Knowing God

This page is not for people who are looking for a logical presentation of God's existence. Links to logical arguments are noted in the footnotes.[1] This page is for people who already realize that God must exist and would like to know more about God and how to receive spiritual salvation. First of all, God is not merely an abstract force. This was clearly demonstrated in the life of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, but there are other examples that help to show the personal nature of God.

1. Addressing the corrupt nature - If God were merely an abstract force, as a number of religions teach, then there would be no means of truly addressing the corrupt human condition. As Mark Twain pointed out, we all have a dark side that no one sees. However, we each know this exists. No amount of trying harder or self sacrifice is going to erase the guilt of our past sins or keep us from committing new ones. The only remedy has been the cross of Christ. Christ died as a blameless sacrifice in propitiation for our sins. And then he rose again in the power of His Spirit, which offers new life to our spiritually dead spirits if we are willing to appropriate this redemption by faith.

2. The personal basis of morality - Many atheists commit the "naturalist fallacy" in attempting to explain how human morals can be derived from the non-human naturalistic world. It's like attempting draw blood from a stone, it's just not possible. I rebutted Erik Wielenberg's attempt to create objective atheist morality and he's not to replied to three email attempts requesting a rebuttal.[2] Because God is personal, God's representation in the person of Christ may logically be an ultimate reference point for human morality. Because God's spirit is transcendent, there is an objective basis for morality that does not change.

3. Implications of Free will - If there is no personal God and creator, then there is no logical explanation for the existence of free will.[3] There is no logical path from point A) blind forces in nature, to point B) human consciousness, individuation and free will. This transition cannot be accounted for by the scientific method. This is a logically unsupportable transition and a metaphysical roadblock for atheism, but for theism it is no logical problem at all. In case you were wondering, Alvin Plantinga elegantly resolved the supposed problem between God's goodness and the existence of evil in his Free Will Defense, as noted:

    1. There are possible worlds that even an omnipotent being can not actualize.
    2. A world with morally free creatures producing only moral good is such a world.

Once you've resolved the question of whether or not God must be personal, then Jesus becomes the logical answer as to the identity of the true nature of God. Because only Jesus has offered himself as a blameless sacrifice for our sins and offers the power for us to be reborn spiritually. In John 3.3, Jesus basically stated, 'You  must be born again.'[4] As a very brief summary, there are three aspects of salvation and knowing God: to repent, to receive and to remain.

God's Plan of Salvation:

1. Repent - Apostle Luke wrote, "Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." (Acts 2:38). Repentance means that you have acknowledged your sin nature and you desire to change and live a holy life by the power of God's Spirit. This verse does not mean that water baptism is a requirement for salvation, but it is a sign of new life and obedience towards Christ.

2. Receive - Romans 10.9 states, "If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved."(NIV). We do not receive salvation by our good works or by belonging to the right church organization. This is a big fallacy taught by many religious institutions. Ephesians 2.8 underscores that salvation is a gift to be received: "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God." (NIV)

3. Remain - Scriptures show that we cannot lose our salvation, but many believe that we can walk away from it. Though this is a controversial subject, it is not controversial to say that practicing any sin in our lives will hinder our spiritual fellowship with God.

In order to appropriate the saving grace of God and receive Christ's atonement, it's a good idea to repent with what's known as the "Sinner's Prayer." For example,

"Lord, God, I realize I'm a sinner with no chance of reconciling my sins without the atonement of Christ. I wish to turn my life around, not to live for myself separated from You. I come to you not as a perfect person, but one willing to change. I desire to be surrendered to You God as my Lord and Savior. Please forgive my sins and fill me with Your holy Spirit, that I might be born again from above. And give me the power of Your Spirit in my life so that I might please you and fulfill your perfect will for me. Amen."

If you have made a decision to follow Christ, it would be encouraging for me to know this. And perhaps I may answer any questions you might have. You may contact me at the email address below.

References

[1] Some logical arguments for God's existence: The Organizing Principle of the Universe: Hierarchy and the Central Truth, http://templestream.blogspot.com/2012/03/organizing-principle-of-universe.html, How Identity, Logic and Physics Prove God's Existence, http://templestream.blogspot.com/2011/03/how-identity-logic-and-physics-prove.html
[2] Templestream, A rebuttal to Wielenberg, as noted in article, A Moral Argument as Proof of God’s Existence, http://templestream.blogspot.com/2011/10/moral-argument-as-proof-of-gods.html
[3] Rational Skepticism, The Illusions of Atheism, http://www.rationalskepticism.org/nontheism/the-illusions-of-atheism-t30411.html
[4] John 3.3, http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+3&version=NIV

Tags: How can I know God? How can I be saved? What is spiritual salvation? How can I know if Jesus is the Messiah? Proof that God is personal.

Contact address: rickwarden *at* writeme.com

2 comments:

  1. Beautiful pages Rick. I am a new student to Logic personally, having been brought up in a family living out the philosophies of Social Darwinism and all of it's tenets including moral relativism, I was unfortunate as a youngster to have the grace of any positive role models. But now, in my late 30's, I have been touched by the Spirit of Truth and pushed to awaken my mind to the evil's manifesting in our realm. Reasoning isa most precious jewel that the opposers of freedom strive to subjugate, so it is evident that learning logic is a requirement to consciously filter out bad information from taking root in one's mind. Discovering that one has been lied to their whole life is a real hard truth to swallow, and the Matrix movie is a great allegory for that, but it is true. And in order to pull out the weeds it is a destructive process. And I'll tell ya, I've been doing a lot of destroying within the past few years. Anyway, its a pleasure to stumble across your wonderful site, I just wanted to let you be aware that I, personally appreciate all the hard work, time and attention you have paid so that guys like me can gain leaps and bounds in understanding on concepts that are foundational to building solid structures, so thank you.

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    1. Thank you, Michael. Your note is very encouraging. I can identify personally with a lot of your thoughts and experiences. I'm sure that you have a lot of specific insights to share about how the Spirit of Truth helped you to see through the 'matrix' of misinformation that is so prevalent today.

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