The biblical doctrine of creation ex nihilo [creation out of nothing] requires a proper distinction between Creator and creature, and denies the eternality of matter; it refutes both pantheism and materialism. It teaches that the world is derivative, contingent, and glorious only as reflecting its Creator’s glory. … Creation ex nihilo assures us that things have a beginning (rather than moving through eternal return cycles) and that time is not illusory; genuine importance can attach to events, and history can be characterized by real progress. Nature is also taught to be orderly, intelligible, and profitable to man’s end of glorifying God; thus, nature is worthy of study in order that it be subdued to kingdom purposes. … Creation ex nihilo proclaims the sovereignty, freedom, transcendence, goodness, and immanence of God; all things being in His wise control, meaningless mystery does not surround everything, and man can (by thinking God’s thoughts after Him) attain knowledge.
― Greg L. Bahnsen