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Lesson 1
How to Know God

We welcome you warmly to this course that will explain how you can find "a New Life for You". You are about to begin on something which may well become the most important step you have ever taken in your life. Therefore we are excited about you and your studies. What we are going to do together is so very important to all of us, that we suggest that you begin with prayer:

"Our Father in heaven, Lord of all creation,
Lord of all nations, give me, I pray,
wisdom and patience to learn about you
and your plan for me. Help me to understand
and to give myself to you so that I may be;
free from my own weaknesses. Guide me,
I pray, to become a new person in you!

Where do we start?

You must be wondering where we are going to start our studies. If you come from a Hindu or Buddhist background, you would surely begin from where you are, that is, from the level of man; how can I be at peace with myself and with the world? We could also do the same. But if we start this way, there is always a very great danger. We could make our faith a wholly man-centred thing. You must know the old Indian saying:

"A man tied up in himself
makes a small bundle."

How true that is! The peace can only be found outside ourselves, outside the "small bundles" that we are. We will find peace only if we come to know the one, true and living God. You would surely agree that the best place to start from must be God Almighty himself. No other starting point would do for us, because in this course we are seeking the greatest treasure in all the world.

Who can know God?

When we say that God is going to be the beginning of our study, we immediately face a difficulty. How can we speak about God and his ways with certainty? How can we be even sure what God is like? If you come from a Hindu background, you must know the Hindu teaching that God is unknowable. He most surely exists and rules, yet no man can ever really know him! That is why in Hinduism there are so many names and even forms and ideas of God. Because God is unknowable to man, we try to picture him and worship him in the form that suits each one of us the best. You know that Hindus are never quite certain about God's nature or character or about the way he rules the world.

On the other hand, if you come from a Buddhist background, then you may believe that God is not really necessary for a new life. You may try to improve yourself by following the rules laid down by the Buddha, the founder of religion.

Our starting point

in this course, you will soon find out that we are going to speak about the living, almighty God, whom we can know, about whose ways we can learn and whose works and words we can study!

If you grew up in an Eastern culture, you would wonder how we are able to do this. Dear student, we want you to understand that we are not boastful and that we are not trying to make you believe that we have any superior knowledge. We also know that God is really unknowable by our small limited minds, and we can only know him if he chooses to reveal himself by making himself known. And this is exactly what he has done. He reveals himself to us in his Word, so that we may know him.

We are only able to speak as we do, because we have a Book, a Holy Book, from which we can all learn about God, and also about man and the world, and about the new life that is open to all people everywhere. In this Book it is God who speaks to us and who reveals himself to us. The Book of which we are speaking is the Holy Bible or the Holy Scriptures. We firmly believe that Book, the Bible, is the Word of God for all mankind, for all ages, for all time. Therefore, even though we said that we are going to begin with God, we'll really go first to the Bible, because it is only in the Bible that we can learn about God. in the Bible we learn how to come into a living relationship with the living God.

The true Author of the Bible

The Bible was written by men who were led or inspired by God to write what they wrote:

"All Scripture is inspired by God
and is useful for teaching the truth,
rebuking error, correcting faults,
and giving instructions for right living,
so that the person who serves God
may be fully qualified and equipped
to do every kind of good deed"

(2 Timothy 3:16-17).

God moved people to write down what God revealed to them. Every chapter and verse of the whole of it bears the stamp of God's light and guidance (2 Peter 1:21).

We want to introduce you to this great treasure house in which are the purest spiritual gems, pearls and diamonds and emeralds of truth, which could discover every day of your life, if you make a practice of reading it regularly.

Test Yourself No. 1

Answer the following questions for yourself. After that you can compare your answers with the answers you get when you click here: [answers]

1. Who is God, as you understand him?

2. How can we get to know about God?

3. Is there some place or book where we can learn about God?

4. Do you wish to learn more about God?