There are a number of arguments for the existence of God.
THE WATCH ARGUMENT
If we found a watch on the ground, having never seen a watch before, we might pick it up and examine it. We might open the back and look at the complicated mechanism. We would notice how the tiny wheels worked against each other and turned the hands on the face.
We would know that such an intricate piece of mechanism must have been made. The watch must have been designed; it must have been planned. The watch could not have made itself. The parts could not have come together by accident. The fact that the watch exists is evidence that there must be a designer – there must be a watchmaker.
The universe is made up of millions of stars. The earth has a moon revolving round it. The sun and the planets are part of a marvellously intricate system of which every part is moving exactly along its appointed path. This is much more complicated than any watch.
This did not happen by accident. There must be a designer.
‘The heavens declare the glory of God. The expanse shows his handiwork’ (Psalm 19 v 1).
One of the most powerful arguments for the existence of God is contained in the Bible. The Bible contains many prophecies about the rise and fall of kingdoms and nations; about individuals and about events. In many cases these prophecies were recorded hundreds of years in advance. This is something that man could not do. Only God, who controls all things could have caused these prophecies to be written. Look at Isaiah 46 v 9-10.
Some of these prophecies will be dealt with in future lessons. The purpose of this lesson is to explain what God has revealed about Himself in the Bible.
WHAT THE BIBLE TELLS US
God has revealed Himself as the Creator.
‘In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth’ (Genesis 1 v 1).
‘I have made the earth,, and created man upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded’ (Isaiah 45 v 12).
God has revealed Himself as eternal. He has always been and always will exist.
‘Before the mountains were brought forth, Or ever you had formed the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, you are God’ (Psalm 90 v 2).
‘Your throne is established from long ago. You are from everlasting’ (Psalm 93 v 2).
There is only one God. Israel were reminded that the various gods the Egyptians worshipped had no power and were no more than man-made images.
‘For all the gods of the people are idols: but the Lord made the heavens’ (1 Chronicles 16 v 26).
God is all powerful. He knows all that is going on and is present everywhere by the power of His spirit.
‘You know my sitting down and my rising up. You perceive my thoughts from afar…. And are acquainted with all my ways’ (Psalm 139 v 2-3).
David in this Psalm says that our minds are too small to understand the greatness of God (verse 6). But if we know that God sees and knows all things it can be a great comfort and a source of strength. ‘If I take the wings of the dawn, and settle in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there your hand will lead me, and your right hand will hold me’ (Psalm 139 v 9-10).
The Bible tells us that God’s ear is always open to hear the cry of His children and God has declared, too, ‘I will in no way leave you, neither will I in any way forsake you’ (Hebrews 13 v 5).
THE UNITY OF GOD
The Bible teaching that there is one God is important, particularly as there are many who do not believe this. It is the clear teaching of both Old Testament and New Testament. Look up these verses – Isaiah 45 v 5; 1 Corinthians 8 v 6 and Ephesians 4 v 6. The apostle Paul wrote to Timothy, ‘For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus’ (1 Timothy 2 v 5).
Jesus himself emphasised the importance of this Bible doctrine when he said,
‘This is eternal life, that they should know you, the only true God, and him whom you sent, Jesus Christ’ (John 17 v 3).
THE LOVE OF GOD
If there is one attribute of the Almighty which shows that His character is different from the gods which have been invented by men, it is the love that He shows.
Think of the love that a parent shows to his children. God shows all that love – and more – to us.
‘For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life.’ (John 3 v 16).
The work of the Lord Jesus Christ forms the subject of another lesson. Man’s need of salvation is also dealt with very fully later. But the purpose that God has with the earth and with man needs to be outlined here.
It is the clear teaching of the Bible that God intends in the future to change the world; to remove the evils which at present afflict the world.
GOD’S PLAN FOR THE EARTH
Very early in the history of Israel, God declared, ‘As truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord’ (Numbers 14 v 21).
The earth is certainly not filled with the glory of God now. But it will be. This is God’s purpose.
The Apostle Paul spoke to the people of Athens and told them that one day the world would be ruled in righteousness by a king appointed by God and that this was guaranteed by His raising the one appointed from the dead.
The world is certainly not ruled in righteousness now. But it will be. When this time comes it will be called the Kingdom of God and Jesus will be the king. God’s purpose with the earth is the subject of the next lesson. One of the sure ways in which God has shown His love for man is that He has made known His purpose in the Bible. His love is also shown in the provision of His own son as the centre of that purpose.
A lesson about God would not be complete without mentioning two words which are associated with the Almighty and His work.
The word ‘spirit’ is often used in the Bible to mean the power of God, universally present.
‘Where shall I go from your spirit? or where shall I flee from your presence? (Psalm 139 v 7).
‘Uphold me with your free spirit’ (Psalm 51 v 12).
The word ‘holy’ means special, set apart, sacred, consecrated. When we read of the Holy Spirit, the Bible is speaking of the Power of God when used for a particular, special purpose. The King James Version of the Bible sometimes has the word for spirit translated as ‘Ghost’ but the Revised Version used the word Spirit and if we look at some of the places where the words appear the meaning will be clear.
When Mary, the mother of Jesus, was told that she was to have a son who was to be called Jesus, she was told that the Holy Ghost (Holy Spirit) would come upon her and Luke emphasises the meaning by repeating ‘the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee'(Luke 1 v 35). Look at the verse. The angel is explaining that the birth of Jesus would be a miracle brought about by God’s special power operating upon Mary. Because of this, Jesus would be the Son of God.
WRITING THE BIBLE
We have already looked at a verse in the second letter of Peter which says that ‘the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit’. (‘Holy Ghost’ in the King James Version). It was God’s special power that caused the prophets to speak and the writers of the scriptures to set down God’s Word. They were moved by the power of God.
The word ‘spirit’ is often a translation of a word in Hebrew (in the Old Testament) or a word in Greek (in the New Testament) that means breath. So when the Spirit of God moved a man, it could be said that ‘God breathed into him’. This meaning behind the word makes some of the passages which speak of the power of God particularly beautiful. This, too, is the reason that Paul, writing to Timothy, says the scriptures are God-breathed – ‘all scripture is given by INSPIRATION of God (11 Timothy 3 v 16).
The power of the Holy Spirit was given to Jesus as we read in the New Testament. The apostles later were also given this power that enabled them to perform miracles. The last verse in Mark 16 v 20 tells us that the purpose of this was to enable the apostles to confirm the words that they spoke.
Paul speaks of the way in which the gifts of the Holy Spirit were used in the first century. The greatest attribute above all gifts which we should try to cultivate is Love. Read 1 Corinthians 12 v 28-31 then 1 Corinthians 13 v 1-13).
God has shown His love for us in many ways. We can best show our love for Him by trying to live our lives in a way that pleases Him.
SUMMARY OF SOME IMPORTANT POINTS
- There is one God.
- He is the Creator. He is immortal – from everlasting to everlasting.
- God sees and knows all things.
- God is righteous. God is loving.
- God has revealed His purpose in the Bible.
- The power of God is described as His Spirit.
- The scriptures were written by the power of the Holy Spirit.
- Jesus was born as a result of the action of the Holy Spirit upon Mary.
- It is important to our salvation that we should understand the nature of God.
PASSAGES FOR BIBLE READING
Genesis 1 Isaiah 45 Acts 17 (Notice what those at Berea did) Psalm 139 1 Timothy 6