How to Know God

Recent scientific discoveries tell us that our universe did not begin as one of merely four dimensions of height, width, length, and time. String theory, a new scientific paradigm, holds that the cosmos existed in initially ten dimensions and then split into two "sections" -- one of six dimensions that stopped expanding and did not produce matter, the other a section of four dimensions that did expand and produced the matter in our universe.

Science has yet to discover what took place prior to this split, which took place 10-43 seconds after Big Bang. All we know is, it must have been something very powerful. It takes an amazing amount of energy to create the smallest bit of matter. For example, the Superconducting Super Collider, a project halted by Congress earlier this decade, was an attempt to create small particles of matter using a machine that was miles and miles in diameter. If it takes something so large for man to create something so small, what kind of intelligence and energy were necessary to create all the matter in our universe? Obviously, we are dealing with something far beyond human intelligence and power.

Our Physical Limitations
Imagine we are beings who exist on a two-dimensional plane, such as a computer screen.{1} We are flat people who have height and width, but no depth. Our entire world is contained on the screen. We can know only that which exists there. Now imagine another being outside the computer screen. This being has height, width and depth. But we as screen people cannot detect this being who is outside our world (our screen), who exists in a higher dimension (one with depth).

Now imagine that the being extends a finger and touches the computer screen. Only now can we detect this being. But since we have no dimension of depth, the being's fingertip appears to us as a dot in our world (on the screen). We are still oblivious to the rest of this being's makeup. There could be much more to this being but we would not know it.

That is a crude analogy of our situation with God. It is crude because in it there is only a one-dimensional difference between the screen people and the being outside the screen. In reality, there are many more dimensions separating us from the Creator God. The extent and nature of His existence are unfathomable.

If our universe initially had ten different dimensions, God must exist in at least eleven dimensions. Thus God exists in realms far above our understanding and operation. How are we to know a Being such as this, a Being so far above our comprehension? God must reveal Himself to us. That is the only way. He must "touch the screen" of our world.

The "Fingertip" of God
As we study human history, especially religious history, do we find any instances where God "touched the screen" of our world? Do we find episodes of a multi- and extra-dimensional God entering our realm?

One man claimed to be the "fingertip" of God, a man known as Jesus Christ. Jesus claimed to be God{2}, told people that He was the Creator God of the Old Testament{3}, said that to see Him was to see God{4}, that He was the only person who had ever seen God{5}, and that He was the only person who had come directly from God to our world.{6} Many other passages of the God-inspired Bible affirm that Jesus was God in the flesh.{7}

Jesus' claims may seem extravagant to us. But if we are the "screen people" and He is the "fingertip" that has touched the screen of our world, then His claims make sense. The multi-dimensional Creator God entered our four-dimensional cosmos by becoming a human being.

But why did God enter our world? We get a clue from Jesus' name{8}, which means salvation.

Our Spiritual Limitations
Just as God's existence is in a realm far beyond our own, so too His character is vastly superior to ours. The Creator God is holy and righteous. Holy means that He is separate, other; righteous means that He is perfectly good. God is thus set apart from man, who is sinful.

Sin is a word that means "miss the mark." God's holiness is the bullseye, and our character and behavior miss that mark. You might be asking yourself, "So what's the big deal about that?" The importance of sin is relevant when we consider relating with God.

Since God is holy, He demands holy relationships. Another way of stating it: God who is perfect must have perfect relationships with others, or not have them at all.

So how can we, who are imperfect, have a perfect relationship with God?

The "Lamb" of God
Our sin separates us from God. Our imperfection makes a perfect relationship with Him impossible. So God came into the world to be the solution for our sin. Jesus (Salvation) was "the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world."{9} How did He take away our sin? He did this by being crucified (an ancient form of execution). God placed our sins upon Jesus so that our sins would no longer separate us from God. The Bible says that "God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God."{10} Another passage, written of Jesus many years before He lived, says that, "We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all."{11}

How does this transaction work? The Old Testament sacrificial system of the Israelites pictured what God would accomplish when the Messiah{12} (Jesus) was crucified: A lamb or goat was slain to atone for (pay for) the sins of the people. So, too, the ultimate Lamb of God, Jesus Christ, was slain for our sins. He was punished in our place. In this way God's justice is satisfied and our sins are removed, paving the way for the perfect relationships God must have, and freeing us from the guilt that our wrong behavior incurs.

Our responsibility is to rely upon Jesus -- God's means of our salvation. Many people assume that we can attain salvation by good deeds. This, however, means we are actually trusting in ourselves rather than in God's solution for our sin, Jesus the Lamb of God. The problem with relying on our good deeds is that -- even if they "outweigh" our bad ones -- our bad deeds still separate us from relationship with God who is perfect. Therefore, we must not trust in our imperfect selves, but rather in Jesus who was perfect on our behalf.

We are to admit and turn away from our sins, to ask God's forgiveness, and to take advantage of God's loving offer by placing our reliance upon His solution for our sin, Jesus' sacrificial death. What follows will be a relationship with God in which God will change us. He comes to reside spiritually within us through His Holy Spirit. This indwelling of God enables us and motivates us to do good deeds and to be free from our compulsion to sin.

Where are You Today?
Are you thinking that there is no God, or no 'proof' of God? What if someone told you the content of this article originated from a bottle of ink spilled onto a piece of paper, which fell in such a way as to form the sentences you are now reading? Would you believe that random chance could do that? The universe is a much more complex work than this article...thus how can we say that it arrived by random chance. The cosmos is enough persuasion that a Creator exists (just as this article is enough persuasion that a writer exists). It actually takes more faith to believe in a universe produced by random chance than in one produced by design.{13}

Are you relying on your own goodness for a relationship with God? Are you following rituals that you think will put you in God's favor? The Bible says, "For it is by grace you have been saved, through is the gift of God -- not by works, so that no one can boast."{14} There is no boasting before God. He has given us a way unto salvation, and that way is Jesus Christ who died on our behalf. We must humble ourselves before God and rely upon Christ in order to be forgiven of sin and to be granted eternal life.

Are you thinking that you yourself are God, or that you are part of God? Such thinking is common today, but nothing could be farther from the truth. In recorded human history, the very first human sin resulted from someone being deceived into thinking they could be God. It is literally the oldest trick (and lie) in the book. We are not God. We never will be God. As created beings, the best and wisest thing we can do is submit our lives completely to the one and only true God.

Are you thinking that life is more fulfilling without God? This, too, is a great deception. We have been created in such a way that only a relationship with God will ultimately satisfy us. Jesus had that in mind when He said: "He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty."{15} Jesus was speaking of the spiritual hunger and spiritual thirst we have until we come to know God through Him.

To Know God...
In true sincerity of heart, admit your sin and thus your need of forgiveness. Ask God to forgive you for all the wrongs you've ever committed. Ask Him to forgive you based on Jesus' death on your behalf. Ask Him to come into your life and become your Lord, and thank Him for the relationship that He graciously offers you. Once you have begun a relationship with God, you can grow in that relationship:

Read God's Word, the Bible, regularly. God's Word is "spiritual food" for those who have been born of His Spirit. A good place to start is with the Gospel of John.

Communicate to God regularly through prayer. Be open and honest with God about all things. He asks that you cast all your cares on Him, and that you ask forgiveness for any sins you commit.

Find others who have faith in Christ. Look for a fellowship group or church where you can relate with others who know Christ.

Commit your life to God. Submit every area of your life to God and obey Him in all things.

For more information on knowing God in a personal way, please see contact us at

{1} The two-dimensional beings analogy (screen people) is taken from Hugh Ross' Beyond the Cosmos (Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress, 1996).
{2} John 17:3, 12:44; 5:19.
{3} John 8:58, 10:30; Revelation 1:17 cf. 1:8 and Isaiah 44:6 and 48:12.
{4} John 14:9.
{5} John 6:46.
{6} John 3:13.
{7} John 1:1, 1:3, 1:4, 1:14, 1:18; Hebrews 1:1-13; Colossians 1:15-20, 2:9.
{8} The name Jesus is Greek; the Hebrew equivalent (what His mother, Miriam, would have called Him) is Yeshua, which can mean salvation, God saves or God is salvation.
{9} John 1:29.
{10} 2 Corinthians 5:21; see also 1 John 2:2.
{11} Isaiah 53:6.
{12} The Hebrew word Messiah means 'Anointed One' and is equivalent to the Greek word Christ.
{13} Scientific discovery (such as string theory) often points to the existence of a Creator rather than away from that idea. Why then do so many scientists and educators see the facts as dismissing God? Because scientists, professors and teachers are just people, and the existence of God is a real problem for many people. Most of us want to be God; we don't want to deal with a God other than ourselves. So, instead of submitting to a Being greater than ourselves, we usually look for ways to explain that Being away. We look for any reason to suspend belief, relieving us of the submission we know is logical if such a Being exists. Not only are scientific theories promoted to explain this Being away, but even religions and religious philosophies are concocted in such a way as to forgo true relationship with this separate-and-other Creator Being.
{14} Ephesians 2:8-9.
{15} John 6:35.

© 1997 Christian Leadership Ministries