In this post I am continuing a discussion about how we can be sure of the existence of God. Three reasons were given in an earlier post.
The fourth reason we can believe God is real is the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. Colossians 1:15a tells us that: [Jesus] is the image of the invisible God. NRSV
Hebrews 1:3 says something similar:
[Jesus] is the reflection of God’s glory and the exact imprint of God’s very being, and he sustains all things by his powerful word. NRSV
While we generally consider God to be invisible and distant, God actually made himself visible and close to us in the form of Jesus. We know that Jesus is God because of all the miracles he performed, including raising the dead and his own Resurrection. So the divinity of Jesus is proof that there is a God, because we have seen him.
5. Personal Experience of God
Another reason we can believe God exists is our personal experience of God. What has come to be called The Wesleyan Quadrilateral looks at ways we can know God. The four sides of the quadrilateral are the Bible, Tradition, Reason, and Experience. So we can know God exists by our own personal experiences, and the testimonies of others. Think about the stories you have read or heard about how God worked in people’s lives. Think about your own experiences and how God has worked in your life. Unless we are willing to write off just about everything in life as luck, coincidence, or fate, we have to believe that God is active in our lives. As I look back even to my days as an unbeliever, I can clearly see God’s hand in my life in many different ways.
6. Logic and Reason
Another one of the sides of the Quadrilateral is Reason, and that is another way we can know of God’s existence. God, of course, can’t be adequately explained or proved by science, reason or logic, because God isn’t natural – God is super-natural (above or beyond nature). Nevertheless, by using reason and logical thinking, we can deduce the existence of a Supreme Being. For example:
·A creation requires a creator.
·An intelligent design requires an intelligent designer.
·Our inborn morality indicates a giver of standards who is higher than ourselves.
·The evidence of Jesus’ deity is proof that there is a Deity.
·Personal experience tells me there is a God who loves me and is active in my life.
While the existence of God can’t be proven scientifically, we know that logic, reason, experience and the Bible show us that there is a God. This is a God, not of our own making, but one who is above us and can be difficult for us mere mortals to understand. As a matter of fact, if God were easy to understand, then he really wouldn’t be God, would he? That’s another proof, in a way.
In conclusion, just about every society and culture in the history of the world has believed in and worshipped some sort of Supreme Being. God has put into all human beings some knowledge of himself and his moral standards. We as Christians believe God’s fullest revelation of himself is in Jesus Christ. Yet while on the earth Jesus was rejected by many – especially by those who should have known better – and he continues to be rejected today. So we have to realize that these five arguments for the existence of God will not convince somebody who has a closed mind on the subject – as some do. As Psalm 14:1a tells us: Fools say in their hearts, “There is no God.” NRSV
Nevertheless, it is yours and my job to share the truth with people as God gives us the opportunities, because some may be genuinely searching for answers. Remember, we can’t judge who will be receptive and who won’t, so we should just go ahead and share our faith when we can. To do that, we have to be prepared. We also have to be prepared for rejection and closed minds, but remember, we aren’t responsible for success – that’s God’s business. People aren’t rejecting you – they are rejecting God. We are to be open to God’s leading, so when God presents us with an opportunity, we should respond to it in obedience. And to respond effectively, we have to be equipped.
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