Many people in this world claim to believe that God exists, but if you ask them to give you specifics about what He's like and what He does, you're likely to be given a lot of opinions, but very little biblical evidence to back those opinions up.
God desires a deep, personal connection with His creation. He isn't disinterested and uninvolved with what He has made. He doesn't ultimately desire to be disconnected or distant from humanity. For these reasons, He has intentionally made Himself known to us. Creation itself testifies to His existence, but in addition to that, He has intentionally and progressively made many specifics about Himself known to us over the course of history.
At present, does God seem distant and unknowable to you? Would you like to get to know Him better or more deeply? Likewise, God has revealed Himself to us as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Typically, we refer to these three Persons as the Trinity, but do we truly understand this concept?
Beginning today, and continuing for the coming weeks, we're going to be looking at what the Scriptures demonstrate about the divinity, unity, ministry, and relate-ability of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
I. There is one God and He is unique
In this world, there are many belief systems and a considerable amount of confusion regarding our origins, moral standards, and ultimate outcome. During the course of my life, I have met people who believe there are many gods, people who believe there is no God, people who worship idols, people who worship demons, people who worship royalty, and even people who worship their ancestors. A quick glance at humanity demonstrates that we're longing for a sense of meaning and something deeper to reach out to for help.
At one point in human history, it was clearly known that there was one God. There was no initial confusion about this. But Lucifer, an angel who fell because he wanted to be worshipped, encouraged humanity to engage in worshipping him, worshipping ourselves, and worshipping creation instead of worshipping God our Creator. We could have rejected these notions of misplaced worship, but instead, we embraced them, and throughout the course of history we have seen the parade of religious confusion that has been on display ever since.
From the beginning, the Lord made Himself known to mankind with the intention to foster a genuine relationship with us. He has told us in His word that there only one God, not many. He has also made it clear to us that He is unique and no one else is completely like Him.
Deuteronomy 6:4-5 - “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might."
Isaiah 46:9 - "remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me,"
No idol, false god, or man-made system of belief compares to our God. He isn't one of many viable options.... He is the ONLY option. And just as a spouse should never flirt with someone outside their marriage, so too does the Lord make it clear to us that we shouldn't be flirting with the false gods of this world. Scripture refers to unbiblical teaching as the "teaching or doctrine of demons".
The Lord has called us to yield the affections of our hearts only to Him as we learn to love Him with all our heart, soul, and might.
II. God exists as three, co-eternal and co-equal persons; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
God desires that we know Him deeply, and in the process, He has graciously allowed us to learn more about Him. There is certainly much about God that we don't yet know fully, so in some respects, we need to learn to become comfortable with a healthy level of mystery, but progressively, over time, the Lord has given us additional information about Himself so that we can develop a deeper understanding of who He is, what He's doing, and how we can relate to Him.
Throughout history, and in the Scriptures, the Lord has made it clear to us that while He is one God, He exists in three co-eternal and co-equal persons called the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. While this is true, it's also difficult for us to fully comprehend because there's no other perfect illustration of this concept in creation that we can appeal to for perfect clarification.
It's also important to note that we don't worship three gods. There is one God who has eternally existed in perfect community and relationship with Himself. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are each distinct in their role, but one in their essence. The Father is God. The Son is God. The Spirit is God, and they are eternally united as One. The word "Trinity" isn't in the Bible, but that's the word we often use when describing God's triune nature.
Various places in Scripture speak of our triune God.
Isaiah 61:1a - "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor;". Jesus referenced this Old Testament passage at the start of His earthly ministry to express that He was the fulfillment of this prophesy that speaks of the Holy Spirit ("Spirit"), the Father ("Lord God"), and the Son ("me"). (see Luke 4:16ff)
Luke 1:35 - And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God.
Matthew 3:16-17 - And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son,with whom I am well pleased.”
Jesus also made it abundantly clear that He was one with the Father in John 10:30 where He said, "I and the Father are one." Then in John 14:16-17a, Jesus spoke of the Holy Spirit whom the Father would send to those who believe in Christ; "And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth,".
Isn't it amazing to consider that our perfect, self-existent, triune God would care enough about us to come to us, rescue us from sin and condemnation, and promise to remain with us as our Helper and the One who would lead us in the direction of truth?
III. God creates, redeems, and gives grace
When I was a child, I would often wonder about what God was doing. I pictured Him doing things like sitting on a large throne, throwing lighting bolts, and even bowling (I had been told that the sound of thunder was actually God bowling). There are a lot of misguided thoughts floating around as to what the Lord spends His time doing, but thankfully the Scriptures make some of His actions and activities clear to us so we will have an accurate understand of His work.
Scripture teaches us that God is the Creator.
Psalm 95:4-5 - In his hand are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountains are his also. The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land.
Psalm 19:1 - The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
Scripture teaches us that God rescues and redeems His creation from the corruption of sin.
Galatians 1:3-5 - Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.
Scripture teaches us that God gives grace to people.
Ephesians 4:7 - But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ's gift.
Titus 2:11 - For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people,
In regard to our salvation, it has been orchestrated by the Father, accomplished by the Son, and applied by the Spirit. This is the kind of work our God is doing on our behalf so that we will have the privilege to enjoy the riches of His grace and blessings for all eternity.
IV. Our deepest longings demonstrate our need for God
One other thing I want to point out to us today is the fact that the very longings of our hearts serve as a testimony to our need for God. Both our existence and our joy are dependent on Him. The deepest parts of our souls are crying out to be satisfied. We're longing for peace and contentment that cannot be obtained in any other way than through a relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ.
We long for love. This world speaks frequently of love, but it usually means lust or infatuation when it uses that word. Our hearts are longing for an abiding, unconditional love that isn't diminished by circumstances. We find that love in the Lord.
We long for relationship. Many people in this world make some of their most regretful decisions trying to satisfy this longing in unhealthy ways. But, our God who eternally exists in perfect relationship as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, invites us to find ultimate satisfaction for our desire for healthy relationships through experiencing a real relationship with Him.
We long for peace. This world treats peace like it's the circumstantial pause of conflict, but our God offers us greater peace than that. Through Christ, our soul finds rest. The shame that once dominated our conscience is quieted and now we hear the voice of the Lord calling us "blameless" because we've been forgiven and covered by the atoning blood of Christ.
We long for the end of pain and sorrow. Our Lord promises that He will bring a day to pass when sorrow, pain, and mourning will all come to an end. He will reign, both on the throne of our hearts and the throne of this earth. He will be worshipped as God once again, and this confusing era where people live as if they don't know who He is will come to an end.
For decades, one of the most recognizable people in pop culture has been Marilyn Monroe. In her day, she was considered the standard of beauty and men threw themselves at her. She was also regularly treated poorly by those in powerful positions, and while her life may have seemed glamorous, it eventually became clear that she was sad, lonely, and felt deeply unloved. Consider some of the things she said during her life...
"A woman can't be alone. She needs a man. A man and a woman support and strengthen each other. She just can't do it by herself."
"Sometimes I feel like my life has been one big rejection."
"I'm a failure as a woman. My men expect so much of me, because of the image they've made of me - and that I've made of myself..."
When you get past the glamour and the fame, what do you see? You see a longing for relationship, a longing for acceptance, a longing for grace, and a longing for unconditional love. Her tragic life is a powerful illustration of the struggles we're wrestling with as well. But what does the Lord reveal to us? He reveals that He alone can satisfy those longings. Those unsatisfied longings persist because we keep trying to fulfill them with things that never can.
There's a void in our lives that cannot be filled by anyone or anything other than our triune God and we can come to know Him personally through God the Son, Jesus Christ, who took on flesh, walked among us, and intentionally made Himself known to us so that we won't need to wander like dissatisfied, malcontent, lost sheep forever.
© John Stange, 2018