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8 Bible Verses about God’s Creation and Commandments

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“God hath all life, glory, goodness, blessedness, in and of Himself; and is alone in and unto Himself all-sufficient, not standing in need of any creatures which He hath made, nor deriving any glory from them, but only manifesting His own glory in, by, unto, and upon them; He is the alone foundation of all being, of whom, through whom, and to whom, are all things; and hath most sovereign dominion over them, to do by them, for them, or upon them, whatsoever Himself pleaseth. In His sight all things are open and manifest; His knowledge is infinite, infallible, and independent upon the creature; so as nothing is to Him contingent or uncertain. He is most holy in all His counsels, in all His works, and in all His commands. To Him is due from angels and men, and every other creature, whatsoever worship, service, or obedience He is pleased to require of them.”

—The Westminster Confession of Faith 2.2

Acts 17:24–28

“The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, for ‘In him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are indeed his offspring.’”

Commentary from the sermon “Knowing God” by Alistair Begg:

“Who is God, according to the Bible? God is the creator of the world. … God stands separate from, distinct from, His creation. In other words, this is not pantheism; this challenges the notions of pantheism. God is not part of the basic material of human existence, of the universe. God is not a force or even the great force of all the forces that exist within our world. No. God made the world. He stands outside of time. He Himself is uncreated, and He is the creator of the universe. …

“Secondly, God is introduced as sustainer …. He’s not served by human hands as if He needed anything, because He’s the one who gives all men life and breath and everything else. … The sustainer of life is in no need of sustenance. That’s why Jesus was able to say to the disciples, ‘Look at the birds; your heavenly Father feeds them’; or, ‘If God clothes the grass of field, which is here today and tomorrow is cast into the oven, won’t He look after you?’ (Matt. 6:26–30, paraphrased). …

“Thirdly, He’s the ruler of the nations …. ‘From one man he made every nation of men.’ … History and geography are under the control of God. … Every bloodshed in the history of humanity is as a result of man’s warped sinfulness. But man’s warped sinfulness does not take a sovereign God by surprise, because He even sweeps into His purposes the sinful nature of man, thereby assuming and creating His prerogative over all the affairs of the nations. …

“Fourthly, He is introduced to his readers as Father. We are His offspring, he says in verse 29. The point that he’s making here is that we are all made in the image of God. We share that in humanity, no matter whether we’re in the Northern Hemisphere or the Southern Hemisphere, no matter whether we speak Spanish or Urdu or Hindi or English or whatever it might be. … He’s not talking here about that transaction by grace whereby we become God’s children through faith in God’s Son; he’s talking here simply in terms of humanity.”

Isaiah 40:12–17

“Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand
 and marked off the heavens with a span,
enclosed the dust of the earth in a measure
 and weighed the mountains in scales
 and the hills in a balance?
Who has measured the Spirit of the Lord,
 or what man shows him his counsel?
Whom did he consult,
 and who made him understand?
Who taught him the path of justice,
 and taught him knowledge,
 and showed him the way of understanding?
Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket,
 and are accounted as the dust on the scales;
 behold, he takes up the coastlands like fine dust.
Lebanon would not suffice for fuel,
 nor are its beasts enough for a burnt offering.
All the nations are as nothing before him,
 they are accounted by him as less than nothing and emptiness.”

Commentary from the sermon “Behold Your God! — Part One” by Alistair Begg:

“What we have, actually, is a universe that is dwarfed by the presence of God. … Look at the pictures. … He cups His hands, and He holds the waters. … And then He takes out a ruler and a compass, and He plots out the heavens. And then He takes out the scales, and He weighs the mountains and the hills, and He assesses it all.

“Now, what is Isaiah doing here? He’s doing this: he is allowing us as the readers of his prophecy to see God through God’s eyes, to see God as He reveals Himself. He reveals Himself savingly, finally, in Jesus. He reveals Himself in creation. He reveals Himself in His Word. And here in His Word, He says, ‘Do you want to know how I relate to creation? This is who I am.’

“… God has no need of counsel; … He never needs to go and ask anybody for advice; … He who has measured out the waters is Himself immeasurable. You see that? ‘Who has measured the Spirit of the Lord …?’ Well, no one. No one! ‘Whom did he consult, … who made him understand?’ Who could ever have told God what to do? What management consultant firm would He bring in, in order to make determinations? What school would He have to attend in order to be able to make the judgments that He makes and establish the laws that He has given? No one shows God how to understand things. In fact, God is the way to understanding. …

“Now, you see, Isaiah 40 is just putting us in our place: so small, so frail, and God so vast, so powerful, coming to seek us. Wow!

“It kind of gives the lie to the idea of ‘I think I’ll do God a favor and go to church,’ gives the lie to the idea that somehow or another we’ve got to protect God from the bizarre notions of our culture. He’s not in need of our protection. He is altogether sufficient in Himself. He needs no counselors. He never asked anybody’s advice about making the universe. And He has promised that all who come to Him through Christ may find their wisdom, their righteousness, and their acceptance in that.”

Ephesians 3:20–21

“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”

Commentary from the sermon “A Doxology” by Alistair Begg:

“Contemporary notions of God which are out there alive and well on the Main Streets of our towns suggests that in one way or another, God is dependent on the created universe. Actually, that God is contained in it—that He is contained in it, so that nature … includes and contains the divine. And since we are part of creation, we are part of nature; therefore, somehow or another, pantheistically, we are included in this divinity. And so the contemporary idea of God, if you want to meet God, is you look within, because He is within.

“The Bible says, ‘No, He’s not.’ This notion of the divine spark has some semblance of reality, insofar as we’re all the children of God by creation. But when Paul talks about being ‘filled with all the fullness of God,’ he’s not talking about something that accrues to us by dint of our physical existence but rather the reality of the invasion of God into a life that knows nothing of God. Because, you see, the Bible says that God is outside of time, that God is outside of His creation; therefore, we can’t confuse Him with creation—that there exists ‘an invisible boundary’1 between God and ourselves.”

Ephesians 1:11

“In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will.”

Commentary from the sermon “The Divine Fulcrum” by Alistair Begg:

“When we talk about the sovereignty of God as it unfolds in Scripture, we are affirming what the Bible says—namely, that God rules the world. … It is a world that is distinct from God as Creator. He has not made the world out of Himself. Not only is the world distinct from Him, but the world is entirely dependent upon Him. It is His will, His purpose … that is the final cause of all things that unfold throughout all of history. That involves human government. That involves the salvation of His people. That involves the sufferings of Christ. That involves the sufferings of the followers of Christ. It involves the smallest of details, for He’s aware when even two sparrows fall to the ground (Matt. 10:29). And it involves the vastness of the end of the universe and our eternal destiny.

“Now, when we affirm these things, we are affirming the fact that the sovereignty of God means that nothing is beyond His control. When we affirm the fact of our human responsibility, we are affirming the fact that we are genuinely accountable for all of our individual decisions, for all of our individual actions. And the interplay between them means simply this: that God is at work within the acts of personal freedom. He’s at work within our own personal decisions, choices, and actions. …

“… None of us can know the mind of God. So our inability to grasp how this can be is beyond the point. … Because we’re confronted by our inability to grasp how this can be. It’s enough for us to know that this is the case and to rest in the fact that all the events of our world—big ones, small ones, events which appear absurd, meaningless, unthinkably painful—are under God’s sovereign control.”

Psalm 139:1–6

“O LORD, you have searched me and known me!
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
 you discern my thoughts from afar.
You search out my path and my lying down
 and are acquainted with all my ways.
Even before a word is on my tongue,
 behold, O LORD, you know it altogether.
You hem me in, behind and before,
 and lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
 it is high; I cannot attain it.”

Commentary from the sermon “God Knows All about Me” by Alistair Begg:

“The Communion service in the Book of Common Prayer … reads in part like this: … ‘Almighty God, unto whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hidden, we come to you.’ …

“In other words, God knows everything. Google and other Google-like things have … hugely ambitious plans for collecting data. And they are collecting data. But they cannot hold a candle to this. How many billion people are in the world this morning? … In a personal way, the entire … population of the world is known to Almighty God. Calvin says, ‘How few of us acknowledge that he who formed the eye, the ear, and the mind himself hears, sees, and knows everything.’2 Everything! …

“The knowledge of God is … comprehensive. It spans the globe. But the point that he’s making here is not the comprehensiveness of the knowledge of God but the fact that David says, ‘You know me.’ ‘You know me.’ It’s one thing to say, ‘You know everybody in the world.’ ‘He’s got the whole world in His hands.’ True. But David says, ‘You have searched me, and you know me.’ See, we’ve got to be able to say these things to our teenagers. We’ll go on through the psalm and see how vital it is that they understand that they’re not the product of chance, that they’re divinely put together, and that God knows them. And He knows us.”

Jude 24–25

“To the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.”

Commentary from the sermon “‘Now to Him’” by Alistair Begg:

“There are no rivals to His dignity. There are no rivals to His splendor. There is no one that can jump up in a moment in time and take on the challenge of the living God. Remember that the opening hymn of the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II contained the verse:

So be it, Lord! Thy throne shall never,
Like earth’s proud empires, pass away.
Thy kingdom stands and grows forever,
Till all thy creatures own thy sway.3

“She was the longest-serving monarch, but in her death she reminded us she said to God, ‘Your Majesty.’ He was the only one that she had occasion to address in that way.

“You see what Jude is doing here? ‘Glory.’ ‘Majesty.’ ‘Dominion.’ Dominion over all the earth. You say, ‘Well, it doesn’t look much like it now.’ It doesn’t always seem so that the Lord God omnipotent reigns, but the Bible says it is so, and we trust His Word.”

Romans 3:19

“We know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God.”

Commentary from the sermon “The Law of God” by Alistair Begg:

“When we think of the law of God, encapsulated in the Ten Commandments, we’re thinking … not simply in terms of legislation but in terms of revelation. But inasmuch as the Ten Commandments give to us that apt summary, it is an expression, in specific detail, of God’s will and purpose for the life of man. …

“One of the challenges that is represented when we come to this subject just, as it were, out of the blue is that there is just manifold confusion in the minds of … even good people who would profess to know their Bibles. … Both the catechism and the creeds in their summary form are really, really helpful in relationship to a subject like this.

“For example, there is a logical progression in the Shorter Catechism when it begins with the question that we all know, ‘What is the chief end of man?’—asking the question, ‘What is the reason for my existence?’ … The answer to that: we exist ‘to glorify God, and … enjoy Him forever.’ … Question 2 … is ‘What rule has God given to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy Him?’ In other words, how are we supposed to know what it means to glorify God and enjoy God? The answer to that is: ‘The Word of God, … contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, is the only rule to direct us [as to] how we may glorify and enjoy Him.’

“Question 3: ‘What then do the Scriptures principally teach?’ The answer is: they ‘principally teach what man is to believe concerning God, and what duty God requires of man’ …. But the ‘duty’ that ‘God requires of man’ immediately raises a flag in the minds of some people. And you have to proceed through the catechism all the way to question 39 before it follows up on that and asks, ‘What is the duty which God requires of man?’ And the answer to question 39 is ‘The duty which God requires of man is obedience to His revealed will.’ … Question 40: ‘What did God at first reveal to man for the rule of His obedience?’ Answer: ‘The rule which God at first revealed to man for His obedience was the moral law.’ Inevitable question: ‘Where is the moral law summarily comprehended?’ Answer: ‘The moral law is summarily comprehended in the Ten Commandments.’”4

Micah 6:6–8

“With what shall I come before the LORD,
 and bow myself before God on high?
Shall I come before him with burnt offerings,
 with calves a year old?
Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams,
 with ten thousands of rivers of oil?
Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression,
 the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?”
He has told you, O man, what is good;
 and what does the LORD require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
 and to walk humbly with your God?”

Commentary from the sermon “What God Requires” by Alistair Begg:

“Number one, ‘to do justly’ (KJV)—that is … doing justly in accord with the will and purpose of God as He has both manifested it and as He has revealed it to us in Scripture. So, for example, in Deuteronomy, Moses says God ‘executes justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the sojourner, giving him food and clothing’ (Deut. 10:18). So, within the framework of God’s revelation of Himself, we want to take seriously these things ….

“‘To do justly,’ ‘to love mercy’ (KJV). A heart attitude. If doing justly is the action, then loving mercy, or loving kindness, is the attitude of the heart. Warm-hearted compassion—these actions taking place not as a performance of some demanded duty but as a glad and spontaneous action. It’s not going to be possible for us to really believe that ‘Father, your love is a faithful love’5 and then for us to be faithless in our expressions of love.

“And then, thirdly, to ‘walk humbly.’ … In other words, to walk in submission to God’s will. In New Testament terms, it’s Romans 12:1: to offer your body as a living sacrifice that is an acceptable form of worship to Him. Humility means that I don’t take myself too seriously, that I don’t cherish exaggerated ideas of my own importance, that I don’t assume that I have everything buttoned down and know how it should be—which is, of course, one’s tendency.

“‘Well,’ you say, ‘that’s fairly comprehensive, and it’s fairly clear. Why did Newton say, ‘There’s hardly a passage in Scripture more generally misunderstood’?’6 Well, he’s not here to answer the question, but I think at least this would be true of what he meant.

“Number one, because of how this verse is attempted without the Gospel. … And then it becomes just a display of natural virtue. Then it becomes the sort of normal, nice religion of virtuous life. A person says, ‘How can I come before the Lord?’—verse 6. An answer: ‘I’m going to come before the Lord; the way I do it is by doing justly, loving mercy, and walking humbly.’ It’s just another version of ‘A good God, if He exists, will reward nice people if they do their best,’ and part of the way of doing your best involves justice, it involves mercy, and it involves being humble about it. I think Newton must have had that in mind: how easy it is for us to attempt this without the Gospel.

“Also, how easy it is for pastors to proclaim it in place of the Gospel. … You see, this is a very easy slide. Men and women by nature are keen to contribute to their standing before God—to contribute to it on account of their own endeavors. And so, if the message that comes across is ‘Why don’t you go out and have a really good week and do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with God?’ they say, ‘I’d be able to take a stab at that.’ But you see the inherent danger. …

“Third … because it needs to be understood that it is only possible by the Gospel. … Micah is not here charting a path as a means to acceptance with God. And I, for one, am really thankful. And if you are a believer today, you ought to be as well. If God were—on the day that He has fixed, which we read of in Acts 17—if God were on that day to judge me by this text, I would have no basis for appeal.”

David F. Wells, What Is the Trinity? (Phillipsburg, NJ: P and R, 2012), 11. ↩︎

John Calvin, Commentary on the Book of Psalms, trans. James Anderson (Edinburgh: Calvin Translation Society, 1849), 5:219. Paraphrased. ↩︎

Horatius Bonar, “Not What I Am, O Lord, but What Thou Art” (1861). ↩︎

The Westminster Shorter Catechism, Q. 41. ↩︎

Robert Critchley, “Father Your Love” (2002). ↩︎

John Newton, “Sermon 17: No Access to God but by the Gospel of Christ,” in The Works of the Rev. John Newton (London, 1808), 2:543. Paraphrased. ↩︎

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