Monday, January 02, 2012

Verbum Domini 1: God tells us about Himself

Is there a God?
An atheist says: “There is no god.”
An agnostic says: “I don’t know if there is a god.”

What does God say?
The fool says in his heart, "There is no God." They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds, there is none who does good (Psalm 14:1).
THE NATURAL KNOWLEDGE OF GOD
How can we know about God?
The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork (Psalm 19:1).
For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God (Hebrews 3:4).
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 1:20).
All people know about God from Nature.
They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them . . . (Romans 2:15).
And all people know about God from Conscience.

The natural knowledge of God tells us that there is a God Who is wise, powerful, and holy.

THE WEAKNESS OF THE NATURAL KNOWLEDGE OF GOD
What is the weakness of the Natural Knowledge of God? We don’t know:
1. Who the true God is
2. About the promised Savior from sin (Jesus)
Why does God give people natural knowledge about Himself?
The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us . . . (Acts 17:24-27)
God gives people knowledge about Himself from Nature and Conscience to lead them to seek Him.

THE REVEALED KNOWLEDGE OF GOD
How can we know what God is really like?
No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father's side, he has made him known (John 1:18).
Philip said to him, "Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us."
Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father' (John 14:8-9)?
God shows us what He is really like through Jesus.

From where does this Revealed Knowledge come?
You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me . . . (John 5:39).
no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone's own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:20-21).
Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 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 28:16-20).
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).
God reveals Himself to us through the Scriptures. These were written by His Prophets and Apostles, who were inspired by the Holy Spirit. The Apostles told the world about what Jesus said and did.
"Bible" means "book."
"Scriptures" means "writings."
REVIEW
The Bible tells us:
"Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other" (Isaiah 45:22).
1. Who the true God is
And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name [Jesus] under heaven given among men by which we must be saved (Acts 4:12).
2. Who our Savior is: Jesus