The Bible’s teaching on creation by the triune God is foundational to its redemptive story-line. This may be seen by the fact that the first words of the Bible are about creation–“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen. 1:1). But take notice of the end of the Bible–“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth…” (Rev. 21:1). Between those two book-ends, we are told that the ground is cursed (Gen. 3:17); but we are also told that “…the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God” (Rom. 8:21). We are told that man has inherited a curse, but also that “There will no longer be any curse” (Rev. 22:3). And then, the central thrust of the Bible is about One who becomes a curse for others and whose work of redemption affects cursed humanity and the cursed creation. Christ became a curse for us (Gal. 3:13). We are told that “…if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation…” (2 Cor. 5:17). Literally, it reads, “…if anyone is in Christ, new creation…” Peter tells us that when the Lord Jesus comes again, He will usher in “new heavens and a new earth” (2 Pet. 3:13). Christ becomes a curse and releases the cursed creation from its bondage. Creation and redemption are related to one another in the Bible.
Another text which illustrates the relationship between creation and redemption is Colossians 1:13-22.
13 For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. 15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities– all things have been created through Him and for Him. 17 He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. 18 He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. 19 For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, 20 and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven. 21 And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, 22 yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach– (Col. 1:13-22)
Notice that Christ is both Creator of all things (Col. 1:16) and head of the church (Col. 1:18). Notice also that Christ reconciles all things (Col. 1:20). Sin brought a rupture to the cosmos. Sin brought distortion and curse. Mankind is fallen in sin and under a divine curse. Even some angels fell from their first abode (2 Pet. 2:4; Jude 6). It all seemed to go so wrong. God gave His first earthly son, Adam (Luke 3:38), the earth to subdue (Gen. 1:28) for His glory (Rom. 11:36). But Adam failed miserably. The last Adam, our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 15:45), however, will not fail. He will bring many sons to a glorified state of sinless perfection (Heb. 2:10), wherein all the glory, all the lauding, and all the honoring goes to Him, and rightly so.
So the Bible goes from an old creation by the triune God for His glory to a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17; 2 Pet. 3:13; Rev. 21:1). It goes from the old creation headed-up by the first Adam that was stained an infected by sin to a new creation headed-up by the last Adam (1 Cor. 15:45 and Eph. 1:10, 22-23), Christ Jesus. This new creation, unlike the first creation, will be absolutely and eternally impervious to sin (2 Pet. 3:13). The Bible’s teaching on creation is pretty important if we are going to understand the Bible. And the Bible’s teaching on creation does not end in Genesis 1 and 2.
The triune God–Father, Son and Holy Spirit–made all things for His own glory. Soli Deo gloria!Richard Barcellos Grace Reformed Baptist Church Palmdale, CA
Adapted from the author’s forthcoming Better than the Beginning: Creation in BiblicalPerspective, due out soon from RBAP.