(1.) the act by which God calls into existence things not previously in being-material or spiritual, visible or invisible, Psalms 148:5 Revelation 4:11;
(2.) the molding or reconstituting things, the elements of which previously existed; and
(3.) the things thus "created and made," 2 Peter 3:4 Revelation 3:14 5:13. It is probably in the first of these senses the word "created" is to be understood in Genesis 1:1, though some understand it in the second sense. In either case the idea of the eternity of matter is to be rejected, as contrary to sound reason and to the teachings of Scripture, Proverbs 8:22-31 John 1:1-3 Hebrews 11:3.
Creation is exclusively the work of God. The Father, the Son, and the Spirit are each in turn named as its author, Isaiah 40:28 Colossians 1:16 Genesis 2:2. It is a work the mysteries of which no finite mind can apprehend; and yet, as it reveals to us the invisible things of God, Romans 1:20, we may and ought to learn what he reveals respecting it not only in revelation, but in his works. These two volumes are from the same divine hand, and cannot but harmonize with each other. The Bible opens with an account of the creation unspeakably majestic and sublime. The six days there spoken of have usually been taken for our present natural days; but modern geological researches have given rise to the idea that "day" here denotes a longer period. The different rocks of our globe lie in distinct layers, the comparative age of which is supposed to have been ascertained. Only the most recent have been found to contain human remains. Older layers present in turn different fossil remains of animals and plants, many of them supposed to be now extinct. These layers are deeply imbedded beneath the present soil, and yet appear to be formed of matter washed into the bed of some primeval sea, and hardened into rock. Above this may lie numerous other strata of different materials, but which appear to have been deposited in the same manner, in the slow lapse of time. These layers are also thrown up and penetrated all over the world by rocks of still earlier formations, apparently once in a melted state.
There are several modes of reconciling these geological discoveries with the statements of Scripture: First, that the six days of Genesis 1.1-31 denote six long epochs-periods of alternate progressive formation and revolution on the surface of the earth. To the Lord "a thousand years are as one day," Psalms 90:2,4 2 Peter 3:5-10 Revelation 20:1- 15. Secondly, that the long epochs indicated in the geological structure of the globe occurred before the Bible account commences, or rather in the interval between the first and second verses of Genesis 1:1-31. According to this interpretation, Genesis 1:2 describes the state of the earth at the close of the last revolution it experienced, preparatory to God’s fitting it up for the abode of man as described in the verses following. Thirdly, that God compressed the work of those untold ages into six short days, and created the world as he did Adam, in a state of maturity, embodying in its rocks and fossils those rudimental forms of animal and vegetable life which seem naturally to lead up to the existing forms.
The "Creature" and "the whole creation," in Romans 8:19-22, may denote the irrational and inferior creation, which shall be released from the curse, and share in the glorious liberty of the sons of God, Isaiah 11:6 35:1 2 Peter 3:7-13. The bodies of believers, now subject to vanity, are secure of full deliverance at the resurrection-"the redemption of our body," Romans 8:23.