Originally posted on Tayibs.com
Welcome to episode 1 of Truth For Life, we’re going to consider the following question today: how do we know that we are serving the true GOD? Before we even explore this topic, we first have to establish that there is a God. I shared a post several months ago in which I proved that even sneakers show us with absolute certainty that God exists objectively, see link below
Now let’s tackle our challenge for the day, how can we know without a shadow of a doubt that what we believe in is the absolute Truth? God has given us His WORD to reveal His identity. So If the Word of God is the TRUTH then GOD Is the only true GOD. So how do we know that the Word of God is the Truth?
The nature of mankind
What is your evaluation of mankind? Are we as humans inherently good or evil?
What does the Bible have to say about our natural condition?
The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”
They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds; there is none who does good
The Lord looks down from heaven on the children of man, to see if there are any who understand,[a] who seek after God. They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one.
Also Let’s look at 2 Timothy 3
But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. 2 For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, 4 treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power
The Bible has accurately described the condition of your heart and my heart and the heart of every living human that exists on the face of the earth. How does that inform you about its accuracy in telling the truth? One of the ways to evaluate a document of history is figuring out whether it is interested in truth or telling the Truth. That brings me to my next point.
Is The Word of God Interested in TRUTH?
If you pay attention to the accounts recorded in Sacred Scripture,you’ll recognize its pattern for telling the TRUTH. The author does not embellish the Jewish nation blunders. We are told of many embarrassing stories that the kings and the people mentioned wouldn’t normally want inserted in Scripture for the whole world to see. What does that say about the authors and their willingness to tell Truth as it is? That means they want to tell the event just like it happened. David the king is often herald as a champion of the faith, and if it was up to him, I don’t think he would want his unfaithfulness with Bathsheba and the ordering of Uriah’s murder to be recorded in the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah. The Jews wouldn’t want the account of the Ark of the Covenant being captured by the Philistines to be mentioned either. There are several other embarrassing accounts that the folks mentioned wouldn’t want to be broadcasted, but for the sake of telling the Truth , the Bible doesn’t shy away from exposing these shameful stories to us.
The next powerful thing that we have at our disposal is the science of archaeology. This science has corroborated so many historical events that are in the Bible that the amount of evidence is incredibly overwhelming. Let’s look for example at Cyrus Cylinder
Let’s also talk about other biblical affirmations that were corroborated by Science, Philosophy and more.
The Universe Had A Beginning
For the longest time Science believed that the Universe was eternal and hence rejected the idea that it had a beginning. But Astronomer Edwin Hubble revolutionized the field of astrophysics. His research helped prove that the universe is expanding, which means it had a beginning, thus agreeing with what Genesis 1:1 declares:The Creation of the World
1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.
Maybe Science would’ve come to this conclusion a lot sooner if folks had taken Scriptures more seriously
The Philosopher’s necessary Being
Philosophers talk about the Necessary Transcendent Being that explains all other existence. The interesting thing is Moses was already aware of this Truth when He met God,
Exodus 3:14 English Standard Version (ESV)
14 God said to Moses, “I am who I am.”[a] And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘I am has sent me to you.’
Thus far, we are only still talking about the Word of God’s willingness to inform its readers on Truth and realities.
The Nature of God
Now let’s talk about the nature of the God of the Holy Bible. God is Holy -God is morally perfect and God is Other ( TRANSCENDENT). God is just and because HE is just, HE cannot tolerate sin because a Just God must hate evil and love good because God is inherently good. In order for God to be God , HE must be good, thus hate evil. So how do we atone for our sins? The answer to this question is vital in understanding why we believe that what we have is the Truth. And that leads me to my next question, the most important.
What Did Jesus Say About Himself?
He claimed to be the only Son of God and HE also said in John 14:6
I am the way and the truth and the life no one comes to the father except through me.
Jesus also said in John 17:3 ,
And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.
Jesus talked about the exclusivity of truth and HE is actually the epitome of truth. Now the question that we have is- was HE telling the truth? Because if HE wasn’t then we should not be listening to anything HE had to say.
How do we know that he was telling the truth?
First let us see how other major religions view Jesus
Jews believe Jesus was Mary’s son, was a teacher (Rabbi), had many disciples, was respected, performed miracles, claimed to be the Messiah and was crucified on the cross. They also acknowledge His followers reported Jesus was raised from the dead.
Muslims believe Jesus was born of a virgin, is to be revered and respected, was a prophet, a wise teacher who worked miracles, ascended to heaven, and will come again.
Ahmadiyya Muslims believe Jesus may have been born of a virgin, was a prophet and wise teacher, worked miracles, and was crucified on a cross.
Bahá’í believe Jesus came from God, was a wise teacher who had a divine and human nature, worked miracles, and was crucified and resurrected as an atonement for humanity.
Hindus believe Jesus was a holy man, a wise teacher, and is a ‘god’.
Buddhists believe Jesus was an enlightened man and a wise teacher.
New Age believers maintain Jesus was a wise moral teacher.
Based on the evaluation and feedback from other religions, it is very reasonable to say that Jesus was man of His word. It’s important that we establish that. And if that’s the case, then his Statement in John 17:3 ,And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent, is True.
And I know a lot of you may say that this isn’t sufficient evidence. Let’s continue. Jesus claimed to be God and predicted his own death and resurrection. Did it really happen? I want you to put your thinking caps on and ask yourself several questions.
What were the disciples willing to die for?
The disciples were willing to die for their faith that rested on their eyewitness of the resurrection. They claimed that they SAW the resurrected Jesus who remained with them for 40 days and were willing to die for it, not one of them recanted even under torture. By the way most of them were martyred for that very reason.
The Promise of the Holy Spirit
1 In the first book, O Theophilus, I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach, 2 until the day when he was taken up, after he had given commands through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. 3 He presented himself alive to them after his suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God.
4 And while staying[a] with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, “you heard from me; 5 for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with[b] the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”
Jesus predicted his death and resurrection and it happened exactly how he predicted it. If the disciples were lying about the resurrection, then they had to know that they were dying for a KNOWN LIE. That isn’t reasonable at all. Not one of them recanted even under torture. And their exposition of the Old testament Scripture also proves that they had been taught these truths by Jesus prior to His ascension to Heaven. My whole point in this argument is to show you that Jesus is who He claims He is because everything that He said came to pass, hence JESUS IS THE ONLY WAY ,TRUTH AND THE LIFE AS HE HAS CLAIMED, AND HIS STATEMENT IS TRUE.
No One Can Create The God Of The Holy Scriptures
Meritorious achievement finds its root in human pride and the Pharisees and stoic philosophers are the epitome of that. They invented a system that elevated their own achievement and Jesus completely blew away their self righteousness when HE defined what righteousness truly was – Deuteronomy 6:5 :” You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might”.No sinner in their Fallen/ sinful mind will ever create an idol that looks like the God of the Holy Scriptures. Because sinners like us love to create a god that looks like us, one that we can manipulate even though we call it god.
Romans 3:23 English Standard Version (ESV)
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
Romans 1:21-25: “For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.
24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.
The New Testament is an exposition of the Old Testament and let me just give you a short list of prophecies Jesus fulfilled.
- Born of a virgin (GENESIS 3:15; ISAIAH 7:14—MATTHEW 1:21–23)
- Born in Bethlehem (MICAH 5:2—MATTHEW 2:1)
- Taken to Egypt (HOSEA 11:1—MATTHEW 2:14–15)
- Preached good news (ISAIAH 61:1—LUKE 4:14–21)
- Entered Jerusalem on a donkey (ZECHARIAH 9:9—MATTHEW 21:4–9)
- Betrayed by a friend (PSALM 41:9—LUKE 22:3–4)
- Sold for 30 pieces of silver (ZECHARIAH 11:12—MATTHEW 26:14–15)
- Stood silent before his accusers (ISAIAH 53:7—MATTHEW 27:12–14)
- Pierced in his hands and feet (PSALM 22:16—JOHN 20:24–29)
- Had no bones broken (PSALM 34:20—JOHN 19:32–36)
- Buried in a rich man’s tomb (ISAIAH 53:9—MATTHEW 27:57–60)
- Rose from the dead (PSALM 16:10—MARK 16:6; ACTS 2:31)
- Ascended into heaven (PSALM 68:18—ACTS 1:9)
- Sat down at the right hand of God (PSALM 110:1—HEBREWS 1:3)
Ultimately even with the intellectual argument it is very important that we note that no one can come to God unless prompted by the Holy Spirit. No amount of evidence that we present to anyone will convince him/her unless the Holy Spirit prompts their heart to respond. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. It is God himself works in the man both to will and act according to his good purpose. Fallen humans hate God and even though they see the evidence of His Truthfulness, they’ll always reject HIM unless their mind is transformed ( we speak about regeneration preceding Salvation).