The Study of God

Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable” (Ps. 145:3).

- Psalm 145:3

This month we have spent our time looking at the divine call to Abram while he was living in Ur. One of the fundamental promises in this covenant with Abram is that he will be a blessing to all the families of the earth (Gen. 12:3). Therefore, we have also examined how this promise has worked itself out in history in the mission of Jonah and in the new covenant in Christ.

But what is the God who made this covenant with Abram really like? We speak of our Father every day, and yet it is easy to forget the nature of the Lord who created the world and redeemed Abram for His glory. For the next two weeks, Dr. R.C. Sproul’s teaching series The Attributes of God will be used as the basis for our studies so that we might better understand our Creator’s divine character.

In our day there is a large degree of skepticism regarding what we can really know about God. Departments of religion at universities across the world employ professors who dogmatically teach that we cannot know anything true about God. He is so far above us, they say, that any attempt to know Him is just to grope around in the darkness. On a popular level, men and women run with this idea and question how Christians can be so sure about the Lord’s nature. If God is completely unknowable, it is assumed, then no one could possibly know for sure that Jesus alone is the way of salvation.

At the beginning of our study of the divine attributes we must insist on the incomprehensibility of God. However, incomprehensible does not mean He is totally unknowable. Biblically speaking, we must always confess the Lord’s transcendence, but we must define this concept according to Scripture. Our Creator is high above us, but when we say He is incomprehensible, we only mean that our minds cannot fully grasp the depths of His being. Yet we can know true things about Him. For example, we can truly know our Father is good in a meaningful way, but it will take an eternity for us to comprehend even better how deep and wide His goodness really is (Ps. 145:3).

Right knowledge of the Lord is possible for us (Hos. 6:3). We will never fully grasp Him, but we can truly know Him (John 12:45).

Coram Deo

Take time to consider the incomprehensibility of God. Remember, a Christian will say that he can know something about the Lord, for we gain real truth about His character from sacred Scripture. But also remember that our theological categories can never exhaust the Lord’s nature. Though what we know from Scripture is true, our understanding of Him can always deepen. Pray and study with an aim to know God, but realize your knowledge does not and cannot constrain Him.

Passages for Further Study

Job 26; 38–41
Isa. 55:8–9
John 1:18
1 Cor. 2:11

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