how to know God exists

I could point to evidence from nature. Why is there something rather than nothing? And why is this something beautifully arranged, as if it was designed? We live on the razor’s edge in a universe that is finely tuned for life. If the Earth orbited much closer to the sun we would burn up; if it inched farther away we would freeze. If gravity had been stronger or weaker than one part in 1040 (that is a ten with forty zeroes behind it), then life-sustaining stars such as our sun would not exist.

Or think small. Every time you scratch your skin, about ten skin cells flake off and become stuck beneath your fingernail.  Each of these cells contains your entire genetic code, which if stretched out would fill three hundred Encyclopedia Britannicas (remember them?). Somehow each cell knows to read only that part of the code that pertains to its place in the body, and somehow for most of us this voluminous code is mostly spelled correctly. Just one typo in this three hundred book set—one wrong letter in the wrong place—may cause a debilitating disease or deformity.

But though “the heavens declare the glory of God” (Psalm 19:1), the evidence from nature is not the main reason why you believe in God. Here is how you can know for certain that God exists:  You just do.

How is that persuasive?

Because you know that you do.

The Apostle Paul declares that you, along with everyone else, know that God exists. He writes, “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.” Paul says that God has made his existence “plain” to everyone, so no one can stand before God and say they honestly didn’t know about Him (Romans 1:19-20). Many may plead ignorance, but they don’t have an excuse that God will accept. He knows they know better (Despite Doubt: Embracing a Confident Faith, p. 49).

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  1. Mike, the analysis I have read indicates that each 6′ DNA chain found in every cell of our bodies, contains more information (via the nucleobases) than is contained in all the volumes of the Brittanica. The presence of this vast amount of information in every living thing & the impossibility of it happening by chance mutations & long periods of time has become a much, much bigger stumbling block to the evolutionists than the lack of links in the fossil record.

  2. Thanks, Greg! This is amazing, and a witness to the truth of Psalm 14:1–only a fool says there is no God. I took my information from Mark Hughes, a January Series speaker about a decade ago. He’s a doctor and bioethicist on the east side of the state.

  3. Amen, Professor Wittmer, Amen.
    We also know God exists because we see an image or icon of God whenever we see another person or look in the mirror. Yes this image is marred, stained and corrupted but it has never been completely obliterated. This image points to the existence of the One who is imaged. The knowledge of God’s existence is also inherently present in man’s conscience.

    13 “(for not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified; 14 for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, 15 who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them) 16 in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.” Romans 2:16-16

  4. Amen, Craig. That is actually in the paragraph after I stopped. I also mention the arguments from C.S. Lewis and Alvin Plantinga from rationality and morality, but had to start and stop an excerpt somewhere. You are right on the money.

  5. The very starting point of the creed is, “I believe….” There is a certain profundity to those two words. I look at my own conversion and I was not looking to or even considering “believing” in the evangelical sense of the word. In fact I was somewhat surprised to find myself believing. I was, to paraphrase Lewis, surprised by faith…

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