2. God the Father
The Bible has a lot to say about God the Father, and we could not possibly cover it all in one night. Besides, we are studying the essential doctrines about Christianity, the doctrines that make Christianity, Christianity. So what does a person need to believe about God in order to be a Christian?
There is one verse in the Bible that tells us what we must believe about God in order to be a Christian: “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Heb. 11:6).
The Bible says that those who do not believe these things are fools (Ps. 14:1-3).
First of all, Heb. 11:6 says that we must believe that He is, that is, that He exists.
Atheists argue that philosophy (logic) and science always lead us to the truth. They also argue that God’s existence cannot be proven philosophically (logically) or scientifically. That is why they do not believe that he exists.
However, if philosophy always leads us to the truth, why are there so many philosophies? There is Platonism, Aristotelianism, hedonism, stoicism, utilitarianism, existentialism, nihilism, and many, many others, none of which completely agrees with any of the others.
Science is limited to dealing only with that part of the physical realm that is observable. By “observable,” scientists mean “measureable.” How do you measure a spiritual being who is bigger than the universe?
Besides, science changes its mind every 50 years.
Not once do the writers of the Bible attempt a philosophical or scientific proof of God’s existence. They do not try to prove his existence any more than they try to prove the existence of Abraham or Moses or Paul.
The Bible presents only two proofs of God’s existence. The first is in Rom. 1:18-20:
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.
God uses nature to show that he exists.
The phrase “things that are made” in v. 20 is only one word in the Greek. That word is poiema, which originally meant “anything made by hand,” but by New Testament times came to mean “a work of art.” We get our word poem from this Greek word.
So God’s existence and his character are revealed by nature, which is his poem.
This Greek word is used in only one other place in the entire New Testament: “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” (Eph. 2:10). Here the Greek word is translated as “workmanship.”
According to this verse, we are God’s poem. Our job is the same as nature’s: God wants to use us to show the world, by how we live, who he really is and that he exists. In short, God’s existence is proven by the testimony of nature and by our testimony.
Second of all, Heb. 11:6 tells us that we must believe that He is, that is, that this God exists.
Atheism was not a problem when Hebrews was written. Almost everybody believed in some sort of god. The writer of Hebrews is saying that it is not enough to believe in a god; we must believe in this God, the God who was proclaimed by Jesus Christ.
Jesus came to show us who God really is: “I have manifested Your name to the men whom You have given Me out of the world” (John 17:6). He came to manifest God’s name, that is, to show us God’s character. The best summary of God’s character is found in Exod. 33:18-19 and 34:6-7. Moses asked to see God’s glory and God said he would show Moses his goodness. In other words, God’s glory is his goodness. Some people in the world believe that God exists, but that he is a mean or vengeful or judgmental God. We must show the world that God is good.
Third of all, Heb. 11:6 says that we must believe that he is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
This also implies that he is a rewarder (or, rather, punisher) of those who do not seek him. It is not enough to simply believe in God’s existence. He wants us to enter into a relationship with him. He wants us to search for him and find him.
He constantly urged Israel to seek him: Is. 55:6-7, Jer. 29:13, Amos 5:4.
If we diligently seek him, he will reward us. What is his reward? First it is Himself. Second it is life, for he is life (Deut. 30:19-20).
So why is it necessary to believe in God and have a relationship with him?
Because that is the only way to obtain eternal life: “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent” (John 17:3).
There is one more thing that we must believe about God in order to be Christians: we must believe that this God exists because he is in fact the only God who exists.
The Scriptures tell us over and over again that the Christian God is the only God and that all of the other so-called gods do not exist.
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one!” (Deut. 6:4; quoted by Jesus in Mark 12:29).
“that all the peoples of the earth may know that the Lord is God; there is no other” (1 Kings 8:60).
Therefore concerning the eating of things offered to idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is no other God but one. For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as there are many gods and many lords), yet for us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live (1 Cor. 8:4-6).
For there is on God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus (1 Tim. 2:5).
In Isaiah’s time, Israel was heavily involved in idolatry, so God used Isaiah to emphasize the truth that the God of Israel is the only true God.
Since the other so-called gods do not really exist (or are demons), they cannot save us. We must believe in the Christian God because he is the only one who can save us (Is. 45:22) and the only one who can give us eternal life (John 17:3).