Take your Bibles please, and turn to John 1:18 in the King James Version of the Scriptures. The Bibles says in the gospel of St. John, chapter 1 and verse 18:
"No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him."
God has not left us in the dark about who He is. He reveals Himself and the things about Himself. There is no reason that any one cannot know God. There is no reason why a person should be ignorant of who God is. In this message we are going to see how it is that the infinite God of the universe can be known by those He created.
Let me say first of all that the "Creation" Reveals the GLORY of God. The Bible says in Psalm 19:1- "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork."
The glory of God, His splendor and magnificence, is revealed through His creation - the Universe; it displays His 'handywork,' i.e., the work of His own hands & fingers! Psalm 8:1,3,4, says: "O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens...When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?" Again, in Gen. 1:1, the Bible says: "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." The beginning of the Bible gives us the details of His work - how He made the man and the animals, the plants and the trees, the sky and the seas, the Sun & Moon. Almost as an after-thought, the Bible adds this in Genesis 1:16 - "and He made the stars also." Just like it was no big deal. Job 9:9 speaks of how God made some of the brightest and most prominent stars in the sky - "Which maketh Arcturus, Orion, and Pleiades..." If we are to believe the Bible, and we should, the truth is that the God of the Bible stepped out onto the edge of eternity and spoke this universe into existence by His very words!
James McDivitt, US astronaut who orbited the earth 62 times in Gemini 4, said: "I did not see God looking into my space-cabin window, as I do not see God looking into my car's windshield on earth. But I could recognize His work in the stars as well as when walking among flowers in a garden."
Col. Charles Lindburgh, the 1st man to fly non-stop across the Atlantic ocean, who was potrayed by Jimmy Stewart in the movie, 'The Spirit of St. Louis,' had these thoughts as he was midway over the Atlantic Ocean back in the 1920's: "It's hard to be an agnostic here in the Spirit of St. Louis when I am so aware of the frailty of man's devices. If one dies, all God's creation goes on existing in a plan so perfectly balanced, so wondrously simple and yet so incredibly complex that it is beyond our comprehension. There's the infinite magnitude of the universe, the infinite detail, and man's consciousness of it all - a world audience to what, if not to God."
As one preacher said: "It's more important for you to know the God of the universe than it is to understand the universe." The Bible declares that "His ways are past finding out!" Man, with his limited knowledge, will never figure it all out.
The heavens declare His glory that we might believe in God, look to God, trust in God, and know God.
In the second place the "Bible" Reveals the TRUTH of God. We read the words of the Jesus Christ as He prayed to His heavenly Father in John 17:17 - "Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth."
The word that the Lord Jesus Christ referred to is the Holy Scriptures, those writings that were written down by holy men of God under the Divine Inspiration of the Holy Spirit - what we call the HOLY BIBLE. The Bible also refers to itself as: "the scripture of truth," and "the word of truth."
All other so-called 'scripture' is false where it contradicts the Bible, no matter what its proponents may claim: the Mormon literature, the Muslim literature, the Buddhist and Hindu writings, the Jehovah's Witness magazines, and any other religious books you care to mention. They all pay lip-service to the Bible, and try to appear that they are as good as or better than the Bible, or that you can't understand the Bible without their special revelations. God only reveals His truth through the Holy Bible.
Scientifically, historically, prophetically - and SPIRITUALLY - the Bible is TRUE! There is no other Book like it in the known universe. It is God's words to man.
One noted researcher said: "Of the hundreds of thousands of artifacts found by the archeologists, not one has ever been discovered that contradicts or denies one word, phrase, clause, or sentence of the Bible, but always confirms and verifies the facts of the Biblical record."
Walter Burke, formerly general manager of the Mercury/Gemini space rocket projects and vice-president of the McDonnell Aircraft Corp., and also a Sunday school teacher said this: "I have found nothing in science or space exploration to compel me to throw away my Bible or to reject my Saviour, Jesus Christ, in Whom I trust. The space age has been a factor in the deepening of my own spiritual life. I read the Bible more now. I get from the Bible what I cannot get from science - the really important things in life."
The "really important things in life" are those that affect your relationship with God and where you will spend eternity once this life if over.
Thirdly we want to point out that the "Law" Reveals the HOLINESS of God.
In Romans 3:19,20 the Bible says -"Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in His sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin."
In Romans 7:7 the apostle Paul says this - "...I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet."
The law of God, expressed in the 10 Commandments, shows us that we are sinners, and that God is holy. It declares that what we do wrong is not just wrong, but it is SIN; that it is not just sinful, but EXCEEDING SINFUL (Rom.7:13).
The concept of sin naturally assumes that there is a holy God that is just and righteous, and Who can be sinned against. Atheism, the denial of God's existence, is an attempt to commit sin without guilt by pretending God isn't there - it is an intellectually adult version of 'Peek-a-boo,'where the intellectually deceived and dishonest look into the face of God with their hands covering their face, and say in a childish sing-song fashion: "I can't see you, so you can't see me." Bertrand Russell, the atheist, said in essence: "We don't believe in God because He cramps our lifestyle (sexual promiscuity)."
The Law of God reveals the Holiness of God and the Sinfulness of Man - it shows us that we are in need of God's forgiveness. Man makes the mistake of comparing himself to sinners worse than he is, and then assumes he's okay. Most people are better than Adolf Hitler, but that proves nothing, unless you are worse than Hitler was. The point is that none is as good as Jesus Christ, and He is God's standard, not some other sinner that you can compete and compare yourself with.
One time a little girl told her mother how clean and white the sheep looked as they stood against the green grass of the pasture. That night it snowed, and the next day the little girl told her mother: "Today they look so dirty." The difference was the BACKGROUND.
When someone judges themselves against the background of human standards, they look pretty clean; but when they stand up against the background of God's holy law, their sinfulness appears, bringing shame, conviction and the realization of their condition before God. It is against the background of God's Law that Man sees his need of forgiveness.
Before someone "gets saved," they must first "get lost." (Lk. 19:10; 2 Cor.4:3) Before a person can come to "know the Lord," they have to realize they don't.
The law of God reveals His holiness, our sinfulness, our lost condition, our need of forgiveness.
Fourthly will you notice that the "Judgment" Reveals the WRATH of God. The word of God says in Romans 1:18 -"For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men..."
There is a consequence to sin - eternal death. Hell. The lake of fire.
The Bible says in Romans 6:23 - "For the wages of sin is death..." Just as there are consequences to crime, so there is with sin. When a murderer is put on trial, and let go on a technicality, we are enraged. When someone wrongs us or our friends and gets away with it, we are offended. This is because within us there is a sense of right and wrong; we are bothered by injustice, by unfair treatment, by undealt-with wrongs. Society is charged with the duty of exercising judgment against wrong-doers. Criminals must pay their debt to society for justice to prevail.
Even so, the Lord is enraged at SIN, and He judges the SINNER who will not repent of his sin. Psalm 7:11 says that "God is angry with the wicked every day." John said in his gospel:"He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him" (John 3:36). Jesus said twice, in Luke 13:3 and 5 - "...except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish." The Bible says in Heb. 10:26,27,31 - "For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries...It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God."
According to Bible, there really is "hell to pay" for your sin and rebellion against God.
Now we come to the GOOD NEWS! Thank God for this fifth and final point of our message today. If you have read thus far, you are now ready for our conclusion.
Praise the Lord that the "Cross and the Gospel" Reveal the LOVE and the GRACE of God.
Probably the most familiar verse in the Bible, that everyone has heard of, is John 3:16 -"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." Thanks be to God for His wonderful love.
Another great verse of the Bible says this. 1 John 4:10 - "Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins." The propitiation is the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ, where He shed His precious blood to pay our sin-debt so that we could be saved from the wages of our sin. That we might miss hell and go to heaven.
According to Titus 2:11, "...the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men..." This was displayed at Calvary, where Jesus died for you and me.
The good news of God's grace is that God sent His Son to redeem us. The law canot save you, it can only show you that you fall short of God's perfect righteousness, and need to be saved. the apostle Paul put it this way in Acts 13:38,39 - "Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man (Jesus Christ)is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: And by him all that believe are justified (saved, made right with God) from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses."
GRACE is the unmerited favor of God, His undeserved love, and His unearned forgiveness.
At Calvary, on the cross, where Jesus died for us, our salvation was bought and paid for by the blood He shed. There Jesus paid the penalty of our sins and suffered the wrath of God in our place. The word of God tells us in Romans 5:8 - "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."
Once you understand the holiness of God, the sinfulness of man, the justice and judgment of God, THEN you can understand and appreciate the LOVE and the GRACE of God.
The songwriter said it best when he wrote:
Years I spent in vanity and pride, Caring not my Lord was crucified, Knowing not it was for me He died - on Calvary...
By God's word at last my sin I learned, Then I trembled at the law I's spurned Til my guilty soul imploring turned - to Calvary...
Oh the love that drew salvation's plans, Oh the grace that brought it down to man, Oh, the mighty gulf that God did span - at Calvary!
Mercy there was great and Grace was free; Pardon there was multiplied to me; There my burdened soul found liberty - at Calvary!
Friend, do you know God today through a personal faith in His Son, Jesus Christ? Have you accepted the Lord Jesus as your Saviour? If you were to die today, this week, or next year, do have the assurance that you will go to heaven? If you are not sure of heaven today, won't you recieve Christ as your Saviour this moment, before it is eternally too late?
"For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." Romans 10:13
Solid Rock Baptist Church - Serving the Lord in the Memphis/Mid-South area