“Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent.” John 17:3
Knowing God is one of the hallmarks of the Christian life, but this can seem an impossible undertaking. It is the finite trying to understand the infinite, the temporal trying to understand the eternal and the localized trying to understand the omnipresent. It is like taking a scoop of water from the ocean and trying to comprehend the intricacies and vastness of it all. Yet at the very heart of the Christian life is knowing God, and He has given us the means to do so.
The first way is through natural revelation, the evidence of God found in creation. Paul writes, “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse” (Romans 1:20). We see the existence of a powerful, intelligent God in the marvel of His creation, but this provides a very limited understanding of His character. Is He the Christian God, or some other god people have speculated about? Is He good, kind and loving? Does He have emotions? These questions can only be answered if there is some measure of self-disclosure.
To illustrate, we could be living next to a house with a high-walled garden surrounding it. We may see smoke wafting out of the chimney, a vehicle occasionally come and go, and hear music over the garden walls. These are evidences that our neighbours exist, but it does not tell us what kind of neighbours they are. But what if these neighbours invited us for a BBQ? Spending time with them and getting to know them would provide some measure of self-disclosure. This is what God has done through His Word. We come to know God through special revelation in Scripture, the primary means God has given us of revealing Himself and His Son. Paul writes, “The Son is the image of the invisible God” (Colossians 1:15), which means everything Jesus says and does reflects His Father’s character.
Our most intimate knowledge of God comes from experiencing Him in a personal relationship that is active and growing. As Christians, God is our heavenly Father, Christ our bridegroom, and we are adopted into His family by our union with Christ. We come to know God by intimately connecting with Him through prayer, time spent in His Word and worship and fellowship with other believers. We will never know God fully, but because He has made the initiative to begin a personal, living relationship with us, we can grow in our knowledge of Him, and most importantly, come to know God through personal experience of Him.
PRAYER: Almighty God, may I grow in my knowledge of You and allow You Your place in my heart as my Saviour, Lord, and King. Thank You for revealing Yourself through Your Word and Your Son, in who’s name I pray.
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