That phrase must be correctly interpreted. God did not make the universe out of nothing as carpenters make tables out of wood. He did not make nothing into a universe. The sense is this: God made the universe, but did not make it out of any pre-existing thing. Apart from God, before creation, there was nothing. God willed, and there was something. Thus created beings began. God does not need any previous being to work upon. He simply wills a thing to be, and it is.
Radio Replies Volume 1 by Rev. Dr. Leslie Rumble MSC and Rev. Charles Mortimer Carty