Father Son Spirit
Brothers :
The Holy Spirit
and Jesus
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Father Son Spirit
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Pre-incarnate Form

Da Vinci's ManI am always amazed to read in Genesis 1.26 that God said, "Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground." The "wild animals" in this reading may also have been understood in the original Hebrew text as "the earth" indicating every living creature on the land. Astoundingly, the little word "us" in Genesis 1.26 has survived despite more than two thousand years of scribal copying. The Jews were strict deists who could not countenance any other god than the one Holy God of Israel. Despite this, they faithfully preserved a clear indication of the plurality of the three faces in the Godhead in the Trinity as God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Old Testament Trinity

Daniel in Fiery FurnaceIn the Old Testament, we also see Jesus appearing and disappearing in different places. After Daniel and his two friends had been thrown into the furnace of fire, the king approached the door and peeked in through the roaring heat. What this pagan king then said in Daniel 3.25 rocks us on our heels, "Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods." Even a pagan king recognized that God, or "a god," or "a son of the gods" was with these three brave Jewish individuals. The "son of the gods" with Daniel and his two friends probably referred to Jesus in a pre-incarnate form! There were also other Old Testament examples of a "God figure" possibly the son of God himself talking to Abraham and wrestling with Jacob.

Trinity Spirit

Jesus' BaptismThe Spirit hovered at his baptism like a dove over the son of God and alongside the Heavenly Father who spoke his approval from heaven. In the Gospels, we discover the Holy Spirit in the Trinity Father, Son and Spirit at the Baptism of Jesus. The Father declared from the clouds "This is my beloved Son" and the Spirit hovered over Jesus like a dove. Here we have all three members of the Holy Trinity at once. Jesus the son was being baptized, the Father's voice announced who he was from Heaven and the Spirit descended upon Jesus like a dove.

Close Relationship

Jesus later talked about his close relationship to both the Father and Spirit. He said after his resurrection in John 20.17, "'Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God." Note here how Jesus regarded his relationship to his father in Heaven as different from his disciples' relationship with their father in Heaven. Jesus had earlier talked about the roles of the Father, Son and Spirit in John 15.26 "When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father — the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father — he will testify about me."

Heavenly Father

Jesus AscendsEven as Jesus ascended to heaven, he commissioned his disciples with the great words in Matthew 28.19-20a, "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you." This was a key verse determining that baptism was to be performed not in Jesus' name alone but the name of the three persons of the Trinity, the Father, Son and Spirit. The Holy Spirit in the Trinity was again found in the final instructions of Jesus to the Apostles at the Ascension. Luke writes in Acts 1.7-8 of the Father, Son and Spirit, "Jesus said to them: 'It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.'" Later, Saint Paul blessed the Corinthian Christians with the threefold name of the Father, Son and Spirit in 2 Corinthians 13.14, "May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, the Father, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all"

Martin Luther

Martin LutherIn the threefold expression of the Holy Trinity, Jesus is one person in three thus Father, Son and Spirit. Martin Luther during the Reformation stated that Jesus as God was an essential belief. He examined the work of the three members of the Holy Trinity in his own life in his book, "Sermons on the Catechism." He wrote pointedly, "Therefore, from the Father I receive creation, from the Son redemption, from the Holy Spirit sanctification." Jesus had a prominent and essential place in the Church.

Jesus is Lord

The first creed used by the Early Church was probably simply "Jesus is Lord." We find this in Romans 10.9 where Saint Paul writes, "If you declare with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." The Apostles' Creed gave us a further statement of belief as did the Nicene Creed written around 325 AD after the Council of Nicaea. From these creeds and others like the Athanasius Creed in the same period came a uniform Christian doctrine. This was formulated and agreed by all the leaders of the Christian church across Europe and North Africa to counter certain sects which argued against the existence of the Trinity and other basic tenets of the Christian faith.

Holy

ApostlesJesus himself defended his deity at his trial in John 10.36b when he said, "Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, 'I am God's Son'?" These passages like John 10.30, which reads, "I and the Father are one" clearly show that Jesus was accused because he claimed to be part of the Deity and that he was God himself. Some modern and often very aggressive sects like Jehovah Witnesses and the Church of the Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) deny the existence of Jesus in the Holy Trinity. They say that Jesus was not truly God, but that God only gave this chosen human being some special powers. They also contend that the Holy Spirit was merely a force from God and not God himself. They argue that the Father was another name for the One and only God. For the authentic Christian church a belief in the Father, Son and Spirit is essential.

Unorthodox

From the earliest times, these views were called unorthodox and heretical by the church at large. Those who do not believe in the Trinity were considered sects and not legitimate denominations by the World Council of Churches which was founded in 1948. Its mission statement states that it was and is a "fellowship of churches which confess the Lord Jesus Christ as God and Savior according to the Scriptures and therefore seek to fulfill together their common calling to the glory of the one God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit." Belief in the Apostles' and Nicene Creeds were regarded as necessary for all churches and the true mark of genuine Christianity. That is why both the Mormons and Jehovah Witnesses and other similar sects were and are excluded from the World Council of Churches.

Trinity Love

Thomas KenThe Holy Trinity love of the Father, Jesus, and Spirit bind all three members together as almighty, immortal and invisible.Holy Trinity love needs to become incorporated into our Christian lives and not just as cold, hard theology. We need a warm loving relationship with all three persons of the Trinity. Bishop Thomas Ken (1637-1711) a one time Bishop of Bath and Wells in England, offered a poem in praise of the Holy Trinity. "Praise and honor, thanksgiving and praise more than we can utter be unto thee, O most adorable Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, by all angels, all men, all creatures forever and ever Amen and Amen. To God the Father, who first loved us, and made us accepted in the Beloved; To God the Son who loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood; To God the Holy Ghost, who sheds the love of God abroad in our hearts be all love and all glory for time and for eternity. Amen." This prayer was shot through with the love of the Father, Son and Spirit as the most adorable Trinity.

Most Adorable

John DowdenArchbishop John Dowden (1840-1910) became Bishop of Edinburgh in Scotland in 1886. He too responded with a prayer for Holy Trinity love, "O Lord God, almighty, immortal, invisible, the mysteries of whose being are unsearchable; accept, we beseech thee, our praises for the revelation which thou hast made of thyself, Father, Son and Spirit, three persons and one God; and mercifully grant that, ever holding fast this faith, we may magnify thy glorious name; who lives and reigns, one God, world without end. Amen."

"Father Son Spirit"
©1990-2019
by Ron Meacock

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