Do you know that God can speak to us through the beauty of his creation? There is not an audible voice, nor a still, small voice. But by marveling and looking out, we can appreciate and recognize God’s fingerprints.
Where do we see them? We can find them in the hues of color that paint the sky every day at dawn and dusk. We see the fingerprints of God in the astonishing array of heavens whose courses and paths have long been traced. We see it in the order of every creature and plant, in the rhythm of the enduring seasons, in the constancy and preservation of our world.
Psalm 19 is the classic text for viewing the world in this way. David wrote: “The heavens proclaim the glory of God, and heaven above proclaims his work. (Psalm 19:1 ESV) In other words, you can know that our Creator God reigns because you see evidence of his creation and providence all around you every day.
Much more than that, God has made himself known in you. Romans 1:19-20 teaches us that God has put his own mark on every human being: “For what can be known about God is clear to them, because God has shown it to them.” For his invisible attributes, namely his eternal power and his divine nature, have been clearly perceived, since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. They are therefore without excuse. The proof of God is in our very nature as creatures created in his image.
The Protestant reformer, John Calvin, explained this in more detail in his classic Christian textbook, Institutes of the Christian Religion, “[God] not only sown in the minds of men this seed of religion. . . but revealed and reveals itself daily in all the making of the universe. Therefore, men cannot open their eyes without having to see it. (Institutes, 1.5.1)
Why is all this good? It is wonderful and beautiful because it will never lack evidence of the character, beauty, and power of God in our world. Every existing particle demonstrates the power and wisdom of the Eternal God who reigns forever and ever. The proof of God in creation is called the book of nature.
However, something is missing from the book of nature. Nature can tell you clearly whether God exists and what kind of God He is, but it cannot tell you everything about this God. It takes more than nature can provide. I have to point this out because too often people want to act as if the church in the woods without the scripture, the sacraments and the people of God equals the church assembled with the preaching, the sacraments and the church gathered. Despite all the beauty of creation, God has still spoken most clearly through His Word. Note that in it, God calls His people together to worship Him under His ordained leaders (cf. Hebrews 13:7).
The Westminster Larger Catechism, a Reformed discipleship tool, asks, “How does it look like there is a God? She answers thus: “The very light of nature in man and the works of God plainly declare that there is a God; but his Word and his Spirit only sufficiently and effectively reveal it to men for their salvation. (WLC 2) Our salvation can only be found in the Word of God. The immensity of God is seen in the heavens. God’s wisdom is diffused into creatures, especially as they prepare for winter. The power of God is illustrated by the sun and the moon. The justice of God manifests itself even in our nature as we long for a world free from evil, violence and deceit. But we can know nothing of God as our Father, of Christ as our Saviour, or of the Spirit as our Sanctifier outside of the Old and New Testaments.
The apostle Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 3:16: “All scripture is inspired by God and helpful to teach, to convince, to correct, and to instruct in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect and equipped for all good work. .” Scripture is our authoritative, sufficient, clear, and unfailing guide as Christians.
Is this how you see the Bible? Or has he simply become one voice among many others? God has thus delivered His Word so that we can receive His counsel for all of life, both our beliefs and our life. Today it may be less popular, but truth and popularity are rarely the same. All humans everywhere have a duty to honor this Word. But the first step to seeing its worldwide success is in your willingness to take this gift, the book of scripture, and make it yours. Make it yours by hanging on to every word. Make it yours by receiving it as it should be, that is, as the very words of God.
I personally invite you to worship our Triune God at Christ Reformed Church, 502 Main Street, Alexandria, Sunday mornings at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. For more articles like this, audio sermons, and other resources to learn more about the Lord Jesus Christ, check us out at www.CRCalexandria.org.