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The knowledge of God should evoke fear and reverence and it should be our guide and teacher to learn to seek every good from him and give him glory. To merely ask the question, “What is God?”, is not enough. We must want to know God. (pg. 41) Even beyond that, knowledge of God causes us to see that the whole of our lives should be given over in service to him and we would be wickedly corrupt if we did not do so.

True piety does not lead us to fashion the god of our choosing or making. But is “content to hold him to be as he manifests himself.” (pg. 42) When we recognize who God is, when we grow in the knowledge of Him, we don’t dream up any god that pleases us. We give ourselves over to trusting Him because we know that he is the Author of every good, that he is just, that he is righteous and that he is merciful. Because the pious acknowledges him as Lord and Father, they deem it right to observe his authority in all things, reverence his majesty, advance his glory and obey his commandments.

The proper estimation and knowledge of God as he has revealed himself, is an aid in the restraint of sin. We will restrain ourselves from sinning, not from a fear of punishment alone, but out of love and reverence for God as Father. Calvin writes, “Here indeed is pure and real religion: faith so joined with an earnest fear of God that this fear also embraces willing reverence, and carries with it such legitimate worship as is prescribed in the law.” (pg. 43)

Chapter 3 begins with the instinctive, intuitive knowledge of God that has been implanted within the mind of humanity. Though Calvin doesn’t reference Romans 1:20 in this section, that is the clearest exposition in the Scripture of that reality. The mere fact that man is prone to idolatry is ample evidence of this. Though the world tries to cast off the knowledge of God and to corrupt the worship of Him, the sense of divinity can never be extinguished. That is not something that is learned, it is innate.

Lord, let this true knowledge of You lead me in true fear and reverence and to seek all the good You have for me. May I ever live to serve You and to bring You the highest glory.