Monday, May 29, 2006

No. 9: Revelation

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I have been thinking about revelation—not the book of Revelation in the Bible, but the ways in which God has made Himself known to us. Our God is God among gods, the only One who can and has revealed Himself to us. There are basically three ways in which God has made Himself known.

Creation: The first way that God has revealed Himself to us is through His creation. God’s creative handiwork speaks boldly to all of His being and His nature so that no one can excuse themselves from not knowing of His existence.

"For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse." (Romans 1:20 NIV)

The words “Intelligent Design” have recently come into play in our culture. They represent an alternative to the idea of pure, naturalistic evolution. William Dembski, a leading proponent of “Intelligent Design,” says, “there are natural systems that cannot be adequately explained in terms of undirected natural forces and that exhibit features which in any other circumstance we would attribute to intelligence.” Beyond the argument of whether “Intelligent Design” is a genuine alternative to evolution, or simply “junk science,” lie countless portraits of our Trinitarian God in nature. Below you will find a few. For further study, check out these scriptures: (Job 38-40, Psalm 19, Acts 14:15-17 and 7:22-31, Romans 1:18-21; 2:14-16)

Holy Scripture: The second way God has revealed Himself is through His Word—the Holy Scriptures. Martin Luther once remarked that “the Scriptures are Christ’s swaddling-clothes.” Study the Old Testament and you will quickly discover the hand of God at work, pointing the way toward the advent of the Messiah. You will see Jesus Christ in the garden of Eden, and as a ram caught in a thicket on Mount Moriah, and in the offerings of the Levites at Moses’ wilderness tabernacle. You will see Him manifested in many ways both as an actual appearance in time—a theophany—as in His wrestling match with Jacob, and in symbolism such as the serpent held upon a rod by Moses in the wilderness. Jesus said to the Jews …

“You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me …” (John 5:39 NIV)

Jesus Christ: There is no greater revelation of God to man than the third way, which is the advent of God in human form—Jesus Christ the Word made flesh (John 1:14). Jesus said …

"Don't you know me … even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father …” (John 14:9 NIV)

Understanding these things, we can go forward with confidence, knowing that God has chosen to make Himself known to us. There is no other god in heaven or on earth who can make that claim.

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For further consideration: Threes in Creation
  • Mathematics:
    ◦ pythagorean theorem: A2 + B2 = C2
    ◦ numbers: positive, negative, zero
    ◦ basic arithmetic: 1 + 1 = 2
    ◦ area = length · width
    ◦ sin of an angle = opposite / hypotenuse
    ◦ A = Πr2
  • Basic Accounting:
    ◦ debits + credits = balance
  • Physics:
    ◦ Mass / volume = density
    ◦ Speed = distance / time
    ◦ Matter = solid, liquid, gas
  • Creation Itself:
    ◦ The heavens = sun, moon, stars
    ◦ Our planet = earth, sky, water
    ◦ Spatial reality = height, width, depth
    ◦ Human existence = birth, life, death
    ◦ Time = past, present, future
  • Primary Colors:
    ◦ Red, Yellow, Blue
  • Relationships:
    ◦ father + mother = child
    ◦ hurt + forgiveness = healing
    ◦ hurt + unforgiveness = estrangement
  • Man—a Trinity:
    ◦ Man = body, soul, spirit
    ◦ Man’s body = flesh, blood, bones
    ◦ Man’s soul = mind, will, emotions
    ◦ Man’s spirit = conscience, intuition, communion with God


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