• How Can We Know God?

    Posted Jun 16th, 2017 By in Why We Believe What We Believe With | Comments Off on How Can We Know God?

    Scripture tells us that God is a person who created, rules and sustains the world. That he is eternally independent yet personal. How are we to know him or learn about him? Some argue for a mystical experience apart from Scripture or worship with believers. The result is that they have depreciated the value of theology and are unaccountable to any set of morality or persons. Affection has replaced knowledge but this isn’t how we operate with each other. If we love one another we want to know about each other.

    Scripture teaches us that we love God because he first loved us. We learned about God from his Word, and if we love God we will obey him. Therefore, I argue that if we want to love God apart from knowing anything about him, then we don’t actually love God but a false god made in our image. Christians should not be indifferent to learning about God, especially since He has revealed himself to us in Scripture. This raises the question, “What has God told us about himself?” Westminster Shorter Catechism gives a helpful and succinct answer:

    Q. 4. What is God?
    A. God is a Spirit, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable, in His being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness and truth.

    Consider for a moment about the depth of this simply stated answer. God is infinite, while all other beings are finite. His infiniteness is beyond our imagination. You can consider the vastness of space perhaps but even space is created; God has nothing near to him nor far away. He is eternal, understood in reference to time. He has no beginning, nor end. To God, all things are equally present and thus he is without change. He is the same at one place as he is at another place.

    This is a description of his being but also it attempts to describe his wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth. We begin to understand his awesomeness, yet Scripture also tells us he is personal and not distant.

    Yet even in his person, he is mysteriously majestic. In Scripture God reveals to us that he is Trinity. In Trinity God exists alone yet is personal because of his perfect relationship within the Godhead. God as three persons is a mystery revealed. While there are hints of the doctrine of the Trinity in the Old Testament, it is clearly revealed to us in the New.

    Ordinarily, the New Testament tells about each person of the Trinity, then when put together we have the whole. But there are also places where it is explicitly stated. There is the Great Commission in Matthew 28:19:

    Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…

    Also, there is the well-known benediction from 2 Corinthians 13:14,

    The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

    Here “Lord” is understood as a designation of deity. It is the same Greek word used to translate the name “Jehovah” from Hebrew.

    It should be noted, that the New Testament writers are never thinking they are writing something contradictory to the Old Testament teachings that there is one God. They are just as opposed as the Old Testament to the thought of there being more than one God. Yet in the New Testament, there is the clear teaching that the Father is God, the Son is God and the Spirit is God, three persons in relation to each other. Not to be mistaken as one person with three personalities. Yes, it is a mystery, a great mystery that should make us thankful that God has condescended and allowed us to learn even this about his being.

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