God creates “out of nothing”
We believe that God needs no pre-existent thing or any
help in order to create, nor is creation any sort of necessary ema-
nation from the divine substance.
God creates freely “out of
If God had drawn the world from pre-existent matter, what
would be so extraordinary in that? A human artisan makes
from a given material whatever he wants, while God shows
his power by starting from nothing to make all he wants.
Scripture bears witness to faith in creation “out of nothing”
as a truth full of promise and hope. Thus the mother of seven sons
encourages them for martyrdom:
I do not know how you came into being in my womb. It was
not I who gave you life and breath, nor I who set in order the
elements within each of you. Therefore the Creator of the
world, who shaped the beginning of man and devised the
origin of all things, will in his mercy give life and breath back
to you again, since you now forget yourselves for the sake of
his laws. . . . Look at the heaven and the earth and see
everything that is in them, and recognize that God did not
make them out of things that existed. Thus also mankind
comes into being.
Since God could create everything out of nothing, he can
also, through the Holy Spirit, give spiritual life to sinners by
creating a pure heart in them
and bodily life to the dead through
the Resurrection. God “gives life to the dead and calls into existence
the things that do not exist.”
And since God was able to make
light shine in darkness by his Word, he can also give the light of
faith to those who do not yet know him.
God creates an ordered and good world
Because God creates through wisdom, his creation is or-
dered: “You have arranged all things by measure and number and
The universe, created in and by the eternal Word, the
can. 2-4: DS 3022-3024.
145 Lateran Council IV (1215): DS 800; cf. DS 3025.
146 St. Theophilus of Antioch,
II, 4: PG 6, 1052.