There are many important things, ideas, and persons in our world, but not so important as a good understanding of God. Let’s see who God is by considering our relationship to Him in this first of two lessons.

ROBERT >> Today I want to talk to you about God. And you know, when talking about things that really matter, you have to begin with God. That’s where the Bible begins. In Genesis 1:1 it says, In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. What do you think about the idea of an eternally powerful, divine being who created this universe? Stay tuned, and we’ll talk some more about it in just a moment.

>> Speaking the truth, speaking the truth, speaking the truth, speaking the truth in love.

ROBERT >> Some say they don’t believe there is a God. They’ve never seen him, so how can they know there is a God? Well, the apostle Paul helps us with this in Romans 1:20. Let’s read it together here.

For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful.

You see in this passage the apostle Paul is telling us that the only reasonable, logical explanation for this world is God. You see, you can look around, and you can see this creation. And from the beginning man has been able to see the creation around him, and from that he logically understands then that there was some divine, powerful being that brought all of this into existence. Nothing else makes sense. We can know there’s a God because of the creation. The creation itself is evidence of a great, superior, eternal, powerful being, God.

Now, of course, some say, well, it just evolved. But my question is, what evolved? You see, you have to start with something to get something. Something or someone then has always existed. The only question is, what or who is this that has always existed from which all things have come into existence. Let me say it like this: You see, if there was ever a time when there was absolutely nothing, then there would still be absolutely nothing, because you cannot get anything from nothing. Something must come from something else. What was that something else that this entire universe came from? Well, let’s look in Hebrews 3:4.

The Hebrew writer helps us out with this. He gives us a very important principle to apply to this line of thought. Here’s what he says: For every house is built by someone, but He who built all things is God. That’s a good point, isn’t it? If you see a house, you know that somebody had to build it. You know it didn’t just happen by accident. And the same is true of all things. Someone had to make it all. You go down the street, and you see the houses along the way, and you might say, I really like that house, I wonder who built it. You know it didn’t just happen on its own. It didn’t just evolve without some kind of architect or some kind of builder, some kind of planning, design, intelligence. You can see all of that in the house. And that’s what we have in our universe.

When you consider the wonders of our universe, you will know that there is an eternally powerful God. Psalm 19:1, the Bible says, The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament, that is, the expanse of space, shows His handiwork.

I want to read something to you from a book by Apologetics Press entitled Christian Evidences, and I want to read just a little bit about our universe so that you can understand what we’re talking about when we talk about design, when we talk about the wonder and the greatness and the vastness and the complexity and the order of this universe.

It says that the earth is estimated to be 93 million miles from its 12-million-degree Fahrenheit source of heat, the sun. That distance happens to be just right. The earth travels in an elliptical orbit around the sun, yet not at a constant rate. When we are closer to the sun, we move faster, and when we are farther away, we move slower. The earth rotates upon its axis at about a thousand miles per hour at the equator. Its rotation on its axis is determined so accurately that a variation of a second in a century would upset astronomical calculations. We understand how important it is that we be just the right distance from the sun, that all these things be in just the right order. Without that marvelous design, we could not exist upon this planet.

There’s another passage of scripture in Psalm 139 I want you to notice with me today that points to God’s marvelous creation. One of the greatest marvels of God’s creation is in fact the human body. In Psalm 139, look with me in verse 14.

Here the Psalmist writes, I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well.

You see, David could look at himself, he could think about himself, he could see this is a marvel that God could create me like this, that he could make me like this. I can see and I can hear and I can smell and I can talk and I have this intelligence and I’m this person that God has made in such a wonderful and a powerful, wonderful way. He praises God for that. His soul knows that he has a creator, a divine, intelligent, powerful, marvelous, eternal being that brought him into existence.

Again let me read some more from this Christian Evidences book about the marvels of the human body. This is what it says: First of all, did you realize for example, that the human body is composed of multiplied trillions of cells? In the nucleus of each cell, hundreds of thousands of genes are present. Each gene consists of a complex chemical called deoxyribonucleic acid, if I pronounced that correctly. We just call it DNA. DNA has a complicated code for the mapping out of the entire development of the individual. If the coded instructions of a single human cell were put into English, they would fill a thousand-volume encyclopedia. Even the small, microscopic cells that make up our body are so complex they demand an intelligent, powerful, eternal designer like God. Without this intricately-designed process of replication, life could not be passed along with continuity. DNA is the language of life.

And the book asks this very important question: By all the rules of reason, could there be a code which carries a message without someone originating that code? Of course not. Someone had to originate it. Some intelligent, powerful, divine being like our God.

Let me read just a little bit more from this book on Christian Evidences about man’s brain. Here it says, The late atheist, Isaac Asimov, said that man’s brain, quote, Is the most complex and orderly arrangement of matter in the universe. It goes on to say in the book that the brain is a gigantic calculator. Dr. R.C. Cook observed before the invention and use of modern-day transistors and computers that if one were to build a computer as complex as the human brain, the Pentagon in Washington, DC would hardly be large enough to house it. All the power produced by Grand Coulee Dam would be needed to operate it, and all the water of the Columbia River would be needed to keep its operating temperature down.

And then we have this: Dr. Gerhard Dirks, who holds 50 patents on the IBM computer has said that he acquired most of his inventive ideas from studying the human brain. So here’s another very important question: If it takes a mind to build a computer, who can believe that it did not take a mind to produce the mind that built the computer?

Let’s be reasonable. The only reasonable, logical explanation of the wonders and the vastness and the complexity and the order and the marvelous design of our universe is God. That’s the only reasonable, logical explanation for this world.

But now I know also that there are some who really don’t understand how he could allow the sufferings of the world and how he could send anyone to hell. Well, I want you to know this morning I don’t understand it all, either. In fact, our finite minds cannot completely comprehend the infinite God. You see, our God is so great and so vast and so wonderful and so intelligent and so complex that our finite mind will never be able to understand it all. The Bible says, and I want you to read with me in Romans chapter 11 about the grandness of God’s being.

In Romans chapter 11, look in verse 33 through 34. After the apostle Paul had laid out God’s marvelous plan of salvation and the extent to which God went to bring salvation to all people, and having looked at that and studied that closely, he then makes this concluding statement about the mind of God: Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out. For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has become His counselor? Yes, our finite minds will never completely comprehend the infinite God; but God has revealed himself in the Bible, and he has also revealed in the Bible a great deal to help us understand this question concerning suffering.

Let’s go back in our Bibles to Genesis chapter 3, because you’ll see here that suffering began with sin. You remember in the first two chapters of the book of Genesis how when God created this universe, he said everything was very good. He had placed the man and the woman in the Garden of Eden. It was a perfect home for him. There was no misery or sorrow or death or sin.

It wasn’t until in chapter 3 that the old devil comes along. He came in the form of a serpent; and lying to the woman, he deceived her so that she sinned against God.

And the woman of course then got the man to sin against God. And look what the Bible says here in Genesis 3:7. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.

You see, this is what sin does to us. Sin causes us to cover up. You see, sin brings guilt and shame and embarrassment into our lives. And that’s when it all began, right here in Genesis chapter 3. Look at this a little closer with me.

Read on. Notice here in verse 8 of Genesis 3, And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.

You see, recognizing what they had done was wrong, and in their embarrassment, in their shame, in their guilt, they tried to hide from God. This is another thing that sin does. It causes us to run away from God because we’re ashamed of what we’ve done.

But that’s not all. God came after the man and the woman to help them to see and to understand what they had done. And in the conversation that God had with them, we learn some more about the suffering that sin brings into our world.

For example, notice down here in verse 14, the Lord God said to the serpent, Because you have done this, you are cursed more than all cattle, and more than every beast of the field; on your belly you shall go, and you shall eat dust all the days of your life. That’s what God did to the serpent.

He cursed the serpent. The serpent would crawl on its belly. But he said he did curse that serpent more than all the rest. The implication is that there was also a curse upon the other beasts of the field, the other creatures that God had created.

Sin brought corruption upon each and every one. We see this in verse 16 when God spoke to the woman. I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; in pain you shall bring forth children; your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you. You see here the pain that would be brought to mothers who would bear children, and you see the battle between the man and the woman in the home. It all was because sin came into the world.

God also spoke to the man that day. In verse 17, at the end of that verse he says, Cursed is the ground for your sake; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life. Both thorns an thistles it shall bring forth for you, and you shall eat the herb of the field. In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for dust you are, and to dust you shall return.

You see again sin brought corruption to the earth. It brought corruption to the land. There were thorns, there were thistles. It brought hard work to man if he was going to eat, if he was going to survive upon this planet. Sin changed everything. And the problem is that man continued to sin.

In fact, look with me in Genesis the 6th chapter at the condition of the world during the days of that old patriarch, Noah. Here the Bible says in Genesis 6:5, Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. The world had become so corrupt that God had to cleanse this planet of its sinfulness by sending a great flood into the world, a flood that covered the entire earth. And but for the grace of God, all would have been destroyed.

We know the story, that God saved Noah and his family upon the ark. But the sad thing is, as soon as they came off of that ark, we read in Genesis the 9th chapter, as soon as they came into that new world that had been cleansed of the sinfulness, Noah planted a vineyard, Noah became drunk. And you can read on and on. And all the way up to our generation today we see how man continues to sin, that sin has spread once again throughout this world.

The apostle Paul wrote in Romans 3:23, For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. You see, every one of us has contributed to the corruption and the pain and the suffering and the misery and the heartache and the death that we see in our world today. Every one of us must take some blame. Every one of us is guilty before God.

In effect, we are just living in the mess we’ve made for ourselves.

And so when we think about God and the question of suffering, let’s remember that it began with sin.

But God also tells us that he’s able to use this to discipline us, to discipline us so that we’ll turn from our sins. As we see this evil in this world and all the consequences of sin, surely it ought to cause us to want to turn away from it. He’ll use suffering in our life to strengthen us, to make us better people. He’ll use this suffering in our life to produce holiness in our heart and reverence for him.

Look with me in Hebrews 12th chapter. In Hebrews the 12th chapter, the Hebrew writer was especially concerned about these Christians who were being persecuted for their faith, and he wanted them to know that God loved them. And this is what he writes, Hebrews 12:5: And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; for whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives.

Rather than seeing the suffering of this world as a sign that God hates us, that he doesn’t love us, we understand that God is able to use the awfulness, the evil and the corruption and the suffering of this world, he’s able to use that to chasten us, to scourge us, to discipline us. Just as our fathers disciplined us when with were children and we came to respect them and reverence them because of that, so we respect and we fear our God.

Look what he goes on to say here in Hebrews 12. If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits, and live?

Look, what God does for us is for our profit. I know when I was a child, I didn’t always understand the discipline that I received; but now I look back and I see how that it was all for my good.

And look what the Hebrew writer says beginning in verse 10 of Hebrews chapter 12. For they indeed, our parents, for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

So yes, we may not always comprehend and understand everything about God and why he does and why he allows and how he uses the suffering of this world; but we can know that suffering comes from sin, and we can know that God is using this to discipline us, to produce holiness in our hearts and our lives.

And we can also know this according to Romans 8:28, that, All things work together for good to those that love the Lord and are called according to His purpose. You see, that great promise of Romans 8:28 comes again in the context of suffering, of groaning, of great trial and weakness. That promise comes to those who are suffering greatly. And he reminds them that though there are many bad things in this world and many bad things are happening to good people, he says that God is able to take all of that, that it can all work together for good. He can bring something good out of it.

Our God, and yes, there is a God who made all of these things, is a God who truly cares about us, who loves us, who is working all things together for our good.

We want to continue to talk some more about God because it’s so important that we understand who he is and that we understand his love for us and his desire for us to be with him for all of eternity. He doesn’t want us to continue in our sin, he doesn’t want us to have to continue in this world of suffering and sorrow and death; and so he has made a way for us to be delivered, to be rescued, to be with him for all of eternity through Jesus Christ our Lord and our savior.

Here at The Truth In Love, we want you to trust in Jesus, we want you to turn from your sin, we want you to give yourself to the one who gave himself for you, being baptized for the remission of your sins, to be a Christian, and to know the hope and the assurance of eternal life.

So we hope you’ll let us know how we can help you towards heaven today.

>> Hallelujah, praise Jehovah.
From the heavens praise his name.
Praise Jehovah in the highest, all his angels praise proclaim.
All his hosts together praise him, sun and moon and stars on high.
Praise him, oh, ye heaven of heavens, and ye floods above the sky.

Let them praises give Jehovah, for his name alone is high.
And his glory is exalted, and his glory is exalted, and his glory is exalted far above the earth and sky.

All ye fruitful trees and cedars,
all ye hills and mountains high,
creeping things and beasts and cattle, birds that in the heavens fly,
kings of earth and all ye people, princes great, earth’s judges all,
praise his name, young men and maidens, aged men and children small.

Let them praises give Jehovah, for his name alone is high.
And his glory is exalted,
and his glory is exalted,
and his glory is exalted far above the earth and sky.

ROBERT >> I want to thank you for watching our program today. If you have any questions, comments, or requests, if you would like a personal home Bible study or special prayers, if you’d like more information about the lesson today, or if you’d like to order today’s lesson or any other lesson on CD, DVD or in manuscript form, let me encourage you to write The Truth In Love at P.O. Box 865, Hurst, Texas, 76053. You may e-mail us at requests@ttil.tv. Or call our toll-free number, 800-819-2966. And also, please visit our web site at www.ttil.tv. All our materials and services are absolutely free of charge. We just want to do what we can to help us all towards heaven. So let us know how we can help you, and please join us next time right here on The Truth In Love.

>> Sing to me of heaven, sing that song of peace.
From the toils that bind me it will bring release.
Burdens will be lifted that are pressing so, showers of great blessing o’er my heart will flow.

Sing to me of heaven, let me fondly dream of its golden glory, of its pearly gleam.
Sing to me when shadows of the evening fall, sing to me of heaven, sing the sweetest song of all.

Sing to me of heaven tenderly and low till the shadows o’er me rise and swiftly go.
When my heart is weary, when the day is long, sing to me of heaven, sing that old, sweet song.

Sing to me of heaven, let me fondly dream of its golden glory, of its pearly gleam.
Sing to me when shadows of the evening fall, sing to me of heaven, sing the sweetest song of all.

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