The Importance of the Doctrine of Creation
“Let us kneel before the LORD our Maker”
~ Psalm 95:6~
The doctrine of creation affects every area of life. We breathe created air, walk upon created ground, and look for the new creation to come. God revealed His glory to His creation and in this created world has unfolded the drama of redemption. Sadly, the biblical account of creation is under attack today. Some ridicule creation, others reject it outright. Should believers concede ground here? No, for compromising the doctrine of creation has far reaching effects for life and faith. This article will present five reasons creation is important while encouraging the reader to stand unashamedly upon the truth of the Word of God.
Creation teaches man about his origins
One of the worst effects of amnesia is that people forget who they are. While we are more than the sum of our memories, the knowledge of birthplace, parents, upbringing—even our own names—all serve powerfully to shape our identities. Considering the widespread antagonism against the biblical account of creation, is it surprising that one of today’s most heated controversies focuses upon identity? So many are confused about who they are, and the answers the world holds forth are increasingly destructive.
The Bible explains both man’s identity and origin. God’s “Let there be” called forth and fashioned light, the seas, the earth, plants, and all living things. With man God did something different, “Let Us make man in Our image” (Gen 1:26). The Lord God fashioned man from the dust of the ground, molding him in unsearchable wisdom and making him a living being (Gen. 2:7).
Man is no soul-less product of evolution, but a fearfully and wonderfully fashioned person made to know and serve God in His presence (Ps. 139:14). Yet who can boast of being made from dust? Who can boast whose very existence is derived from another? An identity informed by creation is one of both dignity and humility. Man and women are not developed animals but dependent humans, made to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever (WSC 1).
Creation calls man to trust God at His Word
“By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible” (Heb. 11:3). This faith is the reasonable foundation for knowledge. John Brown of Edinburgh wrote, “God has given us a revelation on this subject, and our knowledge rises out of our belief of that revelation.” The Westminster Confession adds, “By this faith, a Christian believeth to be true whatsoever is revealed in the Word” (WCF 14.2)
God spoke all things into existence and perfectly formed the universe in the space of six days (Ex. 20:11). However, through a combination of societal pressures, desire for academic standing, or fear of being called a fundamentalist, many believers have faltered on this particular point. But consider: if it is too difficult to believe God created the universe in six days, what about the more “difficult” doctrines God teaches? If a believer concedes to worldly pressure on creation, what about the resurrection? Some claimed the resurrection was incredible (Acts 26:8) and others mocked Paul for believing it (Acts 17:32). Yet Christians believe this, not because reason can uncover empirical evidence for doing so, but because God’s Word declares it to be true. Do not be ashamed. Do not doubt. Remember, “our God is in heaven; He does whatever He pleases” (Ps. 115:3).
Creation teaches man that he is accountable
Image bearers are accountable to God, for he created man in knowledge, righteousness, and holiness (Eccl. 7:29, Eph. 4:24, Col. 3:10). In the Garden Adam and Eve knew their Lord, were morally blameless, and were capable of serving before Him in sacred love. By sinning against God, the knowledge which once pulsed with love became poisoned by fear, and their righteousness and holiness were sullied. Yet their obligation as creatures before God remained.
Fallen man still bears God’s image. Among other things, this means each person owes God perfect obedience (WCF 19.1). To this solemn requirement the heart of the rebellious tragically cry, “We will not have this God to reign over us.” How corrupted and twisted has fallen man become! Those who bear the image of God are now responsible for the subjection of this world to futility. Worse, we have all engaged in an impossible war against God, fueled onward by the spirit of rebellion.
Here we arrive to the great mystery and glory of the gospel. The One through whom all things were made, and to whom all image bearers are accountable, took upon Himself the obligations of His people: “He was bruised for our iniquities” and not His own (Is. 53:5). Consider: straying from the biblical account of creation causes other things to unravel, including the exegetical basis for the legitimacy of the Second Adam living and dying in the place of accountable sinners (Rom. 5:14).
Creation is the sphere in which man communes with God
After fashioning Adam from the dust of the ground, God put the man into the pristine splendor of Eden. This was the setting in which the Lord God brought Adam into covenant with Him. This was the place of the first wedding, the place where the man and his wife walked with their Creator.
God created man for communion, and that communion occurred in the created world. After the fall and sad ejection, man’s greatest longing is to return to the rest and fellowship God provided there. Tragically, sin has so disordered the affections that man abuses creation in his quest to recover that pleasure. Cain’s city, Babel’s tower, and Pharaoh’s pyramids all stand as monuments to the length that man will go to find rest and communion apart from God.
The Lord’s solution was far better. First by promising a Seed (Gen. 3:15), then in a tabernacle, then a temple, He demonstrated that all was not lost. His dwelling place would be with man. At the appointed time, the Word became flesh and tabernacled among us (Jn. 1:14). Jesus became a true man and entered this creation to seek and the save that which was lost so that the redeemed might live with Him forever (Jn. 17:24). Now saints await the day of consummation, looking for a new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells (Rom. 8:23, 2 Pet. 3:13). There and then, communion with God will be unbroken and undiminishing (Rev. 22:4-5).
Creation calls for man to worship
Creation also beckons us to worship. The angelic host shouted for joy as they watched their Creator fashion the cosmos (Job 38:7). In John’s vision of glory, the heavenly host return to this theme, saying, “You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created” (Rev. 4:11).
The grandeur of creation calls the soul to a higher object of adoration. Which is greater: the stars or the One who hung them (Gen. 1:16); the towering mountains or the One who brought them forth (Ps. 90:2); the unsearchable deeps or the One who measures the waters in the hollow of His hand (Is. 40:12)?
To conclude, there is a direct link between creation and new creation, between this universe’s origin and its regeneration (Matt. 19:28). The good pleasure and power of God began it, and He shall complete it. How do we know this is true? The Lord has spoken in His Word. His Word faithfully declares how it all began. Do not be mistaken. You cannot concede this point without undermining the foundation for others. Believe the Word of God and use the doctrine of creation for its intended purposes. Thomas Watson wrote, “The creation is the heathen man’s Bible, the ploughman’s primer, and the traveler’s perspective glass, through which he receives representation of the infinite excellencies which are in God.” If this is true, then the redeemed must also take up the Book of Glory, not only to see the incomparable wonders of the Creator, but also through the testimony of Scripture to know Him as their deliverer (Ps. 19).
 John Brown Edinburgh, Hebrews, Hebrews. (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 1976), 490.
 Thomas Watson, A Body of Divinity, (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 1971), 113.