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Systematic Theology: Creation #1

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green
The Truth Network Radio
January 31, 2022 7:00 am

Systematic Theology: Creation #1

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green

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January 31, 2022 7:00 am

Systematic theology aims to arrange biblical truths in a self-consistent whole. And if you're going to gain a proper understanding of God's creation, you must approach the subject from that platform. Today Pastor Don Green is beginning a series titled, You Can Trust Genesis.--TheTruthPulpit.comClick the icon below to listen.

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You know are we going to interpret the Bible in light of science are we going to interpret science in light of the Bible.

Those fundamental questions are at stake. Why would we be intimidated by the philosophies of men when we have teaching us what God is systematic theology's aim is to arrange biblical truth is in a self consistent going to gain a proper understanding of God's creation. You must approach the subject from that platform will begin doing so today here on the truth pulpit.

I again I feel Brighton pastor Don Greene is beginning a series titled you can trust. Genesis done.

Why is this first book of the Bible so important to understand, that's a great question, Bill and you know my friend.

I understand that you probably been exposed to different people telling you that Genesis can't be trusted. Casting doubt on Noah's flood door. The nature of creation who Adam is all. The bottom line is that you have to get the starting point right the gospel of Jesus Christ can only be fully understood in light of the creation fallen in the promises that go back to the record of Genesis. What were going to see today is that God speaks with authority and he does so right at Genesis 11 okay.Fred have your Bible open and ready as we join God green now in the truth. Pulpit now.

I think I said what I want to do is I want to not only teach you on creation, but I want to teach you a method of thought way to think about creation in a broader context we always have to go back to broad general principles.

You always always always start your thinking with general principles and then work into the details rather than starting with the incidental details of my particularly interest you.

Creation is part of a bigger aspect of theology as part of a bigger system of theology that the Bible teaches in the first thing that we want to look at this briefly is the theological place of creation, the theological place of creation, where does creation fit in our overall thought about systematic theology.

After all, it is a series on systematic theology that we are pursuing well. We studied Revelation, we studied the character of God and then we also studied the divine decrees the plan that God formulated for how the universe would go before time began God in his eternal mind decreed everything that would happen in the course of the universe. In the course of human history that was all set before time began. God planned everything that would ever happen in the universe, including as we saw the eternal destiny of his moral creatures, we studied the doctrines of election and reprobation. Now the plan as it were, is in place. What came next. Well what came next was creation, God having formulated the plan from all of eternity with the plan in place now that creation is is the beginning of the execution of the plan. It's the beginning of the outworking of the divine decrees and so we must understand creation as being rooted in the divine decrees rather than something that is studied separately and independently of its of its own accord. And so Lewis Burke off to find creation as as the beginning of the execution of the plan contained in the divine decrees that's our definition of creation. We used to definitions creation was the beginning of the execution of the plan contained in the divine decrees now.

I think this elevates creation to a whole another level when you realize that that there was an entire divine plan generated by the omniscient mind and the omnipotent power of God that is in place in creation is the beginning of the outworking of that. In other words, creation did not happen in isolation. It was part of the entire plan of God.

Let's put a theological definition on creation a theological definition of creation as we establish the theological place of creation will use a definition from a theologian named Herman Hoke some of creation. I'm quoting here creation is that act of the Almighty will of God whereby he gave to the things that were eternally in his counsel existence in distinction from himself creation is that act of the Almighty will of God whereby he gave to the things that were eternally in his counsel existence in distinction from himself. So in other words, God had all of this in his mind eternally.

But there was only God before time began. Creation is the act of his will. The exertion of his will wear those things that were in his mind, were given existence no longer just in his mind. They had their own existence. At the moment of creation. That's the theological place of creation. It follows sequentially from the authority of Scripture. The character of God, the divine decrees now creation comes we understand it in that sweep of systematic theology that helps us establish its proper place in a mind systematically built on the theology, the Scripture teaches now let's move on from there to point number two here. The biblical teaching on creation, the biblical teaching on creation now God's revelation.

The Bible begins with creation. This is the starting point of the way that God has revealed himself to us in Genesis 11.

Turn in your Bibles if you will just so you've got your Bible open their Genesis 11 in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. I want to point out something to you. I'm jumping ahead in my notes here just because I want to want to deal with something in a different sequence. And what I had originally planned, but there's something very fundamental that you need understand about that singular verse of Scripture that single verse of Scripture is S. Lewis Johnson has has pointed out on numerous occasions that single verse of Scripture so simple in its language so simple in its vocabulary is sufficient to refute every prevailing philosophy about the origins of the world and the meaning of existence. If you think about it. Genesis 11 refutes atheism because it says God created Genesis 11 refutes pantheism the idea that God is in all and all is in God because it establishes that God is separate from his creation Genesis 11 refutes polytheism the idea that there are many gods, therefore refuting Hinduism and every other polytheistic worldview.

One. God created the universe. It refutes the idea of materialism that the matter had an eternal existence, no matter had a beginning, things which we see had a beginning before that things were unseen, and it also refutes humanism the idea that man is the center focus of the universe. God, not man, is the ultimate origin in God, not man, is the ultimate reality. And so in a single verse of Scripture you have multiple philosophies that govern world thought refuted in the simplistic, not simplistic in the simple language of the Bible. And so what we see here is this 11 part of the reason that I wanted to jump ahead in my notes to to make that point is this is that our view of creation is a very well defined in a very specific worldview that stands over against every other prevailing worldview in the world and so this is a fundamental of most basic importance. This is of supreme importance in the way that we think and because that is true, it is essential for us to get it right to compromise to get askew on your view of creation is suddenly to compromise the power and the position of your worldview against everything else that would rise up against the knowledge of God and so beloved. We said you have to start with the question of authority.

What is the source of truth. You know are we going to interpret the Bible in light of science are we going to interpret science in light of the Bible. Those fundamental questions are at stake here, and if the implications of our prior position on the authority of Scripture and the nature of God lead us into conflict with prevailing thought about the age of the universe, promulgated by NASA itself then were happy to take a position against NASA itself not intimidated by that. Why would we be intimidated by the philosophies of men when we have the word of God teaching us what God said this clarifies. In other words, this clarifies force our position and it calls us to faithfulness and it calls us to recognize we been called out of this world not only in our moral conduct, but we been called out of this world by the power of the Holy Spirit in our salvation we been called out of the world and its whole system of thought because we love the Christ gave himself on the cross to save us were glad to submit to what his word says and to believe it to defendant to teach it without shame and without apology. So the biblical teaching on creation.

Let's go back to point number two that'll save me time at the end. Now there are some who say that we should not worry about the age of the earth or the time of creation that Scripture doesn't really go into much specifics about that and therefore we really shouldn't concern ourselves with it. We don't agree with that position. We believe that we should study all the Scripture says about creation and come to the logical conclusions and the understanding that God's revelation would give us about it. Those who say we shouldn't worry about the time of creation would silence the full counsel of God. If we deferred to them they would forbid discernment on the spirit of our age spirit.

On the way that our world thinks.

What I meant to say they're getting ahead of myself here, they would silence discernment on the spirit of the world's thinking around us. If the world is young and if the world says it's billions of years old, then we should be silent about that. We need to honor the full measure of God's revelation and and teach it and be faithful to it. Just as we would any other element of New Testament teaching on salvation, for example, the apostle Paul made no apology when he said I taught you the full counsel of God. Well, were not going to be silent on things where Scripture speaks simply to avoid conflict and to avoid the ridicule of those who say that you know were hillbillies with slot fever whatever know were not going to do that. We believe Scripture teaches clearly on creation and we believe, therefore, that we are responsible to proclaim it and that's what were going to seek to do today so the biblical teaching on creation. What can we say about it. First of all, this is a sub point.

First of all, we believe that Scripture teaches that creation was recent's creation was recent. We do not accept the teaching that the earth is billions of years old. Scripture teaches creation was recent within probably the past 10,000 years depending on how you view the genealogies of Scripture the whole reasoning behind this is the combined ages of the men listed in the genealogies of the Bible totals only a few thousand years. One rider one theologian well known who hesitates to uphold a young earth view admits this, and I quote, he says, it would seem to be quite foreign to the narrative of Scripture to think that millions of years have been omitted from the record."

Scientific theories on origins require long ages of time to be viable for the whole process of evolution to take place. Requires millions and millions of years and if you take away the millions of years.

The whole theory of evolution collapses of its own weight and the Scripture says that creation was recent, as we believe that it does. And there is no room for evolution to have taken place. Dr. Snelling said this in his work. I quote a choice has to be made between Scripture which is authored by God and modern science which is authored by men." You have to decide you cannot avoid the question, you cannot avoid the question, what is the authority for truth. That question that question determines the direction of this and you cannot avoid it and while I have friends that are that are Christians that hold to an old creation view of of things. I believe that they are sadly mistaken.

I don't believe that you can you can avoid this question and do justice to the teaching of Scripture. Here's what this means beloved, because Scripture is the authority for truth.

Therefore, we must get our our thoughts about time and and the length of of time that Scripture had, or that creation has been in place, we must get that informed by the historical book of Genesis, there is no other source of knowledge.

And so Scripture we believe teaches a creation is recent. Secondly, Scripture teaches that God created in six literal 24. Our days God created in six literal 24 hour days and how do we know that the Bible teaches that while you're in Genesis 1.

Let's just go through the narrative very very quickly and simply.

In Genesis chapter 1 verse five were skipping over the details of each of the days of creation with what were doing here just for the sake of time.

Genesis chapter 1 verse five God called the light day and the darkness he called night.

And there was evening and there was morning, one day verse eight God called the expanse heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, a second day. Verse 13 there was evening and there was morning, the third day. Verse 19 there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day. Verse 23, there was evening and there was morning, the fifth day. In verse 31 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, beloved, going back, maybe three years or so we we studied the book of Genesis in a very survey fashion. We did a a single message on the entire Pentateuch. The first five books of the Bible, here's something very important for you to remember blowing out of that. The first five books of the Bible, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy role written by Moses. Scripture makes this very plain. There was a single author behind those five books writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Now, that means that means thing.

I mean something really crucial because just from a human level, there was a single author, you would expect a consistency of thought throughout those what we call five books but was really a single book when Moses wrote it from a human perspective, there would be consistency on things when you add on top of that the fact that Moses was riding under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit that God was guiding him and what he said it means that he was protected from error in all that he said so from the perspective just on a horizontal level of the literary composition by a single man added to the vertical dimension of the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

We expect and we believe that there is an utter consistency and no contradiction within the four corners of that document right Moses was consistent with himself and more surpassingly God was consistent with himself and God, who is true, and therefore cannot lie God who is omniscient and therefore cannot make a mistake, revealed things through Moses that we have recorded in the single book called the book of Moses the law of Moses and about a eight other terms of Scripture uses to describe it, that's all, really, really important for what I'm about to say what to me what were about to say here. The most compelling manifestation of Scripture in terms of what God taught about the recent nature of creation and the fact that it happened in six 24-hour days, not six day ages and long periods of time. What were about to see, I believe, is conclusive and has has has settled this issue in my mind, never to be raised again. You must ask yourself this how did the original audience of Moses is ridings understand what he was teaching in Genesis chapter 1. How did they understand what did Moses intent. Now if you only had Genesis 1 to go by may be may be you could twisted around and make it fit modern views of billions and millions of years. Maybe you could do that. I don't think so. But if you only had Genesis 1, then there would be some maybe some little margin of excuse for infidelity to the text. That's not what we have. That's not all that we have contained within the same book of Moses is other instruction which tells us how to understand Genesis chapter 1 and I invite you I ask you to turn to Exodus chapter 20 Exodus chapter 20 and and going back. You know another thing that I could've said in this Psalm to three years ago we did a a series of messages on how to study the Bible and how to interpret the Bible. One of the key principles of biblical interpretation is to let Scripture interpret Scripture. Let other passages of Scripture throw light on the passage that you're looking at.

When that is possible. Well here. God has given us very clear instruction about how we are to understand. Look at Exodus chapter 20 verse eight Exodus chapter 20 verse eight there is no other way to understand this and let Scripture be consistent with itself in the 10 Commandments. The fourth commandment says remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of the Lord your God in it you shall not do any work you or your son or your daughter, your male or female servant, or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you. Verse 11 for because in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day.

Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. Keep your finger there and turn over to chapter 31 of Exodus chapter 31 of Exodus beginning in verse 12 will read this passage and then will draw out the import of these things afterwards. Exodus chapter 31 verse 12 the Lord spoke to Moses. Okay, we got the Lord speaking who spoke in Genesis, we got Moses here so we have the same actors so to speak the same players the same individuals God and Moses. We were talking about earlier. You have them both hear God speaking to Moses helping him to instruct the people of Israel, the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, verse 13 but as for you, speak to the sons of Israel, saying, you shall surely observe my sabbaths for this is a sign between me and you throughout your generations that you may know that I am the Lord who sanctifies you, beloved, watch this, look at this, that, as the Lord is saying this he's going to be using the doctrine of creation to expand his revelation of himself in theology proper creation is going to be that which teaches us about the nature of God itself.

So he says I am the Lord who sanctifies you. Verse 14.

Therefore, you are to observe the Sabbath, for it is holy.

Everyone who profaned it shall surely be put to death for whoever does any work on that person shall be cut off from among his feet look the death penalty being instituted for those who violate the Sabbath in Old Testament Israel.

This is supremely important to God will if you thought defending your belief in Christ and his resurrection to an unbelieving world was challenging it gets even more so when you assert the biblical truth of recent creation in six literal 24 hour days, but God does not and cannot lie. His word is truth pastor Don Greene will continue our series, you can trust Genesis on our next broadcast. Keep studying with us here on the truth pulpit right now though Don's back here in studio with some closing thoughts. We want to bring God's word to you in a way that makes it alive and applicable to you and brings you into a deeper knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ you know if you benefited from this broadcast. We just ask you to do a simple thing, go to our webpage or go to our Facebook page look us up on Facebook can just drop us a little note just a word that would let us know that you've appreciated today's broadcast store. The other aspects of our ministry. We would love to hear from thank you for listening to the truth. Pulpit. We are grateful to Christ for thanks God and friend will see you next time on the truth, called

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