“grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.”-John 1:17-18
The word revelation has a mysterious aura to many beginning Bible students. Especially when it comes to the 27th book of the New Testament that we refer to by the first five words of the text, “The revelation of Jesus Christ,”-Revelation 1:1. However, the meaning of the word itself is very plain, “an uncovering or unveiling”-New Unger’s Bible Dictionary. The idea is, something is exposed when a curtain is pulled back. For the sake of our lesson today, I want to focus on how God is revealed to us. This takes two forms:
- What we learn about God by reading the Bible.
- What we learn about God from the life of Jesus.
Yes, I know the things we learn about Jesus’ life, we learn from reading the Scriptures. I’ll deal with that in a second. But I want to start with what we know about God and how we know it. Romans 1:19-20 reads like this, “what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made.” We can know there is a God. We can not know how to please God unless he tells us. This brings us back to Unger’s definition of the word revelation: “A term expressive of the fact that God has made known to men truths and realities that men could not discover for themselves.”-New Unger’s Bible Dictionary.
Revealed By Scripture: We refer to the books of the Bible by saying things like, “written by Paul” or “the gospel according to John.” In reality, the writer of the Bible is God from Genesis to Revelation, “men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.”-II Peter 1:21. The Lord literally tells us who he is and what we must do to stand justified before him (Romans 3:24-26; 6:3-4).
Not only does God pull back the curtain on his nature, he does it in language we can understand. Our heavenly Father gave us the Bible in the common language of the time. The New Testament is written in Koine Greek. The most readily accessible tongue of the time. It was literally the working man’s Greek. Our Creator speaks to us in language we can understand (Ephesians 3:4). We have, “all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence,”-II Peter 1:3. We know about God because we can read God’s word.
Revealed By The Life Of Jesus: How would God respond to the sick, the lost, and the hurting? We don’t have to guess. We can look at the life of Jesus and know. Jesus is God in the flesh. It’s one thing to be told, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”-Matthew 22:39. But to see a sinless man die on a cross for sinful people who beat, mocked, and spit on him, that is a glaring revelation. Top it off with these words, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”-Luke 23:34, and I can know God is a God of pure, sacrificial love.
Praise God he has revealed himself to me by his Spirit and his Son!