As created beings and the purchased possession of God, there is nothing more important for us than to know the triune God who is both our Creator and Redeemer. And if we would learn of God aright, there is no better place for us to go than his inspired word. Knowing Our God, while providing detailed outlines, brief introductions, and simple explanations, is composed largely of the simple text of scripture passages, which have been compiled and conflated for the purpose of laying out a unified picture of what God has to say about himself, and about how he relates to mankind in all its various conditions. Designed specifically for group study and discussion, this will make a useful tool for becoming more grounded in what the bible has to say about who God is, and what he becomes for us.
Of all the possible pursuits, activities, or studies that are practically relevant and positively beneficial which we might spend our time pursuing, there is none, however profitable or necessary, that is as needful and uplifting and valuable as the subject matter of this study. As Christians, there is nothing more practical for us than to know our God. As created beings, there is nothing we need more than to understand our Creator. As desperate and wandering souls searching for significance, longing for something that is infinitely satisfying, seeking pleasure from finite things when God “has set eternity in [our] heart” (Ecclesiastes 3:11), there is nothing that can even begin to answer to the depths of our vast needs, desires, and longings, except for one thing. That one thing is knowing our God. And that one thing is what we are hoping by his grace to pursue. I hope that all of us can resonate with the truth A. W. Pink once observed, that “a spiritual and saving knowledge of God is the greatest need of every human creature,” and furthermore, that “the foundation of all true knowledge of God must be a clear mental apprehension of His perfections as revealed in Holy Scripture.” As we turn to the scriptures, it is with the hope and prayer that God will ” shine in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (II Corinthians 4:6).
But how do we even begin to undertake a task so enormous? Our first and guiding principle is that, if we would learn about God aright, we must do so only from the pages of his word. The cause of man's first rebellion, and all the chaos and misery that ensued, was only this, that he failed to take his understanding of God's character at his own word, and instead listened to the whispered lies of the serpent. If we would regain the position from which we fell, it can only be by listening once more to God's word, and letting his own self-revelation shape our ideas of who he is.
However, as we embark on the process, we quickly realize that the task is overwhelming: there are thousands of passages that speak of the nature of God, and they are not laid out like a systematic theology: they are occasional, revealing the truths of God's nature as he takes opportunity to enter the world of mankind for a specific purpose, and show himself to his people. If we would learn about who he is, we must be able to take all of those truths which he reveals on specific occasions, and organize them in such a way that we do not emphasize any set of attributes to the exclusion of any other. We must be able to frame them in simple, accurate and memorable ways. This is the task of the systematic theologian; and like it or not, all Christians, as they pursue a deeper knowledge of God, must play the role of the systematic theologian to some degree.