Monday, October 20, 2008

Is God Real? (Part 1)

How do we know God is real? We’ll look at six ways we can see proof of God’s existence. Some material in this post was based on the book The God Questions by Hal Seed and Dan Grider, published by Outreach Publishing, © 2007

1. The Existence of the Universe

The first way we know God is real is by the existence of the universe. That’s because an orderly, diverse, and complex universe points clearly to an eternal and self-sufficient Creator. If something exists, then we have to ask, “How did it get here?” The obvious answer is, “Somebody made it.” Everything is dependent on something or someone else for its existence. Genesis 1:1-2 tells us that God created the heavens and the earth:

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 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. NIV

Even if you believe in the Big Bang theory, all that matter had to come from somewhere. If you go back far enough, you still come to God.

2. Intelligent Designer

The second reason that we can say God is real is what we might call the evidence of an Intelligent Designer. Every design reflects its designer, and the universe is no different. The order of the universe, and the complexity and diversity of creation certainly reflect God. Psalm 19:1 says: The heavens are telling the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims his handiwork. NRSV

In my opinion, it is incredibly naïve to believe all of this “just happened” and the complex human body is the result of random mutations. We may not know precisely how God did it, but we can agree with Psalm 102:25, which proclaims to God:

Long ago you laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. NRSV

So the very nature of creation clearly points to the existence of God as the grand designer, as we read in Romans 1:19-20a (NRSV):

For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. Ever since the creation of the world his eternal power and divine nature, invisible though they are, have been understood and seen through the things he has made.

When you exclude the Creator from the creation, you have done yourself and God a terrible disservice.

3. Morality: The Creator’s Standard

The next reason why we can believe that God exists is the fact that there is such a thing as morality and conscience. A moral Creator put his standard for behavior in us, and that standard has been imbedded in every human being. It is called conscience, and it essentially reflects the Ten Commandments. In just about every culture, at least until they became decadent, people have followed the Ten Commandments even though they were unknown to them. We read in Romans 2:15a:

They show that what the law requires is written on their hearts, to which their own conscience also bears witness… NRSV

God put this morality in us as a way for us to have peace, harmony, and security, and to live in an orderly society. Think what life would be like if everybody disregarded the Ten Commandments and lived violent, self-centered, immoral, and unethical lives. There would be fear, chaos, and anarchy, and nobody could be trusted. But God instilled in us these standards, and spelled them out in the Bible to insure that if we follow them, we will have a better life, as we read in Romans 8:5-6:

For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. NRSV

More on this subject of the existence of God in a future post.

Note: Some material in this post was based on the book The God Questions by Hal Seed and Dan Grider, published by Outreach Publishing, © 2007

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