Category Archives: Who Is God? Does God exist?
One of the most important conclusions you can come to is that God indeed exists. For some people that realization comes rather quickly and easily. It takes others a longer time. If you can’t see Him standing in front of you, the question becomes, do I have limited sight in this human shell or does He not exist? Well, it’s easy to prove that we do not have fullness of sight here on earth. These bodies of ours will, in a brief span of years, be dust.
Let’s go back to the year 400 AD. If you were asked what your chair were made of, you very likely would reply, “Wood.” Just wood? “Yes, I used wooden pegs to hold the pieces together.” You might also tell the type of wood, but that would be about the extent of your conversation. It would be many centuries before you could tell the inquisitive fellow that the wood was composed of atoms and molecules. You had no microscope by which to acquire that knowledge. Does that mean that the chair in 400 AD was not composed of atoms and molecules? Of course not. But you only had partial knowledge. Fuller knowledge would come later.
In like manner, every year we read about new scientific discoveries, evidence that the year before our sight was less clear.
It is likewise with God. I must admit that, although I am not able to see Him with my eyes, that does not discount the possibility of His existence. So the question remains: does God exist?
I look at the world around me, the beauty of each unique animal and plant. Their intricacies. I see towering mountains. And the oceans! They almost cry aloud as evidence for a god. Looking at the stars in heaven, knowing that we see the smallest fraction of a universe beyond our comprehension. And then you realize that there had to be a beginning to it all countless centuries ago.
How can one believe that nothing interacted with nothing to create something as glorious as this universe? When did zero plus zero ever equal anything other than zero? Not only was something made; it was intricate and miraculous, far beyond the scope of mere chance. A higher intelligence and power than man’s clearly created this universe. In other words, God.
Romans 1:18-21 tells us, “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, 21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.”
Will you acknowledge God? Or do you wish to be your own god and deny Him? The choice is majesty and glory versus pride and dust. Spend time studying God’s Word in the Bible and praying for God to open your heart to Him.
Today we move into the third and final part of the series “Who Is God?” This topic is the most important one you will ever address; yet we have barely skimmed the surface in these brief posts. If you care to learn more about the Christian faith, I would highly recommend the classic Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis. Another interesting read is More Than a Carpenter by Josh McDowell. And the brilliant Ravi Zacharias has written much in defense of the Christian faith, including Why Jesus?: Rediscovering His Truth in an Age of Mass Marketed Spirituality. Parts 1 and 2 of this series were presented on May 31st and June 7th. Now let’s proceed with part 3.
All religions cannot be equally valid since they contradict one another. Christianity says that Jesus is not only fully man, but also fully God. Judaism says that the Messiah has not come. Islam believes that Muhammad was God’s prophet. Hinduism teaches that people are reincarnated when they die. These key beliefs contradict those of the other religions. They cannot all be correct.
We determined that God is a distinct Being who we, with our finite minds, can never fully comprehend. Let’s get serious: we can’t even determine which foods are good for you and which are not, the latest fad changing by the year. No, our minds are limited. God is God, and we are not. We thus come to know Him through what He has chosen to reveal.
In the Old Testament, God revealed Himself through the prophets and the Law. Throughout its pages are hundreds of prophecies of a coming Savior, the Messiah who would save His people. That Messiah was and is Jesus Christ, perfectly fulfilling every prophecy. He was both fully God and fully man, living the perfect life. He became the perfect sacrifice for our sins, completing the Old Testament sacrifices. There was no perfect sacrifice in the Old Testament, and thus they had to continue making sacrifices to atone for their sins. However, when Jesus Christ came, He was the perfect sacrifice, dying for the sins of all mankind, once and for all. No more sacrifices were needed. After His crucifixion and burial, He arose from the dead, thus conquering death.
Will you accept or reject His gift of salvation? All He asks for is our repentance and our love and faith in Him. Then He promises that we will have an abiding joy in this life (note I said “joy”, not perpetual giddiness), the Holy Spirit residing within us, and everlasting life with Him. How simple is that? Yet man’s pride and sinful heart often get in the way.
We can do all the analysis of a subject that we like, but it comes down to faith. And what is faith? Faith is “the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Without it, all you have is man’s proofs. As I’m sure you know, logic can only take you so far. Regardless of how much data you have, you will never be a disciple of Christ until you make the leap of faith, follow Him, and experience it for yourself. Until you are able to do that, you remain your own god, determining “truth” with your finite mind. I don’t know about you, but I see evidence everyday in myself and everyone else that humans are not the fount of knowledge and wisdom! I don’t care how intelligent someone is, it only goes so far.
Once you give your life to Christ—heart, mind, body, and soul—you will have abundant evidence that He is real. As you follow Him closely, the fruit of the Spirit will be evident in your life, and your heart will long to know Him more and more.
Will you be an earnest seeker of the Truth? “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6) Or will you be a critic, ever picking apart the faith that could save you? Choose wisely.
Let’s continue our discussion from May 31st. We determined that God is our parent—our Father and Creator– who wants to be known and is worth getting to know. The definition of “God” as Creator reveals that He is distinct from all other creation and that He pre-existed creation. (“The supreme or ultimate reality: as the Being perfect in power, wisdom, and goodness who is worshipped as creator and ruler of the universe.”)
Once we accept that He is and that He is a distinct, omnipotent Being, we realize that it does matter who we worship as God. Considering all gods equal is a slap in the face of the Ruler of the universe. No major faith accepts that concept. Many would like to believe that it doesn’t matter, that any god is equally worthy of worship. But the distinct Creator of the universe cares greatly. You either worship Him or you don’t. Choosing not to acknowledge who He is reveals disinterest or lack of knowledge. Lack of knowledge can be fixed. Disinterest is more concerning.
Imagine your child saying that he accepts the concept of parenthood, but he doesn’t choose to acknowledge you as his parent. He wanders off and gets in trouble, doesn’t he? It matters greatly who his parent is. You, as his parent, are there to love him. You protect him and teach him and help him grow. God does that for us.
Treating all “gods” equally also turns the equation upside down. Let’s think about Michelangelo. He was the artist who sculpted David’s statue. As magnificent as his sculpture is, it doesn’t compare with God’s creation of Michelangelo. Likewise, Michelangelo doesn’t compare with God. The greater always creates the lesser. The lesser never creates the greater. We are the lesser, God the greater. He is not something or someone that we conjure up.
It is not our role to “create” God, but to accept who He says He is. Anything else is a worthless, dime store idol that breaks in short order. If I were to imagine Him to be anything that I like, that would defy the definition of “God”, wouldn’t it? He is the ultimate reality, not us. And if He is the ultimate reality, having “perfect power and wisdom and goodness”, it would behoove us to accept who He says He is and learn from Him. Does your toddler define you, the parent who preexisted him? Of course not. No, he learns from his parent, though admittedly, unlike God, the parent is fallible.
So how can we find out about Him? Being finite human beings with limited minds, we cannot see and study deity as, for example, we can our family or friends. Even there, our ability is limited. God is God, and we are not. So we can only come to know Him through what He has chosen to reveal.
(We will continue this discussion another day, in Part 3.)
I’d like to spend some time discussing who God is. For the purposes of this post, we’re going to start with the presupposition that God exists. The fact of His existence can be for another time. This may seem backwards to you, and, in fact, it is. However, when readers and others express an interest in a certain discussion, I like to jump right in. I’ll be dividing it into several parts, knowing that many of you—myself included—tend to put a limit on the length of the posts they read. So let’s begin.
The first definition of “God” in Merriam-Webster’s dictionary is “the supreme or ultimate reality: as the Being perfect in power, wisdom, and goodness who is worshipped as creator and ruler of the universe.” This does not identify who this God is, but it does include certain parameters that are intrinsic. This divine Being that we are saying exists is not some vague shadow, but a Being with a mind and imagination that allowed Him to create all things in this universe, including both you and me.
Now let’s think about the parent-child relationship that human beings have. In an important yet very limited sense, you could say that you created your child through your union with someone of the opposite gender. As you wait for the birth of your child, aren’t you already thinking about and loving him or her? Of course you are! This baby will have eyes, a nose, a mouth, distinct fingerprints, a shade of flesh and color of hair. He or she will also have a personality all his own and a mind that works in a special way, making your child unique from all others in the world. What a blessing your baby is!
In infancy, it’s all about the baby. He (or she) wants milk, he wants sleep, he wants cuddling. The baby has zero interest in you outside of your ability to meet his needs. As he matures, however, you hope that your child will want to know something about you. It would be very painful to you as a parent if this never occurred. In all honesty, you didn’t choose to bring a child into this world to be his lifelong slave. Yes, you would die on the proverbial sword for him, but you want a true relationship, one that requires both parties to participate, each showing concern and interest in the other. One-sided affairs are very unsatisfying.
As our Creator, God is our parent. Our Father. Just as you want to be known by your child, God wants to be known by you. He doesn’t just want to be that x factor that spawned you. He knows you, and He wants to be known by you. Going back to our definition, this God is the ultimate reality (implying that our reality is the lesser). He has perfect power and wisdom and goodness. He is the Creator of the entire universe. Not only that, He is its Ruler. Isn’t that Someone worth getting to know? Who is this God?
(We will continue this discussion another day, in Part 2)