We live at a time (and have done so for hundreds of years and in some cases, thousands of years) where the belief in deity is not limited to one god. Many religions believe in a plurality of gods, with some having in excess of a million gods to their tally. Others again refuse to believe in the existence of God. They want scientific proof there is a god or gods. That is strange and rings the same story over many years! Take as an example:
Rom 1:19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.
The atheist rejects there is a God, yet the very creation in which he or she lives and exists declares there is a God. The agnostic person does not believe … nor disbelieve there is a god or religious doctrine. What they do though is assert that it’s impossible for human beings to know anything about how the universe was created and whether or not divine beings exist. Without listing other examples you are able to see that rejecting the Bible leaves a person open to choose and design whatever belief system, (religion) they want. (Though any believe or disbelief about God, the Bible and creation amounts to religion.)
1) For those belonging to Jesus Christ, without being forced, coerced or indoctrinated, because of regeneration we believe there is a God who created, even before we get to read it in the Bible. As Romans 1:19 says, it is plain to us! We declare … “We believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth”. When we open the Bible to the very first page and read …
Ge 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth …
We believe it. In fact we stand proudly and boldly say … “That’s my God!” In the Bible’s “Hall of Fame” (Hebrews 11) we read:
Heb 11:3 By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.
We believe Truth and the reason we believe Truth is because the God of Truth dwells within us. How can we not? This is why we adamantly reject theories such as evolution because our God is so huge and great and mighty … that He is able to create everything that exists, our universe and any other universes out of nothing! That is what the Latin means … “ex nihilo” … out of nothing.
Friend, does this not excite you? When you say you believe that God created the Heaven and the Earth … you are saying that up there in outer space (Heaven) and this planet we live on … God spoke it into being! There was nothing (nihilo) and out of nothing (ex nihilo) the God of the Bible (Our Father), spoke everything into existence. Our human minds cannot grasp such intricate divine science until the Spirit makes us alive in Jesus. Only then are we able to accept by “faith”. Beloved, stop for a moment or two and contemplate what was just said. We are far from God’s league … yet as His children He enables us to understand Divine Truth … and because the Spirit has enabled faith in our souls … we believe. If the Spirit had not given Spiritual Life to our dead souls, we would have been no different to the most educated atheist, arguing his or her evolutionary religion.
Having declared our believed in God the Father Almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth, we move onto …
2) Declaring our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. In the same way we declare faith is God the Father, we say … “I believe in Jesus Christ.” Remember we believe in One God who presents Himself in three distinct persons. We dealt with God the Father briefly, now we come to God the Son. Although we will return to it, we must never forget the love and union between the persons of the Godhead. Taking the Lord Jesus as an example … we read:
Jn 1:14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
The “glory of the One and Only” is also translated as “the only Begotten” The same phrase appears in John 3 a few times … then:
Jn 3:35 The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in his hands
Jn 5:20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does
Jn 10:17 The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again.
Such love to us is incomprehensible, yet by faith we believe that perfect love is enjoyed and shared between the members of the Godhead. In his letter John writes in two places, “God is love”.
1 Jn 4:8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love
1 Jn 4:15 If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God. 16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.
Before we proceed, may I ask that we examine our ability to love?
(a) Have you ever 0tried to shape, explain or understand what it means when you say to God … “I love You God”? I know it is easy to say those words. We eagerly and easily declare our love for God, but what do we mean? This is a hard and challenging question but it must cause us to confront ourselves with “true love”. Words are easy, but deep emotions and actions are difficult. True love must be sacrifice:
1 Jn 5:3 This is love for God: to obey his commands. Beloved, right here is the yardstick for love.
True love is seeking to obey God’s commands … obey everything from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21. It’s not easy! It is progressive as more knowledges comes to us.
(b) Have you ever tried to shape, explain or understand what it means when you say you love your brothers and sisters in Jesus? Never forget that Biblical love is not firstly an emotion
Eph 4:32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
The measure of love for the brothers and sisters lies in “forgiveness” … but not just saying “I forgive you” … rather … forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. There are no conditions here. God forgives and never remembers our sin again. This is how we need to love each other in Jesus … forgiving God’s way!
(c) Have you ever tried to shape, explain or understand what it means when you say you love the Gospel? If you love God you have to love the Gospel and the focus of the Gospel is lost souls. That is God’s business. To measure whether you love God’s work on earth is to ask whether you love evangelism.
Dear God, teach us by You Spirit how to love the way You love. Amen.