God the Father
This section is often known as Theology Proper since "theology" is the study of God, and this is the section that matches that term most directly. We learn about God the Father, first person of the trinity, from His natural attributes as well as moral attributes displayed throughout His writings. We also learn about Him from His names, those that He Himself has used to describe Himself to us, and those that are use of Him by humankind as they annotate their discovery and experience in relationship with God the Father.
Knowing God is the greatest subject than can engage the minds of humankind. Our well-being and destiny depend upon knowing God. When we know who God is we will know who we are.
The knowledge of God is the foundation of all right thinking and living.
We receive knowledge of the world. Hebrews 11:3: "By faith we understand that the worlds were set in order at God's command, so that the visible has its origin in the invisible."
We receive knowledge of truth. John 14:6: "Jesus replied, 'I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.'" John 8:31-32: "If you continue to follow my teaching, you are really my disciples and you will know the truth and the truth will set you free." Colossians 2:2: "They may have all the riches that assurance brings in their understanding of the knowledge of the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge."
We receive the knowledge of life. Many places in Scripture God has said to his people, "You must be holy because I, the Lord your God, am Holy." A person's concept of life will not be higher than his conception of God.
We receive knowledge of humankind. James 3:8-9: This text speaks about the tongue that can be used to bless the Lord and Father, or with it we can curse people made in God's image. We are not a haphazard result of some lengthy evolutionary process.
The doctrine of God must be drawn from the Word of God. Psalm 19:7-9: "The law of the Lord is perfect and preserves one's life. The rules set down by the Lord are reliable and impart wisdom to the inexperienced. The Lord's precepts are fair and make one joyful. The Lord's commands are pure and give insight for life. The commands to fear the Lord are right and endure forever. The judgements given by the Lord are trustworthy and absolutely just."
To know the nature of God revealed in Jesus Christ is of paramount importance. John 1:1-2, 14, 16-18; 14:9. John 1:18 in particular: "No one has ever seen God. The only one, himself God, who is in closest fellowship with the Father, has made God known." The scientists who say they have searched the universe and do not see God will continually miss seeing Him because they have refused to see Jesus who is God's visible image.
Hebrews 1:1-3: God has spoken by His Son. 2 Corinthians 4:3-6: "But if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled only to those who are perishing, among whom the god of this age has blinded the minds of those who do not believe so they would not see the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God." Colossians 2:1-3: In Him are hidden all of the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Colossians 1:15-17: "He is the image of the invisible God....He himself is before all things and all things are held together in him." Colossians 2:9: "For in him all the fullness of deity lives in bodily form."
Knowing God the Father requires knowing God the Son. We will study the Son later in more detail.
Rejection of the Knowledge of God.
God tells us that humankind willfully reject the revelation of God. Romans 1:18-32: "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of people who suppress the truth by their unrighteousness, because what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world his invisible attributes -- his eternal power and divine nature -- have been clearly seen, because they are understood through what has been made. So people are without excuse." (verses 18-20).
God revealed himself through the light of nature, through the light of conscience, and through the person of His Son Jesus Christ. Romans 2:14-16 speaks about the conscience. "They show that the work of the law is written in their hearts, as their conscience bears witness and their conflicting thoughts accuse or else defend them." (verse 15).
Romans 1:24, 26, 28 says that God has given up on humankind that have suppressed their conscience. God says that humankind is inexcusable for rejection of the light given by God.
There is a triple consequence of rejecting the light:
- Romans 1:21-25: They turned to idolatry.
- Romans 1:26-27: They turned to sensuality.
- Romans 1:28-32: They turned to Godlessness.
The importance of knowing God is to keep us from these things that torture our lives from day to day, that destroy our emotions, that rob us of love and of peace.
Now let's see why God says it IS possible for us to know Him.