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Don Stewart :: Does It Make Sense That God Would Reveal Himself?

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Don Stewart

Does it make sense that God would reveal Himself to humanity? The answer is yes. Revelation from God is not only sensible it is an absolute necessity.

There are several points that need to be made about the idea of God giving a revelation of Himself to humanity.

1. Revelation From The Living God Is Certainly Possible

First, a revelation from God is possible. When the angel Gabriel announced the conception of Jesus, he declared this truth.

For nothing will be impossible with God (Luke 1:37).

Jesus also made the same point.

Jesus looked at them and said, "For humans it is impossible, but not for God; for God all things are possible" (Mark 10:27).

We Are Made In His Image

Certainly the all-powerful Creator God is able to reveal Himself to His creation if He so desires. In addition, the Bible says that God made humanity in His image.

Then God said, "Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth." So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them (Genesis 1:26,27).

Being made in God's image set humanity apart from all of the other creatures that God had made. Human beings, being made in the image of God, were given the ability to give and receive rational communication. Therefore, there is nothing impossible about God disclosing Himself to humanity.

2. Revelation Is Something Reasonable

If God has created humanity with the ability to receive communication, then it is probable that He would communicate with His creation. If God exists, then a revelation is reasonable. The Bible says.

These things God has revealed to us through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God (1 Corinthians 2:10).

Since God is a wise and good God, these attributes would seemingly lead Him to communicate with those whom He created. Consequently, given the nature of God, a divine revelation would be reasonable. It would be strange if He did not contact us.

3. A Revelation From God Should Be Expected

A divine revelation is also something that humanity expects. One need only look at the so-called sacred books of the world's religions as well as a number of alleged supernatural revelations from various cultic groups. Humanity has a hunger and expectation to receive divine revelation. The spiritual longings of humankind cry out for God to speak. Job said.

Oh, that I had someone to hear me! I sign now my defense - let the Almighty answer me; let my accuser put his indictment in writing (Job 31:35).

The Egyptians worshipped animals, the Babylonians worshipped nature, while the Greeks and Romans deified human passions. There is that universal human need to worship.

4. Nature Is Not Enough To Know God Personally

The existence of God is testified to by nature. We find order and design everywhere in the universe. Yet nature is imperfect. It testifies to a God who exists, but tells us nothing about that God or how a person can have a relationship with Him. More is needed. This adds to the need of a divine revelation. The Bible itself testifies that nature does not supply all the revelation that a sinner needs. Paul said to a group of people in Athens.

For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. Now what you worship as something unknown I am going to proclaim to you (Acts 17:23).

To the church at Ephesus he wrote.

And to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things. His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms (Ephesians 3:9,10).

Nature does not tell us anything about the Trinity, why humanity is in its present sinful situation, who humans are, how we worship God, what will happen after death, etc. Only divine revelation can do this.

5. God Cannot Be Directly Experienced By Humans

A revelation from God not only is possible, reasonable, and expected, it is also absolutely necessary because of the nature of God. God, by nature, is inaccessible to humanity. Humans can neither see God nor understand Him on our own. Therefore, we can only know as much about Him as He chooses to reveal. Without revelation we are only guessing when we speak about Him. The Bible says the following about God.

[He] alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no human has seen or can see (1 Timothy 6:16).

Revelation is necessary because it alone can tell us who God is and what He is like.

6. We Are Incapable Of Finding These Truths On Our Own

Not only is God inaccessible to humanity, we are incapable of discovering vital truths about God on our own. Though sinful humanity may understand that God does exist, we could not know who God is or what God requires from us without God specifically revealing Himself. The truths revealed in Scripture can only come through divine revelation. Human opinions and human reasoning are incapable of knowing these things. The Bible asks the question.

Can you find out the deep things of God? Can you find out the limit of the Almighty? (Job 11:7).

Truths of God's nature and His plan for humanity can only be known through divine revelation.

Truths About God Cannot Be Found By Human Wisdom

The Bible says that unaided human wisdom cannot discover God. Paul wrote.

For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe (1 Corinthians 1:21).

He also emphasized.

For what human being knows what is truly human except the human spirit that is within? So also no one comprehends what is truly God's except the Spirit of God (1 Corinthians 2:11).

We Are In A Blind And Sinful Condition

Revelation is further needed because of humanity's blind and sinful condition. This was caused by the fall of humanity as is recorded in the third chapter of Genesis. Paul wrote.

Now this I affirm and insist on in the Lord: you must no longer live as the Gentiles live, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of their ignorance and hardness of heart. They have lost all sensitivity and have abandoned themselves to licentiousness, greedy to practice every kind of impurity (Ephesians 4:17-19).

The Devil Tries To Blind People To God's Truth

This blindness is made even stronger by the activity of the Devil. The Bible says.

And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God (2 Corinthians 4:4,5).

This necessitated the need for divine revelation. This allows God to reveal Himself and His plan of salvation so that humanity in turn might be made right with Him.

7. Humanity Needs An Ultimate Standard Of Truth

The human race needs a final standard of authority to base their beliefs. This can only be something that is divinely revealed. Left to its own, humankind has come to no consensus regarding the existence of God or gods, and what is required, if anything, from humans. For a standard by which human beings must conduct their lives, a divine revelation is a necessity.

8. A Revelation From God Does Exist - The Bible

Finally we have the certainty of a revelation from God. This is the Bible. The fact that we have a completed Scripture demonstrates that God has left humanity a revelation of Himself. The Scripture claims that God has revealed Himself to humanity.

In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe (Hebrews 1:1,2).

The overwhelming evidence from Scripture shows us that God has spoken. He has given humankind an ultimate standard of authority - the final Word on all matters of faith and practice.

Summary

As we look at all the evidence, we find that divine revelation is something that is consistent with the expectations of humanity for a number of reasons. First, since God exists, it is certainly possible for Him to reveal Himself to humankind. Also, because of God's nature it is also something reasonable. In addition, throughout history human beings have also expected to receive some type of divine revelation. Nature also testifies to God's existence but tells us no specifics. The fact that we cannot see God also adds to the need of a Word from Him. Add to this the fact that humankind is incapable on its own of knowing God. Because God is unapproachable by nature and because we are fallen human beings, a revelation from God is absolutely necessary. Human beings need an ultimate standard to understand who they are and how to conduct their lives. Finally, we have that revelation - the Bible. The Bible not only claims to be God's divine Word to humanity; it also gives evidence of that truth. A divine revelation is our only basis of speaking meaningfully about God. Without divine revelation all God-talk is meaningless. Fortunately we have that revelation.

CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

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