“You are worthy, Jehovah, even our God, to receive the glory . . . because you created all things.”
1. What must we do to make sure that our faith remains strong?
MANY people say that they believe only in things that they can see. However, the Bible says that “no man has seen God at any time.” (John 1:18) Since we cannot see him, how can we help those who do not believe in God to have faith in him? What can we do to make sure that our own faith in “the invisible God,” Jehovah, remains strong? (Colossians 1:15) First we need to know what teachings hide the truth about God. Then we must learn to use the Bible well so that we can prove that those teachings are “against the knowledge of God.”
2, 3. What are two teachings that keep people from learning the truth about God?
2 One false teaching that blinds people and keeps them from learning the truth about God is evolution. This human teaching does not agree with what is written in the Bible, and it takes hope away from people. Evolution teaches that life began by itself. If this were true, it would mean that we could not explain why we are here on earth.
3 Some people in Christendom take the Bible too literally and teach that everything in the universe, including the earth and all life on it, is only a few thousand years old. They say that God created all things in just six 24-hour days. This teaching is called creationism. People who believe in creationism reject all scientific evidence that does not agree with their belief. They may respect the Bible, but this teaching makes it difficult for others to trust God’s Word. Why? Because creationism makes it seem as though the Bible were unreasonable and incorrect. People who teach creationism remind us of some who lived in the first century. They were zealous in their worship of God, but they did not worship him “according to accurate knowledge.” (Romans 10:2) How can we use God’s Word to help prove that these “strongly entrenched” teachings of evolution and creationism are false? * (See footnote.) We can help people who believe these teachings only if we work hard to get an accurate knowledge of what the Bible teaches.
FAITH IS BASED ON EVIDENCE AND SOUND REASONING
4. What should our faith be based on?
4 The Bible teaches us that we should value knowledge as we would a treasure. (Proverbs 10:14) Jehovah wants our faith in him to be based on evidence and sound reasoning, not on human thinking or religious traditions. (Read Hebrews 11:1.) To have strong faith in God, we must first be convinced that Jehovah exists. (Read Hebrews 11:6.) We believe that he exists, not just because we really want to believe in something, but because we have examined the facts and used our “power of reason.”
We believe that God exists because we have examined the facts and used our “power of reason”
5. What is one reason why we can be convinced that God exists?
5 The apostle Paul explains to us why we can be convinced that God exists, even though we cannot see Him. Paul wrote: “His invisible qualities are clearly seen from the world’s creation onward, because they are perceived by the things made, even his eternal power and Godship.” (Romans 1:20) How can you help someone who is not sure if God exists to believe what Paul said? You could use some of the following examples from creation that give evidence of God’s power and wisdom.
EVIDENCE OF GOD’S POWER IN CREATION
6, 7. In what two things is Jehovah’s power revealed?
6 We see evidence of Jehovah’s power in two things that protect us. They are earth’s atmosphere and earth’s magnetic field. The atmosphere not only provides us with air to breathe but also protects us. How? Big pieces of rock that move quickly through space could cause great damage if they hit the earth. But this usually does not happen because they burn up when they enter earth’s atmosphere. As they burn up, they create beautiful shooting stars that move at great speed across the night sky.
7 The earth’s magnetic field also protects us from harm. Deep inside the center of the earth is a core that is made mostly of hot melted iron. The outer core creates a powerful magnetic field that is all around us and reaches far into space. This field protects us from the sun and its harmful explosions. These explosions send dangerous radiation toward the earth. But because the earth is protected, the sun’s radiation does not burn up life here on earth. Instead, the magnetic field absorbs this harmful radiation or sends it back into space. We can see evidence of this invisible magnetic field in the colorful lights of the night sky near the North and South poles. Jehovah is truly “vigorous in power.”
GOD’S WISDOM REVEALED IN CREATION
8, 9. How is life able to continue on earth today? What does that teach us about Jehovah’s wisdom?
8 We can learn about Jehovah’s wisdom in the way he makes it possible for life to continue here on earth. Imagine a city that has millions of people living in it and is surrounded by a wall. This city has no way of bringing in fresh water or of getting rid of its waste. A city like this would soon become very dirty and impossible to live in. In some ways, our earth is like that city. It has a limited amount of water, and we cannot easily get rid of all the waste. However, the earth is forever able to provide all living things with what they need to survive. Why is this possible? Because the earth has an amazing way of reusing everything that is needed for life.
9 Let us consider how the earth provides oxygen so that living things can breathe. Billions of living things take in oxygen and give off a gas called carbon dioxide. Even though this is happening all the time, there is always enough oxygen, and it never runs out. How is that possible? Plants take in carbon dioxide, water, sunlight, and nutrients and then produce carbohydrates and oxygen. This action is called photosynthesis. When we breathe in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide, we complete the cycle. Jehovah uses the plant life he created to give “to all persons life and breath.” (Acts 17:25) What amazing wisdom!
We can see Jehovah’s wisdom in the way he designed the many creatures that live on earth
10, 11. In what ways can we see Jehovah’s wisdom in the monarch butterfly and the dragonfly?
10 We can also see Jehovah’s wisdom in the way he designed the many creatures that live on earth. Research shows that there are about 2 million to 100 million different kinds of life on earth. (Read Psalm 104:24.) We will learn about his wisdom in the design of some of these creatures.
11 For example, the monarch butterfly has a very small brain, which is the size of the tip of a pen. Even though its brain is so small, that butterfly has the ability to fly about 3,000 kilometers (1,800 miles) from Canada to Mexico. It does this by using the sun to help it find its way. But how is it able to do that since the sun moves across the sky? Jehovah created the butterfly’s tiny brain in such a way that even though the sun moves, the butterfly can still fly in the right direction. Think also about the dragonfly. Its two eyes have about 30,000 lenses each. The dragonfly’s tiny brain is able to understand the signals that come through all those lenses and notice even the smallest movements that are made around it.
12, 13. What is impressive about the way Jehovah created our cells?
12 The way that Jehovah designed the cells of all living things is very impressive. For example, your body has about 100 trillion cells. Inside each of those tiny cells is an acid called DNA. It contains most of the information needed to build your whole body.
13 How much information does DNA contain? We can compare one gram of DNA to a compact disc, or CD. A CD can contain all the information in a dictionary. This seems amazing for a small plastic disc. But just one gram of DNA can hold as much information as one trillion CDs! Or to explain it in another way, one teaspoon of dried DNA contains the information needed to build all the humans alive today! And it could do so 350 times!
14. How do the discoveries made by scientists make you feel about Jehovah?
14 King David said that it was as if Jehovah had written in a book all the information needed to create the human body. David said: “Your eyes saw even the embryo of me, and in your book all its parts were down in writing, as regards the days when they were formed and there was not yet one among them.” (Psalm 139:16) We can understand why David wanted to praise Jehovah when he thought about the way his own body was made. Scientists have discovered many things about the human body that amaze us. These discoveries make us agree with what the psalmist wrote about Jehovah. The psalmist said: “I shall laud you because in a fear-inspiring way I am wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful, as my soul is very well aware.” (Psalm 139:14) The creation around us is evidence that God really does exist!
HELP OTHERS GIVE HONOR TO THE LIVING CREATOR
15, 16. (a) How have our publications helped people to learn about Jehovah’s creation? (b) What is one of the “Was It Designed?” articles that you enjoyed?
15 For many years, Awake! magazine has helped millions of people to learn about God from the things he created. For example, in 2006, the September issue was entitled “Is There a Creator?” The purpose of this special issue was to help those who believe in evolution or creationism. One sister wrote about this magazine to the United States branch office. She said: “The campaign to offer this special issue went extremely well. One woman asked for 20 copies. She is a biology teacher and wanted her students to have a copy.” A brother wrote: “I have been active in the field service since the late 1940’s and am nearing 75 years of age, but I have never enjoyed my field service as much as I have this month offering the special issue of Awake!”
16 Since 2008, many Awake! magazines have included the article called “Was It Designed?” These short articles focus on how amazing creation is and how man has tried to copy the incredible things our Creator designed. We also received a brochure in 2010 called Was Life Created? The beautiful pictures and diagrams in that brochure are designed to help us to be more grateful to Jehovah for his creation. The questions at the end of each section help the reader to think about the information he just read. This is an excellent brochure to use in the preaching work.
17, 18. (a) What responsibility do parents have? (b) How have you used the brochures about creation in your family worship?
17 Parents, have you read this brochure with your children during your family worship? If you do, you can help them to have more faith in Jehovah. Perhaps you have teenagers who are going to high school. Those who teach evolution are making a special effort to convince your children that there is no Creator. Scientists, schoolteachers, television shows about nature, and movies teach that evolution is a fact. You can help your teenagers to defend the truth by using the brochure The Origin of Life
18 Sometimes there are news reports that claim that scientists have found fossils that prove that evolution is true. Or there may be reports that scientists have been able to recreate life in a laboratory. The Origin of Life brochure is written in a way to help students to decide for themselves whether these news reports are true. Parents, use these brochures to help your children have more confidence when they explain why they believe in a Creator.
We can learn about Jehovah’s beautiful qualities when we read about his creation in our publications
19. What privilege do all of us have?
19 We can learn a lot about Jehovah’s beautiful qualities when we read about creation in the publications that we receive from his organization. All this evidence makes us want to praise Jehovah from the heart. (Psalm 19:1, 2) It is a privilege to give Jehovah, the Creator of all things, the honor and praise he very much deserves!
^ par. 3 For information on how to help those who teach creationism, see pages 24 to 28 of the brochure Was Life Created?