The Doctrine of God from the Story of Creation

When reading Genesis 1, we often focus primarily on what was made on each day of creation and leave it at that. While that is important knowledge for us, there is still more. Apart from the created order of the universe, there is still more we could learn about God, man, and creation itself. In this article, I will outline some truths we can learn about the doctrine of God from the creation story that are often overlooked.

God Exists

One of the most debated truths, yet very plain to humankind, is God’s existence. God is; he exists. Genesis 1 teaches us that “in the beginning God… .” God’s existence cannot be denied or questioned. Creation is proof that God exists (Romans 1:20). Paul argues that there is no excuse for those who deny God’s existence because God has made himself known to everyone (Romans 1:19-21). Only a fool would say God does not exist (Psalms 53:1). 

God is Eternal

God did not come into existence at creation; he has always existed and will always exist. He is the unbegun One. His existence is not confined to time and space. He is eternal, existing outside of time and space. Time and space (and everything else) draw their beginning from God. There is nothing that preceded God. Scripture begins with the words, “In the Beginning…,” and John the Apostle echoes these very words (Genesis 1:3-30, John 1:1). He has no beginning, nor does he have an end. There was never a time when God did not exist, and there never will be a time when he will not exist. He is LORD over time, space and matter. His lordship over time reminds us of our obligation to use it for his glory. God has always existed and will always exist; he has no cause. The same cannot be said of the world because God made it. The Psalmist attests to a time when only God and nothing else/no one else existed (Psalms 90:2), refuting any claims that matter existed before the universe was formed. 

God is the Creator of All Things

“In the beginning, God created…,” Genesis 1:1. The Hebrew word Bara, translated to create, is only used for God. It does not mean to make something out of something; instead, it means to bring something into existence. God spoke the world into existence; he did not take what existed and made it into something else. Creation is ex nihilo – out of nothing. God is the only one able to create out of nothing. Man cannot and does not create. “Nothing begets nothing, but when God addresses this nothingness, the Heavens and Earth are created.” God is the only one solely responsible for the existence of the entire universe. He devised, planned and accomplished its existence (Job 34:4-11). All things that are known and all that is yet unknown to man were made by God (John 1:3). Everything in heaven, on, under and above the earth was created by God (Psalms 8:1,3, 96:5, 102:25, 115:15, 121:2, 136:5, 146:6, 148:5, Jeremiah 10:12, 32:17, Mark 13:19, Acts 4:24, 17:24).

God is Sovereign Over All Things 

If God is the creator of everything and everyone, he has divine authority over them (Romans 13:1). Surely, he has absolute freedom and control over all his creation (Psalms 115:3, 135:6-7). We need to understand that his sovereignty is not a result of his creation but rather that he created the heavens and the earth because he is sovereign. God looked at everything he had made, and it pleased his eyes (Genesis 1:31). God had complete freedom to create the world as he pleased. He was not constrained to anyone’s will. He is the LORD of all creation; he controls and rules everything. He sets boundaries for his creation (Genesis 2:16, Acts 17:26); he allots boundaries for the seas, the sun, the moon, stars, man, and animals. Creation belongs to the LORD, not man. Man is but a custodian (Genesis 1:28-30). God made all things by and for himself (Colossians 1:16). Wayne Grudem rightly stated, “God’s will is the reason why things even existed at all and why they were created.” Creation depends on God for its existence and sustenance. He holds the life of every living thing, plants and animals, and the breath of all humanity (Job 12:10). He upholds the universe by the word of his power (Hebrews 1:3). This is why worship is due him alone. He does not and should not share his glory with anyone or anything. 

God is Omnipotent

God is all-powerful. No one has the kind of power God possesses. He speaks the universe into existence. “God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.” The phrase “Let there be…” or “Let the…” is seen at the beginning of every creative day, and we see everything commanded into existence obeying. By the word of God’s mouth, everything came to be. He commanded, and everything stood firm (Psalms 33:6-9). Jeremiah attributes to his power when he says, “It is he who made the earth by his power…”

Have you ever stood to admire the ocean? Have you ever gazed upon a beautiful sunset? Has it ever baffled you how our bodies function? Who could make all this? Who could make a beautiful creation out of nothing? When man makes something to “wow” us, a lot of testing goes into it, a lot of trying and failing and more trying. It is not so with God. He made the universe by the instant word of mouth, and at his command, everything came to be. Such infinite power is not only beyond our ability but also our comprehension. By faith, we believe this (Hebrews 11:3). God is all-powerful. He does not possess power; “his power and his essence are one and the same,” to quote Mathew Barrett.  

God is Good

God is good. Goodness is not something he possesses or derives from something or someone. He is goodness in and of himself. The Psalmist repeatedly testifies to his goodness (Psalms 34:8, 100:5). Creation derives its goodness from God. God declares creation good (Genesis 1:31). Good does not exist without God. “God is perfectly, infinitely, eternally, unchangeably, good. He is goodness itself. He is goodness and the source of all other goodness. God is the highest good, the greatest Good.”

As we reflect on Genesis 1 and 2, or any passage in scripture, it is essential to remember that God uses his word to reveal himself to us. God wants us to grow in our knowledge of him and his will. As we open the pages of scripture, we are to seek the Holy Spirit’s help to reveal God to us. So, the question today is, as you read Moses’ account of creation, how big is your God? Is indeed the God revealed in the creation story the one you believe in? As A.W. Tozer once wrote, “What comes to our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” Strive to have an accurate mindset about God, which comes only through engaging with his word. 


None Greater by Mathew Barret

Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology

John Calvin’s commentary on Genesis 1

Mathew Henry’s commentary on Genesis 1




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