Michael Reeves on the Importance of God as the one who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Christians have not come to believe that the God of the Bible is a Trinity because they have sensed his resemblance to some leaf, drink, or political structure. Christians insist on the Trinity because of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. As the Son of God, Jesus reveals a God who is a Father. Before anything else, that is the eternal identity of the God revealed in Jesus. "Father," says Jesus in John 17:24, "you loved me before the creation of the world." Before all things, the God made known in Jesus was a Father loving his Son.

This is precisely why the apostle John can write that "God is love" (1 John 4:8, emphasis added), for this God would not be who he is if he did not love. If at any time the Father did not have a Son to whom he gave his life and love, then he simply would not be a Father. To be who he is, then, this God must give out life and love. And so we begin to see why the Trinity is such good news: God is love because God is a Trinity, because for eternity this God has been giving out—positively bursting with—love for his Son.

How the Father loves and delights in his Son is something we get to see in the baptism of Jesus. There the Father declares his love for his Son and his pleasure in him as the Spirit rests on the Son like a dove. For the Spirit is the one who makes the love of the Father known, causing the Son to cry "Abba!"....

All of which is to say, briefly, that when you start with the Jesus of the Bible, you inevitably arrive at a triune God. John wrote his gospel, he tells us, "that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name" (John 20:31). But even that simplest call to faith in Jesus is an invitation to a Trinitarian faith: Jesus is described as the Son of God. God is his Father. And he is the Messiah, the one anointed with the Spirit.

Yet while Jesus does reveal a triune God, this triune God that he makes known does not come across as anything like a philosophical headache. Here is a God who is delightfully different from all others, a God who is love: a Father, loving and giving life to his Son in the fellowship of the Spirit.

Read it all.

Filed under: * TheologyThe Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit

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Posted December 5, 2012 at 5:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]
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