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So You Believe in the God of the Bible?

From Issue: R&R – Issue 44 #3

If God exists (that is, if there really is an eternal, all-powerful, all-knowing, all-loving, all-just, and perfectly pure Creator2), coming to a knowledge of this one truth is by far the greatest truth that a human being could ever or will ever acknowledge and contemplate.3 Self-awareness is important, but becoming aware of the One who gave us self-awareness is infinitely more important. An isolated Tarzan-type person learning for the first time about the existence of other humans is a gripping and emotional thought. Still, such a revelation pales in comparison to learning of the existence of Deity. Many seem to think that finding proof for an extraterrestrial would be the most significant revelation ever. Yet, such a theoretical alien would still demand an ultimate Creator. In short, a person never has and never will think of a bigger, better, more awesome, and more humbling thought than G-O-D.

Although atheistic evolution says that everything in the natural realm came from nothing, that self-replicating life in nature came from non-life, that complex, functional design in the natural realm came about without an ultimate designer, and that human intelligence ultimately came from non-intelligence, an honest assessment of the Universe (with its necessary natural laws)4 reveals otherwise. Matter demands a Maker. Laws demand a Law-Giver. Life demands a Life-Giver. Complex, functional design demands a Designer. Intelligence in the natural realm demands an ultimate, intelligent Creator.

Indeed, the material realm cries out for a Creator, Who, again, is the most extraordinary Being imaginable. In fact, there is no adequate adjective in the human vocabulary to describe how far above every thought, word, and deed that God is (cf. Isaiah 55:8-9). Suffice it to say, the very thought of and belief in God is the pinnacle of all thoughts and beliefs by an immeasurable distance.

If God exists,5 then it is reasonable to conclude that God (1) could freely choose to communicate to His human creation, (2) would have the ability (as the omnipotent, omniscient Creator) to communicate to humanity, (3) would choose to reveal important information to His human creation if He expected anything from them, and (4) would reasonably inform humanity that the message was, indeed, from Him, as well as offer sufficient proof. (That is, a just God would not leave it up to mere human guesswork as to whether or not He had ever communicated to humankind about important matters that He expected them to know.) In fact, there is one book in the world that (1) claims divine inspiration hundreds of times, (2) gives sufficient proof to back up those claims,6 and (3) is the most accessible book in human history—the Bible. Even according to secular sources, the Bible ranks #1 in the most printed documents in world history,7 with an estimated five to seven billion copies printed since the invention of the printing press in the 15th century,8 not including the myriad of manuscripts copied by hand prior to the invention of the printing press. What’s more, the Bible has been translated into hundreds of languages, beginning more than 2,000 years ago. Thus, God not only gave what He wanted humankind to know in written form, but that revelation became the most accessible book in human history.

The Logical Response to Our Supernatural Creator

Surely such a magnificent Maker—Who has created, sustained, and enlightened humankind—should be the focus of our existence. Regardless of our human condition (whether young or old, strong or weak, rich or poor, healthy or sick, etc.), surely the very thought of the God of the Bible would be enough to awaken us to our spiritual senses (rather than simply react in animal-like ways to the fears and fleshly desires of our physical existence). Surely our purpose in living would be wrapped up in Who God is and what He expects from us.

If we have carefully contemplated the Creator, it should not take a command from Him for us continually to stand in awe of Him and to serve Him. Supreme reverence for God should be the natural response to Who God is. An infinitely intelligent and powerful eternal Being “simply” spoke the Universe into existence. That alone should buckle our knees and melt our hearts. The psalmist sang of God’s Creation: “By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth… For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast” (Psalm 33:6,9). And what is the logical, emotional, and thrilling response to such a powerful Creator? The answer is found between these two creation truths of Psalm 33: “Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him” (33:8).

The patriarch Job suffered like few in human history undoubtedly have ever suffered. He longed for a meeting with God and wanted answers. Yet, when God appeared to Job9 out of a whirlwind and spoke to him (not about Job’s suffering but) about God’s mind-boggling created realm (Job 38-41), Job seemingly forgot all about His suffering because of His newly found, intensified focus on Almighty God.10 Job reacted to the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe with authentic praise and a penitent spirit:

Behold, I am insignificant; what can I say in response to You? I put my hand on my mouth… I know that You can do all things, and that no plan is impossible for You… Therefore I have declared that which I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I do not know… I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear; but now my eye sees You; therefore I retract, and I repent, sitting on dust and ashes (Job 40:4; 42:2-6, NASB).

Job lost all 10 of his children in one day; he lost his vast wealth in the blink of an eye; and was experiencing immense bodily pain, not to mention suffering with some of the worst “comfort” from friends a person could ever receive. Yet, Job’s response to Almighty God was (1) a humble heart and (2) complete admiration for his Maker.11

What Is Your Response to God?

Job learned that God is the supreme, sovereign Ruler of the Universe Who is worthy to be trusted and served faithfully regardless of what we may personally want or what may occur to us in this lifetime. Yet, even before his supernatural meeting with God, Job displayed a determined faithfulness to the Ruler of the Universe: He declared: “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him” (Job 13:15). Indeed, God and His will for our lives is bigger, better, and infinitely more important than what we may personally want for our temporary earthly existence.

In response to God—to Who God is and what He commands at any point in time—Noah built an ark, Abraham left his homeland to dwell in tents in Canaan, and Moses, the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, chose “rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin” (Hebrews 11:25). While the (likely wealthy) tax collector Matthew was sitting in his office, he heard Jesus say, “Follow Me.” “So he left all, rose up, and followed Him” (Luke 5:27-28). When Jesus called Peter, Andrew, James, and John to follow Him, they “immediately” left their boat, their nets, and their family “and followed Him” (Matthew 4:18-22). To use the words of Peter to Jesus, “We have left all and followed You” (Matthew 19:29).

It seems that most people approach God and His Word with the mindset that they will “obey” God and “follow” Jesus, but they will do so as long as God does not demand too much from them. If “following” God is socially acceptable, if “trusting” Him is convenient, if “loving” Him is easy, then “we’re all in.” Most people don’t say these things, but many seem to think and act this way. They allegedly “love” God, but they do so because (at the moment) it is the easy, comfortable thing to do.

A man once asked Jesus, “Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?” Jesus said, “You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Do not defraud,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother.’” The man replied to Jesus, saying, “‘Teacher, all these things I have kept from my youth.’ Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, ‘One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.’ But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions” (Mark 10:17-22).

It appears that this rich, young ruler had most everything in his life in line with God’s will—except one thing—his attitude toward money. Jesus, Who knows our thoughts, knew the one thing with which this man had a spiritual problem—an unhealthy relationship with money. Sadly, rather than do whatever the Lord required, this man went away sorrowful. He was willing to “do” whatever was relatively easy, but he was unwilling to give his life completely over to Christ and do whatever God wanted.

What’s our response to God? Are we willing to give up anything and everything at the Word of God—the same mighty and majestic Word that created the world? Will we give up lying, laziness, or a love of money? In response to the reality, nature, and revelation of God, will we give up pornography, fornication, adultery, homosexuality, drunkenness, or any other enticing sin that stands between us and eternal life?

In a very real sense, life on Earth is a test.12 It is a test to see:

  • Will we choose to wallow in a world of “me, myself, and I,” or will we recognize the majesty of our Maker (and live every day basking in His glory)?
  • Will we illogically look to “nothing” for our origins and seek to fulfill fleshly desires like our alleged animal ancestors and relatives,13 or will we “remember now [our] Creator” and “put away evil from [our] flesh” (Ecclesiastes 12:1; 11:10)?
  • Will we be wise in our own finite eyes and seek to “direct [our] own steps” (Jeremiah 10:23), or will we acknowledge and trust the Lord’s infinitely wise ways (Proverbs 3:5-7)?
  • Will we wander the broad road of sin that leads to eternal destruction, or will we intentionally walk the more difficult and narrower road that leads to eternal life (Matthew 7:13-14)?
  • Will we seek to rule our own lives, or will we acknowledge the sovereignty of God in every area of our lives?
  • Will we seek to please and “fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul” (Matthew 10:28), or will we “fear God and keep His commandments” (Ecclesiastes 12:13)?
  • Will we be a slave to sin (that leads to eternal death), or will we serve the Savior (Who gave His life to give us eternal life; John 3:16; Romans 6:15-23)?

What Is Your Response to Christ?

If God exists and the Bible is His revelation to humanity, anything other than a revered, head-over-heels, “crazy”-in-love-with-Christ reaction to Jesus is illogical. He not only created us and sustains us (John 1:1-3; Colossians 1:16-17), but He loves us more than anyone else ever has or ever will. And such love has not merely been expressed verbally (John 3:16; 13:34); it has been demonstrated in the most selfless, sacrificial way possible.

Though “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23), and though all sinners deserve eternal separation from our perfectly holy God, because of God’s perfect love, grace, and mercy, no one has to be lost eternally. God has given us an all-powerful, spiritual lifeline (Romans 1:16). Though “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23; cf. Revelation 2:11), “the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). God “desires all men to be saved” (1 Timothy 2:4). From the moment wretched sin entered the world, God began revealing His answer to the sin problem (Genesis 3:15; 12:1-3). Following thousands of years of promises and prophecies throughout the Old Testament pointing to the ultimate “Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29), “God sent forth His son” to redeem the slaves of sin to become children of God (Galatians 4:4-5). “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

Indeed, God is so incredibly loving that He not only warned us of the eternal consequences of unforgiven sin (cf. 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10), but even when we succumbed to sin, God left the splendors of heaven to take upon Himself the punishment for our sins so that we could be saved. Jesus “made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross” (Philippians 2:7-8). When we succumbed to sin and were wholly unable to save ourselves from the eternal consequences of such, the perfect Lamb of God “died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:6-8). And, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends” (John 15:13).

“God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved” (John 3:17). The Creator of the Universe cares so much for every human being, deeply desiring for every person to be saved from sin and receive eternal life, that He literally came to Earth in human flesh for the purpose of paving the path to heaven (John 14:6). He came “to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10).

Conclusion

Complete loyalty (however imperfect—1 John 1:5-10) is the only reasonable response to our Creator. Total admiration and submission to our Lord and great Redeemer is our joy and privilege. Like the apostle Paul, who was “appointed for the defense of the gospel,” we should seek to grow in our faith that our singular purpose in life is that “Christ will be magnified” in our bodies, “whether by life or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:17,20-21). Gain what? And how much? In response to Peter saying, “we have left all and followed You. Therefore what shall we have?” Jesus said: “Everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My name’s sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life” (Matthew 19:27,29).

Endnotes

1 For more information on a saving, biblical faith, see “‘Believing’ in John 3:16,” Reason & Revelation, 39[9]:98-101,104-107, September, apologeticspress.org/believing-in-john-316-5723/.

2 Of everything other than Himself.

3 Which is why Apologetics Press spends so much time and energy producing material for all ages about the existence of God. See store.apologeticspress.org. See also apologeticspress.org/category/existence-of-god/.

4 See Jeff Miller (2017), Science vs. Evolution (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press), 2nd edition.

5 See Eric Lyons and Kyle Butt (2014), “7 Reasons to Believe in God,” Apologetics Press, apologeticspress.org/7-reasons-to-believe-in-god-5045/. See also Dave Miller, ed. (2017), Does God Exist? (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press) and apologeticspress.org/category/existence-of-god/.

6 See Kyle Butt (2022), Is the Bible God’s Word? (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press). See also Dave Miller (2020), The Bible Is From God: A Sampling of Proofs (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press); Kyle Butt and Eric Lyons (2021), Defending the Bible (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press); and apologeticspress.org/category/inspiration-of-the-bible/.

7 “Printing Books: The 10 Most Printed Documents in History” (2023), www.mvpprint.com.au/printing-the-10-most-printed-documents-in-history/.

8 “Best-selling Book” (2021), www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/best-selling-book-of-non-fiction.

9 Something He did not have to do, but chose to do.

10 Job was already a righteous, faithful follower of God (Job 1:1-5,8; 13:15; 42:7-8), but His understanding, appreciation, and respect for God seems to have increased dramatically after God spoke to him in chapters 38-41.

11 For a biblical response to pain and suffering in this world, see Dave Miller’s excellent book from Apologetics Press titled Why People Suffer. You can freely read the online PDF version at apologeticspress.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/Suffering-DM_2022.pdf, or you can order a hardcopy for only $5 at store.apologeticspress.org/collections/books/products/apbkdm0021.

12 We may wish that this world was not a proving ground for the next, but nothing will change the reality of the situation. God tested Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2-3), He tested Abraham in the land of Moriah (Genesis 22:1ff.), He allowed Job to be tested in the land of Uz (Job 1-2), and He tested the Israelites in the wilderness (Exodus 20:20). God does not tempt His creation to sin (James 1:13-14), but He does test us “that His fear may be before [us], so that [we] may not sin” (Exodus 20:20).

13 Cf. Jo Marchant (2008), “We Should Act Like the Animals We Are,” New Scientist, 200[2678]:44, October 18-24.


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