Tag Archives: God

Three in One – God revealed

The Trinity

Deuteronomy 29:29  The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.

Anyone who’s ever tried to understand the triune nature of God knows that it’s a difficult task.  It’s even harder to describe than it is to understand.  People have attempted many different ways of describing God over the centuries and all of them fall short.

The water analogy (God is like water:  it exists as liquid, solid and vapor) fails to capture the nature of God because H2O cannot exist as water, ice, and steam simultaneously and each of these three has different properties.  God is simultaneously Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  Each contains the same essence.  The candle analogy (Father=candlestick, Son=light, Spirit=flame) is even worse as each fail to coexist with each other in a way that would even come close to a picture of the Trinity.  Likewise analogies like the courtroom (which gives a good idea of the roles of the Trinity in judge, bailiff and defense attorney) cannot capture the triune nature of God because saying that all of these make up “one court” is nothing like the oneness of our God.  Analogies fall short because God is above our understanding.

We have a tendency to think that we need to figure everything out, that there is somewhere out there a perfect analogy to show just what our God is like.  But God is not like anything in creation.  He is God.  And it’s ok to not understand the mysterious things about Him.  But when He reveals something about Himself, it’s worth taking note.  Through the Scriptures, God has revealed that He is Three in One, and we do well to believe it to be so.  All of the details of this fact may remain a mystery, and we need to be willing to accept that God is more complex than we could ever understand with our finite minds.  If He wasn’t, He wouldn’t be much of a god.

Three in One – Perfect Community

The Trinity

Ephesians 4:4-7  There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.  But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift.

So how does believing in the Trinity affect your life?  How do you live differently because of the triune God?  What part of believing that God is made of one substance but three persons makes this doctrine “Christian” and what does it mean for the church?

While many religions around the world focus on works and performance, Christianity stands out.  We, as Christ followers, don’t give all of our focus to our performance, but the core of our belief is relationship.  God is about relationships.  In fact, the very first model of a perfect community is given in the Trinity.  In the Bible we have Father, Son and Holy Spirit as an example for us of relationships.

There is no sin in God so He is not tainted by its effects.  Among the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are truth, love, humility, peace, service, honor, and unity.  There is no grumbling or complaining, no backstabbing, no gossip.  Though all three persons of the Trinity are equally God, there are different roles for each.  But we never see the Son disgruntled about carrying out the will of the Father, we never see the Holy Spirit resent bringing glory to the Son.  Because within each person of the Trinity there is the others (all one God, all one essence), they work together in perfect harmony.

We can’t be perfect, so we can’t live in the unity and harmony of God, but we have an example set before us to mimic to the best of our ability.  Not to gain perfection, but to carry on good relationships, both with other people and with God.  God is about community, about selfless relationships and love.

Conformed to His image

Romans 8:28-29 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.  For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.

Romans 8:28 has got to be one of the most quoted and memorized of all Scripture.  It’s important to know that God purposes all things to work together for good.  But when you pay close attention to the latter half of the verse, you see the need to read on.

Paul is stating that there are some who are called by God to fulfill His purpose.  In context we learn that those who are called are also to be conformed to the image of Christ (see also 2 Thessalonians 2:14) in order to bring about that purpose.  The work of the Holy Spirit within us brings about our sanctification which numbers us among the brothers/sisters of Christ.

So what’s our part in this?  What application do we make out of this truth?  Trust, for one thing.  Do you trust that in all things, in all areas of your life that God is active and present, working things towards His purpose?  Do you trust that He is conforming you to the image of His Son through the events and circumstances of your life?  We’ve got to trust that, even when things aren’t going as we planned, our Creator chose us from before creation (Ephesians 1:4) to be part of something bigger than ourselves.  His plan calls for the lives of HIs people to be transformed into the image of Christ and He brings that about one step at a time (2 Corinthians 3:18).

He loves

The Father

John 3:16  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

God isn’t just another person in life who goes around saying things He doesn’t mean.  God cannot lie and He does not make promises He doesn’t keep.  When He says He loves us, He doesn’t just leave it at that.  He demonstrates it.

Do we understand what it means that God loves us?  Do we grasp the heaviness of the fact that the one who created all things has affection for us?  That He thinks about us?  That He has a plan for us?  He works in our lives, shaping us to be who He created us to be.  He disciplines us when we’ve done wrong, just as a father disciplines his children so that they’ll learn right from wrong.  God shows His love by being involved in our lives.

In an act that could never be confused for anything but love, God sent His Son to die a painful death of suffering on a cross, taking on our sin and giving us His righteousness, so that He could have a relationship with us.  This act was not because we had done anything to earn His love, but because He just loved us that much.

When we struggle in life, when things just don’t seem to make sense, when we feel like no one loves us, we can look at all that God has done for us.  Look to the forgiveness you’ve received in Christ, to the wonderful promises God has made, and to the Holy Spirit He’s placed in your life to comfort and guide you.  He loves you so much that He can’t stay away from you.  He’s crazy about you.

 

He judges

The Father

Isaiah 33:22  For the Lord is our judge; the Lord is our lawgiver; the Lord is our king; he will save us.

The bad news is, God is our judge. The good news is, the Judge is on our side.  If we’re in Christ, we have a mediator who acts on our behalf to keep the Judge’s wrath from us.  The Judge sees His Son in us and rules in our favor.

Which of us is worthy of judging another?  We’ve all committed sins and are guilty of our own transgressions.  How could we judge anyone with so many strikes against us?  But God isn’t like us.  The Judge is without sin, without blemish.  He is holy, and only one who is holy is worthy to judge.  He alone holds the right to hand down a verdict.

One day we’ll all stand before Him and He’ll make His ruling.  We’re either not-guilty because we’ve believed on Christ for our salvation, or we’re guilty because we tried to be good enough on our own and didn’t measure up.  Where will you stand on the final judgement day?  Will you be acquitted of all charges because Christ your mediator stands between you and the Judge, or will you find yourself accused without counsel to defend you?

 

He shapes

The Father

Isaiah 64:8  But now, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.

What does God want from us?  Sometimes we need but ask Him.  We’ll find many times that He’s already at work in us to bring about His purposes.  We are His instruments in this life, if we’ve given ourselves over to Him…and really even if we haven’t (Romans 9:20-23).  He makes us into what He needs us to be, what He wants us to be.

We all have our own desires and our own ideas about what being godly means, but it’s God himself who determines what our strengths and weaknesses are, what our opportunities will be, what our roles in life will be.  But we get to where we are in His great plan one step at a time, one little minor change at a time.  We experience and encounter things that develop us as a people and then we in turn become a little bit more of what God intended.  If we’re following Christ, we’ll be used for good.  God will have us play out a role on His team.  The wicked and ungodly play a role too in His plan, but not for the same side.

Pray for wisdom, pray that God the Father would work on you to make you into the creation He intended you to be.  Seek to be more like Christ, in His character and in His devotion to the Father.  Let God work in you and through you as He shapes you into a fine piece of art.

He protects

The Father

Psalm 23:4  Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

Our loving heavenly Father watches over His flock and will not lose even one without knowing about it.  There’s nowhere that we can go where we’ll be outside His sight and His protection.  He can and does protect us.  We have nothing to fear.

The things of this world can be dangerous to anyone, but to a follower of Christ, some of them are downright disastrous outside the grace of God.  He keeps us from harm and allows nothing to prosper against us as we carry out His purposes.  If we’re on the path He sets us on, we’ll see plenty of opposition, but He’ll be the One who keeps us going, guarding us all the way.

He know our weaknesses and won’t allow us to face more temptation than we can bear.  In fact, when faced with temptation, God provides us a way out!  He gives us the avenue to get away from it, because He cares about our future.  He has things for us to do and He’ll provide a way for us to make it to the finish line.  He’s there for us, even when it sometimes seems He’s not.  He’s never off duty, He’s always watching over us, like a shepherd who cares about each and every one of his little sheep.

He calls

The Father

1 Corinthians 1:9  God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

We like to make much of what we do for God and what we’ve done to change since becoming Christians, but we leave out how much of the work was done by God himself.  Much of what we take credit for was initiated by Him and we merely carried out what He called us to do.  Let’s step aside for the moment and consider His calling.

God calls us into fellowship with himself through Jesus.  He wants us to be His.  He’s a loving Father who adores us and would have us all follow Him in love.  He calls us into good works.  He wants to see us do something with our faith, not just believe but show our love for Him by serving others and serving Him.  We’re His vessels here on earth to do His will, but it requires us letting Him have control of the wheel.

He calls us to repentance.  God wants us to seek after Him with a sorrow for the things we’ve done to keep us from Him.  We can’t serve sin and God, so when it comes down to it, He’s calling us to genuinely give up the sin and follow Him.  He calls us to holiness.  We can’t be perfect, but we can be in a right relationship with God through Christ.  Holiness and righteousness are His in which to cloak us and we receive them when we follow Him.  He calls each of us to ministry.  Not all of us will leave our careers and become pastors and preachers, but we all have a ministry in which God can use us to expand His kingdom and bring glory unto himself.

He’s calling even now.  There’s something tugging on your heart that you know you ought to do.  You read something in God’s Word that the Holy Spirit emphasized in your heart.  You are being called and your response does not mean that you are doing anything on your own.  Your answer to the call is out of obedience.

He created

The Father

Genesis 1:1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

Any discussion of God the Father has to begin…in the beginning.  God existed before there was time and then, He created time.  This is confusing to almost anyone and we won’t spend much time discussing eternality, but the basis of discussing God is the creation of time and all things in existence.  Before He spoke it, it didn’t exist.

Clearly, Jesus played a role in creation. Colossians and the Gospel of John make that very clear.  But God the Father has the authority to speak things into existence, and so it was with the creation of the world.  He spoke, and there was light.  He spoke and there was night and there was day.  He spoke, and His words were so powerful that whatever He said happened.  Now why is it again that we question whether God is powerful enough to help us in our lives?

There was nothing but Him, and then there was what He created.  That’s pretty simple, yet it’s so incredibly complicated. How did God exist from eternity if nothing else existed?  How did creation take place?  Was it a big bang?  These are honestly mysteries that aren’t going to be answered easily. We can never know everything about God, but we do know this, our Father set the universe in place, and all things hold together because of Him.  We can rely on Him for all of our lives’ issues.

 

True security

Psalm 91:2  I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.

Just as we seek satisfaction and pleasure in meaningless things in this life, we also seek security in equally meaningless things.  We have a tendency to think that having enough money will keep us safe from disaster or unhappiness, that enough respect will keep us free from loneliness, that enough power will keep us secure from threats.

But the day comes for everyone when that stuff isn’t enough.  The economy tanks, a mistake is made that ruins a hard-earned reputation, the job that seemed stable is lost.  These things, for all they promise, can’t provide security.  Only he who puts his trust in the Lord will find true refuge.

God is able to be our shelter from life’s hurts, our fortress from attack, our deliverer from danger.  Only He is enough.  Only He can live up to the promise of security.  Dwell in Him and He will prove faithful.

———-  Think of one thing that you’ve put your trust in, only to have it fail to live up to its promises. Now compare that to God’s faithfulness shown in Scripture.