Author: Pastor Paul A. Bartz
Note: Creation Moments exists to provide Biblically sound materials to the Church in the area of Bible and science relationships. This Bible study may be reproduced for group use.
The argument from design is the most basic argument for a Creator. In fact, God Himself makes use of this argument in Scripture. It is not as though God feels that He must argue with man to make His point. Rather, He knows that He has given man enough intelligence that even the most stubborn unbelief will have difficulty explaining away the design in the creation.
Read Hebrews 3:4. No one has ever seen a house and supposed that it was a result of an accidental falling together of trees, stone, and other materials. A house is clearly designed and created by some intelligence. If a house were photographed on Mars, every newspaper in the world would carry the story on the front page. The world, with all of its different and inter-related living systems, and its crucial size and placement in space, is easily billions of times more complex than the most sophisticated house. God here points out how obvious it is to common sense that the world could not have gotten here by chance.
Did anyone teach that the world arrived here by chance, without intelligent design, when Hebrews was written? Indeed they did! The first formal writings suggesting a naturalistic evolution of the world and its life forms had begun to appear more than 500 years before Hebrews was written. Over the years such writers became accepted as the intellectual leaders. They suggested that the world had to be explained by naturalistic principles in order to do away with the idea of God. They had said that such religious ideas were old fashioned and illogical. They also said that ideas about God led to belief in right and wrong, which held back education and often caused wars. They offered the naturalistic explanation of evolution in order to show people that belief in God was unnecessary.
By 100 B.C. these intellectual leaders were making open attacks on the Genesis creation account, calling it a myth. Some of their written attacks have even survived to our day. Their ideas were taught, if not accepted, in every educational center of the world, including Jerusalem, by the time Hebrews was written. We may consider this text, and several other texts in the New Testament (including Paul’s sermon on Mars Hill), as direct challenges to evolutionary teaching at that time.
Read Acts 14:16-17. These words were spoken by either St. Paul or Barnabas at Lystra, when the crowds wanted to worship them as gods after they healed a lame man. The witness that God left for Himself as stated here is that we receive the rains and the seasons we need in order to feed ourselves. The order and constancy of the rains and seasons, coupled with the ability of our food crops and animals to cope with them, is indeed evidence of design. The relationships involved here include several separate systems. Each has to be able to work with the other and not only exist, but come out ahead for the support of man. This is all much more complex than a house and therefore must be the product of design.
Remember Psalm 148:8 in conjunction with Acts 14:16-17. These systems have not been established to operate automatically. God has designed them and their daily operation under His unlimited loving attention. His instructions for wind speed and direction, precipitation amounts and placements are what reveal that a Divine Intelligence, a Planner, is behind all things.
Many other verses like the above may also be examined in connection with God’s own declaration of the evidence of His intelligent planning of the creation. We suggest that you also examine Job 36:26-30, Job 37:11-13 and Acts 17:24-28.
Read Romans 1:19-20. Here again we have the argument from design being presented, but with some additional information. Note what can be known from nature about God: His power can be seen in the power of an earthquake, a storm, or the sun; His Divine nature is evident in His control of these awesome forces. We may add that His wisdom may be seen in the intricate inter-relationships in nature. But we cannot know of His specific love for us and His earnest desire to forgive us and accept us for the sake of the innocent suffering and death of His Son Jesus Christ on our behalf from the things in nature. So we traditionally call the things we can know about God from nature the natural knowledge of God. The Gospel of His acceptance of us through the blood of Christ cannot be known from nature – we learn of that only in His revealed Word – and so we call this saving knowledge the revealed knowledge of God.
Read Ephesians 2:10. We see here that the Biblical teaching on creation goes far beyond what is revealed by nature. We are re-made new creations in Christ, through Whom we were first created (John 1). Having sinned, we need to be re-made for a new purpose. Note that the first time we were made we had nothing to do with it. Our own efforts were not at all involved. The same is true of our being made new creations in Christ. We need not feel that we don’t believe enough, or hard enough, or that we haven’t believed long enough. God, by His love and grace, in the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross, has made us new creations in Christ without any merit or worthiness on our part. Without Christ we are slaves to sin. But what is the purpose of our being made new creatures in Christ, according to this text? But because of our weaknesses, we see, then, that God’s forgiving grace and forgiveness, which makes us new creations, is not a once-in-a-lifetime arrangement. Each day we need to go to our Father in Jesus’ Name with our sins and be assured once again of His love and forgiveness of our sins which ruined our first creation, but need not ruin our second creation!
Copyright © 1982 Bible Science Newsletter, Pastor Paul A. Bartz.
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