“Disregard the study of God, and you sentence yourself to stumble and blunder through life blindfolded, as it were, with no sense of direction and no understanding of what surrounds you. This way you can waste your life and lose your soul.” J. I. Packer
There are five basic truths that we must understand if we are going to know God in the fullness of who He is. These five truths are as follows. (1) God has revealed Himself, not only in creation but also in His inerrant Word, the Bible; (2) God is sovereign. He is providentially in control of everything, and this especially includes the saving of sinners; (3) God’s saves sinners by grace alone, through faith alone in the person and work of Jesus Christ alone, ultimately for His own glory alone; (4) God is triune: Father, Son and Holy Spirit; and (5) Our lives are to be spent working and serving to glorify God’s name and not our own. No other goal of life is greater than of magnifying the glory of God.
We will examine each of these five basic truths in the days to follow. We will endeavor to explain their continuing relevance to sinners and saints alike. Remember, we do not make biblical truth relevant. Biblical truth about God, or any other subject it addresses, is already relevant because it is biblical truth from God. The Bible establishes its own relevancy or importance.
Dr. J.I. Packer writes concerning the quest of knowing God that, “We are in a position of travelers who, after surveying a great mountain from afar, traveling around it, and observing how it dominates the landscape and determines the features of the surrounding countryside, now approach it directly, with the intention of climbing it.”
As with any mountain climber, who needs the proper tools and perspectives in approaching such a quest as climbing a mountain peak, we also are in need of the proper tools and perspectives of our quest of knowing God.
I submit that the tools of our quest include; (1) A Bible. If you do not have one, then either purchase, or borrow one from a friend. You cannot know God if you do not have His Word. (2) A notepad and a pencil or pen. Write down your questions and submit them to me in order for all of us to gain a greater understanding of knowing God. (3) A prayerful heart of submission that when, not if, but when we encounter biblical truths about God which may upset us, we will ask God to give us the understanding we need and the trust He requires of all His children who seek to know Him. Dr. R.C. Sproul once wrote, “Most of us accept the biblical testimony that there is a God who rules in heaven and earth (though we don’t always accept everything Scripture says about Him).”
It has been said, in jest, that God created man in His image and man has been endeavoring to return the favor ever since. What this means is that God created man of His own choosing, and man now seeks to create a God of his own choosing.
The goal of knowing God is not about making God fit our perspectives of who we think He is, or ought to be. Neither is it about simply gathering as much information as we can in order to fill ourselves with pride that we know more about God than the other guy. Rather, any study of God, with the goal of knowing Him more, is for the purpose of discovering God for what the Scriptures teach that He is and consequently glorifying Him with every part of our being because of who He is.
The Westminster Larger, and Shorter, Catechism asks this initial, but profound question: “What is the chief and highest end of man?” The answer is that “Man’s chief and highest end is to glorify God, and fully to enjoy Him forever.”
Soli deo Gloria!