Do You Believe There Is the True, Living and Eternal God?
S. Leonard Tyler
This is the question of the ages, "Is there the true, living and eternal God?" Elijah challenged the people of Ahab's reign when the gods of Baal were popular, to try the gods and, "If the Lord be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him" (1 Kgs. 18:21). Balaam, the prophet, told Balak, "God is not man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?. . . I cannot go beyond the commandment of the Lord to do either good or bad of mine own mind; but what the Lord saith, that will I speak" (Num. 23:29; 24:13). Here is a true demonstration of faith; although Balaam stumbled along the way, he stood at this point as a true believer. He believed there was the real, true and living God and demonstrated his faith courageously under severe consequences.
Faith Is Essential
The Hebrew writer expressed it: "But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him" (Heb. 11:6).
Two essentials are attached to saving faith: (1) God is. He really exists and, (2) He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. God is not just an imaginative object. He is living, knowing and active. He is the true and living God as depicted by Paul in Acts 17:24-31 and in 1 Thessalonians 1:9. It is not enough just to believe that God exists. One must also believe He is living and active and that He recognizes and responds to man's seeking. God knows and watches over His people. However to continue to be His people depends upon active faith.
Christians must draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith and "faith is the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen" (Heb. 11:1). "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" (Rom. 10:17).
Christians must "hold fast to the profession of our faith without wavering . . . provoke unto love and to good works" (Heb. 10:22, 23, 24). The judgment of God is sure and vengeance belongeth to Him (Heb. 10:3). "The Lord shall judge his people."
The conclusion: "Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul" (Heb. 10:38-39).
God Is Eternal, Self-Existent
"For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself" (Jn. 5:26). God was not born. He was not created. God is the Creator. He owes no man, thing, or cause for His life. He is uncreated, unoriginated, having no beginning and no ending. God stands upon His own power, self-existent, eternal, forever and ever (Deut. 3 3:27; Psa. 90:2; Gen. 1: 1; Jn. 1:1-5; 1 Cor. 8:6). Psalms 136 and 139 express David's conviction and reason for his cry, "Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting" (Psa. 139:24).
God Is Infinite, All in All
Infinite means, "boundless, unlimited, immeasurable, uncircumscribed" (Webster's New Twentieth Century Dictionary Unabridged). "All in all," means "considering everything; as a whole" (Ibid.). Thus God is infinite in wisdom, knowledge, power, presence, love and yes, "all in all." It is beyond man's finite mind to comprehend the "all in all" of God. But we can believe and sing, "How Great Thou Art!" God is infinite, eternal.
There are so many texts declaring the wisdom, knowledge and power of God that no man who respects the Divine Volume can reasonably doubt. He stands infinitely, for in Him is omniscience, omnipresence, omnipotence and "All in All" (Job 11:7-11; Psa. 19:36; 6; 50; 1 Cor. 1:21-25; 2:6-13; Eph. 3:10). Solomon said, "The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good" (Prov. 15:3; see also Jer. 23:24). Paul declared God's infiniteness in Acts 17:24-26, 31-31.
If There Is No God
If there is no God, man is merely a highly developed, evolved animal. There is no spirit, soul or eternity. Man dies "like little dog Rover." Man just happened. How? Nobody knows. Their theory: Man is born with no reflective design of a Creator or Intelligence from which he came. He lives within the bounds of his own thinking which is his ultimate standard of measurement. He is born, lives, dies and returns to nothing-from which he came. This philosophy is fatalistic in life and destructive in death. That is, if there is no God, there is no soul, no hereafter, no divine direction and no eternity.
If God Is
He is the Creator, man the creature (Gen. 1:1, 26-27; Jn. 1:1-5; Acts 17:26-31; 1 Cor. 15:20-22, 50-58; 2 Cor. 5:1-20). Man is an immortal being and shall live after death (Heb. 9:27; see Eccl. 12:7; Jas. 2:26; Jn. 5:28).
The moral standard for man is not of his own personal choosing but comes from God "that we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world" (Tit. 2:11-12; Gal. 5:16-26). Yes, there is hope, there is life in Christ Jesus (Jn. 14:1-6; Matt. 25:46; Rev. 14:13). The more abundant life is in being a believer (Jn. 10: 10; 1 Jn. 5:4-5).
Guardian of Truth XXIX: 21, pp. 643-644