Knowing God (part 2)

Throughout history, people have come up with a plethora of arguments to rule out the existence of God. They do so, at least in part, to free themselves of the moral limitations outlined in the Bible. One of their most common arguments is that there simply is “not enough evidence” for belief in God.

The Obviousness of God’s Existence

In contrast, the apostle Paul states that knowledge of God’s existence is “plain” and that “his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made” (Romans 1:20). Paul seems to indicate that even ungodly and unrighteous men have this knowledge, but they “suppress” it (Romans 1:18). The inspired writer goes on to say that the reality of God’s existence, as can be seen by the natural world, is so completely obvious that those who dismiss it are “without excuse” (Romans 1:20).

Things That Cannot Adequately Reveal God’s Will for Man

While it is possible to know that God exists by means of what he has created, neither earthly things nor celestial bodies can reveal his will. Some seek knowledge about their future by studying the position of the stars, but giant balls of hot gas are incapable of helping us differentiate between good and evil or of telling us how to live so as to be pleasing in God’s sight.

Others insist that we can know God by intuition and that everyone may come to an understanding of God’s will as he communicates it to us directly. “The truth,” they affirm, “lies within us all.” However, the religious division and contradicting world views of those led by this so-called “inner light” clearly demonstrate the unreliability of intuition.

There must be a more trustworthy way to know God’s will than feelings. In order to know it, and thus know God, we must have an objective record of it. It must be a message that originates outside of man, from a source that is not subject to his frailties and misunderstandings. It must be a message that does not change with the passing of time but continues to address the greatest ills of every generation.

The Importance of the Written Word

God chose to reveal this message by means of trustworthy witnesses. To make it available for future generations, he compelled them to write it down, not according to their own interpretation, but rather by inspiration of the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:21). Shortly before his death, Jesus promised these men that the Holy Spirit would teach them “all things,” help them to remember “all” that Jesus said to them, and guide them into “all truth” (John 14:26; 16:13).

Sometime later, the apostle Paul revealed that the true knowledge of God could never have originated with man but rather by means of the Holy Spirit as he revealed it to the apostles and other inspired men of the first century. Apart from the written word recorded by these men, the true knowledge of God is something that “no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined” (1 Corinthians 2:9). It is only by means of these “words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit” (1 Corinthians 2:13) that “we might understand the things freely given us by God” (1 Corinthians 2:12).

–Jerry Falk