Creation and the Attributes of God
I. The significance of Romans 1:18-25
A. My personal discovery of this passage.
This passage made me first realize the spiritual significance of origins
B. Verse 19 says it is “plain” to people “what may be known about God.” But, it does not seem plain to us, because of how we learn to think.
C. As a science major and a young Christian, I came to the conclusion
that there was something I was missing that this passage was talking about. So, I became more motivated to study creation, not to refute
evolution but to learn about God. My awe of God and worship of Him
improved as a result.
D. Romans 1:18-25 addresses the consequences of sin. People don’t expect to get away with trying to break physical laws, like gravity. But people do expect to be able to get away with breaking moral laws. God has created us and created reality such that we are designed to live a certain way (morally) and if we do not, it is unhealthy for us. People cannot change the nature of reality just because they don’t believe God or accept a Christian lifestyle.
E. People who reject God may affect public opinion and impress other people, but they cannot change reality. Nor can they change the fact that we are made in the image of God. We are made to live in a manner that is imitative of God. When people reject the God of the Bible, they cannot totally live out what they say they believe because they are still made in God’s image. Francis Schaeffer spent a lot of time pointing this out.
F. Nature shows what God is like. This is clear to all people from God’s General Revelation. It does not depend on people being able to know about the Bible or being able to read. It also does not require having an education. Both children and scientists can realize this. There is enough
people can learn about God from nature that it is enough to convict men as guilty of sin and send them to hell, if they reject it.
G. Special Revelation (the Bible) is the standard that our interpretation of General Revelation is tested by. When you look at nature you should be able to see evidence of God if you interpret it in a way that’s consistent with God’s word.
H. People should be able to learn enough about God from Nature to be motivated to want to know and worship Him.
I. Romans 1 relates to the origin of religion. Biblically, “religion” started as monotheistic. Modern scholars do not believe this. It is generally believed that religion started as polytheistic and monotheism came along only after people began to set up human governments with kings. But this is not historically accurate. Religion was monotheistic first, then degraded to polytheism.
II. Lessons from the book, “Eternity in Their Hearts” by Don Richardson
A. The story of Pachacuti, King of the Incas, 1438 to 1471 (pp 33-38).
Pachacuti rebuilt Cuzco and did other great building projects. Pachacuti decided to turn away from worship of the Sun god, Inti, to worship of
they’re concept of the one all-powerful Creator, which they called Viracocha. Pachcuti’s logic pointed him to a correct concept of God. He also wrote hymns that sound like the Psalms. This is all before there was contact with Christian missionaries.
B. The Santal people. In 1867 two missionaries from Norway went to India and found the Santal people, North of Calcutta. When the missionaries started telling them about the God of the Bible, they seemed to recognize the God the Christians were talking about. They called him Thakur Jiu, which means “the Genuine God.” The Santal people had forsaken Thakur Jiu long years before but never forgotten him. The missionaries decided to use this name for God for the Santal. The Santal had stories similar to Genesis, of a Flood and something similar to the Tower of Babel story. The Santal believed in Christ. These missionaries baptized thousands of Santal believers in their lifetime. They brought in more missionaries and pastors to help them because there were so many coming to Christ.
III. Insights on the First Cause Concept from Henry Morris
A. The first cause of limitless space must be infinite
B. The first cause of endless time must be eternal
C. The first cause of boundless energy (or powerful forces) must be omnipotent
D. The first cause of universal interrelationships must be omnipresent
E. The first cause of complexity must be omnicient
F. The first cause of moral values must be moral
G. The first cause of spiritual values must be spiritual
H. The first cause of human responsibility (free will) must be volitional
I. The first cause of integrity must be truthful
J. The first cause of human love must be loving
K. The first cause of life must be living
Additions from me:
L. The first cause of personality must be personal
M. The first cause of human rational thought must be rational
N. The first cause of beauty must be beautiful
IV. The Creator-Creature Distinction
A. The Creator of all things must be transcendent. He can’t be part of the universe or bound by it if he created the universe.
B. We, as creatures, have needs. God made us with needs so that He could provide for them and in the process we can have a relationship with him.
C. God not only knows all about nature, but he actually controls it. This was emphasized to Job.
D. If God created everything, then he is able to intervene into human history. He is able to supercede physical laws.
V. Reasons the Bible Brings up Origins
A. To teach us about who God is and about the character and nature of God
Romans 1:18-25; Psalm 24:1-2; Isaiah 40:26; Proverbs 3:19-20;
B. To teach us what it means to be God's creatures Isaiah 29:16 and
C. To teach the reality-determining authority of the Word of God
Psalm 33:8-9;Hebrews 11:3; Romans 4:17 (NAS)
D. To teach us about who Jesus Christ is
John 1:1-5, 9-14; Colossians 1:15-17; Hebrews 1:2-3
E. To comfort those who are trusting in God
Isaiah 40:27-31; Psalm 121:1-2; I Peter 4:19
F. To teach us to live wisely
Proverbs 8; Hebrews 4:1-11; Romans 5:12-19