Fundamenten van het Geloof 2: De levende en waarachtige God

Fundamenten van het Geloof 2: De levende en waarachtige God

Gelooft u het getuigenis van God, zijn Zoon en zijn dienaren?

De levende en waarachtige God

Geloof richt zich op het niet-waarneembare, wetenschap houdt zich bezig met het aantoonbare. Dat er geen wetenschappelijk bewijs zou zijn voor het bestaan van God, wil nog niet zeggen dat Hij niet bestaat. God bestaat niet omdat wij dat denken of geloven, maar Hij vraagt ons te geloven dat Hij er is en dat het zin heeft naar Hem te luisteren en Hem te dienen. Zonder Hem heeft geloven geen betekenis of doel. Buiten Hem is er geen God is zijn polariserende stelling:
“Weet daarom heden en neem het ter harte, dat de HERE de enige God is in de hemel daarboven en op de aarde hier beneden, er is geen ander”. (NBG Deuteronomium 4:39; vergelijk Jesaja 45)

Wie verwacht enig loon te ontvangen voor het leven dat hij of zij nu leidt, moet voldoen aan twee hoofdvoorwaarden:

“Want wie tot God komt moet geloven dat Hij bestaat en een beloner is voor wie hem ernstig zoeken”. (NBG Hebreeën 11:6)

Hoe kunnen wij weten dat God bestaat? En Wie is Hij?

De eerste vraag kan alleen worden beantwoord door God Zelf. Niemand heeft Hem ooit gezien en zijn bestaan moet daarom blijken uit het bewijs dat Hijzelf daarvan geeft: de voor ons merkbare gevolgen van wat Hij doet. God maakt Zich bekend als de Schepper, de Formeerder van nieuwe dingen, van iets dat voordien niet bestond, of wat nog niet gezien kon worden. Hij zegt zelfs iets dat verging opnieuw te kunnen genereren, bijvoorbeeld door een mens op te wekken, die weerkeerde tot het stof waaruit hij werd gemaakt:

“Door het geloof verstaan wij, dat de wereld door het woord van God tot stand gebracht is, zodat het zichtbare niet ontstaan is uit het waarneembare”. (NBG Hebreeën 11:3)

“…die God…die de doden levend maakt en het niet zijnde tot aanzijn roept”. (NBG Romeinen 4:17)

Het geloof dat God in Hem vraagt is geen vaag besef maar een vast vertrouwen dat het zo is of zal zijn wat Hij zegt. Daarnaast getuigen ontwerp en functioneren van de natuur als geheel en de schoonheid van de schepping met de daarin verborgen krachten dat er een Schepper moet zijn:

“Het geloof nu is de zekerheid van (het vertrouwen op de) de dingen, die men hoopt, en het bewijs van de dingen, die men niet ziet”. (NBG Hebreeën 11:1)

Gelooft u het getuigenis van God, zijn Zoon en zijn dienaren?

“De hemelen vertellen Gods eer, en het uitspansel verkondigt het werk van zijn handen…Het is geen sprake en het zijn geen woorden, hun stem wordt niet vernomen: toch gaat hun prediking uit over de ganse aarde en hun taal tot aan het einde van de wereld” (Psalm 19:2-7)

Paulus schreef dat wie Gods’ bestaan niet erkent geen excuus heeft:

“Want hetgeen van Hem niet gezien kan worden, zijn eeuwige kracht en goddelijkheid, wordt sedert de schepping van de wereld uit zijn werken met het verstand doorzien” (NBG Romeinen 1:20)

Psalm 33 is een overdenking van de consequenties van dat feit:

“Door het woord van de HERE zijn de hemelen gemaakt, door de adem van zijn mond al hun heer…De ganse aarde vreze voor de HERE, al de bewoners van de wereld moeten voor Hem ontzag hebben. Want Hij sprak en het was er, Hij gebood en het stond er”. (NBG Psalm 33:6-9)

Dat alles tot stand kwam door Gods’ machtswoord is het getuigenis van de Bijbel, waarin God heeft geopenbaard wat Hij heeft gedaan. Dit is geen mythe, maar een feit. Wanneer wij het woord van mensen niet vertrouwen, dat van de mensenzoon Jezus dan toch wel, mogen wij hopen, want Hij zei eens:

“Hebt u niet gelezen, dat de Schepper hen van den beginne als man en vrouw heeft gemaakt?” (NBG Mattheüs 19:4)

“Mijn Vader werkt tot nu toe, en Ik werk ook” (NBG Johannes 5:17)

God heeft Zich niet teruggetrokken na zijn scheppingswerk, zoals velen menen, en Hij is ook niet dood, maar Hij leeft en werkt aan de voltooiing van zijn plan. Zonder Hem zouden wij niets zijn of kunnen. In hetzelfde geloof als zijn Here maakte Paulus God overal bekend als:

“de levende God, die de hemel, de aarde, de zee en al wat erin is gemaakt heeft”. (NBG Handelingen 14:15)

“De God, die de wereld gemaakt heeft en al wat daarin is, die een Heer is van hemel en aarde…daar Hij zelf aan allen leven en adem geeft. Hij heeft uit één enkele het gehele menselijke geslacht gemaakt om op de ganse oppervlakte van de aarde te wonen en Hij heeft de hun toegemeten tijden en grenzen van hun woonplaatsen bepaald, opdat zij God zouden zoeken, of zij hem al tastende vinden mochten, hoewel Hij niet ver is van een ieder van ons. Want in Hem leven wij, bewegen wij ons en zijn wij…”. (NBG Handelingen 17:24-28)

Het bijzondere van het volk Israël is het geloof in één God. Andere volken kenden vele goden, die verantwoordelijk waren voor het goede en kwade dat hen overkwam. Maar de God die uit het nageslacht van Abraham, Isaak en Jakob het volk Israël heeft geformeerd, zegt dezelfde te zijn als Die de hemel en de aarde, en al wat daarin en daarop is, gemaakt heeft:

“De HERE is de waarachtige God, Hij is de levende God…De goden, die de hemel en de aarde niet gemaakt hebben, zullen vergaan van de aarde en van onder de hemel. Hij maakt de aarde door zijn kracht, Hij bereidt de wereld toe door zijn wijsheid en breidt de hemel uit door zijn verstand…Hij is de Formeerder van alles en Israël is de stam van zijn erfenis: HERE der heerscharen is zijn naam”. (NBG Jeremia 10:1-16; 51:15-19; vergelijk Jesaja 45)

Gelovigen in Israël en in de eerste christelijke gemeenten geloofden in deze ene God, die Zich openbaart in de Bijbel en de werken van zijn hand.

Vraag ter overdenking: Wanneer u zegt in de God van de Bijbel te geloven, Wie is Hij dan voor u?

De enige God

God hecht er veel belang aan dat wij inzien dat er maar één God is:

De Schepper van al wat leeft, die zich openbaart in de Bijbel, als zijn enige woord tot mensen. Dit sluit niet alleen de door mensen verzonnen afgoden uit, maar ook ieder ander die beweert God te zijn: Deuteronomium 6:4; Marcus 12:28-34; Jesaja 4:6-8; 45:9-25.

De God die doet wat Hij gezegd heeft

Gods Name on the Scrolls – Gods Naam op de boekrollen

Toen God Zich bekendmaakte aan Mozes, vroeg Mozes Hem naar zijn naam. Deze naam is door Israël, uit ontzag en respect niet uitgesproken, maar bewaard gebleven als JHWH, Jahweh (Jehova). In onze Bijbel weergegeven met HERE. Het belang van de naam is niet de juistheid van het uitspreken van het woord als zodanig, maar de betekenis die God Zelf daaraan gaf:

‘Ik ben’.

Voor het juiste verstaan hiervan, dienen we te kijken naar wat God is voor zijn volk, namelijk de God, die doet wat Hij zegt, wat Hij belooft:

te beginnen bij wat Hij hun vaderen Abraham, Isaak en Jakob beloofde, maar
ook wat Hij hen in Egypte en bij de berg Horeb beloofde. Daarom is de vertaling

‘Ik ben die Ik ben’

misschien beter te vervangen door

‘Ik ben, die Ik zijn zal’ of ‘Ik zal zijn, die Ik zijn zal’ (Exodus 3:12-15; Let steeds op het werkwoord zullen, vergelijk Exodus
6:5 en 33:9; Openbaringen 1:8).

J.D

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Voorgaande

Fundamenten van het Geloof: De lankmoedigheid van God

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Aanvullende lectuur

  1. Geloof en geloven
  2. Geloof in slechts één God
  3. Belangrijkheid van Gods Naam
  4. Heer, Yahuwah, Yeshua of Yahushua
  5. Jehovah Yahweh Gods Name – Gods Naam
  6. Vertrouwen, Geloof, Roepen en Toeschrijving aan Jehovah #2 Aanroepen van de Naam van God
  7. Vertrouwen, Geloof, Roepen en Toeschrijving aan Jehovah #11 Gebed #9 Heiliging van Dé Naam
  8. Vertrouwen, Geloof, Roepen en Toeschrijving aan Jehovah #13 Gebed #11 Naam om apart geplaatst te worden
  9. Vertrouwen, Geloof, Roepen en Toeschrijving aan Jehovah #15 Expositie voor de Schepper
  10. Prijs en zeg dank tot God de Allerhoogste
  11. Al-Fatiha [The Opening/De Opening] Süra 1:1-3 In the name of Allah the Merciful Lord Of The Creation
  12. Al-Fatiha [De Opening] Surah 1: 1-7 Hulp van God onze Schepper
  13. Ik ben die ben Ehyeh-Asher-Ehyeh אהיה אשר אהיה
  14. Hashem השם, Hebreeuws voor “de Naam”
  15. Archeologische vondst omtrent de Naam van God YHWH
  16. Een Drievoudige God of simpelweg een éénvoudige God
  17. Gebruik van Jehovahs naam
  18. Use of /Gebruik van Jehovah or/of Yahweh in Bible Translations/Bijbel vertalingen
  19. De NIV en de Naam van God
  20. Breng glorie aan Jehovah God de Allerhoogste
  21. Plan van de goddelijke maker
  22. Reddingsplan
  23. Plan van God en wereldvrede
  24. Zonder God geen reden, geen doel, geen hoop
  25. Geloof in Jezus Christus
  26. Heb vertrouwen in je geloof … twijfel aan je twijfels
  27. Wonder van openbaring

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Gerelateerd

  1. How to Prove God Exists
  2. The existence of God
  3. Stop saying that it’s ‘obvious’ that God exists
  4. Proofs for Existence of Allaah
  5. Is God, as First Cause, a Numerical First of Many Causes?
  6. Finding God
  7. How to Handle Talking About God
  8. “Seeing” God More Clearly
  9. An Escape Mechanism
  10. Clues of God
  11. An Evidential Argument from ‘Non-God Objects’

Pain, sanctification and salvation

It is nice to be content with the believe God uses these times of pain in our lives like a gardener uses pruning shears.

In order to grow, we must be pruned. In order to fully trust God, we have to come to the point where we trust his strength more than our own. I like to say that the amount of pain you endure is proportionate to the amount of joy you are capable of experiencing.{About Devotions by Chris}

Many people have known pain, and many have been at the end of their tops, or did come to a point they did not see any solution any more. For many it has been like they got to the bottom and they thought they would not survive if it felled out again.

When bad things happen to us when we are doing everything right, we often question our position but also God.

We’ve all heard the question asked “Why do bad things happen to good people”. Well it happens to give you an opportunity to grow. If things aren’t happening in your life that are pruning you, that’s when you should be concerned. {Why bad things happen to good people}

Some Pruning tools that can be used to maintai...

Like there are pruning tools, we also do have to find the right tools to go through life – Some Pruning tools that can be used to maintain a garden. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We may do a lot of good works and not see the nice results of it, but in the end we should know that no matter what happens it always shall come to a certain point because of our actions taken. Be them good or bad, it at a certain time shall show.

We all produce fruit in our lives. Our actions produce results. Our results show God, others and ourselves what’s important to us. There is a law of sowing and reaping. {Why bad things happen to good people}

If you sow time I to other’s lives, you will reap love. If you sow forgiveness, you will reap joy. If you sow understanding, you will reap peace. On the other hand if you sow selfishness, you will reap loneliness. If you sow bitterness, you will reap hate. What you do matters and will come back as fruit in your life. God wants us to produce good fruit in our lives so that others will be able to see Him through us. {Why bad things happen to good people}

Many people want to see it that when they become a Christian that they will never have to face pain any more, and that they should not do any works any more or not have to be careful to be not bad. They think they are saved and at all times shall end up in heaven, instead of understanding the good hope of the coming Kingdom of God.

We should come to understand that the Divine Creator expects something from His creation. He wants us to love Him and to recognise Him as the Only One God, and not to bow down in front of pictures or statues, worshipping other gods (be it men, women, nature elements, animals or plants). He knows man wanted to go his own way, but has given them an opportunity to grow and to restore the relationship between God and man again. He even provided a ‘son of man’ who was willing to obey Him and showed it to humankind that man can follow the Divine Creator and do His will instead of the own will.

God’s Son, His unspeakable gift, is the measure, even as He is the pledge of grace.” {Horatius Bonar}

“Jesus fully paid the price for your sin, which means you don’t ever have to hide from God, no matter how messed up you think you are.” {Paul Tripp}

“It’s by grace alone that your sins are forgiven, and it’s by grace alone that the wandering allegiance of your heart is reclaimed.” {Paul Tripp}

With that special example of the promised Messiah in mind we should also remember how he even at to suffer, though he had not done anything wrong, he had never sinned, and always followed the commandments of his God, the God of Abraham. When people say only good things can come to good Godly persons and ungodly persons shall receive bad things, they should remember Jesus Christ who also had to undergo bad things, though he never earned such bad things. Bad things are no punishment from God.

When bad things happen to good people it is like the bad things that can happen to bad people. They can learn from it or can moan about it and continue to walk in the negativity of that life. Others can try to get the positive out of the negative. They can try to see that bad things happen to everyone and learn form them. They can see in it an opportunity to grow and to produce more and better fruits than ever before, in the acceptance that they are like pruned by God.

If you are being pruned right now, stop and thank God instead of questioning Him. It means that He thinks you are producing good fruit and He has bigger plans for you. Trust in Him and in His plan for you. Handle the pruning with grace and look forward to the next time of harvest in your life. {Why bad things happen to good people}

English: Pruning: dense growth after shearing.

Pruning: dense growth after shearing. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Without pruning, we can only produce so much of each fruit. When He does prune us, He creates more opportunity to produce than ever before. But by that pruning and producing fruit we also should know that:

God doesn’t give us groceries for a week (which is how most of us shop). He wants us to be dependent on Him daily and to go to Him daily for our needs. He could provide a lifetime of bread for us with just one word, but He doesn’t. He longs for us to go to Him and to rely on Him. {Hold You, Dada!}

God knows that if He were to supply more than our daily bread, we would start to forget who provided it and then begin to take credit for His work. It’s not a far stretch to take that further to our salvation. {Hold You, Dada!}

God accepted the ransom offer Jesus brought in front of Him. Jehovah was willing to take Jesus out of the dead, after having been three days in hell, and made him higher than angels, to come to sit next to Him, to be a mediator between Him (Jehovah God) and man.

As such we have somebody who gave his life to save us. By this offer for which we do not have to pay, we got a clean-washing of our sins (by the Blood of Christ). Having bought free by Christ, many do think than everything is finished and cleared, and now they may do whatever they want, because “Once saved, always saved”. They are very mistaken! If they are not careful it can well be that they loose everything. It can well be that they become like the fig tree which did not produce any good fruits any more and was cut down. We also can be cut off from the entrance to the Kingdom of God. We can still miss all the chances, all the opportunities which where freely given to us.

God knows that our independent nature wants to do things to earn His grace and salvation, but that’s not God’s plan. Our dependence on Him is what He’s after. {Hold You, Dada!}

It is not God Who has done the work. It is not God Who has paid the price. It is the Nazarene man Jeshua, Jesus Christ, who is the Messiah and has offered himself as a Lamb for God and for mankind.

People may be been “baptised into the Body of Christ Jesus” and may be “marked with the cross of Christ” and “sealed with the Holy Spirit” but this does not mean it shall be “forever”.  When they are been grafted onto the “Tree of Life” than they should be people who follow the Wish of the Most High Divine Creator. Those who are willing to step in the footsteps of the master teacher Jeshua (Jesus Christ) should be willing to bear fruit, not because you fear the harvest, but because this is who you are:

a branch of Christ’s choosing, nourished by the root of God’s saving love and mercy, strengthened by the stirring sap of the Spirit. {Sermon: On doing the things}

We all should be careful that we do not get Emotional pain and emotional deadness but keep seeing the light of salvation and stay encouraged by it and by are fellow believers. Others around us should see our hope in action. With our actions and words we should bring others to come to realise who they have to follow and what they have to do, making them to come from pain to purpose. Each person for himself has to decide or to determine the drive.

When there is faith there should also be works of faith resulting in fruitage of the Spirit.

Every person who is calling himself a Christian should make him or herself perfect in every good work to do the Will of God,  like Jesus did not his will but the Will  of his Father. It is only when we by faith work at ourselves and allow us to change and grow in Christ, that we shall have the working in us that which is well pleasing in God His sight through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever.

Now the God of peace, who brought up the great shepherd of the sheep, our Lord Jesus, from the dead with the blood of an eternal covenant*,  (21)  perfect you* in every good work, to this end, you* should practice his will, working in you* what is well pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ: to whom is the glory forever and ever. Amen. (Hebrews 13:20-21 MLV)

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Additional reading:

  1. Why think that (4) … God would reveal himself in words
  2. Doubting the reality, genuineness and effectiveness of God’s love
  3. Does God stands behind all evil on earth
  4. Fragments from the Book of Job #1: chapters 1-12
  5. Fragments from the Book of Job #4: chapters 27-31
  6. Fragments from the Book of Job #5: chapters 32-37
  7. I Can’t Believe That … (2) God would allow children to suffer
  8. The Immeasurable Grace bestowed on humanity
  9. Luck
  10. From pain to purpose
  11. 1 Corinthians 15 Hope in action
  12. Are you right down in the dumps? Stop digging!
  13. It continues to be a never ending, exhausting battle for survival.
  14. End of the Bottom Line
  15. In Defense of the truth
  16. Running away from the past
  17. I said God it hurts
  18. Dealing with worries in our lives
  19. Challenging claim 4 Inspired by God 3 Self-consistent Word of God
  20. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #1 Kings Faith
  21. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #2 Calling upon the Name of God
  22. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #5 Prayer #1 Listening Sovereign Maker
  23. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #9 Prayer #7 Reason to pray
  24. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #15 Exposition before the Creator
  25. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #16 Benefits of praying
  26. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #17 Sorts of prayers
  27. God is Jehovah Shammah-God is There!
  28. Determine the drive
  29. Faith Over Fear
  30. Opportunity!
  31. God’s Comfort
  32. Aligned
  33. Faith because of the questions
  34. Trust God to shelter, safety and security
  35. God is my refuge and my fortress in Him I will trust
  36. It is not try but trust
  37. Gaining Christ, trusting Jehovah
  38. Acknowledge the majesty of the Lord’s reputation!
  39. A person is limited only by the thoughts that he chooses
  40. How do you keep people from stealing your joy?
  41. Looking forward to God’s faithfulness
  42. Hope is faith holding out its hand in the dark
  43. Al-Fatiha [The Opening] Süra 1:1-7 Help from God our Maker
  44. Bearing fruit
  45. You cannot change anything in your life with intention alone
  46. Fruits of the spirit will prevent you from being either inactive or unfruitful
  47. Looking for True Spirituality 5 Fruitage of the Spirit
  48. Looking for True Spirituality 8 Measuring Up
  49. Myth 12: The Hyper-Grace Gospel Makes People Lazy

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  • Dig for Thursday the 4th of December……Jesus, nothing added and nothing taken away, that is God’s best…..Ecclesiastes 3 v 14 (heilanword.wordpress.com)
    Jesus could only do the work of His Father; this is made clear in Scripture, especially the Gospel of John.
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    The finished work of Jesus Christ was complete and perfect and the express will of God the Father.Nothing needs to be added to the work of Jesus.

     

  • Christ In The Book Of Hebrews: “Working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight through Jesus Christ” (mydelightandmycounsellors.wordpress.com)
    Through Jesus and His work on our behalf, God works His pleasure in us.
  • Believers In Jesus Christ Are World Overcomers! (fggam.org)
    As believers in Jesus Christ, as sons of God, as the Body of Christ, endued with His overcoming power, we have His ability in us to change the evil conditions around us. However, we must first deal with the evil conditions that are in our own souls so that we can confidently and in the love and power of Jesus Christ live and conduct ourselves as the conquerors God has made us to be in this world.
  • The Stage Is Set (atimetoshare.wordpress.com)
    I don’t deserve His pardon. My works don’t mean a thing, / But through His Hero, Jesus, Christ, He’s made my spirit sing. / The story has unfolded. The truth lays at our feet. / The happily ever after comes when we our Savior meet.
  • Doing works for God or Doing God’s will (thepauls.wordpress.com)
    This is a warning to all missionaries, full-time and part-time church workers and the lay person, for the people that Jesus is referring to here are not those who are unaware of the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but those who have prophesied, cast out devils and done (not some but) many wonderful works, in his name – the works that Jesus calls – works of iniquity.
  • Don’t give up on yourself (freedom4eternity.wordpress.com)
    His mercy is ever-lasting. Be confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus — Phil. 1:6 NIV (syntax modified).
  • Thanksgiving Day (emmanuelchatham.typepad.com)
    Almighty and gracious Father, we give you thanks for the fruits of the earth in their season and for the labors of those who harvest them.
  • Brethren, be Forthright and Dutiful, share Scripture with Vigor! (authorrubengarza.wordpress.com)
    Brethren, be Forthright and Dutiful, share Scripture with Vigor. Live at Peace with one another for it unifies Souls and lays Foundation for the Kingdom of God. Move with us to a place where Songbirds warble Melodies to Christ, King of Life. You have what it takes to become a Pillar for your neighbor’s home.
  • Jesus Christ and Race Relations (fggam.org)
    In Christ’s family there can be no division into Jew and non-Jew, slave and free, male and female. Among us you are equal. That is, we are all in a common relationship with Jesus Christ. Galatians 3:28
  • 2 Become 1! (newheavenonearth.wordpress.com)
    The tree of life has one kind of fruit: awesome, wonderful, amazing, supernatural, extraordinary, divine Love! This Love has no opposite; it is Light without any darkness at all! It is nondual, single awareness, God-consciousness, super-abundant, powerful, spiritual energy, and comes from a sound, light-filled Christ-Mind!

Why think that (4) … God would reveal himself in words

Have you ever wondered why God created the universe? What his purpose is? We’ve already explored some reasons for thinking that God cares about us but does that actually mean? What purpose did God have in creating us? And what part do we have in God’s plan? One big clue is our ability to form relationships, not only with other people but also, in principle, with God. So if God intended there to be creatures like us, capable of forming relationships with him, then it seems a fair bet that this was his purpose in creating us (or at least part of it).

But relationships don’t just happen. They require communication. Imagine trying to form a relationship with someone without any communication. How would you know what they like or dislike? How would you know which things make them happy and which things really get on their nerves? How would you get to know them and share things with them without some form of communication? And the same is true of a relationship with God. If God wants us to have a relationship with him then he needs to reveal information about himself. He needs to tell us what he is like and what his expectations are and what sort of relationship he is interested in. Without this information it is simply not going to happen.

So God needs to reveal information about himself. How’s he going to do it? One possibility would be to reveal himself directly to everyone. Now perhaps the sheer immensity of his glory prevents mortals perceiving God directly, perhaps mortal minds would simply go kaput if faced with the true reality of God. But there are other ways God could have revealed himself, say, sending an angel to visit everyone personally and explaining that God exists, explaining that God wants a relationship and performing whatever miracles that would be needed to convince each person. That, we must presume, is something God could do but it is obvious that he hasn’t.

Here’s the problem: if the existence of God is obvious then it would severely limit our free choice as to whether to enter into a relationship with him or not. If we were faced with an angel who proved to us irrefutably that there was a God of unlimited and unquestionable power it is likely that we would feel compelled by fear to serve God. And that won’t do. Because what God wants is a loving relationship, for people to choose freely whether to enter into that relationship or not. And therefore God needs to be subtle so that people have a real choice: to trust in God, if they choose, or to deny God and go their own way, if they prefer. So we would expect God to reveal himself to mankind, so they can form relationships with him, but we would not necessarily expect to reveal himself directly to each person individually.

So whilst we might reasonably expect God to reveal information about himself, we should not expect God to do this in a coercive way. More likely God would reveal himself through an intermediary – someone or something that could speak on God’s behalf without forcing people to enter into a relationship with God. One option would be a spokesperson – like a prophet or religious teacher – but their impact is going to be limited. They can only speak to a limited number of people at one time and once they died the message would be gone. A better alternative would be a written message. Something that could be copied multiple times and sent to different parts of the world, and something that would outlive any one individual. It could contain enough information to form the basis of a relationship but would not be intimating or imposing; it would only be influential over those who accepted it. In the ancient world (when there was no radio, television or internet) a written text is the only form of mass communication.

From the 1933 edition of the Bible in the Sout...

From the 1933 edition of the Bible in the Southern Min language (specifically in a Taiwanese dialect influenced by the Amoy (Xiamen) dialect of the time), written in the Latin script. The text itself is in the public domain. This photo is of a recent reprinted edition and is released into the public domain by A-giâu 09:19, 13 Feb 2005 (UTC). The pages shown are of the Book of Proverbs. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There are limitations to any piece of writing. In a world of many languages, any book would need to be translated and interpreted to make it accessible throughout the world. Any book, if it was to be accessible to its initial readers, would be written with the cultural assumptions of that society. As societies change over time, newer generations might find the cultural assumptions made the book to be unfamiliar or even peculiar. But none of these limitations would be insurmountable as long as readers we focused on the purpose of the book: to build a relationship with God.

The book I have been describing is, of course, the Bible. The point is that it is not unexpected that God should use a book like the Bible to reveal himself. The reasonable next question is whether there is any evidence that the Bible is a revelation from God.

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Preceding articles:

Why think that (1) … Jesus existed?

Wy think that (2) … Jesus claimed to be something special

Why think that (3) … Jesus rose from the dead

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Related articles:

  1. Science and God’s existence
  2. Did the Inspirator exist
  3. Does He exists?
  4. Morality, values and Developing right choices
  5. It is a free will choice
  6. Christianity is a love affair
  7. Without God no purpose, no goal, no hope
  8. Being Religious and Spiritual 4 Philosophical, religious and spiritual people
  9. Nuturing a close relationship with God
  10. Our relationship with God, Jesus and eachother
  11. A time for everything
  12. Life is too precious
  13. God’s work done in God’s way will never lack God’s supplies
  14. Around pre-existence of Christ
  15. Preexistence in the Divine purpose and Trinity
  16. Jesus begotten Son of God #9 Two millennia ago conceived or begotten
  17. How is it that Christ pleased God so perfectly?
  18. The Song of The Lamb #2 Sevens
  19. Christ having glory
  20. Marriage of Jesus 10 Old and New Covenant
  21. Kingdom Visions of a Man, Throne and Great crowd
  22. He may found a kingdom and empire which shall be literally ‘universal’
  23. In the death of Christ, the son of God, is glorification
  24. A Living Faith #10: Our manner of Life #2
  25. Miracles of revelation and of providence 1 Golden Thread and Revelation
  26. Miracles of revelation and of providence 2 Providence
  27. Being Religious and Spiritual 4 Philosophical, religious and spiritual people
  28. Dignified role for the woman
  29. Many Books, yet One
  30. Fragments from the Book of Job #7 Epilogue
  31. Isaiah’s Book of the Messenger of Glad Tidings
  32. Bad things no punishment from God
  33. A Plan spoken of in long past times
  34. You God hold the future
  35. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #9 Prayer #7 Reason to pray
  36. Festival of Freedom and persecutions
  37. Zionism comments and the place of Jerusalem in the world
  38. Bible Book of books
  39. The Word of God

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  • Your Purpose For Your Life Vs. GOD’s Purpose of Your Life (foodforthespiritualsoul.wordpress.com)
    If there is anything that I have learned about my own life is that whatever I may have thought was the path for my life, was not necessarily the path that God has meant for my life. In other’s words, God has been constantly teaching me about My Will vs. God’s Will. And this is a constant struggle of the flesh, in every way to understand. Not to mention, a true test of your surrendering to the Will of God, the Father of Creation. It requires for one to take paths, that are illogical to the human mind. It requires you to uphold God’s Words, to the point of where there will be moments where you may be “alone” in this world. I put “alone” in quotes because you see, when we truly have come to understand the Unconditional Love that Jesus Christ demonstrated on the Cross, at Calvary, we will truly feel within the deepest parts of our inner selves, the presence of the Omnipresent God.
  • The Theory of Gods Creation in His Own Image (lajbut.wordpress.com)
    God deliberately created mankind to rule the earth and to accomplish this purpose, He created mankind as His own image- He made man His co-regent/representative rules. The image of God therefore refers to our unique status as human beings rulers in Gods stead, according to His will. We are created as his image to function as He would , were he administrating his own affairs directly.
  • The Purpose of Life (thelifeofastrangercalledme.wordpress.com)
  • Reluctant Progressions. (aldavina.wordpress.com)
    Those that talk about our treatment of other people, the holiness of God and how we are to hold that to the highest reverence, but most importantly, the law in which all laws are firmly rooted upon- the law of love.
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    To trusting that God has our best interests in mind when He gave His final word. To the beauty of progression.
  • The Bible & You (924jeremiah.wordpress.com)
    The Holy Spirit is God Almighty—He’s not some collection of verses. The Holy Spirit wants to say plenty of original thoughts to you that you aren’t going to find spelled out verbatim in the Book.
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    We greatly value having access to the collection of historical documents which Christians call “the Living Word.” But we are not going to pretend that the Book is perfect, because that’s just deception. We are not going to teach you to put your faith in a Book because this is idolatry. God is extremely jealous for our devotion. He commands us to love Him with all that we are, to worship Him alone, and to put nothing else above Him. Many Christians are living in total violation of all these things. They are far more devoted to their own interpretations of the Bible than they are to the teachings of the Holy Spirit. They worship pastors, theologians, and other teachers who claim to be experts on Scripture. They shamelessly exalt the Bible above God by promoting it as some binding contract which He is incapable of breaking. All of these are things which you need to stay far away from if you are going to honor God with your life.
  • Today’s Sabbath Message / “The Holy Bible Versus The Holy Spirit” – Has the Bible Become Our god? (owprince.wordpress.com)
    The Apostles of Christ would refer to The Holy Scriptures (The Torah / Pentateuch) at times to confirm, affirm and proclaim the fulfillment of the promises of God in Christ Jesus our LORD and Savior.  Christ himself often proclaimed that the Holy Scriptures were fulfilled in Him and that The Holy Spirit would reveal all divinely hidden Knowledge and Truth.
  • What About Free Will? (Part 3) (mscottc.wordpress.com)
    According to libertarians, only if we are free to accept or reject God can we have a meaningful relationship with Him.  If our love for God is determined it must mean it is either mechanistically programmed or coerced against our will.  If either notion is true then love would be stripped of its value.  Greg Boyd says, “If love is the goal” of God’s creation of us then love “must be freely chosen. It cannot be coerced. Agents must possess the capacity and opportunity to reject love if they are to possess the genuine capacity and ability to engage in love.”
  • Praying the open view: partnering with God (anopenorthodoxy.wordpress.com)
    most Christians believe that whether God directly intervenes in our world depends at times on whether we petition God to do so. “We have not because we ask not” in the sense that “certain states of affairs that God can and wishes to bring about do not occur because we have chosen not to request that he intervene.” (italics mine) For open theists, how we understand this “because” is what sets an open worldview and its approach to prayer apart from other views. Sanders will emphasize the important of this “because” as well.
  • You are a unique Gospel that God wants to write: Life or lie message? (onedaringjew.wordpress.com)
    Obviously, being a Christian involves having a personal relationship with Jesus but there is content to that relationship. When you lose the Gospel you lose Christ.
  • Which is the True Religion of God? (wifeezat.wordpress.com)
    Each person is born in a circumstance which is not of his own choosing. The religion of his family or the ideology of the state is thrust upon him from the very beginning of his existence in this world. By the time he reaches his teens, he is usually fully brain-washed into believing that the beliefs of his particular society are the correct beliefs that everyone should have. However, when some people mature and are exposed to other belief-systems, they begin to question the validity of their own beliefs.