18. Why Believe in God Notes (Letter sized)


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This is the 19th study in the “Growing Deep in the Gospel” series and is the third one dealing with defending the gospel. In this study we answered the question “why Believe in God?” by looking at five arguments that show why belief in God is the most reasonable conclusion. Those arguments included the cosmological, teleological, moral law, prophecy, and heart-wired.

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18. Why Believe in God Notes (Letter sized)

  1. 1. Why Believe in God?Growing Deep in the Gospel - Defending the GospelReviewWhy Defend the Gospel? 1. It is one of the ways we love others. 2. It goes hand-in-hand with evangelism. 3. To remove obstacles to belief. 4. It helps Christians to know their faith. 5. To protect the Church from heresy. 6. To follow the Biblical examples. 7. Because the Bible tells us to.1 Peter 3:15 (NKJ)… always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you…What is Apologetics?It comes from a Greek word apologia which means to give a reason or defense.Why Do People Refuse to Believe in God? (according to the Bible) 1. Their hearts are deceitful, wicked, darkened and hard. 2. They love sin and darkness; hate God and the light; want to be their own god. 3. They are alienated from God and His life. 4. Their minds are corrupt, they suppress the truth, their thinking is futile, they are ignorant and are enemies in their minds. 5. They are not thankful. 6. They are prideful and arrogant. 7. They are blinded by Satan.Why Unbelief? (general reasons) 1. Christians Behaving Badly 2. Bad Things Happen 3. Unmet Expectations 4. Father Problem 5. Social Pressures 6. Cost of Following Jesus 7. Sexual ImmoralityObservation: Many of these “reasons” result from a wrong understanding of God.It is not one’s thinking that keeps them from God but rather the issues in their heart.What is Needed Most - A Humble, Sincere and Open HeartJames 4:6, 10 (NKJ)…God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble...Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord,and He will lift you up.A Humble Prayer “God, if You are real, I want You in my life. I beg You, please open up my heart to You and give me understanding of You and the truth.”
  2. 2. Defending the GospelWhy Believe? 1. Why believe in God? 2. Why believe in the Bible? 3. Why believe in Jesus?Objections to Belief 1. Why evil and suffering? 2. Why hell? 3. What about those who never heard about Jesus? 4. Other objectionsToday - Why Believe in God?The GoalTo show the reasonableness of believing in God and then to encourage those open to seek Him.Deuteronomy 4:29 (NIV)But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart andwith all your soul.Important Considerations 1. Be like Jesus and ask questions as often as possible.* a. To understand where they are coming from and what they believe. b. To help them to discover the answers for themselves. 2. People rejected Jesus so don’t be surprised when they reject you and your fine arguments and amazing reasoning. 3. Pray without ceasing! There is a spiritual dimension to salvation.*Questions to Ask 1. What do you mean that you don’t believe in God? 2. Why do you believe there is no God? 3. If there is no God how did the universe come into existence? 4. If God was real would you want Him in your life? 5. Why are you so angry when I talk about God?Why Believe in God? 1. Cosmological - Cause & Effect 2. Teleological - Design 3. Moral Law - Right & Wrong 4. Prophecy - Predictive 5. Heart Wired - Intuitive KnowledgeKalam Cosmological Argument 1. Everything that begins to exist must have a cause. 2. The universe began to exist. 3. Therefore, the universe had a cause.Objection: Who or what caused God?Answer: God had no beginning so He didn’t need a cause. 2
  3. 3. What God Says - Romans 1:18-20 (NIV)The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness ofpeople, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain tothem, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisiblequalities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from whathas been made, so that people are without excuse.Teleological Argument for Fine Tuning 1. The fine-tuning of the universe to support life is either due to necessity, chance or design. 2. It is not due to necessity or chance. 3. Therefore, the fine-tuning is due to design.Examples of Fine Tuning 1. Oxygen currently makes up 21 percent of the atmosphere. Were it 25 percent, fires would erupt everywhere and if it were 15 percent, humans would suffocate. 2. If gravity was altered by 0.00000000000000000000000000000000000000001 percent, the sun would not exist and the moon would crash into earth. Further, if the centrifugal force of planetary movements did not precisely balance the gravitational forces, nothing could be held in orbit around the sun. 3. If the universe was expanding at a rate one millionth more slowly than it is, the temperature on earth would be 10,000 degrees. 4. If Jupiter was not exactly where it is, earth would be bombarded by space material that would threaten life on the planet. 5. Astrophysicist Hugh Ross has calculated that the odds of all anthropic constants (122 at last count) to be in place for any planet in the universe by luck alone to be one chance in ten with 138 zeros after it. This number becomes even more incredible when one realizes there are only 1070 atoms in the entire universe. Finally, mathematicians point out that anything which exceeds 1050 power is the exact same thing as zero chance.What God Says - Psalm 19:1-4 (NIV)The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day theypour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. They have no speech, they use no words;no sound is heard from them. Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of theworld. In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun.Moral Argument 1. If God does not exist, objective moral values do not exist. 2. Objective moral values do exist. 3. Therefore, God exists.What God Says - Romans 2:14-15 (NLT)Even Gentiles, who do not have God’s written law, show that they know his law when theyinstinctively obey it, even without having heard it. They demonstrate that God’s law is written in theirhearts, for their own conscience and thoughts either accuse them or tell them they are doing right.Inferences about God from the Cosmological, Teleological and Moral ArgumentsExist outside time, immaterial (spirit), very powerful, highly intelligent, eternal, personal, purposeful,and good/moral. 3
  4. 4. Prophecy as Proof of GodIsaiah 41:21-23 (NIV)“Present your case,” says the Lord. “Set forth your arguments,” says Jacob’s King. “Tell us, you idols,what is going to happen. Tell us what the former things were, so that we may consider them and knowtheir final outcome. Or declare to us the things to come, tell us what the future holds, so we may knowthat you are gods...Predictive Prophecy Facts 1. 27% of the Bible contains what was predictive prophecy at the time that it was written. 2. 8,352 verses of predictive material out of a total of 31,124 verses 3. Predictive prophecies cover 1,817 eventsBiblical Example of Predictive ProphecyRevelation 11:7-11 (NIV)Now when they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up from the Abyss will attackthem, and overpower and kill them. Their bodies will lie in the public square of the great city—which isfiguratively called Sodom and Egypt—where also their Lord was crucified. For three and a half dayssome from every people, tribe, language and nation will gaze on their bodies and refuse them burial.The inhabitants of the earth will gloat over them and will celebrate by sending each other gifts,because these two prophets had tormented those who live on the earth. But after the three and a halfdays the breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet, and terror struck thosewho saw them.Heart Wired - Intuitive KnowledgeWhat God Says - Ecclesiastes 3:11 (NIV)He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no onecan fathom what God has done from beginning to end.Heart Wired 1. Beauty 2. Judgment 3. Immortality 4. Utopia 5. MessiahWhy Believe in God? Review 1. Cosmological - Cause & Effect 2. Teleological - Design 3. Moral Law - Right & Wrong 4. Prophecy - Predictive 5. Heart Wired - Intuitive KnowledgeJudge for yourself in light of the evidence what is more reasonable, God or no god? But realizewhatever judgment you make will also result in judgment on yourself if God exist. 4
  5. 5. Reflection Questions  If a friend asked you why should they believe in God what would you do?  What are the main things that you learned from this teaching that you think will be helpful to you?Grow Deep – Let the gospel go deep into your heart and out into your life. 1. Know what you believe and why you believe it! 2. Take a hold of the gospel so Jesus can take a hold of you! 3. Take time to read the “Why Believe” articles on despreisus.ro.Last WordJesus didnt come to make bad people good but to make dead people alive!Review Questions 1. Without looking what were the five main arguments mentioned for believing in God? 2. What argument do you find most convincing to you and why? 3. Was there anything new for you in the teaching? What did you think of it? 4. What other thoughts and observations do you have from these five arguments. 5. What are the main things that you learned from this teaching that you think will be helpful to you? 6. What other arguments are you aware of for the existence of God?To Learn More 1. Read blog posts and books on apologetics and watch apologetic videos online to increase you knowledge and understanding of apologetics. 2. Continue to read the “Why Believe” articles on despreisus.ro until you become familiar with what they say. 3. Go out into the real world and put to practice the things you learned in this teaching. 4. Review these notes regularly and write down what God is teaching you. 5. Discuss items 1-4 with someone or in a small group. 5