God is the Only One Who can “Create”

"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." (Genesis 1:1)

"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." (Genesis 1:1)

God created the heaven and the earth. But what exactly did God create the heaven and the earth from?

We talk about people “making” things or someone “inventing” something. Sometimes we even credit another person for “creating” something new. But mankind is forever limited to the materials that already exist in order to make anything. We can certainly arrange various metals, stones, and woods into everything from buildings to computers, but we can never truly “create” something from nothing. God alone can do this.

Our minds can scarcely fathom the idea of God existing before and apart from the Universe that He created, but there was a time when He did. Before anything else existed, God existed. And every single ounce of material that would comprise the entire Universe was created from nothing by Him. Not only did God create the Universe itself from nothing, but He alone has created the bulding blocks within it that would eventually be part of everything else that would ever be made.

Mankind can make things, but the ability to create belongs only to God.

10 responses

  1. CogitoErgoCogitoSum

    Would you be willing to argue that even we humans can create within the mind, abstractions and imaginings, that are purely original… even construct purely original things from materials God has provided?

    They say that God created man in His form. If that is true, what does it mean? I can only assume that it doesn’t mean the physical form, since God has no physical body. So, spiritually then? It seems to me that with free-will, a soul, we ought to have the power to imagine and create within our imagination. It is really what sets us apart from animals and brings us closer to Gods potential. Made in Gods image means what if not that?

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  2. Can man create something original in the mind and imagination? Yes, and this is invariably what takes us farther from the will of God. When the Bible mentions the “imaginations” or thoughts of man, it doesn’t have anything good to say about it. It always connects the thoughts and imaginations of man with pride, rebellion, and evil. All through the Bible, the imagination of man is inevitably what proves his downfall (e.g., Gen. 6:5, Jer. 3:17, Luke 1:51). From Adam’s imagining that he could be like God by eating the forbidden fruit to the denizens of Babel attempting to build a tower that would overshadow the very throne of God, man’s imagination has been a constant source of wickedness.

    God did give us the ability to imagine and use the resources of this earth in order to make new things, but we haven’t been very good stewards of what He has given us. In our greed and selfishness we do great violence to the planet He has put us on and the resources that He has provided because we would rather do things our way than seek what He wants to give freely to us.

    Romans 1:21 tells us that people are vain in their thoughts and foolish in their hearts because they arrogantly deny the existence of God and their need for Him when He is the One who has provided all of the things that they need to sustain their very lives. The air that He created fills our lungs with life-giving oxygen, the water that He created hydrates our bodies, His creatures, both plant and animal, provide the sustenance that keeps us alive. And yet there are those who declare that they need nothing from Him? Every single thing that we have is because God has provided it.

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  3. Super post, Need to mark it on Digg
    Jinny

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  4. I have enjoyed reading your thoughts on Genesis. I also agree with your comment about man’s tendency to use his imagination for evil. Unregenerate man will always have selfish motives even when on the surface they appear to be good. Then among regenerate man (Christians) there is the dual nature to contend with; both the mind of the Spirit and the mind of the flesh as described in Romans 7 and 8:

    ” 19For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. 20For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, 21Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.” Romans 8:19-21

    I sometimes like to think about Genesis 1:26 and Psalm 139:13-16. I know that in the strictest sense Psalm 139 is talking about our earthly bodies, but I like to think how in regeneration We have new life and that Spirit that dwells in believers is in the image of God, and cannot sin. With that in mind it makes the phrase “fearfully and wonderfully made” seem to also describe the hidden man of the heart.

    Theresa

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  5. “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9)

    It is a hard thing for man, in his pride, to face that (apart from God) we are “desperately wicked.” We don’t particularly like to be reminded of how God views our hearts and what His ultimate verdict is concerning our condition (Rom. 3:10-18). Yet he has provided the Way of Redemption whereby we can be saved. It is only when we have been reborn in Christ that we even have the capacity to truly obey God and do “good.” As you mentioned, Christians have with them the Old Nature, as well, which makes it possible to still do evil (as I am certain no Christian needs to be reminded :( )

    I think that this is what Paul is talking about in Romans 12:2 when he mentions the “renewing of our minds.” Unfortunately, God does not at once wash all the wickedness and filthiness away from our imaginations and thoughts when we come to Christ (Oh, how I wish He did!!). But as we walk with Him and trust in Him, His Spirit does renew our minds.

    I like your comparison in what the Psalmist writes in Psalm 139 with what God also does spiritually for the believer. sometimes we underestimate the reality of the work that the Spirit of God has done in us when we came to Christ. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Cor. 5:17). Fearfully and wonderfully made, indeed!

    Thanks, Theresa, for sharing your great comments :) Hope you had a wonderful Holiday weekend and I look forward to hearing from you again. God bless you!

    In Christ,

    Loren

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  6. Yes, I agree. That is a subject I have been very fascinated about for many years. I have written on it as well.

    I am looking forward to reading more on Genesis here. :)

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  7. I just wanted to comment one more time. I agreed with all that you said. I sometimes quote this:

    9The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
    10I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.Jeremiah 17:9-10

    I just wanted to clarify that the way the word “heart” is used in the Jeremiah passage is different than the meaning of the phrase “Hidden man of the heart”. Below is what I was referring to when I used that phrase. 1 Peter 3:4 actually uses the phrase “hidden man of the heart. The Hidden man of the heart is not deceitful or desperately wicked.

    “Christians are “New Creatures” with a “Twofold Nature”. This nature consists of an “Inner Man” or “Spiritual Man” or “The Hidden Man of the Heart”, and an “Outer Man” or “The Flesh”. The “Spiritual Man” cannot sin. It can only follow the Lord. The “Flesh” can do nothing but sin. The two are opposed as described in Romans 7 and 8. Below are some scriptures where these terms are used.

    For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. 2 Corinthians 4:16 KJV

    That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; Ephesians 3:16 KJV

    I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin. Romans 7:21-25 KJV

    But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. 1 Peter 3:4

    That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. John 3:6 KJV

    It is my understanding that as the Christian matures he/she will be gradually transformed…will follow the Spirit more and be more Christlike, but like you said, they will still sin as long as they have their bodies of flesh (as long as they live on this earth), and that is why it tells us that we must wait for our glorification. I think we are agreeing, but just using different words to describe the same thing. :)

    Theresa

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  8. Hey, Theresa, thanks for sharing these thoughts :)

    I believe you’re right that we are in agreement and are describing the same thing. Terminology is always a tricky thing in this area because there are so many words that mean different things to different people and yet there are many terms that are interchangeable. For the sake of clarity, I like the terms “spirit, soul, and body.” These being the components of the triune man: the spirit of the person being their essence; the soul being the seat of the will, emotions, etc.; and the body being, well, the body :)

    We are born with a spirit that is dead to God and the things of God (the “natural man” described in 1 Cor. 2:14). When we are born again in Christ, this is the part that is born again. This would be the “hidden man of the heart”, the “inward man”, or the “spiritual” man. The “soul” of a person (also called the “mind” in Scripture) is the place of the will of a person; it is here that the born again believer “decides” to follow the spiritual, redeemed nature (by following the Spirit of God) or the Old Nature of the flesh. The unredeemed sinner has no choice but to walk after the flesh because their spirit is just as dead and corrupted as their soul is. They have one nature and it’s all bad!

    With this in mind, it seems that most usages of the word “heart” in the Old Testament are referring to the “soul” of the definition I gave. Conversely, the OT often uses the word “soul” to mean “spirit” according to the definition above. This is why I think it can get confusing depending on what exactly a person means when they use any of these terms. My quotation of Jeremiah 17:9 was with the thought of the “heart/soul” of the unregenerate man being desperately wicked, not the redeemed “spirit” of the believer. Additionally, I feel it is a good reminder that even the believer ought to be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit and trust in the Word of God, not leaning to his own understanding, because our soul/heart is still influenced by the Old Nature.

    As Romans 7 teaches, it is not the New Nature, the new spirit of a Christian that sins, but the Old Nature. Yet we live with the Old and the New both indwelling us and they are in opposition to one another. This makes it necessary for us to continually yield to the leading of the Holy Spirit to sanctify us and deliver us from the power of sin in our lives. I don’t know if all of this makes what I was trying to say clearer or muddier, but I do think we are in agreement Theologically if not semantically :)

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  9. You said that so well! I agree completely. :) Thank you so much for sharing that, and I just have to confess that you were able to say it much better than I ever could! I tend to use King James a lot, and forget how to speak plain. I know this post was about Genesis, but I am so very glad that you explained that. :) So many Christians fail to understand that and consequently have doubts as to whether or not they were truly saved when they see themselves still sinning.I am not saying that it should be their ambition to sin, but just the opposite. However, it is a terribly painful thing to go through life without that understanding that you expressed above. Would it be all right if I quote you and include a link to this post?

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  10. “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:7-9)

    I understand what you mean about Christians doubting their Salvation when they realize that they still commit sin. But praise God that He is rich in mercy and continues to wash us clean from our sin when we bring it to Him. As you said, our ambition should not be to commit sin, but we should take comfort in the fact that we have an Advocate, the Lord Jesus Christ, with the Father through Whom we may obtain forgiveness when we do sin (1 John 2:1). Feel free to use anything that I have written. I have enjoyed this dialogue and look forward to hearing more from you in the future and reading more from your own blog. God bless you, Theresa :)

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