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Sunday, September 19, 2010

How does God reveal Himself to humans?

God’s revelation is of two types: Special and General. Special Revelation is through Christ. General Revelation, through other means, does not necessarily tell us about the necessity for salvation. General Revelation may reveal various attributes of God, such as His power, majesty, omniscience, omnipresence, and eternal existence.

God reveals many things, including His attributes, His love, His holiness, how He wants us to act, and guidance in specific situations. How does He do this? Here is a partial list:

  1. Through Christ (Hebrews 1:2)
  2. Through the Bible (2 Timothy 3:16)
  3. By the Holy Spirit (John 16:8-15)
  4. Through nature (Romans 1:20, Psalm 19:1-4, and also Psalm 97:6, Acts 14:17)
  5. By our conscience (Romans 2:15)
  6. Through history (1 Corinthians 10:6-13)
  7. In answer to prayer (1 Kings 18:36-39)
  8. By angels, and in visions and dreams (Matthew 2:19-21)
  9. Through miracles and providence (Exodus 4:1-5)
  10. Through the church (Acts 15:22-29)
  11. Through human creations (“I know three ex-atheists who say, ‘There is the music of Bach, therefore there must be a God.’” - Peter Kreeft; “To him, art was God’s gift to make the earth bearable. Poetry and music were not luxuries, but necessities.” McCasland, David. Oswald Chambers: Abandoned to God. The Life Story of the Author of My Utmost for His Highest. Grand Rapids, MI: Discovery House, 1993, p. 39; Jeremiah 22:6; Philippians 4:8)

Sources include Wikipedia articles on Revelation of God, and on Revelation. See also Peter Kreeft, “12 Ways to Know God.”

Please note that no single verse, or a few verses, should be taken as a firm basis for any doctrine. I have expanded item 11 more than the others, because the Biblical evidence is less direct.

Thanks for reading.

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