LifeWay Bible Studies for Life Series for September 12: The case for God’s existence

LifeWay Bible Studies for Life Series for September 12: The case for God’s existence focuses on Psalm 19:1-6; Acts 17:22-29; Hebrews 1:1-2.

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Look at how much time and energy is spent on advertising in our world. Everything from shampoo to sparkplugs is up for grabs if only enough people know about it and are willing to give your product a try. The Super Bowl is a great example of marketers and advertising agencies willing to spend more money than some third world countries will have in an entire year for 30 seconds to one minute of your attention.

Why are they willing to do such a thing? That’s an easy one—because they know we’re willing to listen to them as long as we find their ad is worthy of our curiosity and attention. Hmmm.

Now let’s take that same thought and put in into Psalm 19:1-6. Think of the meaning of David’s words like an ad campaign for God, because in a way, isn’t that what he’s done in order to make himself known to us? All of nature, in its splendor and majesty is pointing back to and trying to call attention to its Creator.

Is it enough to capture our attention? If it isn’t, then why not? Even nature knows and understands the importance of God. Very plainly in verses 1 and 2 it says they are declaring, proclaiming and displaying knowledge. How wonderful is that? And it’s happening day after day, night after night all around us if we will only stop and notice it. When was the last time you went out for a walk just to look at nature? You could learn a lot from a flower or a bird.

David, the man after God’s own heart, knew there was a great designer for everything around him and was convinced creation was calling back to and honoring its Creator. The Apostle Paul also understands this as he writes in Romans 8 that creation itself is in a state of expectation and that it groans for the redemption it knows is coming.

This is serious to God and not simply some trivial matter, so much so that God holds man accountable to it. Paul writes to the church at Rome that all mankind, men and women, are responsible for knowing God exists (Romans 1:19-20). It’s no wonder then that when man carved a cow or some other animal figure out of stone or wood and then worshipped that instead of God, it angered him.

For some time now, there has been this great debate over science and theology. Which is stronger? Which is believable? Which is true? But what if instead of an “either/or” situation, it’s actually a “both/and” situation? That God has given man science to further reveal and explain himself, and when science comes up short, faith then kicks in.

What is needed is discernment in these instances and a good balance of healthy science and healthy interpretation, but certainly with God coming out on top. The mere fact that mankind has been able to achieve so much in such a relatively short amount of time should, in and of itself, be evidence of guiding influence. Especially when it’s easy to see what knuckleheads we can be.

Many scholars and theologians have speculated on the identity of the writer of Hebrews and yet, we still do not know definitively who wrote it. What we do have in Hebrews is rich theology. From the very start, the writer lays the groundwork for the rest of the book.

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In short, the writer says, Jesus didn’t just carry the message of God to the world, Jesus was and is the message. Do you see the difference? Jesus isn’t just someone else to listen to or look at and “appreciate,” he is to be believed in. To believe in Jesus is to believe in the message of God. The writer in Hebrews 1:1-3 essentially says Jesus is the exclamation point on thousands of years of faith.

When Paul stood up in Athens and began to talk with them about their gods and who they are worshipping, he simply is connecting with them at the most basic level of their being because all mankind was created to worship something. Who or what is worshipped becomes determined by man himself.

As we worship, which is 24 hours a day and 7 days a week,  we need to  make sure we are worshipping our Creator and not something we have created. All things not only have been created by Jesus but also been created for Jesus, they are to be used for him and his glory.

Paul makes this same strong point with the church at Colossae when he writes in Colossians 1:16-17 that God is the Creator of all things in heaven and earth. He goes further to say that not only is Jesus the Creator, but he has placed himself before all things. He has given himself position, and when he is in this position in our lives, all things hold together. It’s easy to see from our own lives that when we remove Jesus from his rightful position, our lives begin to fall apart.

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