What Baptists Believe About The Creation
Our prayer is that none of us might have doubts of God’s special creation of all forms of life and of all things seen and unseen.
Rom. 1:20; Col. l:l5-l7; Gen. 1:26-28; Gen. 2:1-2
“In the beginning God created” (Gen. 1:1). This is the foundation truth of all theology. Get the truths straight that are contained in this phrase and you will have no trouble with the rest of the Bible. When we read the account of creation, we are reading literal facts of history. This being so, we can locate literal places, such as the Garden of Eden, on a map. Gen. 2:10-14 tells us: “And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads. The name of the first is Pison: that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold; And the gold of that land is good: there is bdellium and the onyx stone. And the name of the second river is Gihon: the same is it that compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia. And the name of the third river is Hiddekel: that is it which goeth toward the east of Assyria. And the fourth river is Euphrates.”
Map 2 in Thompson Reference Bible Pison v.11 8 A
Gihon v.13 10 B
Hiddekel v.14 8 C
Euphrates v.14 8 B
Possibly, these rivers began at approximately 38 degrees north latitude, 38 degrees east longitude.
Sufficient is expressed here to expose every fallacy which man has invented concerning the Deity and His works (atheism, materialism, pantheism). In our thinking we must begin with God and work down to man and not the other way around, as the evolutionists do. We believe the evidence presented by God in Genesis 1-2 proves conclusively that the Universe - the world and all life thereon, including man - were brought into being by Divine decree. We believe that this orderly progression of life on earth from the lower forms (microscopic protozoa) to the higher forms, up to and including man, is not the result of evolution i.e. “random changes,” “chance mutation,” and “natural selection;” producing through long ages of time the gradual transformation of one genus into another - the lower into the higher - but is the result of special creation.
“According to the eternal purpose---” Eph. 3:11. The eternal God, the eternal Son, the eternal spirit, the eternal purpose - these only are eternal. Angels and creatures are not eternal, they were created by God. Matter is not eternal. Only God - the triune God - and His eternal purpose have had no beginning and shall have no end. “In the beginning.” When was the beginning? How far back into the past does that statement take us? This has no reference to God creating the earth in six solar days, the Bible makes no such statement. If we could just realize that before the “beginning,” nothing was here. In fact “here” was not even here. This should be a humbling thought. Certainly the earth, on the morning of its creation, must have been vastly different from its chaotic state as described in Gen. 1:2. Between the first two verses of Genesis some terrible catastrophe must have intervened (Isa. 45:18; Jer. 4:23). Some commentators talk of a “Pre-Adamic” race, “Ice-age,” and millions of years for man to have evolved from the lower creatures – that’s bunk. Yet something did happen which destroyed the original creation, and Satan was in some way connected with it; for he is called the “god of this world” (2Cor. 4:4).
What is found in the remainder of Genesis 1, refers not to the primitive creation but to the restoration of that which had fallen into ruins. “In six days The lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is” (Ex. 20:11). There is a wide difference between “creating” and “making.” To “create” is to call into existence something out of nothing. To “make” is to form or fashion something out of materials already existing. In “six days,” that is, literal days of twenty-four hours duration, the Lord completed the work of restoring and re-fashioning that which had been chaos.
As to the details of the six days’ work of God, we will not say too much having covered that in great detail in our studies in Genesis. Note the orderly manner in which God proceeded, the ease with which He accomplished His work, the excellency of that which was produced, and the simplicity of the narrative. Ten times we read, “and God said,” which may be termed the Ten Commandments of creation. Every line of the opening chapter of Genesis has stamped across it the autograph of Deity.
The early history of this earth corresponds with the spiritual history of the believer in Christ. What occurred in connection with the world of old, finds its counterpart in the regenerated man. The original creation of the universe compares to the creation of Adam. The first catastrophe of the earth describes the fall of man. The Spirit moving on the waters is also what is needed in the soul of the lost man. And God said, let there be light, so the Spirit of God and the word of God brings light to a darkened soul, bringing restoration and new life from God.
Of the seven special Beginnings in Genesis, we name two. The beginning of the material universe - the sphere of the divine revelation of Grace; and the beginning of the human race - the subject of the divine revelation of Grace. We also need to know what God did in each day of His work. First day, Light - Second day, Firmament - Third day, Land and Vegetation - Fourth day, Sun, Moon and Stars - Fifth day, Sea animals and Birds - Sixth day, Land animals and Man.
Notice the seven activities in Genesis 1:2,3,6-911,l4-l9,20-2l,24. Gen. 1:6-7 Firmament. It separates water from water. The dry land appears in v.9,14-18. We have here separation of light and darkness by the intervening atmosphere, and the separation of land and sea. God wants a separated people. There can be no fellowship between light and darkness. God is light; and darkness is Satanic (Eph. 6:12). All the animals and fowl were made by God from the lower to the higher, and this is declared to be the direct work of God in Ps. 104:1-32.
All of the natural creation, animate and inanimate was made for man (Col. 1:16; Ps. 8:5-8). The earth was made for man, not man for the earth. This is where the “far out” environmentalists go astray. No beast in all creation has anything in common with man. Man was made in the image and likeness of God (Gen. 1:26). Therefore man is a spiritual being, made to have fellowship with his God (Ec. 12:7; Ze. 12:1; Jn. 4:24; Prov. 20:27). There is an infinite chasm between man and beast. Therefore, it is next to blasphemy to talk about man as an animal, or having come from animals. Many men may act like (or even worse than) animals, but man is a special creation separate and apart from all animals - and remember - there is no such thing as “pre-Adamic man.” Man was given a commission to fill and subdue the earth, to have absolute dominion (Gen.l:28; Ps. 8:6; Heb. 2:5-11). Man has failed to exercise that dominion, but during the 1000 years reign of Christ on the earth, that dominion will be completely exercised.
Let us give a few facts and arguments against evolution and in favor of Divine creation. We need to let man have the dignity that God gave him, by creating him in His own image and likeness! Teach man that he is descended from the beasts, and he soon will act like a beast. Teach man that he is a mere animal - a cog in the social machine - and communism will enslave him. We need to teach man that though he is created in the image of God, the race is fallen, and needs a Saviour, and that men must turn to God, through Christ, for His salvation and His holiness.
· Evolution has no explanation for the origin of the Universe. “Nothing” cannot create “something.”
· All matter in the Universe - suns, moons, planets, etc. - is in constant motion. Inactive objects, like the stones lying on the ground, do not start themselves moving.
· The stars, planets, comets, etc., in the Universe are under controlled motion, kept in their orbits by the interplay of two important laws: gravitation and inertia. Laws demand a lawgiver.
· Between lifeless inorganic matter and life, is a vast chasm that could be spanned only by Divine creation. There is no such thing as “spontaneous generation,” because the first forms of life on earth had to be preceded by highly complex protein molecules, and these from cells.
· The observable law of life is not evolution, but entropy, the tendency of all things to move toward more and more randomness i.e. they “run down.” This is called the “second law of Thermodynamics.”
In conclusion, Baptists believe that before the creative acts of Genesis 1, nothing of the physical universe that we know of was in existence. We believe that everything that is was created by God, for His glory. We believe that time did not exist prior to God’s creative acts. We believe the Bible to be an historical account of factual events. Based on the Bible account, we believe that the universe as we know it has been in existence for approximately 6000 years. And we believe this because of faith in the creator. 2Cor. 5:7, “For we walk by faith, not by sight.” Rom. 1:17, “For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.”