CAN WE REALLY GET TO KNOW GOD?
“THIS MEANS EVERLASTING LIFE, THEIR TAKING IN KNOWLEDGE OF THE ONLY TRUE GOD.” JOHN 17:3
T HE DEPTH OF GOD’S RICHES AND WISDOM AND KNOWLEDGE!” EXCLAIMED THE APOSTLE PAUL.
He added: “How unsearchable his judgments are and past tracing out his ways are!” (Romans 11:33) Are we to conclude from these words that it is beyond our human ability to unearth the wisdom and knowledge of God, that it is thus really impossible to get to know him and his purposes?
According to those holding to the religious thinking known as via negativa, the answer is yes. The Encyclopedia of Religion states concerning this philosophy: “God transcends all that can be known of him.........
God cannot be named or defined. Any name or definition imposes limits, and God is above..... . . them....... He is not an object of knowledge, for he is above knowledge.””
According to Newsweek magazine, many individuals in secular societies lean toward “a kind of new orthodoxy” that, in effect, holds that “there is only one truth, and this truth is that there is no truth.” (Similar views are found in the Eastern religious traditions of Hinduism, Taoism, and Buddhism.)
Still, many are left with unanswered questions about the purpose of life. They observe the heartrending problems of poverty, disease, and violence. To them, the uncertainty of life may be extremely frustrating. They may yearn to find answers, but when such are not forthcoming, they may conclude that there are none.
Consequently, many of such people have withdrawn from organized religion and are looking for their own approach to God---—if indeed they still believe that he exists.
The Bible’s View
Those who look favorably upon the Bible and are inclined to accept Jesus Christ as God’s Spokesman ought to be interested in knowing the Bible’s view.
You perhaps recall that Jesus once spoke of two roads, a “broad and spacious .... . road leading off into destruction” and a “cramped .... . . road leading off into life.”
He explained how to identify those traveling on each road, saying: “By their fruits you will recognize them.” By what kind of fruits?
Not by what they say, but by what they do, as Jesus clarified: “Not everyone saying to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the kingdom of the heavens, but the one doing the will of my Father who is in the heavens will.” Professing belief in God is not enough. We must do God’s will. Logically, we must first have accurate knowledge of what God’s will is. ----Matthew 7:13-23.
Jesus plainly showed that it is possible for humans to gain knowledge about God. He said: “This means everlasting life, their taking in knowledge of you, the only true God, and of the one whom you sent forth, Jesus Christ.” (John 17:3)
Clearly, we can acquire the wisdom and the knowledge that God reveals—but only if we exert ourselves in seeking such. However, God’s gift to those who do so is everlasting life, so this search is surely worthwhile.
The WATCHTOWER Magazine
October 15, 2006 Vol. 127, No. 20 (pgs. 3 & 4.)
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