“Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
“There is therefore no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh.”
“Pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil. Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
1 Thessalonians 5:17-23
This past Sunday I mentioned that the most important doctrine, in terms of the doctrine of God, is the doctrine of the Trinity. In our Baptist Confession, the 1689, in the second chapter is told of God and the Holy Trinity. The first question in the Children’s Catechism (there are three that deal with the three persons of God) is, “Are there more God’s than one?” The answer, “No, there is only one God.” The second question, “In how many persons does this one God exist?” The answer, “Three persons.” The third question, “Who are they?” The answer, “The Father, Son and the Holy Spirit.”
Then there is the Apostle’s Creed. It is shaped by the doctrine of the Trinity, “I believe in God the Father, the mighty maker of heaven and earth, Jesus Christ His only Son our Lord who was conceived by the Holy Spirit.”
This is what Mr. Spurgeon says about the Trinity, “It is my firm conviction that in proportion as we have more regard for the sacred godhead, the wondrous Trinity in unity, then shall we see a greater display of God’s power and a more glorious manifestation of His mind in our churches.” That is quite a statement. The more we have a focus and regard for the wondrous ____of the Trinity, we will see a greater display of God’s power and a more glorious manifestation of His mind in our churches.
From an Old Testament perspective the doctrine of the Trinity is rather hidden or concealed. You don’t really see it all that much. Often people argue for the Genesis 1:26. That is the first time we get mention of it. You have the plural pronoun, “Let us make man in our image.” It is interesting, almost across the board, if you did a checkup of all the early church fathers, almost all of them believe that this is the first reference, the first hint of the doctrine of the Trinity. You could even go to verse 2, “And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.” Another reference of the Spirit of God.
In the New Testament you have Jesus, the Son of God, the second person of the Trinity, was actively involved in our creation. Colossians 1, He is the maker of all things. Hebrews 1 as well. So we were made by the Triune God. You wouldn’t exist if the Triune God did not make you. What is emphasized in the New Testament is the doctrine of salvation. We are saved by the Triune God. Unless the first person of the Trinity, God the Father, had sent His Son, the second person of the Trinity, we would still be dead in trespasses and sins. Unless the second person of the Trinity, the Son of God, came into the world, humbled Himself, taken the form of man, became obedient unto death, unless He did that we would still be children of wrath. And unless the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, did a work in our hearts, changing our hearts, if we were not born again, “born from above,” said Jesus, we would still be in our sins.
We need all three person, don’t we? To make us and to save us. And we need all three Persons when we think of living the Christian life. You can’t live the Christian life without the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. That’s why our prayers should be Trinitarian prayers. We need to be constantly asking, thanking, praising the Triune God.
I made reference to John Stott Sunday morning. He was a man who lived in the 20th century. He was a good scholar and theologian. Every morning he would wake up and before his feet hit the floor he would pray, “Good morning heavenly Father. Good morning Lord Jesus. Good morning Holy Spirit. Heavenly Father I worship you as the creator and sustainer of the universe. Lord Jesus I worship you the Savior and Lord of the world. Holy Spirit I worship you, sanctifier of the people of God. Glory to the Father, to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. Heavenly Father, I pray that I may live this day in your presence and please you more and more. Lord Jesus, I pray that this day I may take up my cross and follow you. Holy Spirit, I pray that this day you will fill me with yourself and cause your fruit to ripen in my life. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Holy, blessed glorious Trinity, three persons in one, have mercy upon me. Amen.