The journey of our faith begins with a fundamental question. Does God exist? That question challenges us as humans to think “out of the box” of what our society often teaches us.
In the past few weeks, all of us have been struggling to deal with the COVID-19 virus and its impact on our lives. I was watching television the other night when an advertisement came across the screen. The advertisement focused on the virus and how only science could solve the mysteries of its effects and develop a cure. Of course, the ad was from a pharmaceutical company that would no doubt take in huge profits if its researchers developed a vaccine that could be used around the world.
As a person of faith, my immediate reaction was—wait a minute, science isn’t all we need to solve this problem! My thoughts turned to God and how, in my view, no scientist could even breathe in air without the lungs that God created in their body. Any knowledge or ideas from man alone couldn’t possibly solve this mystery. But, if a scientist sought God’s wisdom and guidance, combined with their skills and years of experience, then no doubt there would be no limits or boundaries as what could be accomplished.
One of the building blocks of our faith and denomination is the first Article of Faith. Article 1 is the Doctrine of God as presented in our Articles of Faith and Principles of Church Government for Original Free Will Baptists (of the English General Baptist Heritage).
This is a statement of our faith that states that “we believe that there is but one living, true, and eternal God, the Father; of whom are all things, from everlasting, to everlasting, glorious and unchangeable in all His attributes. “Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding”(Isaiah 40:28). This is a bold declaration of belief. History records that humanity has followed many different gods. The book we read and search for deep spiritual meaning, the Holy Bible, is our source for making this affirmation of our faith in one specific God.
The writings found in the pages take us on a journey through time as we know it. Scripture illustrates how our world, the heavens, the sea, and all the creatures that inhabit this planet were created. It gives us the origin of man, the intended relationship God wanted to have with his creation. Then, of course, sin entered the picture and continues to plague us to this day.
As a human, living in the body of flesh, we have a brain. Inside of this amazing entity, our thoughts, our encounters, memories, feelings, emotions are both generated and stored. The world we are a part of leans heavily toward the idea of if ‘I can touch it, then it must be real.’ This runs headlong into our belief in an ‘unseen God,’ the ‘Creator of the ends of the earth.’
This article states the following: “the mode of His existence, however, is a subject far beyond the understanding of mankind.” Our belief in the Trinity; the Father, Son, Holy Spirit, is a good example of what I mean. We believe God has different forms, not measurable by our simple means of touch. “Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device.” (Acts 17:29)
In ministry, we often have to explain complex spiritual concepts in a manner in which a small child could understand. If you ask a child if you can see the wind, they most likely would answer no. If I asked them if they could touch the wind, I would probably get the same answer, no. If I ask, “Are you sure the wind exists?” They would say, “Sure silly, don’t you feel it!”
God is often revealed to us in like manner. We feel his closeness when he lifts our spirits. We see his power when life barriers are removed, much like the impacts of a mighty wind can move stationary objects. God’s love can calm us, restore joy, refresh us when his spirit fills our hearts, just like that invisible cool breeze from underneath a shade tree in the heat of summer.
We need to hold dear the attributes this article gives to our God. “He is the source of all existence, and the Scriptures teach that He is Spirit, present everywhere, all-knowing, all-powerful, independent, good, wise, holy, just, merciful, redeemer, Savior, sanctifier, the judge of mankind and all other attributes ascribed to Him in the Scripture.”
Faith is our cornerstone. Faith in the existence of God is paramount to finding our way along life’s journey. The belief in the one true God, the profession of belief that his son Jesus Christ died for our sins, and acceptance of the ever-present gift of the Holy Spirit that takes up residence within our hearts, is an amazing thing. So, can you honestly answer the question, are you a ‘child of the most high God,’ I pray that your answer is yes!