Our society is ridden with brokenness and sadness, and of course, in the midst of success, joy, and celebrations. But in the midst of the celebrations, there are tears of darkness somewhere. Some are straight darkness of unspeakable and despicable darkness and violence, and sadness. People do want to be better, and many books have been written to get better. However, many asked how? In the Bible Thomas was told that his other friends have seen the risen Christ, the Lord. Thomas is one of the twelve apostles personally trained and coached by Jesus himself. And he demanded proof after the resurrection of Jesus.
John 20: 26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” 28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
Thomas says I will not believe it until I see the hands of Christ with the hole in there. Ethics didn’t change Thomas. He has heard all the ethics teachings of Jesus’ teachings, but that doesn’t change him about the death of Jesus and resurrection of Jesus. What changed him is he met with the risen Jesus who spoke to him “Put your finger here, see my hands.”
Ethics don’t change hearts. But the resurrection gives hope. The hope that transforms the down trodden gives them the hope of an eternity coming. It will be so much more powerful than what the world has seen or heard. It’s the hope that matters. So religion with ethics on what you should do can never give you the hope in life, but Christianity with the risen Christ gives you the hope you look for all your life.
Recently I dug out my History Final I on Augustine’s life, and I thought his life’s Confession book is a phenomenal book on his struggle, failures, but in the mist all these, his sharp and singular focus is invariably God. It’s amazing for him to do that. And we need that. That makes all the difference. For most of us, when we go through struggles, out focus is asking God to help, but God has not really been in our journey before, during, and after struggles. And the reason of our struggles is not God focused. That’s why this blog article matters. Our human tradition and tendency is to get material wealth and achievements in schools, college, work, because that’s how our society has ingrained into us. It’s a performance driven society, which explains why college students face depression, anxieties, and the like. And not only them, but also working people, professionals striving to make ends meet for their families. Our focus seems to be on human achievement instead of God our creator.
Saint Augustine’s -One of the greatest Theologian’s life’s Struggle
Augustine of Hippo, one of the greatest theologian/pastors that ever lived, struggled against flesh, lust in his teen age. He was 16 years old and living a life seeking love and be loved, but was so obscured and overcast his heart that he was unstable to distinguish pure affection from unholy desire. He was confused and his passion was boiling over, blinding him, dragged into a whole lot of unchaste desires. But there seems to be something behind all these turmoil in his life that sure makes a lot of sense to help folks like us today.
Our focus seems to be on human achievement instead of God our creator
Our focus seems to be on human achievement instead of God our creator. Case in point when Augustine’s dad, one day, saw him at the baths and perceived that he was becoming a man, showing signs of adolescence, he joyfully told his mother about it as it already looking forward to grandchildren, rejoicing in that inebriation in which the world so often forgets God, our creator, and falls in love with God’s creature—the intoxication of the invincible wine that bows down to infamy. (P. 55, Kerr). That actually backfired on the young Augustine, as he felt like dad is more concerned about what he wants from him, rather than what’s best for him.
Augustine brought up a power connection that all of us must get hold of in such direness
However, Augustine went beyond mentioning that, but rather he brought up a power connection that all of us must get hold of in such direness. That is Augustine brought in the picture/image or the topic of God our creator. He lamented that he and his father did not look to God, but to what earthly pleasures though how temporal offer them. The fact that he lifted up his head at that moment and thought about God, is in itself God’s moving in his heart. But in the mist of all this downward spiral turn, the most important right thing that he did, he cried to God, and groaned before him. That’s a real solid sign that God will do something to a person. That’s what Jesus said, “seek me and you will find me.”
There was also this recognition by Augustine of God’s voice speaking through his mum when his mum admonished him privately one time, regarding chastity, not fornication or worse adultery. He recalled after that that was the voice of God speaking through his mum to him. God can speak through anyone, but generally through those who care for you and those who have oversight over you.
Augustine also mentioned that (p.56 Kerr) he took pleasure in his exploits of boasting of their disgraceful acts to compete with his friends who were equally if not more lost. He was ashamed and angry with that, because he took pleasures not for pleasure sake only, but mostly for praise.
Augustine’s desperation & Conversion to God
And he became more and more desperate until one day he threw himself under a tree before the Lord and poured out his heart to God with weeping tears pleading with God to end his uncleanness. While he was weeping in the most bitter contrition of heart, he heard a voice of a boy or girl saying, “Pick it up, read it. Pick it up, read it.” Out of fascination, he did and felt like a divine command came upon him and opened the bible and the first passage says:
“Not in rioting an drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife an envying, but put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh to fulfill the lusts thereof.” (Rom 10:13).
Augustine turned around and wanted to read no more, and needed no further, for instantly, there was infused into his heart something like the light of deck certainty and all the gloom of doubt vanished away. (p. 58 Kerr). This is the turning point of this young 16 years old man, crying out in anguish to God and he got it. He encountered God in a miraculous way and he was like Paul, instantly dramatically transformed, and emerged thereafter as the most influential theologian of all time.
I will affirm that we all need to have a heart that seeks him, and all the more we need to, and only our creator God will set us free and the verse is “put on the Lord Jesus Christ”.
 Hugh Kerr Readings in Christina Thought (1990) Abington Press, 201 8th Ave South, Nashville, TN 37023 p 55
The recent CT (Christianity Today Magazine) editorial publication asks that evangelicals must support the removal of President Trump.  Then CT magazine president offered to dialogue with both sides of Christian aisle. He complained on the wholehearted embrace of Trump. 
I agree with all the immoral public behavior of Trump should not be embraced. Many Christians condemn that, at the expense of what he has done to help the values of the Christendom. He puts in Supreme Court judges that are conservative, and hundreds of other conservative judicial judges. That’s been sidelined. That’s really a call. I think we should embrace what Trump’s good works he has done, but condemn any immoral behavior of Trump publicly.
On the other hand, Obama’s characters appeared decent and definitely smooth, a liberal president & Christian, but his policies killed thousands of unborn babies, and endorsed gay marriage. CT has critiqued a little on Obama but really nothing much and nowhere near removing him. Why?
Dr. Carl Truman says it well the alternative to Trump is worse.
Scholar & theologian Carl R Tureman says it well the alternative to Trump is worse. He wrote in First Thing “When someone calls for Trump to be thrown out of office by impeachment or the ballot box, it is reasonable to ask what the available alternatives are. As Mother Theresa is unavailable for the White House, we are really looking at Biden, Warren, or Sanders. I can’t speak to the personal moral qualities of these people, but would voting for them or their policies give Christians any more credibility? Given the role of abortion and LGBTQ rights in their respective campaigns, this is surely something any Christian has to address.”
My take and worry is that it seems to me that abortion & LGBT is not as big a concern as the perceived racism and hostility to illegal/legal immigrants. The evangelicals have been numbed to the former, but wide-awake to the latter. Why? Because of the secular worldview shift to embrace the latter. The evangelicals have embraced that unfortunately due to a lack of clear biblical conviction and the intense social pressure. I think that should be a bigger concern to the churches and pastors on why are the congregation and particularly young people behave that way?
This does look like the end time apostasy coming. Matt 7: 21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ That’s the bigger problem that evangelicals face.
The reason many people, including progressive Christians, think of Jesus as a progressive compassionate person who lived a good life as an example for us to follow, devoid of the divinity in him, is driven by the fact that they can’t face the fact that Jesus claims to be the only way to God the Father. Because that will essentially, in effect, rejected all other religions in their ways to get to God. But the problem is, in doing so, they have just rejected the God-Man Jesus Christ. Though you may have endeared others of other faiths, you have just landed yourself outside of the saving grace of the God-Man, because you just demoted him from God-Man to be a mere good man.
The Transcendent God
This is just about the most important and significant question that goes through the minds of millions of young people in America today especially New York city, just exactly who Jesus is. Is he just a good moral teacher who lived a good life for us to follow his life or is he who he claims to be the transcendent Son of God?
John 9 As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” 3 “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. 4 As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. 5 While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” 6 After saying this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. 7 “Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means “Sent”). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing.
The reason I picked these verses here showing the transcendent Jesus in healing a man blind from birth to be able to see now is that he made a major statement after the miracle. I don’t know how any scholars can write books about a ‘tamed diminished’ Jesus without any power to heal the sick and do the miraculous when they are all over the Bible. There should be an attitude like if you don’t like the Bible talking about the transcendent Jesus, you need to own up to it by rejecting the whole Bible and not hanging onto church and yet rejecting the miraculous Jesus. I mean opening the eyes of a blind man from birth is no easy matter! The problem is for folks with such liberal minds being attached to their church, it redefines the church by the “miracle-less” Jesus. Somehow, the liberals got to hang onto a Jesus , a ‘toothless’ Jesus. That way, they open up the way to salvation to a myriad of ways without being narrowed down. Check out this outrageous statement of Jesus below right after he opened up the eyes of the blind man in John 10.
John 10: 25 Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The works I do in my Father’s name testify about me, 26 but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. 27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.”
Jesus calls himself equal with God the Father. In fact, they are one. That’s actually trinity. Father, Son, Holy Spirit in the Trinitarian God. This is just about the biggest stumbling block for anyone sincerely and wanting to find out who Jesus is, and then make up their minds. Who says this kind of thing in this world? This guy says he and God are one. He makes himself to be God. Therefore this is the make it or break it moment in search of the true Jesus. Don’t hang onto to the skin of the God Man, but abide in him completely. Have all of Christ, or none of him! Accept him and receive him as the Spirit dwells in you, or you are not really a sheep of Christ, follower of Christ.
I will reference this to many liberal Christian friends of mine especially in New York City. It’s most trendy and fashionable to pursue social justice in our cities and even ‘enthrone’ it in such way that forms and shapes who God is. God is far more and above condescendingly above social justice. It’s like a finger to a body, it’s not the body! But that’s what the liberal theology does, loving what Jesus says especially the sermon on the mount, and all his love and care for the socially outcast. Jesus loves the downcast, and He is indeed the champion of them all. However, to pick only that portion of Jesus and run away with it as if that’s all that matters is doing gross injustice to who Jesus is, and what Jesus did. They just missed the most important identity of Christ, the Son of God, and opted for a social justice Jesus.
Matt 16:13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”14 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” 17 Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. 18 And I tell you that you are Peter…
The most important question asked! Jesus asked, “Who do you say I am?”
Man of Holiness & Compassion
Jesus is the God of holiness and righteousness, yet with compassion. When the woman of adultery was caught, he told them that those without sin, may throw the first stone.
John 8: 3 The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group 4 and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5 In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” 6 They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. 7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.
This is a real eye opener who Jesus really is, apart from the supernatural divine part of him. Jesus had compassion on the adulterous woman, full of grace, as he told the folks those without sin throw the first stone! Guess what? Who would throw the first stone? One by one, retreated from stoning the woman (which by Moses law to be stoned). Jesus came and not only fulfilled the Law of God through Moses, but also provided grace in such abundance that shocked the contemporary world. He extended mercy to the adulterous woman, when by law, she should be stoned at that time. But not only that, He told the woman to sin no more.
John 8: 9 At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there.10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”11 “No one, sir,” she said.“Then neither do I condemn you,”Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
Jesus is holy. That’s a point many liberal Christians missed. They love the compassion of Christ, but dropped the holiness of Christ. Why? So they can live the way of life as they like and not constrained by Christ. Jesus, a person of holiness, and yet not without compassion for the weak and sinners. That pretty much defines who Jesus is, to hold both ends of who He is, the compassion (liberals), and the righteousness (conservative). That’s what we Christians are supposed to hold. You see Christianity is not about trying to conform to a set of rules, but be a follower of Jesus. We don’t follow rules. We follow Jesus. He is the personified God on earth, and He sends his Holy Spirit on earth now to be with us and help us, teach us. That’s a lot of difference, following rules is religion, following Jesus is spirituality, organically in relationship with Christ, and empowered by the Spirit of God.
People begin to define God through their lens of social justice. It’s helping the poor and marginalized. God does that, for sure, but it’s not above the redemption of God for humanity. The cross is the absolute pinnacle of Christianity, and without the cross of Jesus meaning his death and resurrection, there is no story of social justice. What would social justice even mean or look like without the cross of redemption? It would be merely a nice socialist sound bite to go to. It will be completely meaningless to help the poor and deed the hungry and help the marginalized without helping them to get to the long-term reconciliation with God.
To say one will fight for the poor and marginalized and calling everything of social racism as your top agenda of your social media postings, begs the question if you have missed the big picture??
What’s the point of helping them, if they and you yourself miss the only big picture that matter?
Every religion teaches you to be good to get to God. But there is only one religion where their God comes down to get us.
God so loved the world He sent his only Son Jesus Christ to die for the world, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. (John 3:16)
This article is based on the premise of being Christians. Generations over thousands of years have debated this. If only people who believe in Jesus and worship him be able to go to heaven, then what happen to those sincerely good moral folks who don’t believe in Jesus? Do they go to hell? Then where is fairness? Justice?
Question should rather be asked is it fair for the Son of God Jesus Christ, who never committed any sin, to die on the cross to be a ransom for humanity? It’s funny people asked the first question, because imagine that Jesus the Son of God did not incarnate into the world and take up the sufferings and humiliation of dying on the cross, then what? Then I bet no one will complain that it’s not fair, because everyone then will go to hell. Then everyone will cry out to God “save us O God!” Now that’s actually what God did He gave his only begotten Son:
John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
It’s God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life! That’s the love of God that drives God to save mankind. He acted because of his love; otherwise we would all have perished. Is that fair? If you really want to be fair, the whole humanity would perish! Period. There will be no complaints but only facing the stark reality of burning unquenchable fire in hell.
Now God has acted, and sent his Son Jesus Christ into the world due to his love for us, we reject him because we think it’s too narrow? Not fair? First there was zero way to heaven, we didn’t complain. Now there is a way, albeit a small narrow way, we complain! How lame is that? Because on the surface it may seem to be narrow, selective, and downright even unfair. But the fact of the matter is that the way has to be narrow, because you will have to know God’s way, not just any way. It’s like you have one father, so people start complaining that you are being narrow. You can’t help it, because you can have only one biological father, not two or three! Only one, one mother too. When God came into this world, same thing, he is telling us there is only him. You don’t have two gods! One!
Deut 6: 4 Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.
Yahweh told Israel, tell Israel, your God is one. You can’t have two gods! You either accept him or reject him, but you can’t complain that there is only one way of salvation. It’s really saying you are complaining because there is only one God, and it’s unfair??
6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6)
Jesus did not show us the way to heaven. Jesus says He is the way. He is the truth. He is Life. That’s a bold claim and a universally selective one. There is only one way back to God, you can accept or reject? Likewise, Jesus can’t help it saying that too, because there is only one way, not two ways back to God! So if we are to be intellectually be a man or woman of integrity, we must either accept Jesus as the Son of God and the only narrow way, or reject him as the only way. There is no middle way, because if so, you would have been a hypocrite to yourself and the world!
Finally what about folks who are good morally, basically a good man but not believing in Jesus? Do they go to heaven? According to the gospel of Jesus, the kingdom of God is not a standard of good and bad, but rather a reconciliation of our relationship with God as our Father. Essentially you can be the best morally behaved son in the family, but if you refuse to call your dad as dad, rejecting his fatherhood, what good is there? I think the poor father would rather have a more mischievous son but calling him dad.
Ephesians 1: 3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5 he[b] predestined us for adoption to sonship[c] through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves
Because relationship crowns above all ethics. God is not interested in your own good doing, but he’s after your heart to love him. God loves you and he wants you to love him. Your good deeds morally good behavior has nothing to do with you coming back to his family.
Communion: Baptist view (memorialism) Reformed view (spiritual presence), Lutheran view (consubstantiation), and Roman Catholic view (transubstantiation).
Catholic’s transubstantiation view teaches that the bread and wine we offer at the Lord’s Supper today is transfigured into the actual body and blood of Christ, which is a heresy. Lutheran’s consubstantiation says that Christ is present in the Lord’s Supper in, with, and under the signs of bread and wine. Luther teaches the doctrine of ubiquity in order to show how Christ’s bodily presence is possible and actual. Luther and Calvin rejected transubstantiation with the real presence of Christ, but they both confess the real presence of Christ in the Lord’s Supper.
I hold to the Reformed view of a spiritual presence of Christ in the communion. I believe that the typical evangelical view of memorial only falls short of the spiritual presence of Christ in communion. The Lord’s Supper was a meal in which bread and women were used as food and drink for strengthening o the body, and served above all as signs and seals for the exercise of communion with the crucified Christ. It is both an ordinary natural meal and an extraordinary spiritual meal, in which the host, Christ, offers his own crucified body and shed blood as nourishment for our souls. Christ has to offer up his body into death in order that it may be food of our souls. John 6: 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever.
The table of the Supper being about true communion between Christ and believers, a communion not just with the benefits but above all with the person of Christ, both in his human nature and in his divine nature. Problem with Catholics and Lutheran view on communion is that in communion Christ comes down physically form heaven to earth and they can eat his body and drink his blood, not just spiritually but physically, with their mouths. By contrast, Calvin emphasized that communion of believers with Christ, also according to his human nature, is spiritual in nature, and this comes about, not because Christ comes down physically, but because we lift up our hearts spiritually to heaven, where Jesus Christ, our advocate, is at the right hand of his heavenly Father.
The communion between Christ and believers is so intimate and unbreakable. There is no transference of substance, no consubstantial oneness; like that of the three persons in the Trinity, nor a personal union like that of the two natures in Christ.
A physical union by transubstantiation and consubstantiation with the associated is totally groundless and useless because communion is brought about by the Holy Spirit, who dwells in Christ as the head and in believers as his members. Only the Holy Spirit, who is the Spirit of God and the Spirit of Christ, can so unite people with Christ that they share in his person and benefits and cannot be separated from him by death to the grave, by the world or by Satan. For that reason, this communion is always spiritual in nature. It also embraces the human nature of Christ and believers in their physical existence for Christ cannot be conceived apart from human nature, and he purchased not only believer’s souls, but also their bodies.
Catholics and Lutherans, grace is something material and passive that is physically even by an unbeliever, received by believers, but for the Reformed it is the personal living Christ himself who imparts himself in the Supper as spiritual food to those who believe in him. According to the Reformed, therefore, he is not less present, but more present, much more vigorously and authentically, than according to Rome and Lutherans, for he is not physically and locally present in the sins but spiritually, as the acting Christ himself, in the hearts of believers. It is one thing to be the bread that makes us alive, but another the flesh of Christ to be life giving because from its substance life flows forth into our souls.
The Lords Supper is the sacrament of maturating in communion with Christ. The Lords’ supper remains a communion with his crucified body and with his shed blood. Impossible with trans & Con-substantiation, as the deceased Christ recedes behind the glorified Christ. Eating Christ’s body and drinking his blood amounts to our closest possible union with Christ.
There has been quite a lot of gospel centered teachings on loving God for not what he can do for you but rather for who he is. There is a lot of truth in it, but there have to be a combination of who he is and what he does for you. Even God is frequently quoted in OT and some in NT about the deeds of the Lord. Psalm 92 “For you make me glad by your deeds, Lord;I sing for joy at what your hands have done.How great are your works, Lord,how profound your thoughts!”
You (God) make me glad by your deeds, Lord. It’s the deeds of the Lord that God has made me glad. This is a clear example with many many others in the Bible. And psalmist says here” I sing for joy at what your hands have done”!! Done!! This is clearly the deeds of God and what God has done has made me sing for joy!!
Psalm 116: “1 I love the Lord, for he heard my voice;he heard my cry for mercy.2 Because he turned his ear to me,I will call on him as long as I live.” This is another clear language that I love the Lord because he heard my voice, he heard my cry for mercy. –There is clear evidence we love the Lord because he heard our voice, our cry. Is that wrong? Not so, if you take it in the word value way, and not like binge greedy seeking God’s answering your prayers as a means to get what you want only, and not for God’s will to be done. However, if you take it like I only love the Lord if he answered my prayers, that will be wrong. That will be like an idolatry, and that’s what the gospel centered messages are saying. So, on the bible, we are validated to love the Lord because He has heard me. Legit, and we have to experience oru theology, experience our God, and who God is!
Question is how do I know who God is until I see what he does? Actions speak louder than words. That’s truly a strong and valid legit question. How do the creations know who their creator is without seeing and sensing and feeling what God has done in general and for him or her ! A man or woman’s heart is moved, as God touched him or her. It’s an expression of God’s love towards him or her. Example is the woman with the bleeding problem, after Jesus touched her and healed her bleeding and was later confronted she trembled and gave thanks! Because God has touched her! The leper who was cleansed leapt in joy and screamed!! Not just healings as the manifestation of the glory and deed of God, there are many others in the Bible, like the fire of God descended on Elijah’s sacrifice and licked up every drop of water, or feel the love of God as the Holy Spirit fills a person with joy and peace. These are tangible works or deeds of the Lord and as people receive the healings they see the almighty God and give thanks .
The other common way of showing who God is when he answers our prayers. When we have been praying for an open door, God opened that door, a job, a wife, husband, whatever, when God does answer the prayers we see who he is and our hearts are filled with joy thankfulness awe and worship towards the Lord and our God. All these point to my thesis here that you can’t see or know who God is until he manifests himself like the above described or in intangible way like his presence and peace and joy.
Now there is a third way which is probably the most major and common way of knowing God and hence loving him and serving him. And that’s through the word of God in meditation, a powerful way, or through the word of God preached.
Thesis is you won’t know God until he does something in your life no matter how you read the Bible and understand theology. But I would say by reading and understand theology God will dawn in your heart the revelation of who he is. And with actual answered prayers , it’s a complete revelation of God. I would conclude saying we love God for who He is and what he does for us and the world. You can’t separate the two. There is no dichotomy between the two.