Of the Work of Creation
Hebrews 11:3
Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God…

I. WHAT WE ARE TO UNDERSTAND BY CREATION, or what it is to create.

1. It is not to be taken here in a large sense, as sometimes it is used in Scripture, for any production of things wherein second causes have their instrumentality, as Psalm 104:30.

2. We are to take it strictly for the production of things out of nothing, or the giving a being to things which had none before.

(1) There is an immediate creation, as when things are brought forth out of pure nothing, where there was no pre-existent matter to work upon.

(2) There is a secondary and mediate creation, which is the making things of pre-existing matter, but of such as is naturally unfit and altogether indisposed for such productions, and which could never by any power of second causes be brought into such a form. Thus all beasts, cattle, and creeping things, and the body of man, were at first made of the earth and the dust of the ground; and the body of the first woman was made of a rib taken out of the man.

II. THAT THE WORLD WAS MADE, THAT IT HAD A BEGINNING AND WAS NOT ETERNAL. This the Scripture plainly testifies (Genesis 1:1). And this reason itself teacheth: for whatsoever is eternal, the being of it is necessary, and it is subject to no alterations. But we see this is not the case with the world; for it is daily undergoing alterations.


1. The world could not make itself; for this would imply a contradiction, namely, that the world was before it was: for the cause must always be before its effect.

2. The production of the world could not be by chance.

3. God created all things, the world, and all the creatures that belong to it. He attributes this work to Himself, as one of the peculiar glories of His Deity, exclusive of all the creatures (Isaiah 44:24; Isaiah 45:12; Isaiah 40:12, 13). None could make the word but God, because creation is a work of infinite power, and could not be produced by any finite cause: for the distance between being and not being is truly infinite, which could not be removed by any finite agent, or the activity of all finite agents united.

IV. WHAT GOD MADE. All things whatsoever, besides God, were created (Revelation 4:11). The evil of sin is no positive being, it being but a defect or want, and therefore is not reckoned among the things which God made, but owed its existence to the will of fallen angels and men. Devils being angels, are God's creatures; but God did not make them evil, or devils, but they made themselves so.

V. OF WHAT ALL THINGS WERE MADE. Of nothing; which does not denote any matter of which they were formed, but the term from which God brought them; when they had no being He gave them one (Colossians 1:16; Romans 11:36).

VI. How ALL THINGS WERE MADE OF NOTHING. By the word of God's power. It was the infinite power of God that gave them a being; which power was exerted in His Word, not a word properly spoken, but an act of His will commanding them to be (Genesis 1:3; Psalm 33:6, 9).


VIII. FOR WHAT END GOD MADE ALL THINGS. It was for His own glory (Proverbs 16:4; Romans 11:36). And there are these three attributes of God that especially shine forth in this work of creation, namely, His wisdom, power, and goodness.

IX. IN WHAT STATE WERE ALL THINGS MADE? I answer, They were all "very good" (Genesis 1:31). The goodness of the creature consists in its fitness for the use for which it was made. In this respect everything answered exactly the end of its creation. Again, the goodness of things is their perfection; and so everything was made agreeable to the idea thereof that was formed in the Divine mind. There was not the least defect in the work; but everything was beautiful, as it was the effect of infinite wisdom as well as almighty power. Inferences:

1. God is a most glorious being, infinitely lovely and desirable, possessed of every perfection and excellency. Whatever excellency and beauty is in the creatures is all from Him, and sure it must be most excellent in the fountain.

2. God's glory should be our chief end. And seeing whatever we have is from Him, it should be used and employed for Him: For "all things were created by Him and for Him" (Colossians 1:16).

3. God is our Sovereign Lord Proprietor, and may do in us, on us, anal by us, what He will (Romans 9:20, 21).

4. We should use all the creatures we make use of with an eye to God, and due thankfulness to Him, the Giver; employing them in our service, soberly and wisely, considering they stand related to God as their Creator, and are the workmanship of His own hands.

5. There is no case so desperate, but faith may get sure footing with respect to it in the power and Word of God. Let the people of God be ever so low, they can never be lower than when they were not at all (Isaiah 65:18).

6. Give away yourselves to God through Jesus Christ, making a cheerful and entire dedication of your souls and bodies, and all that ye are and have, to Him as your God and Father, resolving to serve Him all the days of your life: that as He made you for His glory, you may in some measure answer the end of your creation, which is to show forth His praise.

(T. Boston, D. D.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.

WEB: By faith, we understand that the universe has been framed by the word of God, so that what is seen has not been made out of things which are visible.

Faith's Attitude Towards the Creation
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