Why I believe in God
Understanding why I believe • Sermon • Submitted • Presented • 1:02:52
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It’s a matter of faith!
It’s a matter of faith!
Why do you believe what you believe about what you believe?
Believing in the action of faith (Heb11:1).
1 The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see.
That is not fair to give a paraphrase version without a translation version
1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
Believing comes through knowledge
Belief is source of great comfort (2Cor1:3-4)
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
It is only fair that we start this series on why do I believe in God? And in this series we will look at Jesus, the bible, the church, pre-denominational Christianity, baptism, the Lord’s supper, the virgin birth, the resurrection and the return of Christ (many call second coming).
Faith, belief in God in necessary in pleasing God (Heb11:6)
6 And 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 seek Him.
(Insert why do you believe in God picture here)
But why do you believe in God and who He is? That is the thing before us this morning.
Come on you can’t see Him, you can touch him, you can literally hear His voice, but yet you believe, why? - we know it is a matter of faith, but why do we have that faith?
This morning well, a little different than some other messages, we will be looking at
The teleological argument for God
The moral/anthropological argument for God
The general argument for God
The cosmological argument for God
And the esthetical argument for God.
With each of these will define, explain, and give the implications of each.
The Teleological argument
The Teleological argument
Teleological is different theological (study of God). Teleological evidence of God is what we are going to briefly look at here.
According to blue letter bible.org here is a simple definition of the teleological argument
The teleological argument comes from the Greek word telos, meaning “purpose, end, or goal.” It is an argument from design and purpose. Everything in the universe has a purpose and everything appears to have been specially designed to fit that purpose.
God is the God of order, not disorder, things happen in order to accomplish the purpose.
It started with creation the order of creation (Gen1:1-27)
(Insert in the beginning God created picture here)
Light, heavens and earth (day 1)
The sky (day 2)
Land, seas, plants, trees (day 3)
Sun, moon and stars (day 4)
Creatures of the sea and of the air (day 5)
Animals, and humans (day 6)
God was there before the beginning and set things in motion so creation could be sustained.
Let me give you a simple example (several commentors use this one, so I choose to use it too)
(Insert pocket watch picture here)
all the parts of a pocket watch are intricate and need to work together for the purpose intended for it to keep time. Each part had to be placed in the right place at the right time for the watch to fulfill its purpose.
Just think about your body, it was created with many parts to work together to sustain life in you.
So the implication of this is there is a design and a designer, the designer is God who was in the beginning. The designer being intelligent possessing purpose
Some intelligent design scriptures to consider (Ps19:1-2; Ps139:14; Rom1:19-20)
1 The heavens are telling of the glory of God; And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands. 2 Day to day pours forth speech, And night to night reveals knowledge.
now look at this with me
14 I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well.
and then Paul says this
19 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.
God makes himself know through creation. Through his invisible attributes, His eternal power (creative power) and divine nature. So man is without excuse.
(Transition) this leads us to the next point.
Moral or Anthropological argument
Moral or Anthropological argument
Another name for this is ontological argument, one of morals. And if there is morals there must be one who gives us the morals, a creator, God.
The definition of this from (BLB): An argument from humanity. We learn something about God and His existence form the say in which we are made. Rational, intelligent beings that reflect a creator by intelligent design.
man has always had a need to worship, someone, something, including self even (trying to make ourselves a god)
Humanity cries of the desire to worship (Ps42:2)
2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God; When shall I come and appear before God?
(Insert Moral argument for God picture here)
Read the slide then read on.
Even atheists and agnostics cry for justice, which means a sense of morals, and those had to come from somewhere.
Implications of this
Man is moral by nature and that nature had to come from a creator.
If there is no God, there is no right or wrong, there is no morality.
The objection heard most often if God created everything, who created God?
God is not physical in nature but spiritual in nature (Jn4:24)
24 “God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
God operates outside of physical nature and is omnipresent (Jer23:23-24)
23 “Am I a God who is near,” declares the Lord, “And not a God far off? 24 “Can a man hide himself in hiding places So I do not see him?” declares the Lord. “Do I not fill the heavens and the earth?” declares the Lord.
(Transition) a similar reason to believe in God is a general argument for the existence of God.
General argument for existence of God
General argument for existence of God
God has made himself known (Rom1:18-21) and man was created to worship.
(Insert born to worship picture here)
Ferrell Jenkins author of introduction to Christian Evidences says: “Men in all the world, and throughout all time, not only believe in deity, but also engage in acts of worship and devotion.
Ibid says “the religious principle is extremely potent in all nations, dominating their thought and history.”
Ibid goes on to say “Everywhere the human heart has a craving for God. There will be exceptions as individuals, but the exceptions do not invalidate the rule. The atheist is an exception in every society.”
The implication of the religious instinct
Man’s deepest longing is to be satisfied by someone or something
Scripture says this longing was placed in man by God Himself (Act17:26-27)
26 and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, 27 that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us;
(Transition) then there is our next argument, the cosmological argument.
In general this is based on the premise that every effect must have a cause.
(Insert First-cause argument picture here)
That everything that exists has a cause
The that universe began to exist
Therefore the universe has a cause, for nothing can spring from nothing.
(Taken from paper by Josh McDowell in his evidence that demand a verdict book and series).
Implication of first-cause argument
Genesis proves, reveals cause and effect (Gen1:1)
God is the creator of all things and operates as such outside of creation, he is the uncaused cause.
(Transition) now there is the esthetical argument for believing in God.
This is the argument from aesthetic experience, also known as argument from sublimity.
Defined as “the aesthetic argument for God’s existence proposes that an abundance of beauty and the human capacity to appreciate beauty fits better in a world with God than in a world without God that is driven by mere survivability.”
(Insert beauty exists picture here)
This is the observance of the presence of beauty
This is the response of man to such beauty (appreciation)
So, how did this “beauty” and the response, appreciation to such beauty come about?
Was it by intelligent design
How about from a sense of morality or ought?
Then there is from the argument of beauty itself, the artistic argument (Ps96:4-6)
4 The Lord is great and is to be highly praised; he is to be honoured more than all the gods. 5 The gods of all other nations are only idols, but the Lord created the heavens. 6 Glory and majesty surround him; power and beauty fill his Temple.
Isaiah said it like this
1 In the year of King Uzziah’s death I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple. 2 Seraphim stood above Him, each having six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew.
3 And one called out to another and said, “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of hosts, The whole earth is full of His glory.” 4 And the foundations of the thresholds trembled at the voice of him who called out, while the temple was filling with smoke.
and Isaiahs response
5 Then I said, “Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I live among a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.”
How does the beauty of God, the beauty of Jesus impact you? Does it draw you to know the existence of God more?
(insert drawing a conclusion picture here - previously used)
These arguments are philosophical arguments, but are based whole on the Holy God that is learned about in the Bible
Consider Ps19:1-2 “1 The heavens are telling of the glory of God; And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands. 2 Day to day pours forth speech, And night to night reveals knowledge.”
and then a reminder what was said by Paul Rom1:20 “20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.”
These arguments can be offered to support the existence of God.
Fulfilled prophecies in the scriptures
Scientific foreknowledge of the scriptures
Uniformity of the scriptures
Evidence of the resurrection from the dead.
We will get more into some of this as this series progresses over the next few weeks. But first, we must consider
(insert: Do you believe picture previously used)
In preparing for this message I came across this from Gary Henry and I want to paraphrase some of what he said.
Faith in God is a choice, a personal choice, between two alternatives
A river of evidence for God’s reality that runs strong and deep, but its current is not irresistible.
Choosing to believe is a voluntary act of trust
We believe not because we think the reality of God is absolutely unequivocal, but because we judge the evidence to be greatly in its favor. After considering the evidence a choice is made to believe the evidence and put trust ad confidence in the evidence. For the evidence demands a verdict as Josh McDowell states.
Choosing is more than an adoption of an intellectual position. It is having courage and taking a stand. And that stand may be contrary, is contrary to a world that wants to make gods of their own. - This is choosing to diligently seeking and following God wherever he leads.
Are you ready to take a stand, be reminded of a stand you have or had at one time that needs to be strengthened again, May we be reminded why we believe in God and the benefits of believing in God- ETERNAL LIFE -
For one day it will be a reality for those who believe and a torment for those who do not. But even the unbelievers will come to know and then it will be too late.
Only a fool would know the truth and suppress the truth and trade it for something else. The evidence is there, and it demands a verdict, what are you going to do with it today?
(Song) (Prayer) (Close)