Knowing the True God
Rev. Steven Houck
Do you know the true God? Not the god of the
imagination of men, but the God who is described in the Bible? Do you
know Him with an intimate knowledge so that you love Him and serve Him?
This is a very important question. The Bible teaches us that eternal
life is knowing God and His Son Jesus Christ. Jesus says, "And
this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and
Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent" (John
17:3). If you are to have eternal life and live with God forever in
heaven, you must know God and His Son, Jesus Christ.
If you are interested in knowing the true God, please
carefully consider the following.
The True God
The Bible teaches that God is very great and
glorious. He is the Most High God. "The Lord is high above all
nations, and his glory above the heavens. Who is like unto the Lord our
God, who dwelleth on high, who humbleth himself to behold the things
that are in heaven, and in the earth!" (Ps.
113:4-6). God is so great that no one is like Him. There is no being
in all the world who can be compared to God. God is three Persons in one
Divine Being: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God is infinite,
self-sufficient, unchangeable, and sovereign. He is all-powerful,
all-knowing, and present everywhere. The God of heaven and earth is the
holy, righteous, and just God. He is full of love, grace, and truth. He
is so great that His glory is above all nations and even above the
heavens. We are nothing in comparison with Him. "All nations before
him [i.e, God] are as nothing; and they are counted to him less
than nothing, and vanity" (Isa.
God's greatness can be seen in the wonderful works
which He performs. The Bible teaches that God is the Creator of all
Genesis 1:1 we read, "In the beginning God created the heaven and
the earth." The universe did not come into being by some kind of a
process of evolution. It was created by God in six days. God merely
spoke His all-powerful word and the world came into being. "By the
word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the
breath of his mouth ... For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and
it stood fast" (Ps.
33:6, 9). God is so great that He made the world out of nothing. The
Bible teaches us, "... the worlds were framed by the word of God, so
that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear" (Heb.
11:3). Every creature, including you, owes its existence to God.
God is not only the Creator of the world, but He
is also the Sustainer of the world. He upholds the world so that it
continues to exist. "Thou, even thou, art Lord alone; thou hast made
heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all
things that are therein, the seas, and all that is therein, and thou
them all ..." (Neh.
9:6). Without the preserving power of God the whole world would
cease to exist. The universe can not stand by itself. It was created by
God and therefore needs God for its very existence. You can be nothing
and you can do nothing without the upholding power of God. God "giveth
to all life, and breath, and all things ... for in him we live, and
move, and have our being ..." (Acts
17:25, 28). You can not even move without the sustaining power of
The greatness of God is shown not only by the
creation and sustaining of the world, but by His control over the world.
God is the Ruler of the world. "The Lord hath prepared his
throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all" (Ps.
103:19). God is the "only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord
of lords" (I
Tim. 6:15). He is not a weak God whose will is frustrated
by the creature. He is the eternal King Who rules over all things,
including you and me. He so controls all the things of the world that He
brings about what He has eternally planned for the world and everyone in
it. He "worketh all things after the counsel of his own will" (Eph.
1:11). God is your Ruler and King.
Thus no creature in all the world is independent
of God. All of us need God. You owe your very life to the true God.
Moreover, God created you for His own glory. The Bible says of
God, "... for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they
are and were created" (Rev.
4:11). You were not created for your own pleasure. You were not
created simply so that you would exist. You were brought into being for
the pleasure and glory of God.
Since God is the great and glorious Creator,
Sustainer, and Ruler of the world, He is worthy of your honour and
respect. We read in the Bible, "Thou art worthy, O Lord, to
receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things ..."
4:11). In all the works which He performs God shows Himself to be so
wonderful and so grand, that you ought to stand in awe before Him.
God requires that you fear and reverence Him. "Let all the earth
fear the Lord: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him"
33:8). This is not an option. It is the commandment of God. You are
morally obligated to have a deep respect for your Creator.
The reverence which God requires of you is to be
expressed in worship, thanksgiving, and service. As a creature of
God, you are to worship Him. "O come, let us worship and bow down: let
us kneel before the Lord our Maker" (Ps.
95:6). God calls you to acknowledge Him as your Creator, Sustainer,
and Ruler by bowing down before Him in worship. Your worship ought to be
an expression of your thanksgiving for all that your Creator has done
for you. The Bible even calls you to sing praises to Him. "Make a
joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. ... Enter into his gates with
thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and
bless his name" (Ps.
100:1, 4). Your whole life is to be set apart unto God's service.
All your talents, time, and resources must be used for His glory. Jesus
says, "... Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt
Worship, thanksgiving, and service are expressed
in obedience to God's commandments. The Bible says, "Fear God,
and keep his commandments; for this is the whole duty of man" (Ecc.
12:13). Your whole duty to God has been given to you in the law of
God. In the ten commandments He tells you what He requires of you. God's
law is found in the Bible in the first seventeen verses of Exodus
In the first four commandments you learn your
specific duty toward God.
You are to have only one God, the true God of the
Bible. He alone is to be the object of your love and worship. All
other gods are false gods. The gods of other religions and the gods
of pleasure, money, and power are all to be forsaken.
You may not represent God by any kind of an
image, nor may you worship Him through an image. You are to worship
God by hearing and obeying the preaching of His Word.
God forbids you to take His name in vain by
cursing, swearing, and using His name in a meaningless way. You must
always be careful to fear and reverence His holy name.
God calls you to keep His Sabbath day (Sunday)
holy. It is a special day. You are not to use it for work or
recreation, but for the worship and service of God. You ought to
attend church services in which the Truth of the Bible is preached.
God not only requires that you behave a certain way
toward Him, but that you act a certain way toward mankind.
These duties are found in the last six commandments.
You are to honour your father and mother and all
those in authority over you such as government officials, church
leaders, and your employer. This honour is expressed in respect,
submission, and obedience.
God forbids you to hate, harm, or murder any
person, including yourself. God abhors envy, hatred, anger, and
desires of revenge. You are even to love your enemies.
You may not have sex with anyone who is not your
lawful husband or wife. God also forbids adultery of the
heart—lustful thoughts and desires.
You may not steal anything which belongs to
another. You ought to gain your possessions by your own honest
You may not bear false witness against anyone by
slander, backbiting, or spreading rumours. All lying is forbidden.
You may not covet (desire in your heart) anything
that belongs to someone else.
It ought to be evident that God requires not only
external obedience, but obedience of the heart. Your heart must hate
all that God forbids and delight in all righteousness. Jesus teaches us
that God's law may be summed up in one word—love. He says, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy
soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.
And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as
thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets"
22:37-40). God requires nothing less than perfect love. You
are to love Him with your whole being. Love is to be the basis of all
your reverence, worship, thanksgiving, and service.
If you understand that God is your Creator,
Sustainer, and Ruler Who requires that you love, worship, and serve Him,
you should also understand something very basic about yourself. You
are a sinner who fails to fulfil your obligations to God. You
do not love, worship, and serve Him as you ought. You do not keep the
ten commandments which God has given. Although you may not outwardly
disobey some of these commandments, you break every one of them in your
heart. You do not love God with all of your heart, soul, and strength.
Your whole life is not consecrated to the worship and service of God.
You are wicked and must say, "I have sinned; what shall I do unto
thee, O thou preserver of men? ... How many are mine iniquities and
sins? ... Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I will lay mine
hand upon my mouth" (Job
7:20; 13:23; 40:4). If you deny that you are a sinner, you are being
dishonest with yourself and with God. The Bible says, "If we say that
we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us" (I
Apart from the grace of God, no person can do
anything that is good and pleasing to God. All people are alike in
that all are sinners. "There is none righteous, no, not one: There is
none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are
all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is
none that doeth good, no, not one" (Rom.
3:10-12). There are no exceptions. Everyone fails to fulfil his duty
before God. Even those deeds which seem to be very good are not good
enough for God. The Bible says, "all our righteousnesses
are as filthy rags" (Isa.
64:6). God requires perfection, but man is far from perfect.
Your inability to fulfil your duty before God is
not to be attributed to God. He created man righteous and able to do
all that He requires. But our first father, Adam, rebelled against God.
He disobeyed God and fell from his state of righteousness into sin. As a
result of that fall into sin, Adam's inner spiritual nature became
wicked. Rather than loving and serving God, he loved and served sin and
the devil. That corrupt spiritual nature of Adam is passed on to all his
posterity. Because you are a descendent of Adam, you too have
inherited his corrupt nature. "Wherefore, as by one man sin
entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all
men, for that all have sinned" (Rom.
5:12). The Bible calls that spiritual corruption death—spiritual
death. You sin because your inner spiritual nature is wicked. You are
spiritually dead. The Bible speaks of the wicked inner nature of man
when it says, "The heart is deceitful above all things, and
desperately wicked: who can know it?" (Jer.
Moreover, your inability to fulfil your duty does not
change the fact that God's requirement remains the same. God has not
changed. He is still the Holy God. The angels cry out before Him,
"Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts" (Isa.
6:3). As the Holy One, God is ethically perfect. He can not sin
Himself and He does not tolerate sin in others. God hates sin and those
who commit sin. The Bible says of God, "For thou art not a God that
hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee. The
foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of
iniquity. Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing: the Lord will
abhor the bloody and deceitful man" (Ps.
5:4-6). God is a jealous God. He says, "For thou shalt
worship no other god; for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous
God" (Ex. 34:14). Even though you are sinful, you are still God's
creature and He jealously forbids you to have any other god. The Jealous
God demands that you love, worship, and serve Him alone.
Because man does not fulfil His duty before God, all
without exception are worthy of the condemnation and everlasting
destruction of God. You deserve everlasting punishment in hell.
God is so jealous of His holiness that He must punish everyone for their
sin. "God is jealous, and the Lord revengeth; the Lord revengeth, and
is furious; the Lord will take vengeance on his adversaries, and he
reserveth wrath for his enemies. The Lord is slow to anger, and great in
power, and will not at all acquit the wicked ..." (Nah.
1:2-3). At the end of the world God will send to the everlasting
torments of hell all those who are not saved by His grace and who,
therefore, are yet in their sin. Jesus says, "So shall it be at the
end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from
the just, and shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be
wailing and gnashing of teeth" (Matt.
13:49-50). Apart from God's grace, there is no escaping the
everlasting punishment of God's avenging wrath.
Man's situation seems hopeless. How can we escape the
wrath of God and everlasting destruction in hell? How can sinners ever
come to know God intimately and live in fellowship with Him? How can a
sinner be holy? It is impossible for man. "Who can bring a clean thing
out of an unclean? Not one" (Job
14:4). But what is impossible for man is not impossible for God.
The glorious Creator, Sustainer, and Ruler of the world is also the
Saviour, Who delivers from sin, death, and hell. God says, "I,
even I, am the Lord; and beside me there is no Saviour" (Isa.
43:11). The true God is not only a holy and righteous God who must
punish sinners, but He is also a God of love and grace who shows mercy.
In His grace and love, He has sent Jesus Christ to accomplish
salvation. God, in Jesus Christ, is the only Saviour.
Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God who came to
earth and took upon Himself a human nature. He is true God, but He
is also real man. In Christ, "God was manifest in the flesh" (I
Tim. 3:16). "His name is Emmanuel, which being interpreted is,
God with us" (Matt.
1:23). Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin
Mary. After He had grown to adulthood, He preached the gospel for three
and a half years. He told people about God, His Truth, and salvation. By
healing the sick and even raising the dead to life again, He displayed
the power of God which saves sinners. In all of His life He loved,
served, and obeyed God perfectly. At the end of His life He was taken by
wicked men, led to Calvary, and nailed to the cross where He died, just
as God had eternally planned. After three days in the grave He arose
from the dead. He ascended into heaven and now sits at the right hand of
God ruling the world until He returns to judge the living and dead.
By His sacrificial death Christ obtained
salvation. When He suffered and died on the cross He bore in His own
body the sins of all those whom God chose to save. "For Christ also
hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might
bring us to God ..." (I
Peter 3:18). Their sins were counted as Christ's and God punished
Christ in their place. Christ paid the debt they owe to God for them so
that they have the forgiveness of their sin. We read, "In whom
we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins"
1:14). Moreover, all of Christ's righteousness is counted to be
their righteousness; as if they perfectly love, worship, serve, and obey
God. Christ has met the requirement of God in their place. "For as by
one man's disobedience [i.e., Adam's] many were made sinners, so
by the obedience of one [i.e., Christ's] shall many be made
5:19). The death of Christ saves sinners from the wrath and
condemnation of God. "There is therefore now no condemnation to them
which are in Christ Jesus ..." (Rom.
Christ not only obtained salvation by His work on the
cross, but He also applies it to the lives of all those whom God has
chosen to save so that they actually experience salvation. Christ
raises them from their spiritual death to spiritual life by giving
them a new inner spiritual nature which loves Him. Thus God said, "A
new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you
... and I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my
statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them" (Eze.
36:26-27). Out of that new heart Christ calls forth faith and
repentance, so that the new child of God turns from His sins and by
faith worships and serves the true God, even though imperfectly. He
comes to know God as His Saviour in an intimate and personal way. God
walks with him and talks with him so that they have fellowship with each
other. "And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an
understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that
is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal
John 5:20). Christ brings believers into fellowship with the true
and living God.
This salvation is not the work of man. We can think,
say, and do nothing for our salvation. It is the work of God alone. The
Bible says of God, "Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy
calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose
and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus ..." (II
Tim. 1:9). God saves by His grace alone. Salvation is not
something which we deserve. It is a gift that is freely given through
Jesus Christ. "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not
of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should
2:8-9). No man may ever boast that he contributed something to His
salvation. Salvation "is not of him that willeth, nor of him that
runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy" (Rom.
Since God saves by giving faith to the sinner,
salvation is impossible without faith. No one is a true child of God
without faith. "But without faith it is impossible to please him
[i.e., God] (Heb.
11:6). 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"
3:36). Do you want to escape the wrath of God and everlasting
destruction in hell? Are you burdened with the load of your sins and
seek forgiveness? Do you desire to know God and His Son Jesus Christ and
thus enjoy the blessing of eternal life? Jesus says, "Have faith in
11:22). A man once asked, "What must I do to be saved?" He was
answered, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved,
and thy house" (Acts
16:30-31). God calls you to believe!
What is true faith? Faith is three things:
It is the knowledge of certain facts about God,
Christ, man, and salvation.
It is the recognition that those facts are true.
It is trust in and reliance upon the true God and
His Son Jesus Christ as your Saviour.
What must you believe?
You must believe that God is the glorious
Creator, Sustainer, and Ruler of the world. You are dependent upon
Him for all things.
You must believe that it is your duty to love,
worship, serve, and obey God. The great and glorious God is worthy
of your reverence and honour.
You must believe that you are a sinner who can
not fulfil your duty before God. You deserve everlasting torment in
You must believe that God sent His only begotten
Son, Jesus Christ, to save sinners. Christ accomplished salvation by
dying on the cross and shedding His precious blood. On the third day
He arose from the dead as the victorious Saviour. There is no
salvation apart from Him.
You must believe that God in Christ is your
Saviour who delivers you from your sins and gives you everlasting
True faith causes a person to repent of his sins.
You may not say that you believe in God and Jesus Christ if you continue
in all your sins. Jesus commands you, "Repent: for the kingdom of heaven
is at hand" (Matthew 4:17).
True Repentance is three things:
It is the acknowledgment of the fact that you are
indeed a sinner who needs salvation.
It is a godly sorrow over your sin. You do not
mourn the bad consequences of your sin. You grieve over the fact
that you have sinned against God, your Creator, Sustainer, and
It is the turning away from your sins and a
forsaking of them. You no longer seek to live a wicked life, but you
seek after God and His righteousness.
True faith fills the believer's heart with
thanksgiving so that he wants to obey God. It causes him to see how
wonderful God is in saving him from his sins. He loves God and wants to
do all that God commands him. Even though he can not obey God's law
perfectly, he seeks to keep His commandments. Jesus says, "If ye love
me, keep my commandments" (John
14:15). The true believer will show his love of God by faithfully
attending church worship services where he hears the preaching of God's
Word, the Bible. He will read and study the Bible on a regular basis. He
will go before His God in prayer every day. He will seek to know God
more and more, for he knows that he has only a small beginning of the
knowledge of God. The rest of His life will be devoted to learning more
about the true God and His Son Jesus Christ.
The person who has true faith does not think that his
faith, repentance, love, and obedience are his own work. He does not
think that they are his part in salvation, as if he helps God along.
He knows and believes that all these things are a part of the salvation
which God gives as a free gift. He could have no faith, repentance,
love, and obedience without the grace of God working those things in his
heart and life. Jesus says, "Without me ye can do nothing" (John
15:5). Nor does he think that by his faith, repentance, love, and
obedience he fulfils God's requirement himself. He believes that his
salvation is based solely upon the death and resurrection of Jesus
Do You Know The True God?
Do you know the true God and His Son Jesus Christ? Do
you know the blessedness of having eternal life?
If not, God commands that you "should believe on
the name of His Son Jesus Christ ..." (I
If you believe already, seek to know God and His Son
Jesus says, "And this is life eternal, that they
might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast
If you have any questions about what you have read or
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