The Proof of God in Man

Man and Northern Lights

[This article was written by Tim Haile.]

If the Bible is what it claims to be, then God does exist. Conversely, if God does exist, then it is reasonable to believe that He would reveal Himself to His creatures, and particularly to a sentient creature like man. It is important to remember that, if the Bible is true, all unbelievers will experience the kind of pain that one would experience if he were to be cast into a lake of burning sulfur (Rev. 21:8). The difference is that the lake of judgment will inflict pain and torment to the soul, not the body (Matthew 10:28), and that the punishment will be experienced for ever and ever (Revelation 20:10; 14:11). Such a prospect behooves us to consider these matters soberly and fully.

Many people believe the Bible to be what it claims to be – the infallible word of God. Some believe this because of the testimony of those whom they trust. Others have considered the evidences for themselves, and they have concluded that the Bible must be true. Regardless of how the conclusion is reached, we rejoice when men and women believe in God, and believe the Bible to be authored by God.

Sadly, however, not all people are convinced of these things. Some do not believe in God at all (atheists). Others do not actually deny the existence of God, but they believe that it is simply impossible to know whether or not God exists (agnostics). Others do believe in God, but reject the Bible as being God’s word. It is our hope that the material in this and subsequent articles will help the reader to become convinced of the existence of God, and of the truthfulness of the Bible.

Over the course of many years I have been impressed by the many evidences for the existence of God, and for the authenticity of the Bible. Some of these evidences are scientific and technical. They are powerful, but they are difficult to relate to and remember. In this study I shall cite simple evidences that anyone can understand and relate to, regardless of his background and education. At the very least we shall see that the God of the Bible is the God of mankind.

The Bible teaches that God designed the creation in such a way that it would invite man’s investigation. He designed creation “so that they would seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from every one of us” (Acts 17:27). The same is true of man, himself. Man’s very design is such that it causes men to search for its designer, for man is “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14). But this search for God always ends at the Bible. Belief in God is tightly joined to belief in the Bible as God’s infallible word. The apostle wrote, “For faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). Faith is produced by fact and evidence. The “blind leap” concept of faith is unbiblical. Let us consider some concrete proofs that identify God with man.

Humans are Creative Beings

Humans get satisfaction from changing disorder into order; non-function into function. Many jobs and hobbies involve some form of fabrication, or arrangement of natural materials and elements into some working form. Cooks, pharmacists, fabricators, builders and manufacturers convert raw materials into useful things. Basic materials are transformed into items that have form and function. The engine builder has a sense of pleasure upon hearing a freshly rebuilt engine run for the first time. The seamstress smiles when she views the garment that she has designed and sewn together. Why is this? What makes people this way?

The Bible answers this question when it records God saying, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness” (Genesis 1:26). Unlike other creatures, man is a creature in God’s image. As such, he possesses certain attributes of God’s image. He is self-aware. He experiences emotions like love, joy, hate and sorrow. And, like his Creator, man is creative. Genesis chapter one describes God’s creation of the universe. In fact, the Bible speaks of God designing, creating and then arranging the universe. Humans are creative beings because they were made in the image of God, the Creator.

Humans are Aesthetic Beings

Along with being creative, humans are also artistic and visual. Decorators and artists arrange and coordinate objects and colors in such a way so as to be visually appealing. Though different people may manifest this tendency towards different things, people are generally concerned about the way things look. Some give much attention to their personal appearance. Others are more concerned about the appearance of their cars, or homes, or yards. Where did humans acquire this tendency to take pleasure in the way things look? Why do they admire art and ornament? Why are they concerned with neatness and tidiness?

Again, the answer is found in the Bible. Upon completing all of the creation that He had designed, “God saw every thing that He had made, and, behold, it was very good” (Genesis 1:31). As creatures made in God’s own image, humans possess this same ability to take pleasure in things that they see. We are capable of reacting mentally and emotionally to things that we behold.

Humans are Social and Communicative Beings

We desire association and interaction with other humans. People like to “get together” with others, particularly others who share interests that they may discuss with one another. Some gatherings are for the purpose of entertainment (parties, games, sports, hobbies). Some gatherings are held on the basis of spiritual, family or work relationships. Too, these gatherings are not merely a matter of physical proximity to each other. They involve interaction and communication. People will often discuss their jobs, hobbies, interests, or even the weather. One will sometimes strike up a conversation with a total stranger. Studies have shown that loneliness can lead to psychological and emotional problems in humans. “Solitary” confinement is a severe punishment to a human! Why is this? Why do we so need and desire the companionship of others?

As with the earlier point, the Bible answer to this question is also found in Genesis 1:26. God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness” (Genesis 1:26). The Hebrew word for “God” is plural, which is why the plural pronouns “us” and “our” are used. This is not an isolated case. Genesis 3:22 says, “And the Lord God said, ‘Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil…’” Notice here again the use of the plural pronoun (us). Also, Genesis 11:7 records “the Lord” saying, “Let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.” Interestingly, the word “Creator” in Ecclesiastes 12:1 is plural (Creators). This explains why the Bible speaks of the “Godhead” or “Godhood.” There is more than just one person of God. The Bible calls the Father “God” (John 1:1), the Son “God” (John 1:1), and the Holy Spirit “God” (Acts 5:3-4). God exists in three distinct persons, yet these persons agree as one (Deuteronomy 6:4). Boys share “boyhood” with one another. The persons of God share “Godhood” with one another. The Bible is filled with instances of these persons of God communing with each other, and they share eternal existence together with each other in Heaven. Humans are social and communicative beings because they are made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27).

Humans have a Sense of Justice

Sadly, violent tragedies occur every day throughout the world. People are assaulted, raped, beaten, tortured and even murdered. News reporters often interview the surviving family members of the victims of such crimes. Perhaps you have seen one of these reports, or perhaps you have personal knowledge of such a case. If so, you have likely witnessed some expression by the victim’s family members or friends of an intense desire for justice to be done. In some cases where the perpetrator has evaded capture, family members and friends become obsessed with the case. Many of these people have invested hundreds of personal hours and all of their resources in trying to find, and bring to justice, such culprits. Some even lose their ability to sleep or to function well in their lives and jobs. I realize that some of these people may simply be vengeful and vindictive. However, this is not usually the case. It is usually the case that such people are experiencing the mental and emotional disturbance that comes from knowing that justice has not yet been served. The Bible contains a very clear example of this in Revelation 6:9-11. The opening of the fifth seal revealed the souls of those who had died as martyrs in service to God. They cried out, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, until you judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” They were told that they would be avenged when their number was complete. The Lord did eventually avenge them (Rev. 16:6-7; 20:4), and they received their peace. Jesus even gave a parable based upon this sense of justice that is innate in man. Luke 18:1-7 tells us the story of the widow and the unjust judge. The object of the parable is persistence in prayer, but Jesus taught the lesson by appealing to the widow’s persistent pleading with the judge to avenge her of her adversary. Why use this analogy? The Son of God knew perfectly well that the sense of justice is so strong in humans that His point of persistence in making requests was well served by that comparison.

Why do humans have this need for justice to be done? Is it some aberration in our nature? No. We possess this trait because we received it from our Maker (Genesis 1:26). Justice is a divine trait. God is repeatedly described as “just” (Deuteronomy 32:4; Isaiah 45:21; Romans 3:26), and His actions towards mankind are always just. As we noted above, a time is coming when God’s justice shall be administered towards all. He will punish the wicked and He shall reward the righteous (Romans 2:5-11; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Matthew 25:31-46). Vengeance belongs to God (Hebrews 10:30), but a sense of satisfaction when God’s justice has been met belongs to His creatures as well.

Humans are Emotional Beings

As humans, we experience a wide range of emotions, from hatred to love, and from anger to compassion. The Bible teaches that this capacity came from our being made in God’s spiritual image.

  • Love – Humans possess the capacity for love and compassion. This love is manifested in a number of different ways, towards a number of different relations and things. People experience love for their spiritual brothers and sisters (religious), their parents, their spouses, their children, their siblings and their friends. We are told to love God with all of our being (Matthew 22:37). Some people love the wrong things (themselves, money, pleasures, the things of the world – 2 Timothy 3:2, 4; 1 John 2:15). Some even become “unloving” (2 Timothy 3:13), but this is not natural (see the King James Version of Romans 1:31). Why do we possess this capacity to love? Because “God is love” (1 John 4:8, 16), and we are made in His image.
  • Anger – Humans also experience anger. Anger is not wrong in itself (Ephesians 4:26), but it must not be allowed to develop into uncontrolled rage, envy or resentment. When properly governed and controlled, anger is a very useful emotion. The spiritually trained mind is moved to action by its anger. The moral person is angered by injustices (see previous point) and crimes against God and man. Where did we acquire this capacity? We received it from God. Exodus 32:10 tells us that God’s anger grew “hot” against His people when they became bored waiting for Moses to come down from the mountain, and they engaged in immorality and idolatry (Exodus 32:1-9). John 2:13-16 records the Lord’s cleansing of the Jewish Temple. He was angry over their misuse of that special facility. Mark 3:5 tells us that Jesus was angry because of the hardness of men’s hearts.
  • Hatred – Humans are capable of hatred. Hatred is a very strong emotion. And while some may hate the wrong things, including their fellow man, or even God (Romans 1:30), the Bible does tell us to hate certain things. In the same way that we are to love the right things, we are to hate the right things. God commands us to hate evil, pride, perverse language, false ways, sin and its effects (Amos 5:15; Proverbs 8:13; Psalm 97:10; 119:104, 128; Romans 12:9; Jude 23). Why do we have this emotion, and why is it sometimes right to experience it? Because we are creatures in God’s image, and God also hates these kinds of things (Proverbs 6:16-19; Zechariah 8:17; Revelation 2:15).

Humans are Immortal Beings

They want to live forever. Not only do they not want to die, they don’t even want to age! Millions of dollars are spent each year on “age defying” products that are designed to extend life and reduce the effects of aging. Why are humans so obsessed with long life? Is it a mere defense mechanism to prevent premature death? That may be part of it, but there is much more to it than that. Humans are dual beings, possessing both body and soul (Matthew 10:28; 16:26). There is the visible “outward man” that decays, and there is the invisible “inward man” that continues after the death of the body (2 Corinthians 4:16; 5:1). God has “set eternity” in the hearts of men (Ecclesiastes 3:11). We aspire to live forever because it is in our very nature to do so. Why are we like this? It is because we are made in the image of the invisible and immortal God (1 Timothy 1:17; 6:16). There is a part of us that will exist forever.

Conclusion

There are other human traits and qualities that remind of us our maker, but these can be easily related to by most people. These qualities will make the objective person ask questions about his origin. Honest people will eventually stumble upon the Bible, and will be fascinated by the similarities between their own features and those of God. God has designed both man and creation in such a way so as to spur man’s investigation of God. Once belief in God is established, the next logical steps are obedience and continued service to Him (Acts 2:38; Romans 10:9-10; Colossians 1:23). Have you done this?


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