What I believe – Lesson 1

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What I Believe and Why I believe it!

Genesis 1:1

Genesis 1:1 ESV “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”

2 Timothy 3:16–17 ESV “3:16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,

3:17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”

Many years ago, when I was working in the lab at CIBA, a coworker asked me this question, “What do you believe?”  Her and I were on opposite ends of the political spectrum.  She was very liberal, and I was conservative.  She was an agnostic and I was a believer in Jesus Christ.  We had a difference of opinion on many different subjects.  But one day, she pulled up a chair beside me while I was running samples on the Total Organic Analyzer instrument and asked, “What do you believe?”

For the next little while I explained to her what and why I believe what I believe.

So, could you explain to someone what you believe and why you believe it?  If a person was to ask you the question, “What do you believe?”, could you answer?

1 Peter 3:15 ESV “but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,”

Peter instructs us to have an answer ready for those who asks you about the hope that is found in your life.  

This study will show you why I believe what I believe.  It will be based on the Apostles Creed as the fundamentals of the faith.  The authority will be the Word of God.

On April 8, 1966, Time Magazine had on the cover, “Is God Dead?”  If you ask people, if there is a God or is God dead, you will get a variety of answer.  Some will say that God is definitely alive and active while others will deny the existence of God.  

That question still rages today with many different opinions and positions.  The question falls on who has the authority and knowledge to answer the question.

Does God exist?

Apostle Creed

“I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, His only Son Our Lord, Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and was buried. The third day He rose again from the dead;

He ascended into Heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God, the Father almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Ghost, the holy Christian Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and life everlasting.” 

Wesley Articles of Faith

Article 1—Of Faith in the Holy Trinity

“There is but one living and true God, everlasting, without body or parts, of infinite power, wisdom, and goodness; the maker and preserver of all things, both visible and invisible. And in unity of this Godhead there are three persons, of one substance, power, and eternity—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.”

There are three major groups of belief about the existence of God.  Atheism believes that God does not exist.  They believe there is no God.

Polytheism believes in many gods, none being infinite but all being finite or limited in their powers.

Theism believes in one God.  Some believe in a finite God that is identified in the world (panentheism) or a finite God that is beyond the universe but very limited acts.

Others believe in an infinite God.  Some believe God is infinite but identified with the world (pantheism).  Deism believes God is not identified with the world and does not intervene in the world.

Others believe in a personal, infinite God who is beyond the universe and acting within it.

What does the Bible say about the existence of God?

Beginning

Genesis 1:1–2 ESV “1:1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

1:2 The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.”

Beauty and Glory of Creation

Psalm 19:1 ESV “¶ The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.”

Built into the knowledge of Man

Romans 1:20 ESV “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.” 

All things created by God

Colossians 1:16 ESV “For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.” 

What does my heart say about the existence of God?

Man is born with the universal belief in a supreme being.  No tribe in the deepest jungle has ever been discovered that did not believe in a supreme being.  They all understand that there is a creator.

Romans 2:15 ESV “They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them” 

Consider the city of Athens, when Paul visited.

Acts 17:16–34 ESV “17:16 ¶ Now while Paul was waiting for them at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him as he saw that the city was full of idols.

17:17 So he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and the devout persons, and in the marketplace every day with those who happened to be there.

17:18 Some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers also conversed with him. And some said, “What does this babbler wish to say?” Others said, “He seems to be a preacher of foreign divinities”—because he was preaching Jesus and the resurrection.

17:19 And they took him and brought him to the Areopagus, saying, “May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting?

17:20 For you bring some strange things to our ears. We wish to know therefore what these things mean.”

17:21 Now all the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there would spend their time in nothing except telling or hearing something new.

17:22 ¶ So Paul, standing in the midst of the Areopagus, said: “Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious.

17:23 For as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription: ‘To the unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you.

17:24 The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man,

17:25 nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything.

17:26 And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place,

17:27 that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us,

17:28 for “‘In him we live and move and have our being’; ¶ as even some of your own poets have said, “‘For we are indeed his offspring.’

17:29 ¶ Being then God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man.

17:30 The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent,

17:31 because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.”

17:32 ¶ Now when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked. But others said, “We will hear you again about this.”

17:33 So Paul went out from their midst.

17:34 But some men joined him and believed, among whom also were Dionysius the Areopagite and a woman named Damaris and others with them.”

 

What about those who deny the existence of God?

2 Corinthians 4:3–4 ESV “4:3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing.

4:4 In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”

Psalm 14:1 ESV “¶ The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds; there is none who does good.”

If a person denies the existence of God, he is denying the very knowledge placed their by the Lord.  However, sin has a devastating toil on the conscience of man in which Satan is able to blind their eyes from the truth of the Gospel.

Psalmist speaks of a ‘fool’ who not just senseless but the reference is to one who is godlessness or wicked person.  The wicked, godless person denies the existence of God.

Other Major Arguments on the existence of God

Motion Argument – Thomas Aquinas

There is motion in the universe and this motion has to be created from an external force.  Motion never starts on its own; it requires a force to move it.  Therefore, the motion that began the universe is God.

Cause Argument (Cosmological Argument)

Every effect has a cause.  There can not be an infinite regress of finite causes.  Therefore, there must be an uncaused cause or necessary being.

Perfection Argument 

It can be observed in the universe in the diversity and completion of beings from insects to man.  There must be a final being of perfection who is the source of this diversity.

Design Argument

There is an observed order or design in the universe.  Therefore, this design must come from an intelligent being who established this order.

Moral Argument

Within the framework of man, there is a moral standard that is universal.  This moral behavior must have an reason or basis beyond this life.  It had to be established by a Moral being.

Innate Argument

Discusses earlier in that man has the innate idea of God built within his framework.

Existential Argument

God proves himself via the Kerygma (the apostolic proclamation of salvation through Jesus Christ), which is his declaration of love, forgiveness, and justification of man.  When one decides for the Kerygma, he then knows that God exists.  No other evidence is needed.  God is not so much proven as he is known, and this occurs existentially.

1 John 4:13 ESV “¶ By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit.” 

What do I believe?

There is a God who is the Lord of Lord and Kings of Kings.  A God who is a personal God that created the Universe.

Hebrews 11:6 ESV “And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” 

God the Father is the first person on the Trinity, Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.  He is the Lord of Lords and King of Kings.  He is the only true Lord.

Is God a person?  What is a person?  The best way to describe a person is to show that the person has three things:  knowledge, feelings, and Will.  If you look around the room, you will see individuals who are persons.  They have knowledge, feelings, and a will.  They are not some innate object that can not exhibit these characteristics.  Look at the cross on the wall; does it have any of these three things?  Of course, it does not.  Examine the golden calf idol created by Aaron for the Israelites.  Does it have any of the above items?  Did it have any knowledge?  Of course not!  Did it have any feelings?  Of course not!  Did it have any will power?  Of course not!  It is not a person, but God is a person.

Jeremiah 10:10 ESV “But the Lord is the true God; he is the living God and the everlasting King. At his wrath the earth quakes, and the nations cannot endure his indignation.” 

1 Thessalonians 1:9 ESV “For they themselves report concerning us the kind of reception we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God,”

2 Chronicles 16:9 ESV “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him. You have done foolishly in this, for from now on you will have wars.””

Psalm 94:11 ESV “the Lord—knows the thoughts of man, that they are but a breath.” 

God’s attributes and properties:

God is eternal

Psalm 90:2 ESV “Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.”

1 Timothy 1:17 ESV “To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.”

Genesis 1:1 ESV “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” 

One of the natural attributes of the Lord is that He is eternal.  It is hard to comprehend that the Lord never had a beginning or end.  Everything that we face in life has either a beginning or end.  The world that we live in had a beginning.

However, the Lord is eternal which means without end.  Also, He never had a beginning because He has always been.

God is unchangeable

1 Samuel 15:29 ESV “And also the Glory of Israel will not lie or have regret, for he is not a man, that he should have regret.””

Malachi 3:6 ESV “¶ “For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed.” 

James 1:17 ESV “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” 

Change is something that we face every day.  We look at ourselves in the mirror and can see the change in our lives.  We look at the decisions and desire that we have and see that they change as time goes along.  However, as we look at the Lord, we understand that He does not change.  He is the same yesterday and He is today.  He will not change.  His position on sin does not change.  His position on grace does not change.  His position on His promises does not change.  He is the unchangeable one.

God is all powerful (Omnipotent)

Creative Power

Genesis 1:1 ESV “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”

Speaking Power

Genesis 1:3 ESV “¶ And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.” 

Unlimited Power

Job 42:2 ESV “¶ “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.” 

Psalm 33:9 ESV “For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm.” 

Jeremiah 32:27 ESV ““Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is anything too hard for me?” 

Matthew 19:26 ESV “But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”” 

Everlasting Power

Isaiah 26:4 ESV “Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.”

Incomparable Power

Exodus 15:11–12 ESV “15:11 ¶ “Who is like you, O Lord, among the gods? Who is like you, majestic in holiness, awesome in glorious deeds, doing wonders?

15:12 You stretched out your right hand; the earth swallowed them.” 

Deuteronomy 3:24 ESV “‘O Lord God, you have only begun to show your servant your greatness and your mighty hand. For what god is there in heaven or on earth who can do such works and mighty acts as yours?”

Job 40:9 ESV “Have you an arm like God, and can you thunder with a voice like his?” 

Psalm 89:8 ESV “O Lord God of hosts, who is mighty as you are, O Lord, with your faithfulness all around you?”  

God is everywhere (Omnipresent)

Psalm 139:7–8 ESV “139:7 ¶ Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence?

139:8 If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!”

Jeremiah 23:2 ESV “Therefore thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, concerning the shepherds who care for my people: “You have scattered my flock and have driven them away, and you have not attended to them. Behold, I will attend to you for your evil deeds, declares the Lord.”3 

Ephesians 1:23 ESV “which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.”

The Lord God Almighty is a God that is everywhere.  A person can not hide from the Lord.  Through His ever presence, He sees all.

God is all knowing (Omniscient)

1 Chronicles 28:9 ESV “¶ “And you, Solomon my son, know the God of your father and serve him with a whole heart and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches all hearts and understands every plan and thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will cast you off forever.” 

Psalm 94:11 ESV “the Lord—knows the thoughts of man, that they are but a breath.” 

Daniel 2:20 ESV “Daniel answered and said: “Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, to whom belong wisdom and might.” 

Job 42:2 ESV “¶ “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.” 

Isaiah 40:28 ESV “Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable.”

Nothing can ever be hid from the Lord, because He even knows the thoughts and intents of our hearts.  We might think we are fooling the Lord and others; but, we never fool the Lord.  He is all knowing and all understanding.

God is Holy

Exodus 15:11 ESV “¶ “Who is like you, O Lord, among the gods? Who is like you, majestic in holiness, awesome in glorious deeds, doing wonders?” 

1 Peter 1:16 ESV “since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”” 

God is righteous

Psalm 116:5 ESV “¶ Gracious is the Lord, and righteous; our God is merciful.” 

Psalm 145:17 ESV “The Lord is righteous in all his ways and kind in all his works.” 

God is merciful

Psalm 103:8 ESV “The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.” 

Psalm 86:15 ESV “But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.” 

God is love

1 John 4:8–16 ESV “4:8 Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.

4:9 In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.

4:10 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

4:11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

4:12 No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.

4:13 ¶ By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit.

4:14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world.

4:15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.

4:16 So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.” 

God is faithful

1 Corinthians 1:9 ESV “God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” 

2 Timothy 2:13 ESV “if we are faithless, he remains faithful— ¶ for he cannot deny himself.” 

God is glorious

Psalm 145:5 ESV “On the glorious splendor of your majesty, and on your wondrous works, I will meditate.” 

Names of God

The names of God are unique in the Bible.  You will find a primary name and compounds added to it.

Primary names:

1. El

2. Elah

3. Elohim

4. Jehovah

5. Adon

6. Adonai

7. God

8. Lord

Compound names with El

1. Almighty God

2. Most High God

3. Everlasting God

Compound names with Jehovah

1. Lord God

2. Jehovah

3. Everlasting God

Examples:

1. Elohim – The One who is Mighty – Genesis 2:4

2. El Elyon – The One who is Supreme – Genesis 14:22

3. Adonai – The One who is Ruling – Genesis 15:2

4. El Olam – The One who is Mysterious – Genesis 21:33

5. Jireh – The One who Redeems – Genesis 22:14

6. Rophi – The One who Heals – Exodus 15:26

7. Nissi – The One who Fights for us – Exodus 17:15

8. Yekaddia – The One who is Sanctification – Exodus 31:13

9. Shalom – The One who give Peace – Judges 6:24

10. Saboath – The One who is Possessing – 1 Samuel 1:3

11. Shammah – The One who is Present – Ezekiel 48:35

12. Zidkenu – The One who is Justifying – Jeremiah 23:6

13. Elyon – The One who is Blessing – Psalms 7:17

14. Roi – The One who is Caring – Psalms 23:1

Conclusion

God the Father is the Almighty God, the Everlasting Father, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  There is no other like Him or ever will be like Him.  He is the one, true God.

Luke 11:11–13 ESV “11:11 What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent;

11:12 or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?

11:13 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!””

 

Copyrighted:  Michael K Hudson 2021

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