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How can anyone know God?

Some people believe that because God is not part of the physical universe, that he does exist. If God does not exist, then how can anyone ever know him? God does not agree. God has given all men knowledge of His unseen deity and unending power by demonstrating it in the creation of the universe. He says that they are without excuse. He says they knew him but they suppress the truth and have allowed themselves to become futile in their reasoning.

“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. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.”
(Romans 1:18–21 ESV)

Everyone knows these two things about God as demonstrated by the creation of the universe; God has unlimited power, and he is God.

How ironic it is that some people say, “I don't believe that there is shred of evidence that a god exists.” and God says that the entire universe is the evidence.

“The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
 Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge.”
(Psalm 19:1–2 ESV)

How do we come to fully know God?

Everyone is able to know that God is powerful and that He is, but there are many things about God that are not revealed by the creation itself. How do we learn those things? God is the source of all things, and knowing God also comes from God. It is God who teaches us so that we come to know Him.

“It is written in the Prophets, ‘And they will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me—”
(John 6:45 ESV)

In this passage it is Jesus who is speaking. Jesus is the Word of God and when he speaks it is God speaking.

“For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment—what to say and what to speak.”
(John 12:49 ESV)

Any teaching from the mouth of Jesus is teaching from the Father. God speaks through his Son and in times past through his prophets.

“Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.”
(Hebrews 1:1–2 ESV)

 At this time we do not have Jesus or the prophets among us to teach us in person. We do have what they said encoded in text, but we are not left alone with the bible. Before Jesus ascended to be with his father, he told his followers that he would ask his father to send the Spirit of Truth.

“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.”
(John 14:16–17 ESV)

Jesus calls the Helper the Spirit of Truth, and says that He will be in you forever.
Jesus also calls the Helper the Holy Spirit, and says that He will teach you all things.

“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.”
(John 14:26 ESV)

Paul also speaks about the Spirit of God and His role in teaching us about God.

“these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.”
(1 Corinthians 2:10–13 ESV)

Paul says, “So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.” Because no one can understand the thoughts of God unless they have the Spirit of God, then the only way to know God is to have the Spirit of God.

If someone wants to know God, and they need the Spirit of God to do it, then how does someone get the Spirit of God?

“And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
(Acts 2:38 ESV)

The Holy Spirit is given as a gift, from God, to those who repent and are baptized in the name of Jesus.

What is repent?

The word repent is a verb that means to change the mind. Repent in the bible context means to change your mind about sin and to agree with God that it is wrong. Repentance happens when someone begins to believe God.

What is baptize?

The word baptize is a verb that means to immerse. In practice, among the Jews and Christians, this was done in water. Christians baptize new believers, as they have been instructed by Jesus.

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
(Matthew 28:19–20 ESV)

Both repenting and getting baptized come as a result of believing. Just as the Holy Spirit is a gift from God, believing is also a gift from God.

“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”
(Ephesians 2:8–9 ESV)

It is God who teaches us about himself, and he does this though his prophets, his Son and the Holy Spirit in us. The way that we receive the Holy Spirit begins with God giving us the gift of faith. We repent and get baptized, because we believe. When we repent and get baptized then God gives us the gift of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit then teaches us so that we know God.

Who will know God?

“And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the LORD.”
(Jeremiah 31:34 ESV)

This verse, from the book of Jeremiah, is a part of the new covenant that God has made with us. In it He says that we all shall know Him, but the timing of our knowing God is determined by God, not us.

 

Introduction (home page)

What is the meaning of life?

Does God love me?

Who is Greatest in the Church?

Who has Authority in the Church?

How should the Church respond to its leaders?

Should Christians use Titles of Honor?

What is the New Covenant?

How many Gods are there?

What is the Justice of God?

 

This is a work in progress. Please come back soon.

If you have any questions or comments.