by John Paul Arceno | March 27, 2020
The theme of this series is derived from John Calvin’s Institutes. “True and sound wisdom consists of two parts: knowledge of God and of ourselves.“ This is not to convert you to Calvinism or inject his teachings. Rather, this is to appreciate, one of the great Reformers during the 16th century, his idea on the importance of the Bible in our lives as Christians.
Why did I come up with this theme? It compels me to teach a Biblical understanding of God and of self since many of us are into “soul-searching”, finding ourselves, “hindi kilala ang sarili“, or even looking for the answers about our meaning and purpose in life. Some of you would say of course it is to glorify God, yet you are not sure how to do it. You are unsure if how can you glorify God. Are you certain that it is grounded in Biblical principles? Nevertheless, it is right that the purpose or “the chief end of a person is to glorify God and to enjoy Him for ever” is the first question in Westminster Shorter Catechism.
First, in order for us to know ourselves, we need to know our Creator, God. But the problem is we cannot know God unless He reveals Himself. Grudem states, “God is infinite and we are finite or limited, we can never fully understand God.” How can we know God? It is through His revelation: the Living Word [Jesus] and the written Word [Bible]. We know in the Bible that God sent His Son to the world (John 3:16), the Word logos that became flesh is Jesus (John 1:1, 14), and Jesus is the exact representation of God (Hebrews 1:1-3). *Siyempre dapat buksan mo Bible mo and hanapin yang mga verses na nilagay ko.*
Next, how can we know Jesus? Kung si Jesus ang revealed God, then how can I know Him or matters about him? It is through His inspired Word, the Bible. The Bible is the Word of God and it points us to Jesus. We believe and trust the Bible because we have faith in Christ.
Now, Beeke and Smalley said, “true knowledge of God in the heart transforms a person”. Ayun! For us to experience this transformation, we need faith in Him. “Knowing” or to know God, means in the Bible is to experience Him. Not just knowing Christ in our minds but also in our hearts, strength, life; all in all. That is why, Christ commanded us that we must be born again, regenerated (John 3:7). We, believers, derive our hope, faith, and love from understanding God through the Bible.
And yes, we need to build our faith in the foundation of Biblical doctrines. Teachings that are inspired by God, true, sound, and correct. *Kaya may series tayong ganito.* But can we really trust the Bible? **Play the video below and listen to Dr. Robert Plummer, a Greek and Bible Scholar Theologian at Southern Seminary Louisville, KY.
Finally, since we are maturing Christians, we need to grow deeper rooted in His Word. Hindi na pwede yung simba, kanta, bigay tithes and offering, then back to normal life–or new normal. We ought to conform in the likeness of Christ. Your normal life, is the Christian life.
Kapatid, invest in this matter. These are spiritual, eternal, and heavenly things. The Bible is our compass; through the Holy Spirit who is indwelling in us, we can know more of Christ. And the more we know who Christ is, our Lord, the more we will know ourselves. Mas makikilala mo kung sino ka, anong halaga mo sa mundo, at kung paano mo pwedeng i-align yung life mo sa “will” of our Lord. Ready?
Meditate and Reflect:
 Kevin DeYoung quoted John Calvin, Institutes of Christian Religion, I.1.i; The Gospel Coalition, January 15, 2010, accessed date March 27, 2020. https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/kevin-deyoung/a-calvin-clarification/. DeYoung clarifies the need for the true context of this phrase.
 WSC Q.1, Westminster Shorter Catechism (1647).
 Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1994), chap. 10. Kindle Edition.
 In Ephesians 2:8, faith is a gift from God. It is not on our own, but God gave it to His chosen people to become His children.
 Joel Beeke and Paul Smalley, Reformed Systematic Theology, Volume 1: Revelation and God (Wheaton, Illinois: Crossway, 2019), 501.
 Dru Johnson, Scripture’s Knowing: A Companion to Biblical Epistemology (Eugene, Oregon: Cascade Books, 2015).
 Beeke and Smalley, 502.
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