Summary: Karl Barth said that there are two ways to attain knowledge of God. One is to begin with ourselves but that is flawed because we are flawed. The only place to begin is with God.
1. Lies we believe about God.
a. Art Linkletter was watching a young boy drawing a picture. He asked him what he was drawing
and the boy said, “I’m drawing a picture of God.” Art replied, “you can’t do that because no one
knows what he looks like.” To which the boy answered, “They will when I’m finished.’
3. We often base our beliefs on our experiences.
a. For instance, when a child is small, he does not understand about fire, that it is hot and that it will
burn. When your children would try to help you out in the kitchen you probably would say to
them, “Don’t touch, it is hot!” Maybe you would get there too late and they would have already
touched the oven and found out for themselves that it was hot. They would pull their hand back
quickly and burst into tears. That would teach them that, “Ovens are hot. Hot things burn my
hands. I don’t want to go near the stove.”
i. You would not have to convince them that the oven was not hot, because what they have
just experienced has proven the truth to them.
ii. Life is a teacher, but sometimes not a great one.
iii. Sometimes we get the wrong message, sometimes when things happen to us we can draw
the wrong conclusion.
1. A professional carpet-layer stepped back to survey a newly installed carpet.
Reaching into his shirt pocket for a cigarette, he realized the pack was missing. At
the same time he noticed a lump under the carpet in the middle of the room, about
the size of the missing cigarette pack.
2. There was no way to retrieve his cigarette pack from under the attached carpet
without ripping everything up and starting over. Finally, he decided to beat the
object flat, thereby destroying any evidence of his mistake.
3. Gathering his tools, the carpet layer walked out to his truck. There on the seat of
his truck was the mislaid pack of cigarette. As he lit one up, the homeowner
hurried out of the house and asked, “Hey, have you seen my son’s gerbil?”
iv. It is possible to believe something is true when it is not.
b. It is for this reason that we are looking at some of the lies we believe.
i. Last week, I laid the foundation for this sermon series, because from the very beginning,
we are tempted by Satan to believe lies about God, ourselves, our world, our friends, and
ii. It is vital that we build our lives upon the foundation of truth.
1. A building will stand or fall based upon the security of its foundation.
2. We just had the 100th anniversary of the Great San Francisco Earthquake. I
watched a documentary about it. It seems that about 1/3 of the city was built over
an old lake bed that had been filled with debris. As a result, the homes that were
built on that lake bed had the illusion that they had a good foundation. But
unseen, 60 feet below, was a water saturated subsoil that once shaken would
multiply the effect of an earthquake by 10 times. Everything that once stood on
that filled in lake bed collapsed, like this building blocks on jello.
3. That is the danger of building a life on a lie.
a. Everything else, so matter how well constructed, how true or how strong
will collapse if the first things are not true.
iii. What we believe about God is foundational to our entire belief system.
1. If we have wrong thinking about God we will have wrong thinking about
2. What we believe about God determines how we live.
bob Higgins Page 1 5/6/2006
4. It is for this reason that all theology courses begin with the study of God.
a. Karl Barth said that there are two ways to attain knowledge of God.
i. One is to begin with ourselves.
1. What we end up with however, is making a god in our own likeness.
2. “Everything in your spiritual life depends upon the sort of God you worship,
because the character of the worshipper will always be molded by the character
of what he worships. If it is a cruel and vengeful God, the worshipper will be the
same. If it is a tender, loving and unselfish God, the worshipper will be
transformed slowly but wonderfully into this likeness.” (Hannah Whitall Smith The
Unselfishness of God..)
3. When we start with ourselves, we make a god who is fallen, sinful, or angry,
because that is exactly what we are like. .
4. As a consequence, our entire belief system will be flawed because our first thing,
our premise is wrong.