What do you understand about the biblical doctrine of the Trinity? You have all heard it. You know that we are supposed to be Trinitarians. But do you have a comfortable, crisp understanding of the doctrine of the Trinity as it is set forth in the Word of God? We worship One God in the Trinity, or Tri-Unity of his sacred Persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and adore each as the God of all grace by whom we are saved.
All three Persons in the Godhead are involved in and devoted to the salvation of God’s elect. When John wrote, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God,” he declared both the eternality of Christ, the Word, and the eternal union of the Son with the Father. He also suggested the eternal communion of the Divine Persons. The preposition “with” is a preposition of direction and means “toward,” or “face to face with,” suggesting both equality and agreement. The phrase might be translated, “and the Word was toward God.” It expresses the idea of motion.
There is now, always has been, and always shall be a reciprocal, conscious communion, and the active going out of love between the three Persons of the Triune God, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, regarding the Salvation of our souls! Imagine that! — As the three Persons of the eternal Godhead are equal in Divinity, but distinct in personality, so all three of the Divine Persons are equal in grace, but distinct in the operations of grace; and all three are and were and forever shall be moving toward us in grace!
All three Persons in the Godhead are equally gracious; and all three must be equally praised. In fact, whenever the three Persons of the Holy Trinity are presented together in the Scriptures, it is always in connection with redemption, grace and salvation. I have not found an exception.
“Praise God from whom all blessings flow!
Praise Him all creatures here below!
Praise Him above, ye heavenly hosts!
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost!”
Sometimes God the Father is presented alone, as when he stood upon Mt. Sinai, clothed with thunder and lightening, delivering the law to Moses. So terrible was his presence that the very mountain shook in the prospect of God’s awesome judgment (Exodus 20:18).
Sometimes God the Son appears alone, as when he appears in his glorious second advent. Then men and women who have despised and rejected him will cry for the mountains to fall upon them and pray in terror that they might be saved from “the wrath of the Lamb” (Revelation 6:14).
When God the Holy Spirit is represented alone, the consequences are the same. Those who blaspheme him, committing that sin which can never be forgiven, are reserved as reprobates unto everlasting judgment (Matthew 12:31-32). Whenever one Person in the Trinity is presented alone, the result is judgment.
However, when all three of the Divine Persons are set before us together, as in John 1:1, the consequence is always mercy, grace, redemption and salvation (Ephesians 1:3-14; Revelation 1:4-6). In other words, — The whole Being of God, in all his attributes, in all his glory, in the Trinity of his Persons is set for the everlasting salvation of his elect (Jeremiah 32:41; Romans 8:28-32).
The Word was God
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”— It is impossible for anyone to read those words with honesty and misunderstand them. John here asserts that the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Word, was, is and ever shall be in nature, essence and substance very God of very God, and that as the Father is God, so also the Son is God. Our Savior’s divinity could not be more positively stated. Christ the Word is not inferior to God the Father. The eternal and unchangeable Godhead of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Ghost is all one.
“And the Word was God.” — He was not made God, as he is made flesh. He was not constituted or appointed God, or declared God by office and title. “The Word was God,” truly and properly God, in the highest sense of the word. Jesus Christ, our Savior, the Word, is Jehovah, our God, God with us, the mighty God, God over all, the great God, the living God, the true God and eternal life. All the perfections of divinity are his. All the fulness of the Godhead dwells in him. The works of his hands (Creation and Providence — Redemption and Forgiveness — Life and Death — Judgment and Mercy) are the works of him who is God.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”— With this one sentence, John sweeps away and abolishes every heresy by which Satan has harassed the Church of God from its beginning. Arianism, which asserts that Christ is a Being inferior to God, is demolished. Sabellianism, which denies the distinction of Persons in the Trinity, and says that God sometimes manifested himself as the Father, sometimes as the Son and sometimes as the Spirit, falls. Socinianism, Unitarianism, which declares that Jesus Christ was not God at all, but mere man, a good and great man, but only a man, crumbles. And Arminianism, which declares God to be changeable as one whose love, will, purpose and grace are all subject to the will of man, is destroyed!
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