God’s Word Creates
Having seen that Christ, the Word, is the Creator of all things, and that He redeems by His creative power, let us now learn what the Bible says as to how He created. Here is the answer: "By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth. He gathereth the waters of the sea together as a heap: He lays up the depth in storehouses. Let all the earth fear the Lord: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him. For He spake, and it was; He commanded, and it stood fast" (Ps. 33.6-9). It is very simple, and most wonderful because of its very simplicity. Well may we all exclaim, "What a word is this!"
"Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear" (Heb. 11:3). How do we know how the worlds were made? By faith. Faith gives knowledge. That is its special work. Knowledge gained by faith is not vague and uncertain, but is the most absolutely certain of any knowledge. In fact, there is no real knowledge that does not spring from faith. Knowledge that comes in any other way is speculation. The unbelieving soul regards faith as folly, but the faithful soul knows that faith makes for it a solid foundation. Whoever will believe may know.
The knowledge of the alphabet is one of the most common things in the world. It lies at the very foundation of all learning. No one ridicules the child saying that he knows the letters of the alphabet, and for declaring most positively, in spite of all contradiction, that "A" is "A". And yet he knows that only by faith. He has never investigated the subject for himself; he has accepted the statement of his teacher. The teacher himself had to learn the alphabet in the same way - by faith. It was not demonstrated to him that "A" is "A." It could not have been. If he had refused to believe the fact till it was demonstrated to him, he never would have learned to read. He had to accept the fact by faith, and then it would prove itself true under every circumstance. There is nothing of which people are more absolutely sure than they are of the letters of the alphabet, and there is nothing for which they are more absolutely dependent on faith.
Now, just as the child learns the alphabet, so we learn the truths of God. Whoever receives the kingdom of heaven must receive it as a little child. By faith we learn to know Jesus Christ, who is the Alpha and the Omega, - the entire alphabet of God. He who believes the simple statement of the Bible, concerning creation, may know for a certainty that God did create the heaven and the earth by the power of His Word. The fact that some unbeliever doubts this, and thinks it is foolish, does not shake his knowledge, nor prove that he does not know it, any more than our knowledge of the alphabet is shaken or disproved by some other person's ignorance of it.
Man is made in the image of God, but he has no creative power. In the breath of God there are not only the forms, but the very living things themselves, for He is the living God, and with Him is "the fountain of life." When He speaks, the word, which names the thing, contains the very thing itself. Whatever the word describes exists in living form in that word.
This is indicated by the words of the Apostle Paul concerning God that He "calleth those things which be not as though they were." This is an attribute of Divinity alone. If a man calls a thing that is not, as though it were, it is a lie. But God does so, and He cannot lie. How is this? Simply because that when He calls a thing by name, or says that a thing will be, it already exists, even though it cannot be seen. The thing is in His word. When He names a thing that previously had no existence, that instant the thing exists, for His word forms it as He names it. When He says that a thing will be, and then it is as sure as though it had already appeared, because it does really exist in the word that has been spoken. It is for this reason that so much of prophecy is in the perfect tense, as though already accomplished. So when the worlds were to be brought into existence, God spoke, and there they were. The breath of His mouth formed them.
Now see how firm a foundation is given the believing one who knows that all things were created by the word of God, and that when God speaks the thing named exists, full of life. The Psalmist says, "I will hear what God the Lord will speak: for He will speak peace unto His people, and to His saints” (Ps. 85:8). He speaks peace through the Divine Word, "for He is our peace” (Eph. 2:14). But peace means righteousness, for we read, "Great peace have they which love Thy law: and nothing shall offend them," (Ps. 119:165) or cause them to stumble. And again, "O that thou hadst hearkened to My commandments! then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea" (Isa. 48:18). Then it must be that God speaks righteousness when He speaks peace. And so it is, for again we read:—
"But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; being justified [made righteous, or doers of the law] freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; to declare, I say, at this time His righteousness: that He might be just, and the Justifier of Him which believeth in Jesus" (Rom. 3:21-26).
Notice that man is declared to have no righteousness: "There is none that doeth good, no, not one" (Rom. 3:12). No one has anything in him out of which righteousness can be made. Then the righteousness of God is put, literally, into and upon all that believe. Then they are both clothed with righteousness, and filled with it, according to the Scripture. In fact, they then become "the righteousness of God" in Christ. And how is this accomplished? God declares His righteousness upon the one who believes. To declare is to speak. So God speaks to the sinner, who is nothing, and who has nothing, and says, "You are righteous," and immediately that believing sinner ceases to be a sinner, and is the righteousness of God. The word of God which speaks righteousness has the righteousness itself in it, and as soon as the sinner believes, and receives that word into his own heart by faith, that moment he has the righteousness of God in his heart; and since out of the heart are the issues of life, it follows that a new life is thus begun in him; and that life is a life of obedience to the commandments of God. Thus faith is indeed the substance of things hoped for, because faith appropriates the word of God, and the word of God is substance.
E. J. Waggoner.
Excerpted from “The Gospel in Creation”