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A starry blue sky is seamlessly reflected in still water, a sailboat rests on the horizon.

The first thing we learn about God from the Bible is that he is the Creator, the one who makes everything from nothing. After each phase of creation—light, sky, land, water, plants, animals, and humans—God stops for a moment to survey his work with delight, calling it “good” and finally “very good.”

Everything that is owes its existence to God, who is the only Being capable of creating something from nothing. Genesis 1 and 2 tell the story of creation but from two different points of view. The first chapter paints the big picture from God’s perspective while the second focuses primarily on the creation of human beings. Though neither is meant to provide a scientific explanation of the origins of the universe, both affirm that the universe owes its existence to God. Genesis paints human beings as the crown of creation, indicating that we are made in the image of God.

Psalm 19:1 tells us that “the heavens declare the glory of God” (NIV) and Romans 1:20 points to the fact that through the created world, everyone “can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature,” leaving us with no excuse for ignorance about God.

Scripture also tells us that God’s perfect world was soon corrupted by sin. Rather than abandon it to decay, God promised to create a new heaven and a new earth. God’s creative work does not end with the first two chapters of Genesis but continues as he upholds the universe through his continual provision and as he works to bring about the new creation through the advancing reign of his Son.

In the Hebrew Scriptures, the verb bārā means “to create” and it is used exclusively of God, who creates a world that cannot exist apart from his sustaining power. Because God created everything, the universe and all that is in it belongs to him.

In the New Testament, the verb ktizō is used exclusively of God’s creative activity. Through the agency of Christ, believers are made into a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17).





Originally published March 27, 2019.