6 Minute Read

TODAY’S BIBLE READING:

Numbers 26:52–28:15
Luke 3:1-22
Psalm 61:1-8
Proverbs 11:16-17

TODAY’S BIBLE VERSE(S):

Luke 3:21-22 (CSB): “When all the people were baptized, Jesus also was baptized. As he was praying, heaven opened, and the Holy Spirit descended on him in a physical appearance like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: ‘You are my beloved Son; with you I am well-pleased.'”

REFLECTIONS ON TODAY’S BIBLE VERSE(S):

One of my favorite songs is, “Holy, Holy, Holy.”

Not only is it rich in theology, it also highlights the fact that God exists in Three Persons.

“Holy, holy, holy
Lord, God Almighty
All Thy works shall praise Thy name in earth and sky and sea
Holy, holy, holy
Merciful and mighty
God in three persons blessed Trinity”

“God in three persons” – let’s talk about that for a few moments.

We do not believe in polytheism. We resolutely believe in only one God.

Deuteronomy 6:4-5 (CSB): “Listen, Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.”

This is taught throughout Scripture. There is only one God.

Yet, the mystery of our God is that He exists in Three Persons (called the Trinity). Those three persons within the Godhead are God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

We see all Three Persons in the Godhead in our Verses for Today.

Luke 3:21-22 (CSB): “When all the people were baptized, Jesus also was baptized. As he was praying, heaven opened, and the Holy Spirit descended on him (Jesus) in a physical appearance like a dove. And a voice came from heaven (God the Father): ‘You are my beloved Son; with you I am well-pleased.'”

The fact that God exists in Three Persons shows up in other places in the New Testament as well.

Matthew 28:19 (CSB): “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,”

Luke 1:35 (CSB) “The angel replied to her: ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore, the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.'”

John 14:16-17 (CSB): “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever. He is the Spirit of truth. The world is unable to receive him because it doesn’t see him or know him. But you do know him, because he remains with you and will be in you.”

2 Corinthians 13:13 (CSB): “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.”

This isn’t simply a New Testament revelation. The fact that God exists in more than one person was made evident in the Old Testament.

Listen to the plural pronoun that God uses to refer to Himself in Genesis 1.

Genesis 1:26-27 (CSB): “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness. They will rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, the livestock, the whole earth, and the creatures that crawl on the earth.’ So God created man in his own image; he created him in the image of God; he created them male and female.”

So, how are we to understand the Trinity?

A famous catechism that Charles Spurgeon (19th century English Baptist preacher) edited and used was called the Westminster Catechism. Listen to the questions and answers given below:

Questions 5: Are there more Gods than one?
Answer: There is but one only, the living and true God.

Question 6: How many persons are there in the Godhead?
Answer: There are three persons in the Godhead: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; and these three are one God, the same in substance, equal in power and glory.

While we agree with this, we cannot comprehend it. One is not three and three is not one. How are we to receive it?

Hint: Don’t pull out a three-leaf clover or a bowl of water (ice/water/vapor) or a triangle (with three sides) or any number of other flawed pictures. Nothing, absolutely nothing, can accurately convey to us how we are to understand the Trinity.

Simply put, we receive it by faith because we cannot receive it by logic. Our minds simply cannot grasp the Trinity.

“We do not hold the doctrine of the Trinity because it is self-evident or logically cogent. We hold it because God has revealed that this what he is like.” – Millard Erickson, “Systematic Theology”

“The Trinity: Try to understand it and you’ll lose your mind. Try to deny it and you’ll lose your soul.” – Anonymous

While there are many, many other things that we could say about the Trinity, it really boils down to whether or not we believe it, even though we cannot adequately understand it. God has revealed Himself to us in Three Persons and yet He is only One God.

Just because a child in elementary school doesn’t understand college Calculus doesn’t mean that the math doesn’t exist. It simply points out to the inadequacy of the child to properly comprehend it.

It is in this way that we are to receive the doctrine of the Trinity. We cannot understand it – but that doesn’t discredit the existence of the Trinity, only our inability to comprehend it.