Knowing God Through the Written Word
Everything we need to know about God and our salvation is revealed in the written Word of God, the Bible. Everything we need to have in this life and the next are found in the person and work of Christ Jesus, our Lord and Redeemer. The Holy Scripture testifies to these truths.
One 16th century Protestant Reformer, John Calvin, attested to this truth by saying, "We see that our whole salvation and all its parts are comprehended in Christ (Acts 4:12). We should therefore take care not to derive the least portion of it from anywhere else. If we seek salvation, we are taught by the very name of Jesus that it is 'of him' (1 Cor. 1:30)."
"If we seek any other gifts of the Spirit," Calvin continued, "they will be found in his anointing. If we seek strength, it lies in his dominion; if purity, in his conception; if gentleness, it appears in his birth."
"For by his birth," Calvin added, "he was made like us in all respects (Heb. 2:17) that he might learn to feel our pain (cf. Heb. 5:2). If we seek redemption, it lies in his passion; if acquittal, in his condemnation; if remission of the curse, in his cross (Galatians 3:13); if satisfaction, in his sacrifice; if purification, in his blood...
"In short, since rich store of every kind of good abounds in him, let us drink our fill from this fountain, and from no other. Some men, not content with him alone, are borne hither and thither from one hope to another; even if they concern themselves chiefly with him, they nevertheless stray from the right way in turning some part of their thinking in another direction. Yet such distrust cannot creep in where men have once for all truly known the abundance of his blessings" (John Calvin, "Institutes of the Christian Religion," II.16.19).
The Bible points us to Christ and is able to make us wise unto salvation and to equip us for godliness and good works (2 Tim. 3:15-17). Those who have been born of the Spirit of God will crave for the word of God.
The same men and women born of the Spirit shall read, meditating upon, listen to, and seek to live according to it. For in so doing they shall grow in the grace and in the knowledge of Christ, becoming like Him more and more.
God, in His providence, has also used several men in helping me know Him and His Son and understand the person and work of my dear Redeemer better.
Calvin and his "Institutes of the Christian Religion" definitely contributed to my knowledge of Christ. J. I. Packer's "Knowing God" has become formative as well in my knowledge of God and Christ. We used to have a Monday night study group of Packer's book, which has given me once gain a wonderful opportunity to grow in my knowledge of the Lord and of His Word.
After studying "Knowing God," our group has proceeded in studying further the character of God and how this knowledge of His attributes strengthen our faith and trust in Him. We've used Jerry Bridges's "Trusting God: Even When Life Hurts" on this study.
When we finished our study on "Trusting God," our group has decided to work through another Bridges' book, "The Joy of Fearing God," which explores also on the character of God and how it helps develop godliness in the Christian's life.
A few years ago, before the global pandemic, Mark Jones's book "Knowing Christ" has strengthened my grasp of this heavenly knowledge of God in Christ. It's also a very helpful devotional reading in learning the person and work of our dear Redeemer.
If you're trying to deepen your understanding of God's character and the person and work of Christ, I will not hesitate to recommend these books to you. They will surely enrich your life as a believer as they did to mine and many others' lives.