Tuesday, August 27, 2013

"One. Three"

A decidedly monotheistic Bible nevertheless pluralistically refers to God as the Scriptures begin their revelation of man's existence and nature.   

"And God said, Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness" (Genesis 1:26).   

Note the significance of this statement.  One God speaks, but refers to Himself in triune terms: Us, Our, Our.  Thus, in the Biblical introduction of man, the Holy Spirit provides the greater and more important introduction of the nature and being of man's Creator.  Our Lord exists as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, one God dwelling in and as three distinct persons and personalities.  Scripture, unapologetically proclaims the truth, never seeking to explain as it affirms the Divine plurality existing in the Divine unity.    "To us there is but one God, the Father" (I Corinthians 8:6).    "Unto the Son He saith, Thy throne, o God, is forever and ever" (Hebrews 1:8).    "God is a Spirit" (John 4:24).   

The fact that "God is love" requires His plurality (I John 4:8).  Indeed, the Lord has always been as He is - "I am the Lord, I change not" (Malachi 3:6).  By definition, love "seeketh not her own," that is, love must have an object other than itself in order to exist and express itself (I Corinthians 13:5).  Thus, before the creation of angels and humans, the unchanging God required a recipient of His giving essence.  This He possessed in Himself.  The three Persons of the Godhead gave and received to and from each other, even as the Lord Jesus Christ declared to His Father, "O Father, glorify thou Me with Thine own self with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was... Thou lovedst Me before the foundation of the world" (John 17:5; 24).  The love of God is, in fact, the very essence of reality.  When nothing else existed, one God did, one Lord dwelling as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in a sublime and pristine glory of otherness and devotion to one another.     

No truth more illuminates our hearts and minds, and no truth more escorts us to the brink of mystery.  The beauty of Triune glory presents to our minds a conundrum of perplexity.  How can One be Three, and Three, One?  Whenever this question comes to mind, I tend to smile and think of what the Lord might say if we could directly ask this question.  "How could One not be Three, and Three, One?," He might suggest.  "How could an egg exist merely as a shell, rather than its three components comprising one delicious edition of your breakfast this morning?  Or how could a single ray of light be composed of anything less than light, heat, and ultraviolet constituents?"     

Fullness of faith does not require fullness of understanding.  The Bible declares God to exist as a "He" and as an "Us."  This is truth.  This is essence.  This is reality.  This is what, or rather, Who, existed when nothing else did.  Let us bow to worship the Father, through the person and merits of the Son, as led and empowered by the Holy Spirit.  Yes, let us bow to worship this one God, dwelling in and as three glorious and wondrous Persons.

"Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord."(Deuteronomy 6:4 )        

No comments: