In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1:1)
There is some debate over the meaning of creation in this verse. The linguistic and historical arguments are not altogether unprofitable, but for those who lack the technical training, or who simply have no patience for academic wrangles, there is a way to settle the issue barehanded.
Matter cannot be eternal, in the sense of being timeless, for there is no before and after with that which is timeless. And if there is no before and after with matter, then it would be impossible for it to be one way before and another way after. Therefore, if matter changes at all, it cannot be eternal. And matter could not have existed forever, for if matter is bound to time but has existed forever, then it would have an infinite past. But if it has an infinite past, it could never have reached the present. If it has reached the present, the past cannot be infinite. Therefore, matter is not eternal, but bound to time, and it originated at some point in time.
God is uncreated. He is eternal, timeless, and immutable. And he created the universe out of nothing, that is, without the use of any existing materials, since there were no existing materials when he created. All linguistic and historical arguments that attempt to suggest an opposing view must be wrong. In fact, these kinds of arguments are irrelevant unless the logical arguments based on the very ideas of matter and creation are demonstrated to be inconclusive.
Due to its irrational and fallacious nature, science must be silent on the origin of the universe. When it comes to this topic, its reliance on sensation (which is unreliable), induction (whose conclusions are never necessarily inferred from the premises), and experimentation (which involves a systematic repetition of the fallacy of asserting the consequent), is even more evidently absurd than usual, as if that is possible. Rather than kowtowing to man’s impotent method of discovery, and attempt to extract truth out of falsehood, we expose and discard it. If it refuses to honor biblical revelation, we shall whip it into submission with the hard chain of logic.
God created all things, including the light, the sky, the water and the land. And he also configured the relationships between these objects, including the movements and the interactions of the heavenly bodies, and the seasons. He created the vegetation, plants, and trees. Without any dependence or relationship with these, he made the sea creatures and sky creatures. And without any dependence or relationship with these, he made the land creatures. Each belong to their own kind without any direct association with the others.
Then, God created man in his own divine image. God made man’s body from materials directly taken out of the ground, without any dependence or relationship with the plants or the animals. Nothing was taken from them to make man. After that, God breathed life into the body, so that an embodied human person is a dichotomy, consisting of the incorporeal and the corporeal, the spiritual and the physical. The essence of man is the life that God breathed out, since man is considered a person even when he is disembodied. Unlike the human body, this life came completely and immediately from God, without any dependence or relationship with previously created things, not even the earth itself. As for the woman, she was created from the man, again without any dependence or relationship with plant life or the animals.
It is common to assert that God no longer creates anything, especially out of nothing, since it is said that he rested on the seventh day. This is an unwarranted interpretation. Yet it is sometimes used with careless confidence, so that, for example, it is assumed that Jesus never restored missing body parts in his healing miracles, at least without using existing materials, because that would involve creation. There are a number of other farfetched applications. In any case, the rest of the seventh day is said only in relation to the work done on the previous six days. There is no indication that God would be at rest forever. In fact, Jesus said that the Father had never stopped working, and he said this in connection with the Sabbath (John 5:17). There is no basis to say that God will not create again, even out of nothing, or that he has not already done so.
This doctrine of creation provides a crucial basis for many other doctrines. It tells us about the nature of God, that he is full of wisdom and power. It tells us that God is in control of all things, since he created all things and determined the course of history according to his plan. It tells us about his special relationship with man, since he created man in his own divine image, and then declared to man his commandments. It tells us about how God perceived his own creation, that it was good. It tells us about God’s design for man and woman, that they are to marry, that marriage is between one man and one woman, and that man is to have authority over woman. Above all, it tells us that man is to serve and worship God, that man is lost until he finds his place in the Creator through Jesus Christ, and that those who know God can possess the assurance that he has found the source, the purpose, and the rock of his existence.