In the beginning God…
The first words of the Bible are strategic. They establish two fundamental truths required in order to rightly understand all of life: 1) There is one God and 2) I am not Him. As to the first point, Genesis proceeds on the foundation that God is. Secondly, God is referred to as someone other than you, me, or any other human creature.
The existence of God does not need to be proven beyond that proof which God has already given. Scripture tells us (and experience confirms) that God has surrounded us with ample proof of his existence. In Romans 1 Paul writes:
“For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse” (vv. 19-20).
The existence of God, therefore, is not an assertion requiring proof but an obvious reality upon which we need only to shine light. This is not to suggest that a proper belief in God needs only sound logic or open eyes. Proper belief in God is far more than acknowledging his obvious existence for that would rule out the role of faith. We must not merely grant what we already know: that God exists. We must also respond to him with faithful believing. We cannot please God without faith (Hebrews 11:6). Mere ascent to the undeniable reality of God’s existence is not enough. We must place our faith in God as he has revealed himself in Scripture.
Since unbelief is not the understandable response to a lack of evidence, the gospel is the needful answer to the unbeliever. Unbelievers will not be argued into heaven. The answer to the myriad doubts and objections of atheists is not a point-by-point refutation of their errors. Certainly, the Scriptures, along with 2,000 years of Christian scholarship, have provided the church with many compelling answers to the objections of unbelievers. But sound arguments for theism can only go so far. What is needed is the gospel. What the unbeliever needs more than anything is to hear the news that Jesus Christ died for sinners and was raised for their life. And what has always been true, remains true today, that the gospel “is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16).