Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God, (1 Corinthians 2:12)
The Bible assumes as a self-evident fact that men can know God with at least the same degree of immediacy as they know any other person or thing that comes within the field of their experience. The same terms are used to express the knowledge of God as are used to express knowledge of physical things. ’O taste and see that the Lord is good.’ (Psa 34:8) ’All thy garments smellof myrrh, and aloes, and cassia, out of the ivory palaces.’ (Psa 45:8) ’My sheep hear my voice.’ (Joh 10:27) ’Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.’ (Mat 5:8) These are but four of countless such passages from the Word of God. And more important than any proof text is the fact that the whole import of the Scripture is toward this belief.
What can all this mean except that we have in our hearts organs by means of which we can know God as certainly as we know material things through our familiar five senses? We apprehend the physical world by exercising the faculties given us for the purpose, and we possess spiritual faculties by means of which we can know God and the spiritual world if we will obey the Spirit’s urge and begin to use them. That a saving work must first be done in the heart is taken for granted here. The spiritual faculties of the unregenerate man lie asleep in his nature, unused and for every purpose dead; that is the stroke which has fallen upon us by sin. They may be quickened to active life again by the operation of the Holy Spirit in regeneration; that is one of the immeasurable benefits which come to us through Christ’s atoning work on the cross.