Saturday, January 5, 2013

Jesus, Creator of Heaven and Earth

An audio overview of the lesson by Raul Diaz.

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This week's Script:

Jesus, Creator of Heaven and Earth

Memory text:  Genesis 1:1
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

The Text for this week has implications worth examining.  It says that there was a beginning and that God was there already.  So, God is before everything.  And, everything that exists, except for Him,  He created it.  The phrase ‘In the beginning” reminds me ofJohn 1: 1 -3,

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 He was in the beginning with God.
 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.

This text is basically expanding Genesis 1.  We know that the term “the Word” refers to Jesus.  So, the verse specifically says that out of the three persons of the Godhead it was Christ who actually created.  This is not to say that the other two were not capable.  They just had other roles.  In verse 3 we see that everything was made through Him.  By this we mean that Christ created out of nothing.  Christ did not transform previously existing material.  Christ created matter; not energy.  Christ Himself is energy.  This concept is further is repeated in Heb 11:3“…so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.”   Colossians 1: 15 – 17 repeats what John 1 says,

15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.
16 For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him.
 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

Christ holds all He created together.  He sustains His creation.  The same power used to create is the same power used to sustain.  So, while nature reveals the glory of God, it is still by faith that Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God (Heb 11:3).  We believe it because God says so.  And, when we look at Nature we see it reveals what God has said.  Thus, it increases our faith.  The latter part of the clause says that creation was by the Word of God.  This is confirmed in Psalms  3369:

6 By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, And all the host of them by the breath of His mouth.
9 For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast.

Jeremiah 51:15  adds that God’s word has power, “ He has made the earth by His power;”
Now, Paul makes a connection between Christ as creator and Christ as redeemer.  Let’s go back to Colossians 1.  It says Christ is “In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins ... For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him (Colossians 1: 16, 16).  Paul seems to imply that the reason for Christ being able to redeem is because He is the Creator.  Is there relationship between the two?  Ellen White thinks so.  Remember the creator is also sustainer.  So she says,

The same power that upholds nature, is working also in man. The same great laws that guide alike the star and the atom control human life. The laws that govern the heart's action, regulating the flow of the current of life to the body, are the laws of the mighty Intelligence that has the jurisdiction of the soul. From Him all life proceeds. Only in harmony with Him can be found its true sphere of action. For
all the objects of His creation the condition is the same--a life sustained by receiving the life of God, a life exercised in harmony with the Creator's will. To transgress His law, physical, mental, or moral, is to place one's self out of harmony with the universe, to introduce discord, anarchy, ruin. {Ed 99.2}

Christ is Redeemer by virtue of His power as Creator.  If He were not Creator, He could not be Redeemer.  Several verses refer to redemption as an act of Creation.  The Psalmist prayed, "Create in me a clean heart, and renew a right spirit within me" (Psalm 51:10). The apostle says, that "if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature" (2 Cor. 5:17) or a new creation. We read, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: ... For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained, that we should walk in them" (Eph. 2:10).

In the Bible redemption is joined by an inseparable connection to Creation. It takes nothing less than creative energy to redeem us. The power by which Jesus saves us from sin is the power by which He created the worlds. In Rev 14:6, 7 the everlasting gospel and creation are connected. The same is true in Col 1:14‑16 where forgiveness, redemption and creation are linked. Likewise, verses 16 and 20 in Rom 1 teach that the power of God in the gospel is the power that creates. The gospel is Christ crucified, buried, and raised from the dead (1 Cor 15:1-4). The cross – Christ crucified – is the creative power of God applied to men for salvation (1 Cor 1:1823,24). The everlasting gospel, as the creative power of God, will be preached in all the world.  Any gospel that leaves out creation is “another gospel,” which is no gospel at all. It is powerless. Any gospel that does not preach the creative power of God, as seen in the things that He has made to live, is no gospel at all. The gospel saves us, and comforts us, and sustains us by the power of creation.

Creation and redemption have the same purpose regarding man. In the beginning man was created in the image of God (Gen 1:26,27). Then sin entered. Was God caught off guard, when this occurred?  Was the plan of redemption an afterthought? Never. Christ was “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” and before that “was foreordained” to die for us (Rev 13:8;1 Pet 1:18-20). As soon as there was sin there was the cross of the crucified  Christ. Christ was made to be sin itself – the curse – in order to redeem us form it (2 Cor 5:21Gal 3:13).

The plan of redemption is simply the carrying out of God's original plan of creation – that you and I should be made in the image of God (Rom 8:29). Redemption is brought about through God's creative power of the cross. Redemption is a new creation. Coming to Christ, uniting with Christ, being in Christ, by faith, makes you and me new creatures (2 Cor 5:17). How is this brought about?

Christ created the worlds through the power of His word (Psa 33:69Heb 11:3). He re-creates us anew by the power of that same word. This is the new birth (James 1:181 Pet 1:23). His word is full of life and exceedingly powerful (Heb 4:12). David realized the close relationship between creation and redemption when he prayed “Create in me a clean heart, O God” (Psa 51:10). God promises is to give us a new heart in answer to this kind of prayer (Eze 36:25‑28). This is the creation of righteousness and true holiness within us (Eph 4:23,24).