Full Text for Dogmatics 1- Volume 44 - Why did God create? (Video)

Dogmatics 44 Captioning provided By: Caption First, Inc. P.O. Box 1924 Lombard, IL 60148 ******** This text is being provided in a rough draft format. Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) is provided in order to facilitate communication accessibility and may not be a totally verbatim record of the proceedings. ******** >> Then why did God create? >> Well, before I answer that, let me first say there are at least a couple reasons why we ought to be careful in even answering this question. The first is fairly obvious: The Bible itself doesn't give what you might say are explicit and concrete answers to the question: Why did God create? There's no passage in Genesis or in the Old Testament or New Testament which lists God's reason for creating. There are no explicit concrete grounds for creation given. And so in some respects, all we are doing is bringing things together from the Bible rather than simply giving questions that run pretty obviously off of the pages of the scriptures. A second reason, though, to be careful in formulating a response is what God said to Job at the end of the book of Job, finally the Lord comes and addresses Job, who has been wanting to know why he has had to suffer. God, though, doesn't give answers, but in turn questions Job, as we read from the 38th chapter of Job. Then the Lord answers Job out of the storm. He said: Who is this that darkens my council with words without knowledge? Brace yourself like a man. I will question you, and you shall answer me. Then He asks him about creation? Where were you when I laid earth's foundation? Tell me if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know. Who stretched a measuring line across it? On what were its footings set or who laid its cornerstone while the morningstars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy? And as you probably know, the Lord goes on and on in this vein, questioning Job. And Job, of course, can't answer. He has no place to do that. And in the same way, we, too, are creatures and we ought to be careful not to be putting God to the test and putting God on trial with such a question. After all, where were we when He set up the universe or when laid down its foundations? Third in answering this, we need to be careful to honor God's freedom. We were just speaking about that with the last question. God is not compelled in any circumstances by anything or anyone, and so when we ask the question why, we have to be careful not to be putting, as it were, God under some kind of necessity or compulsion. And so, for instance, we would have to reject ideas like God was lonely. And then finally, when we answer, we need to be careful to honor God's grace. We need to recognize and to acknowledge in the way we answer God's goodness towards us, God's preservation of us. So the question then why did God create and it seems to come out of the background that God does not need to create, he is not compelled to, we might first honor God, His sovereignty and freedom by saying God created because it pleased Him. We might say He did so because He wished to, He wanted to. But we can say more than that, knowing on the basis of God's grace towards us that God is truly good, and knowing the extent of His goodness, the goodness that He showed in Jesus Christ through His life, death and Resurrection to save us, and to save all humankind from sin, death and the devil. And knowing God's goodness to us personally in the preaching of the Word in the Gospel, in the preservation and leading of our lives under His grace. We know that God is good and that God is love, and so we might be able to say, and we can say that God created because He is good and that God created because He is love. Or we can say that God created because He is good. In this sense God created because He desired to be good to something. God is so full of goodness, God is so wanting to be good that He made a world. He made a world to show His goodness. When looked at it this way, then all things, especially our life, life itself can be seen as a gift, something God has given and given for a good reason; namely, to be shown His goodness. Creation, too, itself can be seen as good. And this then is consistent with what the Bible says at the very beginning in the account in Genesis of creation. And what it's saying towards -- all the way to the end, in the expectation of a new creation. And for that matter in God's work to save and to redeem not only human creatures, but all of creation. In Genesis 1, when God creates on the days of creation, He says that it was good. And when the last day will come and the new creation is made by God, then he will again say it is good. And the good news to that is told to us, is God saying despite our sin, forgiving it and declaring us to be good. And so on the last day, when we rise from the dead, we will be found also to be through and through perfectly good. Now, the doctrine then of creation, teaching that creation itself is good, and this answer, too, that God created in order to show goodness because He is good, these kinds of teachings then work against, speak against what might be called dualism, the idea that there are both a good and an evil principle in the world. We know God is good and His creation is good. It does leave us with a question, the problem of the origin of evil, but we will not, and part of the basis of the doctrine of creation, say that God made or wills evil. And then we can also say that God created because He is love, in a similar way. God is full of love, so full that He desires to show love. And in a sense one could speak about creation, then, one could give an answer to your question: Why did God create? It seems consistent with God's love that He made the world in order to show love. God is free, but as the one who is love and does love, He freely made the world to be loved and in return to show love. So these are some ways you might be able to answer your question: Why did God create? Again, we have to be careful about how we answer. The Bible does not list some explicit reasons, and there are aspects about God, His freedom, as well as His goodness and His grace that we need to try to honor the way we answer, but there are --