Tuesday 22nd September 2020

It is I who made the earth and created mankind on it. My own hands stretched out the heavens; I marshalled their starry hosts. (Isaiah 45:12)

In my sermon on Sunday I talked about God being the Creator, the Originator of everything that exists [if you missed it, it’s still available online]. I also pointed out on Sunday that God doesn’t need us – he didn’t have to create anything. He wasn’t lonely – there’s perfect, infinite love within the Trinity – and I don’t believe he’s so narcissistic that he had to have worshippers…

But last week I came across this quote from Jonathan Edwards, a well-known 18th century American preacher and author. He wrote a whole book entitled The End for Which God Created the World, which suggests he had thought quite a bit about this question!

I haven’t read it, and the following quote is apparently not from the book but from a later sermon, but I imagine it was inspired by the book he’d already written on the subject:

The creation of the world seems to have been especially for this end, that the eternal Son of God might obtain a spouse, towards whom he might fully exercise the infinite benevolence of his nature, and to whom he might, as it were, open and pour forth all that immense fountain of condescension, love, and grace that was in his heart, and that in this way God might be glorified.

Please note that back then, “condescension” only carried the positive connotation of voluntarily laying aside your privileges and assuming genuine equality with people further down in the hierarchy – basically what Jesus is described as doing in Phil 2:5-8.

And notice what he’s saying about the reason for all of creation: so that Jesus would be able to do just that. Basically, the world was created so that the Bride of Christ could come into existence.

And who’s the Bride of Christ? That’s his church – that’s us: all of us who have been bought with the blood of Jesus and become part of his eternal people.

Isn’t that quite an amazing thought? Everything that exists, created so that Jesus might have a Bride, a people eternally united with him in love… and we can be part of that people, purely by his grace. No wonder Edwards felt that this increased the glory of God – he was 100% glorious before, but when we join to worship him in awe and wonder, he is glorified beyond himself, which increases his glory.

Our worship is a serious undertaking: not because God needs it, but because he’s worthy of it, and he has created us for that very purpose – so let’s do all we can to live up to that responsibility!

Here’s a fun children’s song about the seven days of creation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X9lwvI45TsM

Here’s Graham Kendrick reminding us that The Earth is the Lord’s: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rAompuKQZo0 (click on Show More below the video to see the lyrics)


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Page last updated: 27th September 2020 8:33 AM