A gracEmail subscriber asks for “a bit more elaboration” on the notion that God’s redemption will include the creation itself as well as individual children, women and men.
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According to the Bible, God brought the physical universe into existence and he heartily approved of all that he originally made (Gen. 1:1, 31). From dust of the earth God formed a man-creature, breathed life breath into his elemental nostrils and — voila! — Adam became a living soul. God then exquisitely shaped Eve, the woman-creature, and placed the two humans over the rest of the material creation to tend it, protect it and enjoy it — in unbroken fellowship with him (Gen. 2:15-17).
The first human creatures were not content with creaturely dependence on God but lusted to be gods themselves, personally deciding what is “good” and what is “evil.” But mud-men and mud-women cannot be gods, for they are made of dirt. So Adam and Eve tumbled from their place of honor over creation, to dissolve again into earth from which they came, and with them fell the creation also (Gen. 3:17-19; Heb. 2:5-8). Because of the Human Rebellion, the physical universe also was “subjected to futility” in the “bondage of decay” (Rom. 8:20-21, NET).
When Jesus died millennia later, the very sky shut its eyes and this physical earth wrenched and shuddered (Matt. 27:45, 51) Since that time, creation has groaned in longing anticipation of its redemption which Jesus has now assured (Rom. 8:19-22). The story of our universe began with a glorious Creation and it will climax with Regeneration even more glorious (Matt. 19:28). That climax will bring new heavens and new earth, a new universe filled with righteousness, forever emptied of all evil and brokenness and pain (2 Pet. 3:13; Rev. 21:1-4).