1) Natural Revelation
- Natural revelation is defined as that knowledge which is available to all people simply because they live on earth. The Bible declares that the heavens (or universe) declare God’s handiwork (Psalms 19:1-6). Ancient man could simply look to the sky and understand there had to be some sort of supernatural being. A 5-minute meditation on the vastness of our universe opens our hearts to this understanding (click here for a cool video). Now, with modern scientific discoveries, we have a plethora of information about our universe that continues to support the claim of Psalm 19. This leads us to our next point.
- The Bible also says certain aspects of God’s nature can be clearly seen through that which has been made (Romans 1:20). Any person can look into nature and see the depths of the ocean, the height of the sky, the power of a flood, and understand the creature of all this has to be extremely powerful. They can also examine the design of the universe or of biological life and see His creativity. The Lord has also put a sense of morality on the hearts of all men (Romans 2:14-15). No matter what culture you study everyone has a sense of morality. We may disagree on certain aspects but we still all have some sense of right and wrong. This sense can become distorted through sin but even Hitler thought it was “right” to create a superior race.
- Natural revelation can be examined through our 5 senses and our ability to reason. Scientific discoveries continue to show the power & creativity of God. Our Reason helps us to know there had to be a creator. For example: If everything that begins to exist needs a cause and the universe began to exist then it needed a cause outside of itself. Another example is, if all laws need a lawgiver and we all inherently have a sense of moral law then there is a moral lawgiver.
- But natural revelation is limited. We can see only certain aspects of God’s nature but not the complete picture. The universe can declare His power and creativity but it cannot declare His grace; this only comes through the next means of revelation. To those who continue to seek (Luke 11:9-10) after the knowledge of God He will lead them to His Word Revelation.
2) Word Revelation
Word Revelation is when God communicates knowledge to man; the sort of knowledge we wouldn’t be able to surmise without His communication. For example, we wouldn’t know angels existed by looking at natural revelation but we would if God told us there were such beings.
Christians believe that today the Bible is the only source we can be absolutely certain that God has given us a Word Revelation. Earlier we said the Bible is a collection of 66 Books, all inspired by God, to tell us His story. Thus, it was given to us in order to answer the main questions of life:
• How did we get here? (Genesis 1-2; Psalms 139:13-16; John 1:1-3)
• Who is God? (Exodus 34:6-7; John 3:16; Isaiah 6:3; 1st Samuel 15:22)
• Why am I here? (Ecclesiastes 12:1-3; Micah 6:8; Matthew 5:13-16)
• What is my final destiny? (2nd Peter 3:10-14; John 5:28-29)
Take note that the Bible does not contain all knowledge of reality. It is not a scientific textbook, a philosophy textbook, or a study on the history of the world. The purpose of the book is to tell us God’s plan for Redeeming man. It gives us the information we need in order to be saved (2nd Timothy 3:15) and tells us how He expects us to live (Ephesians 2:10).