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In Him All Things Consist

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1)

These majestic words set the stage for the most-read, most-printed, and most-translated book in history—the Holy Bible.

Compare that statement to how Carl Sagan opened the 1980 television series Cosmos: A Personal Voyage: “The cosmos is all there is, or was, or ever shall be.” The universe, according to Sagan, is nothing more than mass, energy, and time (lots and lots of it). It’s all happenstance, directionless, purposeless, and random.

In great contrast, Genesis 1:1 proclaims that the universe is designed, created, and upheld by God. God is the reason why there is something rather than nothing. In the beginning He also created the processes by which it is maintained and continues.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. . . . All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.” (John 1:1,3)

The Word, Jesus Christ, fulfilled the Holy Scriptures. From Genesis through Revelation, He is the Alpha and Omega.

It’s also worthwhile to note that, during the era when John wrote his Gospel, logos (Greek for “word”) was a term commonly used in philosophical discussions in cultures (outside Judea) referring to the “ultimate reality.” It was hotly debated what that ultimate reality was. In the opening verses of his Gospel, John boldly proclaimed to everyone in every culture that the Logos is a person—Jesus Christ.

God’s Word is information. One thing that sets it apart from other sources of information is that His Word is also power. It is the power by which all things were made (Genesis 1), all things are upheld by the word of His power (Hebrews 1:3), and His Gospel is the power of God unto salvation (Romans 1:16). Contrary to the theory of evolution, information and power necessarily precede everything in creation.

Genesis declares that there was a beginning. John 1 tells us that the Word was already there. God the Word is eternal. He did not have a beginning.

“All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him not even one thing came into being that has come into being.” (John 1:3 NASB)

God the Word did not come into being. He always was and ever will be. Everything that DID come into being did so according to His will, His design, and His power.

God spoke the universe into being. “Word” implies information, information is fundamental to communication, and communication is fundamental to how everything in this world operates. That is also true when people make things, especially complex things. The process begins in their minds. Next they produce a plan, diagram, or some other visualization of what they intend to make. Dimensions, measurements, and perspectives are part of that process. Carpenters, engineers, and architects would likely not succeed by aimlessly throwing pieces and parts together. How much less likely that carbon, lithium, iron, and other elements would come together randomly and produce computer hardware. And what about the software filled with information? Forget about it! The complexity of DNA and the processing systems within a single cell are far more complex.

We live in a word-based universe. This is so because it was first a Word-based universe.

We join in this marvelous confession: “For by [Christ] all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.” (Colossians 1:16-17)

Delwyn Maas is pastor of Gift of God Lutheran Church in Mapleton, North Dakota, and St. Paul’s Lutheran Church of Ponsford, Minnesota.