Summary: First sermon in a series dealing with the Tough Questions of Scripture. This message looks at four areas regarding the existence of God: our conscience, nature, the Bible, and finally Jesus Himself.
ANSWERING THE TOUGH QUESTIONS OF SCRIPTURE
How Can I Know God Exists?
INTRODUCTION: In looking at the tough questions of Scripture – Our first question, “How can I know God exists”, is an appropriate place to start. Every other question we will deal with or could deal with concerning Scripture is moot if there is no God. In fact the very Bible you and I have, without God, is immediately transformed from a divine inspiration, and into a series of ramblings and short stories. All that we have rests on the existence of God. I would like to look at four areas that reveal to us that God truly exists.
Imagine a family of mice who lived all their lives in a large piano. To them in their piano-world came the music of the instrument, filling all the dark spaces with sound and harmony. At first the mice were impressed by it. They drew comfort and wonder from the thought that there was Someone who made the mice—though invisible to them—above, yet close to them. They loved to think of the Great Player whom they could not see.
Then one day a daring mouse climbed up part of the piano and returned very thoughtful. He had found out how the music was made. Wires were the secret; tightly stretched wires of graduated lengths that trembled and vibrated. They must revise all their old beliefs: none but the most conservative could any longer believe in the Unseen Player.
Later, another explorer carried the explanation further. Hammers were now the secret, numbers of hammers dancing and leaping on the wires. This was a more complicated theory, but it all went to show that they lived in a purely mechanical and mathematical world. The Unseen Player came to be thought of as a myth.
But the pianist continued to play.
Reprinted from the LONDON OBSERVER
I OUR CONSCIENCE TELLS US GOD EXISTS
A CONSCIENCE: an internal witness of right and wrong that has been affected by sin and the fall.
ILLUSTRATION: On Thanksgiving Day, 1713, the governor of Connecticut and the Kings commissioners were just preparing to dine when it was announced that the bear prepared for the occasion had been “shot on ye Lord’s Day.” At the dismal news none would touch a morsel of the roast bear, until it was decided that the Indian who shot the animal should be whipped and made to restore the price paid for the meat. Then, having inflicted a “just and righteous sentence on ye sinful heathen,” the company fell upon the roast bear with clear conscience and left nothing but the bones.
B Our Conscience Is Neither Perfect Nor Infallible!
1 Our Conscience can be wounded by others
1 Cor. 8:12 When you sin against your brothers in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ.
2 Our conscience can be rendered ineffective
1 Tim. 4:2 Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.
3 Our Conscience can be defiled
Titus 1:15 To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted.
C The Desire For Our Conscience
1 Everybody desires a clean conscience
Hebrews 9:9 This is an illustration for the present time, indicating that the gifts and sacrifices being offered were not able to clear the conscience of the worshiper.
2 People are ALWAYS cleaning their conscience
Hebrews 10:2 If it could, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins.
3 Two Reasons For A Clear Conscience
a A clear conscience is a means to bring us closer to God
Hebrews 10:22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.
b Our conscience convicts us of our sinfulness
Romans 2:14-16 (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law, 15since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them.) 16This will take place on the day when God will judge men’s secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.
OUR CONSCIENCE COULD NEVER BRINGS US TO RIGHTEOUSNESS
Romans 3:10 As it is written: "There is no one righteous, not even one;
The best our conscience can do is bring us to realize our guilt, distance from God, and judgment by God.