What is the meaning of creation 'ex nihilo'?
The words "ex nihilo" mean "from nothing" in Latin, and the phrase is often used to describe the way God created everything out of nothing (Genesis 1:1). According to the Bible, God made everything that exists "ex nihilo" or out of nothing—"All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made" (John 1:3).
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Considering what the laws of physics tell us, that matter is neither created nor destroyed, this idea is very puzzling. The first law of science is that the state of matter can be altered, going from solid to liquid or gas and back again, or that atoms can be combined or split. If God really created everything from nothing, and "all things" includes matter itself, we are left wondering very legitimately how the Bible could possibly be telling us the truth. Creation "ex nihilo" is a supernatural occurrence. The key to grasping the concept of the supernatural is to allow your mind to accept the idea that everything observable is not actually all there is to know. The set of "things that are possible" is larger than the set of "things that we see or experience as human beings." Science depends on observation, but the only things we can observe are the natural things around us in our dimension and attainable by our senses. The supernatural is beyond our powers of observation, and is therefore beyond the power of science to explain.
This begs the question: how do we know that the supernatural exists, if we cannot perceive it with the senses? The rational mind can understand revelation and can reason the existence of God. Also, the human soul longs for an ideal that has never been observed in human experience. Why would the human heart so universally desire perfection or paradise if such a thing had never existed? Furthermore, God's spirit affirms to us His existence. This affirmation is also "ex nihilo"—a created act that occurs "from nothing" because man's heart is born cold toward God. God changes the heart from stone to flesh and gives the mind understanding. He gives light to the darkness of the human mind, just as He gave light to the darkness of the universe, for "in him was life, and the life was the light of men" and those who saw and believed are said to have been "born of God" (John 1:4-13).
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