God the Craftsman
Every craftsman needs the proper tool. A carpenter needs a hammer, a doctor needs a stethoscope, and a mechanic needs a wrench. God is a craftsman. He is a creative builder. But God does not use hammers and wrenches to create. Instead, God uses words. The creation account flows with the repetition of the statement, “Then God said…” (Genesis 1:3,6,9,14,20,24,28,29).
There is “one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all” (Ephesians 4:6). God did not stop creating once Genesis 1-2 are over. In the Gospels, this God who is over all, through all, and in all is at work to bring about new beginnings. The Gospel of Matthew begins with the genealogy of Jesus. The word genealogy comes from the word genesis. Genesis begins by saying, “In the beginning…” Matthew begins by saying, “This is the beginning…”
If it seems like a stretch to link Genesis and Matthew, then consider the Gospel of John. Whereas Matthew is a bit more subtle, John is overtly calling to mind the language of Genesis. The Gospel of John begins with, “In the beginning…” John goes on to say that the Word “became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14).
Through Christ, the church is now the place where God newly creates. We shouldn’t be surprised, therefore, to find language of building and creating applied to Christians and to the church. Paul writes in Ephesians that we are God’s “workmanship, created for good works” (Ephesians 2:10). And in Corinthians, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation” (2 Corinthians 5:17). Jesus says, “I will build my church” (Matthew 16:18).
The notion of being newly created in Christ is not just a one-time thing. It is an ongoing process. Thus, salvation is talked about as being past, present, and future. It is true that we “have been saved” in the past (Ephesians 2:8). However, those of us who are Christians “are being saved” in the present (1 Corinthians 1:18), and “we shall be saved” (Romans 5:9-10).
As Christians, we live our lives in the present between two resurrections. We were resurrected to new life at baptism, and we await the resurrection which will occur at the end of all things. While we live in this life, our goal is to be transformed more and more in the image of Christ, our living Lord who conquered death.
For this to occur, we must submit to our Creator. We must be pliable before the supreme Craftsman. One of the metaphors used to describe God is that of the potter. “But now, O LORD, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand” (Isaiah 64:8). We should want to be “a vessel of honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work” (2 Timothy 2:21). God used His breathed-out words to create new life in Genesis 1, and He wants to do the same for you and me. May our prayer be that we become clay that the craftsman can mold. As the old hymn says,
Have Thine own way, Lord, have Thine own way.
Thou art the Potter, I am the clay.
Mold me and make me after Thy will,
While I am waiting yielded and still.