The Christian Teaching Explained
Modern scientists believe life as we know it originated as part of a “Big Bang” and through the process of evolution. God says he created the world in six days. We’ll give the nod to God on this one (and every one). While it seems crazy to our modern culture, which has clung so tightly to our five senses and reason as an infallible pairing, our all-powerful God tells us he created the world for us in six days. And so we believe that he did just that.
Out of Nothing
God created the world in six days out of nothing. We know that because he tells us in his Word, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). “Heavens” here does not refer to the heaven where God dwells, but instead to the sky, the sun, the moon, the stars and the planets. As the writer to the Hebrews says, “By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible” (Hebrews 11:3). Therefore, in the beginning God created the world and everything we see in the universe out of what you couldn’t see, out of nothing.
The things God created on each of the six days are as follows:
Day 1 — light and time (Gen 1:3-5);
Day 2 — the sky and “separated” waters (Gen 1:6-8);
Day 3 — dry ground, bodies of water, and plants (Gen 1:9-13);
Day 4 — the sun, moon, stars, and planets (Gen 1:14-19);
Day 5 — fish and birds (Gen 1:20-23);
Day 6 — land animals and humans (Gen 1:24-30; 2:7,15-25).
On the seventh day God rested from his work (Genesis 2:2-3).
Six 24-hour Periods
“God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.”
The days of creation were not eons-long “days,” but six normal days. As God said for each day, “And there was evening, and there was morning” (Genesis 1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31), and as Moses said, “For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them” (Exodus 20:11; for the word “LORD” in all capital letters see the Church Lingo section). From these passages the most natural way of understanding “day” in the creation account is a reference to what we know as a 24-hour time period.
Why did God create the world in six days? That’s a funny question considering the points of view that have historically approached it. Before the Theory of Evolution came, that question was actually centered on the point of view of “Why six days and not just one second?” But ever since the Theory of Evolution became popular and scientists have seen how complex this world truly is, the most common point of view has become “Only six days and not billions of years?” And yet, throughout the centuries and centuries of changing theories and changing religious viewpoints, God’s Word has been a constant for believers all over the world in every culture and age: God created the world in six days. It was in six days and not in one second because God was showing us how much he cares for us and his creation. He carefully created this world for mankind, the crown of his creation. He also used the six days of creation and the one day of rest as a pattern for the Israelites to follow (Exodus 20:8-11). And it was in six days and not in billions of years because God truly is all-powerful.
The Theory of Evolution Contradicts God’s Plan of Salvation
“By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.”
And yet, some Christians still combine the six days of creation and the Theory of Evolution into one theory by thinking of the days of creation as being very long periods of time. As previously stated, God makes it clear that these were six normal days. But perhaps the most important reason we need to take God’s word for it when he says “six days” is that the Theory of Evolution contradicts God’s entire plan for our salvation. If other species evolved into human beings, then there is no Adam and Eve. If there is no Adam and Eve, then there is no fall into sin. And if there is no fall into sin, then there was nothing that brought death into the world, which means God had always intended for death to serve as the driving force for species to evolve. The problem there is quite simple and yet very big: God never intended for things to die. Death is a result of sin, and that’s the whole reason Jesus came to this earth. He came to die for sin and do away with death (see The Resurrection).
Thankfully, as God tells us, there was no sin when he created the world—it was perfect. “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good” (Genesis 1:31). “Good” in God’s eyes equals perfect, so “very good” means that his creation must have been very perfect before Adam and Eve sinned. And thanks to Jesus coming to this earth, dying for our sins, and rising to life three days later we have the hope of an all-new creation someday with no sin or death. “Behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in what I will create” (Isaiah 65:17-18). He did it once, and he promises to do it again. God will create a new, perfect world—for us.
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