Is There A God
Does God Exist
This is the most important question you will ask in your life . Does God Exist? Is God Real? Its answer has the great power to change and shape your life.
I have researched this question a good part of my life and after 26 years here is my conclusion. If you read the full account carefully and objectively you will most likely come to the same conclusion.
Here is a quick and easy experiment for you to try. Take a look at a distant object or one close by. A tree. A car. A computer monitor. This object is a few inches to many feet away from your eyes. Now put your right index finger on your lower eye lid while it’s open, and push up slightly. You will see ‘double vision’ and the object seems to split in half. How did you split an object that is outside your body? If what you see is a real physical object, it would not have split or become a double image. How did you manipulate the tree or monitor when it lies many feet outside your body? The tree, the car or the computer monitor you see is an image of the actual object. Not the actual object. But what is this image? It certainly isn’t the object itself because when you shut your eyes the object is still there. And you can’t split a distant object by just pushing on your eye!
Light travels into your eyes and is focused onto the retina in the back of your eyes. Here the rod and cone photoreceptor cells convert the light into nerve signals that are sent to the back of your brains (visual cortex). The right eye sends signals to the left back hemisphere of your brain and the left eye sends it to the right back. Then what happens to the nerve signals ? Is it a dead end? How do we get this beautiful three dimensional scene that lies outside of our bodies? It has to be part of us because we can manipulate it when we push upwards on one eye. Sight is a feeling, a sensation that lies outside of our physical bodies. Therefore logically speaking if it lies outside our physical body, then it is not part of our physical bodies! Sight and visual images are a part of your soul. They are a part of your spirit. The soul is 100% metaphysical. I advise you not to pay attention to “scientists” who do not believe in the soul. They blindly follow false theories that are immediately debunked and derailed by the existence of the soul.
So where did your soul and sight come from ? How are the two visual fields (left and right) lined up so perfectly on top of each other ? The slightest push gave you double vision. Left Pixel is right on top of right pixel. And who made the cameras, the wires, the brain and the soul and made them communicate together so perfectly? Who mapped the sensor cells exactly to the image in perfect positioning? Is God Real? The one who created this amazing system is your Creator. Also known as God.
What is color anyways: green, blue, purple? Can you describe them to a person borne blind. What you are seeing around you is not the real physical object because there is a central focused detailed area of the visual field (fovea), and then vision becomes less detailed at the periphery. Do real objects have detailed and less focused areas? All what you see is your soul, made by your Creator. God. God is real.
I am sitting in a room and there are a few sounds. My fingers are tapping on a keyboard. The fan sound of the computer. The air conditioner blowing through the vent. Sound begins as a vibration or a wave of pressure that moves through air, water or solid. It is picked up by the ear drum, that pushes a small stirrup bone against a fluid filled, spiral part of our ear called the cochlea. The cochlea is lined up by thousands of tiny hair cells that move in response the fluid vibration and convert the sound into nerve signals. The motion of these hair cells (organ of Corti) can even be changed by the brain to pre-amplify the sound. The nerve signals are sent to two small areas in the sides of our brain’s temporal lobes. Then what happens to the nerve signals? Is it a dead end ?
How do we hear the sound of music ? How is sound projected outside our bodies and positioned spatially into three dimensional space? Again if it is outside your body, then it is not part of your physical body. It is part of your soul, your spirit. This logic cannot and should not be denied.
And if you have two ears why don’t you hear two different sounds for each vibration. Why is there one sound of a water drop in a kitchen sink? Is God Real ? Sound is part of your soul. From the tiniest drop to the sound of thunder. And the one who made your ear, ear drum, cochlea, brains auditory cortexes and wired them perfectly together with your soul, is your Creator. It is none other than God. Yes God is real.
As you sit you feel pressure against your body, and you feel your clothing’s texture against your skin. And when you type on your computer’s keyboard, you feel the plastic keys or the glass screen if its a tablet. All these sensations of touch are outside your physical body. The sensations are just outside your skin. The sense of touch is picked up by a vast network of receptor nerve cells in your skin. Some specialize in pressure and texture (mechanoreceptors like the Merkel cell that senses texture). Others tell you about temperature, pain and position of different parts of the body. This somatosensory system converts the feeling of touch into nerve signals that are sent to the brain’s somatosensory cortex. Then what happens to the nerve signals? Is it a dead end? The soul picks up the signal from the brain and maps the touch feeling out in three dimensional space correctly right outside of your skin at the exact position of touch.
No matter what texture or feeling it is: silk, carpet, wood, steel, water, cold, pain. These are all parts of your soul. Who aligned the soul with your brain and your skin? And even when you grow, gain or lose weight, your soul expands or contracts with your body to correctly match the exact location of your skin sensors. Is God Real? Absolutely. God is real. My advise to you is not listen to anyone. Follow your own reasoning and logic.
Taste & Smell
As you eat chocolate or your favorite meal you taste the food using taste buds in your tongue and the flavor is sensed by the smell in your nose (the olfactory bulb). The signals are sent to the brain and processed further along the way by intermediary parts of your brain. Invariably the tastes of sweetness, saltiness, sourness and bitterness combined with the flavors (e.g. flavor of pizza, coffee, meat) end up in the brain’s cortex. The taste we feel is then projected back and positioned onto the food that is being chewed or the beverage being drank. Even though these senses are within the boundaries of our physical body, the food itself is not part of our body and the same question returns. Flavors, taste and smell are not part of our physical body. They are again part of the soul. Is God Real? Who coded the shape of molecules to be sensed by 50 to 150 receptor cells that make up your taste buds. And combined this taste with the smell in your nose to give you a flavor. When you eat something that is healthy, it tastes delicious and when a food has gone foul it has a noxious smell and a bad taste. This is the work of your great and kind Creator God. God is real.
What Are You?
Ask yourself the question what am I ? Look inwards and ask again. Beyond the physical body, you are made of mainly two parts: the mind and the heart. They are parts of the soul. Like two spheres one on top of the other, separated by a space. The body is merely a vehicle with sensors to sense, interact and move your soul in the physical world. Anytime you make a decision there is tug of war between your heart and mind. Your mind can lead you to success and the heart will either help you or ask for what is bad, depending on previous decisions and acts. The heart has no intelligence and should never be trusted. It can be a cruel master inflicting harmless pain when it doesn’t get its way. Patience is needed to overcome it.
Love is not a chemical. Nor an electrical pulse. Neither is the color blue. Happiness is not found inside neurons. Theses are sensations of the soul. But where did your soul come from ? And how did your soul get matched up and aligned so perfectly to your body? Why is it when you move, that your soul moves along with the very different physical body? Why is it not left behind or fall down through the earth? The more you think, the more you will draw the same conclusion. This cannot be anything other than the work of a superior, genius being. This great scientist, engineer and artist is our Creator. Is God Real ? Absolutely 100% God is real.
Imagination & Memory
Imagine you are on a beach, with white sand and waves breaking on the shore line. Behind you is a line of coconut palm trees. The picture you just drew in your mind is your imagination. How do you draw an inner or outward photo of anything you wish? You can imagine a miniature car with a miniature person in it, moving along your desk or furniture. What is this projection you just made outside your body? How do we remember facts, what happened yesterday and important events in our life in less than a second?
Memory and imagination are both parts of the mind, which is part of the soul. They are not part of the physical brain. Memory is not stored in the nerve cells, but in the soul’s vast storage system. Memories may be accessed by the physical brain, which acts like a wire or USB cable to the soul’s external storage device. Some scientists nowadays do not approach, nor believe in the soul nor its existence because it is beyond what they can measure or detect with their instruments. It also conflicts with the fallacious and secular education they had received. The recognition of the soul is a personal and logical process. If one follows logic and reason, one can arrive at the right answer. Is God Real ? Yes and He is the maker of your physical brain and metaphysical mind that is part of your soul. Your physical brain has approximately 100 billion neurons. Who wired your brain and developed it from a single egg cell? Indeed God is real.
Meaning & Thinking
What is the meaning of the word ‘meaning’? What is the meaning of ‘success and achievement’? How do we understand a written or spoken sentence? How do we understand the sentences written on this site ? What is meaning? What is thinking ? How am I able to plan my day tomorrow ? How can humans decide what to do to increase their income or learn a new skill ? Meaning, understanding and thought are all complex operations of the brain and the mind. They are so complicated and obviously miraculous that any objective thought will only lead you in one direction. The mind is part of our soul and the one who lined up billions of neurons with billions of receptors in the soul’s mind is a great scientist and creator. Is God Real? It is enough just to look at thought and meaning to conclude that God is indeed alive and is responsible for our design and existence.
What is time? Time is a measure of change and is useful for our minds’ well being. Does time really exist? Within this universe time does exist because there is change. We need it to function. With respect to our Great Creator, God the aspect of time is different. The evidence above and below will make you conclude (if you are objective) that God is alive and does exist but we cannot fully comprehend Him. God has always existed and will always exist. He is in a permanent state of existence and He created space, change and time. But God himself does not change. Understanding God is beyond the limits of our intelligene.
Every protein that makes up your body and cells is transcribed and made from the stored genetic information in our chromosomes. The information is stored in strands made of just four nucleotide molecules: Adenine, Thymine, Cytosine and Guanine. Every three (codon) code for an amino acid. Amino acids are the buidling blocks of polypeptides which are the proteins.
To translate a genes’ information into functional proteins and hormones, first a copy is made of the DNA and stored in a single strand called the messenger RNA. Then parts of this mRNA (introns) are removed that do not code for protein. This is then shuttled to the cell and picked up by a large complex structure called the ribosome that is responsible for the final translation into the protein.
If all the proteins of your body are translated from DNA, and proteins are needed to translate DNA into proteins, then who put those translating proteins in our cells in the first place? If a ribosome was not already present in the cell, not one single protein would have ever been made. The one who put the ribosomes and encoded all the proteins of all living creatures into 3 nucleotide codes is a highly intelligent being. Clearly He has the ability to manipulate atoms and molecules on a very microscopic level and does not forget any formulation. This intelligent being is your creator. God.
Every human being is made of about fifty trillion cells. All these cells in their difference and complexity were derived from one single cell. Cells divide and give perfect copies of their DNA (genes) to the next set of cells. DNA copies are proof read and any errors are corrected in the new cells. Different cells express different parts of the genome and have different functions. Each cell is like a tiny supercomputer that has to work in perfect tandem with neighboring cells and within itself to serve its purpose. If the cell malfunctions and becomes cancerous, it no longer recognizes its neighbors and divides indefinitely which can lead to death. Any mutation or change in the DNA can deform transcribed proteins losing their shape and ability to function. This can lead to the death of the cell. There are no constructive mutations. The fruit fly which was studied for the function of the genes is irradiated with gamma radiation to mutate the genome and find out the function of the genes by studying the dead larvae or pupa and finding out what proteins are missing or deformed and resulted in the death.
Each cell is made up of organelles such as the nucleus which contains the DNA, the mitchondrion which gives it energy to function, the golgi body which acts as a packaging center for proteins, a complex membrane that allows only certain molecules in, and other complex structures. Who designed the cell out of which a 50-trillion-cell creature is made ? Is God Real? Yes. God is the one who designed the cell and engineered all the creatures and made the male and female versions of every living being. The correct tree of life is one line from every single species to this masterful engineer who is our creator God.
The Atom & Nuclear Energy
We’ve all watched nuclear explosions and the formation of mushroom clouds. These massive explosions can be derived from as little as 52 kilogram weight of matter. How were these atoms put together in the first place? Where did this huge amount of energy come from that made the stars which are giant atom and element factories? Even the structure of a tiny atom shows organization and complexity that requires an intelligent scientist to engineer and design. The energy needed to make the stars came from an intelligent being who has an infinite source of energy and total control over matter. Mass is made out of energy. Mass and atoms were all put together by our creator God. Directly or indirectly.
The Big Bang &
Arguments Why God Exists
Note from Editor of The Conversation US: This is a revised version of the original piece. We have done so to make explicit the author’s expertise with regard to the subject of this article. We have also incorporated important context that was missing in the original version.
The question of whether a god exists is heating up in the 21st century. According to a Pew survey, the percent of Americans having no religious affiliation reached 23 percent in 2014. Among such “nones,” 33 percent said that they do not believe in God – an 11 percent increase since only 2007.
Such trends have ironically been taking place even as, I would argue, the probability for the existence of a supernatural god have been rising. In my 2015 book, “God? Very Probably: Five Rational Ways to Think about the Question of a God,” I look at physics, the philosophy of human consciousness, evolutionary biology, mathematics, the history of religion and theology to explore whether such a god exists. I should say that I am trained originally as an economist, but have been working at the intersection of economics, environmentalism and theology since the 1990s.
Laws of math
As argued by scholars such as Philip Davis and Reuben Hersh, mathematics existsindependent of physical reality. It is the job of mathematicians to discover the realities of this separate world of mathematical laws and concepts. Physicists then put the mathematics to use according to the rules of prediction and confirmed observation of the scientific method.
But modern mathematics generally is formulated before any natural observations are made, and many mathematical laws today have no known existing physical analogues.
Einstein’s 1915 general theory of relativity, for example, was based on theoretical mathematics developed 50 years earlier by the great German mathematician Bernhard Riemann that did not have any known practical applications at the time of its intellectual creation.
In some cases the physicist also discovers the mathematics. Isaac Newton was considered among the greatest mathematicians as well as physicists of the 17th century. Other physicists sought his help in finding a mathematics that would predict the workings of the solar system. He found it in the mathematical law of gravity, based in part on his discovery of calculus.
At the time, however, many people initially resisted Newton’s conclusions because they seemed to be “occult.” How could two distant objects in the solar system be drawn toward one another, acting according to a precise mathematical law? Indeed, Newton made strenuous efforts over his lifetime to find a natural explanation, but in the end he could say only that it is the will of God.
Despite the many other enormous advances of modern physics, little has changed in this regard. As Wigner wrote, “the enormous usefulness of mathematics in the natural sciences is something bordering on the mysterious and there is no rational explanation for it.”
In other words, as I argue in my book, it takes the existence of some kind of a god to make the mathematical underpinnings of the universe comprehensible.
Math and other worlds
In 2004 the great British physicist Roger Penrose put forward a vision of a universe composed of three independently existing worlds – mathematics, the material world and human consciousness. As Penrose acknowledged, it was a complete puzzle to him how the three interacted with one another outside the ability of any scientific or other conventionally rational model.
How can physical atoms and molecules, for example, create something that exists in a separate domain that has no physical existence: human consciousness?
It is a mystery that lies beyond science.
This mystery is the same one that existed in the Greek worldview of Plato, who believed that abstract ideas (above all mathematical) first existed outside any physical reality. The material world that we experience as part of our human existence is an imperfect reflection of these prior formal ideals. As the scholar of ancient Greek philosophy, Ian Mueller, writes in “Mathematics And The Divine,” the realm of such ideals is that of God.
Indeed, in 2014 the MIT physicist Max Tegmark argues in “Our Mathematical Universe” that mathematics is the fundamental world reality that drives the universe. As I would say, mathematics is operating in a god-like fashion.
The mystery of human consciousness
The workings of human consciousness are similarly miraculous. Like the laws of mathematics, consciousness has no physical presence in the world; the images and thoughts in our consciousness have no measurable dimensions.
Yet, our nonphysical thoughts somehow mysteriously guide the actions of our physical human bodies. This is no more scientifically explicable than the mysterious ability of nonphysical mathematical constructions to determine the workings of a separate physical world.
Until recently, the scientifically unfathomable quality of human consciousness inhibited the very scholarly discussion of the subject. Since the 1970s, however, it has become a leading area of inquiry among philosophers.
Recognizing that he could not reconcile his own scientific materialism with the existence of a nonphysical world of human consciousness, a leading atheist, Daniel Dennett, in 1991 took the radical step of denying that consciousness even exists.
Finding this altogether implausible, as most people do, another leading philosopher, Thomas Nagel, wrote in 2012 that, given the scientifically inexplicable – the “intractable” – character of human consciousness, “we will have to leave [scientific] materialism behind” as a complete basis for understanding the world of human existence.
As an atheist, Nagel does not offer religious belief as an alternative, but I would argue that the supernatural character of the workings of human consciousness adds grounds for raising the probability of the existence of a supernatural god.
Evolution and faith
Evolution is a contentious subject in American public life. According to Pew, 98 percent of scientists connected to the American Association for the Advancement of Science “believe humans evolved over time” while only a minority of Americans “fully accept evolution through natural selection.”
As I say in my book, I should emphasize that I am not questioning the reality of natural biological evolution. What is interesting to me, however, are the fierce arguments that have taken place between professional evolutionary biologists. A number of developments in evolutionary theory have challenged traditional Darwinist – and later neo-Darwinist – views that emphasize random genetic mutations and gradual evolutionary selection by the process of survival of the fittest.
From the 1970s onwards, the Harvard evolutionary biologist Stephen Jay Gould created controversy by positing a different view, “punctuated equilibrium,” to the slow and gradual evolution of species as theorized by Darwin.
In 2011, the University of Chicago evolutionary biologist James Shapiro argued that, remarkably enough, many micro-evolutionary processes worked as though guided by a purposeful “sentience” of the evolving plant and animal organisms themselves. “The capacity of living organisms to alter their own heredity is undeniable,” he wrote. “Our current ideas about evolution have to incorporate this basic fact of life.”
A number of scientists, such as Francis Collins, director of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, “see no conflict between believing in God and accepting the contemporary theory of evolution,” as the American Association for the Advancement of Science points out.
For my part, the most recent developments in evolutionary biology have increased the probability of a god.
Miraculous ideas at the same time?
For the past 10,000 years at a minimum, the most important changes in human existence have been driven by cultural developments occurring in the realm of human ideas.
In the Axial Age (commonly dated from 800 to 200 B.C.), world-transforming ideas such as Buddhism, Confucianism, the philosophies of Plato and Aristotle, and the Hebrew Old Testament almost miraculously appeared at about the same time in India, China, ancient Greece and among the Jews in the Middle East, groups having little interaction with one another.
The development of the scientific method in the 17th century in Europe and its modern further advances have had at least as great a set of world-transforming consequences. There have been many historical theories, but none capable, I would argue, of explaining as fundamentally transformational a set of events as the rise of the modern world. It was a revolution in human thought, operating outside any explanations grounded in scientific materialism, that drove the process.
That all these astonishing things happened within the conscious workings of human minds, functioning outside physical reality, offers further rational evidence, in my view, for the conclusion that human beings may well be made “in the image of [a] God.”
Different forms of worship
In his commencement address to Kenyon College in 2005, the American novelist and essayist David Foster Wallace said that: “Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship.”
Even though Karl Marx, for example, condemned the illusion of religion, his followers, ironically, worshiped Marxism. The American philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre thus wrote that for much of the 20th century, Marxism was the “historical successor of Christianity,”claiming to show the faithful the one correct path to a new heaven on Earth.
In several of my books, I have explored how Marxism and other such “economic religions” were characteristic of much of the modern age. So Christianity, I would argue, did not disappear as much as it reappeared in many such disguised forms of “secular religion.”
That the Christian essence, as arose out of Judaism, showed such great staying power amidst the extraordinary political, economic, intellectual and other radical changes of the modern age is another reason I offer for thinking that the existence of a god is very probable.
Can Science Prove The Existence Of God
Can Science Prove The Existence Of God?
There’s an argument that many people make: that the natural world, and humanity’s existence in the Universe, point towards a divine creator that brought forth all of this into existence. To the best of our knowledge, Earth exists with a plethora of conditions that allowed for our existence, and does so in a way that no other world can match.
We live in a particularly privileged place. We live on a planet that has all the right ingredients for life, including:
- We’re at the right distance from our Sun so that temperatures are conducive to life.
- We have the right atmospheric pressure for liquid water at our surface.
- We have the right ingredients — the right balance of heavy elements and organic molecules — for life to arise.
- We have the right amount of water so that our world has both oceans and continents.
- And life started on our world very early, sustained itself for our planet’s entire history, and gave rise to us: sentient, self-aware creatures.
If you look at the other worlds we know of, the difference is striking.
The claim that’s often made isn’t merely that Earth is unlikely; it’s that our planet, with the confluence of circumstances that gave rise to us, is statistically impossible, even given all the stars and galaxies in the Universe. The emergence of intelligent life is so outlandishly unexpected, given all the factors that needed to occur in just the right particular order, that our Universe must have been designed specifically to give rise to us. Otherwise, the argument goes, the odds of us coming to be would be so infinitesimally small that it’s unreasonable to believe it could have happened by chance.
This is a very compelling argument for many people, but it’s important to ask ourselves three questions to make sure we’re approaching this honestly. We’ll go through them one at a time, but here are the three, so we know what we’re getting into.
- What are, scientifically, the conditions that we need for life to arise?
- How rare or common are these conditions elsewhere in the Universe?
- And finally, if we don’t find life in the places and under the conditions where we expect it, can that prove the existence of God?
These are all big questions, so let’s give them the care they deserve.
1.) What are, scientifically, the conditions that we need for life to arise?
In other words, things did occur in a very specific way here on Earth, but how many of them does life-as-we-know-it require, versus how many of them happened in a particular way here, but could have easily happened under different conditions elsewhere?
The things I listed earlier are based on the assumption that any life that’s out there is going to be like us in the sense that it will be based on the chemistry of atoms and molecules, occur with liquid water as a basic requirement of its functioning, and won’t be in an environment that we know to be toxic to all terrestrial life. For those criteria alone, we already know there are billions of planets in our galaxy alone that fit the bill.
Our studies of exoplanets — of worlds around stars beyond our own — have shown us that there’s a huge variety of rocky planets orbiting at the right distance from their central stars to have liquid water on their surfaces if they have anything akin to atmospheres like our own. We are starting to approach the technological capabilities of detecting exo-atmospheres and their compositions around worlds as small as our own; currently, we can get down to about Neptune-sized worlds, although the James Webb Space Telescope will advance that further in under a decade.
But aren’t there other things we need to worry about? What if we were too close to the galactic center; wouldn’t the high rate of supernovae fry us, and sterilize life? What if we didn’t have a planet like Jupiter to clear out the asteroid belt; wouldn’t the sheer number of asteroids flying our way wipe any life that manages to form out? And what about the fact that we’re here now, when the Universe is relatively young? Many stars will live for trillions of years, but we’ve only got about another billion or two before our Sun gets hot enough to boil our oceans. When the Universe was too young, there weren’t enough heavy elements. Did we come along at just the right time, to not only make it in our Universe, but to witness all the galaxies before dark energy pushes them away?
Probably not, to all of these questions! If we were closer to the galactic center, yes: the star formation rate is higher and the rate of supernovae is higher. But the main thing that means is that large numbers of heavy elements are created faster there, giving complex life an opportunity starting from earlier times. Here in the outskirts, we have to wait longer! And as for sterilizing a planet, you’d have to be very close to a supernova for that to happen — far closer than stars typically are to one another near the galactic center — or else in the direct path of a hypernova beam. But even in this latter case, which would still be incredibly rare, you’re likely to only sterilize half your world at once, because these beams are short-lived!
Their atmospheres wouldn’t be blown off entirely, deep-ocean life should still survive, and there’s every reason to believe that no matter how bad it got, the conditions would be ripe for complex life to make a comeback. Once life takes hold on a world, or gets “under its skin” as some biologists say, it’s very hard to annihilate it entirely. And this simply won’t do.
Same deal for asteroids. Yes, a solar system without a Jupiter-like planet would have many more asteroids, but without a Jupiter-like planet, would their orbits ever get perturbed to fling them into the inner solar system? Would it make extinction events more common, or rarer? Moreover, even if there were increased impacts, would that even make complex/intelligent life less likely, or would the larger number of extinction events accelerate the differentiation of life, making intelligence more likely? The evidence that we need a Jupiter for life is specious at best, just like the evidence that we need to be at this location in our galaxy is also sparse. But even if those things were true, we’d still have huge numbers of worlds — literally tens-to-hundreds of millions — that met those criteria in our galaxy alone.
And finally, we did come along relatively early, but the ingredients for stars and solar systems like our own were present in large abundances in galaxies many billions of years before our own star system formed. We’re even finding potentially habitable worlds where life may be 7-to-9-billion-years-old! So no, we’re probably not first. The conditions that we need for life to arise, to the best we can measure, seem to exist all over the galaxy, and hence probably all over the Universe as well.
2.) How rare or common are these conditions elsewhere in the Universe?
Scientists didn’t help themselves with overly optimistic estimates of the Drake equation: the equation that is most commonly used to estimate the number of intelligent civilizations in our galaxy. Of all the science presented in Carl Sagan’s original Cosmos series, his estimates of the Drake equation represented possibly the worst science in the series. So let’s run through the actual numbers to the best that science knows — complete with realistic uncertainties — and see what we come up with.
As best as we can tell — extrapolating what we’ve discovered to what we haven’t yet looked at or been able to see — there ought to be around 1-to-10 trillion planets in our galaxy that orbit stars, and somewhere around 40-to-80 billion of them are candidates for having all three of the following properties:
- being rocky planets,
- located where they’ll consistently have Earth-like temperatures,
- and that ought to support and sustain liquid water on their surfaces!
So the worlds are there, around stars, in the right places! In addition to that, we need them to have the right ingredients to bring about complex life. What about those building blocks; how likely are they to be there?
Believe it or not, these heavy elements — assembled into complex molecules — are unavoidable by this point in the Universe. Enough stars have lived and died that all the elements of the periodic table exist in fairly high abundances all throughout the galaxy. But are they assembled correctly? Taking a look towards the heart of our own galaxy is molecular cloud Sagittarius B, shown at the top of this page. In addition to water, sugars, benzene rings and other organic molecules that just “exist” in interstellar space, we find surprisingly complex ones.
Like ethyl formate (left) and n-propyl cyanide (right), the former of which is responsible for the smell of raspberries! Molecules just as complex as these are literally in every molecular cloud, protoplanetary disk and stellar outflow that we’ve measured. So with tens of billions of chances in our galaxy alone, and the building blocks already in place, you might think — as Fermi did — that the odds of intelligent life arising many times in our own galaxy is inevitable.
But first, we need to make life from non-life. This is no small feat, and is one of the greatest puzzles around for natural scientists in all disciplines: the problem of abiogenesis. At some point, this happened for us, whether it happened in space, in the oceans, or in the atmosphere, it happened, as evidenced by our very planet, and its distinctive diversity of life. But thus far, we’ve been unable to create life from non-life in the lab. So it’s not yet possible to say how likely it is, although we’ve taken some amazing steps in recent decades. It could be something that happens on as many as 10–25% of the possible worlds, which means up to 20 billion planets in our galaxy could have life on them. (Including — past or present — others in our own Solar System, like Mars, Europa, Titan or Enceladus.) That’s our optimistic estimate.
But it could be far fewer than that as well. Was life on Earth likely? In other words, if we performed the chemistry experiment of forming our Solar System over and over again, would it take hundreds, thousands or even millions of chances to get life out once? Conservatively, let’s say it’s only one-in-a-million, which still means, given the pessimistic end of 40 billion planets with the right temperature, there are still at least 40,000 planets out there in our galaxy alone with life on them.
But we want something even more than that; we’re looking for large, specialized, multicellular, tool-using creatures. So while, by many measures, there are plenty of intelligent animals, we are interested in a very particular type of intelligence. Specifically, a type of intelligence that can communicate with us, despite the vast distances between the stars! So how common is that? From the first, self-replicating organic molecule to something as specialized and differentiated as a human being, we know we need billions of years of (roughly) constant temperatures, the right evolutionary steps, and a whole lot of luck. What are the odds that such a thing would have happened? One-in-a-hundred? Well, optimistically, maybe. That might be how many of these planets stay at constant temperatures, avoid 100% extinction catastrophes, evolve multicellularity, gender, become differentiated and encephalized enough to eventually learn to use tools.
But it could be far fewer; we are not an inevitable consequence of evolution so much as a happy accident of it. Even one-in-a-million seems like it might be too optimistic for the odds of human-like animals evolving on an Earth-like world with the right ingredients for life; I could easily imagine that it would take a billion Earths (or more) to get something like human beings out just once.
If we take the optimistic estimate of the optimistic estimate above, perhaps 200 million worlds are out there capable of communicating with us, in our galaxy alone. But if we take the pessimistic estimate about both life arising and the odds of it achieving intelligence, there’s only a one-in-25,000 chance that our galaxy would have even one such civilization. In other words, life is a fantastic bet, but intelligent life may not be. And that’s according to reasonable scientific estimates, but it assumes we’re being honest about our uncertainties here, too. So the conditions for life are definitely everywhere, but life itself could be common or rare, and what we consider intelligent life could be common, rare or practically non-existent in our galaxy. As science finds out more, we’ll learn more about that.
3.) If we don’t find life in the places and under the conditions where we expect it, can that prove the existence of God? Certainly, there are people that will argue that it does. But to me, that’s a terrible way to place your faith. Consider this:
Do you want or need your belief in a divine or supernatural origin to the Universe to be based in something that could be scientifically disproven?
I am very open about not being a man of faith myself, but of having tremendous respect for those who are believers. The wonderful thing about science is that it is for everybody who’s willing to look to the Universe itself to find out more information about it. Why would your belief in God require that science give a specific answer to this question that we don’t yet know the answer to? Will your faith be shaken if we find that, hey, guess what, chemistry works to form life on other worlds the same way it worked in the past on this one? Will you feel like you’ve achieved some sort of spiritual victory if we scour the galaxy and find that human beings are the most intelligent species on all the worlds of the Milky Way?
Or, can your beliefs — whatever they are — stand up to whatever scientific truths the Universe reveals about itself, regardless of what they are? In the professional opinion of practically all scientists who study the Universe, it is very likely that there is life on other worlds, and that there’s a very good chance — if we invest in looking for it — that we’ll be able to find the first biological signatures on other worlds within a single generation. Whether there’s intelligent life beyond Earth, or more specifically, intelligent life beyond Earth in our galaxy that’s still alive right now, is a more dubious proposition, but the outcome of this scientific question in no way favors or disfavors the existence of God, any more than the order of whether fish or birds evolved first on Earth favors or disfavors a deity’s existence.
The truths of the Universe are written out there, on the Universe itself, and are accessible to us all through the process of inquiry. To allow an uncertain faith to stand in as an answer where scientific knowledge is required does us all a disservice; the illusion of knowledge — or reaching a conclusion before obtaining the evidence — is a poor substitute for what we might actually come to learn, if only we ask the right questions. Science can never prove or disprove the existence of God, but if we use our beliefs as an excuse to draw conclusions that scientifically, we’re not ready for, we run the grave risk of depriving ourselves of what we might have come to truly learn.
So as Obama’s presidency draws to a close and a Trump presidency begins, I implore you: don’t let your faith, whatever it may be, close you off to the joys and wonders of the natural world. The joys of knowing — of figuring out the answers to questions for ourselves — is one that none of us should be cheated out of. May your faith, if you have one, only serve to enhance and enrich you, not take the wonder of science away!
Six Reasons Why God Exsists
Does God exist? Here are six straightforward reasons to believe that God is really there.
By Marilyn Adamson IsThereaGod2018.mp3 Listen
Just once wouldn’t you love for someone to simply show you the evidence for God’s existence? No arm-twisting. No statements of, “You just have to believe.” Well, here is an attempt to candidly offer some of the reasons which suggest that God exists.
But first consider this. When it comes to the possibility of God’s existence, the Bible says that there are people who have seen sufficient evidence, but they have suppressed the truth about God.1 On the other hand, for those who want to know God if he is there, he says, “You will seek me and find me; when you seek me with all your heart, I will be found by you.”2Before you look at the facts surrounding his existence, ask yourself, If God does exist, would I want to know him? Here then, are some reasons to consider…
1. The complexity of our planet points to a deliberate Designer who not only created our universe, but sustains it today.
Many examples showing God’s design could be given, possibly with no end. But here are a few:
The Earth…its size is perfect. The Earth’s size and corresponding gravity holds a thin layer of mostly nitrogen and oxygen gases, only extending about 50 miles above the Earth’s surface. If Earth were smaller, an atmosphere would be impossible, like the planet Mercury. If Earth were larger, its atmosphere would contain free hydrogen, like Jupiter.3 Earth is the only known planet equipped with an atmosphere of the right mixture of gases to sustain plant, animal and human life.
The Earth is located the right distance from the sun. Consider the temperature swings we encounter, roughly -30 degrees to +120 degrees. If the Earth were any further away from the sun, we would all freeze. Any closer and we would burn up. Even a fractional variance in the Earth’s position to the sun would make life on Earth impossible. The Earth remains this perfect distance from the sun while it rotates around the sun at a speed of nearly 67,000 mph. It is also rotating on its axis, allowing the entire surface of the Earth to be properly warmed and cooled every day.
And our moon is the perfect size and distance from the Earth for its gravitational pull. The moon creates important ocean tides and movement so ocean waters do not stagnate, and yet our massive oceans are restrained from spilling over across the continents.4
Water…colorless, odorless and without taste, and yet no living thing can survive without it. Plants, animals and human beings consist mostly of water (about two-thirds of the human body is water). You’ll see why the characteristics of water are uniquely suited to life:
It has wide margin between its boiling point and freezing point. Water allows us to live in an environment of fluctuating temperature changes, while keeping our bodies a steady 98.6 degrees.
Water is a universal solvent. This property of water means that various chemicals, minerals and nutrients can be carried throughout our bodies and into the smallest blood vessels.5
Water is also chemically neutral. Without affecting the makeup of the substances it carries, water enables food, medicines and minerals to be absorbed and used by the body.
Water has a unique surface tension. Water in plants can therefore flow upward against gravity, bringing life-giving water and nutrients to the top of even the tallest trees.
Water freezes from the top down and floats, so fish can live in the winter.
Ninety-seven percent of the Earth’s water is in the oceans. But on our Earth, there is a system designed which removes salt from the water and then distributes that water throughout the globe. Evaporation takes the ocean waters, leaving the salt, and forms clouds which are easily moved by the wind to disperse water over the land, for vegetation, animals and people. It is a system of purification and supply that sustains life on this planet, a system of recycled and reused water.6
The human brain…simultaneously processes an amazing amount of information. Your brain takes in all the colors and objects you see, the temperature around you, the pressure of your feet against the floor, the sounds around you, the dryness of your mouth, even the texture of your keyboard. Your brain holds and processes all your emotions, thoughts and memories. At the same time your brain keeps track of the ongoing functions of your body like your breathing pattern, eyelid movement, hunger and movement of the muscles in your hands.
The human brain processes more than a million messages a second.7 Your brain weighs the importance of all this data, filtering out the relatively unimportant. This screening function is what allows you to focus and operate effectively in your world. The brain functions differently than other organs. There is an intelligence to it, the ability to reason, to produce feelings, to dream and plan, to take action, and relate to other people.
The eye…can distinguish among seven million colors. It has automatic focusing and handles an astounding 1.5 million messages — simultaneously.8 Evolution focuses on mutations and changes from and within existing organisms. Yet evolution alone does not fully explain the initial source of the eye or the brain — the start of living organisms from nonliving matter.
2. The universe had a start – what caused it?
Scientists are convinced that our universe began with one enormous explosion of energy and light, which we now call the Big Bang. This was the singular start to everything that exists: the beginning of the universe, the start of space, and even the initial start of time itself.
Astrophysicist Robert Jastrow, a self-described agnostic, stated, “The seed of everything that has happened in the Universe was planted in that first instant; every star, every planet and every living creature in the Universe came into being as a result of events that were set in motion in the moment of the cosmic explosion…The Universe flashed into being, and we cannot find out what caused that to happen.”9
Steven Weinberg, a Nobel laureate in Physics, said at the moment of this explosion, “the universe was about a hundred thousands million degrees Centigrade…and the universe was filled with light.”10
The universe has not always existed. It had a start…what caused that? Scientists have no explanation for the sudden explosion of light and matter.
3. The universe operates by uniform laws of nature. Why does it?
Much of life may seem uncertain, but look at what we can count on day after day: gravity remains consistent, a hot cup of coffee left on a counter will get cold, the earth rotates in the same 24 hours, and the speed of light doesn’t change — on earth or in galaxies far from us.
How is it that we can identify laws of nature that never change? Why is the universe so orderly, so reliable?
“The greatest scientists have been struck by how strange this is. There is no logical necessity for a universe that obeys rules, let alone one that abides by the rules of mathematics. This astonishment springs from the recognition that the universe doesn’t have to behave this way. It is easy to imagine a universe in which conditions change unpredictably from instant to instant, or even a universe in which things pop in and out of existence.”11
Richard Feynman, a Nobel Prize winner for quantum electrodynamics, said, “Why nature is mathematical is a mystery…The fact that there are rules at all is a kind of miracle.”12
4. The DNA code informs, programs a cell’s behavior.
All instruction, all teaching, all training comes with intent. Someone who writes an instruction manual does so with purpose. Did you know that in every cell of our bodies there exists a very detailed instruction code, much like a miniature computer program? As you may know, a computer program is made up of ones and zeros, like this: 110010101011000. The way they are arranged tell the computer program what to do. The DNA code in each of our cells is very similar. It’s made up of four chemicals that scientists abbreviate as A, T, G, and C. These are arranged in the human cell like this: CGTGTGACTCGCTCCTGAT and so on. There are three billion of these letters in every human cell!!
Well, just like you can program your phone to beep for specific reasons, DNA instructs the cell. DNA is a three-billion-lettered program telling the cell to act in a certain way. It is a full instruction manual.13
Why is this so amazing? One has to ask….how did this information program wind up in each human cell? These are not just chemicals. These are chemicals that instruct, that code in a very detailed way exactly how the person’s body should develop.
Natural, biological causes are completely lacking as an explanation when programmed information is involved. You cannot find instruction, precise information like this, without someone intentionally constructing it.
5. We know God exists because he pursues us. He is constantly initiating and seeking for us to come to him.
I was an atheist at one time. And like many atheists, the issue of people believing in God bothered me greatly. What is it about atheists that we would spend so much time, attention, and energy refuting something that we don’t believe even exists?! What causes us to do that? When I was an atheist, I attributed my intentions as caring for those poor, delusional people…to help them realize their hope was completely ill-founded. To be honest, I also had another motive. As I challenged those who believed in God, I was deeply curious to see if they could convince me otherwise. Part of my quest was to become free from the question of God. If I could conclusively prove to believers that they were wrong, then the issue is off the table, and I would be free to go about my life.
I didn’t realize that the reason the topic of God weighed so heavily on my mind, was because God was pressing the issue. I have come to find out that God wants to be known. He created us with the intention that we would know him. He has surrounded us with evidence of himself and he keeps the question of his existence squarely before us. It was as if I couldn’t escape thinking about the possibility of God. In fact, the day I chose to acknowledge God’s existence, my prayer began with, “Ok, you win…” It might be that the underlying reason atheists are bothered by people believing in God is because God is actively pursuing them.
I am not the only one who has experienced this. Malcolm Muggeridge, socialist and philosophical author, wrote, “I had a notion that somehow, besides questing, I was being pursued.” C.S. Lewis said he remembered, “…night after night, feeling whenever my mind lifted even for a second from my work, the steady, unrelenting approach of Him whom I so earnestly desired not to meet. I gave in, and admitted that God was God, and knelt and prayed: perhaps, that night, the most dejected and reluctant convert in all of England.”
Lewis went on to write a book titled, “Surprised by Joy” as a result of knowing God. I too had no expectations other than rightfully admitting God’s existence. Yet over the following several months, I became amazed by his love for me.
6. Unlike any other revelation of God, Jesus Christ is the clearest, most specific picture of God revealing himself to us.
Why Jesus? Look throughout the major world religions and you’ll find that Buddha, Muhammad, Confucius and Moses all identified themselves as teachers or prophets. None of them ever claimed to be equal to God. Surprisingly, Jesus did. That is what sets Jesus apart from all the others. He said God exists and you’re looking at him. Though he talked about his Father in heaven, it was not from the position of separation, but of very close union, unique to all humankind. Jesus said that anyone who had seen Him had seen the Father, anyone who believed in him, believed in the Father.
He said, “I am the light of the world, he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”14 He claimed attributes belonging only to God: to be able to forgive people of their sin, free them from habits of sin, give people a more abundant life and give them eternal life in heaven. Unlike other teachers who focused people on their words, Jesus pointed people to himself. He did not say, “follow my words and you will find truth.” He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father but through me.”15
What proof did Jesus give for claiming to be divine? He did what people can’t do. Jesus performed miracles. He healed people…blind, crippled, deaf, even raised a couple of people from the dead. He had power over objects…created food out of thin air, enough to feed crowds of several thousand people. He performed miracles over nature…walked on top of a lake, commanding a raging storm to stop for some friends. People everywhere followed Jesus, because he constantly met their needs, doing the miraculous. He said if you do not want to believe what I’m telling you, you should at least believe in me based on the miracles you’re seeing.16
Jesus Christ showed God to be gentle, loving, aware of our self-centeredness and shortcomings, yet deeply wanting a relationship with us. Jesus revealed that although he views us as sinners, worthy of his punishment, his love for us ruled and he came up with a different plan. God himself took on the form of man and accepted the punishment for our sin on our behalf. Sounds ludicrous? Perhaps, but many loving fathers would gladly trade places with their child in a cancer ward if they could. The Bible says that the reason we would love God is because he first loved us.
Jesus died in our place so we could be forgiven. Of all the religions known to humanity, only through Jesus will you see God reaching toward humanity, providing a way for us to have a relationship with him. Jesus proves a divine heart of love, meeting our needs, drawing us to himself. Because of Jesus’ death and resurrection, he offers us a new life today. We can be forgiven, fully accepted by God and genuinely loved by God. He says, “I have loved you with an everlasting love, therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.”17 This is God, in action.
Does God exist? If you want to know, investigate Jesus Christ. We’re told that “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”18
God does not force us to believe in him, though he could. Instead, he has provided sufficient proof of his existence for us to willingly respond to him. The earth’s perfect distance from the sun, the unique chemical properties of water, the human brain, DNA, the number of people who attest to knowing God, the gnawing in our hearts and minds to determine if God is there, the willingness for God to be known through Jesus Christ. If you need to know more about Jesus and reasons to believe in him, please see: Beyond Blind Faith.
If you want to begin a relationship with God now, you can.
This is your decision, no coercion here. But if you want to be forgiven by God and come into a relationship with him, you can do so right now by asking him to forgive you and come into your life. Jesus said, “Behold, I stand at the door [of your heart] and knock. He who hears my voice and opens the door, I will come into him [or her].”19 If you want to do this, but aren’t sure how to put it into words, this may help: “Jesus, thank you for dying for my sins. You know my life and that I need to be forgiven. I ask you to forgive me right now and come into my life. I want to know you in a real way. Come into my life now. Thank you that you wanted a relationship with me. Amen.”
God views your relationship with him as permanent. Referring to all those who believe in him, Jesus Christ said of us, “I know them, and they follow me; and I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish, and no one shall snatch them out of my hand.”20
Looking at all these facts, one can conclude that a loving God does exist and can be known in an intimate, personal way.
|►||I just asked Jesus into my life (some helpful information follows)…|
|►||I may want to ask Jesus into my life, please explain this more fully…|
|►||I have a question or comment…|
Footnotes: (1) Romans 1:19-21 (2) Jeremiah 29:13-14 (3) R.E.D. Clark, Creation (London: Tyndale Press, 1946), p. 20 (4) The Wonders of God’s Creation, Moody Institute of Science (Chicago, IL) (5) Ibid. (6) Ibid. (7) Ibid. (8) Hugh Davson, Physiology of the Eye, 5th ed (New York: McGraw Hill, 1991) (9) Robert Jastrow; “Message from Professor Robert Jastrow”; LeaderU.com; 2002. (10) Steven Weinberg; The First Three Minutes: A Modern View of the Origin of the Universe; (Basic Books,1988); p 5. (11) Dinesh D’Souza, What’s So Great about Christianity; (Regnery Publishing, Inc, 2007, chapter 11). (12) Richard Feynman, The Meaning of It All: Thoughts of a Citizen-Scientist (New York: BasicBooks, 1998), 43. (13) Francis S. Collins, director of the Human Genome Project, and author of The Language of God, (Free Press, New York, NY), 2006 (14) John 8:12 (15) John 14:6 (16) John 14:11 (17) Jeremiah 31:3 (18) John 3:16 (10) Revelation 3:20 (20) John 10:27-29
The Existence Of God
The existence of God is a subject of debate in the philosophy of religion and popular culture. A wide variety of arguments for and against the existence of God can be categorized as metaphysical, logical, empirical, or subjective. In philosophical terms, the question of the existence of God involves the disciplines of epistemology (the nature and scope of knowledge) and ontology (study of the nature of being, existence, or reality) and the theory of value (since some definitions of God include “perfection”). The Western tradition of philosophical discussion of the existence of God began with Plato and Aristotle, who made arguments that would now be categorized as cosmological. Other arguments for the existence of God have been proposed by St. Anselm, who formulated the first ontological argument; Ibn Rushd (Averroes) and Thomas Aquinas, who presented their own versions of the cosmological argument (the kalam argument and the first way, respectively); René Descartes, who said that the existence of a benevolent God is logically necessary for the evidence of the senses to be meaningful. John Calvin argued for a sensus divinitatis, which gives each human a knowledge of God’s existence. Philosophers who have provided arguments against the existence of God include Immanuel Kant, David Hume, Friedrich Nietzsche and Bertrand Russell. In modern culture, the question of God’s existence has been discussed by scientists such as Stephen Hawking, Francis Collins, Lawrence M. Krauss, Richard Dawkins, Carl Sagan, Neil deGrasse Tyson and John Lennox, as well as philosophers including Richard Swinburne, Alvin Plantinga, William Lane Craig, Rebecca Goldstein, A. C. Grayling, Daniel Dennett, Edward Feser, David Bentley Hart, Reza Aslan and Sam Harris. Scientists follow the scientific method, within which theories must be verifiable by physical experiment. The majority of prominent conceptions of God explicitly or effectively posit a being which is not testable either by proof or disproof. On these bases, the question regarding the existence of God, one for which evidence cannot be tested, may lie outside the purview of modern science by definition. The Catholic Church maintains that knowledge of the existence of God is the “natural light of human reason”. Fideists maintain that belief in the existence of God may not be amenable to demonstration or refutation, but rests on faith alone. Atheists view arguments for the existence of God as insufficient, mistaken or weighing less in comparison to arguments against whereas some religions, such as Buddhism, are not concerned with the existence of gods at all and yet other religions, such as Jainism, reject the possibility of a creator deity.
- 2Philosophical issues
- 3Arguments for the existence of God
- 3.1Empirical arguments
- 3.2Deductive arguments
- 3.3Inductive arguments
- 3.4Subjective arguments
- 3.5Hindu arguments
- 4Arguments against the existence of God
- 5Psychological aspects
- 6See also
- 8Further reading
- 9External links
Positions on the existence of God can be divided along numerous axes, producing a variety of orthogonal classifications. Theism and atheism are positions of belief (or lack of it), while gnosticism and agnosticism are positions of knowledge (or the lack of it). Ignosticism concerns belief regarding God’s conceptual coherence. Apatheism concerns belief regarding the practical importance of whether God exists.
- Strong theist. 100% probability of God. In the words of C.G. Jung: “I do not believe, I know.”
- De facto theist. Very high probability but short of 100%. “I don’t know for certain, but I strongly believe in God and live my life on the assumption that he is there.”
- Leaning towards theism. Higher than 50% but not very high. “I am very uncertain, but I am inclined to believe in God.”
- Completely impartial. Exactly 50%. “God’s existence and non-existence are exactly equiprobable.”
- Leaning towards atheism. Lower than 50% but not very low. “I do not know whether God exists but I’m inclined to be skeptical.”
- De facto atheist. Very low probability, but short of zero. “I don’t know for certain but I think God is very improbable, and I live my life on the assumption that he is not there.”
- Strong atheist. “I know there is no God, with the same conviction as Jung knows there is one.”
In classical theism, God is characterized as the metaphysically ultimate being (the first, timeless, absolutely simple and sovereign being, who is devoid of any anthropomorphic qualities), in distinction to other conceptions such as theistic personalism, open theism, and process theism. Classical theists do not believe that God can be completely defined. They believe it would contradict the transcendent nature of God for mere humans to define him. Robert Barron explains by analogy that it seems impossible for a two-dimensional object to conceive of three-dimensional humans.
In modern Western societies, the concepts of God typically entail a monotheistic, supreme, ultimate, and personal being, as found in the Christian, Islamic and Jewish traditions. In monotheistic religions outside the Abrahamic traditions, the existence of God is discussed in similar terms. In these traditions, God is also identified as the author (either directly or by inspiration) of certain texts, or that certain texts describe specific historical events caused by the God in question or communications from God (whether in direct speech or via dreams or omens). Some traditions also believe that God is the entity which is currently answering prayers for intervention or information or opinions.
Many Islamic scholars have used philosophical and rational arguments to prove the existence of God. For example, Ibn Rushd, a 12th-century Islamic scholar, philosopher, and physician, states there are only two arguments worthy of adherence, both of which are found in what he calls the “Precious Book” (The Qur’an). Rushd cites “providence” and “invention” in using the Qur’an’s parables to claim the existence of God. Rushd argues that the Earth’s weather patterns are conditioned to support human life; thus, if the planet is so finely-tuned to maintain life, then it suggests a fine tuner – God. The Sun and the Moon are not just random objects floating in the Milky Way, rather they serve us day and night, and the way nature works and how life is formed, humankind benefits from it. Rushd essentially comes to a conclusion that there has to be a higher being who has made everything perfectly to serve the needs of human beings.
Moses ben Maimon, widely known as Maimonides, was a Jewish scholar who tried to logically prove the existence of God. Maimonides offered proofs for the existence of God, but he did not begin with defining God first, like many others do. Rather, he used the description of the earth and the universe to prove the existence of God. He talked about the Heavenly bodies and how they are committed to eternal motion. Maimonides argued that because every physical object is finite, it can only contain a finite amount of power. If everything in the universe, which includes all the planets and the stars, is finite, then there has to be an infinite power to push forth the motion of everything in the universe. Narrowing down to an infinite being, the only thing that can explain the motion is an infinite being (meaning God) which is neither a body nor a force in the body. Maimonides believed that this argument gives us a ground to believe that God is, not an idea of what God is. He believed that God cannot be understood or be compared.
Non-personal definitions of God
In pantheism, God and the universe are considered to be the same thing. In this view, the natural sciences are essentially studying the nature of God. This definition of God creates the philosophical problem that a universe with God and one without God are the same, other than the words used to describe it.
Deism and panentheism assert that there is a God distinct from, or which extends beyond (either in time or in space or in some other way) the universe. These positions deny that God intervenes in the operation of the universe, including communicating with humans personally. The notion that God never intervenes or communicates with the universe, or may have evolved into the universe, makes it difficult, if not by definition impossible, to distinguish between a universe with God and one without.
Debate about how theism should be argued
In Christian faith, theologians and philosophers make a distinction between: (a) preambles of faith and (b) articles of faith. The preambles include alleged truths contained in revelation which are nevertheless demonstrable by reason, e.g., the immortality of the soul, the existence of God. The articles of faith, on the other hand, contain truths that cannot be proven or reached by reason alone and presuppose the truths of the preambles, e.g., the Holy Trinity, is not demonstrable and presupposes the existence of God.
The argument that the existence of God can be known to all, even prior to exposure to any divine revelation, predates Christianity. St. Paul made this argument when he said that pagans were without excuse because “since the creation of the world God’s invisible nature, namely, his eternal power and deity, has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made”. In this Paul alludes to the proofs for a creator, later enunciated by St. Thomas and others, but that had also been explored by the Greek philosophers.
Another apologetical school of thought, including Dutch and American Reformed thinkers (such as Abraham Kuyper, Benjamin Warfield, Herman Dooyeweerd), emerged in the late 1920s. This school was instituted by Cornelius Van Til, and came to be popularly called Presuppositional apologetics (though Van Til himself felt “transcendental” would be a more accurate title). The main distinction between this approach and the more classical evidentialist approach is that the presuppositionalist denies any common ground between the believer and the non-believer, except that which the non-believer denies, namely, the assumption of the truth of the theistic worldview. In other words, presuppositionalists do not believe that the existence of God can be proven by appeal to raw, uninterpreted, or “brute” facts, which have the same (theoretical) meaning to people with fundamentally different worldviews, because they deny that such a condition is even possible. They claim that the only possible proof for the existence of God is that the very same belief is the necessary condition to the intelligibility of all other human experience and action. They attempt to prove the existence of God by means of appeal to the transcendental necessity of the belief—indirectly (by appeal to the unavowed presuppositions of the non-believer’s worldview) rather than directly (by appeal to some form of common factuality). In practice this school utilizes what have come to be known as transcendental arguments. In these arguments they claim to demonstrate that all human experience and action (even the condition of unbelief, itself) is a proof for the existence of God, because God’s existence is the necessary condition of their intelligibility.
Alvin Plantinga presents an argument for the existence of God using modal logic. Others have said that the logical and philosophical arguments for and against the existence of God miss the point. The word God has a meaning in human culture and history that does not correspond to the beings whose existence is supported by such arguments, assuming they are valid. The real question is not whether a “most perfect being” or an “uncaused first cause” exist. The real question is whether Jehovah, Zeus, Ra, Krishna, or any gods of any religion exist, and if so, which gods? On the other hand, many theists equate all monotheistic or henotheistic “most perfect Beings”, no matter what name is assigned to them/him, as the one monotheistic God (one example would be understanding the Muslim Allah, Christian Yhwh, and Chinese Shangdi as different names for the same Being). Most of these arguments do not resolve the issue of which of these figures is more likely to exist. These arguments fail to make the distinction between immanent gods and a Transcendent God.
Some[who?] Christians note that the Christian faith teaches “salvation is by faith”, and that faith is reliance upon the faithfulness of God. The most extreme example of this position is called fideism, which holds that faith is simply the will to believe, and argues that if God’s existence were rationally demonstrable, faith in its existence would become superfluous. Søren Kierkegaard argued that objective knowledge, such as 1+1=2, is unimportant to existence. If God could rationally be proven, his existence would be unimportant to humans. It is because God cannot rationally be proven that his existence is important to us. In The Justification of Knowledge, the Calvinist theologian Robert L. Reymond argues that believers should not attempt to prove the existence of God. Since he believes all such proofs are fundamentally unsound, believers should not place their confidence in them, much less resort to them in discussions with non-believers; rather, they should accept the content of revelation by faith. Reymond’s position is similar to that of his mentor Gordon Clark, which holds that all worldviews are based on certain unprovable first premises (or, axioms), and therefore are ultimately unprovable. The Christian theist therefore must simply choose to start with Christianity rather than anything else, by a “leap of faith“. This position is also sometimes called presuppositional apologetics, but should not be confused with the Van Tillian variety.
The atheistic conclusion is that the arguments and evidence both indicate there is insufficient reason to believe that any gods exist, and that personal subjective religious experiences say something about the human experience rather than the nature of reality itself; therefore, one has no reason to believe that a god exists.
Positive atheism (also called “strong atheism” and “hard atheism”) is a form of atheism that asserts that no deities exist. The strong atheist explicitly asserts the non-existence of gods. Some[who?] strong atheists further assert that the existence of gods is logically impossible, stating that the combination of attributes which God may be asserted to have (omnipotence, omniscience, omnipresence, transcendence, omnibenevolence) are logically contradictory, incomprehensible, or absurd, and therefore the existence of such a god is a priori false. Metaphysical naturalism is a common worldview associated with strong atheism.
Negative atheism (also called “weak atheism” and “soft atheism”) is any type of atheism other than positive, wherein a person does not believe in the existence of any deities, but does not explicitly assert there to be none.
Agnosticism is the view that the truth value of certain claims—especially claims about the existence of any deity, but also other religious and metaphysical claims—is unknown or unknowable. Agnosticism as a broad umbrella term does not define one’s belief or disbelief in gods; agnostics may still identify themselves as theists or atheists.
Strong agnosticism is the belief that it is impossible for humans to know whether or not any deities exist.
Weak agnosticism is the belief that the existence or nonexistence of deities is unknown but not necessarily unknowable.
Agnostic theism is the philosophical view that encompasses both theism and agnosticism. An agnostic theist believes in the existence of a god or God, but regards the basis of this proposition as unknown or inherently unknowable. Agnostic theists may also insist on ignorance regarding the properties of the gods they believe in.
Agnostic atheism is a philosophical position that encompasses both atheism and agnosticism. Agnostic atheists are atheistic because they do not hold a belief in the existence of any deity and agnostic because they claim that the existence of a deity is either unknowable in principle or currently unknown in fact.
The theologian Robert Flint explains:
If a man have failed to find any good reason for believing that there is a God, it is perfectly natural and rational that he should not believe that there is a God; and if so, he is an atheist, although he assume no superhuman knowledge, but merely the ordinary human power of judging of evidence. If he go farther, and, after an investigation into the nature and reach of human knowledge, ending in the conclusion that the existence of God is incapable of proof, cease to believe in it on the ground that he cannot know it to be true, he is an agnostic and also an atheist, an agnostic-atheist—an atheist because an agnostic.”
An apatheist is someone who is not interested in accepting or denying any claims that gods exist or do not exist. An apatheist lives as if there are no gods and explains natural phenomena without reference to any deities. The existence of gods is not rejected, but may be designated unnecessary or useless; gods neither provide purpose to life, nor influence everyday life, according to this view.
The ignostic (or igtheist) usually concludes that the question of God’s existence or nonexistence is usually not worth discussing because concepts like “God” are usually not sufficiently clearly defined. Ignosticism or igtheism is the theological position that every other theological position (including agnosticism and atheism) assume too much about the concept of God and many other theological concepts. It can be defined as encompassing two related views about the existence of God. The view that a coherent definition of God must be presented before the question of the existence of God can be meaningfully discussed. Furthermore, if that definition is unfalsifiable, the ignostic takes the theological noncognitivist position that the question of the existence of God (per that definition) is meaningless. In this case, the concept of God is not considered meaningless; the term “God” is considered meaningless. The second view is synonymous with theological noncognitivism, and skips the step of first asking “What is meant by ‘God’?” before proclaiming the original question “Does God exist?” as meaningless.
Some philosophers have seen ignosticism as a variation of agnosticism or atheism, while others[who?] have considered it to be distinct. An ignostic maintains that he cannot even say whether he is a theist or an atheist until a sufficient definition of theism is put forth.
The term “ignosticism” was coined in the 1960s by Sherwin Wine, a rabbi and a founding figure of Humanistic Judaism. The term “igtheism” was coined by the secular humanist Paul Kurtz in his 1992 book The New Skepticism.
The problem of the supernatural
One problem posed by the question of the existence of God is that traditional beliefs usually ascribe to God various supernatural powers. Supernatural beings may be able to conceal and reveal themselves for their own purposes, as for example in the tale of Baucis and Philemon. In addition, according to concepts of God, God is not part of the natural order, but the ultimate creator of nature and of the scientific laws. Thus in Aristotelian philosophy, God is viewed as part of the explanatory structure needed to support scientific conclusions and any powers God possesses are—strictly speaking—of the natural order that is derived from God’s place as originator of nature (see also Monadology).
In Karl Popper‘s philosophy of science, belief in a supernatural God is outside the natural domain of scientific investigation because all scientific hypotheses must be falsifiable in the natural world. The non-overlapping magisteria view proposed by Stephen Jay Gould also holds that the existence (or otherwise) of God is irrelevant to and beyond the domain of science.
Logical positivists such as Rudolf Carnap and A. J. Ayer viewed any talk of gods as literal nonsense. For the logical positivists and adherents of similar schools of thought, statements about religious or other transcendent experiences can not have a truth value, and are deemed to be without meaning, because such statements do not have any clear verification criteria. As the Christian biologist Scott C. Todd put it “Even if all the data pointed to an intelligent designer, such a hypothesis is excluded from science because it is not naturalistic.” This argument limits the domain of science to the empirically observable and limits the domain of God to the unprovable.
Nature of relevant proofs and arguments
John Polkinghorne suggests that the nearest analogy to the existence of God in physics is the ideas of quantum mechanics which are seemingly paradoxical but make sense of a great deal of disparate data.
One approach, suggested by writers such as Stephen D. Unwin, is to treat (particular versions of) theism and naturalism as though they were two hypotheses in the Bayesian sense, to list certain data (or alleged data), about the world, and to suggest that the likelihoods of these data are significantly higher under one hypothesis than the other. Most of the arguments for, or against, the existence of God can be seen as pointing to particular aspects of the universe in this way. In almost all cases it is not seriously suggested by proponents of the arguments that they are irrefutable, merely that they make one worldview seem significantly more likely than the other. However, since an assessment of the weight of evidence depends on the prior probability that is assigned to each worldview, arguments that a theist finds convincing may seem thin to an atheist and vice versa.
Philosophers, such as Wittgenstein, take a view that is considered anti-realist and oppose philosophical arguments related to God’s existence. For instance, Charles Taylor contends that the real is whatever will not go away. If we cannot reduce talk about God to anything else, or replace it, or prove it false, then perhaps God is as real as anything else.
In George Berkeley‘s A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge of 1710, he argued that a “naked thought” cannot exist, and that a perception is a thought; therefore only minds can be proven to exist, since all else is merely an idea conveyed by a perception. From this Berkeley argued that the universe is based upon observation and is non-objective. However, he noted that the universe includes “ideas” not perceptible to humankind, and that there must, therefore, exist an omniscient superobserver, which perceives such things. Berkeley considered this proof of the existence of the Christian god.
C.S. Lewis, in Mere Christianity and elsewhere, raised the argument from desire. He posed that all natural desires have a natural object. One thirsts, and there exists water to quench this thirst; One hungers, and there exists food to satisfy this hunger. He then argued that the human desire for perfect justice, perfect peace, perfect happiness, and other intangibles strongly implies the existence of such things, though they seem unobtainable on earth. He further posed that the unquenchable desires of this life strongly imply that we are intended for a different life, necessarily governed by a God who can provide the desired intangibles.
Outside of Western thought
Existence in absolute truth is central to Vedanta epistemology. Traditional sense perception based approaches were put into question as possibly misleading due to preconceived or superimposed ideas. But though all object-cognition can be doubted, the existence of the doubter remains a fact even in nastika traditions of mayavada schools following Adi Shankara. The five eternal principles to be discussed under ontology, beginning with God or Isvara, the Ultimate Reality cannot be established by the means of logic alone, and often require superior proof. In Vaisnavism Vishnu, or his intimate ontological form of Krishna, is equated to personal absolute God of the Western traditions. Aspects of Krishna as svayam bhagavan in original Absolute Truth, sat chit ananda, are understood originating from three essential attributes of Krishna’s form, i.e., “eternal existence” or sat, related to the brahman aspect; “knowledge” or chit, to the paramatman; and “bliss” or ananda in Sanskrit, to bhagavan.
Arguments for the existence of God
Argument from beauty
One form of the argument from beauty is that the elegance of the laws of physics, which have been empirically discovered, or the elegant laws of mathematics, which are abstract but which have empirically proven to be useful, is evidence of a creator deity who has arranged these things to be beautiful and not ugly.
Argument from consciousness
The argument from consciousness claims that human consciousness cannot be explained by the physical mechanisms of the human body and brain, therefore, asserting that there must be non-physical aspects to human consciousness. This is held as indirect evidence of God, given that notions about souls and the afterlife in Christianity and Islam would be consistent with such a claim. Critics point out that non-physical aspects of consciousness could exist in a universe without any gods; for example, some religions that believe in reincarnation are compatible with atheism, monotheism, and polytheism.
The notion of the soul was created before modern understanding of neural networks and the physiology of the brain. After decades of detailed experimentation and testing how the mind works, cognitive science has yet to find any aspects of human thought or emotion that require non-physical explanations, though many aspects of both mental illness and healthy functioning of the brain have yet to be explained in detail. It could be said[by whom?] that the modern research program of cognitive science both assumes physicalism and provides empirical support for that assumption. The hard problem of consciousness remains as to whether different people subjectively experience the world in the same way — for example, that the color blue looks the same inside the minds of different people, though this is a philosophical problem with both physical and non-physical explanations.
Aquinas’ Five Ways
In article 3, question 2, first part of his Summa Theologica, Thomas Aquinas developed his five arguments for God’s existence. These arguments are grounded in an Aristotelian ontology and make use of the infinite regression argument. Aquinas did not intend to fully prove the existence of God as he is orthodoxly conceived (with all of his traditional attributes), but proposed his Five Ways as a first stage, which he built upon later in his work. Aquinas’ Five Ways argued from the unmoved mover, first cause, necessary being, argument from degree, and the teleological argument.
- The unmoved mover argument asserts that, from our experience of motion in the universe (motion being the transition from potentiality to actuality) we can see that there must have been an initial mover. Aquinas argued that whatever is in motion must be put in motion by another thing, so there must be an unmoved mover.
- Aquinas’ argument from first cause started with the premise that it is impossible for a being to cause itself (because it would have to exist before it caused itself) and that it is impossible for there to be an infinite chain of causes, which would result in infinite regress. Therefore, there must be a first cause, itself uncaused.
- The argument from necessary being asserts that all beings are contingent, meaning that it is possible for them not to exist. Aquinas argued that if everything can possibly not exist, there must have been a time when nothing existed; as things exist now, there must exist a being with necessary existence, regarded as God.
- Aquinas argued from degree, considering the occurrence of degrees of goodness. He believed that things which are called good, must be called good in relation to a standard of good—a maximum. There must be a maximum goodness that which causes all goodness.
- The teleological argument asserts the view that things without intelligence are ordered towards a purpose. Aquinas argued that unintelligent objects cannot be ordered unless they are done so by an intelligent being, which means that there must be an intelligent being to move objects to their ends: God.
Philosopher Georg Hegel signed a publishing contract in 1831 for his final book, Lectures on the Proofs of the Existence of God (1831). Sadly, Hegel died that year, before completing his first draft of that work. What we know about this planned work we find in the pages of his Lectures on the Philosophy of Religion (1818-1831). There we find that Hegel proposed a dialectical reworking of the three classical proofs of the existence of God, namely: (1) the cosmological argument; (2) the teleological argument; and (3) the ontological argument. Hegel recognized that Immanuel Kant‘s Critique of Pure Reason had sharply criticized the three three classical proofs, and as a veteran critic of Kantian epistemology, Hegel chose to show where Kant, Schleiermacher and Jacobi had been mistaken in their negative positions over the three classical proofs. Thus, Hegel went about reworking these classical arguments by using his own dialectical logic.
Joseph Hinman applied Toulmin’s approach in his argument for the existence of God, particularly in his book The Trace of God: A Rational Warrant for Belief. Instead of attempting to prove the existence of God, Hinman argues you can “demonstrate the rationally-warranted nature of belief”.
Hinman uses a wide range of studies, including ones by Robert Wuthnow, Andrew Greeley, Mathes and Kathleen Nobel to establish that mystical experiences are life-transformative in a way that is significant, positive and lasting. He draws on additional work to add several additional major points to his argument. First, the people who have these experiences not only do not exhibit traditional signs of mental illness but, often, are in better mental and physical health than the general population due to the experience. Second, the experiences work. In other words, they provide a framework for navigating life that is useful and effective. All of the evidence of the positive effects of the experience upon people’s lives he, adapting a term from Derrida, terms “the trace of God”: the footprints left behind that point to the impact.
Finally, he discusses how both religious experience and belief in God is, and has always been, normative among humans: people do not need to prove the existence of God. If there is no need to prove, Hinman argues, and the Trace of God (for instance, the impact of mystical experiences on them), belief in God is rationally warranted.[clarification needed]
The ontological argument has been formulated by philosophers including St. Anselm and René Descartes. The argument proposes that God’s existence is self-evident. The logic, depending on the formulation, reads roughly as follows:
Whatever is contained in a clear and distinct idea of a thing must be predicated of that thing; but a clear and distinct idea of an absolutely perfect Being contains the idea of actual existence; therefore since we have the idea of an absolutely perfect Being such a Being must really exist.
Thomas Aquinas criticized the argument for proposing a definition of God which, if God is transcendent, should be impossible for humans. Immanuel Kant criticized the proof from a logical standpoint: he stated that the term “God” really signifies two different terms: both idea of God, and God. Kant concluded that the proof is equivocation, based on the ambiguity of the word God. Kant also challenged the argument’s assumption that existence is a predicate (of perfection) because it does not add anything to the essence of a being. If existence is not a predicate, then it is not necessarily true that the greatest possible being exists. A common rebuttal to Kant’s critique is that, although “existence” does add something to both the concept and the reality of God, the concept would be vastly different if its referent is an unreal Being. Another response to Kant is attributed to Alvin Plantinga who explains that even if one were to grant Kant that “existence” is not a real predicate, “Necessary Existence”, which is the correct formulation of an understanding of God, is a real predicate, thus according to Plantinga Kant’s argument is refuted.
Inductive arguments argue their conclusions through inductive reasoning.
- Another class of philosophers asserts that the proofs for the existence of God present a fairly large probability though not absolute certainty. A number of obscure points, they say, always remain; an act of faith is required to dismiss these difficulties. This view is maintained, among others, by the Scottish statesman Arthur Balfour in his book The Foundations of Belief (1895). The opinions set forth in this work were adopted in France by Ferdinand Brunetière, the editor of the Revue des deux Mondes. Many orthodox Protestants express themselves in the same manner, as, for instance, Dr. E. Dennert, President of the Kepler Society, in his work Ist Gott tot?
- The hypothesis of well design proposes that certain features of the universe and of living things are the product of an intelligent cause. Its proponents are mainly Christians.
- Argument from belief in God being properly basic as presented by Alvin Plantinga.
- Argument from the confluence of proper function and reliability and the evolutionary argument against naturalism, concluding that naturalism is incapable of providing humans with the cognitive apparatus necessary for their knowledge to have positive epistemic status.
- Argument from Personal Identity.
- Argument from the “divine attributes of scientific law”.
Arguments from historical events or personages
- The sincere seeker’s argument, espoused by Muslim Sufis of the Tasawwuf tradition, posits that every individual who follows a formulaic path towards guidance, arrives at the same destination of conviction in the existence of God and specifically in the monotheistic tenets and laws of Islam. This could only be true if the formula and supplication were being answered by the same Divine entity being addressed, as claimed in Islamic revelations. This was formally organized by Imam Abu Hamid Al-Ghazali in such notable works as “Deliverance from Error” and “The Alchemy of Happiness,” in Arabic “Kimiya-yi sa’adat“. The path includes following the golden rule of no harm to others and treating others with compassion, silence or minimal speech, seclusion, daily fasting or minimalist diet of water and basic nourishment, honest wages, and daily supplication towards “the Creator of the Universe” for guidance.
- Christianity and Judaism assert that God intervened in key specific moments in history, especially at the Exodus and the giving of the Ten Commandments in front of all the tribes of Israel, positing an argument from empirical evidence stemming from sheer number of witnesses, thus demonstrating his existence.
- Christological arguments assert that certain events of the Christian New Testament are historically accurate, and prove God’s existence, namely:
- Islam asserts that the revelation of its holy book, the Qur’an, and its unique literary attributes, vindicate its divine authorship, and thus the existence of God.
- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also known as Mormonism, similarly asserts that the miraculous appearance of God, Jesus Christ, and angels to Joseph Smith and others and subsequent finding and translation of the Book of Mormon establishes the existence of God. The whole Latter Day Saint movement makes the same claim for example Community of Christ, Church of Christ (Temple Lot), Church of Jesus Christ (Bickertonite), Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Strangite), Church of Jesus Christ (Cutlerite), etc.
- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Strangite), similarly asserts that the finding and translation of the Plates of Laban, also known as the Brass Plates, into the Book of the Law of the Lord and Voree plates by James Strang, One Mighty and Strong, establishes the existence of God.
- Various sects that have broken from the Church of Christ (Temple Lot) (such as Church of Christ “With the Elijah Message” and Church of Christ (Assured Way)) claim that the message brought by John the Baptist, One Mighty and Strong, to Otto Fetting and W. A. Draves in The Word of the Lord Brought to Mankind by an Angel establishes the existence of God.
Arguments from testimony
Arguments from testimony rely on the testimony or experience of witnesses, possibly embodying the propositions of a specific revealed religion. Swinburne argues that it is a principle of rationality that one should accept testimony unless there are strong reasons for not doing so.
- The witness argument gives credibility to personal witnesses, contemporary and throughout the ages. A variation of this is the argument from miracles (also referred to as “the priest stories”) which relies on testimony of supernatural events to establish the existence of God.
- The majority argument argues that the theism of people throughout most of recorded history and in many different places provides prima facie demonstration of God’s existence.
Arguments grounded in personal experiences
- The sincere seeker’s argument, espoused by Muslim Sufis of the Tasawwuf tradition, posits that every individual who follows a formulaic path towards guidance, arrives at the same destination of conviction in the existence of God and specifically in the monotheistic tenets and laws of Islam. This apparent natural law for guidance and belief could only be consistent if the formula and supplication were being answered by the same Divine entity being addressed, as claimed in Islamic revelations. This was formally organized by Imam Abu Hamid Al-Ghazali in such notable works as “Deliverance from Error” and “The Alchemy of Happiness,” in Arabic “Kimiya-yi sa’ādat“. The path includes following the golden rule of no harm to others and treating others with compassion, silence or minimal speech, seclusion, daily fasting or minimalist diet of water and basic nourishment, honest wages, and daily supplication towards “the Creator of the Universe” for guidance.
- The Argument from a proper basis argues that belief in God is “properly basic”; that it is similar to statements like “I see a chair” or “I feel pain”. Such beliefs are non-falsifiable and, thus, neither provable nor disprovable; they concern perceptual beliefs or indisputable mental states.
- In Germany, the School of Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi taught that human reason is able to perceive the suprasensible. Jacobi distinguished three faculties: sense, reason, and understanding. Just as sense has immediate perception of the material so has reason immediate perception of the immaterial, while the understanding brings these perceptions to a person’s consciousness and unites them to one another. God’s existence, then, cannot be proven (Jacobi, like Immanuel Kant, rejected the absolute value of the principle of causality), it must be felt by the mind.
- The same theory was advocated in Germany by Friedrich Schleiermacher, who assumed an inner religious sense by means of which people feel religious truths. According to Schleiermacher, religion consists solely in this inner perception, and dogmatic doctrines are inessential.
- Brahma Kumaris religion was established in 1936, when God was said to enter the body of diamond merchant Lekhraj Kripalani (1876–1969) in Hyderabad, Sindh and started to speak through him.
The school of Vedanta argues that one of the proofs of the existence of God is the law of karma. In a commentary to Brahma Sutras (III, 2, 38, and 41), Adi Sankara argues that the original karmic actions themselves cannot bring about the proper results at some future time; neither can super sensuous, non-intelligent qualities like adrsta by themselves mediate the appropriate, justly deserved pleasure and pain. The fruits, according to him must be administered through the action of a conscious agent, namely, a supreme being (Ishvara). The Nyaya school make similar arguments.
Arguments against the existence of God
The following empirical arguments rely on observations or experimentation to yield their conclusions.
- The argument from inconsistent revelations contests the existence of the deity called God as described in scriptures—such as the Hindu Vedas, the Jewish Tanakh, the Christian Bible, the Muslim Qur’an, the Book of Mormon or the Baha’i Aqdas—by identifying apparent contradictions between different scriptures, within a single scripture, or between scripture and known facts.
- The problem of evil contests the existence of a god who is both omnipotent and omnibenevolent by arguing that such a god should not permit the existence of evil or suffering. The theist responses are called theodicies.
- The destiny of the unevangelized, by which persons who have never even heard of a particular revelation might be harshly punished for not following its dictates.
- The argument from poor design contests the idea that God created life on the basis that lifeforms, including humans, seem to exhibit poor design.
- The argument from nonbelief contests the existence of an omnipotent God who wants humans to believe in him by arguing that such a god would do a better job of gathering believers.
- The argument from parsimony (using Occam’s razor) contends that since natural (non-supernatural) theories adequately explain the development of religion and belief in gods, the actual existence of such supernatural agents is superfluous and may be dismissed unless otherwise proven to be required to explain the phenomenon.
- The analogy of Russell’s teapot argues that the burden of proof for the existence of God lies with the theist rather than the atheist; it can be considered an extension of Occam’s Razor.
The following arguments deduce, mostly through self-contradiction, the existence of a God as “the Creator”.
- Stephen Hawking and co-author Leonard Mlodinow state in their book The Grand Design that it is reasonable to ask who or what created the universe, but if the answer is God, then the question has merely been deflected to that of who created God. Both authors claim that it is possible to answer these questions purely within the realm of science, and without invoking any divine beings. Christian mathematicians and scientists, most notably Leonhard Euler, Bernard d’Espagnat and John Lennox, disagree with that kind of skeptical argument.
- A counter-argument against God as the Creator tasks the assumption of the Cosmological argument (“chicken or the egg”), that things cannot exist without creators, and applies it to God, setting up an infinite regress.
- Dawkin’s Ultimate Boeing 747 gambit analogizes the above. Some theists argue that evolution is akin to a hurricane assembling a Boeing 747 — that the universe (or life) is too complex not to have been designed by someone, who theists call God. Dawkin’s counter-argument is that such a God would himself be complex — the “Ultimate” Boeing 747 — and therefore require a designer.
- Theological noncognitivism is the argument that religious language – specifically, words such as “God” – are not cognitively meaningful and that irreducible definitions of God are circular.
Some arguments focus on the existence of specific conceptions of God as being omniscient, omnipotent, and morally perfect.
- The omnipotence paradox suggests that the concept of an omnipotent entity is logically contradictory by considering questions such as “Can God create a rock so big that He cannot move it?” or “If God is all powerful, could God create a being more powerful than Himself?”
- Similarly, the omniscience paradox argues that God cannot be omniscient because he would not know how to create something unknown to himself.
- Another argument points to the contradiction of omniscience and omnipotence arguing that God is bound to follow whatever God foreknows himself doing.
- Argument from free will contends that omniscience and the free will of humanity are incompatible and that any conception of God that incorporates both properties is therefore inherently contradictory: if God is omniscient, then God already knows humanity’s future, contradicting the claim of free will.
- The anthropic argument states that if God is omniscient, omnipotent, and morally perfect, he would have created other morally perfect beings instead of imperfect ones, such as humans.
- The problem of hell is the idea that eternal damnation contradicts God’s omnibenevolence and omnipresence.
Inductive arguments argue their conclusions through inductive reasoning.
- The atheist-existential argument for the non-existence of a perfect sentient being states that if existence precedes essence, it follows from the meaning of the term sentient that a sentient being cannot be complete or perfect. It is touched upon by Jean-Paul Sartre in Being and Nothingness. Sartre’s phrasing is that God would be a pour-soi [a being-for-itself; a consciousness] who is also an en-soi [a being-in-itself; a thing]: which is a contradiction in terms. The argument is echoed thus in Salman Rushdie‘s novel Grimus: “That which is complete is also dead.”
- The “no reason” argument tries to show that an omnipotent and omniscient being would not have any reason to act in any way, specifically by creating the universe, because it would have no needs, wants, or desires since these very concepts are subjectively human. Since the universe exists, there is a contradiction, and therefore, an omnipotent god cannot exist. This argument is expounded upon by Scott Adams in the book God’s Debris, which puts forward a form of Pandeism as its fundamental theological model. A similar argument is put forward in Ludwig von Mises‘s “Human Action”. He referred to it as the “praxeological argument” and claimed that a perfect being would have long ago satisfied all its wants and desires and would no longer be able to take action in the present without proving that it had been unable to achieve its wants faster—showing it imperfect.
- The “historical induction” argument concludes that since most theistic religions throughout history (e.g. ancient Egyptian religion, ancient Greek religion) and their gods ultimately come to be regarded as untrue or incorrect, all theistic religions, including contemporary ones, are therefore most likely untrue/incorrect by induction. It is implied as part of Stephen F. Roberts’ popular quotation:
I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.
Similar to the subjective arguments for the existence of God, subjective arguments against the supernatural mainly rely on the testimony or experience of witnesses, or the propositions of a revealed religion in general.
- The witness argument gives credibility to personal witnesses, contemporary and from the past, who disbelieve or strongly doubt the existence of God.
- The conflicted religions argument notes that many religions give differing accounts as to what God is and what God wants; since all the contradictory accounts cannot be correct, many if not all religions must be incorrect.
- The disappointment argument claims that if, when asked for, there is no visible help from God, there is no reason to believe that there is a God.
Atheistic Hindu doctrines cite various arguments for rejecting a creator God or Ishvara. The Sāṁkhyapravacana Sūtra of the Samkhya school states that there is no philosophical place for a creator God in this system. It is also argued in this text that the existence of Ishvara (God) cannot be proved and hence cannot be admitted to exist. Classical Samkhya argues against the existence of God on metaphysical grounds. For instance, it argues that an unchanging God cannot be the source of an ever-changing world. It says God is a necessary metaphysical assumption demanded by circumstances. The Sutras of Samkhya endeavor to prove that the idea of God is inconceivable and self-contradictory, and some[which?] commentaries speak plainly on this subject. The Sankhya- tattva-kaumudi, commenting on Karika 57, argues that a perfect God can have no need to create a world, and if God’s motive is kindness, Samkhya questions whether it is reasonable to call into existence beings who while non-existent had no suffering. Samkhya postulates that a benevolent deity ought to create only happy creatures, not an imperfect world like the real world.
Charvaka, originally known as Lokāyata, a heterodox Hindu philosophy states that there is “no God, no samsara (rebirth), no karma, no duty, no fruits of merit, no sin.” Proponents of the school of Mimamsa, which is based on rituals and orthopraxy, decided that the evidence allegedly proving the existence of God is insufficient. They argue that there is no need to postulate a maker for the world, just as there is no need for an author to compose the Vedas or a god to validate the rituals. Mimamsa argues that the gods named in the Vedas have no existence apart from the mantras that speak their names. In that regard, the power of the mantras is what is seen as the power of gods.
Several authors have offered psychological or sociological explanations for belief in the existence of God.
Psychologists observe that the majority of humans often ask existential questions such as “why we are here” and whether life has purpose. Some psychologists[weasel words] have posited that religious beliefs may recruit cognitive mechanisms in order to satisfy these questions. William James emphasized the inner religious struggle between melancholy and happiness, and pointed to trance as a cognitive mechanism. Sigmund Freud stressed fear and pain, the need for a powerful parental figure, the obsessional nature of ritual, and the hypnotic state a community can induce as contributing factors to the psychology of religion.
Pascal Boyer‘s Religion Explained (2002), based in part on his anthropological field work, treats belief in God as the result of the brain’s tendency towards agency detection. Boyer suggests that, because of evolutionary pressures, humans err on the side of attributing agency where there isn’t any. In Boyer’s view, belief in supernatural entities spreads and becomes culturally fixed because of their memorability. The concept of “minimally counterintuitive” beings that differ from the ordinary in a small number of ways (such as being invisible, able to fly, or having access to strategic and otherwise secret information) leave a lasting impression that spreads through word-of-mouth.
Scott Atran‘s In Gods We Trust: The Evolutionary Landscape of Religion (2002) makes a similar argument and adds examination of the socially coordinating aspects of shared belief. In Minds and Gods: The Cognitive Foundations of Religion, Todd Tremlin follows Boyer in arguing that universal human cognitive process naturally produces the concept of the supernatural. Tremlin contends that an agency detection device (ADD) and a theory of mind module (ToMM) lead humans to suspect an agent behind every event. Natural events for which there is no obvious agent may be attributed to God (c.f. Act of God).
Proof That God Exists
Proof That God Exists
QUESTION: Is there any proof that God exists?
Is there any proof that God exists? Whenever this question comes up, I am always reminded of Thomas in the Bible who would not believe that Jesus was alive until he could touch Him. That is the same analogy many people use today when it comes to answering the question “Is there any proof that God exists?” They want physical proof for something that must be taken on faith value.
It takes greater faith to believe that an unseen God exists than it does to just dismiss Him because you cannot physically confirm that He is there. For those who deal in evidence there is proof all around you and inside of you that God does exist.
Is there any proof that God exists? Take a good look around. When most people look at the world around them, they see only the trees; they do not see the forest that is there. It should be obvious that God exists because of His creation, not only us humans, but the world we live in, the galaxy that world is in, and the universe that the galaxy is in.
Our universe contains too much order for our existence to have been created out of chaos. We are complex beyond our imaginations and when you look at such a complexity, you see God and His creation.
Is there any proof that God exists? Take a good look inside yourself. Most people fail to look inside themselves for God. Instead, they look to their surroundings and conclude that since the world is such a mess, God must not be there, if He ever existed at all. They forget that since God created us, we bear His fingerprints and those fingerprints point to His existence.
First, we are all born with an innate knowledge of what is right and wrong. Even a young child knows that when they misbehave they are doing something that goes against their parents’ wishes. The knowledge of good and evil comes from God. It was put there to keep us in balance and to allow us to understand why we need to come to God for forgiveness.
Second, we have a desire to seek love. Our whole life is spent trying to fill a gap that exists in our souls; a gap that only be filled by the love of God. No matter what we do to try and fill this gap — money drugs, alcohol, sex, possessions — the hole will never be filled until we turn back to God and accept His Son as our Savior and Lord.
These are only two of the inward feelings that should tell us that we are more than just some random mistake of nature; that we are created, that a real God that created us, and that He is still there watching over us.
Is there any proof that God exists? Take a good look at His Son, Jesus Christ. All we need to do is take a good look at the life of Jesus to see that He was a man, but more than a man, He was God. When was the last time you saw a man walk on water, calm a storm, or make a man rise from the dead? Even Jesus Himself conquered death and rose again to ascend to Heaven.
Think about the impact that Jesus has had on this world from the very moment of His birth; the way His life, death and resurrection have shaped world history, changed lives, and healed souls. No mere man could do this so we must say as the Roman soldier did at His crucifixion, “Surely this is the Son of God.”
Philosophy says that our existence is based on that which we perceive existence to be. It is even suggested that maybe we do not exist as we think we do here, but on a different plane of reasoning not yet known to us. As God’s creation, we know God is real; all we have to do is take a good look.
Is there A God
Is There A God?
Is There a God? – The Question
“Is there a God?” This question is answered by asking another, “how did we get here?” 20th century science has demonstrated, with certainty, that the universe is not eternal; the universe had a beginning. Actually, mankind has contemplated this issue for millennia, long before science proved a beginning. In all that time, man has conceived of only two possible solutions — either Someone made the world, or the world made itself.
Is There a God? – Creation
“Is there a God?” Unless we can demonstrate the world is capable of creating itself, God is the default. The incredible design that permeates all things implies a Designer. Natural laws (cause and effect, thermodynamics, gravity, etc.) imply a Lawgiver. Personal creatures imply a Personal Creator. Since everything we observe in the universe is an effect, there must have been a First Cause. Unless we are able to explain satisfactorily how each of these things exist, without resorting to a supernatural force, and find empirical evidence to support our conclusion, a Creator is default. Furthermore, any derived conclusion must be within the bounds of natural law, as natural law is a part of the universe and remains unbroken within the universe.
Is There a God? – Atheism
Is there a God, or isn’t there a God, depends on our ability to disprove God. The burden of proof rests upon atheism to validate its position. Currently, the common alternative to Special Creation via a Personal Creator is the Big Bang Model of Origins. This is the accepted theory today. It is a wonder how this theory came to be accepted, as it violates two of the three Laws of Thermodynamics, and the Law of Cause and Effect. Furthermore, as retrograde motion is observed throughout the universe, even within our own solar system, the Big Bang violates the Law of Conservation of Angular Momentum. Beyond these violations of natural law, the Big Bang is unable to explain uneven “voids” and “clumps” throughout the universe. Plus, there remains the question, “where did the Big Bang come from?” This question remains unsolved, even in the minds of atheists. A few atheists hypothesize that the universe is eternal and only appears to have had a beginning. This contradicts quite a few empirical evidences and observations, as well as violating natural law.
Is There a God? – The Implications
“Is there a God?” is not a difficult question. The question that seems most perplexing is, “why are we determined to explain away God?” Let’s give credit where credit is due. It seems that if there is a God, then we would be His creatures, and therefore, accountable to Him. Of course, this is not acceptable to a determined portion of mankind’s intelligentsia. These “scholars” have a good control of the majority through arenas such as the public school system and the broadcast media. We are not exposed to both alternatives. We’re not taught the problems with evolution, naturalism and materialism. We are simply taught the Big Bang is fact. The result is that we are not educated, we are indoctrinated. Unfortunately, the ultimate result is that we and our children are taught that there is no Divine Lawmaker, and therefore, there is no absolute law or morality. It seems that
God’s love for us
How can we know for sure that God is always with us and willing to help? Because of God’s love for us! The love of God is the sure foundation of our faith in Him. His love gives us the absolute assurance that we are never alone or without help. God’s love for us is unfailing, it never stops, it is eternal. God’s love is the reason we are alive. The more we become rooted and grounded in God’s love, the more we will become happy, fruitful and fulfilled.
‘I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ.’ (Ephesians 3:18)
The apostle Paul suffered severe persecution, everywhere he went, because he preached the life saving gospel of Jesus Christ, while facing the hatred of the religious leaders. In the midst of all the pain and warfare he experienced, Paul wrote these incredible words:
‘I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ (Romans 8:39)
Paul knew from his own experience that it is God’s burning love that kept him, during even the worst trials.
And it was the compassionate love of God that motivated him to keep fighting the good fight of faith, to reveal Jesus Christ to the world. God had poured out His own mercy in the heart of Paul.
‘For Christ’s love compels us….’ (2 Cor. 5:14)
Because of God’s love, Paul was willing to face the hatred, rejection, offense, betrayal and even torture from his enemies. He had only one desire: reveal to people that God loves them with a love that goes beyond their wildest dreams.
‘But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ, even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.’ (Ephesians 2:5)
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Jesus Christ Is Love
Epic Uplifting Christian Motivational Mix II
Jesus Christ Movement Is Spreading The Word Of God Around The World! Help Us Spread The Word!
This blog contains the ’10 Principles of Christian Motivation’. Before we get to them, it’s important to first establish the foundation…LOVE! One letter separates the W-O-R-D from the W-O-R-L-D…the letter “L”. The difference between Christian and worldly motivation is found in this single letter, which represents our love in all things. Love is our ultimate goal.
Love is what God asked of the Israelites when he said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and strength.” Love is what Jesus answered to the Pharisee when tested with the question, “What is the greatest commandment?” He said the first and greatest was to “love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength,” then to “love our neighbor as ourselves”.
When it comes to Christian motivation, nothing is more fundamental than love. Love is what gets us started and keeps us going. At all times and in all ways love is our foremost and guiding principle. It is the basis of our existence. For the love of God we live and breathe. Without love for God, everything we do is meaningless, like clanging a cymbal. In Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, chapter three, he states:
“And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”
The Motivation of Paul the Apostle
What could be more motivating (powerful) than being filled to the same measure as God? And who is more qualified to instruct us than Paul, perhaps the most committed follower of Jesus ever known. It’s hard to imagine anyone more motivated than this super-apostle. He traveled farther than even the most battle-hardened CEO. His network of connections was immense, stretching across the entire Mediterranean and beyond. He was more published than William Shakespeare, Agatha Christie and JK Rowling combined. He spent his entire life building up the business he cherished. Statesmen sought his council, mega-church leaders clamored for his advice, kings feared his rebuke. He was so dedicated to his job he paid the ultimate price to see his business succeed. And he did it all for the sake of love.
As Christians, we sometimes find ourselves lacking motivation. This is where the ’10 Principles of Christian Motivation’ begin…on the foundation of Christ’s love. The list below concentrates on the actions that keep us building through love, in the practical ways.
The Fundamental Principles of Christian Motivation:
Drawing near to God keeps us motivated. It means he will draw near to us. Being close to God is connecting to the true source of all energy and power. He created the universe with a word. We attach ourselves to him through his word and prayer. He will motivate us as we speak and listen to Him.
Being generous keeps us motivated. Giving freely will lead to greater riches as sure as holding back leads to want. A generous person will prosper and will be continually refreshed.
Choosing humility keeps us motivated. God leads the humble with justice and teaches them his way. The humble will have abundant prosperity. The rewards are riches, honor and life. Putting others first, letting others promote us, having a low estimate of our own importance is the key to godly success.
Being quick to listen and slow to speak keeps us motivated. It gives us an advantage as we gain a deeper understanding of each situation. Listening shows others love and respect. Listening to God gives us security and frees us of anxiety.
Fellowship with believers keeps us motivated. Fellowship is belonging, being an active part of the body of Christ. Each member belongs to all the others. Two can resist an attack where one is defeated alone. Fellowship keeps us sharp just as iron sharpens iron. We help carry one another’s burdens in fellowship.
Using our God-given gifts keeps us motivated. We have a sense of purpose and fulfillment as we choose to be responsible with our talent. Expending ourselves in righteousness and fulfilling our duty to Christ also builds trust and competence.
Being a peacemaker keeps us motivated. It provides us the soil for order and reconciliation. We create energy in others as we seek to befriend and resolve. When we look for agreement and the right kind of compromise we establish the atmosphere of peace.
A positive attitude keeps us motivated. Thinking about the noble, the truthful, the lovely and admirable, the excellent and all things worthy of praise is what Christ did. When we choose this pattern we tune into the frequency of Christ. We are transformed as we renew our thinking and guided to know God’s will.
Gratitude for the little things of today keeps us motivated. Godliness with contentment is great gain. When we affirm that life in Christ is good, we learn to be content with what we have. This freedom gives us wings to fly above the self.
Being aware of the present keeps us motivated. Jesus himself teaches us that nothing in the past or the future really matters, only the present. This is mindfulness and keeps our energy focused on today’s immediate. We possess the vitality and focus to accomplish what’s in the here and now.
These 10 principles, when practiced, will give us the energy to achieve great things in life. If we researched the source of motivation in corporate America we might see articles about goal-setting, risk taking, personal learning or financial planning. There is certainly nothing wrong with these. And yet as Christians we could follow these instructions and yet feel completely demotivated. For us there is something deeper at the soul level, a source of everlasting motivation… the eternal glory of Almighty God.
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Jesus in Christianity
In Christianity, Jesus is believed to be the Messiah (Christ) and through his crucifixion and resurrection, humans can be reconciled to God and thereby are offered salvation and the promise of eternal life. These teachings emphasize that as the willing Lamb of God, Jesus chose to suffer on the cross at Calvary as a sign of his full obedience to the will of God the Father, as an “agent and servant of God”. The choice Jesus made thus counter-positions him as a new man of morality and obedience, in contrast to Adam‘s disobedience.
Christians believe that Jesus was both human and divine—the Son of God. While there has been theological debate over the nature of Jesus, Trinitarian Christians believe that Jesus is the Logos, God incarnate, God the Son, and “true God and true man“—both fully divine and fully human. Jesus, having become fully human in all respects, suffered the pains and temptations of a mortal man, yet he did not sin. As fully God, he defeated death and rose to life again. According to the Bible, God raised him from the dead. He ascended to heaven to sit at the right hand of God, and he will return to earth again for the Last Judgment and the establishment of the Kingdom of God in the World to Come.
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Although Christian views of Jesus vary, it is possible to summarize key elements of the shared beliefs among major denominations based on their catechetical or confessional texts. Christian views of Jesus are derived from various biblical sources, particularly from the canonical Gospels and New Testament letters such as the Pauline epistles. Christians predominantly hold that these works are historically true.
- Christians believe that the mother of Jesus was a virgin.
- Christians believe that Jesus was a human being who was also fully God.
- Christians believe that Jesus came into the world as the son of only one earthly parent, Mary.
- Christians believe that Jesus never sinned or did anything wrong.
- Christians believe that Jesus was eventually martyred, was buried in a tomb, and then on the third day came back to life.
- Christians believe that because he rose from the tomb on the third day, that he lives and has a glorious spiritual body today which can be felt with a touch.
- Christians believe that Jesus eventually ascended back to God the Father.
- Christians believe that Jesus will come back to earth a second time.
Some groups considered within Christianity hold beliefs considered to unorthodox. For example, believers in monophysitism reject the idea that Christ was fully human and God at the same time. Others, such as the Latter-day Saints, consider Christ to be in possession of a fully physical body after his resurrection.
The five major milestones in the gospel narrative of the life of Jesus are his baptism, transfiguration, crucifixion, resurrection and ascension. These are usually bracketed by two other episodes: his nativity at the beginning and the sending of the Paraclete (Holy Spirit) at the end. The gospel accounts of the teachings of Jesus are often presented in terms of specific categories involving his “works and words”, e.g., his ministry, parables and miracles.
Christians not only attach theological significance to the works of Jesus, but also to his name. New Testament Scriptures requisite the name of Jesus as the only way to be saved. Devotions to the name of Jesus go back to the earliest days of Christianity. These exist today both in Eastern and Western Christianity—both Catholic and Protestant.
Christians predominantly profess that through Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, he restored humanity’s communion with God with the blood of the New Covenant. His death on a cross is understood as a redemptive sacrifice: the source of humanity’s salvation and the atonement for sin which had entered human history through the sin of Adam.
Christ, Logos and Son of God
Jesus is mediator, but…the title means more that someone between God and man. He is not just a third party between God and humanity…. As true God he brings God to mankind. As true man he brings mankind to God.
Most Christians generally consider Jesus to be the Christ, the long-awaited Messiah, as well as the one and only Son of God. The opening words in the Gospel of Mark (1:1), “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God”, provide Jesus with the two distinct attributions as Christ and as the Son of God. His divinity is again re-affirmed in Mark 1:11. Matthew 1:1 which begins by calling Jesus the Christ and in verse 16 explains it again with the affirmation: “Jesus, who is called Christ”.
In the Pauline epistles, the word “Christ” is so closely associated with Jesus that apparently for the early Christians there was no need to claim that Jesus was Christ, for that was considered widely accepted among them. Hence Paul could use the term Christos with no confusion about who it referred to, and as in 1 Corinthians 4:15 and Romans 12:5 he could use expressions such as “in Christ” to refer to the followers of Jesus.
In the New Testament, the title “Son of God” is applied to Jesus on many occasions. It is often used to refer to his divinity, from the beginning in the Annunciation up to the crucifixion. The declaration that Jesus is the Son of God is made by many individuals in the New Testament, and on two separate occasions by God the Father as a voice from Heaven, and is asserted by Jesus himself.
In Christology, the concept that the Christ is the Logos (i.e., “The Word”) has been important in establishing the doctrine of the divinity of Christ and his position as God the Son in the Trinity as set forth in the Chalcedonian Creed. This derives from the opening of the Gospel of John, commonly translated into English as: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”  In the original Greek, Logos (λόγος) is used for “Word,” and in theological discourse, this is often left in its English transliterated form, “Logos”.
The pre-existence of Christ refers to the doctrine of the personal existence of Christ before his conception. One of the relevant Bible passages is John 1:1-18 where, in the Trinitarian view, Christ is identified with a pre-existent divine hypostasis called the Logos or Word. This doctrine is reiterated in John 17:5 when Jesus refers to the glory which he had with the Father “before the world was” during the Farewell discourse. John 17:24 also refers to the Father loving Jesus “before the foundation of the world”. Non-Trinitarian views about the pre-existence of Christ vary, with some rejecting it and others accepting it.
Following the Apostolic Age, from the 2nd century forward, several controversies developed about how the human and divine are related within the person of Jesus. Eventually in 451, the concept of a Hypostatic union was decreed, namely that Jesus is both fully divine and fully human. However, differences among Christian denominations continued thereafter, with some rejecting the hypostatic union in favor of monophysitisim.
Incarnation, Nativity and Second Adam
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible. — Colossians 1:15-16
The above verse from Colossians regards the birth of Jesus as the model for all creation. Apostle Paul viewed the birth of Jesus as an event of cosmic significance which brought forth a “new man” who undid the damage caused by the fall of the first man, Adam. Just as the Johannine view of Jesus as the incarnate Logos proclaims the universal relevance of his birth, the Pauline perspective emphasizes the birth of a new man and a new world in the birth of Jesus. Paul’s eschatological view of Jesus counter-positions him as a new man of morality and obedience, in contrast to Adam. Unlike Adam, the new man born in Jesus obeys God and ushers in a world of morality and salvation.
In the Pauline view, Adam is positioned as the first man and Jesus as the second: Adam, having corrupted himself by his disobedience, also infected humanity and left it with a curse as its inheritance. The birth of Jesus counterbalanced the fall of Adam, bringing forth redemption and repairing the damage done by Adam.
In the 2nd century Church Father Irenaeus writes:
“When He became incarnate and was made man, He commenced afresh the long line of human beings, and furnished us, in a brief, comprehensive manner, with salvation; so that what we had lost in Adam—namely to be according to the image and likeness of God- that we might recover in Christ Jesus.”
In patristic theology, Paul’s contrasting of Jesus as the new man versus Adam provided a framework for discussing the uniqueness of the birth of Jesus and the ensuing events of his life. The nativity of Jesus thus began to serve as the starting point for “cosmic Christology” in which the birth, life and resurrection of Jesus have universal implications. The concept of Jesus as the “new man” repeats in the cycle of birth and rebirth of Jesus from his nativity to his resurrection: following his birth, through his morality and obedience to the Father, Jesus began a “new harmony” in the relationship between God the Father and man. The nativity and resurrection of Jesus thus created the author and exemplar of a new humanity. In this view, the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus brought about salvation, undoing the damage of Adam.
The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).—John 10:10 (Ampl)
Jesus seemed to have two basic concerns with reference to people and the material: (1) that they be freed from the tyranny of things and (2) that they be actively concerned for the needs of others.
In the canonical gospels, the Ministry of Jesus begins with his baptism in the countryside of Judea, near the River Jordan and ends in Jerusalem, following the Last Supper. The Gospel of Luke (3:23) states that Jesus was “about 30 years of age” at the start of his ministry. The date of the start of his ministry has been estimated at around AD 27-29 and the end in the range AD 30-36.
Jesus’ early Galilean ministry begins when after his baptism, he goes back to Galilee from his time in the Judean desert. In this early period he preaches around Galilee and recruits his first disciples who begin to travel with him and eventually form the core of the early Church. The major Galilean ministry which begins in Matthew 8 includes the commissioning of the Twelve Apostles, and covers most of the ministry of Jesus in Galilee. The final Galilean ministry begins after the death of John the Baptist as Jesus prepares to go to Jerusalem.
In the later Judean ministry Jesus starts his final journey to Jerusalem through Judea. As Jesus travels towards Jerusalem, in the later Perean ministry, about one third the way down from the Sea of Galilee along the River Jordan, he returns to the area where he was baptized.
The final ministry in Jerusalem is sometimes called the Passion Week and begins with the Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. The gospels provide more details about the final ministry than the other periods, devoting about one third of their text to the last week of the life of Jesus in Jerusalem.
Teachings, parables and miracles
In the New Testament the teachings of Jesus are presented in terms of his “words and works”. The words of Jesus include several sermons, in addition to parables that appear throughout the narrative of the Synoptic Gospels (the gospel of John includes no parables). The works include the miracles and other acts performed during his ministry.
Although the Canonical Gospels are the major source of the teachings of Jesus, the Pauline epistles, which were likely written decades before the gospels, provide some of the earliest written accounts of the teachings of Jesus.
The New Testament does not present the teachings of Jesus as merely his own teachings, but equates the words of Jesus with divine revelation, with John the Baptist stating in John 3:34: “For the one whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God gives the Spirit without limit.” and Jesus stating in John 7:16: “My teaching is not my own. It comes from the one who sent me”. In Matthew 11:27 Jesus claims divine knowledge, stating: “No one knows the Son except the Father and no one knows the Father except the Son”, asserting the mutual knowledge he has with the Father.
The gospels include several discourses by Jesus on specific occasions, such as the Farewell discourse delivered after the Last Supper, the night before his crucifixion. Although some of the teachings of Jesus are reported as taking place within the formal atmosphere of a synagogue (e.g., in Matthew 4:23) many of the discourses are more like conversations than formal lectures.
The Gospel of Matthew has a structured set of sermons, often grouped as the Five Discourses of Matthew which present many of the key teachings of Jesus. Each of the five discourses has some parallel passages in the Gospel of Mark or the Gospel of Luke. The five discourses in Matthew begin with the Sermon on the Mount, which encapsulates many of the moral teaching of Jesus and which is one of the best known and most quoted elements of the New Testament. The Sermon on the Mount includes the Beatitudes which describe the character of the people of the Kingdom of God, expressed as “blessings”. The Beatitudes focus on love and humility rather than force and exaction and echo the key ideals of Jesus’ teachings on spirituality and compassion. The other discourses in Matthew include the Missionary Discourse in Matthew 10 and the Discourse on the Church in Matthew 18, providing instructions to the disciples and laying the foundation of the codes of conduct for the anticipated community of followers.
The parables of Jesus represent a major component of his teachings in the gospels, the approximately thirty parables forming about one third of his recorded teachings. The parables may appear within longer sermons, as well as other places within the narrative. Jesus’ parables are seemingly simple and memorable stories, often with imagery, and each conveys a teaching which usually relates the physical world to the spiritual world.
In the 19th century, Lisco and Fairbairn stated that in the parables of Jesus, “the image borrowed from the visible world is accompanied by a truth from the invisible (spiritual) world” and that the parables of Jesus are not “mere similitudes which serve the purpose of illustration, but are internal analogies where nature becomes a witness for the spiritual world”. Similarly, in the 20th century, calling a parable “an earthly story with a heavenly meaning”, William Barclay states that the parables of Jesus use familiar examples to lead others’ minds towards heavenly concepts. He suggests that Jesus did not form his parables merely as analogies but based on an “inward affinity between the natural and the spiritual order.”
Miracles of Jesus
In Christian teachings, the miracles of Jesus were as much a vehicle for his message as were his words. Many of the miracles emphasize the importance of faith, for instance in cleansing ten lepers,[Lk 17:19] Jesus did not say: “My power has saved you” but says “Rise and go; your faith has saved you.” Similarly, in the Walking on Water miracle, Apostle Peter learns an important lesson about faith in that as his faith wavers, he begins to sink.[Mt 14:34-36] 
One characteristic shared among all miracles of Jesus in the Gospel accounts is that he delivered benefits freely and never requested or accepted any form of payment for his healing miracles, unlike some high priests of his time who charged those who were healed. In Matthew 10:8 he advised his disciples to heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, and drive out demons without payment and stated: “Freely you have received; freely give”.
Christians in general believe that Jesus’ miracles were actual historical events and that his miraculous works were an important part of his life, attesting to his divinity and the Hypostatic union, i.e., the dual natures of Christ’s humanity and divinity in one hypostasis. Christians believe that while Jesus’ experiences of hunger, weariness, and death were evidences of his humanity, the miracles were evidences of his deity.
Christian authors also view the miracles of Jesus not merely as acts of power and omnipotence, but as works of love and mercy: they were performed to show compassion for sinful and suffering humanity. Authors Ken and Jim Stocker state that “every single miracle Jesus performed was an act of love”. And each miracle involves specific teachings.
Since according to the Gospel of John[20:30] it was impossible to narrate all the miracles performed by Jesus, the Catholic Encyclopedia states that the miracles presented in the Gospels were selected for a twofold reason: first for the manifestation of God’s glory, and then for their evidential value. Jesus referred to his “works” as evidences of his mission and his divinity, and in John 5:36 he declared that his miracles have greater evidential value than the testimony of John the Baptist.
Crucifixion and atonement
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Johannine “agency christology” combines the concept that Jesus is the Son of his Father with the idea that he has come into the world as his Father’s agent, commissioned and sent by the Father to represent the Father and to accomplish his Father’s work. Implied in each Synoptic portrayal of Jesus is the doctrine that the salvation Jesus gives is inseparable from Jesus himself and his divine identity. Sonship and agency come together in the Synoptic gospels only in the Parable of the Vineyard (Matthew 21:37; Mark 12:6; Luke 20:13). The submission of Jesus to crucifixion is a sacrifice made as an agent of God or servant of God, for the sake of eventual victory.This builds upon the salvific theme of the Gospel of John which begins in John 1:36 with John the Baptist‘s proclamation: “The Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world”. Further reinforcement of the concept is provided in Revelation 21:14 where the “lamb slain but standing” is the only one worthy of handling the scroll (i.e., the book) containing the names of those who are to be saved.
A central element in the Christology presented in the Acts of the Apostles is the affirmation of the belief that the death of Jesus by crucifixion happened “with the foreknowledge of God, according to a definite plan”. In this view, as in Acts 2:23, the cross is not viewed as a scandal, for the crucifixion of Jesus “at the hands of the lawless” is viewed as the fulfilment of the plan of God.
Paul’s Christology has a specific focus on the death and resurrection of Jesus. For Paul, the crucifixion of Jesus is directly related to his resurrection and the term “the cross of Christ” used in Galatians 6:12 may be viewed as his abbreviation of the message of the gospels. For Paul, the crucifixion of Jesus was not an isolated event in history, but a cosmic event with significant eschatological consequences, as in 1 Corinthians 2:8. In the Pauline view, Jesus, obedient to the point of death (Philippians 2:8) died “at the right time” (Romans 4:25) based on the plan of God. For Paul the “power of the cross” is not separable from the resurrection of Jesus.
John Calvin supported the “agent of God” Christology and argued that in his trial in Pilate’s Court Jesus could have successfully argued for his innocence, but instead submitted to crucifixion in obedience to the Father. This Christological theme continued into the 20th century, both in the Eastern and Western Churches. In the Eastern Church Sergei Bulgakov argued that the crucifixion of Jesus was “pre-eternally” determined by the Father before the creation of the world, to redeem humanity from the disgrace caused by the fall of Adam. In the Western Church, Karl Rahner elaborated on the analogy that the blood of the Lamb of God (and the water from the side of Jesus) shed at the crucifixion had a cleansing nature, similar to baptismal water.
Resurrection, Ascension and Second Coming
The New Testament teaches that the resurrection of Jesus is a foundation of the Christian faith.[1 Cor 15:12-20] [1 Pet 1:3] Christians, through faith in the working of God[Col 2:12] are spiritually resurrected with Jesus, and are redeemed so that they may walk in a new way of life.[Rom 6:4]
In the teachings of the apostolic Church, the resurrection was seen as heralding a new era. Forming a theology of the resurrection fell to Apostle Paul. It was not enough for Paul to simply repeat elementary teachings, but as Hebrews 6:1 states, “go beyond the initial teachings about Christ and advance to maturity”. Fundamental to Pauline theology is the connection between Christ’s Resurrection and redemption. Paul explained the importance of the resurrection of Jesus as the cause and basis of the hope of Christians to share a similar experience in 1 Corinthians 15:20-22:
But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.
If the cross stands at the center of Paul’s theology, so does the Resurrection: unless the one died the death of all, the all would have little to celebrate in the resurrection of the one. Paul taught that, just as Christians share in Jesus’ death in baptism, so they will share in his resurrection for Jesus was designated the Son of God by his resurrection.[Rom. 1:4]  Paul’s views went against the thoughts of the Greek philosophers to whom a bodily resurrection meant a new imprisonment in a corporeal body, which was what they wanted to avoid, given that for them the corporeal and the material fettered the spirit. At the same time, Paul believed that the newly resurrected body would be a heavenly body—immortal, glorified, powerful and pneumatic, in contrast to an earthly body which is mortal, dishonored, weak and psychic.
The Apostolic Fathers, discussed the death and resurrection of Jesus, including Ignatius (50−115), Polycarp (69−155), and Justin Martyr (100−165). Following the conversion of Constantine and the liberating Edict of Milan in 313, the ecumenical councils of the 4th, 5th and 6th centuries, that focused on Christology helped shape the Christian understanding of the redemptive nature of Resurrection, and influenced both the development of its iconography, and its use within Liturgy.
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The one thing that I spent a lot of time developing was the actual system that I was teaching people so that they were getting the most out of their time.
Because most of my students want to start playing actual worship songs as soon as possible rather than practicing guitar scales all day long.
Rather than having to put your head in a book and memorize music theory I wanted everyone I taught to be able to play a song within a day or two of picking up the guitar.
Almost every guitar player I know got started playing guitar so they could play songs and I’m sure you are the same way…so why do most guitar learning programs take all the fun out and just make you practice scales all day?
Since I was teaching all of my students to play all the songs I was playing during worship at church I eventually decided to film my teaching sessions so that everyone could learn all of these songs…and learn worship songs on your own time right from home!
Play Worship Guitar gives you absolute everything you will ever need to start learning guitar and to play popular worship songs by your favorite Christian artists…exactly how I play them at my own church where I lead worship!
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This is an online guitar learning course that is designed specifically for beginners who want to learn guitar while also learning great contemporary worship songs on guitar.
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Christian Motivational Video
Want to Create a More Positive Life?
How Christian Affirmations Will Help You Become A Positive Person… Full Of Spiritual Confidence With More Godly Esteem… Without Worldly Negative Thinking!
Experienced Christians Want It and New Christians Need It…
- Get rid of your negative beliefs
- Affirmations in agreement with God’s word
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Break Free Of Your Limiting Beliefs
Have you ever seen a massive big elephant roped by one leg to a stake in the ground?
And that tiny rope around that little peg keeps the elephant secure. This massive big elephant that can cause so much destruction with it’s strength, who can knock over trees and move huge obstacles can not escape from one small rope.
Because from a baby it was tied to that stake and when it was young it would have felt pain every time it tried to escape until it became so ingrained into it’s subsconscious mind that even after it has grown up to be more powerful and surely could escape the elephant still thinks it is trapped.
What about the story of the flee in the jar?
If you put flees in a jar they jump up and down and escape. With the lid on the jar they jump and hit the lid until eventually they become conditioned to jump just high enough that they don’t hit the lid.
After a while, when the lid is removed they still jump a little lower to where the lid was. They can now escape, there is no longer a lid there, yet because of their previous experience which has formulated their limiting belief they stay trapped in the jar.
We Can Be Like The Elephant and The Flea!
Perhaps you are suffering from low self esteem, self hatred, sadness, fear of rejection, or continuous “bad luck” because of things that happened to you years ago. Perhaps you think you’re not good enough, you’re hopeless, you will never amount to anything, and so on.
Where did this ingrained belief come from?
There could be a myriad of answers however the fact is that someone, something, some circumstance has place a small rope around your leg and made you think you can’t escape. At sometime in your life you have had a lid placed above you which has made you think you can’t reach the same heights as everyone else.
Is that lid still really there?
Perhaps you can live a much better life if you can see that negative, worldly thinking caused from worldly circumstances is tricking you into believing a lie. The lid is gone and the rope can’t hold you.
When you say, you can’t do it, who are you listening too?
The Bible says, we can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens us!
It is time to reprogram your mind from the defective worldly program that has been installed and replaced with the Godly program. The mind of Christ…
The Scientific Community Are Also Discovery Very Interesting Results When Testing Affirmations
JOHN 14:6 JESUS ANSWERED,“I AM THE WAY THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE. NO ONE COMES TO THE FATHER EXCEPT THROUGH ME.”
“My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 (NLT) Being humble is the first step to receiving help. You must admit that you cannot do life on your own. Life is full of unforeseen circumstances that can bog you down. Sometimes Satan…
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” – Matthew 11:28 (NLT) Just like you, people in the first century were heavy-hearted. They were troubled by the same demands of life that weigh on you;…
‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.” – Mark 12:31 (NLT) Too many time people make the mistake of thinking religion is a big list of to-do’s. When Jesus came to earth, He simplified things. He started with the command to love God with all…
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” – 1 John 1:9 (NIV) Most everyone has a “memory bank” of the wrongs committed against them. Your memory bank may include a bully kicking…
God’s name is a place of protection— good people can run there and be safe. – Proverbs 18:10 (The Message) Hurricanes. Earthquakes. Blizzards. Revolts. Protests. Whether originating with natural disasters or human discontent, storms can strike instantly. Nor do they have to carry international, national or state-wide impact. Personal…
Don’t be afraid. I am with you. Don’t tremble with fear. I am your God. I will make you strong, as I protect you with my arm and give you victories. – Isaiah 41:10 (CEV) Maybe you’ve faced financial challenges, dealt with division in the family, or grieved the loss of a loved one….
Since I was worse than anyone else, God had mercy on me and let me be an example of the endless patience of Christ Jesus. He did this so that others would put their faith in Christ and have eternal life. – 1 Timothy 1:16 (CEV) The world…
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. – Psalm 147:3 (NIV) It is impossible to go through life without being hurt. Promises are broken and trust is shattered. The circumstances of life shape our hearts, but they also break them. It is in the times when…
“If you are tired from carrying heavy burdens, come to me and I will give you rest.” – Matthew 11:28 (CEV) Texts, e-mails, and message alerts pinging our smartphones like chirping birds reminding you of deadlines and appointments. They shoot at you at the speed of light. Technology was…
You are now very sad. But later I will see you, and you will be so happy that no one will be able to change the way you feel. – John 16:22 (CEV) Grief comes in many forms. Losing a child or spouse, a twin sister or your only…
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Is Jesus Christ Lord
Is Jesus God?
Some say Jesus Christ was just a man, or maybe a great teacher. But He was and is much more than that. The Bible says Jesus is unique in both His person and His purpose. He wasn’t just some spiritual individual during His time on earth; He was both God’s Son (John 3:16) and God Himself—God in human flesh (I Timothy 3:16). Yes, He was fully man, but He was also fully God (Colossians 2:9).
Jesus claimed to be God. It might be hard to understand how this could be true, but it’s important to remember that God is much bigger and more powerful than we can comprehend. We do know that Jesus said He existed before Abraham (John 8:58). He claimed that He and His Father are one (John 10:30), and that He is equal with the Father (John 5:17-18).
Not only did He claim to be God, but He also claimed to have the power of God. He said He has the authority to judge the nations (Matthew 25:31-46). He claims the authority to raise people from the dead (John 5:25-29) and to forgive sins (Mark 2:5-7)—things only God can do (I Samuel 2:6; Isaiah 43:25).
Further, Jesus says He has the power to answer prayers (John 14:13-14), and that He will be with His followers always (Matthew 28:20). The New Testament equates Jesus to the creator of the universe (John 1:3), and in John 16:15, He says, “All that belongs to the Father is mine.”
But where’s the proof?
Claiming to be something, as Jesus claimed to be God, doesn’t make it true. Where’s the evidence that He is God?
Jesus’ identity isn’t based solely on what He says, but on what He does. And He has left a lot of evidence that He is God. That evidence includes fulfilled prophecy and recorded miracles in which Jesus reversed the laws of nature. He also lived a sinless life (Hebrews 4:15), something no one else has done.
The ultimate proof of His divinity, however, was His resurrection from the dead after His death on the cross. No one else has ever risen from the dead on his own.
Did Jesus ever say, ‘I am God’?
If someone said to you, “I am God,” would you believe him? Many people who believe in one God would think the person is blaspheming. Even if Jesus said the exact words, “I am God,” many people would not have believed Him or even heard what He had to say. Yet, He did give us reasons to believe such a claim without using these words.
In Luke 4:8, Jesus says, “It is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God and serve Him only.’” He said and showed many times that He is the Lord. Jesus says, for example, that He is “the first and the last” (Revelation 1:17, 22:13), which God the Father says in Isaiah 44:6.
But maybe you’re looking for a place in the Bible where Jesus says, “I am God; worship me” in those exact words. If we suggest that Jesus could only claim to be God by saying that one sentence, we might also ask where He says, “I am a great teacher, but not God,” or, “I am just a prophet; don’t worship me.” The Bible doesn’t say that, either.
The good news is that Jesus told us He is God in many different ways! He has made it clear that He and God the Father are one (John 10:30), and says in John 14:6, “I am the way and the truth and the life.” Who else could claim these things except God?
Does that mean there are multiple gods?
Believing Jesus is God doesn’t mean there are multiple gods. It can be difficult to understand, but followers of Jesus believe in one God in three persons (God the Father, God the Son—Jesus, and the Holy Spirit). God is one but has three roles, just like a person today might be a father, an employee and a husband. Each person of God (the Father, Son and Holy Spirit) has a separate function, but all are united as one God—one in purpose, essence and nature, and equal in power and glory.
How can Jesus be God if He is God’s Son?
If Jesus is God’s Son, does that mean God had a wife?
God has never had a wife. Calling Jesus God’s Son is an expression of His role in relation to God the Father. Unlike us, Jesus was not conceived by two earthly parents; He was born of a virgin through a miraculous work of God. He was born holy, without sin.
Being born of a virgin might seem impossible—even Jesus’ mother, Mary, asked, “How will this be? (Luke 1:34)—yet God is all-powerful and made a way for the holy Jesus to be born a human. In Matthew 1:20, an angel tells Mary’s fiancé, Joseph, that what is conceived in Mary “is from the Holy Spirit.” Jesus was not born out of a sexual relationship between God and Mary, but instead out of a miracle by God through the Holy Spirit. Jesus was both fully God and fully human.
It is also significant that the most thorough Gospel account of the virgin birth was written by Luke, a medical doctor. If anyone knew the impossibility of a virgin birth, it was Luke—yet, after careful research, he concluded that it was a fact. The God who was powerful enough to create the universe was also powerful enough to bring Jesus into the world without a human father. His miraculous birth is just one more testament to His deity.
Why should we care who Jesus is?
There is one way to heaven, one way to be free from your sin and to have a relationship with God. That’s through Jesus Christ. Acts 4:1II says, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” To have eternal life in heaven, you must put your trust in Jesus. Here’s why:
We all sin, meaning we all fall short of God’s perfect standard. The consequence of sin is death (Romans 6:23). That means eternal separation from God. But because Jesus lived a sinless life, His death on the cross provided the perfect sacrifice for our sins. Because He defeated death by rising again, we can have eternal life in the presence of God when we put our trust in Him.
Hundreds of people saw and believed in the risen Christ after His death and resurrection, and countless people in the past 2,000 years have discovered that only Jesus can meet the deepest longings and needs of the human heart. In Jesus Christ alone “are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:3).
Can we trust what the Bible says about Him?
The Bible tells us that Jesus Christ is God, and there are many reasons we can trust the Bible. (Find “Is the Bible true?” under the Common Questions section for five of them.)
Not only do we have many reasons to believe that the text of the Bible is true, but many will find that reading the Bible allows God to speak to them—perhaps not audibly, but through His words.
While there are different translations of the Bible, the same core message is the same—that God loves us and freely offers us eternal life if we accept Jesus as our Savior. Different translations exist in an effort to make the Bible understandable to various audiences; however, the major doctrines—and the person of Jesus Christ—remain the same.
If you’re curious about Jesus or what the Bible says about Him, read the book of John in the Bible. It’s a great place to start.
Ten Biblical Reasons Why Jesus Is God
10 Biblical Reasons Jesus Is God
by Simon Turpin on August 8, 2017
At a crucial point in his ministry, Jesus asked his disciples,“Who do you say that I am?” (Matthew 16:15). The answer to this question is more important than anything else. Nevertheless, today, just as in Jesus’ day, when Christians ask people the question “who do you say Jesus is?” there are various answers given concerning his identity. But what does the New Testament tell us about who Jesus is?
Understanding the deity of Jesus is fundamental in defending the truth of the Christian faith.
All major religions1 and cultic groups2 reject the doctrine of deity of Christ. Some of these objections are a result of rationalism (“reason” is supreme, not God) over revelation or a misunderstanding of what the doctrine teaches. Another more common objection results from revisionist history, which claims that Christ’s deity was invented at the Council of Nicaea in the 4th century3 and not something believed by the early church.4
The reason Christians believe in the deity of Jesus is that we are forced to come to this conclusion by the clear teaching of Scripture. It is important to get Jesus’ identity because if we deny the deity of Jesus then we do not have the Father (1 John 2:23; cf. John 5:23). Here are 10 Scriptural reasons for the deity of Jesus.
1: The Bible Teaches That There Is One True God
JESUS’ DIVINITY IS PART OF THE DOCTRINE OF THE TRINITY.
This is important to understand because many objectors to the deity of Jesus misunderstand what Christians believe about the Trinity. Christians believe what the Bible teaches—that there is only one true and living God (Deuteronomy 6:4; cf. 1 Corinthians 8:6). However, we must not confuse monotheism (belief in one God) with Unitarianism (the belief that the being of God is shared by one person). Jesus’ divinity is part of the doctrine of the Trinity, which states that within the one Being that is God, there exists eternally three co-equal and co-eternal persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Each is a distinct person, yet each is identified as God: the Father (1 Corinthians 8:6), the Son (John 1:1–3; Romans 9:5), and the Spirit (Acts 5:3–4). We must also remember that it wasn’t the Father or the Spirit who became incarnate; it was the Son (John 1:14) and he was born under the Law (Galatians 4:4). This is why, in his humanity, Jesus prays to the Father (Matthew 26:39, 42).5
The doctrine of the Trinity is revealed between the Old and New Testaments through the incarnation of Jesus and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.6 God did not change between the Old and New Testaments, being a Unitarian God in the Old and a Trinitarian God in the New. God has always been Triune, but the specific revelation of the divinity of Jesus takes place in the New Testament.7
2: The Bible Teaches That Jesus Pre-Existed Before The World Was
The New Testament in several passages clearly teaches that Jesus existed in eternity past before his birth in Bethlehem.
Genesis 1:1 tells us, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” In John 1:1 we read the same words, “In the beginning.”8 John informs us in John 1:1 that in the beginning was the Word (logos) and that the Word was not only with God but was God. This Word is the one who brought all things into being at creation (John 1:3). John 1:1 teaches that the Word is eternal, the Word has had an eternal relationship with the Father, and the Word as to His nature is deity.
In his prayer in John 17:3–5 Jesus both refers to his pre-existence and uses terminology that can only be used about deity:
And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.
To have eternal life is to know two persons: both the Father and Jesus (see John 14:6-7; 16:3). But notice, Jesus is distinguished from the Father because Jesus is the one speaking to the Father. The personal pronouns (me, your, you) clearly show that this is one person speaking to another. In this conversation, the Son is speaking of the glory he has shared with the Father before the world was; the words “in your own presence” refer to their sharing of divine glory.9 John 17:3–5 is not an example of the “human side” praying to the “divine side” but of a divine, yet incarnate (John 1:14) person, the Son, communicating with a divine, but non-incarnate person, the Father in heaven.
Paul’s words in Philippians 2:5–8 teach not only the deity of Jesus but also the distinct personhood of the Son prior to his incarnation.10 In this passage, Paul exhorts the Philippians to have the same attitude as Christ Jesus who “existed in the form of God.”11 These words come before the verbs emptied, taking, and becoming and point to the pre-existence of the one “existing in the form of God.”12 Moreover, Jesus did not regard13 the equality he had with God the Father, in eternity past, something to be held on to. Instead he “made himself nothing”14 by doing two things: taking the form of a bond-servant and being made in the likeness of men.15 Having entered into human existence he humbled himself to death on the Cross. Because of this, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord (Philippians 2:10–11); it is only God who is to be worshipped as Lord (see Isaiah 45:23).
3: Jesus Is Creator Not Creature
Jehovah’s Witnesses believe Paul’s statement in Colossians 1:15 that the “firstborn of all creation” teaches that Jesus was a created being. However, the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ teaching resembles the view of the ancient Colossian heresy that Paul had to combat.
The Colossian false teachers advocated the idea that Jesus was the first of many other created mediators between God and men. By using the specific Greek word prōtotokos, “firstborn,” Paul rules out the idea of Jesus as a created being. “Firstborn” does not mean “first created.” Rather, Paul uses a term that was based on the ancient designation of the authority, or pre-eminence, metaphorically given to the firstborn (Genesis. 49:3–4; Exodus 4:22). In the same way, David, the youngest of Jesse, was named “firstborn” (Psalm 89:20–27) who ruled Israel. Manasseh was born to Joseph first, but Ephraim, his younger brother, was “firstborn” due to his position as given by Jacob/Israel (Genesis 48:13–20, Jeremiah 31:9).
BY DESCRIBING JESUS AS THE “FIRSTBORN OVER ALL CREATION,” PAUL IS SAYING THAT HE IS THE ABSOLUTE RULER OVER ALL CREATION.
Furthermore, if Paul had wanted to describe Jesus as a created being, he could have used the Greek word protoktistos, which means “first created.”16 So why didn’t he use it? Because Paul did not believe Jesus was created. By describing Jesus as the “firstborn over all creation,” Paul is saying that he is the absolute ruler over all creation.
In fact, the evidence that Jesus is supreme over all creation comes in Colossians 1:16. Here, Paul absolutely rules out the idea that Jesus is a created being because he presents Jesus as the Creator of the entire universe which exists by his creative power (John 1:1–3; Hebrews 1:2, 8–10). The reason Jesus can “create all things” is that “in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (Colossians 2:9). The Greek word for “Godhead,” theotēs, refers to “the state of being God.”17 It is only God who can create (Isaiah 42:5, 44:24, 45:18).
4: Jesus Identifies Himself as Divine
At the Feast of Tabernacles/Booths in his encounter with the Pharisees (John 8:13), Jesus told them, “I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins” (John 8:24). The Jewish people reacted to Jesus’ statement by asking him, “Who are you?” (John 8:25).
Jesus told the Jews exactly who he is: “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am” (John 8:58). This “I am” (ego eimi) statement was Jesus’ clearest example of His proclamation, “I am Yahweh,” from its background in the book of Isaiah (Isaiah 41:4; 43:10–13, 25; 46:4; 48:12; cf. John 13:19).
These are the very words (ego eimi) ) that caused the Roman soldiers to fall to the ground after they came to arrest Jesus (John 18:6). Jesus’ explicit identification of himself with Yahweh of the Old Testament is why the Jewish leaders wanted to stone him for blasphemy (see John 5:18; 10:33).
5: The Apostles Identified Jesus as Divine
Both Jesus and his apostles identified him as divine. The Apostle Peter described Jesus as “our God and Savior” (2 Peter 1:1; cf. Titus 2:13) and called on believers to “honor Christ the Lord as holy” (1 Peter 3:15).18 Jesus’ own half-brother James, who was an unbeliever at first (John 7:5), described him as “the Lord of glory” (James 2:1; cf. 1 Corinthians 2:8; Psalm 24:7–8). What man or prophet could be described in this way? The Apostle John also attributed titles to Jesus that were used only of God by describing him as the “Alpha and Omega” and the “first and the last” (Revelation 22:13; 1:8, 17–18; cf. Isaiah 44:6). The writer of the book of Hebrews also has insight into the identity of Jesus In Hebrews 1, the author identifies Jesus (the Son) as superior to any prophet (vv. 1–2), above the angels (v. 5), worthy of our worship (vv. 6–8; cf. Psalm 45:6–7), and the creator of all things who is unchangeable (vv. 2–3, 10; cf. Psalm 102:25). The author of Hebrews further states that Jesus is “seated at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2; cf. Acts 2:30).
6: The Jewish Leaders Recognized Jesus’ Claim to Divinity
One of the clearest evidences of the deity of Jesus is the Jewish leaders’ reaction to Jesus’ words and actions. In Mark 2, Jesus not only heals a paralytic but also forgives his sins (Mark 2:5). This is the reason that the scribes cry blasphemy, for it is God alone who can forgive sins (Mark 2:7).19
In his trial before the Sanhedrin Jesus is once again charged with blasphemy because of his response to the high priest’s question: “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?” (Mark 14:61) Jesus responded, “I am, and you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven” (Mark 14:62). Then the high priest tore his clothes, charged Jesus with blasphemy, and condemned him to death (Mark 14:64). Why did the high priest respond that way? Because Jesus quoted from Psalm 110:1and Daniel 7:13–14 and applied the words to himself. In Daniel 7 the divine Son of Man comes before the Ancient of Days, and all peoples and nations serve20 him. The Pharisees recognize Jesus’ divine claim here and charge him with blasphemy, intending to put him to death.
7: The Early Church in the New Testament Prayed to Jesus
Prayer is something that should be addressed to God alone, but Jesus calls his disciples to pray to him (John 14:13–14; 16:26). In the book of Acts when Stephen is being stoned to death, he calls out to the Lord Jesus to receive his sprit (Acts 7:59). Interestingly, the term for “calling on” (epikaloumenon) recalls the appeal of Peter to the people in Acts 2:21 to “call on” (epikaleshtai) the Lord to be saved. Paul also describes the Corinthians as those who “call upon [epikaleo] the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 1:2). In the Old Testament, people “called on” on the name of Yahweh (Joel 2:32). The Corinthians were people who addressed Jesus as Lord in prayer.
8: The Early Church in the New Testament Worshipped Jesus
Jesus accepted worship from people (Matthew 2:2, 14:33, 28:9). One of the greatest examples of this comes from the lips of Thomas when he exclaimed, “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:28). If Jesus was not divine, then Thomas made a serious error; but Jesus made no effort to correct Thomas in his worship. Yet Peter (Acts 10:25–26), Paul (Acts 14:14–15), and the angel in Revelation (Revelation 22:8,9) all corrected others for trying to worship them. The confession of deity here is unmistakable, clearly demonstrating that worship belongs only to God (Revelation 22:9) because Jesus accepted Thomas’s worship of him (John 20:29).
What’s more, in the book of Revelation, the elders and every creature in heaven and upon earth ascribe universal worship to “him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb” (Revelation 5:11–14; cf. John 1:29).
9: Jesus Made Claims That No Human Being Could Ever Make
Jesus not only identified as God, but he also indicated his deity through his words and actions. Jesus said that to enter the Kingdom of Heaven we must call him Lord (kurios, Romans 10:9; cf. Matthew 7:21). Just saying that Jesus is Lord does not get you into the Kingdom, but to enter the Kingdom you must confess Him as Lord.21 The entrance into God’s Kingdom, according to Jesus, is dependent upon a person’s knowledge of him and his reciprocal knowledge of the person (Matthew 7:23).
Jesus even promised rest to all those who come to Him (Matthew 11:28). Could Moses have ever made a claim like this? No! How could a human being give anyone rest from the Law?22 Jesus also claimed, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me” (Matthew 28:18). God never gave any man or prophet all authority in heaven and on earth, but this same authority was given to the Son of Man in Daniel 7:13–14 (see also Matthew 26:64).
10: Jesus Is the Son of God
It is often pointed out that the words “Son of God” are not an exclusive title for Jesus. For example, in the Old Testament Israel was called God’s son (Exodus 4:22–23; Hosea 11:1), the king was called God’s son (Psalm 2:7), and the angels were called God’s sons (Job 38:7). Even in the New Testament, Adam and believers are referred to as son/s of God (Luke 3:38; Romans 8:14).
There is, however, a difference between an adopted son and a relational Son of God, the latter being a deity by nature. More than anyone else who has walked this earth, Jesus the Messiah is uniquely entitled to be called the Son of God (John 1:49, 11:27) – “the unique One, who is himself God” (monogenēs theos – see John 1:18 NLT).23
WHATEVER JESUS SAID ABOUT HIMSELF MUST HAVE BEEN SUFFICIENTLY PROVOCATIVE ENOUGH FOR THE JEWISH LEADERS TO CALL FOR CAPITAL PUNISHMENT ON THAT CHARGE OF BLASPHEMY.
In Jesus’ trial before Pilate, the Jewish leaders clearly understood that Jesus’ use of this term was not just generic, for they wanted him put to death: “We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die because he has made himself the Son of God” (John 19:7; cf. John 10:36). According to the Law, it was blasphemy to use God’s name (Leviticus 24:16). Therefore, by referring to himself as the Son of God, Jesus was claiming to share “the rights and authority of God himself (cf. [John] 1:34; 5:19–30).”24 People who say that Jesus never claimed to be God must answer why he was crucified on the charge of blasphemy. Whatever Jesus said about himself must have been sufficiently provocative enough for the Jewish leaders to call for capital punishment on that charge of blasphemy.
The significance of this is that failure to believe in Jesus as the Son of God brings judgement because we are already dead in our sins (see John 3:18, Ephesians 2:1), but believing in Jesus as the Son of God brings eternal life (see John 3:15–17, 6:40, 20:31).
Although there may be many objections to Jesus’ deity, the New Testament clearly provides eye-witness testimony to the words, actions, and teachings of Jesus that prove his deity. A false Jesus cannot save you. If we do not get the identity of Jesus right, we will die in our sin (John 8:24).
- Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism and others.
- Mormons, Oneness Pentecostalism, Unitarianism, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Christadelphians.
- This myth has been popularized by Dan Brown’s book (and film) The Da Vinci Code.
- This claim is clearly contradicted not only by the Scripture but by the statements of the early Church. For example, the early church Father Ignatius Bishop of Antioch (AD 35–108, who was a disciple of John the Apostle) taught the divinity of Jesus: “There is one Physician who is possessed both of flesh and spirit; both made and not made; God existing in flesh; true life in death; both of Mary and of God; first possible and then impossible, even Jesus Christ our Lord. . . . But our Physician is the only true God, the unbegotten and unapproachable, the Lord of all, the Father and Begetter of the only-begotten Son. We have also as a Physician the Lord our God, Jesus the Christ, the only-begotten Son and Word, before time began, but who afterwards became also man, of Mary the virgin.” The Epistle of Ignatius to the Ephesians (Chapter VII “Beware of False Teachers,” http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/ignatius-ephesians-longer.html).
- A classic objection to the deity of Jesus is why does he pray to God if he is God? As if to say that he is praying to himself. But again this confuses the doctrine of the Trinity because Christians do not believe Jesus is the Father. Jesus, as the incarnate Son, would have continued the relationship with the Father that he enjoyed before the world was (John 17:5).
- See James White, The Forgotten Trinity: Recovering the Heart of Christian Belief (Bethany House Publishers: Minnesota, 1998), 165–168.
- At the same time, Jesus is identified in the in the Old Testament by the Apostles (John 12:41 refers to Isaiah 6:1–3; Hebrews 1:5–6 refers to Psalm 2:7; Acts 8:32–35 refers to Isaiah 53).
- Which follows the Septuagint translation of Genesis 1:1.
- God does not share His glory with another (Isaiah 42:8; 48:11).
- Oneness Pentecostals and Unitarians say that this passage refers to the time of Jesus’ human ministry.
- In verse 6 the present participle “being” or “existing” (ὑπάρχω huparcho) points to Jesus’ eternal existence in the “form of God.”
- See G. W. Hansen, The Letter to the Philippians: The Pillar New Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids, Michigan: W. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2009), 134.
- To regard or consider is something a person does, not something a concept does.
- It is debatable from a lexical standpoint whether “emptied himself,” (NASB) or “made Himself of no reputation,” (NKJV) are even the best translations. The NIV/TNIV translation “made himself nothing” is probably more supportable. See Moises Silva, Philippians: Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. 2nd ed (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academics, 2005) 105; Hansen, The Letter to the Philippians, 149.
- Jesus did not cease to be in the form of God in the incarnation, but taking on the form of a servant He became the God-man. Jesus did not give up His divine nature. He may have given up or suspended the use of some of His divine privileges, for example: omnipresence or the glory that He had with the Father in heaven (John 17:5), but not His divine power or knowledge.
- See Bruce M. Metzger, “The Jehovah’s Witness and Jesus Christ: A Biblical and Theological Appraisal,” Theology Today 10, no. 1 (April 1953): 77.
- Joseph H. Thayer, Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament (Hendrickson Publishers, Peabody, Massachusetts, 2007), 288.
- Peter is drawing from the Old Testament in Isaiah 8:13 where the term “Lord” in the LXX refers directly to “Yahweh of Hosts” as being honored.
- Some argue that sins could be pronounced forgiven by God’s representatives (i.e., priest). However, “Jesus was not a priest, no one had offered sacrifice, and the scribes had heard no basis for the pronouncement of forgiveness, not even clear indication of repentance.” Craig Keener, The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1993), 140.
- The LXX translates the Hebrew word for serve (pelach) פְּלַח as λατρεύουσα, which refers to the highest form of religious worship.
- Those who confess Jesus as Lord are those who do the will of the Father (see Matthew 12:50).
- In the first century, the Law of Moses was also known as the yoke of the Torah. Jesus’ yoke is lighter because he bears the load of the Law for us.
- This reading of monogenēs theos “is supported by the best mss (P66 א *BC*L), and the reading with theos is also supported by P75 אc, though both include the definite article before theos.” See Grant Osborne, The Gospel of John: Cornerstone Biblical Commentary (Tyndale House Publishers: Illinois, 2007), 21.
- D. A. Caron, The Gospel According to John: The Pillar New Testament Commentary (W. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company: Grand Rapids Michigan, 1991), 599.
Who Is Jesus Christ
What is Jesus’ special role?
Where did he come from?
What kind of person was he?
1, 2. (a) Why does knowing about someone famous not mean that you truly know him? (b) What confusion is there about Jesus?
THERE are many famous people in the world. Some are well-known in their own community, city, or country. Others are known worldwide. However, just knowing the name of someone famous does not mean that you truly know him. It does not mean that you know details about his background and what he is really like as a person.
2 People around the world have heard something about Jesus Christ, even though he lived on earth some 2,000 years ago. Yet, many are confused about who Jesus really was. Some say that he was merely a good man. Others claim that he was nothing more than a prophet. Still others believe that Jesus is God and should be worshipped. Should he?
3. Why is it important for you to know Jehovah God and Jesus Christ?
3 It is important for you to know the truth about Jesus. Why? Because the Bible says: “This means everlasting life, their coming to know you, the only true God, and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ.” (John 17:3) Yes, really coming to know Jehovah God and Jesus Christ can lead to everlasting life on a paradise earth. (John 14:6) Furthermore, Jesus sets the best example of how to live and how to treat others. (John 13:34, 35) In the first chapter of this book, we discussed the truth about God. Now let us consider what the Bible really teaches about Jesus Christ.
THE PROMISED MESSIAH
4. What do the titles “Messiah” and “Christ” mean?
4 Long before Jesus was born, the Bible foretold the coming of the one whom God would send as the Messiah, or Christ. The titles “Messiah” (from a Hebrew word) and “Christ” (from a Greek word) both mean “Anointed One.” This promised One would be anointed, that is, appointed by God to a special position. In later chapters of this book, we will learn more about the Messiah’s important place in the fulfillment of God’s promises. We will also learn about the blessings that Jesus can bring us even now. Before Jesus was born, however, many no doubt wondered, ‘Who will prove to be the Messiah?’
5. Of what were the disciples of Jesus fully convinced regarding him?
5 In the first century C.E., the disciples of Jesus of Nazareth were fully convinced that he was the foretold Messiah. (John 1:41) One of the disciples, a man named Simon Peter, openly said to Jesus: “You are the Christ.” (Matthew 16:16) How, though, could those disciples be sure—and how can we be sure—that Jesus really is the promised Messiah?
6. Illustrate how Jehovah has helped faithful ones to identify the Messiah.
6 The prophets of God who lived before Jesus foretold many details about the Messiah. These details would help others to identify him. We might illustrate things this way: Suppose you were asked to go to a busy bus depot or a train station or an airport to pick up someone you had never met before. Would it not help if someone gave you a few details about him? Similarly, by means of the Bible prophets, Jehovah gave a rather detailed description of what the Messiah would do and what he would experience. The fulfillment of these many prophecies would help faithful ones to identify him clearly.
7. What are two of the prophecies that were fulfilled in connection with Jesus?
7 Consider just two examples. First, over 700 years in advance, the prophet Micah foretold that the promised One would be born in Bethlehem, a small town in the land of Judah. (Micah 5:2) Where was Jesus actually born? Why, in that very town! (Matthew 2:1, 3-9) Second, many centuries in advance, the prophecy recorded at Daniel 9:25 pointed to the very year when the Messiah was to appear—29 C.E. * The fulfillment of these and other prophecies proves that Jesus was the promised Messiah.
8, 9. What proof that Jesus was the Messiah became clear at his baptism?
8 Further proof that Jesus was the Messiah became clear near the end of 29 C.E. That is the year when Jesus went to John the Baptizer to be baptized in the Jordan River. Jehovah had promised John a sign so that he could identify the Messiah. John saw that sign at Jesus’ baptism. The Bible says that this is what happened: “After being baptized, Jesus immediately came up from the water; and look! the heavens were opened up, and he saw God’s spirit descending like a dove and coming upon him. Look! Also, a voice from the heavens said: ‘This is my Son, the beloved, whom I have approved.’” (Matthew 3:16, 17) After seeing and hearing what happened, John had no doubt that Jesus was sent by God. (John 1:32-34) At the moment when God’s spirit, or active force, was poured out upon him that day, Jesus became the Messiah, or Christ, the one appointed to be Leader and King.—Isaiah 55:4.
9 The fulfillment of Bible prophecy and Jehovah God’s own testimony plainly show that Jesus was the promised Messiah. But the Bible answers two other important questions about Jesus Christ: Where did he come from, and what kind of person was he?
WHERE DID JESUS COME FROM?
10. What does the Bible teach about Jesus’ existence before he came to earth?
10 The Bible teaches that Jesus lived in heaven before he came to earth. Micah prophesied that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem and also said that His origin was “from ancient times.” (Micah 5:2) On many occasions, Jesus himself said that he lived in heaven before being born as a human. (Read John 3:13; 6:38, 62; 17:4, 5) As a spirit creature in heaven, Jesus had a special relationship with Jehovah.
11. How does the Bible show that Jesus is Jehovah’s most precious Son?
11 Jesus is Jehovah’s most precious Son—and for good reason. He is called “the firstborn of all creation,” for he was God’s first creation. *(Colossians 1:15) There is something else that makes this Son special. He is the “only-begotten Son.” (John 3:16) This means that Jesus is the only one directly created by God. Jesus is also the only one whom God used when He created all other things. (Colossians 1:16) Then, too, Jesus is called “the Word.” (John 1:14) This tells us that he spoke for God, no doubt delivering messages and instructions to the Father’s other sons, both spirit and human.
12. How do we know that the firstborn Son is not equal to God?
12 Is the firstborn Son equal to God, as some believe? That is not what the Bible teaches. As we noted in the preceding paragraph, the Son was created. Obviously, then, he had a beginning, whereas Jehovah God has no beginning or end. (Psalm 90:2) The only-begotten Son never even considered trying to be equal to his Father. The Bible clearly teaches that the Father is greater than the Son. (Read John 14:28; 1 Corinthians 11:3) Jehovah alone is “God Almighty.” (Genesis 17:1) Therefore, he has no equal. *
13. What does the Bible mean when it refers to the Son as “the image of the invisible God”?
13 Jehovah and his firstborn Son enjoyed close association for billions of years—long before the starry heavens and the earth were created. How they must have loved each other! (John 3:35; 14:31) This dear Son was just like his Father. That is why the Bible refers to the Son as “the image of the invisible God.” (Colossians 1:15) Yes, even as a human son may closely resemble his father in various ways, this heavenly Son reflected his Father’s qualities and personality.
14. How did Jehovah’s only-begotten Son come to be born as a human?
14 Jehovah’s only-begotten Son willingly left heaven and came down to earth to live as a human. But you may wonder, ‘How was it possible for a spirit creature to be born as a human?’ To accomplish this, Jehovah performed a miracle. He transferred the life of his firstborn Son from heaven to the womb of a Jewish virgin named Mary. No human father was involved. Mary thus gave birth to a perfect son and named him Jesus.—Luke 1:30-35.
WHAT KIND OF PERSON WAS JESUS?
15. Why can we say that through Jesus we come to know Jehovah better?
15 What Jesus said and did while on earth helps us to get to know him well. More than that, through Jesus we come to know Jehovah better. Why is this the case? Recall that this Son is a perfect reflection of his Father. That is why Jesus told one of his disciples: “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father also.” (John 14:9) The four Bible books known as the Gospels—Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John—tell us much about the life, activity, and personal qualities of Jesus Christ.
16. What was Jesus’ primary message, and where did his teachings come from?
16 Jesus was well-known as “Teacher.” (John 1:38; 13:13) What did he teach? Primarily, his message was “the good news of the Kingdom”—that is, God’s Kingdom, the heavenly government that will rule over the entire earth and will bring endless blessings to obedient humans. (Matthew 4:23) Whose message was this? Jesus himself said: “What I teach is not mine, but belongs to him who sent me,” namely, Jehovah. (John 7:16) Jesus knew that his Father wants humans to hear about the good news of the Kingdom. In Chapter 8, we will learn more about God’s Kingdom and what it will accomplish.
17. Where did Jesus do his teaching, and why did he go to great lengths to teach others?
17 Where did Jesus do his teaching? Everywhere he found people—in the countryside as well as in cities, in villages, in marketplaces, and in their homes. Jesus did not expect people to come to him. He went to them. (Mark 6:56; Luke 19:5, 6) Why did Jesus go to such lengths and spend so much of his time preaching and teaching? Because doing so was God’s will for him. Jesus always did his Father’s will. (John 8:28, 29) But there was another reason why he preached. He felt compassion for the crowds of people who came out to see him. (Read Matthew 9:35, 36.) They were neglected by their religious leaders, who should have been teaching them the truth about God and his purposes. Jesus knew how much the people needed to hear the Kingdom message.
18. What qualities of Jesus do you find most appealing?
18 Jesus was a man of tender warmth and deep feelings. Others thus found him to be approachable and kind. Even children felt at ease with him. (Mark 10:13-16) Jesus was impartial. He hated corruption and injustice. (Matthew 21:12, 13) At a time when women received little respect and had few privileges, he treated them with dignity. (John 4:9, 27) Jesus was genuinely humble. On one occasion, he washed the feet of his apostles, a service usually performed by a lowly servant.
19. What example shows that Jesus was sensitive to the needs of others?
19 Jesus was sensitive to the needs of others. This was especially evident when, under the power of God’s spirit, he performed miracles of healing. (Matthew 14:14) For example, a man with leprosy came to Jesus and said: “If you just want to, you can make me clean.” Jesus personally felt this man’s pain and suffering. Moved with pity, Jesus stretched out his hand and touched the man, saying: “I want to! Be made clean.” And the sick man was healed! (Mark 1:40-42) Can you imagine how that man must have felt?
FAITHFUL TO THE END
20, 21. How did Jesus set an example of loyal obedience to God?
20 Jesus set the finest example of loyal obedience to God. He remained faithful to his heavenly Father under all kinds of circumstances and despite all types of opposition and suffering. Jesus firmly and successfully resisted Satan’s temptations. (Matthew 4:1-11) At one time, some of Jesus’ own relatives did not put faith in him, even saying that he was “out of his mind.” (Mark 3:21) But Jesus did not let them influence him; he kept right on doing God’s work. Despite insults and abuse, Jesus maintained self-control, never trying to harm his opposers.—1 Peter 2:21-23.
21 Jesus remained faithful until death—a cruel and painful death at the hands of his enemies. (Read Philippians 2:8.) Consider what he endured on the last day of his life as a human. He was arrested, accused by false witnesses, convicted by corrupt judges, laughed at by mobs, and tortured by soldiers. Nailed to a stake, he took his last breath, crying out: “It has been accomplished!” (John 19:30) However, on the third day after Jesus died, his heavenly Father resurrected him back to spirit life. (1 Peter 3:18) A few weeks later, he returned to heaven. There, he “sat down at the right hand of God” and waited to receive kingly power.—Hebrews 10:12, 13.
22. What did Jesus accomplish by remaining faithful until death?
22 What did Jesus accomplish by remaining faithful until death? Jesus’ death actually opens to us the opportunity for eternal life on a paradise earth, in harmony with Jehovah’s original purpose. How Jesus’ death makes that possible will be discussed in the next chapter.
Jesus In Christianity
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What Happens When You Die? Does Hell Really Exist?
Fact: Hell is more real than people here!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Reality: Very few pastors ever preach about Hell. But Hell exists! So many Christians don’t believe in Hell and
whether you’re rich or poor, famous or unknown, good looking or ugly, strong or weak, loved or hated, fat or skinny, happy or sad …you will still die! But what happens WHEN you die? You need to know, NOW. Why? You need to be ready for that day you will die…
“Hell Really Exists” will respond to every question You have and need to know about Hell, Satan and demons! Don’t gamble with the eternal destiny of your soul. One day you will die. 10 out of 10 people die.
What happens after death? Is there life after death? Is Hell Real? Why does Hell exist? Is Hell eternal? How can I not go to Hell? What is the Bible’s description of Hell? Is Hell-Fire Real? Is Hell a real place of everlasting punishment? Is Hell a place of darkness? Is there weeping, screaming, wailing and gnashing of teeth in Hell? Is Hell forever and ever? Did God Create Hell? Why did God create Hell? When did God create Hell? Does God send people to Hell? Did Jesus warn us about Hell? Who will go to Hell? Will good deeds save us from Hell? Where is Hell located? Are there testimonies of Hell? What is brimstone? What is eternal life? What is second death? What is the Book of Life? How can you get to Heaven?…
Who are demons? What is demon-possession? Are demons “evil spirits”? Do we have power over demons? How can we cast out demons? What is exorcism? Can we command the devil? Why do demons come back sometimes? …
What does the Bible teach about us? Have we only a body? Do we also have a spirit and soul? What does it mean that man is created in the image of God? Are the soul and spirit the same? What are the parts of the soul? What are the parts of the spirit? Is the spirit eternal? Why do we need a spirit? …
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Save Your Marriage Today!
You have found this site in a search to heal your marriage. Your marriage is not where it should or could be. Perhaps it is even headed for divorce. You may be in great pain, feeling the constant agony of a crippled relationship. It may be that you see the writing on the wall, or perhaps your spouse has even said it: your marriage is headed straight into the ground! You may have given up all hope. Maybe you are terrified, but still hopeful.
I am here to tell you that it can change. In fact, I am here to tell you that your marriage can not only be restored, but can actually become the marriage of your dreams! You really are married to your soul-mate!
Did you know that the rate of divorce among Christians is actually HIGHER than the general population? I can’t begin to tell you how surprised I was to hear this! We are a people called to be faithful, to be forgiving, to be loving. . . and we end marriages more often than the general public. That trend must stop! Let’s agree to change this fact, you and I working together to renew your marriage.
Divorce and broken marriages is not God’s plan. God’s plan was for marriage to be a lifetime. As I’m sure you have heard often, in Genesis 2:24, God tells us that “for this reason, a man will leave his father and mother and be united with his wife. And the two people will become one body.”? When we become one body, it is a forever thing.
- You can live with things the way they are. . . Suffer
- You can just get out of the whole thing. . . Divorce
- You can change the marriage for the better.
OK, I have my prejudices. Obviously, 1) isn’t working. You have already decided against that, the proof being that you found your way to this website! And 2) isn’t much of an option for those of us who believe God’s Word. So, the best answer is 3), accomplished of course, with God’s help.
If you are like most people, you have tried to make changes, tried to figure things out, and maybe even saw a little improvement here and there. But things just seem to either drift back to the way they were or get worse!
- Arguing with your spouse to try to get them to see your point, while they argue back to get you to see their point? (Neither of you will win.)
- Ignoring the situation, hoping time will heal? (It will only make it worse.)
- Trying to manipulate your spouse into going your way? (You become dishonest.)
- Reading books on male/female differences, new sex techniques, communication skills, or self-esteem? (They have no long-term effectiveness.)
- Praying to God, hoping for an answer? (Good start, and there is an answer!)
Let’s face it: marriage is a challenge! There is no way around that. But it is a challenge with enormous payoffs in the end. That is God’s plan. Marriages teach us to be better Christians, if we allow it.
My first discovery was that modern psychology was exacerbating the problem! While attempting to help, psychology was doing great harm to marriages. In fact, the statistics were appalling. Did you know that less than 50% of marriages that go to therapy stay together? And only 10-20% of people in marital therapy report any improvement.
Imagine that: you go to a doctor, and he tells you that you need surgery. But you have less than a 50/50 chance of survival. And if you do survive, only a 10 to 20% chance of improving. Who in their right mind would go through with surgery? Yet many, many couples end up in therapy each year. And when therapy doesn’t help, they decide that the marriage must really be over.
I knew there had to be better answers. . . and there were, right there in my Christian beliefs. I just had to take those beliefs, use them in real practice, and create a practical approach that is founded in faith.
God has given us the tools we need to build strong marriages, to become “One Flesh.”? But it takes study, discernment, and practice to bring this approach to fruition. You can take your beliefs, faith, and relationship to God to build your relationship. I will show you how!
I have spent the last couple of years taking all my material, honing it down, polishing it off, and creating a format that you can use to save your own Christian marriage. All that effort is now available, for the first time, for you. But you must act now, not because the material won’t be here, but because your marriage may not.
You see, the biggest mistake most people make in the midst of a marital crisis is to wait too long. People think that time might heal all wounds. (It may, but only if you know how to help the process along!)
I decided to make this material available to you in the simplest, most direct, and easiest format. I created an ebook that contains all the information you need in order to use your Christian faith to save your marriage.
This material is available to anyone reading this website. In fact, I am making sure you can get it with absolutely no risk to yourself or anyone else! I promise that if you use this information, and if you approach your marriage prayerfully, your marriage WILL BE SAVED!
The advantage is that you can get the information, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, from anywhere in the world. No waiting for the book to arrive, no trips to try to find the information.
THE secret to saving your marriage, starting today.
God’s Plan for your marriage.
The Top 5 Mistakes people make when a crisis arises.
The true secrets of healthy, stable, loving marriages.
How your Christian beliefs and faith can transform your relationship.
How to assess the stage of your crisis (there are 8).
How to address any stage of a crisis and turn it around.
What to do, what to say, and what to avoid in order to save your
Why Christians should and could have a “leg-up”? in dealing with problems in your marriage.
Why “hard work”? on the relationship isn’t always the answer.
How marriage counseling can be dangerous to your marriage’s future.
Why “low mood therapy”? is destined for failure and how “high mood relating“? makes the difference.
How to move beyond emotions and take action!
How to find the North Star of your relationship, and why it matters.
Why true intimacy is a lot closer than you think–and how to get there!
What the TIE Elements of Communication are, and how they can transform your communication.
How to change the momentum of a relationship, sometimes instantaneously!
What the Practices of Marriage are, and how they can transform your relationship.
Why arguing is a waste of time — and the amazingly simple secret to get around it.
How to become a team, even if you feel like opposites.
Why power is so destructive to relationships and how to change it.
How to deal with problems involving sex or money — and how to bring God into those areas.
How to make radical shifts (literally, quantum leaps!) in the relationship.
Much, much more about how to transform your relationship, with God’s plan and help.
In short, how to have the marriage of your dreams and prayers.
Teen girls struggle to maintain a positive self image in an image-focused society. This problem is growing more and more as teens are bombarded with media that portrays too-thin models and celebrities, with a constant message that all women need to look this way to be attractive and desirable.
The definition of beauty comes from mainstream society instead of from God, which results in girls being unhappy with the way they look and basing for their value and worth on these unreasonable standards.
May His Kingdom come!
Perhaps in 2028. That will be 2000 years, which is 2 ‘1000-year-days’ for YAH, since King Yahshua left earth saying He would send us some help. Where-Oh-Where is YAH’s ‘Spirit of TRUTH’ today? Truth has certainly been ‘thrown down’. ‘It cast down truth to the ground, and it did its pleasure and prospered. Daniel 8:12)
It is now the ‘Midnight Hour’. The ‘Roman Beast’ is about to ‘prosper’ more than ever. It’s been ‘stomping the residue, of all of us. Ouch! Daniel 7:19
Let’s follow the REAL King Yahshua together. Not the imitation king, about to appear. He will have tricks, just like the magicians of the Exodus.
This Son of YAH will come. Perhaps in under 12 years time. His Word says that He will kill the Roman Beast and the Whore of Babylon, as well as all who do not seek YAH in truth. He will save those who obey (but don’t add to) His simple commandments. Which, most importantly, is to show loving kindness to one another. With your actions. Not just your words. And obey His Sabbath. Here are 2 requirements to inherit eternal life:
- Don’t love the world or the things that are in the world. If anyone loves the world, the Father’s love isn’t in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, isn’t the Father’s, but is the world’s. The world is passing away with its lusts, but he who does God’s will remains forever. 1 John 2:15-17 Do NOT take the ‘Mark of the Beast’ to buy and sell. That disqualifies you for YAH’s kingdom. Rev. 13:15-17
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