‘The heavens declare the glory of God’ (Psalm 19:1).
Paul affirms in Rom 1:19-21 and Acts 17:28 that nature itself bears witness to God’s power and majesty. His works of providence bear witness to his kindness, Acts 14:17. Conscience testifies to the demands of his holy law, Rom 2:14, and to the reality of punishment for the wrong-doer, Rom 1:32.
This is referred to as general revelation, because everyone receives it. Failure to thanks and serve God aright is, therefore, a sin against knowledge, and any claims not to have this knowledge should not be taken seriously. See Rom 1:18-3:19.
What general revelation does not tell us, however, is the provision God has made for our sin, in the person and work of Jesus Christ. For this, we need special revelation.
|GENERAL REVELATION||SPECIAL REVELATION|
|Given to all||Given to few|
|Sufficient for condemnation||Sufficient for salvation|
|Declares God’s glory, Psa 19:1||Declares God’s grace|
|Located in nature, history (of Israel), conscience, religious consciousness||Located in Scriptures, Heb 1:1; incarnation, Heb 1:2, apostles, Heb 2:3-4.|
|Is personal, Phil 3:10, anthropic (uses human language), analogical, Rom 5:7f|
(After House, Charts of Christian Theology and Doctrine, 38)