Saturday, June 12, 2021

Triplets of Unity: Triune God, One Will – Creation and Pre-Incarnation

Our God is a Triune God – three distinct Persons, Each equally divine, All acting together in one perfect will. All are self-existent (Exodus 3:14), everlasting (present since before time began and throughout eternity; John 1:1; Revelation 1:8,11;21:6;22:13), and all-powerful (omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent).

Jesus Christ is the Creator, the Word Who made all things and Who spoke the universe into existence (John 1:1; Hebrews 1:10). Yet He was not alone in this mission, for it was that Hebrew Name Elohim, that plurality of divinity (Genesis 1:1) responsible for creation, with the Spirit moving upon the waters (Genesis 1:2) to empower the Father’s plan (Hebrews 1:2).

When it came to man, the crowning achievement of creation, God (Elohim –Three in One) said “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness” (Genesis 1:26). This threefold emphasis on the Trinity serves to remind us that all three aspects of the Triune God were intimately involved in all of creation. Not surprisingly, man has a mind, body, and spirit, reflecting God’s Triune Nature after Which he was designed.

In the Old Testament, we see preincarnate appearances of Jesus Christ in human form, often referred to as “the Angel of the Lord,” (Genesis 16:7-11; Numbers 22:22-35; Judges 2:4; 6:12, etc). One such example is when He came with two angels to Abraham. He announced that Sarah would conceive a child through whom Abraham would become the father of a great nation (Genesis 18). Limited human understanding could easily miss that the Word and two angels were visiting from Heaven, for they appeared as travelers and even ate a meal with their host.

Yet when God the Father spoke with Moses (as the Angel of the Lord in a burning bush; Exodus 3:6) and with Elijah, His glory was so great that they could not look directly at Him. The Angel of the Lord touched Elijah and even fed him in his weakness and despair (1 Kings 19:7), but when God appeared to Him in all the fury of nature, Elijah hid his face (1 Kings 19:11-13),

We are told in the Gospels that the Holy Spirit was visible as if in the form of a dove as He alighted on Jesus after His baptism, while the Father praised the Son (Matthew 3:16; Mark 1:10; John 1:32; Luke 3:22). Generally, however, the Spirit is not visible any more than we can see the wind (John 3:8), yet we see His power and learn of Him through the words He spoke to David (Acts 1:16) and to all the authors of Scripture (2 Timothy 3:16).

So on those rare occasions when one or more Persons of the Trinity appears to man, human perception of the Father, Son and Spirit varies greatly. The Father speaks from the midst of powerful manifestations of nature (1 Kings 19; Job 37), the Son can be seen, touched and felt as a loving and compassionate Friend (Proverbs 18:24; Hebrews 4:15), and the Spirit is experienced indirectly, by seeing what He has done or hearing others speak His Word.  

Although the Three Persons of the Trinity may differ in their physical manifestations to mankind, they act together with a single-mindedness of will – not only in creation, but also in salvation and in the incarnation. God the Father poured out His Spirit on prophets who told of the coming of the Lord Jesus Who alone can save (Acts 2:1-4). The Triune God knew from the beginning that man would fall and would therefore need a Redeemer.

Through Their “determinate counsel and foreknowledge,” or awareness and agreement (Acts 2:23), the Trinity decided together on the plan of salvation. They allowed the Word to come in the flesh and to be crucified to pay all of our sin debt, that all who trust in His death, burial and resurrection (1 Corinthians 15: 1-4) would be delivered from sin and death into eternal life.

The Messianic prophecy in Psalms 2:2-3 uses plural pronouns when referring to the Lord and His Anointed Who was rejected by Israel. “Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us” again emphasizes the role of all Three Persons in this sacrifice.

Perhaps the clearest indication of the distinct yet unified Nature of the Trinity is Their role in the incarnation. Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son (Hebrews 1:5-6), of and given by God the Father (John 3:16), conceived through the Holy Ghost (Luke 1:35) Through His taking on human flesh, man would see the image of the invisible God (Colossians 1:13-15), hear His words, and experience His healing touch, as we shall see next week!

© 2013 Laurie Collett
Reposted from the archives



Brenda said...

Hi Laurie,
as it says in John ch. 4 v.24 God is Spirit and those who worship Him must worship Him is Spirit and in truth. When we are called to Jesus by God, and are baptized with the Holy Spirit, then that Spirit begins to teach us through the written Word according to each of our situations in life, leading us into the truth according to God's ways and thoughts - which is wonderful, because it means that when the flesh dies the Spirit and Soul lives on for eternity. Hallelujah !

Frank E. Blasi said...

Dear Laurie,
As I read it, a verse in Isaiah, a reflection of the Counsel which took place between the Persons of the Trinity before anything was created. It reads:
"Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?"
(And the Son answered) "Here am I, send me."
Isaiah 6:8.
Then the conversation continues:
"Agreed!" exclaimed the Father and the Spirit in unison. All three hug each other and with big smiles on their faces.
"Well then," the Father said, "let's start creating. We'll start with the angels. Later, we begin with the Earth, and with the whole Universe around it, and climax with the Creation of Man - after our likeness and image!"
The Trinity is an amazing doctrine, yet only the Christian faith teaches it.
Many blessings to you and Richard.

Laurie Collett said...

Hi Brenda,

Praise the Lord that our eternal soul will live on in a new glorified body and we shall forever be with the Lord! Praise Him for His Holy Spirit Who guides and teaches us! Thank you as always for your inspiring comment. God bless you,

Laurie Collett said...

Dear Frank,
I love your alternative explanation for this verse in Isaiah, which I had always interpreted literally as the prophet answering God's call for service.
The Trinity is so integral to Scripture and to the Christian faith, and yet some who consider themselves to be Christians reject it. It is not easy to understand how One God could be Three Persons, and yet that is what the Bible teaches, so we accept it by faith. When we see Christ, the Fullness of the Godhead bodily, all will be revealed.
Thanks as always for your enlightening comment. May God bless you and Alex,

Rajani Rehana said...

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Laurie Collett said...

Dear Rajani,
Thank you so much for your lovely comment and for visiting my blog! I have visited your blog also and commented on your latest post -- thank you for inviting me! God bless,