Epistemology: The Knowledge of God

Where does knowledge come from?

How do we know God, or for that matter, anything? How do we know ourselves? How do we know that we know anything?

The Westminster Confession (1646) has a wonderful introduction to knowing the truth from Scripture:

The whole counsel of God, concerning all things necessary for His own glory, man's salvation, faith and life, is either expressly set down in Scripture, or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from Scripture: unto which nothing at any time is to be added, whether by new revelations of the Spirit, or traditions of men

Epistemology is a Greek word meaning the study of knowledge.  What is knowledge? How do we get it?  Where Does it come from? What do we do with it? There are many other questions we could ask. For the Christian, it is Scripture which reveals Truth and knowledge, God’s own words.

What God says about knowledge: (a couple of them anyways)

  • Proverbs 1:1-7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge

  • 2 Timothy 3:14-17 All Scripture is God breathed and profitable for us

  • Proverbs 2:3-6 The Lord gives wisdom and knowledge to those who ask

  • 2 Corinthians 2:6-14 Spiritual knowledge is Spiritually discerned, and foolishness to the perishing world

Alternate Sources of Knowledge: Tradition, Religious institutions, personal experience, logic, observation (including science), special revelation...

The world has many other answers to the question of “where knowledge comes from,” and it is true that some knowledge and wisdom for life can be discerned through God’s creation and our innate sense as image-bearers of God. But there is a higher knowledge.

When Nicodemus came seeking Jesus by night, he was staggered by the words that Christ had for him. “You must be born again.” Jesus rebukes Nicodemus, not for his ignorance of the world through logic, wisdom, observation, but because he was a great teacher of the Scriptures, and “yet you do not understand these things?!”
He said “No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man.” (John 3:1-15)

Let me encourage you, church. The revelation of God to us is not earthly teaching but heavenly (John 3:12). This means that it cannot be discovered by earthly means, any more than Moses could force God to descend on the mountain and meet with him. Instead we must “receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.” (James 1:21). God’s words to us come from another realm, an eternal place, a place with full knowledge of the past and future, of perfect righteousness and justice, of an eternal plan to save those who were destined for punishment. A place called heaven, and the rule of heaven (The Kingdom of Heaven) is here on earth among God’s people.

His words will make us wise for salvation, and when received, believed, and lived out (James 1:22), we will be helped with the power of the Holy Spirit, God Himself, in us. I pray you will be renewed into maturity in Christ

Be Renewed: Eph 4:22-23 ...put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires,  and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds,