Doctrine of God 0001 - Lesson 3

  1. THE EXISTENCE OF GOD
    1. The Choices Man Must Make
      1. First choice: All that exists either came from nothing or from something
        1. If it all came from nothing, then there must have been a way for something to come from nothing
        2. That all came from nothing is generally rejected by all religions and human philosophies
      2. Second choice: The something that all comes from is either impersonal or personal
        1. If impersonal, this something would be impersonal energy, matter, or some other substance
        2. An impersonal source would not explain the diversity we see in the world
        3. Not only would this impersonal source be required to exist for eternity past, something would also need to explain why at this point in eternity it determined to make a universe
      3. Third choice: If the source of the universe is personal, then it must be in the form of many gods or one God
        1. Many gods might explain the diversity we see in the world around us
        2. However, many gods could not explain the unity of the universe and would need a source of their own
      4. Fourth choice: If the universe came from one God, two characteristics are absolutely essential
        1. He must have eternal power
          1. His power must be infinite
          2. His power must be eternal; that is, He must be the original power
          3. Otherwise, He would not have the ability to create the universe and all that is in it.
        2. He must have personality
          1. He must have the attributes of personality such as intelligence, will, purpose, etc.
          2. Only a personable God could explain the design, beauty, order, and diversity of the universe.
        3. These two basic attributes of the Creator/God are seen in Romans 1:20 – “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.” [Note: the term Godhead refers to His personhood as God.]
      5. Fifth choice: Is the one God a singular unity alone or is He a trinity?
        1. If God is unity alone and not a trinity, then He experienced no love and no communion before creation. He is therefore not sufficient in Himself, but needs the created universe for His own fulfillment.
        2. However, as a trinity, God would have experienced love and communion in eternity (John 17:24) and His own attributes are the source of our need for love and communion.
        3. Only the one God can explain the unity in the universe and only the trinity can explain the diversity in the universe.
    2. The Approach of Scripture
      1. The supposition of God’s existence (Genesis 1:1; Deuteronomy 4:39; 1 Kings 8:60; Isaiah 44:8; Isaiah 45:5)
      2. The revelation of God’s person
        1. Through His works (Deuteronomy 3:24; Job 37:14; Psalm 40:5; Psalm 86:8; Psalm 111:4)
        2. Through His word (Numbers 24:16; John 5:39; 1 John 2:14)
        3. Through the Word (John 14:7-9)
      3. The biblical description of God
        1. His being and works (Psalm 86:10; Psalm 119:68)
          1. Being
            1. Who He is in and of Himself (Exodus 3:13-14; Deuteronomy 32:39-40; Isaiah 41:4; Isaiah 43:10-13, 25; Isaiah 44:6; Isaiah 46:3-4; Isaiah 48:12; Isaiah 51:12)
            2. The object of our praise (Psalm 7:17; Psalm 18:3; Psalm 44:8)
          2. Works
            1. What He does in relationship to creation (Psalm 40:5; Psalm 66:5)
            2. The object of our thanksgiving (Psalm 26:7; Psalm 75:1)
            3. Note: praise and thanksgiving overlap in their usage. Praise can be made for the works of God (Psalm 107:8) and thanksgiving can be made for who he is (Psalm 30:4). However, this does not change the general difference in meaning. Praise is an objective declaration of the greatness of God. Thanksgiving is a subjective expression of God’s goodness to the one giving thanks.
        2. His greatness and goodness (Psalm 135:3-5; Psalm 145:3-9)
          1. Great
            1. Attributes of God’s supremacy (Deuteronomy 32:3; Job 36:26; Psalm 77:13; Psalm 104:1)
            2. Attributes of quantity: eternity, omnipotence, omniscience
          2. Good
            1. Attributes of God’s moral nature (Psalm 52:1; Romans 2:4)
            2. Attributes of quality: love, holiness, righteousness
    3. False Concepts of God
      1. Atheism – denial of the existence of God (Psalm 14:1)
      2. Skepticism – doubt of the existence of God
      3. Agnosticism – ignorance of the existence of God
      4. Evolution – belief that the universe came about apart from the work of God
      5. Materialism – belief that the facts of experience can all be explained by physical laws or material substance
      6. Positivism – belief developed by Auguste Comte (1798-1857) that man’s knowledge is restricted to observable phenomena
      7. Pantheism – belief that god is everything and that everything is god
      8. Polytheism – belief in many gods (Exodus 20:3)
      9. Deism – belief in a God who began the process of creation but does not take part in the affairs of the world today
    4. Human Arguments for the Existence of God
      1. Cosmological argument: the universe requires a first cause
      2. Teleological argument: the order and design of the universe requires an intelligent designer
      3. Ontological argument: the idea of God in man must have its origin in God
      4. Moral argument: the moral nature of man indicates an original moral law and lawgiver [also called the anthropological argument]
      5. Christological argument: the existence of God is supported by the influence of the Bible, the fulfillment of prophecy, the influence of Christ and Christianity, and the fact of conversion.
      6. Note: These arguments can be very involved and are part of complex philosophical systems. However, they do not give a test tube proof of God. We are best not to rely too heavily on these proofs.
    5. Biblical Evidences for the Existence of God – although they are not proofs in the classical sense, there are many evidences that there must be a God and that He must be the God spoken of in the Bible.
      1. Creation (Romans 1:20)
      2. Conscience (Romans 1:19)
      3. Jewish people (Deuteronomy 4:5-8)
      4. Christ (John 20:30-31)
      5. Prophecy fulfilled (John 14:29)
      6. Bible (1 Thessalonians 2:13)
      7. Power of conversion (John 4:40-42)
      8. NOTE: God gives us many evidences of His existence. We examine the evidences and see them to be true. Then, we accept the existence of God by faith. It is not a blind faith but rather an intelligent faith. Yet, our knowledge of God and the things of God always contain a strong element of faith.
David Reagan

Daily Proverb

Proverbs 1:8

My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother: