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News for Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Sunday School Lesson — Bible Studies for Life
Jan. 26: How Can I Be Sure God Exists?
By Josh Moore
1/21/2014

Focal Passage: Psalm 19:1-14

 The question over God’s existence has fueled heated debates for hundreds of years. Philosophers and theologians have sought throughout human history to find ways to prove or disprove that God exists. In Psalm 19 David does not construct a rational argument for God’s existence. He rather places confidence in God’s work of Creation and His revelation through His Word.

God reveals Himself to us through His creation (vv. 1-6). This psalm points to creation as important evidence for the existence of God. It seems more irrational to believe that the inconceivably vast and marvelous universe came about through mere random chance, than to believe it is the creation of an all-powerful God. The beauty and grandeur of the creation testify to the wisdom of God’s handiwork. Also, the fact that life even exists on the earth is a miracle. Our planet sits within what scientists call “the Goldilocks zone” to support life. The fine-tuning involved to provide the conditions necessary to bring about the complex organisms that live throughout the world begs for a Designer. When you see a building, you assume that it has a builder and architect. Likewise, the apparent design within nature and the universe serves as evidence for God. If someone questions you about the existence of God, you can answer, “Simply look around, and you will see the work of God.”

God speaks to us through His Word. (vv. 7-11). Not only does God reveal Himself through His creation, but He has also spoken to us through His Word. Pondering upon the creation’s splendor can only give us a vague sense of the Creator, but His Word enlightens us to His nature and His purpose. In His Word we find God’s story of redemption, which He has worked out through history. King David praises the Word of God for restoring our souls (v. 7), bringing wisdom (v. 7), rejoicing the heart (v. 8), enlightening us to the truths of God (v. 8), enduring forever (v. 9), and displaying the righteousness of God (v. 9). This passage highlights the necessity for us to be about the work of getting the Word of God to those who are seeking answers to life’s toughest questions. We can never win souls for Christ and prove God’s existence by just pointing to the creation and using rational arguments. We must drive people to the Word of God. How do we know that God exists? We know He exists, because He has spoken to us through His Word.

Believers respond with a confession and commitment (vv. 12-14). When we are confronted with the glory of God’s existence made manifest through His creation and declared through His Word, we are faced with the stark reality of our own sinfulness. Isaiah’s reaction to God’s glory filling the temple was to declare, “Woe is me, for I am ruined.” (Isaiah 6:5) Knowledge of God’s existence demands our penitent response. Believers approach the Creator with confession of sin in full dependence. David asks forgiveness for both willful and unintentional sins, for our open confession of sin professes our faith in the God who exists, who sees us, and hears our prayers. Our confession of faith leads us to make the commitment to live out a life that is pleasing to the Lord in word and action with right intentions. Let us echo the Psalmist’s prayer that the words of our mouths and the meditation of our hearts be acceptable to the LORD (v. 14).

David’s emphasis in this psalm teaches us that rational arguments for God’s existence, although often helpful in our conversations with unbelievers, can only go so far. God transforms lives primarily through the work of His Spirit through His Word.

Let us be committed to bringing God’s Word to those who are lost.

— Moore is the director of church relations at Union University in Jackson. He also serves as minister of education at First Baptist Church, Dresden.

 

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