ESSENTIAL TRUTHS - GENERAL REVELATION
"The world is a stage for God. He is the chief actor who appears front and center. No curtain can fall and obscure His presence. We know from one glimpse of creation that nature is not its own mother."
- R.C Sproul
How do we know anything about God? As finite creatures, we are unable to fully comprehend our infinite God. Does this mean that we can know nothing about God? By no means! Lovingly, God has unveiled truths about himself to us. We rely on God’s “unveiling” or revelation for truth about God, for anything else would be idle speculation and a fool’s errand.
We classify God’s revelation into two types: general revelation and special revelation.
General revelation is God revealing Himself in His creation, sustaining, and governing of the universe. This revelation is general in its content and its audience:
“The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the sky above proclaims his handiwork” (Psalm 19:1).
The display of nature and all things we see in the created universe are a clear display of God’s work, unveiling God’s eternal power and deity. Nature however, is insufficient to give us a knowledge of God leading to salvation - it doesn’t lead us to a relationship of love with God. The natural world is not God’s full revelation of Himself. In this way we say the content is general.
General revelation is also general in its audience. Creation is like a mirror that reflects the glory of its maker. All people are a witness to the glory of God seen in nature. General revelation reaches all humanity, it is in this way we say the audience is general.
From general revelation we know that God exists; but God does not want us to know only his existence, He wants us to have a relationship with Him. In our sinful nature, we are unable to understand or respond to general revelation correctly. Humans worship the creation, or reject their maker, instead of giving thanks and worshipping the God who made them and all things. In order to have a correct understanding of general revelation and a right relationship with God, we need the special revelation that is the message of salvation through Jesus Christ, found in the Bible. The Bible is God’s more specific, detailed, and extensive revelation to us, so that we may better understand general revelation and also learn our desperate need for salvation from sin. For more information on special revelation please see: https://www.faithtofilm.ca/special-revelation.With special revelation to teach us, and the Holy Spirit to guide, we can begin to grow in the knowledge and love of God so that we can see the glory of God in His creation and praise Him for his wondrous ways in salvation!