Nepaug Bible Church - - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes -

Hebrews: The Superiority Of Christ To Errant Religions
Part VI: The Response Of Faith To Christ's Superiority, Hebrews 11:1-13:19
B. Living By Faith Relative To The Origin Of The Universe And Our "Worldview"
(Hebrews 11:1, 6 with 11:3)
  1. Introduction
    1. The influence of Darwinian evolutionary thought is great not only in the secular world, but increasingly so among evangelicals: John Walton, professor of Old Testament at Wheaton College in Illinois, perhaps the most influential of evangelical colleges, now claims Genesis 1 is not history in regards to the material universe so that people free to believe what they want relative to evolution versus pure creationism. (blogs.answersingenesis,org, February 2, 1011, "Wheaton College and False Teaching in Tennessee")
    2. However, allowing for evolution in Genesis 1 undermines the "normal" interpretation of that chapter, thus undermining the authority of Scripture as read "normally," for Genesis 1 read in a "normal" way offers many contradictions to evolution ("days" consisting an evening and a morning each as solar days, etc.)
    3. Well, Hebrews 11:3 in its context provides an indisputable commentary on this whole issue as follows:
  2. Living By Faith Relative To The Origin Of The Universe And Our "Worldview," Heb. 11:1, 6; 11:3.
    1. As we learned in our previous lesson in this series, Hebrews 11:1,6 teaches that the life of faith that pleases God in the Christian experience is one that yields to Scripture's revelation that God both exists and that He will provide specific Scriptural rewards for obeying His Scriptural directives in one's life.
    2. This being so, Hebrews 11:3 directs that a life of faith that pleases God is one that understands Scripture's claims that tous aionas, literally "the ages," were prepared by the (spoken, remati) Word of God, so that what is visible came permanently (perfect active infinitive, gegonenai) into existence out of what is not visible, U. B. S. Grk. N. T., 1966, p. 769; Mounce, The Analy. Grk. Lex. to the Grk. N. T., 1993, p. 123.
    3. The same expression of "the ages" appears in Hebrews 1:2, and is generally understood by the English versions to mean creation, but Charles C. Ryrie takes the expression literally to mean "the ages, including time, space, and the material world" (Ryrie Study Bible, KJV, 1978, ftn. to Hebrews 1:2) and "the preparation of all that the successive periods of time would contain" (Ibid., ftn. to Hebrews 11:3).
    4. Ryrie's understanding is defensible in view of Paul's 2 Timothy 1:9 claim that the Christian's calling was given him in Christ Jesus "before the beginning of time" (pro chronon aionion), indicating God framed the inanimate ages in addition to the material universe, Ibid., U. B. S. Greek New Testament, p. 732.
    5. Nevertheless, the author of Hebrews at Hebrews 11:3 certainly had the Genesis 1 creation in mind since he referred to that which came into existence by God's spoken (remati) Word (II, B above), what Genesis 1 often claims occurred with specific items via the "normal" interpretation of Genesis 1:3, 6, 11 and 14.
    6. Accordingly, God expects us Christians to believe His Genesis 1 Word in a "normal" manner, that He spoke into existence the material universe complete with time and space, thereby framing the ages out of what is not visible, namely, ex nihilo, or out of nothing! This means we are to take by faith the claim that God created the universe by special creation without any use of evolution just as Genesis 1 "normally" interpreted claims, that we are thus answerable to the Almighty Creator God who originated the universe!
    7. Really, it doesn't take much faith to hold to pure creation in view of the first two laws of thermodynamics:
      1. The Compton's Encyclopedia, 1993, vol. 7, p. 211, claims "The First Law of Thermodynamics" holds that "the total energy of the universe remains constant."
      2. "The Second Law of Thermodynamics" holds that "(t)he general direction of all processes occurring in the observed universe is that which increases entropy," or "the amount of disorder," Ibid.
      3. These laws together indicate the universe is running out of useable energy, that it had to have begun with far more useful energy than it now has, meaning it did not and does not evolve, but was created!
Lesson: God calls us to trust that He exists and to hold to the "normal" interpretation of Scripture that claims He made the universe with time and space out of nothing by special creation via His spoken Word, that we thus relate to Him as Sovereign Creator to Whom we owe our love and obedience.

Application: May we believe in God and in His Word's revelation of His special creation of all the ages and all they contain, that we then submit to Him and His authority in all matters of faith and practice!