Title: God
Category: Doctrine
Subject: God


You hold one of three views of God. You either believe he exists, that He does not exist, or you do not know if He exists. Your conclusion will have eternal ramifications.


A Brief Study


Johnny L. Sanders, D. Min.




A popular satellite network ran a number of "investigative reports" on The Bible, on God, on Jesus Christ, and on miracles. These programs are well publicized by an announcer whose voice and eyes tell you he has the final answer. One of the later programs advertized talks about the many names for God, and of course they seek to offer a balance between Judaism, Islam, and Christianity.

If you want to know about God, you may watch television programs and read books. That was the attitude of that program. However, if you really want to know God you must turn to the Word of God, the Bible. God might have chosen to reveal Himself to us in any number of ways, and He does. But He reveals Himself to us definitely, absolutely, accurately, and authoritatively through His Perfect Word.

I think it was Martin Luther who said, “To be ignorant of Scripture is to be ignorant of Christ.” John Stott adds, “To know Scripture is to know Christ.” We might add, to know Scripture is to know God. The Bible tells us that God reveals Himself before us and within us but it is through His inerrant Word that we know the character, nature, attributes, and purpose of God.


A man who seemed young and well educated called the host of a secular radio talk-show and launched a militant attack on Christianity. Suddenly he exclaimed, “Man was not made by God; God was the invention of man.” What do you think? Is there really a God, or did man invent a god to meet some psychological need? If God really does exist what kind of God is He? These and other questions follow.


PROPOSITION: Either you believe God exists (theism), you believe He does not exist (atheism), or you do not know if He exists (agnosticism).

A. Atheism Is an Indefensible Position, Both From the Standpoint of Scripture and Logic.

1. Atheism will not stand the test of logic.

I exist. Since I do not exist of myself, I must conclude that Someone is responsible for my existence. Things around me exist. Someone is responsible for their existence. I also observe that there is a design, order, and motion (activity, energy) in my universe. Imagine that a person who has never seen a watch suddenly finds one. If he observes the design and the orderly movement of the hands, is it not reasonable that he would conclude that somewhere there must be a watch maker?

By the same process I should deduce that somewhere there must be a world maker. Scientists tell us the very first cell contained over a million bits of information, as well as a very complex arrangement of amino acids. If they suddenly appear in the right combination with exactly the right information, we may conclude that there is intelligence behind creation. Sir Fred Hoyle, a former agnostic scientist, calculated the probability of life evolving from random chance he discovered that probability to be less than one in 10 to the 40th power (Morris, Henry M., THE BIBLICAL BASIS FOR MODERN SCIENCE, Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, MI, 1984, 3rd printing, 1988, p. 234). As my friend Tim Mercer from the Dallas/Fort Worth area, points out, that’s 1 followed by 40 zeroes, or 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000.

2. The Bible refutes atheism.

“The fool says in his heart, “God does not exist” (Psalms 53:1, HCSB). According to Romans 1:18-21, God’s revelation of Himself, both within and before each person, is so clear that He will accept no excuse from those who reject Him.

B. Theism Has the Support of Both Logic and Scripture.

1. There is nothing more logical than the existence of God.

If there is a design to the universe there must be a Designer. If there is a creation there must be a Creator. The law of cause and effect holds that every effect must have a cause. If we follow this through to a logical conclusion we discover this is true - with one exception. Behind it all there is must be an uncaused Cause. That uncaused Cause we call God.

Many people reject creation ex nihilo (out of nothing). But it is more reasonable to believe that God created something from nothing than to believe that nothing created something out of nothing? It is also reasonable to assume that the uncaused Cause is infinite, eternal and immutable, and that is exactly what the Bible teaches (Malachi 3:6; James 1:17). He did not evolve from some lower form (man, for example). There is neither mutation, nor evolution in the Godhead.

2. The Christian Bible tells us there is a God.

“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). There is no attempt to prove the existence of God. His existence is simply declared. No definition of God is given, but revelation and discussions of His attributes, nature, character, and purpose are voluminous. The word God appears 4444 times and the word Lord 7836 times in the Bible (KJV).

C. The Agnostic Can Find Help in the Bible.

An honest agnostic is not saying there is no God. What he is saying is that he does not know if there is a God. An egotistical, self-proclaimed agnostic poses the same argument as the atheist - he is just not as honest. If he is honest he will admit that he does not know everything, so it is possible that there is evidence he does not now possess which might convince him of the reality of God. He is willing to ask questions and seek answers. He is willing to be convinced when evidence is presented.


PROPOSITION: If you believe there is a God, you either believe there is one God (monotheism) or you believe there are many gods (polytheism).

A. Polytheism Is an Illogical Concept.

1. A polytheist believes there are many finite gods.

The polytheist believes there are innumerable gods in the universe, but deny that there is one infinite God Who transcends the universe. Examples of polytheistic gods are the gods of ancient Greece and Rome and modern-day Mormonism. Proliferation of the New Age Movements has led to a revival of polytheism - even in America. Today, the term, “post-modern,” covers both New Age spirituality and secular humanism.

Polytheism presents its adherents with one dilemma after another. It is diametrically opposed to monotheism, which has the support of both Scripture and logic. It offers no absolutes in terms of human morality, but raises many questions about the origin of these gods, their nature and character, and the realm of their authority.

2. The Bible clearly rejects polytheism. The Lord was very clear in addressing His people:

The God of the Bible says, “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the place of slavery. Do not have other gods besides Me” (Ex 20:2-3, HCSB). He also declares, “This is what the Lord, the King of Israel and its Redeemer, the Lord of Hosts, says: I am the first and I am the last. There is no God but Me” (Isaiah 44:6, HCSB).


PROPOSITION: If you believe there is one God (and only one God), you either believe that He is separate from (transcends) creation, or that He is inseparable from it (pantheism, monism).

A. Both Pantheism and Monism Fail the Test of Reason and Scripture.

1. Pantheism can be disproved logically and scripturally.

Pantheism is the belief that God and nature are identical. For the pantheist there is no God, or Creator, beyond the universe. God is the universe and the universe is God. For the pantheist there is just one reality and the Creator and creation are two ways of looking at that one reality. “Many religions are identified with pantheism, including many forms of Hinduism, Zen Buddhism, and Christian Science (along with other modern-day mind-science cults)” (Geisler, Norman, FALSE GODS OF OUR TIME, Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, Oregon, 1985, p. 27). In addition, many people have been influenced by pantheism who are not identified with any religion. “Pantheism is one of the fundamental beliefs of the New Age Movement groups, and it underlies the world view of the ever-popular Star Wars saga” (IBID, p. 27). At the center of Star Wars was the emphasis on the “Force” which creator George Lucas identified with God.

Geisler rightly observes that “the most fundamental criticism of a strictly pantheist world view is that it is actually unaffirmable by man, for no finite individual really exists as an entity really different from God or the absolute” (Geisler, Norman L., CHRISTIAN APOLOGETICS, Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, MI, 1976 - paperback, 1988 - p. 187). Other problems with pantheism have to do with creation, the personality of man, and the inability to address the subject of good and evil. Francis Schaeffer points out that we must choose between God and gods. He concludes, “The difficulty with gods instead of God is that limited gods are not big enough.” It was also Schaeffer who said that the most meaningless word in the English language is the word god spelled with a small “g”.

2. Inherent in Monism are most of the same errors found in pantheism.

Monism is the belief that all reality is ultimately unified - all is one and one is all. Monism is closely related to pantheism and fails the test of truth for basically the same reasons.

B. God Is Superior to and Distinct from Creation.

1. Logic demands that the Creator be separate from creation.

He had to pre-exist creation, be distinct from it, and superior to it. “Since Darwin the concept of natural selection has dominated evolutionary thought, providing a ‘naturalistic’ explanation for the origin of the species, and thus (as Julian Huxley used to say) eliminating the need for God” (Morris, Henry, “Pantheistic Evolution,” IMPACT, No.234, Institute of Creation Research, El Cajon, CA, Dec., 1992). But a growing number of scientists have been rejecting Darwin’s theory, primarily because they recognized the fact that the design of the universe required intelligence. They are rejecting the atheistic evolution of Darwin in favor of pre- Darwinian pantheistic evolution. “In fact, this is the pseudo-scientific rationale underlying the so-called New Age Movement which is sweeping over the world today” (IMPACT- IBID).

Some serious scientists, however, recognized that pantheistic gods could not have created the world because they could not exist apart from it, nor could they pre-exist it. Creation required a pre-existent God who was omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent.

2. The God of the Bible is transcendent, and sovereign over all He created.

His sovereignty is predicated upon creation. He created the world, therefore it is His. “The earth is the LORD’S, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein” (Psalms 24:1, KJV). See also, Psalm 90:2).


PROPOSITION: If you believe there is one God Who is separate from creation, you either believe He involves Himself with His creation so as to reveal His existence, or you believe He does not (deism).

A. Deism Is Refuted By Both Logic and Scripture.

1. Deism is an illogical world-view.

The direct opposite of pantheism, it holds that God created the world but denies any supernatural intervention on the grounds that “the world operates by natural and self-sustaining laws of the Creator” (Geisler, CHRISTIAN APOLOGETICS, p. 151). In deism God is distinct from the world, but in pantheism God is identical to it (God is the world). All is one and one is all.

Deism contradicts itself. Toward what end would God have created the world if He could not interact with His creation? In particular, why would He create man in His own image if He could not, or would not, relate to him? It denies the supernatural while professing faith in God. But God is supernatural.

2. In the Bible God reveals Himself as Creator, Sustainer, and Redeemer.

In either capacity He interacts with creation. He Created, Genesis 1; He judged the world, Genesis 6-8; He delivered His chosen people, Exodus. The New Testament accounts of miracles abound, including the incarnation and the Resurrection. The ministry of the Holy Spirit is God’s supernatural
intervention in human affairs. He actually loves that creation He created in His Own image and He desires a special relationship with those whom He created.

B. God’s Involvement with Creation Is Verifiable.

1. His involvement with the world is consistent with Creation.

Failure to involve Himself with that which He has created would be illogical. If God cared enough about man to create him in His image, it is reasonable that He would intervene on his behalf.

2. The Lord claims sovereignty over all He created (Psalms 24:1).

David was inspired to write, “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky proclaims the work of His hands” (Psalms 19:1, HCSB). Jesus taught, “...For He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous” (Matt 5:45b).

The key names for God in the Bible affirm His existence, His sovereignty, and His holiness. The first name, Elohim (God) affirms His power. He is the God, Who has the power to bring all things into existence. The name Adonai (Lord) affirms His sovereignty. He is the sovereign right to reign over all He created. The name Yahweh (LORD) affirms His Covenant relationship with the redeemed and declares His holiness.


PROPOSITION: Those who believe there is one God either believe the God of the Bible is the true God, or they believe some other god is the true God.

A. One Who Believes There Is but One God Can Believe in the Wrong God.

1. We must believe in the right God.

Christians, Jews, and Muslims all believe in one God. Since more than one religious group claims to believe in one God, how do I know which is the right God? There are many things in Islam that Christians may affirm, beginning with their concept of God as one. The Koran, the Islamic holy book, teaches that God is one, the creator, and absolute monarch of all He created. The Koran teaches that God is not three persons, and that the Christian concept of the Trinity is heresy. The Koran also teaches that Jesus, though born of the Virgin Mary, was not God, nor the Son of God. Islam also denies the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. These beliefs contradict the claim that we all worship the same God; Christians through their prophet, Jesus, and Muslims through their prophet, Mohammed. A close comparison of the Bible and the Koran provides irrefutable evidence that the god of the Koran is not the God of the Bible. The nature, character, program, and methods of Allah are not those of the Yahweh, the God of the Bible. Who could conceivably ascribe to Yahweh the loathsome bloody jihad of the god of the Koran? When you hear that a terrorist or a group of terrorists have killed a group of innocent people, do you immediately think, “They are Christians,” or do you think, “They are Muslims?”

2. Christians and Jews are monotheistic.

Both look to the God of the Bible as the one and only God. Both accept the Old Testament Scripture, and both subscribe to an ethic based on the Mosaic Law. There are, however, some major differences in doctrine. A Jewish rabbi invited students at a Baptist college to visit his temple for a special service. He said, “You believe all we believe. We just don’t believe all you believe.” Christians accept the Old Testament as the Word of God. Orthodox Jews, however, reject the New Testament.

Christians believe that Jesus Christ is the Messiah promised in the Old Testament. Judaism rejects Jesus as Messiah. The question is, who is right? Christians believe that Jesus Christ was God in human form. This belief is essential to Christianity, but can Christians verify this claim? The answer is yes. The New Testament is accepted by millions of Christians as the Word of God. It provides an accurate account of the life, teachings, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It also affirms the deity of Christ. The Christian can say with Paul, “I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to guard what has been entrusted to me until that day” (2 Tim 1:12).

In addition, Jesus makes numerous claims for Himself:

1) He is the Messiah promised in the Old Testament.
2) He identifies Himself as one with the Father (John 1:1-3; 5:23; 8:58; 10:30.
3) He was the agent of creation, John 1:1ff.
4) He had the authority to forgive sin, Mark 2:10.


PROPOSITION: Christians worship one God Who manifests Himself Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (The Trinity).

A. Christians Believe in a Triune God.

Christians believe in one God who manifests Himself as three in personality. The Scripture is very clear on this - there are three Persons, but one God (God in three Persons). Francis Schaeffer once said, “I would still be an agnostic if there was no Trinity, because there would be no answers. Without the high order of personal unity and diversity as given in the Trinity, there would be no answers” (Schaeffer, Francis, HE IS THERE AND HE IS NOT SILENT, The Complete Works of Francis Schaeffer, Vol. I, Crossway Books, Westchester, ILL., 1982, p. 201).

In the Godhead there are three Persons existing in perfect harmony, loving each other and communicating with each other prior to creation. “If this were not so, we would have a God who needed to create in order to love and communicate. In such case, God would have needed the universe as much as the universe needed God” (Schaeffer, p. 289). What Schaeffer meant is that, if there were no Trinity, God would have had to create man in order to have someone with whom He could have a relationship. In eternity, God has always had, and will always have, a horizontal relationship. That relationship exists, not between the Perfect and the imperfect, but within the holy and perfect Trinity.

B. God Is One in Essence, and He Relates to Us as Three in Personality.

1. He is the heavenly FATHER (Matthew 6:1).

2. He is the SON (Jesus Christ, Mark 1:1).

3. He is the HOLY SPIRIT (Spirit of God, Acts 2).

At the Baptism of Jesus the Son was baptized, the Spirit descended in a visible form, and the Father spoke (Matthew 3:16f). Paul was ever conscious of the ministry of the Father, Son, and Spirit on behalf of believers: “But we must always thank God (First Person of the Trinity)for you, brothers loved by the Lord (Second Person), because from the beginning God has chosen you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit (Third Person) and through belief in the truth” (2 Thess. 2:13).


PROPOSITION: If you believe in one God Who acts in human history so as to reveal His existence, you either believe He is knowable, or you believe He is not knowable.

A. The Evidence Proves We Can Know God.

1. He actively reveals Himself to human beings.

The first three books Francis Schaeffer authored formed a trilogy which have been called Schaeffer’s apologetics. The titles are - THE GOD WHO IS THERE, ESCAPE FROM REASON, and HE IS THERE AND HE IS NOT SILENT. The thesis of the first book is that He is there. In the third book, he shows that He is there and He is not silent. In other words the God who is there adequately and sufficiently reveals Himself to human beings. He communicates with us.

2. The testimony of millions of Christians affirms the fact that man can know God.

Hundreds knew Jesus personally during His earthly ministry and scores of them embraced Him as Savior. Accounts of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ were so convincing that the numbers of believers multiplied times after time. Millions today believe Jesus is the Son of God Who died for their sins, was resurrected, and ascended to the Father where He is making intercession for those who trust in Him.

B. The Bible teaches that God enables man to know Him.

1. You may know God through Jesus Christ.

You may know God only through Jesus Christ. “There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to people by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

2. An individual may know God - not through his own efforts - but by God’s grace.

First, God reveals Himself to each person, and then gives that individual the faith necessary for him to know Him (Matthew 16:15-17). Second, one may not only know about God; he may know Him
intimately. Paul wrote, “For by grace you are saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift— not from works, so that no one can boast” (Eph 2:8-9). Man may come to a “saving knowledge” of God through Jesus Christ (Acts 16:31; Acts 4:12).

3. God’s way of salvation is set forth in the Bible.

1) Romans 3:23 - all have sinned.
2) Romans 6:23 - the penalty for sin is death.
3) Romans 5:8 - Christ died for us.
4) Romans 10:8-13 - we may be saved through faith.
5) Ephesians 2:8-10 - we are saved by grace.
6) John 3:16 - God loves us and sent His Son to provide eternal life.
7) John 10:28 - we are secure in Jesus.
8) John 14:1-6 - He is preparing a place for us.


PROPOSITION: If you accept the reality of God and the fact that He seeks to reveal Himself to you, you either believe the Bible is the Word of God, or you will believe it is not the Word of God.

A. Internal Evidence Proves The Bible Is the Word of God.

1. The Scripture is Inspired by the Holy Spirit.

"All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Tim 3:16-17). If one accepts the God of the Word as the true God, he should have no problem accepting the Word of God as His perfect Word. The Bible is the revelation of God's redemptive love for man as expressed in Jesus Christ (John 20:30f; 2 Peter 1:21).

2. The content of the Bible verifies it.

First, The Word of God has provided spiritual and moral answers for millions throughout the centuries. Second, the propositional truth contained in the Bible has stood the test of time, attacks by enemies, and scrutiny by the faithful.

B. External Evidence Supports the Claim that the Bible Is the Word of God.

1. Christians see the Preservation of the Scripture as proof that God is protecting His Word.

It has survived the attacks of enemies as well as the apathy and misuse of those who profess to believe it. Historians, archaeologists, and language experts have often affirmed the Scripture by uncovering artifacts, inscriptions, and scrolls, studying them, and reporting on them.

2. A comparison to other ancient writings affirms the accuracy of the New Testament.

Scholars report that around 5,000 Greek manuscripts survive from antiquity. This compares with 200 copies of the work of Demosthenes, 8 copies of Herodotus, 20 of Tacitus, and 643 of Homer. Accuracy of the New Testament manuscripts, 99+%, is vastly superior to any other work from the ancient world (Geisler, APOLOGETICS, p. 307).


1) God is Omniscient ( All knowing) - Ps. 139:1-6. In the Scripture wisdom has a moral as well as an intellectual quality. “Wisdom is, in fact, the practical side of moral goodness” (Packer, J. I., Intervarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL, 1973, p. 80).

2) God is Omnipresent (Present everywhere at same time) - “Where can I go to escape Your Spirit?
Where can I flee from Your presence?” (Psalms 139:7). “In His infinitude He surrounds the finite creation and contains it. There is no place beyond Him for anything to be. God is our environment...” (Tozer, A. W., THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE HOLY, Harper and Row, San Francisco, 1961, p. 74).

3) God is Omnipotent (All Powerful) - “Our Lord is great, vast in power; His understanding is infinite” (Psalms 147:5). See also, Ps. 139:13-16.

4) God is love - “But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us!” (Romans 5:8). See also, John 3:16; 1 John 4:8.

5) God is merciful - “But God, who is abundant in mercy, because of His great love that He had for us” (Eph. 2:4).

6) God is Long suffering - “But You, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger and abundant in faithful love and truth” (Psalms 86:15).

7) Cod is Holy - This points both to His character and his motive in judging sin. “Each of the four living creatures had six wings; they were covered with eyes around and inside . Day and night they never stop, saying: Holy, holy, holy, Lord God, the Almighty, who was, who is, and who is coming” (Rev 4:8).

8) God is immutable. “Because I, Yahweh, have not changed, you descendants of Jacob have not been destroyed” (Mal 3:6).


There is a God. There is only one God. He exists beyond the World, He is sovereign over the world, but He intervenes in human affairs when He chooses to do so. Not only is He knowable, He enables us to know Him through His revelation of Himself. He reveals Himself through the Scripture and through the Holy Spirit. He manifests His greatness through His creation (He is there and He is not silent). He permits us to know Him through Jesus Christ.

“For by grace you are saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift— not from works, so that no one can boast. For we are His creation—created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them” (Eph. 2:8-10).

“The Lord bless you and protect you; the Lord make His face shine on you, and be gracious to you; the Lord look with favor on you and give you peace” (Numbers 6:24-26).