In the last post, we looked at the existence of God. Can God be known or understood, though? These and other questions are the focus of this post of the Doctrine of God series.
Can we fully understand God?
Can the finite understand the infinite? We’ll never be able to completely comprehend God. Psalm 145:3 tells us His greatness is unsearchable, and His understanding is beyond measure (Psalm 147:5). Psalm 139:6 tells us His knowledge is too great to understand. It’s like an ant trying to understand Einstein or Stephen Hawking.
Can we know anything at all?
Some things we can, just not completely, which means we’ll never run out of things to learn because of this. Our studying the Bible will never get dry (Col 1:10).
This can be discouraging for those that have to know everything or fear the immensity of God. It’s encouraging in joyous worship for those who appreciate the size and scope of God, and the curious who love the journey and know it will continue. The well will never run dry, making the study of theology exciting.
Can I know God from more than just from what I read?
Absolutely, it’s not just facts about God we know, but God Himself we know. Jeremiah 9:23-24 says,
This is what the Lord says: “Let not the wise boast of their wisdom nor the strong boast of their strength or the rich boast of their riches, but let the one who boasts boast about this: that they have the understanding to know me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,” declares the Lord.”
Our joy and self-esteem should come from the fact we know God, and He knows us. Our eternal life comes from that fact (John 17:3). The New Covenant says we will know God. Hebrews 8:11 says,
No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest.
How does this impact me?
The richness of the Christian life isn’t in following moral commands. It comes from the realization that we know God personally through Christ in a relationship. He’s our Father.
We can speak to Him personally, anywhere, approaching Him in prayer as a child approaches their dad. We can praise Him anywhere, worship Him anywhere, no temple required, “in Spirit and truth” (John 4:23).
God dwells among us and in us (John 14:23). God the Holy Spirit indwells every Christian, empowering us, and transforming us from inside-out. So yes, you can know God the Father through God the Son, who is Jesus, and be sealed and indwelt by God the Holy Spirit.
Doctrine of God Posts
Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine by Wayne Grudem
Chapter 10: The Knowability of God