Did God or Jesus create the world?

Question
I thought God alone created the world (Gen. 1-2; Isa. 44:24). But Paul teaches that Christ created it (Col. 1:16-17). So, who really created the world?
Answer

Isaiah 44:24: Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, who formed you from the womb: I am the Lord, who made all things, who alone stretched out the heavens, who spread out the earth by myself.

Colossians 1:16-17: For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

The Trinity in Creation

The Trinity created the world. The Trinity includes God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Please see "What is the Trinity?" below.

Though there is one God (Deut. 6:4). He is three persons. Even the word "one" in Deuteronomy 6:4 means one like a bunch of grapes. So this is consistent with the doctrine of the Trinity. Additionally, we observe the three persons of the Trinity implied in Genesis 1:26 when Moses records the statement, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness ..." and in Genesis 3:22 when he writes, Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil ..." So, clearly the entire Trinity was involved in creation.

Jesus Christ is God (cf. John 1:1, 14, etc.). He and God the Father are one (John 10:30). Christ is the "I AM" who existed before Abraham (John 8:58). Thomas, a disciple, declared concerning Jesus that he is, "My Lord and my God" (John 20:28). The apostle Paul claimed he was "our great God and Savior Jesus Christ" (Tit. 2:13). The writer of Hebrews says, "But of the Son he says, 'Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom'" (Heb. 1:8). Mankind is only to worship God (Exod. 20:3-7; Matt. 4:10; Luke 4:8; Rev. 19:10) and Jesus received worship (Matt. 2:11; 14:33; 28:9, 17; Luke 24:52; John 9:38). Without equivocation Jesus is God.

The Trinity in Redemption

Second, the three persons of the Trinity (God) are each involved in the redemption of the elect (cf. Isa. 44:24). God the Father planned, elected his people, and gave his only begotten Son (John 3:16; Eph. 1:4) to redeem them. God the Son came in the fullness of time (Gal. 4:4) and willingly accomplished salvation for his people by living a perfect, sinless life (2 Cor. 5:21; Heb. 4:15; 1 John 3:5) and literally dying for them (John 15:13; 1 Tim. 2:5; Heb. 10:5-7). He rose from the dead three days later. God the Holy Spirit, who furnished the Son with the necessary gifts to accomplish salvation, then applies the benefits of Christ's work to the elect of God (John 3:1-8; 6:38-39; 17:4). So, all three persons of the Trinity are involved in the re-creation — redemption — of the Lord's people. Please see "The Trinity's Work in Salvation," "The Holy Trinity in Salvation," and "The Persons of the Trinity in Our Salvation" below.

There is no difficulty at all in these passages. The Bible is consistent. It is accurate, inspired, inerrant, infallible, clear, and true.

This said, however, when we misunderstand the nature of God it may lead to even further misunderstanding of his word and the salvation that was purchased by Jesus himself. Therefore, the Holy Spirit instructs us to study to show ourselves approved unto God so we may rightly divide the word of truth (2 Tim. 2:15); which includes researching and understanding sound doctrine as well (1 Tim. 4:6; cf. Matt. 15:9). Thankfully, the merciful God of all understanding (Psa. 139:1; Rom. 8:27) can bring light into darkness; he can transform our misunderstandings into understanding (cf. Eph. 1:17-18).

Related Topics

What is the Trinity?
The Trinity's Work in Salvation
The Holy Trinity in Salvation
The Persons of the Trinity in Our Salvation
What were the promises made to Jesus in his work of redemption?
Isn't faith blind, irrational and without reason?
Errors in the Bible
Missing Verses?
God's Flawless Word
God-Inspired Scripture
The Formation of the Canon of the New Testament
The Bible
Communicating the Authority of Scripture in a Postmodern Enviroment
The Authority of Scripture
The Relevancy of Scripture
The Transmission of the Scriptures
The Attestation of Scripture
Scripture
KJV-Only, Error of Errors: The 1611 KJV Preface Disagrees with KJO

Answer by Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr.

Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr., D.D., M.Div. is the Theological Editor at Third Millennium Ministries (IIIM).