LBCF 1689 Reflections (part 30)



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. 




Paragraph 3: “…all infinite, without beginning, therefore but one God, who is not to be divided in nature and being, but distinguished by several peculiar relative properties and personal relations…”


The infinitude of God is something I know I’ll be excited to grasp after in eternity. All of us at one point or another have marveled after the infinity of God. Even just the seeming infinitude of his creation is something we marvel after. Have you ever heard a presentation on the vastness of space and how far even the closest star is to us that’s outside our small solar system? It is truly awesome. Right now she’s falling asleep upstairs at nearly eight years old, but I remember sitting with my daughter when we lived in Virginia and trying to expand her little brain about the size of God and his creation. I said excitedly to my little four year old while sitting on her bed, “and if you just go out in that direction (pointing) forever you’ll never come to the end of space. And if you came like to a large brick wall that read ‘the end,’ what’s on the other side of that wall?!” She had an amazed looked for a split second, dropped her eyebrows and answered, “pirates,” we laughed to tears and went on with the talk, but I mean, even if you’re older, it’s just cool to fathom the infinitude of the universe. God is yet more infinite. In all of this creation, ALL OF IT, all the stars, moon, etc., the Bible says, “…He made the stars also.” Genesis 1:16b.

     Consider again for a moment what you’ve learned about how big this place is. This creation as we’ve come to see it is just God’s great big cosmic word picture of the following: “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:9. Don’t ever think you’ve got God pegged.

     We only get of God what he chose to give us in the Bible. He has revealed so much, but we cannot yet see him as he is. That’s for the next life for those who know Jesus Christ as their Savior.

     He never had a beginning. He’s been there/here/everywhere forever. Who knows what he had going on before us, during us, or what will be next?! He is a being unlike us in more ways than he’s like us for sure. We too are eternal, but only in a sense. God alone is actually eternal. If you go right on the timeline, yes, you’ll be there, reader. Scripture indicates that you and I are eternal beings (to the right on the timescale). To the left, however, I had a start point in 1978. I don’t know when yours was. We are not eternal as he is. He had no leftward point. The Father, The Son, and the Holy Spirit all never had a starting point. Never. Nope, not ever. Jesus’ eternality is clearly affirmed throughout the Scriptures and a whole lot in John’s Gospel (John 1:1; 8:56-58; 17:5; Revelation 1:8, et al).

     They speak here of how God is, “…not to be divided in nature and being…” We have spoken of this already even just in the past entry on 12 Jun. The Trinity is a mystery revealed in the Son of God himself. Each member of the Trinity is equal in power. We know the three Persons of the Trinity because the Bible reveals all three as God and yet declares that there’s only one God. Modalism is dead wrong. God talks to God: “The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool,” Psalm 110:1. We do well to understand that there is an address possible to six different “ears” when we pray though it is certain that Jesus would have our prayers directed to the Father in this life in his name. Matthew 6:9; 1 John 5:14; John 16:26-27.  

     When they write about the Persons in the Trinity being, “…distinguished by several peculiar relative properties and personal relations” this can become a crucial point. We know that the Father “sent” the Son, for example, so Jesus is the redeemer of his church. The Father did not die on the cross. We know that the Holy Spirit is the one sent by the Father after Jesus’ ascension to illumine the minds of the church through the Bible. We know these three Persons then in relation to their works among us and in the history of our redemption. We too now, because of Jesus’ work, pray to a Father in heaven as he himself did. We now have access to the life of the Son through the Holy Spirit himself. We know all three members as the Creator of heaven and earth, but may know each member of the Trinity individually as well by their works. We don’t call the Son “Father” except in his Godhood (Isaiah 9:6). We don’t call the Holy Spirit the Son of God, etc. The members are separately God, and God wholly. They relate to each other (as it has been revealed to us) as a Father, a Son, and a separate helper. We see their relation to each other in the Bible and should note it.

     The only way to know this Triune God is through the Son. That is the way they have all three done it.

     “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen,” 2 Corinthians 13:14.


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