3 By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.
3 By faith
This chapter uses the words “by faith” 21 times. We will see outstanding examples of people who lived their lives by faith during difficulties.
we understand [exercise of the mind to discern]
Christians perceive by faith that God created the universe. It is not something they can see for themselves by empirical evidence. Verse 3 illustrates verses 1 and 2. “Understand” is intellectual perception, not sense perception. Intellectual perception is clearly a part of faith. We can “understand” God’s creation “by faith” (Ro 1:20). Discernment allows us to apply the principles of God’s Word to a given situation.
that the worlds [ages] were framed [equipped]
God created the world or ages by speaking a word. The ages are all that exists in time and space; whether visible or invisible, “ages” implies purpose behind creation. God operates with divine continuity in history. Nothing in history is random, but it is all by divine design. Not only did God create the universe, but He administered each phase of time during the course of history. God is working a process of fulfilling His will. The words “were framed” is from a Greek word meaning to equip. God equipped each age to meet His purpose for that time.
by the word [spoken] of God,
The “word of God” here is not the written but the spoken word of God when He created the world by speech (He 1:2; Ps 33:6–9). God spoke into existence the entire universe; there was no material universe before God brought it into existence.
so that the things which are seen
The “things which are seen” refers to the material or physical universe. All human cosmological arguments for the beginning of the universe are speculation. That is why we must turn to revelation to understand how the universe originated.
were not made of things which are visible.
Understanding the natural world is not adequate to comprehend the supernatural. It can confirm that God created it (Ro 1:20), but it cannot through its own system come to that knowledge. Human beings were not spectators at creation; we understand how it came into existence by faith. God created the universe ex nihilo; He created time and space out of nothing.
The universe was not formed out of pre-existing materials. Thus, the physical universe points to an unseen Creator. Thus, the visible order of the material universe cannot be traced to physical causes. It comes from the invisible, immaterial God. Evolution cannot deal with origins but only what it can see. It cannot scientifically deal with cosmology or origins.
True faith is undivided confidence in God.
Belief in God’s majestic power in creating the world by something non-material is an exercise in faith. Faith is the system for viewing reality or the universe; that is, it was a creation of God.
The origin of the universe is a dilemma for natural scientists. Their view of cosmology can take them only so far. A few years ago, someone came up with the theory of the “big bang” origin of the universe, but later others rejected this theory because it did not adequately explain what was before the big bang. Theories of creation operate like a pendulum; one theory gains the predominance, and another speculation countervails the prevailing concept.
The problem with science is that it is delimited to the observable or the material universe. If there is anything beyond the material, science has no answer. Once a scientist speculates beyond the material, he is no longer a scientist but a philosopher.