Who is God? If God really is the creator and ruler of the universe, then there is no more important question that could be asked. The Bible puts it this way:
Proverbs 9:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
So, for a Christian, or for anyone considering becoming one, getting to know God is priority number one. But how do we go about it? Where do you go, or who do you ask to get reliable information about God? This is something to be very careful about, because there are many people who have all kinds of ideas about God that they would like you to believe. But what we need is information that is reliably accurate. Think about this:
What do you know about me? What kinds of food do I like? What activities do I find enjoyable? Before I was married, what kind of woman did I want as my wife? (By the way, I got her!). Would I rather relax by reading a book or by playing the piano?
How would you go about getting reliably accurate answers to such questions? There is only one way – you need to get the answers from me. Even the people who are closest to me, like my wife, Priscilla, can only know me by what I, myself, reveal to them by my words and my behavior. There is no way that just by hearing my name, you can figure out what kind of person I am. And in the same way, there is no way that just by hearing the name, God, you can figure out what kind of Person He is. We can only know about God what He Himself chooses to reveal to us.
That’s what the Bible is all about. It is the divinely inspired book in which God tells us things about Himself that we could find out in no other way. So, it is to the Bible that we must go in order to get to know God. (We’ll see later why we can know that the Bible is indeed God’s written revelation of Himself.)
Ways God Reveals Himself
The Bible tells us that God reveals Himself to humankind in three different ways: in creation, in the Bible, and most importantly, by His Son, Jesus. We’ll deal with the first two here, and talk about the third later. Let’s see how God reveals Himself through creation.
Psalms 19:1-3 The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork. 2 Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night reveals knowledge. 3 There is no speech nor language Where their voice is not heard.
The first and easiest way to know about God is just to look up! The majesty of the sun, moon, planets and stars reflects the majesty of the One who set them in their places. The intricate complexity and purposeful order that we see in all of creation leaves us in no doubt that there had to be a Creator. It doesn’t matter what nationality a person may be, or what language they speak, or when they live in history. No one can escape the evidence of God’s wisdom and power in creation. In fact, the Bible has a precise, technical designation for anyone who can look at creation and not acknowledge the Creator:
Psalms 14:1 The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.” …
There is, the Bible declares, simply no excuse for anyone not to acknowledge God.
Romans 1:18-20 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.
So, the first way that God reveals Himself, so that no one can miss it, is through the majesty and intricacy of His creation.
The second way God reveals Himself is the Bible itself. Creation reveals the existence of the creator God, but cannot by itself tell us with any precision about most of His attributes and how He purposes to deal with humankind. That’s why God caused the Bible to be written. It is His detailed, written revelation of Himself, and how He wants us to relate to Him.
2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.
John 20:31 but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.
So, as we go forward in getting to know God, and understanding the foundations of the Christian faith, the Bible will be our guidebook. Our purpose will not be to try to figure God out, or to air anybody’s opinions about Him, but to see and understand what He says in His own book about who He is and how He wants to relate to humankind. And believe me, what God has to say is fascinating!