HOW DO WE KNOW THAT GOD EXISTS?
Since you are interacting with our web site on the subject of the One true and living God, you no doubt understand that the study of God is the greatest study that man can engage in.
It could be, that like a lot of us you have become frustrated and are looking for information that will help you to grow closer to your heavenly Father. A caution might be needed at this point. Although we have several avenues of learning about our Heavenly Father, this is a subject that is inexhaustible and cannot be mastered in a lifetime of study.
However, one might want to consider a good Bible College or Bible Institute with online courses or perhaps attending classes. Another avenue is to associate yourself with a good Bible teaching church. If you really want to study the Bible in a church setting you might want to look for one that will give you more than one opportunity to study the Bible each week.
Further, there are many small groups/house churches available in most areas. One caution if you decide to associate with a small group, just make sure that the one leading the group has the Biblical training/experience to help you grow. You are not there to follow just a man but one through whom the Holy Spirit is working. You will recognize good Bible teaching when you walk [live, work out your Christian lifestyle] under the control of the Holy Spirit:
“I say then: Walk in the Spirit and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.” (Galatians 5:16, NKJV)
“Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. (Romans 6:12, NKJV)
“Keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins; Let them not have dominion over me. Then I shall be blameless, and I shall be innocent of great transgression.” (Psalm 19:13, NKJV)
Another prerequisite I might suggest is to examine your commitment to learning by making sure that you are under the control of the Holy Spirit, Ephesians 5:18 and that you have carried out Romans 12;1-2.
“And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit.” (Ephesians 5:18, emphasis added, NKJV)
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy acceptable to God, which is our reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and PERFECT WILL OF GOD.” (Romans 12:1-2, emphasis added, NKJV)
The reason I point out Romans 12:1-2 is to make sure that your commitment is really there for a serious study of the Word of God which takes effort, dedication, time and a real desire to draw closer to God. The Bible is clear, God expects His disciple to learn of Him.
In parts one and two, we have examined proof that God exists and confronted ourselves with questions and challenges. Today, “Reaching Out” continues to answer the questions “How do know that God exists.” But as we begin we want to remember that we will present Biblical evidence for the existence of God, but you must make the decision as to whether you believe the evidence or not.
MAN’S INNER SENSE OF GOD
In our study thus far we have seen humanity’s Inner Sense of God. As we have seen from God’s Word all persons everywhere have a deep, inner sense that God exists, that they are his creatures, and that He is their Creator.
“He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins. He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions, or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.” (Colossians 1:13-17, emphasis added, NKJV)
Potentially, as you read the above one or two things happened.
1. Because you came to God without “faith”, they are just words on paper and missing will be the teaching power and conviction of the Holy Spirit.
“But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6, NKJV)
In other words, if you came with an open heart wanting to truly understand if God exists He will reward you and start you down the road that leads to wisdom and understanding about Himself and the free gift of salvation that brought His Son to this sinful world for you!
2. God’s Word in His Word are more than just words on paper and through the teaching power of the Holy Spirit you are challenged to dig deeper into the Word of God. Following are some questions that will encourage you is you really want to understand God. The Holy Spirit will challenge you to dig into God’s Word to find your answers, not man’s philosophies or theories.
What is the true origin of the universe?
- How did the world really come into existence?
- What was the force that really brought the universe into existence?
- Is there more than one world or universe?
- Are there invisible worlds in other dimensions?
- What is the purpose of “end of things” or “of creation?”
- What really holds all things together?
- What is the true power behind the laws of nature.
We have previously seen that beyond the inner sense that believers have that God exists, even Gentile unbelievers “…knew God” they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him,” (Romans 1:21, ESV)
False Teachers cannot help you study the Word of God!
Paul also reminds us that unbelievers have “exchanged the truth about God for a lie” (Romans 1:25) In other words, as you study do not expect unsaved folks to agree with God’s Word. So, obviously, appealing to the unsaved [false teachers] for help in your study is not where you want to go. You need to find a church that is teaching the “whole” counsel of God. Your responsibility is to then dig into the Word as godly Christians in an attempt to help you understand and grow. Remember, we have seen that it is “the fool who says in his heart that there is no God.” (Psalm 14:1; 53:1)
The first step in knowing God:
As you continue on your search of knowing God, the first step is to accept the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Savior. If you do not know how, go to our website: Open Bible Ministries of TN.net and there you will find several studies which will assist you in finding Christ. Also, as you continue to listen to our Radio Program, “Reaching Out”, you will also be given helpful information as you seek to draw closer to God and understand who He is.
If you have not previously been involved with our Radio and Web ministries you can find helpful information at the web site such as:
- Clear evidence contained in man’s inner awareness of God reflects that God exists.
- Clear evidence of God’s existence can be seen in Scripture and God’s Creation.
- Clear evidence can be found throughout God’s Holy Word which tells us that God exists.
For instance the first verse in the Bible does not present evidence for the existence of God but begins immediately to tell us what He has done, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1)
- When we are convinced that the Bible is really God’s Word, He begins to educate us about Himself through the teaching ministry of the Holy Spirit.
“But as it is written: Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him. But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.” (I Corinthians 2:9-13, NKJV)
“For since the beginning of the world men have not heard nor perceived by the ear, nor has the eye seen any God besides You, who acts for the one who waits for Him.” (Isaiah 64:4, NKJV)
As previously indicated the first step in knowing God is to accept the Father’s free gift of salvation. “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9, NKJV)
So the first step is to make sure that you know the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Savior. Please examine Romans 10:9-13.
“That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation…For whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.” (Romans 10:9-10, 13, NKJV)
The Privilege of Knowing God
Those of us who are saved have the blessed privilege of knowing the One True and Living God. Our God exists as three, eternal, simultaneous Persons. “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one!” (Deuteronomy 6:4, NKJV)
“To you it was shown, that you might know that the LORD Himself is God; there is NONE other besides Him.” (Deuteronomy 4:35, NKJV)
“Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is ‘Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is one.” (Mark 12:29; NKJV)
FACT: Knowing Him [God] does not mean that we automatically understand Him.
The Christian’s Duty:
Since God has been pleased to reveal some things about Himself in the Scriptures, it is OUR DUTY to search these out and to learn from them all that we can about Him.
People who believe in the existence of God are theists in contrast to atheists, who do not believe that any god exists.
- Christian theists are people who believe in the One True God, who has revealed Himself to mankind through nature, His eternal Word and His Son the Lord Jesus Christ. The One true and living God exists as three simultaneous Persons – the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
- When we attempt to define there are some things we need to accept. A complete definition of God cannot be given. Why? because we who are finite cannot wholly explain the infinite One [God].
- However we can understand what God has been pleased to reveal of Himself.
- Today, God’s self-revelation is by the words of Scripture, nature, and His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, these declare His existence.
- Consider God’s eternal Word, the Scriptures which declare His existence. Assuming God’s existence to be true, we also understand that the Bible does not attempt to prove this by formal argument, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1, NKJV) As Sovereign God He simply states that He has created, He does not attempt to define or defend the fact that He is God, He simply does something that only God can do: create something out of nothing.
Faith is required in our search for understanding:
For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.” (Romans 1:17, NKJV)
“But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference:” (Romans 3:21-22 cf. Habakkuk 2:4; NKJV)
“But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6)
Those who come to God seeking understanding of Him must exercise “Faith”.
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1, NKJV)
If God is the true, living and eternal God of the universe, the creator and sustainer of all that He created then His Word must likewise be eternal.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.” (John 1:1-3, NKJV)
“For by Him [Jesus] all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or power. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in him all things consist.” (Colossians 1:16-17, emphasis added, NKJV)
“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (II Timothy 3:16-17, NKJV)
“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is MANIFEST IN THEM, FOR GOD HAS SHOWN IT TO THEM. 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.” (Romans 1:18-20, emphasis added, NKJV)
“The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night reveals knowledge. There is no speech nor language Where their voice is not heard. Their line has gone out through all the earth. And their words to the end of the world. In them He has set a tabernacle for the sun, which is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoices like a strong man to run it race. Its rising is from one end of heaven, and its circuit to the other end; and there is nothing hidden from its heat.” (Psalm 19:1-6, NKJV)
As you find greater understanding of God through the study of His Word, you will also find a wonderful truth about yourself; you have been ADOPTED into the family of God. God gives to everyone who becomes a child of God, through the completed work of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, a standing in His family in which there is no seniority rights. God has given to everyone of His children a very wonderful experience known as adoption.
FACT: Adoption is not the way you get into God’s family. The way one gets into the family of God is by regeneration, being born again. (John 3:3; Ephesians 2:8-9)
“Jesus answered and said to him, Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again [born from above], he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3, emphasis added, NKJV)
“For by grace you have been saved THROUGH FAITH, and that not of yourself; IT IS THE GIFT OF GOD, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9, emphasis added, NKJV)
If you have never accepted Christ as your personal Savior you need to complete the first step in knowing God, Salvation through the completed work of His son, the Lord Jesus Christ. “…Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved…” (Acts 16:31, NKJV)
If you have never accepted Christ you have a void in your inner man that only He can fill.
- If you have never accepted Christ that does not negate the fact that within yourself God has placed knowledge of Himself.
- If you have just started on your journey of knowing God do not get discouraged. God will bless your desire to learn as you study the Scriptures.
- If you continue in your study of God, believing the Scriptures as God’s eternal Word, you will begin to see the rare privilege of knowing God as His child. As the Holy Spirit teaches God’s eternal truth about Himself, you will also see heaven in a different light and your desire to know Him personally will increase.