St. Paul's Lutheran Church

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…because what can be known about God is plain to [all ungodly and unrighteous people], because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world his invisible attributes—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, because they are understood through what has been made. So people are without excuse. – Romans 1:19-20

There is a basic, natural knowledge of God that any person can come to by himself, without divine revelation from the Scripture. There is a “spark” or remnant of this knowledge that every person has since creation, though the Fall into sin has certainly limited it greatly. There is no saving faith in that “spark” but merely a general knowledge of something or someone greater and all people on earth, even the most rabid of atheists, the most tyrannical and evil of men are still tormented by their consciences and fear the unknown Judge. They deny it to themselves and to others, but deep inside that terror never goes away. This is how God made humanity.

But a person can also know that God exists by looking to nature. It is quite clear that the universe simply cannot exist by accident. Even our own scientific laws stand against any notion of accidental creation or chaos accidentally turning to orderliness. The very intricate clockwork of nature, how everything seems very specifically dialed in to assure this world exists and life flourishes, convinces even the most stubborn of skeptics that there must be…something, some intelligent force behind it all. Some of the greatest scientists of the world find it hard to deny this, though a few have turned to the most hypothetical of hypotheses: multiverses.

And should a person reflect upon his conscience and look deeply into his soul and recognizes how his conscience accuses him should he wish to go against what he knows is right and good, he again sees that there is a God, a divine force, who is just and who demands His creation do what is right. In fact, the entire human society is held together and managed by conscience — a natural knowledge of universal laws — and when people refuse to listen to their conscience, this is when war and strife take over; this is when a society falls.

But to get from a natural knowledge of God to faith in Christ and His cross, this cannot happen without the revealed knowledge of God given in the holy Scripture. Natural knowledge of God alone does not save but God certainly uses it as a catalyst for salvation. For when a natural person is troubled in conscience and terrorized by whatever consequence may come for living against natural law, it is here that the Lord calls out to him through the Church and her preachers with the Gospel, instills faith, and converts the person making what was dead to be alive and set free.

Heavenly Father, continue to use Your holy law, written on the hearts of every human being, to draw sinners to Your Word of repentance and faith. In Jesus’ name, amen.