Basics of the Reformed Faith

Here on the Zion blog, we will be offering a series that will cover the basic subjects of Reformed theology. The series will offer bite-sized explanations of key doctrines to give new believers and people new to the Reformed faith an easily understood tour of key tenets of the faith, and it also serves to remind those of us who have been at Zion for a long time what we mean when we say that we are a Reformed church. Most of these articles come from Westminster Seminary California, our pastor’s alma mater and one of our new Missions of the Month. First up, “In the Beginning: God.”

The Bible opens with a remarkable statement in Genesis 1:1– “In the Beginning, God . . .”

This simple assertion is packed with meaning. Some of the most fundamental truths of the Christian faith are found in this short declaration, and it is important to give them due consideration.

The first thing this passage tells us is that before anything was created, God already was. In fact, God always was, without beginning or end. Since God alone is uncreated, we speak of him as eternal. God exists before time itself, and is not bound by the succession of moments (time) as are we.

As the creation account unfolds in the subsequent verses of Genesis 1, we learn that the eternal God creates all things. Whatever now exists, exists only because God created it. There is no such thing as eternal matter. There is no eternal realm of mental forms (or ideas) as Plato led us to believe. There is no eternal convulsing of matter–ever expanding, ever contracting–as taught in much of contemporary science. There is only the eternal God who created all things, and who already was in the beginning. This indicates that nothing exists apart from the will of God, and all created things (the heavens and earth, humans as well as angels) are necessarily contingent, and depend upon God for their existence.

Unlike his creatures who are bound by both time and space, God has no such limitations. Because God is unlike us in this most fundamental way, he must be distinct from that which he has created, and can in no sense be dependant upon created things. God has no needs, as do we. God has no parts, as we do. Although he is personal, he does not have the kind of passions or emotions that we do as creatures. This is the God who gives orders to the sun and the stars, who gives life to inanimate matter (as when he made Adam from the dust of the earth – Genesis 2:7), and who is Lord over death. This God utterly transcends his creatures. Continue reading at WSCal’s Valiant for Truth Blog

About blund

Brian J. Lund is minister of Word & Sacrament at Zion Evangelical & Reformed Church. You can follow him at his website or @BrianJLund.
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