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  • Writer's pictureChristian Insights 4 You

Compelling reasons for belief in God

Description: Non-Christians don’t understand why Christians believe in God. Christians sometimes struggle to summon compelling reasons. Here is some help.



Introduction

Questions about God can come out of the blue, often when bad things happen in the world. Christians have faith and trust in God, yet it can be challenging to put across the reasons behind our life-affirming stance, especially when we’re not expecting to be confronted.


When scepticism overshadows faith, and belief is relegated to the role of tradition, Christian testimony sometimes needs a range of supporting reasons. The examples that follow are not intended to be exhaustive, yet each is a compelling reason to embrace the foundational beliefs of Christianity.


1. The witness of creation

The intricate design of the universe, from the complexity of DNA to the vastness of galaxies, serves as a powerful testament to an intelligent Creator. Belief that all these marvels – and the rules that govern them – appeared randomly, is untenable and (despite opposing theories) unjustified. Recognition of the universal order and beauty in creation reinforces the belief in a purposeful and intentional God.


2. Historical evidence of Jesus

Beyond religious texts, historical accounts from various sources corroborate the existence of Jesus Christ. The life, teachings, death, and resurrection of Jesus are well-documented, providing a historical foundation for belief in the Messiah.


These historical accounts include the writings of Flavius Josephus (37–100 AD), Tacitus (56–120 AD), Pliny the Younger (61–113 AD), Suetonius (69–122 AD), and Lucian of Samosata (c. 125–180 AD). Having said this, the details about Jesus’ life and teachings primarily come from the New Testament and Christian sources. Not surprisingly, scholars continue to argue about the authenticity and interpretation of corroborative historical documents.


3. Personal transformation

Countless individuals throughout history testify to the transformative power of faith in God – and they continue to do so today. Experiencing a personal relationship with the Divine often leads to positive changes in character, attitudes, and actions, providing compelling evidence of the reality of God's influence.


The Bible bears witness to such changes, for example, St Paul (formerly Saul) whose letters significantly contribute to the New Testament; Zacchaeus (greedy tax collector) ref. Luke 19:1-10; Samaritan woman at the well (sexual sin) ref. John 4:1-42; Jonah (disobedience) ref. Book of Jonah; Philippian jailer (cruelty) ref. Acts 16:22-40… and many more. In the same way, in modern times, the lives of dangerous criminals have been transformed and much more. Many accounts of ‘how God changed my life’ can be found in books and on the internet.


4. Fulfilled prophecies

The Bible contains numerous prophecies about Jesus that have been fulfilled with remarkable precision. From his birthplace to specific details about his life and death, these prophecies offer compelling evidence for the divine inspiration of Scripture. The prophecies in Isaiah 53:3-5 about the suffering of Jesus and how he was killed, and in Psalm 16:10 about Jesus’ resurrection, are just two examples.


5. The moral argument

We should, perhaps, pause and ask why anyone should give any thought at all to anybody else on the planet. Yet no one would seriously argue that this would be a good thing - and what is good, and what is bad? How would we know or be able to make judgements without some kind of objective moral values and duties. The ‘for survival of our species’ argument may be an answer for some, but it’s weak at best. Far more compelling is belief in a moral lawgiver – belief in God. His existence provides a foundation for understanding and upholding moral principles. God grounds human ethics in a credible source.


6. Historical impact

Christianity has played a significant role in shaping civilization. The impact of Christian values on art, culture, education, and social justice highlights the enduring influence of the faith, pointing to a source beyond mere human tradition.


One example of merely human based tradition is religion in Ancient Greece. This centred around a range of gods and goddesses and had a profound influence on culture, philosophy, art, and governance. All their once-dominant religious traditions have faded away. Another example is the religion of the Aztecs. Although sacrificing humans was considered essential to appease the gods and ensure continuation of the world – and regardless of their 200+ year history of achievement – the arrival of the Spanish in the 16th century had a devastating impact. Their beliefs came to nothing and their highly ritualistic religion was wiped out. Both examples illustrate the transient nature of human traditions, even those with significant historical impacts.


Despite millennia of persecution and prejudice, Christianity continues to offer a role model for the world.


7. Answered prayer

Many Christians attest to the power of prayer and the reality of answered prayers in their lives. These experiences serve as personal confirmations of the active involvement of a caring and responsive God. One way of reflecting on this issue is retrospection, i.e. to look back and appreciate how prayers have been answered, sometimes in ways we’d least expected. Retrospection really does light up God in action in our lives.


8. Existence of the soul

Belief in God provides a coherent framework for understanding the existence of the soul. The idea that humans possess an immortal and unique essence aligns with the belief in a Creator who designed humanity with purpose. But just like the mind and physical body, the soul has to be nourished. Failure to nourish the mind leads to lethargy and potential mental illness. Failure to nourish the body leads to physical ill health and premature death. Failure to nourish the soul leads to separation from God as we become increasingly vulnerable to the evil influences perverting the world – and there is no place for evil in God’s perfect realm, his eternal realm promised to all who believe in the Lord Jesus.


9. Consistency of Scripture

Despite being composed by multiple authors over centuries, the Bible exhibits remarkable internal consistency. Concepts such as justice, mercy, and faith are repeatedly addressed, creating a coherent moral and spiritual framework. This contributes to the Bible’s credibility as a divinely inspired document.


Themes such as God's love, redemption, and the moral order of the universe are woven consistently throughout the pages of both the Old and New Testaments. Additionally, the New Testament presents Jesus as the fulfilment of many Old Testament prophecies. This alignment strengthens a sense of continuity and divine orchestration.


On a physical level, archaeological and historical findings often support the accuracy of many Biblical accounts. While not every detail is corroborated, the Bible's historic portrayals align with external evidence in many instances.


Further, the number of still existing ancient Christian manuscripts surpasses many other ancient texts, both in quantity and proximity to the original writings. For example: the Codex Vaticanus (4th Century AD), one of the oldest manuscripts of the entire Bible; the Codex Sinaiticus (4th Century AD), discovered at Mount Sinai's St. Catherine's Monastery and one of the oldest and most complete manuscripts of the Bible; and the Dead Sea Scrolls (3rd to 1st Century AD), discovered in the mid-20th century, the scrolls include fragments from every book of the Old Testament.


10. The power of the Holy Spirit

Christians believe in the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, providing guidance, comfort, and empowerment.


Indwelling: belief that the Holy Spirit resides within the hearts and lives of believers. It signifies an intimate and personal relationship with God, the Holy Spirit being the source of guidance, comfort, and empowerment in daily life.

Guidance: belief that the Holy Spirit guides believers in thoughts, decisions, and actions – a spiritual compass, helping them align their lives with God's will. Prayer, meditation, and a receptive heart help discern the Holy Spirit’s guidance.

Comfort: the Holy Spirit is often referred to as the Comforter or Helper. In challenging times, believers turn to the Holy Spirit to seek the internal peace that reassures them of God's presence and rises above the challenges.

Empowerment: the Holy Spirit is the source of spiritual gifts and empowerment. Particularly in the Book of Acts, the Holy Spirit is shown empowering early Christians and demonstrating spiritual gifts such as prophecy, healing, and speaking in tongues.


Conclusion

Belief in God the Father, Jesus the Messiah, and the Holy Spirit is supported by a myriad of compelling reasons, ranging from the observable order of creation to the personal experiences of transformed lives – only some of which we’ve explored in this blog. This belief not only provides a framework for understanding the world, but also offers a source of hope, purpose, and meaning in the midst of life's complexities.



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