1.1.1 God reveals Himself as the Creator

The self-revelation of God in the visible creation is accessible to all human beings. Since the beginning of time, man has observed the grandeur of nature and inquired about its origin and author. Occupying oneself with this question is to lead to faith: God is the Creator and Protector of the material world, which also includes mankind.

The material world is an expression of God's will and activity. Thus we can also recognise a self-revelation of God in it. The visible creation bears witness to the existence of God, the Creator, as well as to His wisdom and power: "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork" (Psalm 19: 1).

Apostle Paul also points out that God reveals Himself through His creation, and that all human beings should be able to recognise Him: "... because what may be known of God is manifest in them [the Gentiles who do not believe in God], for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse" (Romans 1: 19-20).

Unbelievers do not realise that God reveals Himself through the visible creation, and therefore draw false conclusions from this self-revelation of God by worshipping things created by God. They thus bring the glory–which is due the Creator alone–to created things, and thereby make them into idols. For this reason, idolatry is also criticised in the Book of the Wisdom of Solomon: "[God] the first author of beauty hath created them [the powers of nature]. But if they [the unbelievers] were astonished at their power and virtue, let them understand by them, how much mightier He is that made them. For by the greatness and beauty of the creatures, proportionably the maker of them is seen" (Wisdom of Solomon 13: 3-5).

Even though man is able to perceive the wonder of the natural creation, it does not necessarily follow that he will, on his own, relate this to the living God. Furthermore, the phenomena of creation may merely lead him to conclude that a living God must exist. However, it is only in the context of God's self-revelation throughout history, that is through His word addressed to human beings, that the nature and will of God can truly be perceived by mankind.

See also