Brother Lawrence, a seventeenth century monk, wrote in Practicing the Presence of God, “Let us occupy ourselves entirely in knowing God. The more we know Him, the more we will desire to know Him. As love increases with knowledge, the more we know God, the more we will truly love Him.”
The modern theologian, J.I. Packer wrote, “the main business that you are here for is to know God.”
Whenever I share the gospel with someone who has yet to accept it to be true, I start with the question, “Do you want to know God?” And then I help them see that God has made knowing Him fairly easy and he primarily reveals Himself in two ways:
- Through the written Word of God.
- Through the person of Jesus Christ.
This week we will look at the first way God reveals Himself.
Important Truth #2- To know God you must know God’s Word…
In Acts 8:26-35 we meet a man who had a desire to know God. As he was traveling home to Ethiopia he was seated in his carriage and was reading from the book of Isaiah. God sends one of the early leaders in the church, Philip, to meet this man and to explain to him what he was reading. He showed Philip the passage of Scripture he was reading and asked at least one question. Philip than begins with that same passage and helps the man to come to know God through Jesus Christ.
God has chosen to reveal Himself to us through the written words of Holy Scripture. The Bible is God’s Word. This means that through the Bible God reveals to us His character and identity. We learn that God is three persons in one being, that he is love, grace, mercy, and forgiveness all wrapped together. We also learn through the word that He is holy and just and cannot let sin go unpunished.
The author of the Book of Acts gives honor to believers in Berea because they searched the Scriptures day after day. The Apostle Paul told us that faith is developed as we are exposed more and more to the Word of God (Romans 10:17).
God cannot be known apart from His Word. Thus it is critical that we get the Word of God into the hands of people. Earlier this year I was on a teaching trip in India. I met a man in the church in India who is a taxi driver. His life changed forever one day when our pastor in India handed the man a Bible along with his taxi fare and his phone number. The man read the entire New Testament in about a month and gave His life to Christ. Today this man and his beautiful wife and two daughters have all surrendered to Christ and serve the church in India faithfully.
When I am studying with a non-believer, I explain to them that while many books of the Bible can be difficult to understand, much of the Bible is simple and straight forward. An excellent version of the Bible to start with is the New Living Translation, written in a contemporary language. I challenge them to get a Bible and set a goal to read 15 minutes a day and stick to that plan.
A suggested reading plan for someone new to the Bible is:
- The Gospel of Luke (A story of Jesus’ life)
- Book of Acts (The story of the first followers of Jesus)
- Ephesians, Philippians and Colossians (Letters of Paul)
- James, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John (Briefer letters)
And so it is critical to help people to see that if they truly desire to know God, they must come to know the Word of God and understand that no prophecy in Scripture ever came from the prophet’s own understanding, or from human initiative. No, those prophets were moved by the Holy Spirit, and they spoke from God. 2 Peter 1:20-21