The purpose, goal and benefits of the bible – Part 4
His Slavic grace is revealed only through special revelation. Special revelation is necessary to instruct people how to worship God rightly.
God in His general revelation reveals Himself, but, because of our sinfulness, humans pervert the reception of His general revelation, a revelation so plain it leaves all without excuse. It is as if a lawyer was offered the information necessary to solve a case, yet chose perversely to ignore it.
In summary, humans lack the willingness to come to a pure and clear knowledge of God. Men and women suppress God’s truth because they do not like the truth about God. They do not like the God to Whom the truth leads them. So, they invent substitute gods and religions instead.
The universality of religion on earth is evidence of truths discussed above. According to Paul, the act of suppressing the awareness of God and His demands warps our reason and conscience. Because of this rejection of God, He righteously reveals His wrath against mankind.
God’s general revelation does not bring one into a saving relationship with God; it does reveal God to His creatures, and they are, therefore, responsible for their response. This view of general revelation can only be accepted through special revelation.
Special Revelation: God has revealed Himself in nature, human experience, and history, but sin’s entrance into the world has changed the revelation, as well as the interpretation of it.
What is needed to understand God’s self-disclosure fully is His special revelation. Divine truth exists outside of special revelation, but it is consistent with and supplemental to, not a substitute for, special revelation.
In contrast to God’s general revelation, which is available to all people, God’s special revelation is available to specific people at specific times in specific places. It is available now only by consultation of sacred Scripture. Special revelation is first of all particular.
God reveals Himself to His people. These people of God are the children of Abraham, whether by natural (Gen. 12:13) or spiritual descent (Gal. 3:16,29).
Does this mean that God confines knowledge of Himself to a particular people? Not necessarily, because God’s general revelation has been given to all though perverted and rejected by the universal wickedness of mankind. He now chooses to whom and through whom He will make Himself known.
As with Abraham, God said: “All the peoples on earth will be blessed through you” (Gen. 12:3). God manifests Himself in a particular manner to His people, so they will be a channel of blessing to all others. .
Special revelation is also progressive. Biblical history witnesses to a developing disclosure of God, His will, and His truth in the OT and NT.
The development is not contradictory in any fashion. It is complementary and supplementary to what had been previously revealed. We should not think of the progress from untruth to truth, but from a lesser to a fuller revelation (Heb. 1:1-3). The revelation of the law in the OT is not superseded by the gospel but is fulfilled in it.
Special revelation is primarily redemptive and personal. In recognition of the human predicament, God chose at the very beginning to disclose Himself in a more direct way. Within time and space, God has acted and spoken to redeem the human race from its own self-imposed evil.
Through calling people, miracles, the exodus, covenant making, and ultimately through Jesus Christ, God has revealed Himself in history. The ultimate point of God’s personal revelation is in Jesus Christ.
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