The Existence of God
What is the definition of the Trinity?
God eternally existing as three persons; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Each is fully God, and there is only one God.
In Bruce Wares book “Father, Son & Holy Spirit: Relationships, Roles, & Relevance”, he makes this comment: Disregard the Trinity and you necessarily undermine salvation. I agree with his summation. If we disregard the Trinity, then how can we place the sanctity upon the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit? He further goes on to say “Can the Christian faith survive, as it were, if the doctrine of the Trinity is omitted”? While the word “Trinity” cannot be found in scripture, the basic tenet, principles, and concept points towards a triunity (three in oneness).
God (and Father) of Jesus Christ, who is our hope and salvation which is sealed with the promised Holy Spirit. This plurality is outlined multiple times in the Old Testament:
26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
22 Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever—”
7 Come, let us go down and there confuse their language, so that they may not understand one another’s speech.”
8 And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.”
The New Testament goes further in completing the view of the Trinity.
16 And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; 17 and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”
19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
4 There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
But to understand and to even believe in the Trinity, then by default we must believe in the existence of God.
So, the million dollar question.
How do we know God exists?
God reveals Himself in two ways;
1) Humans have an inner sense of God.
All humans, regardless of whether they are believers or not, have a deep inner sense of God exists. “Something bigger”, “Something Out There” that gives a purpose to their lives. They feel the presence of God, but it is their RESPONSE that makes all the difference in the world. That response Accept/Reject, affects their choice of eternal destination Heaven/Hell.
Paul says in Romans 1:21 “21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.” that even the unbelieving “knew God” but did not believe He was God. He even goes on further to say unbelievers Romans 1:25 “25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.”
In these two examples, what is the main issue with the unbelievers?
Satan and sin do not allow unbelievers to think and know the truths of God’s existence, even though our inner sense points and pulls us towards God. This sin causes people to think irrationally and deny God.
Wayne Grudem makes this comment “In the life of a Christian this inner awareness of God becomes stronger and more distinct. We begin to know God as our loving Father in heaven (Rom. 8:15), the Holy Spirit bears witness with our spirits that we are children of God (Rom. 8:16), and we come to know Jesus Christ living within our hearts (Eph. 3:17; Phil. 3:8, 10; Col. 1:27; John 14:23). The intensity of this awareness for a Christian is such that though we have not seen our Lord Jesus Christ, we indeed love him (1 Peter 1:8).”
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.
God willfully reveals Himself, EVEN if mankind willfully rejects Him, therefore they will stand on judgment day with NO EXCUSE.
29 Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
2) Evidence is found in scripture and nature.
The Bible reveals the existence of God. The first verse of the Bible points to the creative work of God.
We can look at human life and see the existence of God. A heart beat, spontaneous breath, neurological function, ability to reason and think, it’s amazing when we look at all the intricacies.
26 Lift up your eyes on high and see: who created these? He who brings out their host by number, calling them all by name; by the greatness of his might and because he is strong in power, not one is missing.
29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. 30 But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.
5 I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you;
Within the body itself, we can find God revealed. Laminin - the protein that binds/glues our molecular structure together.
Creation reveals the existence of God.
3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.
7 “But ask the beasts, and they will teach you; the birds of the heavens, and they will tell you; 8 or the bushes of the earth, and they will teach you; and the fish of the sea will declare to you.
1 The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
5 He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the steadfast love of the Lord.
How does creation point towards the existence of God?
20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.
They are without excuse.
How is it that God reveals Himself to everyone, but some will go so far as to deny His existence? Is it human pride, it it deep denial, is it simply rebellion? Regardless of the root, the Psalmist calls these people "fools" - ones who have rejected the truth.
1 The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds; there is none who does good.
1 The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, doing abominable iniquity; there is none who does good.
The Bible says that to deny the existence of God is foolish (Ps 14:1). What would be the best way to communicate that truth to an unbeliever?
There’s even a point where, if we quit worshiping God, He could allow creation to worship Him.
40 He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.”
6 yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.
Grudem further explains “traditional proofs” for the existence of God.
Most of the traditional proofs for the existence of God can be classified in four major types of argument.
1. The cosmological argument considers the fact that every known thing in the universe has a cause. Therefore, it reasons, the universe itself must also have a cause, and the cause of such a great universe can only be God.
2. The teleological argument is really a subcategory of the cosmological argument. It focuses on the evidence of harmony, order, and design in the universe, and argues that its design gives evidence of an intelligent purpose (the Greek word telos means “end” or “goal” or “purpose”). Since the universe appears to be designed with a purpose, there must be an intelligent and purposeful God who created it to function this way.
3. The ontological argument begins with the idea of God, who is defined as a being “greater than which nothing can be imagined.” It then argues that the characteristic of existence must belong to such a being, since it is greater to exist than not to exist.3
4. The moral argument begins from man’s sense of right and wrong, and of the need for justice to be done, and argues that there must be a God who is the source of right and wrong and who will someday mete out justice to all people.
The value of these proofs, then, lies chiefly in overcoming some of the intellectual objections of unbelievers. They cannot bring unbelievers to saving faith, for that comes about through belief in the testimony of Scripture when the Holy Spirit awakens in a person the ability to believe God’s words. But such proofs can help overcome objections from unbelievers, and for believers they can provide further intellectual evidence for something they have already been persuaded of from their own inner sense of God and from the testimony of Scripture.
Finally, it must be remembered that in this sinful world God must enable us to be persuaded or we would never believe in him. Human wisdom is inadequate for coming to know God. 1 Cor 2:4-5 “4 and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.”
Have you ever doubted God’s existence? What has helped you to trust in the reality of God’s existence?