Last night’s Bible study looked at the question ‘Can We Know God?’ In short, the answer is ‘yes, but only in part.’ God is obviously keen for us to know Him and has given us many glimpses of His presence, character and nature, but it is impossible for humans to fully know the whole of the majesty and splendour of God. He is so vast and unsearchable that we cannot ever hope to know Him fully on this earth, and yet there is so much more to discover of who He is!

Acts 17:23 TNIV looks at the Athenian statue ‘to an unknown God’. Paul went on to preach to them of the God who had made Himself known in Christ (see John 1:18 TNIV). Paul certainly had confidence in his knowledge of God (‘I know whom I have believed’ 2 Timothy 1:12 TNIV) and so we see that faith is more than knowing what to believe but is linked to knowing whom we believe.

Why can’t we search out God in the same way we study natural phenomena?

We can’t actually see God with our natural eyes, nor could we ever hope to find Him unless He chose to reveal Himself to us (John 5:37 TNIV). We are unable to comprehend all that God is with our finite minds (Is 55:8-9 TNIV reminds us that God’s thoughts and ways are far higher than ours!) We cannot see God and live (Ex 33:19-20 TNIV), yet He chooses to make His goodness known to us and reveals Himself to us (Prov 1:23 TNIV).

How does God reveal Himself to us?
1. Through His works of creation (Rom 1:20 TNIV)
2. Through inspired people (Heb 1:1 TNIV)
3. Through Jesus, the perfect representation of the Father (1 John 5:20 TNIV)
4. Through the word (Ps 119:105 TNIV, 2 Tim 3:16-17 TNIV)
5. The His Holy Spirit (1 Cor 2:9-14 TNIV) and the gifts and fruit of the Spirit

What conditions do we have to fulfil to attain spiritual knowledge of God?
1. We have to desire and yearn for God, to earnestly seek Him (Prov 2:3-5 TNIV)
2. Seeking is more than casually looking for God. It means putting Him first in everything (Matt 6:33 TNIV)
3. We need faith in order to please God and to see the invisible (Heb 11:1-6 TNIV)
4. Obedience is the final step required of us. Acts 5:29 TNIV reminds us that ‘we must obey God rather than men!’ Without faith it is impossible to please God, but we then need to take that ‘step of faith’ and actually do what He says.