So, I’m obviously having a problem prioritizing commenting on Calvin by way of this blog. Have no doubts that I am reading Calvin, I just don’t necessarily always feel like I have something to say. Stick with me. I’ll get this blog verbosity thing figured out.
Knowledge of God is not possible without piety. Piety is “that reverence joined with love of God which the knowledge of his benefit induces.” So the question in regard to attaining godliness is not “what is God?” We don’t need to speculate on what His physical “makeup” might be, or what God is – we need to know about who He is. The “who” is that He is the Father and Author of salvation, that we can know when Christ the Mediator reconciles Him to us. That we owe everything to Him and that we must establish our complete happiness in Him. Many people acknowledge some idea of “god” but few actually know the One True Living God as He presents Himself in Scripture. We must humble ourselves before Him, pray that He will instruct us, and listen to what He has to say concerning Himself, revere Him, before we can begin to truly know Him. Before this reverence we will only live with a construct of our own speculation.
But it is also true that all men have a general knowledge of God as Creator and Sovereign, although they suppress this truth in unrighteousness (Romans 1). We can see this simply in the fact that men make idols of any and every thing if they do not worship the One True God. We also see that men have a general understanding there is a God in that they can be easily moved to subjection of others by threats of punishments or promise of reward if they will only do what they are told their “god” commands. Men know there is a God. But many do not now know Him and simply live by suppressing the truth and constructing a lie.