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‘Just say the Word’

"‘Just say the Word’" Continued...

That, said Jesus, is faith upon which His kingdom is built. If Christian professors and students at universities and seminaries around the globe would believe Scripture with the same unquestioning faith, if they would lead lives of uncompromising trust and faith and view the origin and unfolding of creation with the unshakable conviction that God in Jesus Christ is absolute Sovereign over creation, well, then, the pulpits would reverberate with the Word of power and the people of God would rejoice till the rafters shook. Even unbelievers would marvel at such faith.

God indeed commands His creation as His servant. The servant character of creation is foundational to the Christian’s faith—even as the centurion believed. Just think what that means for our understanding of the creation account in Genesis. The same Jesus who commanded the centurion’s servant to be healed was present as God “in the beginning.” And in the beginning He commanded the creation into existence exactly as described in the various books of the Bible. That is, by the power of Christ’s “Let there be.” A description that must be accepted in faith because the act of creation surpasses our understanding. No one can search out the mechanics of the nature and power of Christ’s spoken Word. Why? Because the “mechanism” of creation is the Word. The power that brought the creation into being on command is the same power that “gone out” of Jesus and gave life to the touch of the woman with the debilitating issue of blood (Matthew 9:18-22; Mark 5:21-34). The power that transformed nothing into a universe of millions of objects constructed out of an array of atoms and elements is the same power that commanded the stinking corpse of Lazarus to rise and walk out of the grave: a re-created Lazarus identical in appearance to the predeceased Lazarus and with the complete memory of a lifetime restored (John 11:38-44).

The spoken Word in action. To repeat: No one can search out the mechanics of the originating, creating activity of the spoken Word. There is no possibility of reverse engineering here. The finished creation, which is a manifestation of the Word objectified, is the proper object of human inquiry—the act of creation is not. The Word, after it comes to visible expression as creation, is man’s proper field of study, not the creative activity of the Word itself. And once we try to understand the finished creation, that is, try to understand what is referred to in some circles as the “creation order,” we should do so with the acknowledgement that this order of creation came into being solely through the creation acts of God. And God sovereignly determines the order of His creation acts. Once again, the creation acts of God cannot be subjected to human analysis. To attempt to do so would be to attempt to subject God to our finitude. Here caution must be exercised, for that is blasphemy.

Genesis 1 is God’s revelation of His almighty creation acts: “Let there be.” “Let there be.” “Let there be.” Genesis 1 as the revealed record of God’s creation acts is not ours to analyze any more than we can analyze the resurrection of Lazarus. What physician of sound mind would do a post-resurrection examination on Lazarus to determine what brought him back to life and how? So also with the 10 “Let there be” commands of Genesis 1.

Christians who stumble over the powerful and magisterial “Let there be” of Genesis 1 will stumble again when they meet Christ in the New Testament. In the New Testament they hear Christ commanding, “Let there be,” again and again. This time, if they persist in their unbelief, they will not rise again. The New Testament will become a snare to them, a how-to book of morals and personal conduct, a book of health and wealth. The sovereignty of God and the creative, unfolding, upholding power of Jesus’ “Let there be” will remain a mystery. The New Testament will then be a closed book that cannot possibly end in a mighty, universal resurrection when all the inhabitants of the earth respond to Christ’s command: “Lazarus, come forth.”

Contemporary Christians under the blinding deception of the pretended autonomy of science have fallen into the destructive habit of reading Scripture as a collection of metaphors. We no longer know how to take God’s Word seriously. We have lost sight of the power of the Word. We have in important instances needlessly metaphorized the Word. We have lost sight of who Jesus is and who Adam could have been. We read in Job 9:8 that God “treads on the waves of the sea,” and we are inclined to say, “Oh, that is merely Scripture’s way of poetically portraying God’s power. We are not meant to take the poetic genre literally. God never actually deigns to walk on the waves of the sea, not literally. Does He?”

©2013 John Hultink. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

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