There is a God
One of the songs that is very popular and unique among churches of Christ is #672 in our hymn books: Our God, He is Alive.
It is a song about the reality of God’s existence, that “There is a God, He is alive.”
It is a song about the fact that He sustains us, “In Him we live and we survive.”
It is a song about His creating us, “From dust our God created man.”
It is a song about God, “He is our God, the great I AM.”
It was written by Aaron W. Dicus who was a scientist, inventor, and preacher (b. 1888, d. 1978).
He invented the turn signal, the electric pencil sharpener, and some other things.
His PhD was in Physics from Indiana University, and eventually became the head of the physics department at Tennessee Polytechnic Institute.
He later became dean of Florida Christian College.
During all this time, he was a gospel preacher, preaching at gospel meetings and other special events.
Can you imagine someone like that today? I’m sure there are some, but the one thing many of us know him for is this beautiful song.
He knew there was a God, there is a God, and today we are going to look at the arguments and evidence for His existence.
Why is this important?
Chances are, if you’re watching this, you believe God exists.
And that’s true, I take for granted every time I preach that the listeners believe in God and believe in the Bible.
I appeal to the authority of God’s Word every time I preach, and you accept its authority, as you should and not accept mine and mine alone.
So why talk about it? Well, first, it’s always good to be reminded that there are good reasons to believe God exists.
The atheists and unbelievers out there often laugh at us, claiming people who believe in God are the dumbest, most uneducated people on the planet.
Interestingly enough, the Bible states the same of them: “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God’” (Psa. 14:1).
Regardless, they think we are unreasonable for our faith—they even think the definition of faith is to believe in something without evidence, despite the description we see in Heb. 11:1.
We don’t need to prove anything to them, but we do need to be convinced in our own minds.
And who knows, maybe there will be someone willing to listen to you or to this who isn’t a believer.
God cannot be disproved.
This is a statement of fact, you cannot prove God does not exist.
There is no test one could run to determine God’s existence.
In order to prove God does not exist, you would have to know everything, and no human truly makes that claim.
But because we cannot prove God does not exist does not prove He does exist.
That would be like asking someone to disprove the existence of a teapot orbiting the Sun between Earth and Mars—you can’t disprove it, but that doesn’t mean it’s there.
So we need some positive arguments to show that God does, in fact, exist.
Cosmological Argument (Acts 17:28-29).
“for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’ Therefore since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, something shaped by art and man’s devising.”
Cause and effect.
This is a law of nature that we all understand intuitively.
It reminds me of a Rube Goldberg machine.
It is “a machine intentionally designed to perform a simple task in an indirect and overly complicated way” (Wikipedia).
If you have never seen one before, it is a sight to behold.
Every little thing has to work out perfectly in order to reach the desired outcome.
And you can see how easily things could go horrible wrong, especially the more complicated the machines get.
After worship this morning, check out videos by the band OK, Go!—just amazing.
Well, you know that each effect has a cause.
In the Rube Goldberg machine, it might end with several people getting splattered with paint.
But it took a long time to get to that point from the initial cause, say tipping a domino over.
Not only that, but everything was positioned just perfectly to reach that end goal of the splattering of paint.
The world God created is an intensely complicated Rube Goldberg machine, which an innumerable number of effects, all leading back to one Cause.
All this is made even more complicated by the inclusion of free will.
Thomas Aquinas, who lived in the in the 13th century, came up with phrases to describe such an essential Being, the “uncaused causer,” the “unmoved mover.”
There had to be Someone to start it all off, to be that Initial Causer, to tip that domino.
Implications and science.
There are several implications to this notion.
The first one is that it implies the universe must not have always existed, that there had to be a beginning.
In fact, this was a common belief among nonbelievers about 100 years ago or so.
They did not believe in God, therefore no Creator, therefore no special Creation.
Ask any scientist today and they would say that, yeah, the universe had a beginning.
This is because of the discovery of something called the cosmological redshift that is said to prove the universe is expanding at a particular rate.
Since the universe is expanding, it must have started from somewhere.
Couple that with principles like the second law of thermodynamics and you get the inescapable conclusion that the universe has a beginning!
This law states that things are winding down—of course it’s more complicated than that but that’s the gist.
Regardless, we see that scientists figured something out that students of the Bible knew a long time ago.
The Unmoved Mover.
Considering this argument, however, we note a few weaknesses.
The first is that this does not prove the existence of a particular god, or anything specific that exists outside of our realm of reality.
This is true, of course, but we have to start somewhere.
This argument could also mean some random force out there somehow caused our universe to exist.
I would suggest that the next argument, the teleological argument, proves that it wasn’t just some random force.
But then the ultimate skeptic’s question: Who created God? Why is He not subject to the same cause and effect rules we all are?
This shows a fundamental misunderstanding of who God is.
Is the Creator subject to the rules of His Creation? Obviously not, otherwise we would never get miracles.
But let’s think about it like this: look back at that Rube Goldberg machine.
If you have set it up properly, you should be able to tip that domino and walk away, intervening when you see fit.
You are not subject to fall over if another domino hits you—unless of course you want to.
Think of a video game developer. When he’s done working on his game for the day, he goes home, not subject to the rules of the game. If he dies on the way home, there is no extra life anywhere that can bring him back.
God is not subject to the laws of His Creation! (2 Pet. 3:8).
But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
Of course, starting all the way back in Gen. 1:1, we find that Unmoved Mover, that Uncaused Causer, the One who tipped the first domino (metaphorically).
That is God—there is a God.
We will talk more about what the Bible says in our last point, but for now the teleological argument.
Teleological Argument (Psa. 19:1; Acts 14:17; Rom. 1:20).
The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork.
“Nevertheless He did not leave Himself without witness, in that He did good, gave us rain from heaven and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.”
For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.
This is the argument from design.
When an evolutionist sees structures that look alike like human arms, bat wings, and whale fins, he sees a common ancestor.
When we see structures that look alike, we see a common Designer.
There is so much that I can say about the apparent design that we can see in the world around us, but time would fail me to talk of it all.
We see design in the universe, that we are the perfect distance from our Sun for life—just a smidge off and we’d be frozen or a cinder.
We see design in our cells and our DNA, far more complicated than anything Darwin knew about when he developed the Theory of Evolution.
There is the old watchmaker analogy, though we might update it to a smart phone today.
You walk in the woods and you happen upon a smart phone—clearly it was designed and didn’t come to exist by random chance.
The writer of Hebrews presents a version of this argument as an aside (Heb. 3:4).
For every house is built by someone, but He who built all things is God.
A house has clear evidence of design—is the natural world more or less complicated?
You see, we come by this intuitively as well—something or someone made us and put us here.
Skeptics come up with several objections to this idea of design, but they are all based on unfounded assumptions.
If the human body were designed, they might say, what about things that have no purpose or even a destructive purpose, like certain tissues susceptible to cancer?
Their first assumption is thinking that God must create a purpose for everything He designed—He doesn’t have to!
Now of course, we tend to think He would have a purpose, being a logical God and all.
So the second assumption is concluding a particular thing has no purpose—maybe it does and you just haven’t figured it out yet! (e.g. appendix).
The third assumption is in regard to certain things that have a destructive purpose—it assumes if creation has a flaw, then it implies a flawed creator.
Flawed creation, flawed creator?
This assumes a lot about God, in particular that He would create a flawless creation.
Except that God did design a flawless Creation (Gen. 1:31).
Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good…
Hmm, okay, then it assumes that nothing happened to ruin that Creation.
Something did. It was the curse of sin that made this world flawed (Gen. 3:17-19).
Then to Adam He said, “Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’: Cursed is the ground for your sake; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, and you shall eat the herb of the field. In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for dust you are, and to dust you shall return.”
Hazardous weather, including geological activity, are likely after effects of the Flood—also caused by sin (Gen. 6:5-7; 7:11).
Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. So the Lord said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.”
In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month on that day all the fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.
Apparent flaws in the Creation are designed to remind us that this world is not all there is, to cause us to seek a better world to come, and to help us to improve our lives (Col. 3:1-2; James 1:2-4).
If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
This world and the things that are in it were not designed to be permanent!
Moral Argument (Rom. 2:14-15; Psa. 32:9).
for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them.
Do not be like the horse or like the mule, which have no understanding, which must be harnessed with bit and bridle, else they will not come near you.
We understand that we get our morals from the Word of God.
When it comes to an atheist, however, we wonder where their morality comes from—if they don’t believe in a Higher Power, how can I trust them?
The truth is, I have met some moral atheists.
For instance, do all atheists cheat on their spouses? No.
Of course, we could turn that around, are all Christians faithful to theirs? No.
The difference is the Christian is failing to live up to standards set in place by God; the atheist has no sure footing on which to place his morality.
But what it does show is that mankind has a sense of morality, a sense of right and wrong.
It changes depending on culture, upbringing, and belief system, but that sense is always there, barring any antisocial personality disorder.
Ideally, we ought to align our moral compass with God’s Word.
Morals of animals?
While mankind has this sense of right and wrong, animals do not.
Does your dog know that digging through the trash is wrong?
Or have you trained him not to do that?
Well, you train him by punishing the dog for the bad behavior, right? Or by rewarding good behavior.
They associate the good behavior with the reward and the bad behavior with the punishment.
There is no sense of right and wrong, just reward and punishment.
That guilty look that dog might have is not really guilt, but fear.
They may also empathize with you, since they do develop a connection to the owner and people whom they perceive as being in their pack—if you’re upset, they’re upset.
Sure they have emotions, but remorse is not one of them!
Guilt is a purely human emotion, a sign of a moral Creator who made us in His image, unique among all His Creation (Gen. 1:26-27).
The very fact a book like the Bible exists shows God is real.
It is a very unique book in all of human history.
The cohesion that exists in this book, despite having been written by about 40 people over the span of 1600 years—it is impossible with any work of human origin.
The prophecies fulfilled, the lessons taught.
The history told, even at the expense of the “heroes.”
Aside from Jesus, what greater hero do we read about than David?
And yet he commits adultery, his family falls apart, and he dies a frail old man.
Peter denies Christ and weeps bitterly over his failure.
Ancient books were not so keen to portray their heroes so completely, warts and all, yet here we are.
It’s beyond the purview of this class to defend the validity of the Bible more than we have, but since we can prove it, we can prove there is a God.
That Bible tells us of this God.
As the cosmological argument tells us, He is the Unmoved Mover.
The Bible calls Him the Creator of heavens and the earth (Gen. 1:1).
He has made it all, set things in motion and intervened when He saw fit.
The teleological argument tells us He is not just a Creator, but a Designer.
And through that design, we find His handiwork—the heavens declare His glory! (Psa. 19:1).
The moral argument tells us that, since we have a sense of morality, that points to One who gave it to us.
The Bible talks of a conscience, and that some have one having never heard about the Bible.
While the Bible existences shows a God exists, it also shows us who this God is and what He expects of His creation.
That’s where the rubber meets the road—are we ready to do what He expects of us?
Given the nature of a sermon, we cannot go into many more details than what we have today.
If you would like to learn more, you may ask, or do some internet research on your own for these arguments for God’s existence.
Some of the smartest people ever to have lived believed in God, so why should we lose faith because a few “smart” people today say otherwise?
We have solid reasons for believing in Him, especially since faith requires evidence of things not seen.
If you want to learn more about Him, read your Bible.
I recognize that proving God’s existence does not necessarily mean I have proven the God of the Bible exists.
However, since no other book like the Bible exists, we should certainly give it some attention.
Sure other religions have their sacred texts, but none of them compare to the Bible.
People like to say, “Oh yeah, what about the Quran?!”
People who say that haven’t read the Bible or the Quran or studied them with any depth to know the difference.
The Bible is miles above anything else.
So why not learn what it says about Jesus and how to be saved?