This week we are studying about general revelation. Wayne Grudem defines general revelation as “The knowledge of God’s existence, character, and moral law that comes through creation to all humanity” (Systematic Theology, p. 1242). The important aspect of general revelation is that God has revealed Himself to all people of all time in some ways.
“1 The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. 2 Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. 3 There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard. 4Their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world” (Psalm 19:1-4a, ESV)
As this passage teaches, God is declaring Himself through creation 24 hours a day, seven days a week! “Day to day pours out speech and night to night reveals knowledge” (v. 2).
What can we learn about God through Creation?
1. His existence
We learn of the existence of God by observing creation itself. We see the complexity of the universe, of our planet, of the human body-how everything works together in perfect detail. Leave one detail out, for example, of how to breath oxygen, or the oxygen makeup of our atmosphere and our lives would not exist. Did that evolve by chance or is design evidence of a designer?
“Nature’s ‘music’ points us to look for the Conductor. Nature’s beauty points us to look for the Artist. The vastness of the Sahara Desert and the Arctic Tundra and the mighty oceans, in making us feel small and vulnerable, point us to God, the strong Tower” (p. 21).
2. His attributes
It might be easy to look up at the heavens and come to the conclusion that there must be a God. But what can we learn about the attributes of God by observing creation? We learn first that He is powerful, that He has the ability to create this world and everything in it. We also learn that He is extremely intelligent as everything works together in order to sustain life. We learn that He is creative because of the beauty and diversity in which He created everything. We learn that He is good because He could have chosen not to create us, or if He did to create us as mere slaves.
“For His invisible attributes, that is His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen since the creation of the world, being understood through what He has made. As a result people are without excuse” (Romans 1:20 HCSB).
3. His intentions
In citing Acts 14:15-17, Paul testifies to the pagans in Lystra that God was good to them, even as they rebelled against them by giving them rain, fruitful seasons, and allowing them to have enjoyment in life. That is what we might call “common grace” – God’s grace which is common to humanity, regardless of whether they recognize Jesus as Lord.
Though we can learn much about God from looking at Creation, it is not sufficient for salvation. In the passage cited above in Romans 1, God revealed enough about Himself that all are “without excuse.” One must hear, understand, and respond to the gospel in order to be saved. This is where we will go next week when we look at special revelation and how God has revealed Himself through the Bible.
I’m excited to teach this lesson and have already been interacting with some of my guys about what they’re reading at home. It is sharpening me and You will get out of these lessons what you put in during the week. If you haven’t-pick up the Gospel Project this week and start reading.