Sunday, March 05, 2006

Sunday morning

How do we know anything about God?

Why is there a Bible?

Easy questions? No, but ones that our preacher Robert addressed in this morning’s sermon at church.

Is there a way of discovering things that we can’t understand through our senses? Yes, by revelation. For example, we don’t know what is going on in other’s people’s minds until they tell us. That’s revelation – they reveal this information to us. Similarly there is evidence of God’s feelings towards us.

This comes in two varieties, which the experts call General Revelation and Special Revelation. General Revelation is the sort of thing that’s talked about in Psalm 19 – the created world as evidence of its Creator.

But surveying the stars does not inform us about the personality of He who made them. That’s where Special Revelation comes in: the way God speaks specifically to Man.

In the Old Testament, God worked through middlemen and go-betweens. The prophets and priests received God’s word and passed it on to their fellows. This might come in a vision or a dream or – rather scarily – an actual meeting such as Moses had on the mountain.

In the New Testament, God takes this a step further. He addresses his people directly, speaking to them face-to-face in the person of Jesus Christ. This is the reason that many churches do not believe there are any “new” messages from God being handed down today – after Christ, what else is there to say?

The study of the material world may awe us, but it can never instruct us in the way that the scriptures can.

And that’s why we have the Bible. Q.E.D.

God has spoken by His prophets,
spoken His unchanging Word;
each from age to age proclaiming
God the One, the righteous Lord;
in the world's despair and turmoil
one firm anchor still holds fast:
God is King, His throne eternal,
God the first and God the last.

God has spoken by Christ Jesus,
Christ, the everlasting Son;
brightness of the Father's glory,
with the Father ever one:
spoken by the Word incarnate,
God, before all time began,
Light of light, to earth descending,
Man, revealing God to man.

God is speaking by His Spirit
speaking to the hearts of men;
in the age-long Word expounding
God's own message, now as then.
Through the rise and fall of nations
one sure faith is standing fast:
God abides, His Word unchanging,
God the first and God the last.

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