Study: Know Why You Believe
Chapter 2 – Is There a God (part 2)
11:00 – Review
Q. Why we are reading and studying this book?
A. The primary purpose of our study is to answer questions from a Christian perspective that a non-believer may have about God, Jesus and the Bible. The questions are also helpful to a new-believer or growing-believer who may (1) ask themselves a similar question or (2) have someone ask them a similar question.
Q. What do your leaders mean when they refer to a "Christian" or "Believer"?
A. A Christian is a follower of Christ. One one who has accepted Jesus the Christ as their personal Savior through faith (Eph 2:8). Believes in one God, existing in three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Deuteronomy 6:4; II Corinthians 13:14). A Christian seeks to follow the teachings and examples of Christ (1 Peter 2:21) and share the gospel (Mark 16:15).
Week 1 – Does Christianity (the story of mankind as told by God through man, the life of Jesus, the payment of our sins through Jesus' death and resurrection) make sense at some level? Yes, while Christianity requires faith in something greater than man, it also requires the use of your mind, heart and whole being. God has made various evidence available to man that supports some of the stories in the Bible (creation, historical, archaeological, mathematical). Even though Christians have doubts or question at times, non-believers struggle with the resurrection of Jesus.
Week 2 – Is There a God? We talked about scientific modeling and Cause and Effect.
Some people believe that God does not exist because the existence of God cannot be proven by science. While science is important and has contributed a great deal to mankind the scientific method of repeating a test over and over multiple times cannot be used to prove or disprove the existence of God, Jesus or anyone in history. For every cause mankind believes there is an effect. However, even mankind with all of our theories, test, experiments, studies, research, etc cannot explain the cause of the widely accepted Big Bang theory but Christians can. .
* OPENING PRAYER*
11:15 – Is There a God (continued)?
Did the human race begin by chance or by design? Some people believe and teach that the human race began by chance or teach that man evolved. However the human life is so complex that according to a well known atheist astronomer, Sir Fred Hoyle, a tornado sweeping through a junk-yard has a better chance of assembling a Boeing 747 passenger jet than the “random emergence of even the simplest cell”, let alone an entire life form like man. Has anyone seen a tornado assemble a plane? Look at the human eye, is this all by some random chance? (Read page 29, second and third paragraph)
Did the universe begin by chance or design? Not only does the design of our bodies suggest a Creator but even our planet and universe do. Is it by chance that our earth is the exact size, distance, location and at the precise tilt in our universe for life to exist? Albert Einstein's mathematical studies pointed to a single point of origin for the universe. The Big Bang theory continues to grow in acceptance as mankind discovers more evidence about the universe. Even an agnostic (one who thinks it is impossible to know if God exists) Dr. Robert Jastrow believes that “the astronomical evidence leads to a biblical view of the origin of the world.” (page 31)
Is it by chance or design that most people have an internal moral code (desire to do what is right and fair)? Most people would agree that mankind has some type of inner desire for moral law but where does it come from? To be wired from the beginning with an internal moral law is evidence that we have a moral Lawgiver as a Creator.
Has God visited us? Some believe that even if God existed we could not know Him personally or anything about His existence. That type of thought process is limiting God when we are the ones that are limited. We were made in His image. There is probably no greater evidence of this than His son, Jesus. He sent His son to walk among us, face the same temptations we face. Through Jesus, God has visited us. “Invisible does not mean unreal”.
Finally, how do you explain the changes a non-believer experiences when they accept Christ and the Holy Spirit (God's presence) comes and dwells in the individual. There are a number of testimonies about what God has done in the lives of individuals.
* BREAK – SMALL GROUPS *
11:30 – Small Group Time
(Leaders, please record your groups answers to the following questions so that they can be shared with all of the leaders)
1. What does it mean to be a Christian? Examples are available in Acts 11:26 , 2 Corinthians 13:14, 1 Peter 4:16; Mark 16:15.
2. Do you believe that man has evidence of a Creator / Intelligent Design? If yes, what kind of evidence? Read Genesis 1:1; Genesis 1:26 – 28; Romans 1:20
3. What is your favorite argument for believing that God exists? Why?
4. What is your least favorite argument for proving God's existence (what do you struggle with the most in believing that God exists)?
11:45 – Closing Thoughts
There is additional evidence and here are a couple of examples.
1. The difference between the stories of the Bible written 1000 years apart were 95% identical.
2. Archaeologists discovered an Assyrian stone tablet dated in the 9th century B.C. that lists “king of Israel” and “house of David” as enemies of Assyria.
The question that we must all face is, do we believe enough of the evidence that God has provided at the end of the day to have faith in Christ and become a Christian?
* CLOSE IN PRAYER *
11:55 - Outside for Games
Leaders are welcome and encouraged to introduce new games