How does it appear that there is a God?The Westminster Larger Catechism: With Scripture Proofs. Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1996.
The very light of nature in man, and the works of God, declare plainly that there is a God; but his word and Spirit only do sufficiently and effectually reveal him unto men for their salvation.
Man is born in conflict.
As creatures fashioned by, and in the image of, our Almighty Creator God, there is within each of us a desire to know and be known by God, to enjoy the blessing of fellowship with God, and to find in God the meaning, purpose, and direction of life itself.
God has created the world in such a way that all things would point His creation to Him, that we would seek Him out in worship and obedience (Acts 17:27), that we would clearly perceive His eternal power and divine nature (Rom. 1:20), and that we would learn from the Eternal One the purpose of all life (Ecclesiastes 3:11). Not only does this “light of nature” direct us to know that there is a God, but so also does His mighty work of providence, the way in which God orders and ordains all things that come to pass, point us to find him. There is a super-abundance of evidence pointing us to the truth that there is a God who is worthy of our worship, praise, and obedience, so that “the fool says in his heart, ‘There is no god.'”
How foolish we’ve become.
While we have an inherent knowledge of the reality of God, there is also with each of us, as fallen creatures, a blindness of heart and mind (Eph 4:18; Rom 1:21), a refusal to bend the knee, an indignant balking at the Lordship of our Creator. We behold the evidence of the hand of our Creator and merely say, “How sublime.” We put the created thing in the place of the Creator. We turn, each of us to our own ways, and do what is right in our own eyes. We make ourselves to be gods, self-made men. We deny the evidence of God all around us, and we have become fools.
Such is the need, then, for something special to come along.
While the evidence of God is clear for all to see, because of our sinful hearts, the light of nature and God’s works in creation are insufficient to bring us to a saving knowledge of who God is and how we can be right with Him. We need something more. We need God to speak directly to us. And so He does, in the Scriptures. Through the inspiration of God’s Holy Spirit, the Scriptures were by God “to reveal Himself… to declare His will to the Church… to preserve and propagate the truth… and to establish and comfort the Church” (WSC I.I).
We can give God praise, then, for He has not left us to languish in the darkness of our foolish hearts, but has given His Word as “a light unto our feet” (Ps. 119:105), that we may know God and the salvation He has worked for us in Jesus Christ.