devotional

24JUL
2015

LBCF 1689 Reflections (part 31)

 

 

Reflections on the Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689. 23 Aug 14 began a perhaps unbroken, orderly, and personal journey through my favorite written confession of faith. This will be my personal reflections on this beloved written codification of the Christian faith according to a Baptist flavor. 

 

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CHAPTER 2
Paragraph 3: “…which doctrine of the Trinity is the foundation of all our communion with God, and comfortable dependence on him.”

The doctrine of the Trinity emerges from the Christian conviction of monotheism- the belief that there is but one God. Christians believe this. There are not three gods! There cannot be. So how can the Trinity exist? First we must begin with a propositional statement that I feel allays many concerns with the doctrine as it’s approached and that’s that God is not like us. We tend to think of God as just a big human. This can be dangerous. It’s perhaps good in some respects that we think like this since we are made in his image, but God is God and there are none like him, friend. Isaiah 46:5. In my opinion, the best realization of what it means to be made “in his image” is in our given faculties- sight, hearing, speech, etc. God, who before the Son took on flesh had no ears, eyes, or voice box nonetheless crafted a being like him who “sees” as he does, “thinks” like he does, and “speaks” as he can. We are like him in this respect, but we are not God or little gods. I am not triune. There are not three equal parts of me in communion with one another. I as a father, a soldier and a husband or something does not at all equate. There is nothing in creation like its Creator. Nothing! If we start here I think it’s good. We should distance ourselves from God as much as possible to grasp something of his otherness (holiness). This is easy by focusing on the idea through what the Scriptures say of him.

     Here’s an example: say to yourself: “God is not like me at all.” Then intentionally combine the following Scripture with that thought:

“Before the mountains were brought forth, 
Or ever You had formed the earth and the world, 
Even from everlasting to everlasting, 
You are God.” 
-Psalm 90:2.

     

     We’re barely a blip on the radar. “For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust,” Psalm 103:14.

     We would understand nothing of God had God not become a man and presented himself, John 1:14.

     Paul Washer, rather uncharacteristically for his style I must add, once posed the following: “If an alien species were to come to earth and ask, ‘what is god like? Do you know him?’ we would have no reference until Jesus came. Then we could point to Jesus and say to them, ‘yes, there he is. That’s what God is like.” It’s simple. From Christ we learn of the Triune God. I will sum it up and hang up just four Scripture truths and then one proposition like hooks upon which the myriad of others can be hung: 1) Jesus claimed he was God, John 14:9. 2) He also spoke of his Father in heaven, John 14:28. 3) Then Jesus spoke of the Holy Spirit (John 14:26) to come who 4) is later revealed to be God, Acts 13:2. Now the proposition: three persons are unmistakably called “God” in the Bible: 1) the Father, 2) the Son, and 3) the Holy Spirit. That Bible also proclaims monotheism. Sorry Mormons, you don’t know God.

     The Doctrine of the Trinity is the cardinal doctrine. We will all come to know it who know the Son. We have the revealer of truth at work in us (the Holy Spirit), who reveals to us the Son through the written word, and we have the Father’s promise that the work of the Son on the cross truly is able to make things right. We need(ed) a mediator. We could not get to God! He is simply too good.

THE CROSS, IN ALL OF ITS SCANDAL, IS THE JUSTIFICATION FOR THE OUTRAGE THAT SOMEONE LIKE ME CAN BE FORGIVEN.

     Jesus, being also God, mediated between me and the Father. I only know this because the Spirit was pleased to reveal God’s eternal election in my heart. Without the three of them and their work, as the confession here states, I would not have this hope within me. 

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