August 30, 2020

Online Worship Trinity Twelve, Sunday August 30, 2020

Preacher:
Passage: Hebrews 11:3
Service Type:

Bible Text: Hebrews 11:3 | Preacher: Andrew Schaller | Series: The Apostle’s Creed #2 | Sermon for Trinity Twelve – Sunday August 30, 2020
Calvary/Marquette ● Soli Deo Gloria

Grace be unto you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus, the Christ. Amen.

Hebrews 11:3 (NKJV)
3 By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.

In the Name of Jesus, the Christ,
Dear Fellow Redeemed in His Blood –

Are you my Mother? It was a children’s book that I remember from my childhood in which a small bird, searching for his mother has contact with different things. He asks a number of different inanimate objects, “Are you my mother?” In the end, the little bird finds his mother, a bird, or properly is found by his mother.

Is God my Father? It’s a legitimate question, one that some folks answer in a cavalier way: “Well, of course God is my Father, He created me!” It’s an interesting answer, but the fact that God created each of us in the womb, granting us life, makes God our creator, not our father. The relationship of a father to his child is a different one.

Fear not, the Scriptures declare in a simple way how God becomes our Father and it’s not by virtue of His creating us or granting us physical life. In writing to the Galatian Christians as directed by the Holy Spirit, the Apostle Paul explains how it is that created (but fallen) human beings come to be in a family relationship with God. It isn’t by virtue of their creation, but their baptism in which they are spiritually ‘born again.’

How does God, my Creator, become God my Father? It is written (Galatians 3:26-27):

“For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.”

God is not everyone’s Father – but is the Father of those who trust in Jesus Christ. It’s not politically correct, but it is Biblically accurate. It isn’t that God has randomly rejected some and played the favorite with others.

God wants to be the Spiritual Father of every human being, but many reject His Son and what He has done. They, through unbelief forfeit the opportunity to become sons of God. Those who do believe credit God for changing their relationship with Him. The Apostle John wrote in the first chapter of His Gospel (John 1:12):

“But as many as received Him [Christ], to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name…”

Almost every human being has set eyes on their biological father. None of us have ever seen God our spiritual Father, and yet we confess nearly every time we gather for worship:

“I Believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of Heaven and Earth.”

It is a matter of faith based upon what God’s Word declares and not a matter of reason or personal opinion. We don’t say, “I have seen and therefore believe.” We say, “I believe” because the Scripture says so and the Holy Spirit has worked faith in our hearts to believe it.

Who is God the Father? The Bible teaches simply that there is One God made up of three separate and distinct persons. We believe that God the Father is one of the equal persons of God. When Jesus sent His disciples out to baptize, He spoke of the One God in three persons and said (Matthew 28:19):

19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

We call God the Father because God’s Word describes Him as the Father of the God-man Jesus of Nazareth. As a human being, Jesus often referred to God as His Father. In fact, Jesus went so far as to say that we can’t know God as Father without Him.

Jesus said (Matthew 11:27):

27 All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.

We speak of God (in the Lord’s Prayer) as our Father because by faith in Jesus we have become children of God, family with God.

Why do we declare that God the Father is Almighty? Well, believe it or not, it’s because our Creator actually describes Himself as ‘almighty’ or ‘all-powerful.’ In the very first book of the Bible we are told that God appeared to a man named Abram and declared (Genesis 17:1):

“I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless.

We confess, “I Believe in God the Father Almighty” simply because God makes these declarations about Himself in His Word. We confess them because we accept as true what God tells us in His Word. It is a matter of faith, not reason and not interpretation and not opinion.

Which brings us – finally – to the Word of God upon which we focus this morning. It declares that God has created the universe and the world in which we live by His speaking. This too is a matter of faith, not of reason, not of interpretation, not of opinion. This is a matter not revealed by true science. It’s not a matter of debate.

The fact is that none of us – no human being was present at the creation. No human being, no matter how old or wise, can declare how this world came to exist because he was present. But God was present, and He tells us how it came to be.

Even as none of us have seen our heavenly Father, but trust in Him as a matter of faith; none of us witnessed the creation of this world. Still, we declare that God has in six 24-hour days created the heavens and the earth.

May God grant that these truths may always be the declaration of our hearts. Amen.

+++++++

Do you know what a ‘flat-earther’ is? I guess that most of you know that there is a collection of people who believe that the earth’s shape is not that of a globe, but a flat plane. They suggest that pictures of the earth from space are a hoax designed to deceive. It seems that no matter what proofs are presented, they seem always have an answer.

As far as I know, no rational person today disputes the existence of the earth. We all agree that the earth exists and that we are living on it.

How the earth came to exist…is a different matter. It is for many a matter of conjecture. Many hold to what is called ‘the theory of evolution.’
This theory suggests that the earth came to be by pure chance over a period of billions of years. This theory isn’t of ancient origin, but is about 200 years old, beginning for the most part with a man named Charles Darwin (1809-1882).

God’s Word contradicts this theory by declaring that the earth and the universe in which it spins was created by an all-powerful God. In the very first book of the Bible, Genesis (which means origins) God describes in outline form how he created the universe and the earth and the things in it.

Moreover, God tells us that the proof, the evidence is on display for all to see in the created world. The 19th Psalm begins by telling us that ‘the heavens declare God’s glory; the skies show the work of His hands.’ In the letter to the Roman Christians, the Apostle Paul says (Romans 1:20) that God’s qualities are on display in the created world, especially His power and goodness.

The letter to the Hebrews, from which this text is taken, declares simply (Hebrews 3:4):

4 For every house is built by someone, but He who built all things is God.

For Christians, the matter of the Creation and preservation of the earth shouldn’t be a question or matter of doubt. It shouldn’t be because God Himself, in simple language speaks of its origin in His Word. What’s more, unlike those who spin the theory of evolution, He doesn’t change his story every year. He doesn’t come back and say, “Oh, sorry, I meant 9 billion years.”

The origin of the universe and the earth isn’t a matter of science. It’s a matter of faith. We can’t drive down to Jerusalem and make an appointment to discuss the matter with the Creator. He doesn’t communicate with us face to face, but only in His Word.

This is why the writer to the Hebrews says what He does –
3
3 By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.

So, how do we know that the founding fathers of our country rebelled against England? How do we know who wrote the Declaration of Independence? How did the Upper Peninsula become part of Michigan and not Wisconsin?

Well, we know the answers to these questions because the events have been written down, recorded in history by those who were present. We know – not because we were there to see it ourselves but because those who were there left behind a record for the sake of the generations to come. We rely on recorded history.

We understand that the universe and everything in it were created by God, NOT…because we were there to see it ourselves or because it seems reasonable to us, BUT… because the one person who was there has left a record for us.

This is not a matter to be decided by ‘so-called science’ or by men who weren’t a glint in their father’s eye two thousand years after the creation. This is not a matter to be molded by personal opinion or public opinion or even interpretation. It is a matter of faith, based alone upon the written record.

It is by Faith that we understand, perceive, gain insight into the facts. The facts are that the ‘worlds were framed by the Word of God.’

What? Worlds? Framed? Is this saying that God created other universes, other worlds? Is this saying that God merely framed the universe and allowed evolution to put up the sheetrock and hang the doors?

Good Grief, NO. It’s not a clear translation at all.

What Worlds? Most often the Greek word ‘cosmos’ is used of the earth. It looks at the earth as a physical thing. In this case the word ‘aeon’ is used which looks at it from the standpoint of time. It’s saying simply that the ‘ages of the earth’ that is the time from their beginning were all…

Framed? The verb translated ‘framed’ is a word that means to ‘put in order, complete, prepare, make, create.’

We might say it like this, “By Faith we comprehend that the times of the universe and the earth were ordered by the speaking of God.”

It isn’t saying that the written word organized the universe, but that the universe was called into existence by the speaking of God.

It’s saying what you heard in our Old Testament Lesson (Genesis 1:3):

“Then God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light.”

Then, as if to pound a stake into the heart of the theory of evolution, it here declares that “the things that we see were not made of something that already existed. God did not take something that existed already and reorganize it. He created, made it out of nothing. There is no room in this – or any other Bible passage – for ‘theistic evolution’ the idea that God created the world in part and left it to evolve into what we now see and investigate.

God, the same God who created humankind…also had mercy when humankind rebelled against Him. Instead of destroying the earth and starting over, God promised to send His Son to save.

I know…that you know how that went…perfectly…orchestrated by God’s perfect Son, our Lord Jesus.

Now understand that we can’t dismiss the Creation account without also calling into question the Cross of Jesus.

It is by faith that we understand that God – who is our Father by faith in Jesus – created the earth by speaking and redeemed us by the blood of His Son.

It is by faith that we receive the forgiveness of sins and life everlasting, from Jesus the Christ, the Son of God. But that is part of the 2nd Article.

The rest is yet to come.
Amen.

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