Why Know God?

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Ronie L. Frias | Forum Activity | Posted: Wed, Sep 4 2013 5:22 AM

 

  1. Hosea 6:3, 6 – God demanded it
  2. John 17:3 – It’s Eternal Life
  3. Philippians 3:7-11 ; John 14:21-23 – He desires to make Himself known
  4. Jeremiah 9:23-24 – More valuable than anything

Common Blunder: Modern world? Man-centeredness.

  • Even in theological studies, it is always subjective
  • The Bible started with God (Genesis 1:1)
  • The knowledge of God is ultimately the sum of all other doctrines; There is no sense, there is no meaning or purpose, in any other doctrine apart from this great central, all inclusive, doctrine of God Himself.
  • There is no point in considering other doctrines, unless we have started with the doctrine of God.
  • We started with the doctrine of God because God is God, and because if we put anything or anybody, before Him, we are thereby dishonoring Him. We are failing to worship Him as we should and failing to conduct ourselves in His presence as the Bible teaches us to do.
  • “In the beginning God…” an endless, inexhaustible theme even throughout the endless ages of eternity.
  • Even so, we should try to clarify our knowledge as far we can go. We must try to have our thoughts concerning God arranged in an orderly manner.

 

  1. I.                    THE EXISTENCE OF GOD

@ The Bible does not argue about the existence of God. It declares it!

@ The Bible does not give us any proofs of the existence of God, it assumes it!

@ We must know our God before we can fully appreciate His works.

 

  1. A.      Humanity’s Inner Sense of God

 

  1. All persons everywhere have a deep. Inner sense that God exists, that they are His creatures, and that He is their Creator.

                                                                                                                             

  1. Even Gentiles unbelievers “knew God” – Romans 1:21

 

1)      God has disclosed Himself to them – Romans 1:19

 

2)      Sinful men actively or willfully reject their knowledge of Him – Romans 1:25

 

3)      Total depravity of men lead them to think irrationally and to deny God’s existence – Psalm 14:1; 53:1; Psalm 10:3-4; 1:18

 

4)      There is willful suppression of the truth of the reality of God’s existence – Romans 1:20, 25, 28, 32

 

  1. Christians become strongly and distinctly aware of the very existence of God.

 

1)      We begin to know God as our loving Father in heaven – Romans 8:15

 

2)      The Holy Spirit bears witness with our spirits that we are Children of God – Romans 8:16

 

3)      Come to know Jesus living in our hearts – Ephesians 3:17; Philippians 3:8, 10; Colossians 1:27; John 14:23

 

4)      Though we have not seen Him, yet we love Him – 1 Peter 1:8

 

  1. B.      Believing the Evidence in Scripture  and Nature

 

  1. The evidence that God exists is found throughout the Bible

 

  1. The Bible everywhere assumes that God exists – Genesis 1:1
  2. The Bible tells us much about God’s nature and His acts – Romans 1:20
  3. Man himself is the final evidence of God’s existence – Genesis 1:26-27

 

  1.  Nature Proclaims there is God

 

  1. God left His witness in all natural experiences – Acts 14:17
  2. The “heavens are telling the glory of God” – Psalm 19:1-2
  3. Everything that exists gives evidence of God’s existence

 

  1. C.      Traditional “Proofs” for the Existence of God = Arguments from Nature

 

  1. 1.       Cosmological Argument – (argument from nature) considers the fact that every known thing in the universe has a cause. Therefore, it reasons, the universe itself must also have a cause, and the cause of such a great universe can only be God.

 

  1. 2.       Teleological Arguments – a subcategory of cosmological argument. It focuses on the evidence of harmony, order, and design in the universe, and argues that its design gives evidence of an intelligent purpose (Gr word telos mean “end, goal, purpose”). Since the universe appeared to be designed with a purpose, there must be an intelligent purposeful God who created it to function this way.
  2. 3.       Ontological Argument – (Think and Feel) begins with the idea of God, who is defined as a being “greater than which nothing can be imagined.”  It then argues that the characteristic of existence must belong to such a being, since it is greater to exist than not exist.

 

  1. 4.       Moral Argument – being from man’s sense of right and wrong, and of the need for justice to be done, and argues that there must be a God who is the source of right and wrong and who will someday mete out justice to all people.

Note: These arguments can never create saving faith. It is more than enough to condemn man but is insufficient to save.

  1. II.                  THE KNOWABILITY OF GOD

Can God be known? This question of knowing God is the end, the supreme end, of all religion. It is great thing that should be in the forefront of the mind and heart of every one of us.

The Bible teaches what is called the INCOMPREHENSIBILITY OF GOD. It means God cannot be finally comprehended or understood by human beings; it means that we can read around the doctrine of God and try to grasp it with our own minds, but by definition, God is incomprehensible. We can never know Him in the ultimate, final and complete sense (1 Tim. 6:16; Romans 11:33; Isaiah 55:8-9). Yet, though God finally is incomprehensible, He is, nevertheless, KNOWABLE!

The knowledge that we can have of God’s being will never be anything but a partial knowledge. But it is partial, it is nevertheless real; though it is not complete, it is a true knowledge, enough to lead us to glorify Him!

God’s Self-disclosure of Himself to Man

  1. 1.       God Making Himself Known to Men

 

  1. Revelation through Nature- Romans 1:19
  2. Revelation through human conscience – Romans 2:14-16
  3. Revelation through the Lord Jesus Christ – John 1:1, 14; Hebrews 1:1-2; Matt. 11:27
  4. Revelation through the Scriptures – 2 Peter 1:19-21; 2 Timothy 3:16-17

 

  1. 2.       Man in His Own Can Never Know God Fully and Exhaustively – 1 Cor. 1:21; 2:14; 2 Cor. 4:3-4; John 1:18.

 

  1. God’s greatness is beyond searching out or discovering – Psalm 145:3
  2. God’s understanding is beyond measure or far too great to understand – Psalm 147:5
  3. Knowing God is too high for  human perception – Psalm 139:6, 17; 1 Corinthians 2:10-12; Romans 11:33
  4. We can know something but never fully and exhaustively understand any single thing about God – Isaiah 55:9; Job 26:14; Job 11:7-9; 37:5.

Note: Hence the need to increase continually in the knowledge of God – Colossians 1:10; Phil. 3:6ff; Jeremiah 9:23-24.

  1. 3.       Man Can Know God Truly – Job 11:7-9
    1. Even though we cannot know God exhaustively, we can know true things about God – from the SCRIPTURES
    2. We can know God Himself through having personal relationship with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ – John 17:3; Hebrews 8:11; 1 John 5:20; Galatians 4:9; Philippians 3:10; 1 John 2:3; 4:8; 2:13

Daniel 11:32 And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.

  1. “But the people” – distinguished man from all other creatures = the ability of knowing God.
  2. “that know their God” – assumes the know ability of God
  3. “Shall be strong” – knowledge of God make the man
  4. “do exploits” – accomplish/attempt to do things others fear to do/thread

Evidence of Knowing God

  1. 1.       Those who know God have great energy for God.
  2. 2.       Those who know God have great thoughts for God.
  3. 3.       Those who know God show great boldness for God.
  4. 4.       Those who know God have great contentment in God.

 

  1. III.                THE CHARACTER OF GOD

 

  1. The “INCOMMUNICABLE” Attributes of God – that is, those attributes that God does not share or “communicate” to others

 

  1. 1.       The Uniqueness of God – Isaiah 40:25-26

Uniqueness. One of a kind. Like no other. The most basic revelation of God in the entire Bible is that He is only one God. God is God, and nothing else is God. God created all else, so, by definition, everything else cannot be God!

        God is unique in that He is totally “other” than His creation. His nature is completely different than ours, or any other created beings. Therefore, any analogy or example that we might use will break down at some point. We simply can’t compare God to anything, because to do assumes that there can be anything in creation that can be likened to God. Hence, any form of idolatry is gross wickedness before God.

        “To whom will you compare me?” No answer is given, for there simply is no answer. God cannot be compared to anyone or anything, for He is unique, alone as the Creator of all things. (Jeremiah 10:6-7)

        God’s uniqueness results in men owing Him reverence and worship. His great power calls men to bow down and worship before Him. (Were it not for sin, this would be the “natural” response of the human heart. God is to be praised simply because He is God. (Psalm 113:5-6; Isaiah 40:12-18). Who indeed has instructed God? Who has taught Him anything? We cannot compare God to anyone or anything. HE IS BEYOND OUR CAPACITY TO EVEN DESCRIBE, LET ALONE FULLY COMPREHEND.

Note: It is our nature, as sinful rebels against God, to “re-create” Him in our own image. We place upon God human characteristics and motivations. But God denies that He is a man, or like creatures in His knowledge, power or purposes. We are uncomfortable with such a God. We want Him to be more like us, more susceptible to our failures, our problems. His uniqueness should keep us from compromising the truth of God for the sake of presenting God in a (supposedly) less “threatening” way. We should seek God’s truth about Himself and be content with that, if we are truly committed to the authority of His Word.

  1. 2.       The Independence of God (self-existence) – God does not need us or the rest of creation for anything, yet we and the rest of creation can glorify Him and bring Him joy.
    1. God does not need any part of creation in order to exist or for any other reason. He is absolutely independent and self-sufficient. Acts 17:24-25; Job 41:11
    2. No one has ever contributed to God anything that did not first come from God who created all things – Psalm 50:10-12.
    3. God did not create human beings because He was lonely and needed fellowship with other persons. Otherwise, God is not completely independent of creation. (God does not need man in order to be completely happy or completely fulfilled in His personal existence.) – John 17:5, 24
    4. Only God exist by virtue of His very nature, and that He was never created and never came into being. He always was. Rev. 4:11; John 1:3; Romans 11:35-36; 1 Cor. 8:6; Psalm 90:2; Exodus 3:14
    5. God’s existence and character are determined by Him alone and are not dependent on anyone or anything else. God’s being has always been and will always be exactly what it is.
    6. Without creation, God would still infinitely loving, infinitely just, eternal, omniscient, and Trinitarian and so forth.
    7. It is not just that God DOES NOT need the creation for anything, God COULD NOT need the creation for anything.
    8. God’s being is qualitatively different. No limitation or imperfection in creation should be projected onto our thought of God. He is the Creator; all else are creaturely! All else pass away in an instant; He necessarily exists forever! (Isaiah 40:25-26; Jeremiah 10:6-7; Psalm 113:5-6; Isaiah 40:12-18)
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Graham Criddle | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Sep 4 2013 5:51 AM

Hi Ronie - and welcome to the forums.

These forums are to discuss the use of Logos software and related products.

Are you using Logos software? Do you have any questions regarding its use?

Graham

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Ronie L. Frias | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Sep 4 2013 6:47 AM

Hello Graham

No, am not using any logos software, sorry for my post if am not allowed.

Ronie 

Posts 10648
Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Sep 4 2013 6:51 AM

Well, at least Ronie noted right off the bat, 'man centeredness'. Whew.

"I didn't know God made honky tonk angels."

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