I Believe

“I believe in God the Father Almighty,

Maker of Heaven and Earth”

From “The Apostles’ Creed”

“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.”  Hebrews 11:6

What does it mean to “believe in God?” What must you believe about God?  Why should you believe in God at all?   Man has been wrestling with the concept of belief in God for thousands of years.  The most brilliant minds from every side of the issue have argued for and against belief in God.  We make it so complex with our human perspectives. But it really is simple: “God is who He says He is.”  Belief in God is the very foundation of faith, in fact, it is the foundation of our lives.

The Apostles’ Creed makes it first bold statement of affirmation by saying “I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth.”  Our intellectual world would stop us right here and argue against the existence of God.  But a person of faith believes that He is.  Our key verse declares that faith believes in the existence of God, and there are evidences all around to prove He does exist.  God has revealed Himself through His creation.  Romans 1:19-20 says “What may be known about God is plain to [men], because God has made it plain to them.  For since the creation of the world, God’s invisible qualities- His eternal power and divine nature have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made; so that men are without excuse.”  The Psalmist David said “the heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands…Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.”  (Psalm 19:1, 3).  The world around us professes to the reality of God.  This world was not created by some “cosmic accident” It was created by God, who also created man and He gave earth everything necessary to sustain life.  God is “the Maker of Heaven and Earth.”

A person of faith knows and believes in God as both Creator and Father.  He is exalted in Heaven, over all of His creation; yet He is a very intimate and personal Father.

The first mention in Scripture of anyone professing to believe in God was Abram – Genesis 15:6 says “Abram believed God and it was credited to Him as righteousness.” Abram (later renamed Abraham) believed in the existence of God, but He also believed God.  His belief, his confidence was revealed by has obedient actions.  But the first point of decision – to believe God or not believe Him – was exhibited in the Garden.  For Adam and Eve, God’s very first created human beings, believing God was not a matter of “is He real or isn’t He?” – but “will we believe what He has said is true?”  They walked with Him daily (Genesis 3:8), so His existence was never questioned.  They knew He was real.  Their crisis of belief came, not with a challenge to His reality, but with the serpent (the Devil) planting a seed of doubt – “Did God really…” (Genesis 1:1).  When Satan cannot cause us to doubt the existence of God, he will cause us to doubt the heart of God. He has been using the same line to plant, cultivate, grow and harvest huge fields of doubt in the hearts and minds of men ever since.

By definition; believing is “to accept something as true, genuine or real; to have a firm conviction; to consider to be true or honest, to accept the word or evidence of.” (www.merriam-webster.com) Belief in God is not wishful thinking or just an opinion we hold to; belief in God is based on the actual evidences of His existence and of the truth of His Word. Belief in God is belief in His character of faithfulness and truth, belief in His power and goodness; it is belief that trusts and obeys.

I do believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth. This is not just a rote statement I declare, it is the deepest conviction of my heart.

Do you believe in God?

God Almighty, You have made Yourself known through nature, Your Word, Your Son and Your Spirit.  Please open our hearts that we may believe.  Amen.

In The Beginning…Faith

“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