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Wondering What to Believe?

  1. Does Nature Give Proof of God?
    8 Digging Deeper
  2. Can I Hear God's Voice?
    8 Digging Deeper
  3. Who is God?
    8 Digging Deeper
  4. Who Wrote the Bible?
    8 Digging Deeper
  5. Can I Trust the Bible?
    7 Digging Deeper
  6. Is there a Right and Wrong?
    7 Digging Deeper
  7. Why Does God Allow Evil?
    9 Digging Deeper
  8. Who Am I?
    7 Digging Deeper
  9. What is the Meaning of Life?
    7 Digging Deeper
  10. Does God Love Me?
    5 Digging Deeper
Lesson 8, Digging Deeper 1
In Progress

Understanding who we truly are.

Who we believe that we are determines how we act, how we treat others, what our goals are, what values we hold, what our standards of behavior are, and how we view our responsibility or lack of it to our creator. A person who thinks that he or she is here merely as an accident of birth and a product of evolution will have a different view of what life is all about than a person who views life in relationship to God.

The person who denies God’s reality thinks and acts as though life originated from an accidental collision of atoms in the long ago. He or she lives to enjoy momentary pleasure, make the most of whatever happens, values the companionship of family and friends, and considers death as an inevitable passage into eternal oblivion and nothingness. A person like this is described in Ecclesiastes, chapters one and two. This person enjoys riches, pleasure, sex, food and wine, learning, and makes great accomplishments in life. But it all ends at the grave. The writer uses the word “meaningless” a dozen times to describe the futility of this type of life. The last paragraph of Ecclesiastes sums up what the author found to be the real meaning of life:

The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. 14 For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil. (12:13-14)

Another example of this lifestyle is the person that Jesus described in the Gospel of Luke, chapter 12:

Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions. 16 And he told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man produced plentifully, 17 and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ 18 And he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.” 20 But God said to him, “Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?” 21 So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God. (verses 15-21)

These stories show us that no matter how much wisdom, money, pleasure, fun, status, power, and popularity a person has that all this ends at the grave. Everything earthly is totally lost. Those who live without God die without God and enter into eternity without God. Every person meets the creator God in judgment “who gives to each person according to his works” (Romans 2:3-11). Jesus issues this caution and warning to those who live for this life only:

25 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. 26 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? 27 For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done. (Matthew 16:25-27)

The person who believes and trusts God sees a much bigger picture. He or she, too, enjoys life, works hard, values family and friends, but lives life to the fullest in a relationship with God. This person knows that life is much more than eating and drinking, producing things, and seeking personal pleasure. This person has a far greater goal and purpose than merely existing.

Jesus of Nazareth was undoubtedly one of the most famous personalities ever to walk the earth. He grew up and worked in a carpenter’s shop in Nazareth of Galilee for thirty years. His entire purpose in life was to obey God his Father in all things. He lived a life of peace, love, joy, truth, kindness and service to all who were hurting, suffering and distressed. The four gospel writers describe his life, ministry, teachings, death and resurrection. He never had any of the things that the people of the world count as great and noteworthy. He never wrote a book. He never craved power. He never marshalled an army. He never accumulated wealth. He never served in politics. He never earned advanced academic degrees. He never traveled more than two hundred miles from where he was born. He was never accepted by the power brokers of his day. His friends were not influential in government circles. He served the poor, the diseased, the disenfranchised and the least. He died a despised and humiliating death on a Roman cross.

Three days later, the biblical writers unanimously agree that he was raised bodily from the dead. Hundreds of witnesses saw him and interacted with him. Jesus claimed to be God in the flesh and that he came from the heavenly Father and would return to him. He said that he perfectly obeyed the will of the Father and that the Father’s works were seen in him. He said that he was “the way, the truth and the life and that no one could come to the Father except through him” (John 14:6-14). He claimed to be the light of the world, the bread of life, the good shepherd, and the resurrection and the life (John 8:12; 6:56-58; 10:14; 11:25-26). He said that he would give his followers real life, genuine joy and peace in all circumstances (John 15:1-5; 16:22, 33; 14:27). He said that he came “to seek and to save he lost” so that his followers might “have life and have it more abundantly” (Luke 19:10; John 10:10). He said that eternal life is a relationship with God the Father and his son Jesus Christ (John 17:3). Those who believe in him and follow him have this eternal life. Though they die physically, they will never die spiritually (John 5:24; 11:25-26). They will be resurrected from the dead and enter into everlasting life with him (John 5:28-29; Matthew 25:19-23, 31-40, 46).