GOD, HOW CAN I PROVE YOU EXIST?
Life is full of questions, isn’t it? Have you had a chance to figure out some of life’s complexities? Such as…
Why do we drive on parkways and park on driveways?
Why is it that when you transport something by car, it's called a shipment, but when you transport something by ship, it's called cargo?
And how is it that a Wise Man and a Wise Guy are opposites?
I’ve always wondered If you try to fail, and you succeed, which have you done?
But here’s the big one, especially for us guys… the deeply philosophical conundrum: If a man is standing in the middle of the forest speaking, and there is no woman around to hear him, is he still wrong?
There ARE some questions and complexities that really do matter.
And especially those that are issues of faith and practice… They are critical to our well-being, to the living of our lives, to our very existence, and that, through eternity.
Some will tell you they have all the answers… but we find out soon enough, they really don’t.
The reality is, there is only ONE who really knows… everything, all things. GOD!
He has the answers. He knows the answer. Not only that, He knows the questions… We want answers… but sometimes, we don’t even know the right questions. (Just ask Job!)
So… IF YOU COULD ASK GOD ANY QUESTION, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
Joseph Joubert wrote in the 18th Century: “It is better to debate a question without settling it than to settling a question without debating it.”
There are plenty of weighty questions to ask God, and some of them, while we can debate them, will probably just not be answered.
Why is there suffering? (Why do bad things happen to good people?)
Why is there evil in the world?
Why don’t you judge sooner? Why do the wicked prosper (Psalm 73)
Why don’t you answer my prayers?
But… the question which is foundational to all of them is “GOD, HOW CAN I KNOW THAT YOU EXIST?” And we can restate it this way: “God, how can I prove that you exist?”
We must acknowledge that the Bible does not begin with an explanation of who or what God is. The Bible simply begins with the idea and reality of God.
Bible doesn’t begin “In the beginning where did God come from…”
It starts: In the Beginning GOD… A statement and not a question!
We are left then to grapple with the idea that God always was, without being told where He came from!
We come to see that God always was is only possible because He is infinite, and beyond our ability to understand that. And why? Because we are finite.
Nevertheless, the prophet Jeremiah says,
This is what the Lord says: “Don’t let the wise boast in their wisdom, or the powerful boast in their power, or the rich boast in their riches. But those who wish to boast should boast in this alone: that they truly know me and understand that I am the Lord…” (Jeremiah 9:23-24 NLT)
Notice that phrase…"Understand that I AM..." It can stand alone.
Essentially there are five arguments used prove the existence of God. I briefly summarize them thus:
Prime Mover - This is the Cosmological argument or the “First Cause” argument. Someone outside of the universe caused everything to come into being. In the Bible, Hebrews 3:4 would be an effective verse to support this - For every house is built by someone, but He who built all things is God.”
Perfect Designer - This is the Teleological argument, and is usually summarized by the idea that the watch proves there is a watchmaker. Voltaire wrote, “If a watch proves the existence of watchmaker but the universe does not prove the existence of a great Architect, then I consent to be called a fool.” (Voltaire? Really?) Psalm 19:1 The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship.
Purposeful Knowledge - This is the Ontological argument. It may be the most deeply philosophical of the arguments, as it insists that the very Being of God is explained in the “idea” of God. That we even have the very idea of God proves He exists, else where could the idea have come from in the first place? Some refer to this argument, then, as man’s intuitive knowledge of God.
Positive Influence - This would be the argument from Conscience. Where does our sense of right and wrong come from? You know when you do something bad, don’t you? Good is always there… why? Some would argue, “If there were no God, there would be no good!” This is reflected in Romans 2:15 They demonstrate that God’s law is written in their hearts, for their own conscience and thoughts either accuse them or tell them they are doing right.
No doubt it is why Hans Kung said, “Conscience makes theists of us all.”
Practical Sense - This is simply the argument from logic. Considering all the evidence, the most logical explanation for everything is that there is a God! That's what Paul meant in Romans 1:19 “But the basic reality of God is plain enough.” (The Message) Theologian Clarence Theissen wrote: “The belief in the existence of God best explains the facts of our mental, moral, and religious nature, as well as the facts of the material universe: therefore, God exists.” It reminds us at the end of the day, that it is the Fool who has said in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ (Psalm 14:1)
Do you know God? How do you know Him? How do you know that the One you claim to know is actually real? What proofs do you have?
Can we really come to a logical conclusion about the existence of God. One that is practical and logical. Logical? Well, to the fact that you know God, does that not prove He exists?
Perhaps we can create a simple syllogism to help us. A syllogism is simply a logical argument that uses deductive reasoning to arrive at a conclusion. It is the construction of two propositions which then lead to a logical conclusion: For example:
Prop. A: All German Shepherds are Dogs (true statement)
Prop. B: All Dogs are mammals (also a true statement)
Conclusion: All German Shepherds are mammals.
Can we employ a syllogism to show how we can know God and prove His existence? To do that, first we must at least acknowledge some characteristics of God that we know are generally accepted. And so we list them as Proposition A (Major Premise):
Prop. A: God has Intellect, Emotion and Will (believed to be true)
Prop. B: We are created by God in His image (according to Gen.1:26)
Conclusion: We can know God exists through our Intellect, Emotion and Will.
It is my assertion that God’s “Image” in us provides our bridge to connect with Him.
It is NOT a physical image! It is a spiritual one! It comprises at the lease these three - our intellect, emotion and will.
IF God is real, He wants to be known by us… AND He created us in His image so that we could connect with Him… and how? Intellectually, Emotionally and Willfully.
What makes this so intriguing is that all three of these God-Image qualities can vary in each of our life’s experiences…
We have different levels of Intellect (affect by age, education, environment)
We all have different levels of Emotional engagement (empathy to apathy)
We all have different levels of determination / will power (Some of us do good on diets and some not!)
Is there a biblical basis for this?
Consider the Book of JOB, a Book that is full of questions… full of Intellect, Emotion and Will (determination). After his great ordeal, we see this in Job 42:1-8:
Job connects intellectually 42:2-4 “I knew not, now I know…”
Job connects emotionally 42:5-6 “I abhor myself, repent…”
Job connects willfully 42:7-8 “like my servant Job”
Consider the apostle PAUL'S great statement of faith in Second Timothy 1:12:
For this reason, I also suffer these things; nevertheless, I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.
Do you see all three concepts in Paul's testimony?
I know whom I have believed... Paul's Intellectual connection.
I suffer, I am not ashamed... Paul's Emotional connection.
I have committed to Him... Paul's Willful connection.
We can use this verse as a template for our summary. Do you know who you believe? Have you experienced deep emotion (suffering to blessing)? Have you determined in your will to commit to Him?
Reflect on how you have connected with God intellectually, emotionally and as a matter of your will (determination/faith). Each one of those premises separately, and all three of them together, provide a powerful argument that God is real… that He exists… and you can prove that simply, yet efficiently, every time you declare:
I DECIDE to believe in God. (Intellect)
I DESIRE to love God. (Emotional)
I DETERMINE to serve God. (Will)
copyright © Joe LoMusio 2019