Creation and redemption

Ben Merkle points out that in Psalm 33, “David looks at God’s power in creation and concludes that ‘all his work is done in truth’ and that ‘the earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.’ The triune God is our maker, creating and upholding all things by the power of his Word and the strength of his Spirit. This is why our doctrine of creation is so important. Creation is the proof of God’s authority, proof of the authority of his Word and the power of his Spirit. The argument about six day creation is not just about the exegesis, it is about the ever-present, sovereign authority of God in our everyday lives. Because he is the creator, he is the continuing sustainer of all things. This means that all peoples must fear him.”

He goes on to say, “the church has long understood creation and redemption to be inherently connected and to be the two places in which we most clearly see God’s character.” As Paul says in Colossians 1, it is by, or through Christ that all things were created in heaven and on earth and it is also through Christ that God reconciles to Himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. “The church father Athanasius argued that because God created the world by the power of his Word, it was only appropriate then that he redeem us by the power of his Word.” (Merkle again)

John 1 draws very heavily from the language of creation in Genesis but with a shift in focus. He is not so much retelling the account of creation as he is showing the new creation bursting in on the old. Jesus is the true light, as the psalmist says, “For with you is the fountain of life; in your light do we see light.” He gives all who believe in Him the right to become sons of God – that is, to become kings ruling, judging, and caring for all things (cf. 2 Samuel 7:14). The passage builds as the Word, who is our light and life, takes on flesh and reveals to us the fulness of the glory of God. It climaxes with the outpouring of grace and truth and the full revelation of the Father to the world through His Son.

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