About the visible world

115. What means `the visible of all` ?

The Holy Scripture tells us that at the beginning God made the heaven and the earth (Genesis I,1) We saw before that the heaven from this prase means the invisible world of the angels. The earth means the visible world.

This visible world, the earth with everything it has was at the beginning invisible and uncreated meaning without shape. (Genesis I,2)

God created the world not at once but gradually in a certain order that allows things to support each other in the meaning that those which followed could not have appeared without the previous ones. Thus God created light on the first day without which is not possible any work or evolvement. On the second day He created the visible skies. On the third the waters, the land and all the plants and herbs. On the fourth day the lights of the sky, the sun, the moon and the stars. On the fifth day the fish and the birds. On the sixth day the four legged animals, the reptiles, other kinds of animals and in the end the man (Genesis I, 3-26) On the seventh day God rested from all the work He had done. This order in which different kinds of life and creatures appear in a natural and necessary chaining, starting with the light and ending with the man, show the deep wisdom of the Creator. The Holy Fathers say that the man was made at the end, after all the other creatures and things because it was necessary to create first the kingdom and then to create its king – the man.

The man could appear only when all the necessary things for his life had been created. He could not come into the world before the apparition of life. The plants and all the other animals had to appear before him.

116. The bad inclinations of the creatures existed from the beginning ?

No. The creatures were innocent, pure and harmless when they were created. And `God looked at everything He had done and saw that they were extremely good.` (Genesis I, 31).

117. What does the Holy Scripture reveal to us about the creation of man and his condition before falling into sin ?

The Holy Scripture tells us that on the sixth day, after He had created all the other beings, God, in the Holy Trinity said: Let us make man in our image, after our likeness (Genesis I, 26). Then the Lord God formed a man  from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.(Genesis II,7)

The man was not made by order, but by the hands of God as one prophet says: `Your hands created and built me (Job X,8) This shows the great honor given to the man by God. After his existence and his rule over the earth had been decided before the creation of the world, God prepares the substance for his creation. The man was made from the dust of the ground and he was in full his full manliness.

118. What does the Holy Scripture tells us about the woman?

God saw that it was not god for the man to be alone:

So God created mankind in his own image,    in the image of God he created them;    male and female he created them. (Genesis I, 27).

Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib[h] he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.The man said,“This is now bone of my bones     and flesh of my flesh;she shall be called ‘woman,’    for she was taken out of man.” (Genesis II, 22-23).

The first woman, Eve, was made for the perpetuation of mankind as Genesis relates it :

 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” (Genesis I, 28). Eve was made from Adam’s rib, says saint Ephrem, so that there would be no doubts that God was the One who created her.

119. Why Eve was not made from the same dust like Adam?

Eve was not made of dust but of Adam’s rib so that between man and woman could be a single body nature, a single spring of mankind. That is why they were not made in pair from the beginning and the man was created first and then the woman.

120. What means the image and likeness of God in man ?

The Holy Fathers consider that the image of God in the man is represented by the following spiritual powers: intellect, will, feeling by them moving towards God by his struggle to perfection and the likeness of God in the man is the accomplishment of this perfection with the effort of the man and by the aid of the divine grace. In detail the image of God means:

1. The rule over the creatures of the earth according to the words of the Holy Scripture:

Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” (Genesis I, 28). You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor.You made them rulers over the works of your hands; (Psalm VIII, 6);

2. the intellect and free will aiming to reach God, the truth and the welfare.

121. After God had created the man where did He place him ?

The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. (Genesis II, 9).