How is God known? He is known through Himself. But not a compartmentalised or hidden self. He is known through a self that is incarnated in Jesus of Nazareth. This same Jesus is incarnated in us. So it is from this inner witness that the heart receives information about God. God speaks to us through His word and through the fabric of our everyday lives.
It’s frustrating to be insulated from reality. Frustrating if we know that we are and frustrating to work with people in ministry whose spiritual discernment is dimmed because their relationship with the Prime Reality is impeded by layers of religion. Through the cross God created a reality in which we are one with Him.
The prime reality is God. God is a person. God is personal and trinitarian. The amazing fact following Torrance and Baxter Kruger is that we have been drawn into the same relationship with the trinity that Jesus Christ enjoys. We and Father are one and we and the Holy Family are one.
YOU CAN KNOW GOD
You can know God because His son is with you and in you. You can have an accurate knowledge of God that comes from spirit but not from the letter. We are privy to God’s knowledge of Himself through Jesus. Thomas Torrance writes,
“Strictly speaking, as Irenaeus pointed out, only God can know himself so that it is only through God that God may be known. Since God alone exists within his own eternity and infinity, only he can know himself in a way that is strictly in accordance with who God is, proportionate to his being and commensurate with his nature as God. Hence if we are really to know God it can be only through sharing in some incredible way in the knowledge which God has of himself. That is to say, we can know God only if he brings us into communion with him in the inner relations of his own being as Father, Son and Holy Spirit.” (1)
It is clear and not surprising that God is known through relationship and therefore able to be known personally. Being revealed in person and by a person He is not known through abstractions like the law or the matrix of the culture of the knowledge of good and evil. I AM IS KNOWN BECAUSE HE IS.
In Christ God was incarnated into the life of Palestine and the world. At Pentecost God was incarnated into you by the outpouring of the Spirit. Torrance writes,
“[The] knowledge that God has of himself was made possible through the incarnation of God’s Son and his mediation of the Spirit of the Father and the Son. In the incarnation God communicated himself to us in Jesus Christ his beloved Son, not something about himself, but his very Self, and thereby made himself known to us according to his own divine nature as Father. And at Pentecost God poured out upon us his own Spirit who as the Spirit of the Father and the Son is the immediate presence of God to us in his own very being as God. In Jesus Christ God has embodied in our human existence the mutual knowledge which the Father and the Son have of one another and in the Holy Spirit he gives us communion in the mutual relation of the Father and the Son and thus makes us share in the knowledge which the Father and the Son have of one another. To express it the other way round, through Jesus Christ we are given access to the Father in one Spirit.”(2)
GROWING IN SONSHIP
‘They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator--who is forever praised. Amen’ Rom 1.25
You can know God through Himself. No need to rely on false mediators and insulate yourself from your sonship by sacralising externalities and attributing life-giving qualities to things that are lifeless.
The fact that God communicates His ‘very self’ to us into the core of our being is the key to our growth out of the false self in to the true self – our new birth. Goes not present Himself in the externalities of the law or in institutionalism. He indwells us, presents Himself to our hearts and imparts the spirit if sonship to us by being our Father.
(1)Torrance, Thomas F.. The Trinitarian Faith: The Evangelical Theology of the Ancient Catholic Church (T&T Clark Cornerstones) (p. 54). Bloomsbury Publishing. Kindle Edition.
(2) Torrance, Thomas F.. Ibid (pp. 54-55). Bloomsbury Publishing. Kindle Edition.