How did life begin? For centuries the Christian has answered that basic question with the words: “I believe in God the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth”. This is a truth which we hold dear at the Orangeville Canadian Reformed Church. We are convinced this is such an important truth that we ask a few moments of your time to explain it and its significance for daily life.
God the Creator
As Christians we believe that the world which we live in has not come into existence by chance but by the powerful, creative word of God. As it would be ridiculous to expect a large explosion in a paint factory to produce a beautiful, detailed picture, so it is ridiculous to expect a large explosion to produce the present world with all its beauty and complexity. An honest look at the world in which we live can only lead to the conclusion that someone very great, powerful and wise put it altogether. There has to be a creative mind, an artist behind the marvel of the universe.
Who is the artist behind this masterpiece of creation? We would never know if the artist had not made himself known to us. The creator of the universe, however, has stepped out of the shadows and told us about himself. As Christians we believe that the artist of Creation has made himself known in the Bible. That artist is God. The Bible is the Word of God in which he tells us about himself. In that Bible he also tells us about the origin of life, the origin of the universe!
As a matter of fact, the very first thing you learn when you read the Bible is that God created all things. The opening words of the Bible are, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). In the elaboration that follows, it is made clear that God divided his creative work over six days. On the first day he created light. On the second day he separated the waters on the earth from those above the earth. On the third day he made dry land and vegetation. On the fourth day he created the sun, moon and stars. On the fifth day he created birds and fishes. On the sixth day he created animals and mankind. How did God create them? By simply giving a command! For example, he said “Let there be light”, and there was light. When God says something it happens!
Of course this may beg the question: “Who says that all this is true? Doesn’t modern science give us a different, more reasonable answer?” Ask yourself though: Is it reasonable to expect a beautiful painting to come out of an explosion in a paint factory? In connection with this, it is worthwhile to quote words God spoke to a man by the name of Job. Job had many questions for God because even though he served God, he had lost all his wealth, his health and his family. God answered Job by asking him, “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell me if you understand” (Job 38:4).
So the question is: Whose word are we going to accept about how life began? Will it be the words of human beings, who have studied science? But man changes his opinions and theories every so often. And what can a human being know about something no one has witnessed? To say that God is the Creator is a statement of faith, but so is it to say the present beautiful and complex world is the result of an explosion. The Christian says: I believe God’s Word more than a human’s word.
God the Father
While we speak of God as Creator, we also call him Father. We can learn from creation there must be a God, but we can only learn about God as Father through the Bible. In the Bible it is explained how God has become our Father. By calling him Father we speak about our intimate relationship with the very God who created all things.
This is truly a remarkable relationship. For, the Bible shows that mankind, made very good by God in the beginning, rebelled against God. Though in the beginning there had been the Father/child relationship, humankind became God’s enemy. You can read about this in Genesis 3. Mankind lost the right to call God “Father”.
How is it then, you may wonder, that Christians call God Father? The answer lies in the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ was sent by God to bring disobedient children back to God. The mission of Jesus Christ was to bring reconciliation between God and sinners by giving his life unto death on a cross. Jesus Christ takes sinners and leads them to the Father. He said on one occasion: “I am the way and the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6).
Comfort in having the Creator as Father
As Christians we speak of the Creator as Father because the Lord Jesus Christ has made that possible. He has taken away the obstacle of our sins which alienated us from God. Through Jesus Christ we are not afraid of the Creator because he is our Father. When we hide behind Jesus Christ, we know we are safe from God’s righteous punishment over our sins for God has declared that “whoever believes in [Jesus] shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
Further, it a great source of comfort to have the Creator as our Father for daily living. The Bible shows that the same God who created the world also daily looks after it. Life is not ruled by chance but by God. There is a beautiful account of his care in Matthew 6:25-34. If God the Father is powerful enough to create all things by just giving the command, if he loves enough to give Jesus Christ, then really what is there for Christians to worry about? God will provide. Even if he does not give escape from hardship, he certainly will give strength to face all hardship. He holds up his children in all the trials of life.
The belief in God the Father is thus not just an abstract concept. It is a belief that shapes one’s life in a very positive way, giving hope and certainty in a hopeless and uncertain world.
It is very well possible that some of you who read this have been familiar with the Christian faith in the past. Perhaps you grew up with it in your youth, but somehow have drifted away from it. For others, the Christian faith may seem like one of the many religions, and the whole concept of religion may seem strange. For others it may be that you have a certain faith, but not the Christian faith. Though it may seem the polite thing to leave everyone his or her own opinion, the Bible claims that the God who created the world, who is Father to all Christians, is the only true God. At one point he said through one of his prophets, “This is what the LORD says – Israel’s King and Redeemer, the LORD Almighty: “I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no god” (Isaiah 44:6).
It is our conviction that every person in the world is called to serve this God, for he alone is the true God. Further, we see it as our task to proclaim that the only access to this God is through Jesus Christ. It is our prayer that through this message your heart will be stirred to join us in the worship of the only true God, and confess the Creator as your Father in Jesus Christ.
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