When God created the heavens and the earth and said that it was good, and we know the character and nature of God is good then logically it leads us to creation is good and has value. Creation matters to God, by the word of his mouth he created everything (Genesis 1). David tells us in Psalms 8, as part of creation man was created (8:5) and we have been placed on earth to care for creation (8:6). So how do we care for creation as image bearers of God? What does Christianity have to do with that?
Let’s start at the beginning, Genesis 1-2 tells us that God created the earth and everything in it, God looked after it, and cared for it grew and flourished and everything brought him Glory and praise. In (Psalms 98:7-9) the earth and everything in it sings to the creator. God said that it was good and then he created mankind, he created them male and female (Genesis 5:2) to care for it with him, In his image God created them (Genesis 1:27). So God made creation and he made us in his image to carry the same qualities God has over creation. That’s saying a lot of how God sees us and the responsibility he has called us to being his image barriers. After man sinned the earth was also put under the curse which it was not reasonable for, but like man creation is also waiting in anticipation of redemption. Paul tells us this in (Romans 8:19-22) For all creation is waiting eagerly for the future day when God will reveal who his children really are. Against it’s will, all creation was subjected to God’s cures. But with eager hope, creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay. For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.
The bible tells us that he will make a new heaven and earth (Isaiah 65:17-19, 2 Peter 3:10-13, Rev 21:1-5). That means that salvation is not just for mankind but for creation as well. This should have massive implications for how we all live and use the resources and the waste we create on the earth. creation is for God’s glory not mankind’s. Dr. Hayward Snyder, from Manchester Wesley research center speaks on this very subject in a talk about Christian’s and the environment. He says that salvation is about God, man, and creation a triangular relationship like the trinity, living as one in perfect unity. The whole created order is a reflection of this, also called shalom. We have for the most part only looked at salvation as only one part, but indeed there’s a secondary part for creation to be redeemed as well. This is not putting creation above the call to save man’s souls but to remind us there is also a bigger picture to what God has for us in the future. God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16). Therefore creation holds a value in God’s heart that it too will have reconciliation to God. Full of purpose, meaning, and life, all creation is meant to flourish under the kingdom of God. So what does this mean? Christianity is not just about getting mankind into heaven but that God honors all creation and wants to bring it to a fully realized potential, of unity and to flourish and grow.
When Jesus comes back he is not just coming back for mankind but for creation as well! It matters how we care for creation, God’s will is not to pull us out of creation but bring creation into his redemption and make all created things new again. Creation will be with us in eternity, Paul touch on this in (Philippians 3:12-14). We must Steward the earth and allow it to flourish and not hinder it in any way that stops it from praising it’s creator. Christianity is the only religion that values all the created order in such a way that it is part of the salvation story. Christianity calls all of creation to thrive and grow in unity and harmony for the benefit of all created things. You have been created in the image of the creator, you have been entrusted with the responsibility and caretaker over this gift we get to enjoy. What is your impact on creation? How can you be a good steward of what God has entrusted you with? I would love to hear your thoughts and have more discussion about how you fit into God’s salvation story and creation care.