Creation and God’s Revelation

Creation is an act of Revelation. As we saw in “How do I know?” God reveals who he is both through Special Revelation (Scripture, Christ) and General Revelation. Creation gives us General Revelation.

This General Revelation happens because the Universe itself is a declaration of God’s glory, his goodness and power.[1] General Revelation shows God’s loving providence[2] so that no-one is without excuse for ignoring him.[3] If we fail to see the truth about God in Creation, it is not that the Revelation itself is defective (although a full understanding of God’s purposes needs Special Revelation). The problem is with us because we are deaf and blind to God and suppress his clear revelation.[4]

Creation, subjected to the Fall, also reveals God’s wrath and judgement on sin[5] and something of the hope we have as we look forward to Christ’s return.

“18Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later. 19 For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are. 20 Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope, 21 the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay. 22 For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies he has promised us. 24 We were given this hope when we were saved. (If we already have something, we don’t need to hope for it. 25 But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.).”[6]

 

God’s General Revelation is also seen specifically in the Creation of human beings, made in his image. Dan Strange says,

“All human beings are created in the imago Dei and ‘sons of God’ are created as ‘religious’ beings, revealing God, representing him and built for relationship with each other and the rest of creation.”[7]

We reveal him in our concern to create and to order things. We reveal something of his character in our desire for relationship, reflecting both the God who chooses to make us to relate to Him and the God who is eternally relational through the Trinity.

However, whilst Creation itself is revelatory, that revelation is limited. It is only through Special Revelation that we can know and understand Creation both in terms of its origins and purpose. This is seen right from the beginning when God provides commentary on his creation as he declares it good. It is seen in our need to turn to Scripture to discover the truth of our origins.

[1] Psalm 19:1.

[2] Acts 14:17.

[3] Romans 1:20.

[4] Romans 1:21.

[5] Romans 1:18.

[6] Romans 8:18-25.

[7] Strange, For their Rock is not as our Rock, 71.

Advertisements