“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.
In Creation and Word, God is the Same
God displays the knowledge of Himself even more clearly in His word than He does through created things. In His word, God presents Himself in exactly the same way as He does through the knowledge which comes through creation. A full discussion of God’s knowledge found in the Scriptures would be way too long to capture in one book like this. So what I’m going to do is give you a “snapshot” of the knowledge of God which can be found in Scripture. I will also lay out a method for studying the Scripture to come to know God. I am not going to explain at length God’s gracious dealing with Abraham yet. Because when God chose a pagan man to be bound in covenant with and even adopted evil sons into His family, it was an act of sheer grace and He was acting in the character of the Redeemer. Right now, we are merely considering the kind of knowledge which comes from creation and we’re not getting into studying Christ as the Mediator quite yet. Although I will have to quote passages from the New Testament soon, I do not want the reader to get sidetracked by other discussions.
It will be sufficient at this point to understand first how God rules over and runs the world that He created. In every part of the Bible, you can find many descriptions of God’s kindness and goodness. You will also find examples of God’s judgment, which demonstrates that He is the just punisher of the wicked, especially when they continue to do evil and do not heed His warnings.