How can we know God?

Although the order and design of the world can encourage belief in a Creator, we can only know God through His revelation of Himself and His ways. This revelation is in the Bible

God’s Word, the Bible, together with his creation tell us all we need to know about God. The Bible clearly claims to have been authored by God through faithful men [1]. In it we find His revelation of His nature, character, mind and purpose. It says that God’s ways and thoughts are superior to those of men [2].

God’s nature

God reveals Himself as the Supreme Being, who has always existed, immortal, of infinite power, wisdom and understanding [3]. He is declared to be the Creator of the heavens and the earth and the giver of life to all that lives [4]. God not only creates and sustains life, He also takes life away [5].

God’s character

God declared His character particularly to Moses [6]. His character is seen in His dealings with mankind, particularly with the nation of Israel. God’s work with the nation of Israel illustrates His kindness and longsuffering, but also His intolerance of sin and rebellion against His ways [7]. Paul describes these two aspects of God’s character as “the goodness and severity of God” [8].

God’s character is fully revealed in the birth, life, death, resurrection and ministry of His son Jesus, the Christ. God’s longsuffering, love and righteousness are displayed in the provision of Jesus as the perfect sacrifice for sin and the example of the kind of life that men and women should lead [9].

God’s righteous judgements will also be carried out on those who reject His ways [10].

His mind and purpose

He has made all things for His pleasure [11] and so that “all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD” [12]. This will be achieved through people who have believed His promises, obey his commandments and are “conformed to the image of His Son”, Jesus Christ [13] . Through Jesus God has provided redemption from sin.

God’s judgements have been committed to His Son, who will “put down all rule and all authority and power . . . that God may be all in all” [14] .

The One to Whom all glory is due

The wisdom and graciousness of God are shown in the way He plans to fill the earth with His glory, displayed in believers who are “delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God” [15].

God is to be praised for this great work of salvation [16] .

Bible references

1 2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Pet. 1:21; Heb. 1:1,2
2 Isa. 55:8,9; see too 1 Cor. 1:25-29
3 1 Tim. 1:17; 6:15; Ps. 90:1-3; 145:3; 147:5; Isa. 45:5,18
4 Gen. 1:1; Jer. 10:7,10-12; Acts 14:15; 17:24
5 Ps. 104; Deut. 32:39; Acts 17:25,28
6 Ex. 34:6,7
7 Ps. 103:8-13; Hab. 1:13; Deut. 4:24
8 Rom. 11:22
9 2 Cor. 5:19; cf. Jno. 3:16; 1 Jno. 4:7,8,16
10 2 Thess. 1:6-10; Rev. 11:18; Heb. 10:30,31
11 Rev. 4:11
12 Num. 14:21; cf. Isa. 11:9; Hab. 2:14
13 Rom. 8:29
14 1 Cor. 5:24-28; cf. Ps. 8:6; Ps. 2
15 Rom. 8:21
16 Rom. 11:33-36; Jude v. 25