Dec. 8: Is there a God?
Bible Studies for Life
Psalm 19:1-6; 111 7-10
John Hull, lead pastor
Eastside Baptist Church, Marietta
Today, some of the most popular gatherings given for young, expectant, married couples are “gender-reveal” parties. Family and friends excitedly gather to discover whether the couple will have “a girl” or “a boy.”
The reveal happens when either a prearranged cake (baked with pink or blue cake mix and covered with chocolate or vanilla icing) is cut or a large balloon (pre-packed with pink or blue paper) is popped. Both actions reveal the gender of the baby prior to birth. At that moment of revelation, there is excitement – and sometimes surprise!
When you study the Bible, you discover that God has revealed Himself in various ways:
In nature: In Psalm 8:4, David writes of the heavens and the work of God’s fingers and how they created the moon and the stars. In short, like David, all we need to do is just take a look at all the beauty and majesty of nature and be quickly reminded we are eyewitnesses of the creative power of God.
In conscience: In Romans 2:14-15, Paul said that our “conscience” bears witness to what is right and wrong. There is within us a barometer of what is good and what is bad – and the ability to discriminate between what is good, what is better, and what is best. The conscience is that God-planted instinct within us to make decisions that are helpful as opposed to harmful.
In Jesus Christ: The writer of Hebrews, in the very first chapter and verses, lays out the proposition that God has spoken, i.e., revealed Himself, through prophets of old and “His Son” of whom God has appointed heir of all things and through Him that the Father made the world (Hebrews 1:1-2). In short, God had his own “reveal party” in Bethlehem, when Jesus was born from the womb of the virgin, Mary.
In the Bible: Paul was nearing the end of his ministry when he writes, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable” (2 Timothy 3:16). For Christ-followers, the Bible is the written arena where God reveals to us, word-by-word, of His existence. It’s the Word of God that guides us, encourages us, corrects us, and compels us forward, by faith! The Bible is the very revelation of God. Page by page, He reveals to us His grace, mercy, love and forgiveness.
While many things related to the ways of God and the salvation of God remain massive mysteries, it is with clarity and certainty that our God, in a variety of ways, has made Himself available to know, love, and worship. We have no excuse. Yes, our great God is incomprehensible, yet He is simultaneously knowable and approachable. And He has provided a variety of ways for us to know Him.
Take a look at a sunrise or a sunset. There, you will find God’s revealing Himself. Be still and quiet – ponder what you intuitively know what is right or wrong – and in that pondering conscience, you will find God revealing Himself. Look at Bethlehem’s manger, the sinless life of Jesus, His death, burial, and resurrection. In Him, you will find God revealed. Open the Bible and meditate on the words. On every page, you will find God revealing Himself to us.
When Paul was on a missionary assignment in Athens, Greece, he went to a spot where philosophers gathered and discussed their thoughts. Near the center of the debates was an inscription on a rock, which read “TO THE UNKNOWN GODS.” Paul used the location and slogan on the stone to preach a sermon that declared that through Jesus Christ, one can get to know the unknown God.
How God reveals
Every Christmas season, we will read or see stories about people who are experiencing great loneliness at holiday time. These are people who are lonely most of the year. However, the holidays amplify their life without relationships.
However, God revealed Himself in Jesus. With who Jesus is and what Jesus did, that lonely life can find forgiveness and eternal friendship.
One of the great messages of Christmas is that God has given us a variety of ways to know He exists. As a consequence, there’s no reason to be lonely. For God has revealed Himself to humanity through nature, conscience, Jesus Christ, and the Word of God.
Gender-reveal parties are lots of fun. But far greater and more meaningful, is that God has revealed Himself to me – and to you, generally, yet specifically.
The Psalmist confirms we are on the right path to wisdom and insight when he says: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; a good understanding have all those who do His commandments. His praise endures forever.” (Psalm 111:10)
John Hull serves as lead pastor for Eastside Baptist Church in Marietta. Click on his name above for an extended bio.