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Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Genesis Principles - Creator:Created

There is one system in theology known as Dispensationalism. There are, of course, others, but the prevalent one today is that one. In Dispensationalism the idea is that the history of the world has been in dispensations, actually stewardships. God has dealt with people in various ways over history, from Innocence with Adam and Eve through the Law with Moses through Grace in the Church age. (It's much more complicated and more steps than that, but you get the idea.) The notion, down at this end of the history pool, is that much of the Old Testament, then, belongs to an earlier Dispensation and is no longer applicable to us. In fact, it works the same way in some Covenantal theologies and others as well. Even if you're not in those categories, most Christians are under the impression that the Old Testament is no longer in effect in some way or another. And that's supported with Scripture.

Common to all Dispensations and all Covenants or whatever other form you'd like to take, however, is what I will be calling the Genesis Principles. These are principles set out in the first three chapters of Genesis. They are so basic as to be universal. They aren't part of the Mosaic Law which Paul says we are not under or the Abrahamic Covenant which was fulfilled in Christ or whatever other limiting factor. The Bible itself often traces its doctrines back to the beginning because these principles would remain in effect because they are prior to Dispensations, Covenants, or any other factor. So I'm going to spend some time outlining some Genesis Principles that should impact your life even today long after Genesis has come and gone.

The first is the principle of the Creator and the Created. This principle is found quite obviously in the very first verse of the Bible. Come on. Say it with me. "In the beginning, God created ..." (Gen 1:1). The rest of the first chapter consists of 31 verses detailing six days of ... creation. This isn't rocket science. (No, that would come much later.)

So? Well, in the first verse of the Bible the author of Genesis, inspired by God, set down a singular principle. In the beginning there was God ... and nothing else. Well, the angels could have existed, perhaps, but clearly God is a singularity, a "one of a kind". He told Moses, "Say this to the people of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you'" (Exo 3:14). God is unique in the universe in that He always has been. He is the First Mover, the Uncreated Creator. Of God the Son John says, "All things were made through Him, and without Him was not any thing made that was made" (John 1:3). So Genesis 1:1 lays out this primary principle. In the universe there is God, the Creator, and not God. The "not God" category would be "the created". That which was made.

This may sound basic and even boring, but think about it. Paul says that it was the created "who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth" (Rom 1:18). What truth? The truth about the Creator (Rom 1:19-21). Instead of acknowledging God in His position as Creator, the created chose to exchange "the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator" (Rom 1:25).

Since Adam, then, this has been our primary problem. We fail to recognize the distinction between Creator and creature. We prefer to elevate ourselves above the Creator, to serve the creature (ourselves) rather than the Creator. We do it by demanding that the Creator conform to our expectations and doubt when He fails to do so. We do it by siding with Man rather than God again and again because Man is easily as important as the Creator. We do it without thinking, without recognizing it, without caring. The word is "anthropocentrism". We make Man the center where God should be.

A fundamental condition is laid out in Genesis 1. There is a distinction between Creator and Created. There is one Creator. Only one. He has primacy, priority, authority, all rights, all privileges. The second we begin to diminish Him in any category, we are succumbing to the problem of the Created, failing to see the distinction and seeking, instead, to make ourselves like the Most High, a condition we will never achieve. I would suspect that we would be much better off if we could view life first through that first principle of Creator:Created distinction. It would tend to properly order a lot of things in life.


David said...

This is one of those topics that will be difficult to truly talk about because I bet many people are going to get side tracked by the "Creation" part of the Principle. Young Earth, Old Earth, Day-Age, etc. are not in view of this post, only that there IS a Creator Who is to be worshiped, and there is a created who often misplace their worship. And it is a premise repeated multiple times in the New Testament, reaffirming it continuing validity. Don't get side-tracked.

Stan said...

Yes, indeed. And I tried not to play into that sidetrack.

But I do wonder if it brings up a question. Is the "Young Earth/Old Earth/etc." question a product of an overemphasis on the Creature rather than the Creator? Just idly wondering, you know.