#14 In the Beginning (continued)

6 December 1999

It is possible for one to be a creationist concerning nature, but an evolutionist when it comes to spiritual things. It is by faith that we see God as the sovereign creator of both worlds: the natural and the spiritual. When God created man, He did not ask man's opinion. Adam was passive when God formed him from the dust of the earth and breathed the breath of life into his nostrils. God needed no assistance. All of nature was passive. The birds, the fish, the earth, there was none of it. God spake and it was done. But what about regeneration, the new birth, when one of Adam's race, made of clay, is born of God's spirit? Does this evolve over a process of time? Does man assist God in this miraculous change? Is it procured by a series of religious exercises? What does God say about it? By faith we believe God's sovereign declaration of this creative fiat as well: "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new"- 2 Corinthians 5:17. The Bible is very clear on this issue. Any person in Christ has become a "new creature". The word "creature" means creation: he has been created anew. Man does not evolve from an old creature to a new creature. He is passive in the change. God, and God alone, brings it about. No wonder there are so many conflicting ideas as to how this occurs. A solemn belief in God as the sovereign Creator will silence all arguments. When a person becomes a new creature, things change: "all things are become new". This new creature has Spiritual appetites that he never had before. As the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters and brought beauty out of chaos in His natural creation(Gen. 1:2), so moves God's spirit upon the heart of unregenerate man and brings beauty by His spiritual creation. This beauty is apparent as there is a notable change in the life(Acts 9:6). He now hungers and thirsts for righteousness(Mat. 5:6) . He is interested in the Bible. The gospel comes to him in power and not in word only(I Thes 1:4,5). He now hates the things he once loved and loves the things he once hated(Ephesians 2:3-5). There is now the knowledge of sin(Romans 7:24). God's law is written in the heart(Hebrews 8:10-11). The name of Jesus is sweet in his ears(John 11:28-29). He looks for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God(Hebrews 11:9-10). This is a miraculous change indeed, and it occurs sovereignly, when God ordains it. As with John the Baptist, it may be in the mother's womb, or as Saul of Tarsus, it may be upon the Damascus road. It is truly life from death and only God can make that change, "And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins"-Ephesians 2:1. "He" is not the preacher or the message: it is GOD the Creator! The gospel will not give life, but rather, sheds light upon the life that God has already imparted( II Timothy 1:10). God reaches the heart and prepares the heart by this change to receive the message of Jesus Christ. Belief in this message does not bring about the change, but is rather an evidence of the change that God has already brought about. There may be those who claim this change with no real evidence manifested in the life; no spiritual breathings; no spiritual fruits upon the tree; no real change; no new creation. Man may have claimed the creation when God has had no part in it. Let us not allow man to usurp the power of God and claim a portion of His creation. After all, "Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?"- Romans 9:21. Where do you stand? Do you believe that God is the sovereign creator of all worlds.... even yours? Come to worship with us at HARMONY PRIMITIVE BAPTIST CHURCH, at Donaldson, where God is sovereign and salvation is by His abundant and amazing grace. Services begin at 10:30 a.m. each Sunday morning. Phone 501-337-1115. Sincerely, Neil Phelan, Jr., Pastor.