of Faith in a Mennonite Perspective, 1995
Article 5. Creation and Divine
Creation and Divine
We believe that God has created the heavens and the earth and all that
is in them,  and that God preserves and
renews what has been made. All creation ultimately has its source
outside itself and belongs to the Creator. The world has been created
good because God is good and provides all that is needed for life. 
We believe that the universe has been called into being as an
expression of God's love and sovereign freedom alone. Creation
witnesses to the eternal power and divine nature of God, who gives
meaning and purpose to life and who alone is worthy of worship and
We acknowledge that God
sustains creation in both continuity and change. We believe that God
upholds order in creation and limits the forces of sin and evil for the
sake of preserving and renewing humanity and the world.  God also works to save human beings and
the world from death and destruction and to overcome the forces of sin
We therefore are called
to respect the natural order of creation and to entrust ourselves to
God's care and keeping, whether in adversity or plenty. Neither the
work of human hands, nor the forces of the natural world around us, nor
the power of the nations among which we live are worthy of the trust
and honor due the Creator on whom they depend. 
(1) Gen. 1:1; Isa. 45:11f.; John 1:3.
(2) Gen. 1:31; 1 Tim. 4:4.
(3) Ps. 19:1-6; Rom. 1:19-23.
(4) Gen. 9:8-17; Ps. 104; Eph. 3:9-11.
(5) Ps. 33; Matt. 6:25-33; Matt. 10:26-31.
1. In confessing God as Creator, we refer to the one and triune God,
who is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, according to the Scriptures.
Creation should be understood as the work of the triune God, not as the
work of the Father or Son or the Holy Spirit alone (Heb. 1:2-3; Col.
1:16; 1 Cor. 8:5-6; John 1:3, 14-18).
Some ways of speaking about God may undermine the full confession of
the triune God as Creator. For example, speaking of God only as
"Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer" rather than as "Father, Son, and
Holy Spirit" may promote the mistaken understanding that the "Father"
alone is "Creator," the "Son" alone is "Redeemer," and the "Holy
Spirit" alone is "Sustainer."
2. We speak of creation
as an "expression" of God because of biblical references to creation by
the divine word (Gen. 1; Ps. 148:5; John 1:1f.; Rom. 4:17). In many
creation stories of other religions in Bible times, the world comes
into being as an extension of the god or gods. In these accounts, the
world shares in divinity, or is itself divine. In contrast, the
biblical account of creation by the word of God clearly distinguishes
between God the Creator and what has been created. The biblical refusal
to confuse the created with the Creator, or to ascribe divinity to the
world, fits with the Bible's rejection of idolatry in all its forms
(Isa. 45:12-21; Acts 17:22-29).
When we confess that God
is the Creator of the universe, we reject the idea that the world came
into being without God. Nor do we accept the view that God made the
world out of something which had existed before the time of creation or
the view that matter is co-eternal with God. Scripture is clear that
God was before anything else existed. Thus, both the Old Testament word
for create and the witness of Scripture as a whole imply what theology
has called "creation out of nothing."
As Creator, God is
ultimately owner of the earth. God has given the earth to human beings
to care for as God's stewards. See "The Creation and Calling of Human
Beings" (Article 6) and "Christian Stewardship" (Article 21).
3. God continues to
sustain and care for the world rather than leaving it to itself.
Although sin and evil have damaged God's original creation, God
continues to use the natural order, family, culture, and social and
political systems to sustain life and to limit the forces of evil (Gen.
4:15; Ps. 34; Isa. 19:12-25; Matt. 6:25-30; John 5:17; Col. 1:15-17).
Even though natural disasters cause havoc in the world, God continues
to preserve creation and humanity from total destruction (Gen.
8:21-22). Therefore we need not be overcome by the fear of natural
forces and other human beings which may cause suffering, persecution,
or even death.
We are called to entrust
ourselves to God's care, rather than finding our security in
technology, in the elements of the natural world, or in the nations in
which we live. We accept and use the resources of nature, society, and
technology, so far as they sustain and enhance the quality of human
life and the world around us in harmony with God's purposes, and so far
as they do not undermine trust in God's providential care.
4. God not only preserves
the world, but also acts to save the chosen people from evil and to
bless all peoples and the rest of creation. God used elements of nature
to free the Hebrew people from slavery in Egypt, to provide them with
food, to accompany the revealing of the Law at Sinai, and to provide
them with a dwelling place (Exod. 6-16; 19; Ps. 124; 136).
Because God works in ever
new and surprising ways, creation is open to change. God also works to
bring newness into creation for the sake of the covenant people and for
all nations (Isa. 42:5-9; 44:21-28). See "Salvation" (Article 8) and
"The Reign of God" (Article 24) on the renewal of creation in Jesus
Christ and, through the work of the Holy Spirit, in the church and the
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