Q&A with Pastor Jon: Can We Know That God Exists? - 3/9/22
Updated: Mar 10
Psalm 14:1 – The fool says in his heart. “There is no God.”
God is known through General Revelation
“God’s disclosure of himself to all peoples at all times and in all places. It comes through creation, conscience, God’s providential care, and an innate sense of God with which all peoples are wired. The recipients of general revelation know that God exists, some of his divine attributes, and basic principles of his moral law” Gregg Allison, 50 Core Truths of the Christian Faith (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2018), 66.
The natural world reveals God (Acts 14:15-17; Rom.1:19-23)
Human Conscience reveals God (Rom. 2:14-16)
God is known through Special Revelation
“God’s disclosure of himself to a particular peoples at a particular times and in particular places. It comes through historical events, dreams and visions, direct divine speech, the incarnation, and Scripture. The recipients of special revelation know the way of salvation and how to walk with God so as to please him fully.” Gregg Allison, 50 Core Truths of the Christian Faith (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2018), 66. https://amzn.to/3KsqmW3
Miracles revealed God.
When He extends natural laws (Josh.10:12-14 – sun stood still
When He makes exceptions to natural laws (2 Kings 6:1-7 – axe head floated)
Fulfilled prophecy reveals God.
O.T. (Is.43:28 and Is. 45; Ezra 1:1-4 – Cyrus predicted)
N.T. (Micah 5:2; Matt.2:1 – birthplace of Christ)
Jesus Christ Himself reveals God. (Heb.1:1-2; John 1:18)
Scripture as a whole reveals God.
Arguments for the existence of God
Cosmological argument – How could there be anything if there wasn’t a Cause (God) who was Uncaused (Romans 1:20)?
Teleological argument – How could there be design in the world if there was no Designer (God – Psalm 19:1-6)?
Moral argument – Why would people recognize right and wrong if there was no moral Law Giver (God – Romans 2:14,15; James 4:12)?
Ontological argument – Where would people get the idea of a Perfect Being (God) except from God Himself (Act 17:27; Romans 1:19)?
The Existence of God
(http://faithbibleonline.net/BasicChristianDoctrine/TOC.htm – A great resource from Curt Daniel for further study)
God is. He is there. He is the real God, the God who really exists. He says of Himself, “I am what I am” (Ex. 3:14). He is the great “I Am”. God is God. He exists eternally without origin or change. He self-exists. He has necessary existence, not conditional or contingent existence. He really exists, in fact and not merely as a human thought or word. He has perpetual existence in and of Himself. He has pure existence, compared to whom everything else is but a shadow.
God is Life
God not only exists, He lives. A stone exists, a person lives. God is the living God, as opposed to the false and dead gods of pagan religions. He is life itself, self-life. He has life in Himself, not from another. He is the source of all life. He has life in Himself (John 1:4, 5:26). He has permanent and perpetual life. God is pure life. Therefore, He is immortal. One of the greatest blasphemies ever uttered was the 60s heresy, “God is dead.” God cannot die. He had no birthday, therefore no father or mother; He has no death-day, therefore no undertaker.
All Men Know that God Exists
Romans 1 and Psalm 19 state that God has made His existence known to all men. They automatically know God exists, by a “sense of the divine” kind of internal intuition as well as by external evidence. He is a fool who tries to deny this (Psa. 14:1). Therefore, there are no real atheists or agnostics. They already know God exists. They are merely lying in order to try to run from God. We do not have to try to prove God’s existence to anyone, for they already know it. We merely build upon what God has already revealed about Himself in Natural Revelation by bringing Special Revelation. See Acts 17. Indeed, a God whose existence needed to be proved would not be the true God. It is an insult to God to attempt to prove His existence, for that doubts the fact that He has already made His existence known. Man already knows God exists, but he must acknowledge this openly in order to come to know God personally (Heb. 11:6).
God is Personal.
God is not an impersonal force or thing (indeed, God is not a “thing” at all. He is God.). Liberals and philosophers think it unbecoming for God to be personal, so they denigrate Him to such things as “the Ground of Being” or “Raw Existence”. But God is personal. Not exactly like we are personal, but more than we are. Specifically, as we shall see later, God is actually Tri-personal in the Trinity. God is a He, not an It. God is also a He, not a She. He is a Father, not the Mother Goddess of pagan religions, such as Mother Earth, Gaia, Sophia, Ishtar, etc. He is personal in that He speaks, feels, thinks, remembers, recognizes, etc.
Knowing God is the Meaning of Life.
Man in sin does not know God (2 Thess. 1:8). God remains “the Unknown God” to sinners (Acts 17:23). The basic message of Ecclesiastes is that life has no meaning, only vanity, without knowing God. God created Man to know Him, and Man has a dreary existence without knowing God. God has allowed Himself to be known personally. This is only possible through Christ (Matt. 11:27). Knowing God is eternal life (John 17:3), in contrast with meaningless existence.
God is Perfect.
God is perfect (Matt. 6:48). He is complete in every way. He needs nothing. He does not need to be fed. He does not need Man. He lacks nothing in any way. He has perfect life and existence and does not grow. He is absolute perfection. He is “actus purus”, pure actuality, nothing potential or tentative or merely possible. Therefore, God is perfectly happy in Himself. God is not lonely. He did not create Man because He was lonely. There was perfect happiness, fellowship and love within the Trinity. Nothing outside of God is ever perfect in the sense God is perfect. Yet we find a degree of perfection when we are in the right relationship with God as we ought to be, lacking nothing, Happy at last.