The One True God - Part 1

Selected Scriptures

Tom Pennington  •  March 21, 2004
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Well, we begin our study tonight, and I have been looking forward so much to getting here. And we're not going to hurry through this either because I think what I'd like to do is concentrate in the weeks and months ahead on the individual attributes of God. Initially, tonight is a little bit introductory as we look at some issues I think we need to look at. But what I like about this section, and a number of sections, more so really than bibliology is: we're going to be looking at issues, and we're going to be looking texts that not only will inform your mind, but even more so than with the study of the Scripture that we did, I hope and trust stir your heart. Because this is what it means to have eternal life. Christ said in John 17:3, it is to know You the only true God in Jesus Christ whom You've sent. So, we're talking about really the heart of our faith, and we talk about theology proper. You remember that phrase?

Theology is the total term for all that the Scripture teaches about various topics. One of the topics it addresses is bibliology: that is the study of what the Bible says about itself. The next in order is theology proper: that is what the Scripture says about the nature and character of our God.

I was raised in a Christian home. My father, as I mentioned to you before, was a nightclub entertainer before I was born is what I should say. And he came to faith in Christ and began to serve in the church as a music director. He took his musical skills and the Lord used them after some training to direct the worship of God's people. So, I was raised in a Christian home, but I was raised in Mobile, Alabama, and (at least where I grew up) there really weren't solid churches. We were in a variety of southern Baptist churches, and some of them were better than others. Believe it or not, the one I described this morning was one of the better in terms of the teaching and preaching that we received but still filled with a number of immature and fleshly people, and I'm sure some were unconverted as well. But when I look back on what I learned up until I was 18 years old, I'm largely disgusted with one aspect of it, and that is what I was taught and told about God.

But I'll never forget as a new Christian (I was saved when I was a senior in high school, and I'll never forget as a new Christian, and I don't know where it came from I think it was my sister's who I don't think had ever read it, but she had this book) and being the curious person that I was, I was sorting through the bookshelf one day, and I came across this little book that looked like something that I could handle, called The Knowledge of the Holy by A.W. Tozer. And I pulled it off the shelf, and I thought, well I'll flip through a couple of pages here, this'll be interesting, and it wasn't a paragraph in until I found myself enraptured with what he was saying. Because he was talking about God as I thought I saw God presented in the Scripture, but I've never heard Him presented in a setting like this. And I remember that that incredible opening of my mind as I began to comprehend that God was far bigger than I had conceived Him to be. That He was far greater than I could ever imagine, and I remember I'd intended to spend five minutes glancing through this book, and then I was going to put it back on the shelf and go do something else. Instead, I found myself the rest of the afternoon in a chair locked into A.W. Tozer's book and absolutely carried away with the majesty of our God.

That is my hope for all of us as we begin this study. I don't want this to be an academic sort of pursuit. Certainly it has to be that in the sense that were going to pursue information that we need to have in our minds but if it stops there then I will have failed and I trust that this will be a time when you and I am even now as I study these things and prepare to teach you my own heart is absolutely blown away by the majesty of our God. And that's what I want in my heart of hearts to sort of in some weak way communicate to you.

I want to start our study in Exodus 3, Exodus 3. This really fits nicely with the song that Kirsten just sang. Exodus 3, Moses has is now 80 years old. Remember that for forty years he was in Egypt. And then because he saw this Egyptian beating up on one of his Jewish brothers, and he went and took matters into his own hands and slew the Egyptian, it came back to haunt him. It had been witnessed. He fled for his life, and for forty years now Moses has been on the backside of nowhere. This great man raised in the halls of Egypt, in fact and we'll get into this some point when we do a survey of old testament history. But probably the woman that found Moses was a woman by the name (and you won't name your children this trust me) Hatshepsut. Now the important thing to know about that is Hatshepsut was the most powerful woman in all of Egyptian history. She was the only woman pharaoh ever to sit on the throne. And if that is correct, and I believe it is, then there were at least two to three occasions in the life of Moses when he could have become the pharaoh of Egypt. But instead Moses is on the backside of the desert keeping sheep. Why did he do that?

Well Hebrews tells us. He considered the reproach of the Messiah greater than all the treasures of Egypt. Here is a man 1400 years before Christ is born who lives his life, makes life-changing decisions on the basis of the Messiah who will come. But Moses is just having an ordinary day; forty years he's done this, and this is not going to be an ordinary day. Verse 1 chapter 3, now Moses was pasturing flocks of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the west side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God.

The angel of the Lord appeared to him in a blazing fire from the midst of the bush. If you're familiar with Old Testament history you recognize that name the angel of the Lord, that is a preincarnate appearance of Jesus Christ. This is the second person of the trinity. And He's appearing in this bush that burns but doesn't consume. Now notice Moses' response. This is what I want you to see. He looked and behold the bush was burning with fire yet the bush was not consumed.

I mean let's face it, life can get a bit dreary in the desert. There was no sports event to watch, there was no television to watch, probably very few books for him to read, if any. And here's something that piqued his interest. Verse 3, so Moses says to himself (it's interesting Moses puts this in you know he's writing this, and he's sort of remembering that day, and he says you know I said to myself self) let's turn aside now and see this marvelous sight this is pretty interesting why the bush is not burned up. At this point Moses has no idea what is going on. All he has is curiosity about this thing that he's seeing, this event, and so he wanders over to check it out.

Verse 4, when the LORD, there is our clear reference that the angel of the LORD is Yahweh himself as Jehovah God, when the LORD saw that he turned aside to look God called to him from the midst of the bush and said "Moses, Moses!" And he said, "Here I am."

Well now it gets a little more interesting. This bush that isn't burning is now calling his name. I want to see what God says to him. Moses turns aside out of curiosity to see a bush that burns but isn't consumed. But watch what God says to him. He says do not come near here. Remove your sandals from your feet for the place on which you're standing is holy ground. Take your shoes off you're own holy ground. Verse 6 he said also I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.

What an amazing event for Moses. God declares Himself to be the very God of those whom he knows to be his ancestors and those who he holds in high regard. He knows that God appeared to them, that God appeared Abraham, God appeared Isaac, God appeared to Jacob, and miraculous thing God is now appearing to him but notice Moses response. Then Moses hid his face for he was afraid to look at God. I don't know what comes to your mind when you read that passage, but to me it's the stark contrast between most of Christianity today, and that is shocking. Most people, as Kirsten was singing today, become so familiar with God that He's like their best bud. They talk to Him as if he were like them. But God says when Moses starts coming near, Moses comes out of curiosity, comes aside to look out of curiosity, and got instead, God says take off your shoes, and Moses realizes it's such a momentous event that he hides his face because he says I can't look anymore now that I know that its God.

This is not an uncommon reaction on seeing God. You're familiar with them. Let me just give you a few of them. Genesis 17:3, Abram fell on his face. Judges 13:22, "… Manoah said to his wife, 'We will surely die, for we have seen God." First Kings 19:13, "When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance the to the cave." I know God is passing by he said, but I'm not going to look. You're familiar of course with Isaiah 6 when the whole foundation of the temple trembled at the voice of God, and Isaiah says, "Woe is me, … I am ruined for I am a man of unclean lips, And I live among a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King the LORD of hosts." Daniel 10:7, "Now I, Daniel, alone saw the vision, while the men who are with me did not see the vision; nevertheless, a great dread fell on them, and they ran away to hide themselves." Daniel 10:8, "So I was left alone and saw this great vision; yet no strength was left in me, for my natural color turned to a deadly pallor, and I retained no strength."

Luke 5:8, when Simon Peter saw what Christ had done, he fell down at Jesus' feet saying, "Go away from me Lord, for I am a sinful man!" You remember the scene on Sinai? Listen to what Hebrews says about Moses. Quoting the Old Testament, so terrible was the sight that Moses said "I am full of fear and trembling." Hebrews 12:28 and 29 says, "let us … offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire."

I don't think most of you who've grown up in Texas can appreciate the image of God as a consuming fire. If you've ever lived in California you can. You've seen the pictures perhaps on the news of these massive wildfires in the west sweeping down the hillsides and destroying everything in their path leaving absolutely nothing. Nothing to do to stop it, but just get out of the way. Our God is a consuming fire.

And Revelation 1:17, when John saw the risen Christ he says, "I fell at His feet like a dead man. And He placed His right hand on me, saying, Do not be afraid…." That is how we should respond. As we prepare to seek to plumb the depths of the revelation of God about Himself, we should learn from a man by the name of Donald McCloud who wrote this in a book called, Behold Your God. Listen to what he says, "God is not simply a great sight, the object of speculative curiosity. The revelation of His glory, and the whole theological process which legitimately follows from it, is holy ground. We cannot stand as superiors over God or His word. We may not coldly and detachably analyze and collate the great self-revealing deeds and utterances of Jehovah. We may not theologize without emotion and commitment. The doctrine must thrill and exhilarate. It must humble and cast down. And here's what I want to get. Theology has lost its way, and indeed, its very soul if it cannot say with John, I fell at his feat as dead. That's what I want us to understand as we approach the study of our God.

Tonight, I want us to begin to study theology proper with the Bible teaches about the person of God. As I said this is a study we can't take lightly. In fact, as we embark on this journey of the character of God let me sort of chart our course. What is I hope to accomplish? Our objectives are these: first of all I want you to come to understand, to gain a basic or better, develop a greater understanding of the biblical teaching about the person and work of God. Why is that important? Well, I mentioned A.W. Tozer's work. I'll never forget those lines in the first part of this book he said a right conception of God is basic not only to systematic theology but to practical Christian living as well. It is to worship what the foundation is to the temple. Where it is inadequate, that is this right conception of God or out of plumb, the whole structure must sooner or later collapse. I believe there is scarcely an error in doctrine or of failure in applying Christian ethics. In other words, I don't think there's an error in doctrine or an error in living that cannot be traced finally to imperfect and ignoble thoughts about God. This is why this is so important. Because when you and I choose to sin, ultimately what we are doing is we are confessing to a deficient view of God.

Secondly, I want us to be challenged to further study. The Bible, all of the Bible, is God's self-revelation, and it's within its pages that we discover everything God wanted us to know about Him. Oh, we can benefit from general revelation. We can enjoy seeing the majesty and the beauty and the grandeur of our God displayed in creation, in providence in our lives. We can appreciate the fact that God allows us to understand something of His holiness in our conscience as it corrects us. The conscience never directs, it corrects. But the Scripture is God's full self-revelation, and I want to encourage you in our study to further study.

The Scripture is not a manual about living primarily. Oh it is that. It directs us how to live, but every time you come to the Bible, every time you and I open its pages, you know what we should be looking for? First and foremost we should be looking for what it tells us about God. Do you do that? When you open the Bible, when you read its pages, do you look for God? Do you look for something that's true about Him? One of the most encouraging things I was ever challenged to do as a young believer was to make a list as I study the Scripture. Every time I came across something that was said about God, something that was true about Him, I was challenged to write it down. Just make a list a running list of everything I come across in my reading and study that the Bible says is true about God. That's what we should be doing.

Thirdly, I want you to develop a desire for closer fellowship with God. Honestly I don't know many people who have the depth of relationship with God that I want to immolate. I want us in this study to develop in our own hearts a greater and deeper desire to know our God. That's what the Christian life is about. That's why you're here tonight. Oh you may not know it but the real hunger of your heart is to see God for who He is. And seeing Him, to enjoy Him and to glorify Him.

And that brings me the final point. The shorter catechism says, "What is the chief end of man?" Why are you may made? Why are you here? What's your life about? Here it is: to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever. And that's what I want our study is awarded to produce and to generate.

Tonight, we're going to begin by looking specifically at the existence of God. The existence of God. Man has (when you look at this man has an) intuitive knowledge of God. We've already looked at this in detail so I won't belabor it. But every man has an awareness of God's existence it his heart because man was created in the image of God. This intuitive knowledge of God is universal. God says it's true of every man. Romans 1 makes that clear. So that every man is without excuse. So, it's absolutely universal. It's interesting, even when you look at statistics about religion, the world religions, that's true.

I pulled my little trusty dusty world almanac off the shelves this week, and here's what I discovered. There are five billion plus people in the world. Of those there are a hundred and fifty million professing atheists. Of five plus billion there are seven hundred and seventy-one million people who call themselves nonreligious in other words they are practical atheists, they live as if God doesn't exist. That means that more than four billion of the world's people believe in the existence of a superior power or being. There is a universal testimony to that.

Now, they're not worshiping the true God (most of them are not), but nevertheless, it shows this universal innate knowledge of God. They have (as Romans 1 says) distorted the knowledge of God. They have twisted and perverted that knowledge, but it's there. Also this intuitive knowledge is necessary. In other words, there's no real satisfactory way of accounting for this universal belief I just described except that such a belief is founded on the very constitution of our nature, who we are. But more importantly it's scriptural. It's scriptural. Let me just remind you again, we're not going to look at these passages in detail because we have before, but for those of you who weren't here, let me just call them to your attention.

Romans 1. Romans 1:18, For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness [that has is a word a Greek word that means a lack of respect for and dependence on God] and unrighteousness [that has to do with our behavior primarily toward other people. So, this is where we're out of sorts with God, we're out of sorts with others, and we] "… suppress the truth in unrighteous." [We hold down the truth and unrighteousness.]

The picture is of someone trying desperately to keep something down and covered that he knows is there. He knows it's under the blanket that he's trying to cover, but he's doing his best to keep it suppressed, to hold it down. Because, here's why. Why do they need to suppress this truth?

[Because it's known, it's known because it's evident within them.] … God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, [even] His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God they didn't honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations…. [Then it traces the degeneration of mankind.]

Turn to 2:14, and you see another component of this. This innate knowledge that God has given. Verse 14,

For when [the] Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law are a Law to themselves, … [in that] they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing else defending them,

Let me just simplify all that for you. If we were looking at it exegetically, we would take more time, but let me just give you the big picture. That is saying that God has written on every human heart a knowledge of His will, a knowledge of His moral law. We can skew that knowledge. We can distort it. We can ignore it. We can even sear our conscience against the awareness of it, but God put it there as a source of correction to us.

Now, what are these verses I just pointed out to you, what do they imply? Well, Strong in his Systematic Theology says this about what those verses teach us about God. First of all, they teach us that there is a reason, that is, a reasonable rational being in which their mental processes are grounded. Because they what may be known of God they understand there's this reason.

Secondly, there is a power above them in which they are dependent. They see His eternal power.

Thirdly, Strong said there is a perfection which imposes law upon their moral natures. Notice verse 14 again, very interesting, "For when the Gentiles who do not have the Law…" [remember God gave His Law to the children of Israel, but Gentiles who didn't receive the Law] "do instinctively the things of the law…."

What do you mean they do them? I thought unbelievers didn't do the Law. Well, "do" here means that they do partially. There is an acknowledgment, an attempt to do some of those things. And also, I think the sense is they recognize the value of it, and they strive in some cases to do it in a selfish self-centered non-God focused way, only to sort of bring some sort of glory to themselves.

But notice what he says, the Greek word translated "instinctively" literally is the word "by nature". It speaks of that which belongs to the original constitution of man as opposed to that something he acquires or something he learns, or something he creates. In other words, nobody had to learn this, nobody had to be taught, no child had to be taught by his parents this. This is something that is written on the constitution of man. He's born with this awareness as verse 15 says the "work" of the Law. Literally, the "substance" of the Law. The basic ideas of right and wrong. And Strong also said that these verses that we're looking at here in Romans 1 and 2 showed a personality we must recognize and worship even when they knew God that concept of knowing God and then turning the worship of the true God into the worship of beasts. They understood the concept of God was a person who had to be worshiped but this innate knowledge this intuitive knowledge has been rejected.

Sigmund Freud in his book The Future of an Illusion argued that man invented God. He says man invented God because we have the sort of deep-seated fears of living in a frightening world over which we have no control. One of the fears Freud says drove man to invited God. Well three basically. Freud said there are three fears that drove man to come up with the concept of God.

Number one, the fear of nature. That is natural disasters, famine, disease. You see we have no defense so we create a God who will protect us. When I was growing up in Mobile I'll never forget one summer, the summer of hurricane Camille. Some of you who grew up on the Gulf Coast will remember. We were told that we might be in the landing zone, and we started a day or two in advance shuttering the windows and putting boards over every piece of glass and finding a way to sort of endure the storm. In God's providence, it went just to the west of us and hit the Mississippi Gulf Coast, but a couple of days during the storm we rode it out in our house, and even at that distance it was a fright filled night hearing all of these trees fall. We had two acres at the time and 26 trees were down in our yard. As soon as we could drive on the roads, we drove down the Mississippi Gulf Coast and were shocked by the devastation. We saw these antebellum homes on the Gulf Coast which the tide surge had taken barges and driven them into the third story of these homes. And I was struck with the incredible power. We actually saw a pine needle driven into a tree by the force of the wind. Freud said when man sees that, he just immediately turns and wants there to be somebody to get him out of that to protect him.

He said not only because of our fear of nature, but also because of our fear relationships. You see people treat others badly. And we want somebody to write all the wrongs. We want somebody to bring justice, and so we invented this idea of God.

And he said, thirdly, we have this fear of death. Since we think it's terrifying that we might cease to exist, we desperately want to believe that there is a God who will take us to a happy place after this life. That's what Freud said. What's ironic about it is that Freud had it completely backward.

According to Romans 1 man does everything he can to deny the truth that God exists. He didn't go out of his way to invent God. He hopes it isn't true, and he suppresses the truth. Notice verse 18 of Romans 1, suppress the truth. You see in our day man does everything he can to turn the evidence for God into something else. He calls it evolutionary process. He calls it nature. By the way, as Christians let's do our best not to use the word nature. I understand we do that sometimes without thinking, but what happens in the world around us is not an impersonal force. We'll study this when we get to providence. God controls everything. As the great hymn says, that every storm is sent by order from his throne. Yes, God has put secondary processes in place. There's this hydrological cycle that breaks up water into the clouds and brings the clouds, and yes, all of that occurs, but God is intimately involved with that process still. But man takes all of the evidence for God, and he turns it into a force called nature. What I find fascinating is that's not new. Listen to John Calvin in his institutes.

He says can anything be more detestable than that this madness in man which finding God a hundred times both in his body and his soul makes his excellence in this respect a pretext for denying that there is a God. [Now listen to what he says.] He will not say that is man will not say that chance has made him differ from the brute that perish but substituting nature as the architect of the universe he suppresses the name of God.

Look at the words, he uses "nature" instead of the name of God. He doesn't want to talk about God, and so he just calls it all nature. The same is true in our world. So, man has absolutely rejected this innate knowledge. So how do we convince man? If he ignores the innate knowledge he has, how do we convince him? Well, some say we should go to the classic rational arguments for the existence of God. Now let me take you through two different approaches. You have an unbeliever before you, and you're going to try to persuade that unbeliever who says, either A. I'm an atheist I don't believe God exists, or B. I'm an agnostic. I don't know that anybody can know for sure that God exists. How you approach that person? Well, there two approaches that are common in Christian circles. Let me give them to you.

The first approach is that of the evidentialist, you get the point in the word itself it means to present evidences. This is the sort of Josh McDowell approach to the unbeliever. Basically, it says that there is this common pool of facts. He approaches the unbeliever on the ground that we all possess this common pool of facts and a careful use of reason to assess these facts will lead either to an agreement the person will agree with the truth, or perhaps they will even accept Christ as a result of that. So, I can use these facts that are part of the world around us and these arguments that we're going to talk about in a moment, and I can bring a person to agree with that truth and possibly even to accept Christ. Now the people who were evidentialists, many of them believe in the sovereignty of God and salvation. They're not saying that a man can just hear these arguments and by the force of his own intellect conclude that they're correct and come to Christ. What they're saying no is God will use this God will use these arguments, and it's a legitimate way to approach an unbeliever.

But let me give you the other approach, and it's the one I would suggest to you we ought to take. It's what's called the presuppositionalist approach. The presuppositionalist basically comes to the unbeliever with the presupposition that God exists. He doesn't seek to prove it to him, instead he goes after the unbeliever with the truth of what God has said. Now why would he do that? Let me give you what the presuppositionalists embrace. Here's the theology behind presuppositionalism.

First of all, he believes that God has revealed Himself in creation, providence, and conscience. Going back all the way to general revelation. Remember when we talked about that? God has revealed Himself. He is clearly sending a signal to every man through His creation through providence His ordering of the affairs the world and through that person's conscience. God is talking. A person may not be listening, in fact, they aren't listening, but God is talking.

Secondly, the presuppositionalist says man knows that revelation, and he knows it to be true. He may be trying to shut his mind off. He may be like the little kid with his fingers in his ears mumbling to himself to keep from hearing what his sibling is saying, but he knows he knows. I know your children never do that, that's why I saw so many smiles.

Thirdly, man willfully and sinfully chooses to deny that truth or to disregard that revelation. As Romans 1 said to suppress it, to hold it down. Man suppresses it.

Forth, in fact, man is dead to God and unable to choose good if confronted with it. In other words and this goes to the issue of does man have free will? And we'll get there, but let me just give you a short preview of coming attractions the answer is yes and no. Yes he has a free will in the sense that a man, God has created us with the capacity to choose, to make decisions. But can a man who is dead in sin who is dead in transgressions and sins according to Ephesians 2:1. Can that man respond to the truth of God, understand it, believe it and accept it as his own without the work of God? The answer is absolutely not. He is unable to choose good. Man chooses. He has a free will and with his free will, because he is fallen, he will always choose wrong, always. He's not like a clock that strikes twice a day he's always wrong. Therefore unbelievers cannot be rationally argued into saving faith. Instead God must regenerate them. Ephesians 2:5 we were dead in transgressions and sins, and God by His mercy and grace made us alive.

Now how does God accomplish that regeneration? That brings us to the next point on the presuppositionalist list. It's the Spirit's use of the Word. God accomplishes regeneration by means of the Spirit using the Word of God. We've looked at that on a number of occasions since I've been here. The Holy Spirit takes the Word of God, He applies it to the heart of the sinner, He brings conviction, He brings faith. So, that means that the proving of God to an unbeliever (if you take all of those arguments, and you look at them in order, you understand them, proving God to an unbeliever) is not only impossible (as we'll see in a moment there are no proofs rational proofs for the existence of God. Not only is it impossible), but it is unnecessary. You're proving something to him that he already knows. He may be denying it. He may be suppressing it, but it's pointless to try to continue to argue with him.

One writer, writing about presuppositionalism says this: the presuppositional apologists (you understand an apologist is one who defends the faith), so someone who has a presuppositional approach maintains that the truth of God's self-authenticating word should be presupposed from start to finish throughout one's witness. In other words, you don't try to argue an unbeliever into believing the Word of God or into believing that there is a God. That doesn't mean you don't occasionally throw out an argument to sort of knock the props out from under their refusal to believe, but you will never convince them to believe by the power of your arguments because they're dead!

I've told you before and someone was asking about before the service, they wanted to chat about my funeral home experiences. You know I worked in a funeral home when I was in seminary. Let me tell you, you will not get far in an argument with a corpse. They're not going to respond, they're going to lay there, going to do nothing. They're not going to see the majesty of your argument. They're dead!

The presuppositionalist values logic, but he understands that apart from God there's no reason to believe that the laws of logic correspond to reality. He values science, but he understands that apart from God, there is no reliable basis for doing science. He values ethics, but he understands that apart from God, moral principles are simply changing conventions, and today's vices can become tomorrow's virtues. Boy are we seeing that the world around us. Therefore, he thinks that the Christian evidentialist, the one presents evidences, is being untrue to his own faith when he grants to the unbeliever a hypothetical possibility of this being a non-theistic world. In other words, a world in which there is no God. He reminds the evidentialist that it is not God who is the felon on trial. Men are the felons. It is not God's character and word which are questionable, men's are. And it is not a Christian who is the unauthorized intruder into this world. This is his Father's world, and the Christian is at home in it. It is not then the Christian, primarily, who must justify his Christian presence in the world, but the non-Christian who must be made to feel the burden of justifying his non-Christian views. It's not my job to convince an unbeliever that God exists, it's his job to convince me that God doesn't. Because this is God's world.

Let me just give you an illustration of this. Suppose for a moment, and I don't recommend anyone to actually go to see a psychiatrist, but suppose for a moment there was a psychiatrist who has a patient who lives in a dream world, and this patient believes that it's the doctor who's insane, and he's the doctor. Now think about this for a moment. How does the psychiatrist go about helping this patient who's out of his mind? When the patient thinks he's the doctor, and it's the doctor that's insane, the true doctor that's insane. How do you straighten all that out? What do you do if you're the psychiatrist? Do you somehow try to enter into this insane person's world and using laws from his world convince him that he's not right?

You'd say, no, of course not, that makes no sense. Instead, the doctor, the psychiatrist must stand outside of that person's world continuing (sort of knocking from the outside) saying, you're wrong, your worldview is wrong. I want to help you. The same thing is true in the presentation of the gospel. We don't climb inside the unbelievers world, who's all confused in his thinking, and try to convince him from his own worldview that what we believe is true. Instead, we stand outside of his world telling him this is what God your Creator w,hom you understand to some degree in your heart, has said. This is the demand God makes upon you.

Now, with that in mind, let me give you the primary rational arguments. There are many of these, but let me give you the primary ones that have been offered. On second thought let me not.

Where did our time go? My goodness. Alright well next time we'll take a brief look at the primary rational arguments for God, and then will get past the sort of introductory theoretical side which is still important, but then we'll get to looking at the Scripture and what it has to say about the greatness and magnitude of our God. But I hope your heart has been challenged. I hope you've been reminded that in the end we have to come to the unbeliever with the truth of God, knowing that he already knows, knowing that God has made it clear and made it evident to him, and he is simply suppressing the truth that he knows. And we have to use the truth of God because that's the tool the Spirit of God will use to the bring life.

Let's pray together.

Father, thank you that this is Your world.

Lord, I pray that You would help us to believe Your truth. Help us to believe the reality that You do not believe in atheists. There are men who have convinced themselves that they are simply suppressing the truth that You have made evident to them. Lord, help us to take the gospel and treat it like a gun, a gun that doesn't need to be defended, but simply needs to be fired. Lord, use Your truth in our lives, and use Your truth in the lives of those we share the truth with.

Thank you that You are God. Thank you that You have revealed Yourself to us. Lord, help us to learn. Give us hungry hearts. Lord, fill our hearts with the knowledge of Yourself. Make us hungry and thirsty like David after You. And Lord may our study slake that thirst and fill that hunger.

We pray in Jesus name. Amen.