If you had the option to be together with Jesus, face to face, or to have the Holy Spirit with you always, which would you choose? This was the difficult question in the hearts of the Apostles when Jesus told them something rather shocking about Jesus’ ascension.
John 16:7 Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.
It’s better that Jesus goes away? How can that be? How could having the Spirit be better for us than having the risen Lord with us? What does the Spirit do that improves our lives and what could He provide that would help us more than having the Savior with us? First this is a great deal of humility on the part of Jesus and a great example of the love at the center of the Trinity. Jesus isn’t a glory hound, but gives honor to the ministry of the Holy Spirit. Continue reading “How the Spirit Changes Everything”
Through the Gospels, Jesus introduces us to something more primal and profound about God than anything formerly revealed. With the incarnation of Jesus Christ and in His life and ministry, man was introduced to God in a way never previously communicated to man (John 1:1-5). In the beginning was the Father, His spirit and His word who is Jesus Christ. This new revelation does not destroy what is recorded of God in the Old Testament, but instead recasts God in ever increasingly beauteous and humbling depths.
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Nothing we do as evangelicals makes sense if it is divorced from a strong experiential and doctrinal grasp of the coordinated work of Jesus and the Spirit, worked out against the horizon of the Father’s love. Personal evangelism, conversational prayer, devotional Bible study, authoritative preaching, world missions, and assurance of salvation all presuppose that life in the gospel is life in communion with the Trinity. Forget the Trinity and you forget why we do what we do; you forget who we are as gospel Christians; you forget how we got to be like we are.
Sanders, Fred (2010-08-31). The Deep Things of God: How the Trinity Changes Everything (p. 9). Good News Publishers/Crossway Books. Kindle Edition. http://www.amazon.com/The-Deep-Things-God-Everything/dp/1433513153
The Trinity is not an introductory doctrine, meant to be set aside after our intellectual assent, to move on to more “practical” subjects. The Trinity is a mystery that defines our relationship with God. We are not talking about the kind of mystery found in a Sherlock Holmes novel, in which we search for clues and deduce a conclusion that is perfectly reasoned and accounts for all the evidence. The mysteries of God are secrets which, in part, have been or are being, disclosed to His people.
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.
Matthew 11:25-27 At that time Jesus declared, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.
This passage is at the heart of the Christian Faith. It is God who reveals himself, in nature to everyman, and in special revelation to those who believe through His Spirit. Indeed, what is revealed belongs to us and to our children forever. Yet, we have to understand that even what is revealed about the Trinity is itself a mystery. There is a progressive revelation in regards to the doctrine of the Trinity. Some aspects of it remain beyond our comprehension. The Trinity, in many ways, will always be a mystery because the finite cannot comprehend the depth and breadth of the infinite. But what is revealed about the Trinity teaches us about our world. A tension between the one and the many permeates our existence; individuals and the collective. This tension is at the heart of our marriages, churches, communities and politics. Self or selflessness? It’s fundamental to being human. And the answer to this tension is Jesus Christ, who reveals the Trinity to us. Who in himself has two natures, divine and human, and what we learn is that harmony between the individual and the collective is found in divine Love.
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