The Existence of God

by | May 4, 2021 | 300SOT

Do we need to prove God’s existence? 

Your cosmological and teleological arguments aren’t going to convince anyone that God exists. Neither will your ontological or moral arguments. And they don’t need to.  

Scripture says God has already done the heavy lifting of making Himself known. The Bible is God’s written revelation to man. In it, God tells us everything we need to hear from Him. But He has also revealed Himself through creation. Paul wrote about this in Romans 1 that God’s “…invisible attributes, that is, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen since the creation of the world, being understood through what he has made. As a result, people are without excuse” (Rom. 1:20). The invisible God, through His creation, shows everyone His eternal power. He’s all-powerful and always powerful. God also shows us His divine nature through creation. It reveals something of what God is like. 

So, while we can’t see the invisible God, we can see what He’s made. And this tells us much about Him with the end result that we’re all without excuse if we reject Him. Anyone who rejects God does so actively (Rom. 1:18). To reject God is to suppress the truth of God that He has made plain to us all. That’s exactly what it says in Rom. 1:19 when Paul states: For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them” (Rom. 1:19).

Consider this: men in Scripture had revelation of God. They heard from him or heard of him. Adam had heard from God (Gen 2:16). God revealed Himself to Adam. But there was also a face-to-face encounter where God held him responsible for his response to that revelation. Abraham had heard from God (Gen 12:1–3). And God appeared to him face-to-face and placed demand upon him (Gen. 17:1). Jacob knew about God (Gen 27:28). God appeared to him in a dream (Gen 28:13). And Jacob met God face to face in a wrestling match (Gen. 32:24). Same for Job—revelation and face-to-face personal reckoning with God (Job 38:1). 

And the same for you. 

The same for all of us. 

God isn’t out there broadcasting his revelation to anyone who feels like listening. God has personally revealed Himself to you. And everyone is accountable for how they respond. 

I reference John Frame a fair bit. But I think it’s high time he gets to be the featured theologian of an episode. John Frame was a seminary professor and a man from my own neck of the woods—born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He’s a prolific writer who also possesses some serious piano and organ skills. And John Frame says: “The knowledge of God is intensely personal in character” (749). That’s it. That’s the quote. Part of his point is that God has given everyone intellect, emotion, and will—and we know God as a whole person. 

We reason with logic. We make judgments. We respond with our minds to God’s revelation. Emotions also have an important place in respect to knowing God. You can’t separate knowledge from emotions. God wants His revelation to cause an emotional response in us. The Christian’s response to knowing God is gladness, rejoicing, and confidence (Psalm 16:9). We hate evil (Amos 5:15) and sorrow over sin against our God (2 Cor. 7:10). These are emotional responses that cannot be separated from knowledge of God. And neither can you separate knowledge from the will, either. We make choices and decisions based on our knowledge (748–765). Jesus said in John 7:17 that if someone claims to teach God’s truth, the test is whether they’re choosing to do God’s will. Knowledge of God and making decisions and commitments are inseparable. 

So you must make a choice. God is personally knocking on your door. He confronts all of us with the truth of His existence through His revelation. You can actively and wickedly reject God and face the judgment of His wrath. Or you can believe as Moses charged the people of Israel long ago when He exhorted Israel, “Know therefore today, and lay it to your heart, that the LORD is God in heaven above and on the earth beneath; there is no other” (Deut. 4:39).

Acknowledge God (Rom 1:28). Honour Him and give Him thanks (Rom. 1:21) by believing Him and, therefore His revelation, trusting that God has dealt with your sin in the death of Jesus Christ (Rom 3:25). 

 

 

 

Brent Niedergall

Pastor, Grammarian, Runner

Brent Niedergall, MDiv, is Associate Pastor at Victory Baptist Church in Port Coquitlam, British Columbia. He’s gone to war in Afghanistan, felled towering trees, and parsed Greek verbs.

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Brent Niedergall