WCF 4.1 — Pastoral Comments

Posted on Jun 5, 2018 by admin

4.1  It pleased God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,1 for the manifestation of the glory of His eternal power, wisdom, and goodness,2 in the beginning, to create, or make of nothing, the world, and all things therein whether visible or invisible, in the space of six days; and all very good.3

1 Heb 1:2; Jn 1:2–3; Gen 1:2; Job 26:13; 33:4; 2 Rom 1:20; Jer 10:12; Ps 104:24; 33:5–6;  3 Gen 1; Heb 11:3; Col. 1:16; Acts 17:24.

The first thing that God reveals to us in the Bible is that He is the God who made all things, which, of course, includes us. The first chapter of Genesis sets the stage for everything else that follows, and so how we understand it will already determine, to some extent at least, how we read the rest of the Bible.

We confess in this paragraph, however, not only the nature of creation, but first and more importantly, the identity of the Creator. The God who made heaven and earth is Trinity-Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Word made flesh is also the word by whom all things were made, and apart from whom nothing was made (Jn 1:3, 14). The Spirit also figures prominently in Creation as the Giver of Life (Job 33:4; cf. Ps. 104:30).

But not only are we not allowed to forget the persons of the Godhead who created us, we are also here led to remember keenly also the purpose we were made-that is, to reveal the glory of God. We must be clear that there is no neutrality in what we confess is the nature of creation, for that determines not only who we are, but also how we are to live, or more to point, for whom we are to live.

Having answered the who and why questions, we turn next to the when and how of creation. The universe was made “in the beginning,” meaning that time itself was brought into existence, and with the universe, was created “of nothing.” Only God is eternal and has no beginning.

The framers of our Confession are also careful not to leave out the part of creation which we tend to forget about because we do not see it. God made both the visible and invisible, the invisible here referring to the angelic realm. Satan himself is a mere creature and nowhere near an equal to God.

Lastly, we confess that God made the world in six days and all very good, taking a literal, historical understanding of the first chapter of Genesis. It is on this point of our Christian Faith that the godless culture of our age has put much effort to subvert (and, tragically, with much success), and this has even led to celebrated and otherwise Reformed theologians buying into the Theory of Evolution. But if Genesis 1 is fiction, then where do the facts begin? The consequences of such unbelief will inevitably trickle down into other articles of doctrine, especially that of sin and salvation.

But while holding fast to our faith is crucial, we must not lose sight that the creation was made to bring us to praise and worship the Creator. Even though we ought to be grieved at how what was very good has been marred and subjected to futility because of our sin, the universe nevertheless continues to declare God’s glory to us. And how much more glorious will that new heavens and new earth be, when there will be no more sin and no more sorrows?


Westminster Confession of Faith — With Brief Pastoral Comments
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