Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Trinity and God's Love

John Owen's Communion with God is a classic text. It reminds us of the love we have from God and our communion with Him is from/with each of the three persons of the Godhead.

This is amazingly true and can be illustrated from many texts, one of which is Galatians 4:4-7.

4 But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. 6 And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” 7 So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.

First, we should note that while love is not specifically mentioned in this text, we cannot conceive these actions apart from the love of God. So while love is not mentioned by name here, plenty of other verses in Scripture describe the same content here in connection with the love of God.

Second, this passage does not “work” unless God is a Trinity. A basic definition of the Trinity is that God is one God (not three Gods) consisting of three eternal persons (Father, Son and Holy Spirit). God is one being and three persons.

Each person has all the divine attributes completely. So that the Father is eternal and glorious, the Son is eternal and glorious and the Holy Spirit is eternal and glorious. But they are not three eternal beings or three glories.

This is a vital doctrine for a number of reasons:
(1) Because this is who God is. --If you love your spouse, you have to love them for who they are.

(2) Because God would not be love if he were not also three persons. C.S. Lewis says that when most people say “God is love” what they really mean is “love is God”. But for their to be an eternal love of God, there needs to be three eternal persons.

So some basic point:
1. The love of God is accomplished by the sending of the Son.
  • The love of God is an active love.
  • God the Father accomplishes His Love in the sending of His Son.
  • Jesus Christ is our redemption.
  • So that there is no conflict between the Father and Son in this plan. Jesus didn’t say “do I have to do this?” 
  • There is also love that comes from the Father and from the Son.

2. The love of God is applied by the sending of the Holy Spirit.
  • The Bible tells us that the Holy Spirit is pouring God’s love into our hearts by virtue of His presence in us. (Romans 5:5)
  • God’s love came into the world when God sent Christ, but God’s love came into our hearts when the Holy Spirit regenerated us with new life.
  • So God the Father sends the Spirit. But it is the Holy Spirit of the Son.
    (1) Because Jesus had a perfect spiritual experience with the Holy Spirit in His earthly life.
    (2) Jesus Christ is the one who went back to heaven so that the Holy Spirit could be sent. He too is involved in the sending.
How does the Holy Spirit help you grasp the love of God?
  1. You would not believe or grasp the gospel if it were not for the enlivening power of the Holy Spirit. You need regeneration. You need to be made alive, to be made to see.
  2. You will not love God unless God first puts His love in your heart. This is the Holy Spirit’s job.
  3. The Holy Spirit seals you. You cannot be cut of from Christ because the Holy Spirit resides in you.
  4. The Holy Spirit causes you to cry out to God as your Father.
3. The love of God is experienced by you in your adoption.
  • (1) Adoption is not the same kind of sonship.
  • (2) God’s love in your adoption brings a status to us and an inheritance for us. So adoption does bring the same kingdom privileges that the Son has won and acquired.
  • (3) God’s love in my adoption brings intimacy with God to me.

My thoughts today, stem from this sermon on the Trinity and the Triune Love of God. You can listen in the player below:

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