But grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever. Amen.
2 Peter 3:18
IMPLICATIONS OF CREATION
by Gordon H. Clark
The first Old Testament allusion to predestination is Genesis 1:1 "In the beginning God created the Heaven and the Earth."
The word predestination does not appear in this verse. Neither does the word Trinity occur anywhere in the Bible. Yet the Bible teaches both. No sermon, no confession of faith, no book on theology can restrict itself to the precise wording of the Bible. If the Bible says Shechem is north of Jerusalem, and if it also says that Beersheba is south of Jerusalem, we can conclude that Beersheba is south of Shechem, even if the Bible does not say so.
The Scriptures invite us to compare one passage with another and to draw the consequences. With reference to Genesis 1:1, the idea of creation, explained in many later verses, justifies certain conclusions that bear on the doctrine of predestination.
There are many verses later in Scripture, which, when put together, show that God created the universe out of nothing. One such verse comes quickly, "God said, Let there be light, and there was light." Light appeared instantaneously by divine fiat, by divine command. Later on God formed the body of Adam out of earth, but then he breathed life into the clay.
CREATION EX NIHILO
Creation ex nihilo, out of nothing, implies two things. First, there was no antecedent power to stimulate God; there was no one to suggest plans to God, or to suggest alterations to the plans God had; still less could anyone defeat God's purposes. God was alone. He could do as he pleased.
In the second place, after God created something, the thing had no authority to complain, "Why have you made me thus?" A wren has no right to complain that it is not an elephant. God had decided to create a world, and a world by definition includes differences. The different things have no right to hold God responsible for the qualities they have or the qualities they lack. God is responsible to no one.
He distributed wings, legs, horns and minds just as it suited Him. No one has any claim on God.
Many of the items in the preceding paragraph are stated in more or less detail throughout the Bible. But they are included in the concept of creation. Creation implies the complete control of the Sovereign Creator over the dependent creature. And complete control is predestination. Thus the Bible's very first sentence reveals the doctrine here to be studied.
THE RIGHTS OF MAN?
Now Arminians, at least those who have escaped the contamination of liberalism, believe in creation. But they fail to see what it means. They suppose, particularly in the case of men, if not of angels, that once a being is created, he, she or it can legitimately claim that God is obliged to treat him as he wants to be treated, rather than as God decides to treat him. Man has rights that God must respect. Quite the contrary, however, man has no rights in opposition to God.
Whatever rights a man has, though the term rights is hardly proper, as was the case with qualities, are those God decides to give him. God as Creator can give, withhold, or retake any rights as He pleases. Whatever He gives to man is a gift and not a debt. No one as any claim over the Creator.
Gordon H. Clark, PREDESTINATION, The Trinity Foundation, 2006, pages 111-112.
George Theiss is a combat veteran of Vietnam who now follows the Lamb of God. He and his wife, Christy, have been married 42 years (in 2019). They have 8 grown children. You can contact George at firstname.lastname@example.org
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