Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The existence of God a fact taken for granted, from “The Great Doctrines of the Bible” by Evans

When we try to imagine what God is like we must of necessity use that-which-is-not-God as the raw material for our minds to work on; hence whatever we visualize God to be, He is not, for we have constructed our image out of that which He has made and what He has made is not God.

If we insist upon trying to imagine Him, we end with an idol, made not with hands but with thoughts; and an idol of the mind is as offensive to God as an idol of the hand.
(“God Incomprehensible”, by A.W. Tozer, from his book “Knowledge of the Holy”)
God’s existence taken for granted by Scripture writers

It does not seem to have occurred to any of the writers of either the Old or the New Testaments to attempt to prove or to argue for the existence of God. Everywhere and at all times it is a fact taken for granted. “A God capable of proof would be no God at all” (Jacobi). He is the self-existent One (Exodus 3:14) and the Source of all life (John 5:26).

The sublime opening of the Scriptures announces the fact of God and His existence: “In the beginning God” (Gen. 1:1). Nor is the rise or dawn of the idea of God in the mind of man depicted. Psalm 14:1: “The fool hath said in his heart. There is no God,” indicates not a disbelief in the existence, but rather in the active interest of God in the affairs of men--He seemed to hide Himself from the affairs of men (See Job 22:12-14).

The Scriptures further recognize that men not only know of the existence of God, but have also a certain circle of ideas as to who and what He is (Romans 1:18-19).

No one but a “fool” will deny the fact of God. “What! no God? A watch, and no key for it? A watch with a main-spring broken, and no jeweler to fix it? A watch, and no repair shop? A time-card and a train, and nobody to run it? A star lit, and nobody to pour oil in to keep the wick burning? A garden, and no gardener? Flowers, and no florist? Conditions, and no conditioner?” He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh at such absurd atheism. (From “The Great Doctrines of the Bible” by Rev. William Evans, Ph.D., D.D.)
Basic truths

[1] God’s existence is taken for granted by the writers of Scripture.

[2] God has revealed Himself generally to mankind through creation and conscience.

[3] God has revealed truth about Himself specifically. The Bible is the only means of special revelation today.

[4] Special revelation is that revelation of God that speaks directly to who He is, His will, and His ways. That revelation comes by way of the Lord Jesus Christ and His word: the Scriptures. This revelation is a potentially saving revelation of God. The Holy Spirit uses the word of God in the lives of some to effect the new birth. That’s why Paul said in Rom. 1:16, “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation…” (from Worldviews: God Explains it All - Part II, by Dr. Paul J. Dean)

Further study (Be like the Bereans! Acts 17:11)

[1] Evidence for God, from Institute for Creation Research
ICR’s popular Acts & Facts free monthly news magazine contains articles and information of current interest dealing with creation, evolution, and related topics. Current and past issues can also be read, and you can sign up to receive future issues in the mail, all for free. Full versions of previous editions can be viewed online in PDF format.

How the Bible Came From God to You, by David Weidlich

[3] The Old Testament in the New Testament (from Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology)

[4] Theology of Hebrews (from Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology)

[5] Is the Bible the Only Revelation from God? by Greg Herrick Th.M., Ph.D.

[6] The Revelation of Righteousness, by Allen Ross, Th.D., Ph.D.

[7] No Excuse for the Heathen (Romans 1:18-32), by Bob Deffinbaugh , Th.M.

Sermons (Be like the Bereans! Acts 17:11)

[1] God Has Spoken, by Kenneth W. Burton

[2] Are You Ashamed? by Harry Swayne

[3] God’s Wrath Against Unrighteousness by Daniel P. Johnson

Notes: [1] “The Great Doctrines of the Bible” by Rev. William Evans, Ph.D., D.D. is a well-respected reference material for Bible students, pastors, missionaries and laymen. You can read the entire book from Google (click the picture of the book cover) or download the complete zipped e-book. [2] Surf to the index of lessons and online quizzes from Evans. [3] The most important ideas and statements from this part of Evans’ book are listed in the “Basic truths” section above. [4] This ministry does not necessarily endorse or share all the views and opinions expressed in the materials, resources or links mentioned in these posts. Please always refer to the Articles of Faith and Biblical distinctives of Baptists when you study these materials.

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