Biblical Theology. He served as our Dean of Students here for eight years, and those of you that know Dr. Newton know that he is loved and deeply respected for his life. He is a mentor, he is a teacher, and he is a friend. He is now a professor in our undergrad and seminary as a professor of theology and apologetics. I can't think of a finer Christian in all the world than Dr. Eric Newton, so would you please give him your attention this morning as he comes and speaks?

Good morning. Turn your Bibles with me to Genesis chapter 1. A lot has happened since last week and Dr. Horn's message on the inspiration of the Bible, but you might remember the way he began. So I thought about subtitling this message, why we can be confident that God created math majors and music majors and the rest of us too. I decided not to do that, though I do believe that.

But we're talking today about the creation of man by the direct act of God. Most of us have flown and have been under the constraints of the regulations and the fees that make us want to travel pretty light. But it's not really manageable to walk through an airport, even if you travel light, with all of that stuff underneath your arms.

I mean, if you've seen somebody try to do that sometime and kind of smiled. We need to have something compact, portable, to have our essentials in to get through the hustle and bustle of an airport. I really think that a creed is like a carry-on piece of luggage. It takes the Bible's teaching that's spread throughout the canon, the entire scripture, and it packs it into a succinct statement.

It's compact, it's portable, it's essential. We have the opportunity to consider today this subject, the creation of man by the direct act of God, and unpack it together. In our scientific and technological age, there's hardly a more important doctrine for us to understand and believe in glory in.

So I think the simplest way for us to go about this is to actually unpack it in four stages, four parts of this phrase, one after another. What do we affirm today by saying this statement of our creed? Well, it begins with these important words, the creation. You know, there's no other explanation for these realities that you'll see on the screen other than an unfathomable personal creator.

In his book, The Cosmic Jackpot, English physicist and Arizona State professor Paul Davies admits this, many scientists who are struggling to construct a fully comprehensive theory of the physical universe openly admit that part of the motivation is to finally get rid of God, whom they view as a dangerous and infantile delusion, and not only God, but any vestige of God talk, such as meaning or purpose or design in nature. But the Bible says something very different. The Bible says that this world, the material and the immaterial, was spoken into existence by God.

If you look down at the very first verse in your Bible, it's first because it's chronologically primary, it's first because it's foundational to the rest of Scripture. You could argue for the most important sentence in all of Scripture from many different passages, but a good case could be made for this one. In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth. You know, many people in the history of the church, particularly early on, wanted to preserve God's transcendence, His purity, His spirit-ness, and so they postulated that it wasn't God, actually, it was some kind of emanation from God, some lesser divinity called a demiurge, who actually created the material world. But Scripture speaks against that idea, that dualism, time and again. It says that God directly created.

And how did He do that? How did a spirit create a material as well as immaterial universe? Well, He did so by His Word. Look at the words from Hebrews 11, 3. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the Word of God so that the things which are seen were not made of the things which do appear. In fact, earlier in Hebrews in one of the first verses, it says that Christ, the Son of God, still upholds this world by the power of His Word. And so therefore, this world spoken into existence is distinct from God. Many have proposed that for us to have some kind of relationship with God, then God is all, and all is God in some unified whole. But Scripture declares a very different reality. Moses says in Psalm 90 verse 2, before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.

God was all there was from eternity past, and then He brought creation into existence. And He did so, Scripture teaches, in six literal days. We have that record in Genesis 1 itself, but also in Exodus 20, where as an explanation for the fourth commandment, Moses says, for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day, wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.

Why do we have a seven day week? Well, we have it because that's how God created the world. And it's all very good. Notice in Genesis 1 verse 31, God saw everything that He had made, and behold, it was very good, and the evening and the morning were the sixth day. God does all things well. You know, we see the world around us, we feel the world around us, we feel our flesh within us, and everything isn't right, but it's so important to our worldview to understand that that's not how it began. God made things perfectly. He finished His creation work week, and He observed that all that was, all that is, material and immaterial, was very good. You know, we often use that expression.

Maybe somebody dumps their grab and go on your shoe. Or maybe you've had a hard week, but now it's Friday evening and you say, it's all good. It was a rough week, but it's all good. Well, actually, on the first Friday evening that ever existed, that was completely true. But our statement goes on. It's not just creation, although that's the foundation. It's the creation of man, of mankind. This says something about God.

God finished His work week by creating image bearers. Look at verse 26 of Genesis 1, and God said, let us make man in our image after our likeness. In fact, I would argue that the most difficult aspects of creation for a naturalistic worldview to explain are not the galactic components, not the molecular parts, but the intangible realities. How do you explain human love or heroism or morality or joy or even desire without the personal Creator God? If you look at Genesis 2, verse 7, it says, And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living soul. There's something special about human beings because God breathed life into us.

And there's no other explanation for that life other than a personal Creator God. And it shows us that He's not just personal, but He's gracious. I mean, you can be a person, you can know people who aren't really nice people.

They're persons. But God is gracious. And that's what David is expressing in Psalm 8, verses 3 and 4. When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars which thou hast ordained, what a marvelous reality, but what really amazes Him.

What is man that thou art mindful of Him and the Son of Man that thou visitest Him? God cares about us as individuals. And so, the fact that our creed says the creation of man says something not only about God, but about human beings as well. It says that we are the pinnacle of God's creation. We have significance, not because we came from a certain family, not because we've accomplished a certain feat, not because we cheer for a certain team or amass a certain fortune, it's because we were made in the image of a certain leader.

And that gives us dignity. Chapter 1, verse 27 of Genesis says, God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He them, male and female created He them. This has huge implications, as you know, that we were made in the image of God. Everything from the sanctity of human life, to our distinction from the rest of creation, to the moral essence at the heart of human existence.

And notice what it says. It says that He made us in His image, after His likeness, male and female. And so another part of the creation of mankind is that we have divinely designed biological sex. Man and woman are made of the same stuff, men and women.

God formed Eve from Adam's rib. Men and women equally bear God's image in a complementary, a perfectly and beautifully corresponding way. We affirm that. We affirm that He gave us then dominion, He gave us purpose. Look at verse 28 of Genesis 1, God blessed them and said unto them, be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth and subdue it.

Have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the fowl of the air and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. You know, every worldview that kind of sticks and gains something of a following has some truth to it. The humanist worldview has it half right. Mankind is very important. As many biological similarities though as there are between some of the amazing creatures that we visit at the zoo and those of us who buy tickets to actually see them, there's no comparison in terms of God's design and God's purpose. He gave us dominion, the capacity to steward our creation resources and cultivate the earth to His glory. And so when you and I become disoriented, when we get discouraged, when that question arises in our soul and we say is there any purpose, is there any meaning to this life, we can start by reminding ourselves that God made us in His image, male and female, with dominion over the creatures.

His design and purpose are perfect. But you know, this creedal statement is not simply about the creation of mankind in general. It has an even more specific point. And so we come to this third portion and that is the creation of man by the direct act. Our creed is especially focused on two human beings in particular. It's a two-step creation. Sometime during that sixth day, God the master potter reached down into the clay and scooped up dust to form Adam and then he crafted Eve out of Adam's rib. What this clearly means is that Adam and Eve were real people. In fact, the very first two people. They were not born, they were created by the direct act of God. Genesis 2 20 says, but for Adam was not found and helped meet for him. This indicates that there were not human beings — there were no female human beings around. This is not like Artisseries last night. This is not like some of you guys who had a lot of options you could have asked and you decided to go by yourself.

That's not the case here. There was no one else around. And so God created Eve. It would make no sense for God to form Eve from Adam's rib if Adam was one of ten thousand or so hominids who mysteriously crossed a line to become homo sapiens. It would make no sense for Adam to call his wife Eve because she was the mother of all living, Genesis 3 20 says. And because this issue is debated today even by some very prominent Christian scientists and theologians, I think we need to take a couple of minutes and consider the overwhelming evidence for the historical Adam and Eve. And we're going to do so by looking at it briefly in six categories. Six reasons for the historical Adam and Eve.

Number one, there's a traditional reason. This has been the consistent teaching of the Christian church for centuries. You say, don't people make mistakes? Yes.

Most of us probably have this morning. Hasn't the church gotten it wrong at times? Certainly. But if the church has taught something for 20 centuries, we need to be hesitant about feeling the freedom to rethink it. Even more importantly, secondly, there's an ethnological reason for Adam and Eve's historicity.

Acts 17 26 says, and hath made, God's made of one blood, of one literally. All nations of men for to dwell on the face of the earth and has determined the times before appointed and bounds of their habitation. If you descended from certain hominids and I descended from others and our friends across the globe descended from another set altogether, then we add fuel to the hideous fire of racial and ethnic prejudice.

The fact that we all came from two human beings means that there is way more that binds us together than that separates us apart. Thirdly, there are contextual reasons. There are many aspects in Genesis 1 through 11 that indicate its truthful record of historical events. For instance, the seamless move from the end of Genesis 3, the fall in the Garden of Eden, to the birth of Cain and Abel, and the first murder in Genesis 4.

We could cite other examples, but we'll move on. There's a fourth set of reasons and they're genealogical. Very few people question Jesus' historicity, or even Abraham, or usually not Noah, and Scripture links their genealogy directly with Adam. Look at what Genesis 5 says. This is the book of the generation of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him.

Male and female he created him. And blessed them and called their name Adam in the day when they were created. And Adam lived in 130 years. And he begat a son in his own likeness after his image and called his name Seth, etc. He lived for 800 years more than he died. And verse 6, Seth lived in 105 years and begat Enos.

It comes up again in 1 Chronicles 1. Adam, Sheth, Enosh, Kenan, Mahaliel, Jared, Henoch, etc. Maybe you've heard Dr. Olinger's testimony before that one of the things that God used to rescue his faith was reading and realizing the historicity of the genealogical records in Chronicles. And in the New Testament, Jesus, Luke 3, himself began to be about 30 years of age being supposed the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli, etc. Verse 38, which was the son of Enos, which was the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.

There's an unbroken line there. The fifth set of reasons are soteriological. These get even more important. Questions concerning why sin and death are universal are crucial to understanding our anthropology. And this passage in Romans 5 is core to that understanding. It says in Romans 5, 14, that death reigned from Adam to Moses. And look at these verses. Verses 12 and 17, wherefore is by one man sin entered the world, and death by sin, so death pest upon all men for all of sin. Verse 17, for if by one man's offense, that's Adam, death reigned by one, much more they shall receive abundance of grace, and the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.

If Adam was not a real person, not the first person who plunged all of us into sin and death, then we have grounds to question the historicity of Jesus as a real man whose obedience and righteousness merit eternal life for all who believe. The same kind of theological reasoning is used in 1 Corinthians 15 when it comes to the resurrection. And finally, a sixth set of reasons is propositional.

There are direct statements. We've already read one of them in Acts 17, 26. And hath made of one blood all nations. And in 1 Corinthians 15, 45, it is written, the first man, Adam, became a living soul. But you know, the creed doesn't end there. The statement says, the creation of man by the direct act of God. The most important word in this phrase is the last one. Not simply because He's the right answer for your doctrine's test, but because He's the ultimate point. We have to consider the massive implications of how we think about Him in response to the reality that He is our Creator. And I want you to consider for a second where this statement lies in our overall creed.

Notice what it comes after and what it comes before. It points back to inspiration. Where does our belief in the inspiration of the Bible begin? It begins in Genesis 1 with the account of a historical six-day creation culminating in the creation of man by the direct act of God.

This is no minor matter. The truthfulness of God is at stake. Will we believe everything that the Bible teaches? And it points forward to what we'll consider next in our series, the incarnation.

It provides a context for what comes next. How would God rescue fallen sinful people and His cursed world by sending His own Son, not just temporarily, not just apparently, but to be fully human both then and forever after and to redeem and restore and graciously rule over repentant sinners and ultimately all creation. As British theologian Michael Reeves says, if Christ did not assume my flesh but the flesh of another humanity, then He's not my kinsman redeemer. But finally and most importantly, this word, God, points upward to glory. This doctrine is essential because the Bible itself considers it fundamental. Consider Romans 1. In Romans 1, God uses what we believe about Him as Creator as exhibit A for how people suppress the truth and unrighteousness. What could be so wicked that it merits the holy wrath of God? Well, how about when we take the evidence around us and within us and we exchange it for idols?

Gods, we fabricate whether nature itself or whether ourselves or other people or possessions or power or experiences, whatever kind of God we have, that's not going to hold us accountable that we think that we can control. We think we found freedom, but we're enslaved. We profess to be wise. We've made ourselves the hero of the story, but all these theories expose us for the fools that we are outside of Christ. It's like we've developed this elaborate explanation for why the sun doesn't exist.

There is no such thing as a sun. While we continue to mark our annual calendars and while we continue to mooch off the sun's light and heat, God says this idolatry is why He has revealed His wrath. If you say, I think we just need to make peace with certain aspects of the naturalistic worldview, or you might say, I believe creation, but I sometimes wonder whether it really matters. What God says is it matters because my glory is at stake. Read with me these beautiful words from the Belgic Confession, God's creation, preservation and government of the universe are before our eyes as a most elegant book wherein all creatures great and small are as so many characters leading us to contemplate the invisible things of God. This doctrine ultimately is about worship, and so it should be no surprise to us that at some of the most sublime heights of worship in the Bible you find this doctrine like these Revelation 4, 10 and 11, the four and 20 elders fall down before Him that sat on the throne and worship Him that liveth forever and ever and cast their crowns before the throne saying thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power for thou has created all things and for thy pleasure they were and are created. In Romans 11, 36, for of Him and through Him and to Him are all things to whom be glory forever, amen. And so ultimately it's for His glory that we believe in the creation of man by the direct act of God.

Would you pray with me? O Father, Creator, Lord, we acknowledge our smallness and we express with David wonder that you would think of us. O Lord, help us to revel in that truth today and thereby to think much of you and to give you the glory you deserve. And we'll give you thanks in Jesus' name, amen. You've been listening to a sermon preached at Bob Jones University by Dr. Eric Newton.

My name is Wyatt Smith. I'm a senior here at Bob Jones University studying multimedia journalism. And I want to tell you a little about my experience here at BJU. I've been here a little over three years and I truly cannot say enough about the community here at BJU. Whether it has been in the halls of the dorms, in my incredible society, or even in the classroom, I have always felt a very strong sense of community around me that has aided in my growth as a person and as a Christian. BJU's commitment to academic excellence has also pushed me to discover and refine the skills and talents needed to succeed in life after school, such as communication, critical thinking and problem solving.

My time in the classroom has allowed me to gain hands-on experience in my field of study, all while giving me the freedom to think creatively and build my skills. One aspect of BJU that I've really appreciated is that I've been continuously challenged to develop and grow my faith in Christ through the preaching of God's word and chapel and the daily discipleship of those in community around me. I have truly loved my time here at BJU and I hope others will be able to share the experience I have had. If you or someone you know is interested in an experience such as mine, I would encourage you to check us out online at our website,, and follow us on Facebook and Instagram at For any further information, please feel free to give us a call at 800-252-6363. Thank you for listening. Join us again tomorrow as we continue this series summarizing the doctrines of our Christian faith here on The Daily Platform.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-06 22:18:50 / 2023-12-06 22:28:07 / 9

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