The purpose, goal and benefits of the Bible – Part 2
The Bible explicitly states that God created us, as humans, in His image and His likeness (Gen 1:26-27). Clearly Adam and Eve were not products of evolution. Because Adam and Eve were created in God’s likeness, they were able to experience and respond to God’s fellowship, love, glory and holiness. God so desired this intimate relationship with the human race that, when Satan succeeded in tempting Adam and Eve to rebel against and disobey God’s command, He promised to send a Saviour to redeem humankind from sin’s consequences (see Gen 3:15). In this way, God would have a people for His own possession, who would enjoy Him, glorify Him and live before Him in righteousness and holiness (Is 60:21; 61:1-3; Eph 1:11-12; 1 Pet 2:9).
The culmination of God’s purpose in creation is recorded in the book of Revelation, where the end of history is described with these words: “He will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God” (Rev 21:3)
• The Bible Reveals The Nature and Character of God
Revelation of God is the content and process of God making Himself known to people. All knowledge of God comes by way of revelation. Human knowledge of God is revealed knowledge, since God, and He alone, gives it. He bridges the gap between Himself and creatures, disclosing Himself and His will to them. By God alone can God be known. Modern thought often questions the possibility and/or reality of revelation. Biblical faith affirms revelation is real because the personal Creator God has chosen to let His human creatures know Him. The question remains, “How can a person know God?” The Bible appears to distinguish two ways of knowing God, general and special revelation. Biblical emphasis points to Jesus Christ as God’s final revelation. God has provided ongoing generations of believers a source of knowledge about Himself and His Son. That source is the Bible.
The word “revelation” means an uncovering, a removal of the veil, a disclosure of what was previously unknown. Revelation of God is God’s manifestation of Himself to mankind in such a way that men and women can know and fellowship with Him. Jesus explained to Peter: “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father in heaven” (Mat 16:17). The knowledge of Jesus’ sonship was not attained by human discovery, nor could it have been; it came from God alone. All Christians recognise that God has acted and spoken in history, revealing Himself to His creatures. Yet, a variety of opinions seek to define what constitutes revelation.
General Revelation of God and His creation are distinct. Yet, God might reveal Himself through His actions in that world. Besides saying or writing things, persons may reveal facts about themselves in other ways, such as physical gestures or facial expressions. Transferring these things to a theological context is not simple because God is not visible. He does not have facial features or bodily parts with which to gesture. To say God reveals Himself through nature means that through the events of the physical world God communicates to us things about Himself that we would otherwise not know.
What sort of things might God tell us in this manner? Paul explained, “From the creation of the world His invisible attributes, that is, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what He has made. As a result, people are without excuse” (Rom. 1:20).
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