Pastoral Overview

This monthly blog series contains a brief pastoral overview of each chapter of the 2nd London Confession. Written by a pastor for his flock, this series is a lovely collection of articles aimed at introducing congregations to the confession.

Chapter 4 - Of Creation

In the beginning it pleased God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, for the manifestation of the glory of his eternal power, wisdom, and goodness, to create or make the world, and all things therein, whether visible or invisible, in the space of six days, and all very good.

Second London Baptist Confession of Faith, Ch4, P1.

For the Manifestation of His Glory

No doctrine has been more continuously assaulted over the past 150 years than that the triune God is the maker of everything visible and invisible in the heavens and on earth. In the beginning, God made the heavens and the earth. God accomplished all he planned and made through Christ, the second person of the trinity, the Word who would became flesh. All things were made through him, and without him, nothing was made that was made (Genesis 1.1; John 1.2). The agent of this work was the Holy Spirit, who, being God, was present at the beginning and hovered over the face of the waters. 

The purpose of this incredible work of beauty, power, wisdom and goodness is for the praise of God’s glory. The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament shows his handiwork (Psalm 19.1). Consider one example that highlights the immensity of the greatness of his power at work in creation. The galaxy in which we dwell on earth is only one of the trillions more that no scientist can count. Earth’s galaxy rotates at 490,000 miles an hour, and it would take 200 million years to make one rotation.

The immensity of this work is beyond human comprehension. Genesis 1 teaches that God called forth all of this into being from nothing at the beginning of time. The triune God ordered and shaped this mass in six consecutive days. At each stage, God saw that his work was good. On the final day, his final act was creating man and woman who were made in his own image, and it was very good. 

The Lord Jesus Christ himself confirms that human beings, in the beginning, were made male and female (Mark 10.6). This teaching of creation is vital to grasp in a world that has lost the knowledge of God and so lost the knowledge of who we are as human beings. Today, people question the place and the role human beings are to occupy and even how God physically made us. God, however, made the heavens and earth; he made light and darkness; he made day and night; he made the earth and the sea; he made the sun and the moon; he made the fish of the sea; he made the birds of the air; he made man and woman. 

Do you get it? There is a definite design in the making of humanity, and one is either a man or a woman. As the apex of creation, he made them with dignity, to have dominion over the created order and for fellowship. He made them with knowledge, righteousness and true holiness and wrote his law upon their hearts. Thus, to paraphrase the opening words of Calvin’s Institutes, “Without knowledge of God, there is no knowledge of self”.

Since man’s identity is the image of God, this means that it always remains intimately and indissolubly related to God.

Since man’s identity is the image of God, this means that it always remains intimately and indissolubly related to God. A biblical doctrine of creation is vital for understanding who we are as human beings. From this knowledge, we realise that we are not what he made us to be.     

The Christian is to take note. Considering the greatness of the heavens, the measure of the dust, and the mountains’ weight, we can trust God as all-powerful and wise. Often the saint is extorted to consider God’s handiwork and to trust him. FOr instance, look at the birds of the air! They neither sow, reap or gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Before we can sing the new song of salvation, the first song the believer needs to learn is the song of creation, without which there is no worship of God.   

You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power. For you created all things, and by your will, they exist and were created.

(Revelation 4.7) 

Picture of Chris Rees

Chris Rees

Minister, Bethesda Baptist Chapel, Narberth, Wales