Column: What is God Like? God as He Has Revealed Himself

Published 3:18 pm Monday, May 6, 2024

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By Hank Walker | Pastor at Peach City Fellowship

“But, how do you KNOW?” is the question most often proposed in theological discussions.

Since we have been considering God’s attributes, it is only logical that we pause to address this important question. We confidently claim that God is omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, righteous, holy, and so many other things—so, it stands to reason that we should be able to support such claims.

But, how do we reliably do this? By what standard do we approach such a challenge?

Consider this: there are two means by which we perceive God’s attributes, but only one of them CONFIRMS that our perceptions are correct.

The first way we recognize God’s attributes is through nature. In fact, nature’s testimony of God’s existence is the basis for His judgment against mankind. Of this NATURAL REVELATION, the apostle Paul wrote, “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For WHAT CAN BE KNOWN about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For 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. So, they are without excuse” (Romans 1:18-20).

The problem with accepting nature’s testimony, however, is that fallen humanity suppresses that truth. Instead of worshiping God for who he truly is, our depravity always gravitates toward idolatry, exchanging “the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things” (Romans 1:23).

Since unaided human reason is inadequate for forming true knowledge about God, we must have a reliable and objective source of knowledge that is (1) external to ourselves, and (2) revealed to us explicitly by God. We call this SPECIAL REVELATION—and it is ONLY found in the Bible!

So much more could be said about how we can “know that we know” the truth about God, but the apostle Paul said it best in his letter to Timothy: “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

Grace and Peace, y’all. Soli Deo Gloria