Faulty Paradigm #9
“God the Father is the Creator of the Universe”
One of the worst theological errors to be found within the Christian Church is the belief that it was God the Father who had been the Creator of the Universe One of the greatest causes of this Biblical misunderstanding is to be found within the words of the Apostle’s Creed This man inspired Statement of Faith has been recited liturgically throughout the history of the New Testament Church It has found use in not only the Roman Catholic Church, but also in many of the Protestant Churches, including the Anglican, Presbyterian, Methodist, Congregationalist, and Lutheran denominations Its influence upon the Church has obviously been quite vast and extensive.
The origin of the use of the Apostle’s Creed goes back to at least 390 AD, where it is mentioned in the writings of Ambrose It is often associated with the 4th Century belief that the 12 Apostles themselves were the authors of the Creed The Roman Catholic Church incorporated the Creed into their Catechism and divided the Creed into 12 separate statements in order to denote the contributions of the 12 separate Apostles.
The Creed in its entirety, reads as follows:
“I believe in God the Father Almighty, creator of Heaven
and Earth I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried: He descended to the dead On the 3rd day he rose again; he ascended into Heaven, and is seated on the right hand of God the Father Almighty He will come again to judge the living and the dead I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting” Amen.
Jesus Christ the Creator of the Universe
The main problematic issue of the Apostle’s Creed can be found within the words of its opening statement: “I believe in God the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth”
The reason that this statement poses such a theological problem, is that it is in direct conflict with the written Word of God For the idea that the 1st Person of the Trinity, God the Father, created the Universe, is nowhere to be found within the pages of Scripture The Member of the Godhead to whom the act of Creation is attributed to, is none other than the 2nd Person of the Trinity, Jesus Christ The following are some of the numerous Scriptural references that attest to this fact:
“All things were made by Him (Jesus Christ); and without Him was not any thing made that was made” John 1:3
“He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not” John 1:10
“For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him, and for Him” Colossians 1:16.
“God, Who at sundry times and in diverse manners spake in times unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son, whom he hath appointed Heir of all things, by Whom also he made the worlds” Hebrews 1:1,2.
The Plan of God
Scripture is implicit in its declaration that all of the historical events that have both already occurred, and that will yet occur, are a part of the Plan of God This of course includes the act of Creation David the Psalmist tells us that it is God who rules over both heaven and earth:
“The LORD hath prepared his throne in the heavens: and his kingdom ruleth over all” Psalm 103:19.
The Prophet Isaiah later informs us of God’s sovereign power in the control of history:
“Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure” Isaiah 46:10.
The Apostle Paul wrote to the Ephesians regarding God’s sovereign plan:
“In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will” Ephesians 1:11.
When it comes to the outworking of world history, God’s Word teaches us that God the Father functions primarily as that of the “planner”, for all things that do occur are said to be, “of him” God the Son on the other hand, functions chiefly as the implementer of the Father’s Plan, for all things are said to occur “by him” The Apostle Paul wrote of these facts in his first letter to the Corinthians:
“But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him: And one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him” I Corinthians 8:6.
So, we see that it was Jesus Christ, as the 2nd Person of the Trinity, whose duty it was in the Plan of God the Father to be the actual Creator of the Universe At the moment of Creation, which our 21st Century scientists often refer to as “The Big Bang”, Scripture informs us that it was accomplished by Jesus, simply by the waving of His hand Such is the power and might of the Lord Jesus Christ!
“Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of His Hand, and meted out heaven with the span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountain in scales, and the hills in a balance?” Isaiah 40:12
The Enormity of the Creation
No study of Jesus Christ as the Creator of the Universe would be complete without some discussion as to the size and scope of the Universe itself When viewed from a comparative format, the total amount of the structures that mankind has built throughout the time of his existence upon planet earth pales when compared to the size and depth of the Universe that Jesus created at the very beginning of time Theologian Eric Sauer in “The Dawn of World Redemption”, stated that as of the early 20th Century, “All that man has built on the whole world, ships, cities, and villages, taken together, would not occupy 300 cubic miles; Professor Betex, indeed, reckons only 98 cubic miles But the physical Earth itself contains 260,000 millions of cubic miles!”
It is extremely difficult for mankind to grasp the enormity of what Jesus Christ did in the Creation of the Universe For not only does the size of the earth in and of itself make the accomplishments of mankind’s creative building efforts seem trivial at best, when we compare the Earth and all of its glory to the size of our Sun, we see that our Planet Earth is also quite insignificant in its magnitude Our sun measures out to be 2,713,406 miles in circumference It would take over 1 million earths (1,297,000 to be exact), to fill up the interior dimensions of our Sun, which of course, is also a part of the creative handiwork of Jesus Christ .
When we consider the size of our Sun in relation to the size of some of the other stars in the Universe, it too can be seen to be rather insignificant in its magnitude The star Betelgeuse for example, is approximately 700 times larger than our Sun, and shines with an intensity that is 14,000 times brighter! The star known as UY Scuti is 1,700 times larger than our Sun and shines with an intensity that is 400,000 times brighter!
While there are many stars that are only 1/10 the size of our Sun, cosmologically speaking, our sun is merely an average sized star When viewed within the context of the galaxy in which it resides, the Milky Way, our Sun can be seen to be a rather insignificant star amongst a group of well over 100 billion other such stars.
Our galaxy, the Milky Way, is also insignificant in terms of the countless other galaxies that are spread out over the vast expanses of space For many years of the 20th Century, it was believed that there were approximately 100 billion galaxies in the observable Universe In recent years however, with the improvements made to the Hubble Telescope, the latest astronomical observations made by NASA and others now show that there could be over 2,000 billion galaxies in the observable Universe When we consider that each of these galaxies in turn contain on the average approximately 100 billion stars, we can further begin to realize the enormity of Jesus’ handiwork in Creation.
While at one time in the 20th Century, it was believed that the entire visible Universe consisted of over 10,000 million, million, million stars (100,000,000,000,000,000,000,000), we are now aware that the actual number of stars within the visible Universe greatly exceeds that earlier estimate This has prompted many scientists to state that there could be more stars in the Universe than there are grains of sand on the earth! That such a correlation should be mentioned within the scientific community is truly a tremendous fact For this same direct correlation between the number of stars in the heavens and the “sands of the sea” is also made within the pages of Scripture.
In the Book of Hebrews, we are reminded that God had
told Abraham that the number of his descendants would be so numerous, that they could be likened to the innumerable number of “stars in the sky, and the sands of the sea” (Hebrews 11:12).
This brings us to another facet of the immensity of the Universe that was created by Jesus For the Universe is not only large regarding the magnitude of the celestial bodies of which it constituted, but it is also large in the scope of the distances between these bodies Science tells us that light travels at a speed of 186,000 miles per second At this speed, it takes the light reflected by our Moon a full 1 1/2 seconds to reach the Earth The light emitted by our Sun takes a full 8 1/2 minutes to reach us here on the Earth! Within the expanse of our solar system, the light reflected from the Planet Neptune takes approximately 4 hours to reach our planet The closest star to our solar system, Alpha Centauri, is yet another story within itself For the distance to our closest star is measured not in terms of speed of light-minutes or in speed of light-hours, but rather in terms of light-years One light-year, the total distance that light will travel in a full year of time, is a distance of approximately 6 trillion miles It takes the light emitted from Alpha Centauri over 4 years to reach the Earth, a distance of over 24 trillion miles! The light from the closest galaxy to our Milky Way, the Andromeda Galaxy, takes a full 2 1⁄2 million of said light years to reach the Earth, a distance of over 15 million trillion miles!
Yet this distance is small in comparison to the other far outreaches of the visible Universe Scientists tell us that this light comes to us from a distance of over 137 billion light years away, 137 billion years being modern science’s estimated age of the Universe That is a total of 78,000 billion trillion miles.
In that we can only see as far out into the Universe as there has been time for light to get to us, scientists recognize the fact that not only is there a visible Universe, but there is also an invisible Universe that we are not physically able to observe In recent years, astronomers have speculated that the total Universe could actually be 250 times larger than what we can observe in our actual known visible Universe!
The immensity and vastness of Jesus’ Creation stands as a testament to the veracity of Scripture as proclaimed by Paul in his letter to the Romans:
“O the depths of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!” Romans 11:33.
The enormous size and magnitude of the Universe begs the question, “Why did God find it necessary to make the Universe so large? An obvious answer would be, “To reveal to man the awesome power of God”.
Another explanation for the incomprehensible vastness of the Universe might be found in the fact that God ultimately does all things for the sake of the believer (II Corinthians 4:15) God in His omniscience may have known that, “If man could find the boundaries of the Universe, he might in some way have felt a sense of emotional or intellectual confinement”
In the same light, yet another possible explanation for God’s purpose in creating such an enormous Universe would be that “God made the Universe on such a massive scale so as to quell any thoughts that man might have, that would lead him to believe that Eternal life in heaven might somehow get to be confined and boring”
On a purely physical basis, man’s natural existence is dependent on the Universe being both enormous and vast For all of life depends upon carbon, and the formation of carbon itself can only occur in a large expansive Universe.
Regarding the physical make up of the Universe, our Universe consists mainly of hydrogen (92%) and helium (8%) All of the other elements, including carbon, are considered to be “trace elements”, and constitute a mere 0001% of the total mass of the Universe Biochemists recognize the fact that the basis of life is found within DNA, and DNA itself requires carbon John A Wheeler writes:
“DNA demands carbon for its construction Carbon in turn comes into being by thermonuclear combustion in the stars Thermonuclear combustion requires billions of years of time”
But according to general relativity, a Universe cannot provide billions of years of time unless it also has billions of light-years of extent From this point of view it is not the Universe that has dominion over man, but man who governs the size of the Universe.
The Importance of Natural Law in Christ’s Creation
With the act of Creation, not only did Jesus create a massive and expansive Universe, but He also created an environment on Planet Earth that would be uniquely capable of supporting all manner of life, especially that of the life of man Isaiah tells us that the Earth was created expressly for the purpose of it being inhabited (Isaiah 45:18) Along with the Earth’s Creation, Jesus also created the natural laws by which it is governed The relationship between the physical properties of the Earth and the Laws of Nature that govern it are critical for mankind’s survival The following are some of these relationships:
1) The size of the Earth itself is of the utmost importance for establishing the right atmospheric gases which are necessary for man’s survival.
2) The distance of the Earth from the Sun allows for a suitable
temperature range for the formation and survival of carbon chains.
3) The rate of revolution of the Earth provides for the alternating light that is required by plants for oxygen formation.
4) The tilt of the Earth’s axis allows for the changing of seasons, which in turn keeps the proliferation of disease causing bacteria in check.
5) The land to water ratio of the Earth is appropriately suited for the proper irrigation of the land.
It is also of great interest to realize that when Jesus established the Laws of Nature, He also made man’s survival dependent upon the occasional violation of these established Laws Arthur Custance points out in “Man in Adam, and Man in Christ”, the following three Laws of Nature that of necessity, have to be “violated” in order for mankind to survive:
1) Natural Law dictates that as liquids cool, their density increases This Law remains in effect until water reaches a certain temperature level, 32 degrees Fahrenheit, at which time its density decreases, and forms ice Ice acts as a natural insulator to the possible future deleterious effects of continuous cold temperatures If it were not for this abrogation of this Natural Law, that cooler liquids become more dense, then most of the waters on the Earth’s surface would annually freeze out, and any life that was within these waters would cease to exist.
2) The second Natural Law that is broken in the interest of mankind’s survival is the Law of Gravity In regard to the Earth’s atmosphere, if the Law of Gravity was not overruled by the Law of Diffusion of Gases, then all of the harmful heavier gases would settle to the lower parts of the atmosphere, and thereby eliminate all life.
3) The third Natural Law that is superseded is the Law of Heat The Law of Heat dictates that when temperatures are exceedingly low, chemical reactions slow down and then eventually cease to exist, should the temperature become too low The combustion that occurs in our Sun is of such a volatile nature however, that as the temperatures rise, the Sun would literally burn itself out if it were not for the fact that the Law of Heat is also abrogated during extremely high temperatures At a certain high temperature, combustion in the Sun also ceases, thereby stopping it from experiencing a “heat death”
By designing the Laws that govern our Universe as such, it
is almost as if the Father Designer and the Son Creator were taunting those future members of mankind who would make a God out of “Mother Nature” For it is one thing to believe that the Laws of Nature could have evolved naturally, but it is entirely preposterous to believe that somehow these laws had to be abrogated in order for life to exist, and that this abrogation in turn also came about by natural forces! God truly does indeed, “take the wise in their own craftiness” (Job 5:13).
It is simply awe-inspiring to consider that the little baby lying in the manger in Bethlehem, was also its all-powerful Creator Although this defies both human comprehension and reason, it is nonetheless the Truth as revealed in the Word of God.
How different would be the depth of our Christian experience if we would simply be more cognizant of the reality of who Jesus Christ really is!!! In that we do not recognize Him as being the Creator, we tend to over emphasize His role as the Son of God, when in fact, He is much, much, more than that Although Jesus’ role as the Son of God is easy for children and new believers to understand, there does come a time in every Christian’s life in which he is to “grow up”, so to speak. The Apostle Paul addressed this issue in his first letter to the Church at Corinth:
“When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things” I Corinthians 13:11.
A significant part of Christian growth is to have an intellectual grasp of who Jesus Christ really is Not only are we to recognize Him in his role as our Redeemer, but we are also to be aware of His magnificent Power, as was demonstrated in His role as the Creator of all things, both visible and invisible (Colossians 1:16)! This is all part and parcel to why Jesus commanded His disciples to, “learn of me” (Matthew 11:29)
The idea that the Creator of the Universe would also be mankind’s Redeemer is taught throughout the pages of Scripture In Genesis 3:15, Jesus, whom Adam knew as his Creator, proclaimed that it would be He himself who would redeem the wrong that Adam and Eve had committed in the Fall.
The Prophet Isaiah echoed this same sentiment in recognizing that the Creator of the Universe was also going to perform the role of Redeemer:
“Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretched forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself;” Isaiah 44:24.
Not only does the Old Testament teach us that the Creator would also be the Redeemer, but the very disciples of Jesus taught this same message within the pages of the New Testament We must remember that Jesus’ disciple John, who was fully aware of the redemptive work of Jesus (John 1:29), also wrote that Jesus Christ was indeed the world’s Creator: “He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not” (John 1:10).
To this, Paul had also added that not only had Jesus been responsible for saving us from our sins, but that He had in fact also been the Creator of “all things” (Ephesians 3:9), both in heaven and on the earth (Colossians 1:16).
Now if both the Old and the New Testaments teach us that the Redeemer of mankind was also the Creator of all things, should we not as modern-day believers also be careful to be fully aware of this fact in our theological understanding? Regrettably, the role of Jesus as Creator is not only obscured by the Creeds of the Church, but also by omission from many of our pulpits today.
A good method to remind us of Jesus’ true power and majesty is, that when reading the pages of the New Testament, and coming across references to our Lord, replace the name of “Jesus” with that of “God” By incorporating this simple little exercise, we could go a long way in bringing ourselves back to a more accurate understanding of who our Savior really is.
While it is one thing for us to comprehend that the Son of God died for us on the Cross, the reality that this same Jesus, our Redeemer, was also the Creator of our vast Universe, is a stupendous truth that much of Christendom is sadly unaware of.
When we view Jesus Christ in the light of the tremendous Power that He exhibited in the Creation of the Universe, how utterly vain do the actions of the Jewish religious leaders appear to be during the days of His Incarnation For they defied and questioned both his being and authority at every turn They then later foolishly conspired to kill this same Person who had created both them and the vast Universe in which they resided.
In like manner, how vain too can we as believers be, when in the course of living our lives, we flippantly choose to live to please ourselves, rather than seeking to live a life that would be found to be “pleasing in His sight” (I John 3:22).