In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
I. WHAT IS CREATION? Creation is a work of free condescension on the part of God. There was a time when it was not, and God willed that it should be. It was by Him called into existence out of nothing. It is not only not God, but it is not Divine — partakes in no way of His essence, nor (except in one, its spiritual department, where He has specially willed it) of His nature; has in itself no principle of permanence, cannot uphold itself, but depends altogether for its being, and well being, on the good pleasure of Him, whose Divine love created and upholds it. The world is a standing proof of God's condescension — that He lowers Himself to behold the things which are in heaven and in earth, which He needeth not. Creation, viewed in its true light, is as really a proof of the self-forgetting, self-humbling love of our God, as redemption; for in it He left His glory which He had, the Father with the Son, and the Holy Spirit with both, before the worlds began, and descended to converse with and move among the works of His own hands; to launch the planets on their courses through space, and uphold in them all things living by His ever-abiding Spirit.
II. WHY IS CREATION? May we presume to ask, What moved Him who was perfect in Himself, who needed nothing beyond Himself, whose character of love was fulfilled in the unity of the Three Persons in the God-head — what moved Him to lower Himself to the creation and upholding of matter, and of life organized in matter? We have already attributed the act to free condescending love; but what love — love for whom? Here again Scripture gives us an answer. "The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into His hand." "By Him (the Son) were all things created, that are in heaven and that are in earth, visible and invisible — all things were created by Him and for Him." I hesitate not then in saying that all creation was the result of the love of the Father for the Son; the result of His Almighty will to carry forward, and to glorify, His Divine character of love, by the glorification of His beloved and only-begotten Son. This world is Christ's world — made by and made for Christ — made as the theatre whereon, to all created beings, and even to the Father Himself, was to be shown forth the glorious self-denying love of the Son of God. Thus the world is to the Christian a fact in the very path and process of his faith, and hope, and love. Thus creation is to him part of redemption; the first free act of love of his God, which provided for his being called into existence, as the next free act of love provided for his being called to be a partaker of the Divine nature.
Parallel VersesKJV: In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.