CATECHISM SERIES: Studies in The Apostles’ Creed
Part Two of a Series
2) God is Maker of Heaven and Earth
Several years ago I watched an interesting program entitled If Walls Could Talk. The premise of the program was that buildings reveal much about their previous occupants and the activities that were carried on within them—if one “listens” to the houses.
The trouble is that many people don’t seem to be listening. People who study ancient structures often overlook the fact that those buildings were designed with a special purpose and built for a specific function.
We may marvel at the complexity and engineering of the pyramids in Egypt, of Machu Picchu, of the Great Wall of China, and of modern skyscrapers—and if these man-made “walls” could talk, what would they say to us about their origins?
No rational person would try to convince us that a pile of lumber, bricks, mortar, pipes, electrical wire, and so on simply “flew together” to create a three-bedroom house with two baths and a garage. Since a modern house is just too intricately designed to have happened by chance, its mere existence raises the question, “Who built this?” The Lord instructs us, “For every house is built by someone, but He who built all things is God” (Hebrews 3:4).
In the Evolution/Creation debate some would have us believe that structures and organisms far more complex than our houses came into existence by random chance or cosmic accident. On our part, we as Christians have two great weapons in this debate. First, the very world around us cries out in testimony to an almighty Maker’s existence and creative ability (see Psalm 19). Secondly, the Bible, the Word of God, clearly testifies that the Maker of heaven and earth is almighty God, whom we know also as our Father.
We are happy that scientists use their powerful microscopes to discover that living organisms are structured in complex and intricate designs, as if blueprinted by a masterful designer. Simply put, in our 21st century world not only the walls are talking! The flora and fauna around us, as well as our own bodies and the very heavens themselves, fairly shout the wonders of an amazing Creator full of power and creative ability.
Recently astronomers discovered what is being called the largest
structure in the universe. It is an estimated four billion light-years across
(as compared to the Milky Way galaxy which is estimated to be “only” 100,000 light years in diameter). This Large Quasar Group (known as U1.27 or Huge—LQG) is causing some problems for many in the space business who are saying that this discovery is calling into question the Big Bang Theory itself.
At the very least, their “cosmological principle” has been cast into
doubt. This principle—which has been around since Albert Einstein—attempts to pinpoint the location of Earth in relation to the rest of the known universe. One observer described the “new” position this way,
“It’s a great big universe, and we’re all really puny. Yes, humankind is probably even more insignificant than we could ever have imagined,
thanks to [these] new findings….”
Interesting, isn’t it? About 3000 years ago King David—through both observation and the guidance of the Holy Spirit—had the following to say about man and his relative position in the universe, “O Lord, our Lord, How excellent is Your name in all the earth, Who have set Your glory above the heavens…
When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained, What is man that You are mindful of him? And the son of man that You visit him?” (Psalm 8:1,3-4)
This brings us to the most valid authority in the Creation/Evolution debate—God’s Word. Since the question of “origins” belongs to the realm of of history rather than to observational science, wouldn’t it be wonderful to have an eyewitness account of one who was there? As God put the question to Job, “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding. Who determined its limits?” (Job 38:4-5)
How comforting to know that we have been given the eternal, living Word of God, which time and again emphatically declares that God is the Maker of heaven and earth (see Genesis chapters one and two)! “This is most certainly true!”
Fellow believers, isn’t it a blessing to believe and trust in a biblical text which never needs to be updated nor rewritten to fit the latest discoveries or theories of man!? While mankind runs from hypothesis to theory and from conjecture to speculation—we are assured that nothing will change the fact that “God said…and it was so”!
Astronomers may have now relegated the Earth to a remote and insignificant corner of the universe, and it may be so—geographically speaking. But what joy and blessing that the Creator of the universe still knows where we are!
More than that, through His Word He has also given us the opportunity to know who we are. Our first parents were created in God’s own image, but when they fell into sin (as Genesis chapter three tells us), so did all their descendants. Yet He has provided us with a Savior, His Son, the Good Shepherd, through whom God’s image can be restored in us. It all takes place through God’s grace, appropriated by Spirit-wrought faith in the innocent, shed blood of Jesus Christ which redeems us from all our sins.
And think of it—through Jesus we will be blessed to see the perfect new world, the New Heavens and New Earth which our Father is preparing for us!
THE APOSTLES’ CREED
I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.
And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; He descended into hell; the third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven and sitteth on the right hand of God, the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Ghost; the Holy Christian Church, the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting. Amen.
The First Article
I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.
What does this mean?
I believe that God has created me and all creatures. He has given me my body and life, eyes, ears, and all my bodily members, my mind, and all my senses and still keeps them for me. God also preserves me by richly and daily providing clothing and shoes, food and drink, house and home, spouse and children, land, animals, and all my property and all I need to support this body and life. He protects me from all danger. He guards and defends me from every evil. God does all this because He is my good and gracious Father in heaven, not because of anything I have done to earn or deserve it. For all of this it is my duty to thank, praise, serve, and obey Him. This is most certainly true. (Martin Luther’s SMALL CATECHISM, Sydow edition, 2000)