Monday, December 01, 2014

Comforting Words (part 4): Three Reasons To Find Comfort In The Trinity

Do you know the scariest words of scripture? This may seem an odd question in light of the topic of comfort, but there is a connection.

Paul writes, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort.” (2 Cor. 1:3) Last post we learned that God is to be praised (and we receive comfort from) the God of our Lord Jesus Christ and we found ourselves with a hard question: “If Jesus has a God, how can Jesus be God?” This questions leads us to the second truth concerning the God of all comfort: He is praised because He is “Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,”

The doctrine of the Trinity underscores God’s uniqueness above all other gods. Now “trinity” is not a word we find in the Bible, but the teaching is unmistakable. We worship a triune God, distinguished persons of Godhead but not divided in substance. Trinity does not mean there are three gods (tritheism) nor are there three “modes” of being. Trinity means three persons, one essence. Admittedly, this is difficult to illustrate because every analogy fails at some point--and how much greater is God than any analogy! Regardless, we find three eternal distinctions: The Son generates from the Father in eternal “now” (Ps. 2 “Thou art my son, today I have begotten Thee.”) and The Spirit proceeds from both Father and Son (Jn 15:26, “But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.”)

Here are three reasons we can find comfort in the Trinity:

First, love always flows among the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. “The Father loves the Son, and has given all things into His hand.” (Jn 3:35) Know that you are loved with eternal love that existed before creation.

Second, God has made Himself known. God the Father sent God the Son who sent God the Spirit (the Comforter) to empower His children to “be” and “do” His perfect will. He gives us all we need for life and godliness;

Finally, God paid our sin-debt. “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Ro 5:8) The Father sent His perfect Son to die a substitutionary death for sin and was raised by His Spirit. Faith in His finished work frees us the penalty and power of sin.

Now, the scariest words in scripture: “If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have been guilty of sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin.” [Jn 15:22 ESV]

Let that sink in for a moment: "If I had not come . . ." That is terrifying.

“The Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” is not a limited, forgetful, weak, impersonal force but self-conscious, self-determined, a person who relates to mankind with family devotion. 1 John 3 describes two kinds of families: children of God (free from the penalty/power of sin) and children of the devil (those who are not free from the penalty/power of sin). Paul wrote to the Ephesians (5:8) distinguishing between the children of light and children of darkness. Because of Jesus Christ we can call God “Father” and approach Him as His children. The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is our Father. God sees us in His Son and loves us as He loves His Son (John 17:23). We are “beloved of God” (Rom. 1:7) because we are “accepted in the beloved” (Eph. 1:6).

Maybe you are quietly suffering today, wondering, “where is the joy?” Remember the angelic words to the Shepherds: “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy. . . .” Joy is Christmas joy: not about shopping and gifts or “let is snow.” Joy is “let us worship” the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

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