Unseen but real,
… atoms make themselves known to scientists by their behavior. The effects of that behavior are seen, real, and predictable. Atomic theory made possible the dreadful atomic bombs that were unleashed on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.
Likewise, although none of us has seen electrons, we fully believe that they exist. Because electricians follow the rules dictated by the same atomic theory, we have heat and light and other conveniences in our homes. The fact that the unseen is real and powerful validates …
Our Search for GOD
1. How has God made Himself known to us?
“Since the creation of the world [God’s] invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead.” “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork” (Romans 1:20; Psalm 19:1). Just as the atomic bomb confirms the atomic theory, and a simple light bulb confirms Thomas Edison’s practical genius, so nature confirms the presence of an intelligent Creator.
Despite the degeneration of our abused world, nature tells us about the One who made it. The melodious warbling of the birds at sunrise, the morning dew on the fragrant and delicately tinted flowers, and the glorious sunset tell us of the Creator’s sense of beauty, symmetry, and order. The stately mountains, the mighty rivers, and nature’s cycles tell us about His power and ingenuity. An animal’s care for its young tells us of God’s loving care for living things. These marvels did not just happen, just as a light bulb did not evolve from nothing. A great heart of love formed nature’s wonders for us to enjoy.
2. What extraordinary qualities does God possess?
“He who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see, to whom be honor and everlasting power.” “For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me” (1 Timothy 6:15-16; Isaiah 46:9-10). God is the immortal source of life and the Creator of all that exists. This quality distinguishes Him from all other beings.
3. What are we told about the Godhead?
“I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.” “For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one” (John 17:20-21; 1 John 5:7). The Saviour did not intend for human beings to cease to be individuals and become carbon copies of others. Rather, He knows we can be effective only as we are connected with Him and one another by the eternal principles of truth and love. The three members of the Godhead are perfectly united in purpose and divine love, yet they are three distinct persons making up one God.
4. But why doesn’t God ever appear to us?
Just like fire and water, good and evil cannot coexist. Whichever is greater will annihilate the other. This is why evil men crucified the sinless Son of God. This is why God told Moses, “There shall no man see Me, and live” (Exodus 33:20). God is holy, but humans are sinful. Wherever sin is found, God is “a consuming fire” (Hebrews 12:29). His brightness and purity would destroy us. Furthermore, even if the all-powerful God could appear to us (without our being destroyed by His brightness), we might be terrified into believing and obeying Him. But all methods of force are contrary to His nature. God wants us to have a choice.
The good news is that His great plan of deliverance from sin will, one day, enable us to physically see God. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8).
5. What is God like, physically and mentally?
“Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness’” (Genesis 1:26). The Bible tells us that God sees, hears, smells, and speaks, just as we do. Yet He is infinitely superior. God said, “My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9).
6. What other outstanding characteristics does He possess?
“The Lord passed before [Moses] and proclaimed, ‘The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin’” (Exodus 34:6-7).
7. Can we speak with God? If so, how should we address Him?
“In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in Heaven.” “As a father pities his children, so the Lord pities those who fear Him” (Matthew 6:9; Psalm 103:13). God wants us to think of Him as a loving father whom we can approach in prayer without fear.
8. Who showed us what God is like?
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God…. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” “No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him” (John 1:1-2, 14, 18). Because man can’t see God, Jesus (the Word) came in human flesh to acquaint us with Divinity. While on earth, as He went about doing good, in every thought, word, and act, Jesus revealed God to everyone. He said, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father” (John 14:9).
9. What is the relationship between the Father and the Son?
“All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men” (John 1:3-4). Christ, then, is the Creator, the Giver of life. He is fully God–“For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.” “God was manifested in the flesh” (Colossians 2:9; 1 Timothy 3:16). And He is equal with God. “[Christ] did not consider it robbery to be equal with God” (Philippians 6:6).
10. What does Jesus’ name mean?
“And she [Mary] will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). Jesus means “Saviour.” The title “Christ” means “the Anointed One.” To be anointed means to be chosen by God for a holy office.
11. Was Jesus’ decision to come to earth in human form a momentary impulse, or was there a plan?
“He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world.” “But when the fullness of time was come, God sent forth His Son” (1 Peter 1:20; Galatians 4:4). There was a divine plan, and Jesus came to this world exactly on schedule. Daniel 9:25, 26 (we will cover this in Lesson 9).
12. Who is the Holy Spirit?
“And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters” (Genesis 1:2). The third person of the Godhead was present at creation. Speaking of the Spirit, Jesus said: “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when He, the Spirit of Truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; … and He will tell you things to come.” “And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment” (John 16:12-14, 8). After Christ ascended to heaven, the Holy Spirit has continued to guide the followers of Christ.
13. What is God’s attitude toward every one of us?
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:12-13). God is available to everyone. “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:10). “We love Him, because He first loved us” (verse 19).
What about … THE VALIDITY OF FAITH IN GOD?
• Can we reconcile evolution with a belief in God?
Some believers have attempted to do so by assuming that the days of creation were one thousand years each or some other extended period. But several passages in Genesis 1 say that each day had an evening and a morning. Genesis 1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31. Other people suggest that the first verse in the Bible was not part of the first day. However, the Lord stated clearly that He created the heavens and the earth, the sea, and everything else in six days. Exodus 20:11. Objectively speaking, it takes more faith to believe the theory of evolution than it does to believe in creation. Christian scientists who believe in the Bible from the very first chapter are on the cutting edge of science today. They show that the Biblical description of origins provides the best match for the evidence found in the natural world, both inanimate and living.
Albert Einstein asked: “How could so great a symphony have no conductor?” And “All I have seen,” said Ralph Waldo Emerson, “teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen.”
A COMPARISON OF THE DIVINE BEING WITH HUMAN BEINGS
The Divine Being is:
– the Creator, the Source of life
– eternal (has no beginning or end)
– infinite (unlimited)
– immortal (not subject to death)
– omnipotent (almighty)
– omniscient (all-knowing, all-seeing)
– omnipresent (everywhere, always)
– infallible (unerring)
– goodness itself
– are His creatures, the recipients of life
– were conceived
– are limited by time, space, and so on
– are mortal
– have limited power
– have limited information
– can be in only one place at a time
– are sinners, imperfect
– are evil by nature
– can love only as we receive God’s love
If God is loving and powerful, why are there so much evil and suffering in the world? In Lesson 5 (“God’s Dilemma!”), let’s give the Bible a chance to instruct us about how evil originated, what we can do about it now, and what God will ultimately do about it.