Creation - Meaning, Order and Purpose
Bible Study: Creation - Meaning, Order and Purpose
Creation is the doctrine which undergirds all other doctrines. It tells us about God, and what the word "God" means, at least in part. We know nothing about God, if we know nothing about creation. If we know about creation, and believe, we can understand our basic relationship to God and what claim He has on our lives and how we live them. It is this understanding that gives us knowledge of a greater purpose in our lives, and gives us meaning or value to our very being. In this study we will examine some of the Biblical texts which reflect and reveal the order, purpose, and value our relationship to God as Creator brings to our existence.
There is a natural knowledge of God. Read ROMANS 1:20. We can see that God expects us to see evidence of Him in the world around us. Which characteristics of God are specifically mentioned here in Romans? What are specific examples of each of these?
Turn to PSALM 19 and read the first four verses. This is speaking of the knowledge of God we can derive from seeing the things He has created. What things do these two passages describe as knowable from the creation around us? God is a God of Order. We derive that from 1 CORINTHIANS 14:33 and 1 CORINTHIANS 14:40. Then there is the other side of the coin. Read JOB 10:22. This describes the place of the dead as away from God. What is lacking without God?
The traditional theological proofs for the existence of God include the argument from the observed order in the world. Modern scientific knowledge has not diminished this evidence, but increased it. As we learn about genetics, we have come to see an incredible amount of intelligent complexity and order in the world. The order in nature which is visible to the eye is impressive evidence, but the order found in the genetic code is of such a higher level that scientists are now calling it a "specified complexity" to indicate the unimaginable wealth of deliberate, coded information. So great is the evidence of design and designer here, that the discoverer of the genetic code-bearing molecules of DNA, Sir Francis Crick, has abandoned the idea of earthly evolution in favour of the idea that life was delivered to earth from outside, by spaceship. Of course, for him that moves the evolution question back to another planet, but it illustrates how the order in the world so readily reveals an Orderer.
There is a higher order than that found in nature. An example of this is found in Deuteronomy, chapter 6. Quickly skim this passage and see what kind of order it is. Do we see this kind of order as flowing from God? Do we see a rise in disorder where men cease believing in God and accept chance evolution (such as in our society today)? Read 1 CORINTHIANS 11:2-12. What kind of order do we see here? Is it founded on God's creation? Turn to 1 TIMOTHY 2:12. What kind of order do we see here? Is it founded on God's creation? Turn to 1 TIMOTHY 2:11-15. Is there order here? Is it based on creation? Why would men (or women) prefer to escape at least some of the order God has revealed to them?
Just as the knowledge of creation gives us a sense of order (and the perceived order gives us assurance of creation; see HEBREWS 3:4), knowing we have a Creator opens up the possibility of purpose in our lives. Where would we get that purpose? Naturally, our purpose would come from our Creator's purpose. Read JEREMIAH 1:5. Is this purpose? Whose purpose? Note, there are really two questions to answer. Who purposed this? For whom is it the purpose?
Now turn to GENESIS 1:28. Is this a statement of purpose? State that purpose in your own words. Is it purpose simply because it is a command? Compare with GENESIS 3:17-19. This is also a command. Is it also purpose?
In today's world, not many would find much sense of purpose in the command to populate and subdue the earth. There has been too much propaganda about overpopulation, and individually we each have too little power to subdue the entire earth. But do we participate in those purposes in any way today (hint: gardening)? List ways we fulfil that original purpose by our activities.
Consider the exhortation in PSALM 33:8. Is this a purpose for man?
Does ROMANS 13:4 contain a purpose? For whom? What is that purpose? Could EPHESIANS 5:15-33 be considered purpose? What purposes might we find in this passage? Do any of these apply to you, individually?
We know that God has a purpose for us. ROMANS 8:28 tells us that much. EPHESIANS 2:10 speaks of a purpose for us. What is it? Does it apply to you? Do you understand MATTHEW 28:19-20 as a sense of purpose, God-given, for yourself?
Each of us has a place in the plan of God. Scripture will not list our individual purposes by name, but it does give us the broader plan of God in which we are purposed to work and live. By following the broader purposes, and allowing the Holy Spirit to work in us through regular use of His Word, we may come to know and fulfil God's purpose for us. Would any of these purposes exist without creation? If we forget our Creator, what purposes would we have? Where would our purposes come from?
Creation gives each one of us the value of the deliberate, planned creation of God. In the ordinariness of daily life we may forget that, but our poor memory of this truth does not invalidate it. Read LUKE 12:6-7. Based on what Jesus says here, how much is God focused on each of the billions of sparrows in the world? How much more is He focused on you? If we are to truly know and feel our purpose, and that it is a worthy purpose, where is our focus to be fixed? On ourselves? On our Creator?
Look at ROMANS 8:31-32. What is offered to you here as a worthy reason to be focused on God? What does this reveal about the nature of God that cannot be learned from the creation itself? How does this truth, too, relate to God's careful design of the creation? Does God's design of the creation relate only to the material design of things, or does it relate to human conduct as well?
In our study of the creation we learn the basics about God. From God and from creation we receive or derive order. Knowing our Creator opens us to understand His purposes for us, and His right to plan for our lives. Creation and salvation reveal the love with which He loves us. Yet none of these things would remain without the doctrine of creation. This is the significance of the battle between creation and evolution, and not only for us but for those yet to be born.
Close with a hymn such as "We Sing the Almighty Power of God" and a prayer for the blessing of God on His people to cling to creation, and upon ministries like the BSA which contend for God's Word and His people in this battle. Pray for the workers to have wisdom and strength, and the people of God to be moved to support those who minister for them.
Source: 'Bible-Science Newsletter', July 1987