The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
(Thanks to Marie, Noah, Emmie, and Jessica, our daughters and son, for inspiration and example on this one)
"Equality and Hierarchy"
A substance of equality and a hierarchy of authority exist within the triune God of Scripture.
First, all three Persons of the godhead - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit - are identified in the Bible as God. Thus, all must be viewed as equal in being and divinity.
"Thou art my Father, my God, and the rock of my salvation" (Psalm 89:26).
"Unto the Son He saith, Thy throne, o God, is forever and ever" (Hebrews 1:8).
"But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Spirit?... Thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God" (Acts 2:4-5).
An authority structure also characterizes the relationship and function of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Lord Jesus plainly stated, "My Father is greater than I" (John 14:28). He also said that both He and the Father would send the Holy Spirit to believers after the completion of His redemptive work by death, resurrection, and ascension. "The Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name… when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father" (John 14:26; 15:26). By definition, one sent occupies a subservient role to the sender, thus revealing the place of the Holy Spirit under the Father and the Son in rank. A Biblical view of the triune God therefore requires strong affirmation of both equality and hierarchy.
This speaks powerfully regarding our relationships with people. We rightly view ourselves and others in terms of equality in matters of personhood and substance. "He giveth to all life, and breath, and all things, and hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth" (Acts 17:25-26). However, life also involves authority in terms of our exercising roles of leadership, or responding to the leadership of others.
"Masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal; knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven… Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as men pleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God" (Colossians 4:1; Colossians 3:22).
Both offices requires unselfish humility, a humility we clearly see in the godhead that serves as our great example of how to lead and how to follow. "Be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted… Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children, and walk in love" (Ephesians 4:32; 5:1-2). Indeed, how can we fail to humbly lead or humbly follow if we look to Heaven and see lowliness of mind in the great and glorious God Himself? (Philippians 2:3-8). No trait of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit will more cast us to our faces in wonder and awe, and then lift us up to reflect such glory in our own countenance, demeanor, attitudes, words, and actions. Yes, the living God, majestic beyond all measure and degree, bears a triune heart of meekness that can and must be reflected in every relationship of leadership and service in our lives.
"Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light."
Weekly Memory Verse
And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
(I Timothy 1:14)