We would know nothing of God if he had not revealed himself to us. Theologians have placed God’s self-disclosure into two categories: general and special revelation. God first revealed himself in the created order. We look at the world and realize that it had to have come from someone or something much greater than ourselves. Christians believe that God created everything that exists. Therefore, everything bears the fingerprints of the Maker. Secondly, God revealed himself in more direct and specific ways. He became a man and lived among us. He has spoken audibly to individuals, appeared in dreams and visions, performed miracles, and given prophecy. God has given us His Word, the Scriptures, in order to give us greater knowledge and guide us into a deeper relationship with himself.
With that brief preface, I give you my personal confession on the revelation of God.
I believe that God has revealed himself to us in the created order. God gave us an awareness of his existence by creating us in his own image. God clearly displays his power and divine nature in his creation. He holds the world and everything in it together through the Son. Every activity of life reveals his presence and provision. Every authority on earth testifies to the overarching authority of the living God (Genesis 1:26-27; 2 Corinthians 5:18-20; Psalm 19:1; Romans 1:19-20; Hebrews 1:3; Acts 14:15-17; Romans 13:1).
I believe that sin limits our ability to know God through the created world. Nature is tainted by sin and does not clearly reflect the goodness of God. In our sin, we suppress the truth about the existence of God and do not give him credit for the creation of the world. We fail to acknowledge him as God by elevating the creation above the Creator. Every person needs renewed vision in order to see God more clearly in creation and a renewed mind in order to understand him properly (Romans 8:20-22; Job 25:5; Psalm 14:1; Romans 1:18-23, 25; Exodus 32:1-6; Acts 17:16).
I believe that God entered into human history and revealed himself to us in special ways that go beyond nature. In the past, God made himself known by direct action in the world, audible words and prophecy, the written law, visions and dreams, miracles, and even visible appearances. The height of God’s self-revelation is the person of Jesus Christ, the Son of God and the incarnate Word. Today, God continues to speak to us through the Holy Scriptures (Job 12:23; Exodus 19:9; Jeremiah 37:2; Exodus 34:1-28; Genesis 15:1; John 11:38-44; Exodus 33:23; Hebrews 1:1-3; 2 Timothy 3:16).
I believe that the Bible is the Word of God consisting of the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments. The Bible is both fully human and fully divine. Through the Holy Spirit, God inspired human authors to write the Bible consistent with their personalities and traits. The Bible is true and fully reliable. The truthfulness of Scripture is rooted in the nature of God and the testimony of the Spirit. The Bible is the final and highest authority on all matters that it addresses (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21; 1 Corinthians 10:11; Proverbs 30:5; Numbers 23:19; John 16:13-14; 17:17; Psalm 19:7-9; Hebrews 3:7).
I believe that the Bible provides everything that we need for salvation and good works. The Bible is clear in what it teaches. It is a sufficient guide and provision for every area of life. The Scriptures are powerful and able to expose our deepest thoughts and intentions. The Bible provides a sure foundation for our lives through the truth of its words. God authored the Scriptures with every generation in mind. The Word of God was faithfully preserved and handed down to us so that we might know God truly (2 Timothy 3:15-17; Romans 1:16, 10:9-13; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4; Psalm 119:105, 130; Hebrews 4:12-13; 2 Peter 1:19; Matthew 22:31; 1 Peter 1:23-25; Jude 1:3).