Westminster Shorter Catechism – Week 5

Q. 9. What is the work of creation?

A. The work of creation is God’s making all things of nothing, by the word of his power, in the space of six days, and all very good.

Q. 10. How did God create man?

A. God created man male and female, after his own image, in knowledge, righteousness and holiness, with dominion over the creatures.

Questions

Last week (Q/A 8) we learned that the way in which God’s decrees become a reality is through his works of creation and providence. Both of those are then singled out for more discussion. Q.9 obviously has in mind Genesis 1 and the original creation that came forth out of nothing (creation ex nihilo if you want people to really be impressed), was a response to God’s powerful word—let there be…and there was­—and took place over the span of six days. In creation God demonstrates his Lordship over everything.

Q. 10 turns to the pinnacle of God’s creation and to Genesis 2. Because God creates humans in his image, humanity possesses a dominion over the creatures that no other creatures possess. Just as God is Lord over everything, so God has given to humans the right to be lords over our sphere.

In what ways is humanity different from animals? At a very rudimentary level we would have to say that humans have a knowledge and an ability to gain knowledge that is different from than, say, a dog, no matter if it can get the paper and roll over. In this way we reflect a God who possesses all knowledge. Likewise, even as sinner, we possess the ability to know what is right and what is wrong. That is because we were made in righteousness and holiness, again reflecting the God who is perfectly righteous and holy.

Discussion

Throughout the Bible creation is appealed to so as to cultivate a response in God’s people of praise and trust. Read Psalm 147. Look around at the heavens. See the sun and the moon. Look at the trees and the birds in them. Your God made all of that. He is a good and glorious God, one who cares for us and one who can be trusted.

As we continue to read the Bible and come into the NT we come to find that the agent of God’s creation was Jesus himself. It is through him that all things have come into being (Jn. 1:3, Col. 1:16; Heb. 1:2).

Creation, then, is not static. Even creation serves something. Creation is designed to point us onward, namely to redemption, a redemption that we have in and through the one who was God’s agent of creation at the very beginning.

Any thoughts?