Acquainted with God
[This is a wonderful summary of what we have been discovering over the past 3 years]
Signs of the Times April 12, 1910 By Mrs. E. G. White
Our Saviour said, "This is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent." And God declared by the prophet, "Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches; but let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth Me, that I am Jehovah, which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth; for in these things I delight, saith the Lord."
No man, without divine aid, can attain to this knowledge of God. The apostle says that "the world by wisdom knew not God." Christ "was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not." Jesus declared to His disciples, "No man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal Him."
In the last prayer for His followers, before entering the shadows of Gethsemane, the Saviour lifted His eyes to heaven, and in pity for the ignorance of fallen men He said, "O righteous Father, the world hath not known Thee: but I have known Thee." "I have manifested Thy name unto the men which Thou gavest Me out of the world."
Christ came to reveal God to the world as a God of love, full of mercy, tenderness, and compassion. The thick darkness with which Satan had endeavored to enshroud the throne of Deity was swept away by the world's Redeemer, and the Father was again manifest to men as the light of life.
When Philip came to Jesus with the request, "Show us the Father, and it sufficeth us," the Saviour answered, "Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known Me, Philip? He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?" Christ declares Himself to be sent into the world as a representative of the Father. In His nobility of character, in His mercy and tender pity, in His love and goodness, He stands before us as the embodiment of divine perfection, the image of the invisible God.
"God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself." Only as we contemplate the great plan of redemption can we have a just appreciation of the character of God. The work of creation was a manifestation of His love; but the gift of God to save the guilty race, alone reveals the infinite depths of divine tenderness and compassion. "God so loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
While the law of God is maintained, and its justice vindicated, the sinner can be pardoned. The dearest gift that Heaven itself had to bestow has been poured out, that God "might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus." By that gift, men are uplifted from the ruin and degradation of sin, to become children of God. Paul says, "Ye have received the spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father."
"Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God." What love, what matchless love, that, sinners and aliens as we are, we may be brought back to God, and adopted into His family! We may address Him by the endearing name, "Our Father," which is a sign of our affection for Him, a pledge of His tender regard and relationship to us. And the Son of God, beholding the heirs of grace, "is not ashamed to call them brethren." They have even a more sacred relationship to God than have the angels who have never fallen.
All the paternal love which has come down from generation to generation through the channel of human hearts, all the springs of tenderness which have opened in the souls of men, are but as a tiny rill to the boundless ocean, when compared with the infinite, exhaustless love of God. Tongue can not utter it; pen can not portray it. You may meditate upon it every day of your life; you may search the Scriptures diligently in order to understand it; you may summon every power and capability that God has given you, in the endeavor to comprehend the love and compassion of the heavenly Father; and yet there is an infinity beyond. You may study that love for ages; yet you can never fully comprehend the length and breadth, the depth and height, of the love of God in giving His Son to die for the world. Eternity itself can never fully reveal it.
Yet as we study the Bible, and meditate upon the life of Christ and the plan of redemption, these great themes will open to our understanding more and more. And it will be ours to realize the blessing which Paul desired for the Ephesian church, when he prayed "that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him: the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of His calling, and what the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power to us-ward who believe."