Does God Exist?

by Wayne Greeson

With the scorn and mockery of the world for those who believe in God, many tend to believe that there is little or no evidence or proof for the existence of God. Some have the idea that science has somehow disproved God.

The evidence for God is so overwhelming the Psalmist wrote: "The fool has said in his heart there is no God" (Psa. 14:1). This evidence is so plain that no one can honestly deny God. Paul wrote, "Because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse" (Rom. 1:19-20).

Those who deny the existence of God do not do so for lack of evidence but from a desire to alleviate their guilt and accountability towards God. Paul explained this problem—"And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting" (Rom. 1:28).

We can't prove the existence of God by quoting the Bible to one who does not believe in God or the Bible. But the Bible does give us some powerful arguments for the existence of God. Let's consider some of these arguments.

Cosmological or First Cause Argument

The Cosmological Argument is also known as the First Cause Argument. This argument begins with the self evident fact that something exists. Since nothing comes from nothing, the something that exists cannot come from nothing. Every finite dependent thing or "effect" has a cause adequate to produce it. An infinite regress of causes is impossible, therefore, there is an uncaused First Cause. This First Cause is a transcendent, eternal, uncaused, immortal, self-existing, independent, all-perfect being. This First Cause is God.

Some attribute this argument to Thomas Aquinas, but it is found in the Scriptures. "For every house is built by someone, but He who built all things is God" (Heb. 3:4). Every house that exists has a cause adequate for it to exist, someone who built it. The cause adequate for all created things that exist is God.

There are four possible explanations for the existence of the universe (all things):

  1. the universe does not exist but is an illusion;
  2. the universe came out of nothing;
  3. the universe has existed eternally;
  4. the universe was created by an eternal Creator.

Which of these explanations is most reasonable? Which is supported by the evidence? Which is the adequate cause to produce the effects we see? The first two choices are not generally accepted as reasonable or logical. Few actually believe all things are an illusion or that all things popped into existence out of nothing. The third choice is contrary to the universally recognized Second Law of Thermodynamics, which says the universe is running down, which necessarily implies a beginning or origin. The only adequate explanation for the existence of the universe is the First Cause, He who built all things, God.

Teleological Argument or Argument from Design

Perhaps the most well known and popular argument is the Teleological Argument or Design Argument. This argument reasons that the evidence of God is seen in the order and design seen in the world. The universe exhibits order and design. The examples of this order range from the nuclear particles that comprise the atom to the grand sweep of the stars congregated in galaxies. We do not have to take one step to some far distant corner to wonder at the beauty and grace of our own human bodies.

Every finite effect has a cause adequate to produce it. An infinite intelligent designer is the only adequate cause to produce the order and design we observe in the universe. Design demands a designer, order demands an orderer and intelligence demands a higher intelligence from whence it came. "For every house is built by someone, but He who built all things is God" (Heb. 3:4), therefore, the universe was caused by an intelligent designer.

The 19th Psalm elegantly sets forth the Argument from Design. "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night reveals knowledge. There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard. Their line has gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them He has set a tabernacle for the sun, which is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoices like a strong man to run its race. Its rising is from one end of heaven, and its circuit to the other end; and there is nothing hidden from its heat" (Psa. 19:1-6).

Likewise, Paul points to the orderly design of the seasons as evidence of a benevolent God. "Nevertheless He did not leave Himself without witness, in that He did good, gave us rain from heaven and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness" (Acts 14:17).

General Argument or Universal Belief Argument

Every nation and culture has held a belief in God, according to the General Argument. Where did this universal belief come from? If every effect has a cause adequate to produce it, God is the only cause adequate to produce such a universal belief in God. Therefore, the universal belief in God was caused by God and is evidence that God exists.

The examples of the universal belief in a god or gods are found in all ancient civilizations. Even the Tasaday civilization recently discovered in 1971 in the mountains of the Philippines, held a belief in god.

How could so many diverse peoples so widely distributed geographically and historically all hold to a belief in a Supreme Being? The Scriptures state this universal belief comes from God. "He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end" (Eccl. 3:11).

Paul gave a reasoned explanation for a universal belief in God. "And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, 'For we are also His offspring'" (Acts 17:26-28).

Aesthetical Argument or Argument from Beauty

The universe exhibits beauty and man has the ability to appreciate it. Aesthetic values serve no purpose in a purely materialistic universe, why do we have it and where did it come from?

Jesus spoke of the beauty of the flowers of the field. "Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these" (Matt. 6:28-29). Human beings appreciate beauty in the natural world, from the flowers to a newborn child, and in the art, literature and music of men.

Every effect has a cause adequate to produce it, therefore beauty and man's aesthetic sense is caused by God. The Scriptures attribute beauty to God. "For all the gods of the peoples are idols, but the Lord made the heavens. Honor and majesty are before Him; strength and beauty are in His sanctuary" (Psa. 96:5-6). "He has made everything beautiful in its time" (Eccl. 3:11).

Moral Argument

God exists because of the evidence of morality. Within every man is a sense of morality. While men might differ on the specifics, all have a sense of right and wrong and justice. A just and righteous God is the only cause adequate to produce a universal sense of morality in man, therefore Man's inner sense of morality was caused by a just and righteous God.

Paul attests that men's inner moral compass comes from God and reveals the God who gave it to them. "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse" (Rom. 1:18-20).

God not only gave men a moral nature but will judge them "for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them) in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel" (Rom. 2:14-16).

Evidence of the existence of God not only surrounds us but is deeply embedded within us. Some may ignore and deny the evidence, but they cannot escape it. And one day God will call us all into account for what we have done with this evidence.

For further study