How Do We Know God Exists?

Urban Legends examines widely held myths from a Biblical perspective.
The Bible posits that even though God is invisible he is knowable and comprehensible. He made himself accessible to us by devising a visibility strategy. Romans 1:19 says he made himself known in very plain terms.
The Bible specifies three means by which we can discern the existence of God. The first is through creation. The Bible says when we “listen” to creation, knowledge of the existence of God is deposited into our inner consciousness. “For that which is known about God is evident to them and made plain in their inner consciousness, because God himself has shown it to them. For ever since the creation of the world his invisible nature and attributes, that is eternal power and divinity, have been made intelligible and clearly discernible in and through the things that have been made.” (Romans 1:19-20 AMPC) Therefore God is discernable through creation. Nature makes the invisible nature of God visible. Creation deposits a knowledge of God in our inner consciousness. It’s then up to us to choose whether to honour God and glorify him. (Romans 1:21) But Paul’s argument boils down to this: creation presupposes a creator. And so even though God is invisible we can see him through his works.
There are two attributes of God presented by creation. The first is God’s eternal power. The second is his divinity or nature. The reason we can discern these attributes is because the Bible says nature “speaks.” Psalm 19:1-4 tells us, “The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship. Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make him known. They speak without a sound or word; their voice is never heard. Yet their message has gone throughout the earth, and their words to all the world.” (NLT) In other words nature has its own language. It’s not human language but our inner consciousness can understand it. It’s the inner man that “hears” the language of nature not our outer consciousness. Our primary evangelist is nature.
Since we can “see” God through his handiwork here are breathtaking cosmological facts. The diameter of the known universe is 93 billion light years. Scientists use a unit of measurement called “light year” because they don’t want to write a lot of zeroes. The scale of the universe beggars belief. A light year is the distance light travels in one year. That’s about 9 trillion kilometers. So the diameter of the known universe is 93 billion times 9 trillion kilometers. And the universe is still expanding! The number of stars in the Milky Way galaxy, our galaxy is 200-400 billion stars. (Our Sun is a star). There are at least one hundred billion galaxies. Do the maths. The closest star to us is Proxima Centauri. It is 4.24 light years away. That means it’s 38.16 trillion kilometers away. There’s a lot of space in space. Never mind those illustrations of the planets. They are huge gaps in space. With our current technology it’s going to take us six months to get to Mars, our second closest planet. (Venus is closest). But here’s one of life’s mysteries. Dung beetles can use the Milky Way to navigate! Don’t ask how. And oh by the way, 350 planets have been discovered so far in our Milky Way galaxy. And the Sun is so big one million earths could fit inside it. Yet relative to many stars our Sun is actually small!
There’s a cloud of alcohol 26,000 light years away from us, near the constellation of Aquila. It contains over a billion billion billion liters of vinyl alcohol. 275 million stars are born and die throughout the observable universe each day. That’s over 100billion stars a year. When you switch on your TV and you see those annoying black and white grainy stuff…1% of that static is radiation from Genesis. You hear the cackles on your radio too. It’s technically known as Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation (CBR). Two guys won a Nobel Prize for accidentally discovering it. Google Penzias and Wilson. Those are the guys. Meanwhile our Milky Way is rotating at a dizzying 225 kilometers per second, and hurtling through the cosmos at an estimated 305 kilometers per second. Our solar system is travelling at 828,000 kilometers per hour. Forget Mount Everest, the biggest mountain in our solar system is on Mars. It’s called Olympus Mons and it’s 22 kilometers high! That’s two and a half times as tall as Mount Everest.
The writer of Hebrews (we’re not totally sure it’s Paul) picks up on Paul’s argument that creation requires a Creator. He says in Hebrews 3:4 that “every house has a builder, but the one who built everything is God.” In order words, there’s a prime creator. John would tell us this prime creator is Jesus the Christ. “Everything was created through him; nothing – not one thing! – came into being without him.” (John 1:3) Paul asserts the same in Colossians 1:16. And in Acts 17:24-29 Paul said, “The God who made the world and everything in it, this Master of sky and land… He makes the creatures; the creatures don’t make him. Starting from scratch, he made the entire human race and made the earth hospitable, with plenty of time and space for living so we could seek after God, and not just grope around in the dark but actually find him. He doesn’t play hide and seek with us. He’s not remote; he’s near. We live and move in him, can’t get away from him!”
The second proof of the existence of God offered by the Bible is the historicity of Jesus, and his testimonial. If Jesus did exist and he’s actually who he said he was then God exists. The testimonial of Jesus is pertinent in the proof of God’s existence. Why? Because the Bible says “No one has ever seen God. But the unique One who is God himself, is near to the Father’s heart. He has revealed God to us.” (John 1:18 NLT) The AMPC translation is more eloquent: “No man has ever seen God at any time; the only unique Son, or only begotten God, who is in the bosom in the intimate presence of the Father, he has declared him, he has revealed him and brought him out where he can be seen; he has interpreted him and he has made him known.” So Jesus declared God, revealed God and interpreted God.
Besides, Jesus himself is the image or projection of God – “the exact likeness of the unseen God”…“the visible representation of the invisible.” (Colossians 1:16 NET, AMPC) “We look at this Son and see the God who cannot be seen.” (MSG) It’s why Jesus declared, “If you’ve seen me you’ve seen the Father.” (John 14:9) And in John 14:7 he said, “If you really know me you’ll know my Father as well.” And so the Bible is saying we not only perceive God in our inner consciousness by the testimonial of creation but also through Jesus, the creative agency of the Godhead.
But the third proof of the existence of God offered by the Bible is our individual experience of the supernatural manifestation of God. In Genesis 35:4, God told Jacob to emigrate to Bethel. He was to build an altar there – “to God who appeared to you in a distinct manifestation when you fled from the presence of Esau your brother.” (AMPC) What God was referring to was the famous dream sequence called Jacob’s ladder. After that dream Jacob declared he had seen heaven’s portal. God appeared to him in the dream. There are other experiences of the supernatural manifestation of God recorded in scriptures. The Israelites experienced him as cloudy shade from the heat in the desert, as well as a pillar of fire by night. (Exodus 13:21) When Solomon dedicated the temple a cloud (God’s presence) filled the temple. (1 Kings 8:10) He would speak from heaven when Jesus was being baptized: “This is my Son, My beloved, in whom I delight.” (Matthew 3:37 AMPC) Our individual experiences of the supernatural manifestation of God is thus proof of God’s existence.
If you want proof of God’s existence, the Bible says “listen” to nature, and read the words of Jesus. And those spectacular resolutions of the issues in your life… That’s God trying to show himself to you.
If you will like to give your life to Christ, please pray this prayer: Father I acknowledge that I am a sinner, that Jesus Christ died for me, that you raised him from the dead. Please forgive me. I accept Jesus today as my Lord and my Saviour. Amen.
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© #illuminare Leke Alder |