Thursday, July 3, 2008

Essentials - God (part 1)

It is interesting that what I take as a basic fundamental belief in Christianity is disputed by people who call themselves Christian (not to mention pseudo-Christian groups.) If you read my earlier post about the essentials then you will know that I am talking about God. I hadn't thought that anyone would challenge me on my statement of God, but it as happened. Here is what I wrote in my earlier post concerning the essential belief of God.

It is essential that the Christian believes in God. God is that which nothing greater can be conceived. He is eternal. He is all powerful. He is all knowing. He is ever present. He is the Creator of everything. He is love. God is triune in nature. God is one god who has revealed Himself in three persons who are all of the same essence and yet are three separate personalities. God is God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Each personality serves a specific role.

So the question I want to answer is "Why?". Why is it essential to believe in God, and why are these things essential to believe about God?

Why is it essential for a Christian to believe in God?

I think this one is a no-brainer, but then again there are those people who really don't know why. The word Christian means Christ follower. We follow Jesus Christ. We follow not only what He says but we try to live like He lived. There is no doubt in any Christian's mind that Jesus believed in and had a relationship with God. The Bible calls Jesus the "Son of God," and Jesus often spoke of God as being His father.

The Bible tells us that God is the Creator. God made everything. In Romans Paul says that the evidence of God is all around. Just as an artist leaves impressions of himself in his artwork so has God left impressions of Himself in this world He has created. One of the biggest impressions is man. The Bible says that God made man in His own image.

Without the belief in God the Christian has no purpose. Yes, he is a Christ follower, but if there is no God then Jesus would have been a regular guy like you and me. What is the point of trying to be like another human being? No matter what humans do in this life, if there is no God, it doesn't matter in the end. Humans will return to the dust of the ground. Life serves no purpose without God.

Why God? He gives us purpose. He gives us a reason for being and a reason for doing. Without God we are nothing. We are a biological accident that is here for a time and gone, eventually leaving no imprint on the world we once lived in.

Why is it essential to see the true nature of God?

There are many, many religions out there each claiming to have truth. There is no such thing as a religion that doesn't claim to have truth. The whole reason any religion exists is because its adherents feel it offers truth that other religions have missed.

With religion, in most cases, comes a belief in some sort of supernatural being. Hindus believe that god is everything and everything is god. They believe that there is really no separation but only ignornance on our part. Their goal is to shed the ignorant notion that they are separate from Brahman and be reunited with him (which they are really a part of). This involves the total and complete loss of self. Buddhism and Jainism are built upon this philosophy of god as well.

Muslims believe in one god who demands that certain things be done in order for a person to be saved. Allah has the right to condem anyone to hell for any reason. There is no Muslim, except for one who is going to commit suicide for their beliefs, who knows for sure they are going to heaven.

Mormons believe that god is an ever evolving god. They believe that he once was a human just like us and is ever evolving into something greater. Mormons believe that he has set the example for all people. All people have the same opportunity to become a god just like him.

Why point out these beliefs about god in other religions? If you are going to claim a religion as your own you need to understand who the god of that religion is. Your understanding of god will shape your life.

I believe that I know the one true God who has revealed himself through prophets of old, through Jesus Christ and through holy Scripture. I believe that there is no other god in this world who has the evidence pointing to his/her existence than the God of the Bible.

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