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Discover How God Continuously Sustains the World He Created
Posted by Temmy
Tue, May 14, 2024 6:12pm




The familiar opening line of Genesis, that “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth,” introduces a simple, but profound idea. Everything that exists, visible and invisible, was created by God. If true, the world is infused with purpose and design. Life is not random but ordered. There are givens in creation and about the human condition to which we must conform.

And yet, as significant as these implications are, there is much more to the doctrine of creation than “God created.” Other passages throughout Scripture, for example John 1 and Colossians 1, claim that God’s creative work is not confined to the distant past. Rather, God remains present, involved, and sovereign over and in His creation. Specifically, it is in and through Christ that God remains present, involved, and sovereign over and in His creation.

In Colossians 1:16-17, Paul wrote that it was by Christ, the “image of the invisible God and firstborn of all creation, that “all things were created.” And “in Him, all things hold together” (emphasis added). In other words, God is more than a first cause. He not only created the world; He sustains it. Twentieth-century theologian Robert Capon helpfully described this truth in this way: “If God wanted to get rid of the universe, He would not have to do anything; He would have to stop doing something.”

At the same time, it would be inaccurate to think of God’s sustaining work as a kind of animating, impersonal energy. This is what older generations called vitalism (and Star Wars fans know as “The Force”). God is intimately and personally involved with His creation. He is, Scripture reveals, mindful of the sparrow (Matthew 10:29) and the number of hairs on our head (Luke 12:7).

It’s a remarkable thing that the God who created and sustains all things knows and cares for His creation intimately. He not only delights in His work, He does not grow weary of it. As G.K. Chesterton beautifully remarked, God is unlike grown-ups who become wearied by monotony:

It is possible that God says every morning, “Do it again” to the sun; and every evening, “Do it again” to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately but has never got tired of making them.

God never tires of creating or sustaining his creation because he delights in it. According to Capon, “He likes (His world); therefore, it stays.”

In a Christian worldview, the creation is more miraculous than mechanical, more enchanted than we often realize. Of course, the world is orderly and works according to identifiable and predictable laws. And yet, as Paul wrote to the Colossians, it is graciously and lovingly held together just as it was brought into being, by the very Word of God.





 

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