Sunday, June 18, 2017

God gave...The Father (Part 2)

As previously discussed I will speak briefly to the person of God the Father within the Godhead, also known as the Trinity.  Please remember that this is a series so if something needs clarification, look to previous posts in this series or hold on and it will likely become clear as we move forward.  We will begin by remembering what the Nicene Creed states about God the Father.

We believe in one God, The Father Almighty

Please allow me briefly to point out again that we are speaking of one God.  He is one in essence and three in persons.  That is the overarching nature of the Trinity.  My goal going forward is to help make clear the persons of the Trinity; never to create a notion of three God's.

God The Father

The beautiful thing about our God and what makes him different from other Gods is this idea of Fatherhood.  No other God call us His children.  No other God promises forgiveness of and redemption from our sinful rebellion against Him through the sacrifice of His own Son.  No other God gives a new nature that no longer desires to rebel against Him.  No other God then, puts His Spirit inside of us, giving us gifts to help us in this life and empowering us to use them successfully.

Though God does have a certain love for his "children of creation" (i.e. all of mankind), He does these things for those who are His children by faith alone(John 1:12-13).

We are privileged to call Almighty God Abba! Father because, as true believers, we have received the Spirit of adoption.  The Spirit by whom we are led, bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God and thus fellow heirs with Christ.  However, adoption into the family of God comes with a responsibility. That responsibility is that we suffer with Christ in order that we may also be glorified with Christ(Romans 8:14-17).

We know that we can trust our Heavenly Father because our Savior, His Son, trusts Him entirely. Jesus taught us to pray "Our Father who art in Heaven"(Matthew 6:9-13).  All that the Son, Jesus, spoke and did was by the will of the Father and because He sees Him do it first(John 5:19-20, 8:28).  He trusted His Father completely and so can we.

God's word teaches us that we are not separated from God by some great span or chasm.  No God condescended to provide knowledge of Himself to us in our languages, using figures of speech, and genres that we could relate to.

In the Old Testament He appeared to man as The Angel of the Lord to David(1 Chronicles 21:16), a burning bush to Moses(Exodus 3:1-2), a pillar of fire(Exodus 13:21) and a cloud on the mountain to the children of Israel(Exodus 16:19), as a whisper to Elijah(1 Kings 19:12), and as a whirlwind to Job(Job 38:1).  There are many other Old Testament examples of God coming down and revealing Himself to His people.

The Father's Greatest Gift of Love

In the New Testament, God the Father tops all of the Old Testament examples by sending His Son as God in the flesh.  In fact, His greatest condescension was in the incarnation when God the Father sent His Son in human form to dwell among us, live perfectly in our stead, and ultimately die as our substitute receiving the punishment of God's wrath for our sins.  Then he raised Him from the dead verify Christ's deity and the validity of all that He accomplished.

Let's just say that Jesus was the greatest gift of love that the Father ever gave us.(Romans 5:8)

After this,  Jesus ascended to the right hand of the Father and sent the third person of the Trinity, Holy Spirit.  More on the Son and the Spirit soon.

Let it suffice to say that God the Father cares very much for His creation and even more for His children.  He is not out of reach.  And no matter how far you think you have run or fallen, you are never out of His reach.

Coming up, we will speak to the subject of God the Creator and discuss further the details of His love for His creation and the magnificence of his creative power and how He is not only the beginning, but also the middle and the end of all things.

Please continue with me on this journey as we learn Coram Deo (before the very face of God).

Much love,


Sunday, June 4, 2017

God Gave.....Himself (Part 1)


Image result for pics of Alpha and Omega as Jesus

Before time began......God was!

Ok. So maybe this would be considered a bit obnoxious by some, what with the huge lettering and all.  But the fact is, He is a...


Alright. I think I have made my point.  Maybe someone might think, "If we are speaking to what God gave us, why not start with Creation?"  That is a reasonable question.  But what we often forget is that before creation God gave us himself, by simply being.  In all of His glory, might, and trinitarian splendor.  It is to the trinitarian nature of God that I want to speak here because, who He is makes all the difference in how we understand what He gives us.

Jesus tells us in John 5:26 that "For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself."


A.W. Tozer expounds on this in Ch. 6 of his book, "Knowledge of the Holy" when he states,
"Whatever God is, and all that God is, He is in Himself.  All life is in and from God, whether it be the lowest form of unconscious life or the highly self-conscious, intelligent life of a seraph. No creature has life in itself; all life is a gift from God.  
The life of God, conversely, is not a gift from another.  Were there another from whom God could receive the gift of life, or indeed any gift whatsoever, that other would be God in fact.  An elementary but correct way to think of God is as the One who contains all, who gives all that is given, but who Himself can receive nothing that He has not first given.
To admit the existence of a need in God is to admit incompleteness in the divine being. Need is a creature-word and cannot be spoken of the Creator.  God has a voluntary relation to everything He has made, but He has no necessary relation to anything outside of Himself.  His interest in His creatures arises from  His sovereign good pleasure, not from any need those creatures can supply nor from any completeness they can bring to Him who is complete in Himself." 
The Apostle Paul tells us in Acts 17:24-25 that 
"The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything." 
Hopefully these references give a clear understanding of the undeniable self-sufficiency of God. He came from nothing.  He exists in and of Himself.  He needs nothing.  He is completely fulfilled in Himself.  And through this trinitarian nature, He is the only God capable of understanding and giving love to another because the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit have lived in a perfectly loving relationship with each other for all of eternity.  No other religion in the world believes in a trinitarian God because no other religion in the world believes in the God of the Bible.

So What Is This Trinity?

I actually want to take part of this series and speak to the nature of the Trinity, the best I know how.  I believe it is important to give time to this because the rest of the series is about the who, what, where, when, and how of this trinitarian God.  He is seen throughout scripture and will be referenced in three distinct persons throughout this series.

The Nicene Creed was written at the Council of Nicea in 325 A.D.  It is not just some document or set of phrases designed to express some nice thoughts about Christian beliefs.  It was created to answer heresies that denied this very biblical doctrine of the Trinity and the person and deity of Christ.  It fleshes out nicely the basics of each person of the Trinity.

So my intent is to include it hear and then include each section as I briefly speak to who each person of the Trinity is.  I do intend them to be three separate and brief posts that will hopefully peak and hold your interest in this discussion.  If you are at all interested in delving deeper into your understanding of who God is, what He has done for you,  and what your purpose in this life is, please stick with me.

So, without further adieu, here is the Nicene Creed proclaiming the glorious nature of the Trinity:

We believe in one God, The Father Almighty
Maker of heaven and earth
And of all things visible and invisible

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God,
begotten of his Father before all worlds
God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God,
begotten, not made, 
being of one substance with the Father by whom all things were made; 
who for us and for our salvation came down from heaven, 
and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary
and was made man; and was crucified under Pontius Pilot;
he suffered and was buried; 
and the third day he rose again according to the Scriptures
and ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father;
and He shall come again, with glory, to judge the living and the dead;
whose kingdom shall have no end

And we believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and giver of life, 
who proceeds from the Father and the Son;
who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified; 
who spoke by the prophets;
and we  believe in one holy catholic and apostolic church;
we acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins;
and we look for the resurrection of the dead, 
and the life of the world to come