Acts 17 : 22 -24, Then Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said, "Men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are very religious; for as I was passing through and considering the objects of your worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: “TO THE UNKNOWN GOD.” Therefore, the one whom you worship without knowing, Him I proclaim to you: God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. NKJV
You will notice that after Paul reads the inscription written on the altar, he begins to tell the men of Athens about the God of the Bible. You see; the Unknown God wasn’t unknown to Paul. If you will allow me, I want to share with you today the method (or order) God has ordained to reveal Himself to mankind. By the way, it includes you.
Jesus tells us that no man has seen the Father except Him. However, if no one has seen the Father (unknown God), how will we come to know Him for ourselves? Since the fall of Adam, God has chosen to speak to His people through His holy Prophets. We’re told in Psalms 103 that Moses knew the WAYS of God, but Israel only knew the acts of God. In order for someone to know the ways of God, they would have to know God.
We know from scripture that we’re under a new covenant; and God has ordained (established) and chosen the church to be the ones to reveal the “Unknown God” to the world. Nevertheless, how do we come to know the Father, so that we might be able to teach others about Him? We’re told in John 1 that Jesus came to His own people, and they rejected Him. We also know that Jesus fulfilled the entire Law of God and the Messianic prophecies of His coming that were spoken by the prophets of old. Even so, the Jews chose not to believe in Jesus as the Christ because of the hardness of their hearts.
Since many of the Jewish leaders and the Jews, themselves refused to believe all the miracles, the signs, and the wonders Jesus did in their midst, there was nothing else that Jesus could do in order to cause the Jews to know Him. The only way to know the spiritual identity of Jesus is by faith. If anyone reads the Bible objectively, and then realizes that Jesus fulfilled the Law and all the prophecies concerning His first coming to earth, they will have sufficient evidence to lead them to know that Jesus is the Son of God. However, since most of the Jews didn’t believe in Jesus for work's sake, they could only recognize Him as the son of Mary and Joseph, and a prophet sent from God.
Once you and I come to faith and believe in Jesus as the Son of God, the Father will give us His Holy Spirit. Romans 8 says that we must have the Spirit of God dwelling in us, or we’re not born of God. Since Jesus is God, and God is Spirit, the only way we can come to know Jesus’ spiritual identity as the Christ, the Son of God is by the Holy Spirit revealing Him to us.
One day, Jesus asked His disciples who men said that He was. They told Him that some believed that He was Jeremiah, some said He was Elijah, while others thought that He was John the Baptist. After they told Him what others believed, He asked them who they believed He was to them. Simon spoke up and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus told Simon that flesh and blood hadn’t revealed this hidden truth to Him; it was revealed to him by the Spirit of God.
Thus far, we see that the church reveals to the world who the “Unknown God” is. We also see that one of the primary functions of the Holy Spirit is to reveal to believers in Jesus that He is indeed the Son of God. So who reveals the Father to us so that we can teach the world? Jesus came from the Father, and He is the only One who can tell us about the Father. Therefore, one of the primary functions of Jesus, other than being our High Priest is to reveal who the Father is to us. One day, Jesus told the disciples that He was about to return to the Father. He told them that if He went away, He would come again. Jesus then proceeded to let the disciples know that they would learn the way to the Father. Thomas asked Jesus in John 14, “We don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?
Jesus answered Thomas with these words. “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man comes to the Father, but by Me.” At this point, Phillip asked Jesus to show them the Father, and it would be enough. Jesus told Phillip and the others, “If you have seen Me, then you have seen the Father also.” You see; Jesus did nothing on His own. All the miracles, teachings, and kept ordinances were the results of the Father working through Jesus’ obedience. Therefore, if you saw Jesus do miracles, or if you heard Jesus preach a message, then you were witnessing the very presence of the Father (and because Jesus took this stand about being one with the Father – the Son of God – the Jews killed Him).
Let’s summarize what we’ve covered today. The CHURCH reveals the “Unknown God” to the world. The Holy Spirit reveals Jesus as the Son of God to the church. Jesus, the Son of God reveals the Father to the church. You have the availability and the ability to know the Father for yourself. You have no need that any man should teach you to know the Father because He has given the Holy Spirit to all who believe in Jesus. The Holy Spirit will guide us into all truth. Now go out there and share the Father with the world.
Salt and Light,
Pastor Asa Dockery
Pastor Asa Dockery