“The world finds its goal in His glory” by Herman Bavinck

“God is the sole, unique, and absolute cause of all that exists. He has created all things by His word and Spirit (Gen. 1:2–3; Ps. 33:6; 104:29–30; 148:5; Job 26:13; 33:4; Isa. 40:13; 48:13; Zech. 12:1; John 1:3; Col. 1:16; Heb. 1:2; etc.).

There was no substance or principle of any kind to oppose Him; no material to tie Him down; no force to circumscribe His freedom. He speaks and things spring into being (Gen. 1:3; Ps. 33:9; Rom. 4:17). He is the unrestricted owner of heaven and earth (Gen. 14:19, 22; Ps. 24:1–2; 89:11; 95:4–5).

There are no limits to His power; He does all He sees fit to do (Isa. 14:24, 27; 46:10; 55:10–11; Ps. 115:3; 135:6). “From Him and through Him and to Him are all things” (Rom. 11:36; 1 Cor. 8:6; Heb. 11:3).

The world is the product of His will (Ps. 33:6; Rev. 4:11); it is the revelation of His perfections (Prov. 8:22f.; Job 28:23f.; Ps. 104:1; 136:5f.; Jer. 10:12) and finds its goal in His glory (Isa. 43:16ff.; Prov. 16:4; Rom. 11:36; 1 Cor. 8:6).

This teaching of creation, which occupies a preeminent and pivotal place in Scripture, is not, however, presented as a philosophical explanation of the problem of existence. Most certainly it also offers an answer to the question of the origin of all things.

Yet its significance is first and foremost religious and ethical. No right relation to God is conceivable apart from this basis; it positions us in the proper relation to God (Exod. 20:11; Deut. 10:12–14; 2 Kings 19:15; Neh. 9:6).

It is therefore of eminent practical value, serving to bring out the greatness, the omnipotence, the majesty, and the goodness, wisdom, and love of God (Ps. 19; Job 37; Isa. 40).

The teaching of creation therefore strengthens people’s faith, confirms their trust in God, and is a source of consolation in their suffering (Ps. 33:6f.; 65:5ff.; 89:11; 121:2; 134:3; Isa. 37:16; 40:28f.; 42:5; etc.).

It inspires praise and thanksgiving (Ps. 136:3ff.; 148:5; Rev. 14:7).

It induces humility and meekness and makes people sense their smallness and insignificance before God (Job 38:4f.; Isa. 29:16; 45:9; Jer. 18:6; Rom. 9:20).”

–Herman Bavinck, Reformed Dogmatics: God and Creation, vol. 2, Ed. John Bolt, and trans. John Vriend (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2004), 407–408.

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Filed under Christian Theology, Creation, God the Creator, Herman Bavinck, Puritanical, Quotable Quotes

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