Genesis 1:1-2 (NIV)
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the
earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the
deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
It seems from this first creation story pretty clear that God created the universe - there really is nothing more to this universe physically than the heavens (space) and the earth (terra). It also seems apparent that God's spirit was there, "hovering over the waters."
What does the word "create" here mean? Does it mean form from something that was already in existence or create from nothing? It does not spell it out clearly here. However, in John, we have another creation story:
John 1:1-5 (NIV)
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the
Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all
things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4
In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The
light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
"The Word" here means Jesus Christ. God and Christ and the Holy Spirit were clearly in existence before the creation of the universe from what this says along with the Genesis passage above, it appears to me. Here he uses the word "made" and indicates all things were made through Christ. It appears to me from this passage that taken with the Genesis passage that only God, the Father and the Son were in existence, though other parts of the Bible seem to lend creedence to a Heavenly Host as well.
Back to Genesis:
4 This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were
created, when the Lord God made the earth and the heavens.
5 Now no shrub had yet appeared on the earth[a] and no plant had yet
sprung up, for the Lord God had not sent rain on the earth and there
was no one to work the ground, 6 but streams[b] came up from the earth
and watered the whole surface of the ground. 7 Then the Lord God
formed a man[c] from the dust of the ground and breathed into his
nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.
Here, God tells us about the fact that "the Lord God made the earth and the heavens."
Taking this simple statement with all those previous, I just get the strong feeling that indeed "created" and "made" mean from nothing - not like clay being formed into a pot, but through the Word - most literally through speaking things into being through Christ:
Back to Genesis 1:
Genesis 1:3 (NIV)
3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.
Genesis 1:6-7 (NIV)
6 And God said, “Let there be a vault between the waters to separate
water from water.” 7 So God made the vault and separated the water
under the vault from the water above it. And it was so.
Genesis 1:9 (NIV)
9 And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place,
and let dry ground appear.” And it was so.
And so on and so forth. God is literally speaking through the Word (Christ) the universe into creation. There seems to me to be no indication of forming from something, other than "through" the Word.
Also, I would add that the single most important question in Christianity is whether you believe Christ died on the Cross for your sins and do you take him as your Lord and Savior. After all, there are only two places that choice can lead you to - eternal paradise, or eternal damnation. That has the biggest ramifications long term for any soul ever in existence, and we seem to forget the fear that we should all have for the unutterable suffering one might face if the choices you make take you to the place no one should want to be.