Is God Real?
One of the easier ways of going about answering this question is to grapple with the person of Jesus Christ, God in the flesh. If God had not come to earth and “made his dwelling among us” (John 1:14), this would be a much harder question to answer; but He did! There is historical evidence of Jesus’ existence. There were many eyewitnesses (including parents, siblings, friends, and followers) and some of those eyewitnesses recorded their experiences.
One of the eyewitnesses to God in human form was the apostle John. John was the son of Zebedee. He and his brother, James, were two of Jesus’ twelve disciples and among the “inner circle” of Jesus’ followers. He had a very close personal relationship with Christ. John had this to say about Jesus:
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth." - John 1:1-4, 9-14
“The Word” John is talking about is Jesus. We learn this about Jesus from the above passage from the Bible:
Jesus was there in the beginning with God, and is God.
Jesus is the Creator of everything. (Only God can create life from nothing.)
Jesus was in the very world that He created. He dwelt among us for a time.
Not everyone believed he was God, but to those who did receive him and believe in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.
Jesus became flesh and many, like John, saw him and saw his glory.
Francis Schaeffer spelled out three reasons for the existence of God in his classic, He Is There And He Is Not Silent.
1. The Metaphysical Necessity
“If a finite point does not have an infinite reference point, it is meaningless and absurd.”
- Jean-Paul Sartre
“Man is personal and yet he is finite, and so he is not a sufficient integration point for himself” (Schaeffer). To prove the existence of anything, we need to go back to its source. The source of existence is perhaps the biggest question in the universe. John provided historical evidence for Jesus and fully believed that Jesus was God, as did many others. For proof of the existence of God though, we must go to the source. In this case, the source is God Himself. Because God is infinite and eternal, He has no other source than Himself. God, the source of all things, is thankfully not silent. He gave us the living Word, Jesus, and the written Word, what we now call the Bible. “He has spoken, in verbalized, propositional form, and he has told us what his character is” (Schaeffer).
2. The Moral Necessity
“We need to know who he is, and what his character is, because his character is the law of the universe. He has told us what his character is, and this becomes our moral law, our moral standard” (Schaeffer). If God is perfectly righteous (which He is because He told us He is), His perfect righteousness is our moral law and our moral standard. We are not perfectly righteous. One could say that humans are fatally flawed. Our fatal flaw is that we are not God, and we have strayed from His moral standard. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). We fall short.
3. The Epistemological Necessity
In short, the Epistemological Necessity is “the theory of knowledge, or how we know, or how we know we know” (Schaeffer). In his book, Schaeffer referenced Plato who had “put forward the concept of ideals”. Schaeffer used an illustration of a chair. In order to “know” if a chair is a good chair, an ideal chair must exist. To know anything at all, we must have an ideal, or universal, upon which to base our knowledge. The heart of the problem is knowing, “and it is not solved until our knowledge fits under the apex of the infinite-personal, triune God who is there and who is not silent” (Schaeffer).
It turns out that John’s description of God is very important. And don’t forget that John’s words are really God’s words, because they were inspired by God (2 Timothy 3:16). God was at the beginning. He is the creator and source of ALL life. “Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made” (John 1:3). He is our infinite reference point, and He isn’t silent. He left us verbalized, propositional proof of His existence and His character and He left us a moral law, written in His Word and on our hearts (Romans 2:15).
He is perfectly righteous, therefore, our moral standard is perfection. As humans, each and every one of us fall short of that standard. The consequence of this failure is spiritual death (Romans 6:23) and eternal separation from God. And yet, God desires to be in relationship with us. To show us the way back to Him, He came to earth in human form and made his dwelling among us. He brought light to our dark world. Many did not receive him, but for those who did, and do even today, he gives the right to become children of God! Therefore, through belief in Him, our relationship with God is restored!
So much more can and has been said regarding the question, “Is God Real?” The answer is yes. He is real and He is not silent. He has left us with all the answers we need. He promises that if you seek Him, You will find Him.
“…the Lord searches every heart and understands every desire and every thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever” (1 Chronicles 28:9b).
Blog by Kristi Walker of CrossWay International Baptist Church.
Published on 27. October 2020 from Berlin, Germany.
Photo by Marc-Olivier Jodoin on Unsplash.