“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Genesis 1:1
What is the basis of faith? What must we know to believe in God?
I had a conversation recently with a friend who was asking some very deep and provocative questions. He asked me what I believe about the Bible. Is it true? Is it real? I told him I believe wholeheartedly in the truth of the Bible, that it is inspired by God, without error and completely trustworthy. It is the real and living Word of the real and living God. It has been proven throughout history and time will continue to prove its reliability.
He then asked me about the Biblical account of creation – specifically did I believe that God created the world in 7 days as we understand a 24-hour day, or is the Genesis record of “days” actually much longer stretches of time? I told him what I thought; but I told him too, that the point of faith is not how long it took God to create the heavens and the earth, but that we believe He did it.
Throughout the Bible, its writers affirm this very basic truth. God addresses Job’s complaints by saying, “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation…laid its cornerstone… made the clouds…gave orders to the morning… ?” (Job 38:4, 6, 9, 12) Acts 17: 24 declares, “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth.” In Hebrews 11: 3 we read, “By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command…” The Apostle John wrote: “He was with God in the beginning. Through Him all thing were made…” and again in Revelation 4:11, “You created all things, and by Your will they were created and have their being.” Over and over the Bible declares that “The Lord [is] the Maker of heaven and earth.” (Psalm 115:15)
You see, faith is more than knowing exactly how long it took for the universe to be formed. Faith is knowing Who formed it. Hebrews 11: 6 says, “Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.” Faith believes that God is who He says He is and that He can do what He says He can do. (Henry Blackaby, “Experiencing God” and Beth Moore, “Believing God”) Paul said in Romans 10:17, “Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.”
From the beginning of creation, Satan has challenged God by trying to cause the created to doubt the Creator. His words to Eve still reach the ears of men and women today: “Did God really…?” He wants us to doubt the existence of God. He tries to cause us to doubt the Bible. Like the philosophers of Athens (Acts 17: 16-33), he sends us chasing for answers that seem religious, but do nothing to encourage us to believe the truth.
There is a new theology forming today, people who choose to believe nothing. What a sad way to go through life. What a tragic way to face eternity. I choose to believe God. I choose to believe the Bible. I choose to live a life of faith that pleases Him. I choose to seek Him and know Him with all my heart. I hope that you will choose God too.
God – You are everything You say that You are, and You are everything to me. Amen.
Go deeper: Genesis 1-2; Job 38-41; Acts 17:16-33