Quest. 3: Who is the one great Object of our knowledge, worship and enjoyment?
Ans: The one great Object of our knowledge, worship and enjoyment is the triune, self–revealing God of Scripture.
Psa 29:2. Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.
Psa. 73:25–26. 25Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee. 26My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.
Psa. 96:9. O worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness: fear before him, all the earth.
Prov. 1:7. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Prov. 9:10. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.
Jn. 17:3. And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
1 Cor. 10:31. Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
See also: Rom. 1:18–32; 11:33–36; Acts 17:27; Eph. 4:17–19.
There are various approaches to the belief or disbelief in God. No belief–system is simply neutral; each carries with it necessary theological, moral and ethical implications. These implications have been and are seen throughout the history of mankind and in its various cultures and societies. Every religion, therefore, has a corresponding world–and–life view.
Theism is the belief in a god or gods. Atheism is the disbelief in God or gods. Atheism, as held by modern, secularized man, presupposes evolution, chance and fate. Deism is the rationalistic idea that God is an absolute personal being and creator of the universe, but that he has neither revealed himself nor is involved in the events of nature, history or the human drama. Thus, man need not fear God or retribution. Polytheism is the belief in many gods. Polytheism cannot bring all the Divine characteristics into one being. Skepticism, denying Divine revelation, believes that reason cannot prove the existence of God. Pantheism holds that God is identical with creation. It is the denial of the personality of God, and thus of any accountability to God. Panentheism provides a philosophical basis for open theism or Process Theology. God is identified with the universe, but he is more than the universe. He is the eternal mind of which the universe is the body, as it were. Both God and the universe are in the process of expanding; the future is unknown. Religious Pluralism, characteristic of postmodern philosophy, is the idea that all religions have some good, and men may have a meaningful relationship with God through various religious paths. These various views all lack a definitive, revealed source, a self–attesting Divine revelation—and thus a sufficient epistemological base [source of truth and knowledge].
Biblical Christianity is not merely theistic, i.e., it does not simply believe in the existence of a God. Biblical Christianity holds to Christian Theism, which necessarily means the triune, self–disclosing God who has revealed himself in creation, providence, history, his inscripturated Word and in the Lord Jesus Christ. Only Christian Theism possesses the sufficient basis, as revealed religion, to provide a coherent system of truth, theology, creation, history, morality and ethics—an inclusive world–and–life view. See Questions 120–123. Christian Theism as a belief–system holds that the triune God has revealed himself, that he is the one Great Object of knowledge, and that having a right relationship to him through the Person and work of his Son leads to the highest meaning and fulfillment.
The triune, self–disclosing God of Scripture is the source of all true knowledge. Man, as a created being, must find the source of truth and knowledge outside himself. Thus, man is by necessity a creature of faith. Although modern man would fain consider himself to be scientific and empirical in his epistemology [science of knowledge and truth–claims], he is necessarily brought to a principle of faith, and therefore a presuppositional stance for what he considers to be true and truth. As the image–bearer of God, man must find meaning—truth and knowledge—in his Creator. See Questions 31, 120 and 121. For man to truly know himself, he must, as the image–bearer of God, begin with God.
God is the Creator, Sustainer and Governor of the created universe, and his laws reign in every sphere—spiritual, moral and physical (Rom. 11:36). To know God is to possess true knowledge; to suppress the knowledge of God is to deny the possibility of truth, knowledge and reality. To have a right relationship with God in the context of his Law–Word, i.e., to be reconciled to God through Jesus Christ by faith, is to truly know him and thus to possess the only correct and consistent basis for truly understanding anything or all things. To have a right relationship to God through the Person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ is to find forgiveness, reconciliation, peace and communion—and thus communion with and enjoyment in God (Rom. 3:21–26; 5:1–2; 1 Jn. 1:3–7).
For believers, the inscripturated Word of God constitutes our sole rule of both faith and practice. Under the sovereign Lordship of Jesus Christ (Matt. 28:18; Acts 2:36), this Word is to govern every sphere of life—the spiritual, religious, moral, ethical, social, political and physical realms. Jesus Christ is the sovereign Lord of this universe and his Word is the believer’s law. The totalitarian claims of Christ Jesus as sovereign Lord must be believed, loved, joyfully obeyed, declared and defended in every sphere of human existence.
As The Lord God is Creator, Possessor and Sovereign Ruler of heaven and earth, as every fact is a created fact and as we are to do all for the glory of God, there is nothing which is secular; all is ultimately sacred. Thus, everything in our thinking, speaking and acting is ultimately a form of worship—or ought to be. Formal worship, either private or public, must reflect the character of God; it is to be holy, righteous, reverent, joyful and God–honoring i.e., worship must be theocentric [God–centered] and not anthropocentric [man–centered]. True worship is to be regulated by the Word of God, not the innovation of man. Worship and entertainment are mutually exclusive. Much of contemporary “worship” is neither worthy of the name nor glorifying to the God of Scripture. See Questions 144 and 151.
True spirituality is essentially intellectual, as one must apprehend and come to terms with the inscripturated truth of God in order to comply with the gospel and consistently apply this truth to the life and experience. There is no place for an irrational religion. An intelligent faith, which is grounded in Scripture, gives the proper and sufficient basis to feeling. Truth and the emotions are inherently related. The former is to serve as the basis for the latter or religion would become irrational and inconsistent. See Question 7. Do you know God? Do you enjoy him as he has revealed himself to you in his Word? Is your worship God–honoring? Does it reflect his holy, righteous character?
By Dr. W.R. Downing