It is a baffling irony that this doctrine is the most important for Christians today and yet it is, perhaps, one of the most neglected.
It can be intimidating to confront (or rather, be confronted by) such a unique, deep, and soul-challenging doctrine as the doctrine of the Trinity. Yet, for the Christian, there is nothing left but to dive in- we must know our God because our God has drawn us to Himself. The simple fact is: we cannot know God if we do not know the Trinity.
The Father in the Trinity is the basis for…the Father for us.
I am posting a two-part series on the Father.
- In part one, we will look at who the Father is in the Trinity.
- In part two we will look at the Father for us.
To rightly know the Father for us we must know the Father in the Trinity.
“God is Love” (1Jn 4:8,16) This is one of the most basic truths we know about God. But often it is read in the context of “God is love, and so God loves me and saves me.” While this is true, we are missing a point that is definitional to who God is. God is Love. He has always been Love. He will always be Love. But, how can a God be Love before He created anyone to love? We believe God is one, so how could He love anyone before he made us?
Before anything was ever created, the Father, Son and Spirit existed in perfect harmony and unity.
- By the Spirit, the Father loved the Son and
- the Son loved the Father.
- God was totally full and complete in and of Himself.
- He had no need to create.
- He was not lonely.
- He didn’t have a “human-shaped hole” in His heart that could only be filled by you or me.
- To understand this is to begin to rightly understand the Trinity.
To be a Father is, by nature, to be life-giving. It is no surprise, then, that the Father freely chose to create a Universe in which He could bring others into the glorious overflow of the love of the Trinity. The nature of true love is to share in the bounty of love!
Within this “perfect triangle of love” the love of the Father for the Son (through the Spirit) expressed itself by creating a universe in which an elect people could exist.
The elect were chosen by the Father from before the foundation of the world (Eph 1.3-6), they were given to the Son by the Father (John 6.37), they were given the promised Spirit by the Father (Luke 24.49); and through the obedience of the Son and the sealing of the Spirit, the elect will be glorified in eternity (Rom 8.28-30).
This is called “Salvation History” or the “History of Redemption”. The whole sweep of human existence has come about by the overflowing of the love of the Father for the Son in the Spirit. You are here because the live-giving, overflowing, super-abounding love of the Father is being expressed to the Son through the Spirit…all to the glory of God!
When we believe this we realize that our position before God is not dependent upon our performance. God’s love for us is not based upon how good you are. God’s love for you is based on the Father’s love of the Son, and we are sealed in that love by the Holy Spirit.
More on this in part 2, The Father for Us…