A deep knowledge of God’s character
“We rise from the Bible — I think we can say it without irreverence — with a knowledge of the character of God. There is a real analogy here to our relation with an earthly friend. How do we come to know one another? Not all at once, but by years of observation of one another’s actions. We have seen a friend in time of danger, and he has been brave; we have gone to him in perplexity, and he has been wise; we have had recourse to him in time of trouble, and he has given us his sympathy. So gradually, with the years, on the basis of many, many such experiences, we have come to love him and revere him.
So it is, somewhat, with the knowledge of God that we obtain from the Bible. In the Bible we see God in action; we see Him in fiery indignation wiping out the foulness of Sodom; we see Him leading Israel like a flock; we see Him giving His only begotten Son for the sins of the world. And by what we see we learn to know Him. In all His varied dealings with His people He has never failed; so now we know Him and adore Him.”
—J. Gresham Machen, What Is Faith? (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 1991), 77-78