Reasoning With God

Reasoning With God

Preacher Huijun - 16 July 2022

Weekend Devotion: Reasoning With God

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Hi all, there are bound to be many things we do not understand about God, but have you ever reasoned with God? Our God is a rational God, and He also gives humans reasoning ability.

 

God also appeals to our reason and logic.

For the Christian faith is not supposed to be a blind faith, where we simply believe in something that does not make any sense to us. God is a sensible, logical, reasonable God and humans made in His image also received the ability to make logical discernment.

 

1) We cannot believe what we do not understand.

That is why God gave us His Bible in words which humans can understand. He didn’t just give us some warm fuzzy feelings to induce us to believe in Him. In fact, the Bible tells us that if one hears the word of God and does not understand it, the evil one will snatch the word away (Mt 13:19); but if one understands the word of God, it will produce a bountiful harvest (Mt 13:23). So the difference between the non-believer and a faith that grows lies in the person’s ability to understand God’s word. Thus, God appeals to human reasoning to make people understand His word.

Even for people who are illiterate, God grants them the mind to understand His word. God has revealed Himself such that even the uneducated or young children can also understand Him at their level of reasoning. That is why (Ro 1:20) tells us: For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. Here, God is appealing to our basic human reasoning that “every effect must have a cause”. For example, if the floor is wet, something such as the rain must have made it wet; if a person has a fever, he must be infected by some bacteria or virus; if there is a watch, there must be a watchmaker behind it, and so on. With this simple logic, it is not difficult to infer that if we see humans, animals, flowers, mountains, stars, etc., then there must be a cause behind all these. There must be the first cause, from which every other “effect” or creature came forth. Only the One who is self-existing does not need a cause, and He must be God, the ultimate Creator of all things. And since He causes all things and is not caused by anything, that is the reason why we must worship God, the most Supreme Being, from whom we came from and who is also controlling our fate now and in future.

 

2) Faith is more than reason, but it also comprises reason.

Reformed theologians have said that saving faith requires knowledge, assent and trust. And knowledge certainly relates to reason and logic. So yes, our Christian faith is definitely more than reason, but it certainly comprises reason too. Because we won’t be able to love God with our “all our minds” if our faith is totally not reasonable at all. However, as we get to understand God more logically, we will also grow to love Him more with our minds. Not only so, but as our minds (reason) are more persuaded by God, our trust in Him will be deeper as well.

 

God invites us to reason with Him.

Isn’t it amazing that the Almighty God actually allows us to reason with Him? Although the duty of man is to fear God and obey Him (Ecc 12:13) without question, God graciously allows us to reason with Him. We read in (Isa 1:18, ESV), “Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.” For this case, when God invited His people to reason with Him, the issue to be discussed was: Do you have any reason why God should forgive your sin? If you read the beginning of this chapter, you will see the sins of Israelites which God had listed out, and because of their sins, God warned them of the judgment and urged them to repent. Even when the righteous yet gracious God wanted to judge men for their sins, He would reason with them. He wanted them to be clear about why He should forgive them, and that is, only if they returned to God and were cleansed.

Likewise for us, when we want anything from God, we must ask, why should God answer our prayers and grant us our desired outcomes? We have no merits of our own to demand that God listen to us. So we can only appeal to God’s own promises, His own character, His own Name, and plead for Him to have mercy on us on account of Himself.

 

We are to reason with God’s word as the starting point.

Let’s read (Ac 17:2): As was his custom, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures.

This further shows that we can and should have a reasonable faith, but the basis of that reasoning is the Scriptures. In fact, apostle John wrote the Gospel to offer us reasons to believe that Jesus is the Christ (Jn 20:30–31). Thus, our reasoning is not to be grounded on our feelings or experiences. Yet, many people try to understand God by their experiences. If they always get what they want from God, then they understand God as a good and loving God, but if they encounter things they don’t like in their lives, then they understand God as an unkind and unsatisfying God. This is not the way to build our understanding of God.

We must make sense of God from His word, His truth. So there is no short cut, we cannot know God without reading the Bible. Think about it, if we do not know God’s word, then with what shall we use to reason with God? When we come to God, we can only appeal to Him based on what He has promised. Then we have grounds to pray, “Lord, remember what you have promised us, remember your Son’s sacrifice, remember to honor your own name and prove your own character, remember that you said you had defeated the devil…” And where do we find all these but in the word of God? Thus, we must always reason with God’s word as our basis. We cannot make the same mistake of Eve, who tried to reason in contrary to God’s word, thus ending up with the wrong choice and sinful act.

 

When we cannot understand God fully, remember that reason cannot be a substitute for God.

We cannot worship reason more than we worship God. In other words, even when we are limited by our own reasoning, we must acknowledge that what we do not understand does not mean it has no logic. Just as we may not understand many things about physics, astronomy, human anatomy, etc., but they make sense to the respective experts. And God is the ultimate “expert”, creator and master of all things, so He has His reasons and logic in making all things work together, which we may not fully appreciate at our level. Besides, it is also very probable that we may misinterpret God’s word such that we find it unreasonable when it is not the case. We finite humans will never fully understand every reason of God. Despite that, we must still trust God. This was what Job did. Though he couldn’t understand all of God’s reasons for allowing him to suffer, he still worshipped God. The point is, while we cannot fully understand the infinite God, there will at least be some things which God allows us to understand at our reasoning level. Therefore, our faith can be a reasonable faith and we can reason with God, but do that on the basis of God’s word, and even when we cannot fully understand Him, still trust Him beyond our reason.

Preacher Huijun
Preacher Huijun
huijun@lifechurchmissions.com

Huijun joined The Life Church and Missions (Singapore) as a preacher in 2012. She is effectively bilingual and preaches occasionally at the Chinese service. She graduated from Singapore Bible College and currently lives in Singapore with her husband, Chengji.

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