“Blogging the Institutes” is my on-going attempt to paraphrase John Calvin’s work, the Institutes of the Christian Religion. You can find out more about the series in the Introduction. For all the posts in this series, check out the Master List.
God has revealed the truth to His people with certainty. Whether God revealed Himself through prophetic oracles, visions, or through teachers of His Word, those who learned about Him had the truth firmly engraved on their hearts. God also accompanied His Word with His own sure testimony, which is infinitely superior to mere opinions of people. Since God wanted His truth to continue on in the world, He not only gave it to His people but also had it written down in written records.
God gave His Law but then soon afterwards raised up the prophets to interpret it. God’s law has many uses. Furthermore, God gave the task to Moses and the prophets to teach people the way of salvation. Yet, Scripture not only sets forth Christ as mediator but also provides plenty of distinguishing marks of the true and wise God. He is the Creator and Governor of the world and must never be confused with false “gods.”
While all people should use their eyes to look at creation, they should given even more attention to using their ears to hear the Word of God. Therefore, it’s not surprising that those who are born in the darkness (without the light of God’s Word) become increasingly hardened in their heart to God due to their own ignorance. Hence, the vast majority of people do not submit to God’s Word, but rather choose to brag about their own spiritual achievements. Scripture is necessary for us to know God, because without it, we wouldn’t even know the most basic facts about God. Thus, the first step to gaining true knowledge of God is to embrace God’s Word. Faith and true knowledge of God begin with obedience. And those who desire to know Him, God has provided in His providence what they need through His Word.