King of Creation

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1:1

There was never a time when God did not exist. Before there was time, before there was anything, there was God. And since His nature is unchanging, so He has also always existed in the Trinity—God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. 

When reading the Bible, we discover that each member of the Trinity was involved in creation: God the Father took the initiative, God the Spirit is described as “hovering over” the proceedings, and God the Son was the agent of creation in all that was made (Genesis 1:2-3; John 1:3). 

“All things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small”[1] should leave us in awe; they were all fashioned by God’s command. And He is not only the Creator of all; He is also the Lord of all that He has created. All of nature is in His hands, under His control. As we see waves crashing against the shoreline, it’s wonderfully encouraging to know that each one is there as a result of God’s sovereign rule. He hasn’t stepped away from His creation, nor will He ever.

It’s important to remember that God is also transcendent. He is on His throne, above, beyond, and distinct from all that He has made. This is what distinguishes Christianity from pantheism, the idea that the natural world is a manifestation of God and therefore everything is somehow a part of Him. With this belief, we dare not kill a fly or step on an ant because those insects are divine. Similarly, we should not chop down a tree or eat meat, because these too are “parts of God.” Teachings like these are mistaken and misguided and tend to lead to idolatry. Scripture makes it clear that time and time again people will choose to worship “the creature rather than the Creator” (Romans 1:25). When we see a great painting, we rightly admire and enjoy the painting, and then we praise the painter. All of creation is God’s canvas, and all of it speaks of “his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature” (v 20).

Only God is to be worshiped, for creation exists by His power and for His glory. His existence knows no beginning or end, and He will reign forever. He is the King. Today, exalt Him as He alone deserves. Go for a walk or look out of the window and praise Him as you see His beauty displayed in what He has made. Praise Him as He continues to rule over His creation, holding you in His sovereign hand.

FOOTNOTES. 1 Cecil F. Alexander, “All Things Bright and Beautiful” (1848).

Devotional material is taken from the Truth For Life daily devotional by Alistair Begg, published by The Good Book Company. Used by Truth For Life with permission. Copyright © 2021, The Good Book Company.

Justice Is Satisfied

If while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. Romans 5:10

God is not a kindly grandfather or a cosmic Santa Claus who just gives out gifts and who is really not much concerned with anything else. 

No—He is holy, and He is righteous. So humans, because of our sin, are alienated from God. A hostility exists between humanity and our Creator. This is not a message that you hear very often, and it’s certainly not very palatable. But God doesn’t overlook that hostility. He never has, and He never will. Scripture is very clear on God’s disposition towards sin. Indeed, Paul describes human beings as God’s enemies, making clear that sin separates us from God. Paul’s language also echoes the psalmist’s words, which say of God, “You hate all evildoers” (Psalm 5:5)—a message that is neither pleasant to read nor easy to understand at first glance.

Where, then, is our hope? How can we ever be reconciled to God? How can God punish sin as it deserves yet still pardon sinners? 

O loving wisdom of our God!
When all was sin and shame,
A second Adam to the fight
And to the rescue came.[1]

Jesus, by His death on the cross, satisfied God’s justice. He took upon Himself both our obligation to perfectly obey God’s law and our liability for failing to do so. He then satisfied our obligation through His sinless life and canceled our liability by His sacrificial death upon the cross. When our alienation from God resulted in God’s hatred towards our sinful existence, He did not abandon us. Rather, God came and reconciled us through His Son. If this does not sound like the most incredible news of all, we have not properly understood one of the seriousness of our sin, or the reality of His judgment, or the magnitude of our salvation.

For those of us who have been Christians for a while, it is easy for familiarity to breed, if not contempt, then complacency. But the death of Christ is not just the entry point of our faith; it is our faith. So today, pause to see the second Adam, the perfect human, succeeding where the first Adam failed and defeating the devil, reversing the effects of the fall. This is the gospel. Your sins have been pardoned. You have been rescued. You are now a friend where once you were an enemy. Christ is now your confidence, your peace, and your life. 

The reality of being in Christ is not a trivial matter; it is an amazing guarantee. When we were powerless in the face of sin, Christ’s power set us free. When we could not afford a debt so great, He bore it on the tree (1 Peter 2:24). You are now seated with Him in the heavens. Your greatest success today will not lift you higher than He has already lifted you; nor can your greatest struggle or failure pull you down from there.

1 John H. Newman, “The Dream of Gerontius” (1865).

Devotional material is taken from the Truth For Life daily devotional by Alistair Begg, published by The Good Book Company. Used by Truth For Life with permission. Copyright © 2021, The Good Book Company.