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Creation and Humans

The Voice of Zion March 2023 --

This writing is an excerpt from Miten minä uskon (How I Believe), edited by Ari-Pekka Palola and published by SRK in 2020. The writings are not attributed to a certain author since they are compiled from a variety of texts originally published in Christ is the Same Yesterday, Today, and Forever: Writings on the Basics of Faith and Doctrine (LLC 2022), which was translated from the original Finnish version published in 2018.

Installment 3 of 19

The origin and existence of everything are great questions to which humans have sought an answer throughout time. No one has been observing or documenting the creation of the world. We only have God’s revelation of it.

The Triune God – Creator of the World

To Christians, the Bible’s creation stories are unrelinquishable, stories that explain the existence of everything (Gen. 1:1–2:3; 2:4–25). They are not read as scientific reports or detailed accounts, but rather as sacred revelations describing the beginning of time. The focus of these creation stories is in God, the Creator and Prime Mover of all, and not in the details of how the creation process itself has happened.

According to the Bible’s revelation, God is the Creator and Prime Mover of all that exists. He has created everything from nothing. God is above and beyond human comprehension and beyond our grasp of time and place. Before the moment of creation there was nothing except God in His greatness.

The Bible tells that God created everything through the power of His Word (Heb. 11:3). Meanwhile, the Bible doesn’t tell how God did His creation work or how long the days of creation were. No one has sources of information on the basis of which one could clarify these matters. The Bible’s revelation is limited to the original cause of everything, God’s will and might as its basis.

Faith and science examine the creation of the world from their own perspectives. Through the Bible’s creation stories, a viewpoint opens to faith of how God is the origin and Creator of everything. Science on the other hand tells us something about what kinds of processes may have taken place in connection with creation.

God’s creation work was not confined only to when the world was born, but He continuously creates new things. All new life is the result of God’s creation work.

Human Beings – the Image of God

Humans are part of God’s creation. The creation story describes how God first created the conditions for life and ultimately formed man from the dust of the earth.

God created humans in His image and likeness and breathed into their nostrils the breath of life. This is how humans became living souls. Humans are the only creatures in the world that can hear God’s voice, rely on Him and love and serve Him. The most important matter in life is to know God and our Savior Jesus Christ and become a child of God.

On a cosmic scale, humans are negligibly small. The length of human life compared to eternity is like the width of a palm or like nothing. Nevertheless, God cares for humans (Ps. 8:3,4).

Humans Live in Fellowship with Their Neighbors

The relationship with one’s neighbors is the other important relationship into which God has placed humans. The closest and most complex connection is between a man and a woman, who become one in marriage (Gen. 2:24). God created humans as sexual beings. He established marriage between a man and a woman as the correct place to practice sexuality.

In married life the spouses can become partakers of God’s power to create something new. Each child is the result of God’s creation work, a gift from the Lord (Ps. 127:3; 139:13–16). For this reason both family planning and abortion are transgressions against God’s will: children have the right to be born and to live as ones that are loved and protected (Matt. 18:5,6).

The Great Commandment expresses humans’ role and their duty in relationship to God and fellow humans: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like the first: Love your neighbor as yourself (Matt. 22:37–39). Because it is impossible for people in and of themselves to love God, the true relationship with God is faith, which we receive through His grace. Through faith is born true love for God as well as for one’s neighbor and oneself.

People’s Duty Is to Cultivate and Protect

Since humans were created in God’s image, they have, to a certain degree, power over and responsibility for the world. God gave humans a responsible task to cultivate and protect all creation (Gen. 2:15). However, as a result of the fall into sin, humans have not been successful in that duty in the way God intended.

In the Christian tradition, humans’ role in relation to creation is seen as that of a steward to whom the master has entrusted his property. The steward must take as good care of it as possible. Each generation must find ways of living in which the tasks of cultivating and protecting are in balance. It is important for each generation to bear its responsibility for this.

The Fall into Sin and Human’s Responsibility

When humans were created in God’s image, they were given responsibility for their actions. Humans, however, were not able to bear this responsibility, and they fell into sin.

The first pages of the Bible contain the story of the fall into sin (Gen. 3:1–19). As with the creation story, the story about the fall into sin should not be read from a historical perspective but rather the main point is its message. The story shows how sin progresses even today. Deceived by the enemy of souls, a person becomes uncertain about what God’s will is. The fall into sin then happens when the person turns to hear and believe the temptations of the enemy of souls. This results in the person going against God’s will through his or her actions.

Because of the fall into sin, humans had to carry inherited sin, a permanent burden of corruption. People in and of themselves are unable to be acceptable to God. Human reason and will are corrupted by sin (Rom. 3:10–12). Based solely on human understanding, a person is unable to serve and love God and fulfill the tasks He gives in a way that would be acceptable to Him.

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