Jonathan Edwards: America's greatest theologian Image via Wikipedia
I just started reading the book Think: The Life of the Mind and the Love of God by John Piper and so far, as is to be expected when one reads a Piper book, is pretty academic and mind-exploding! In chapter 2 Piper is extolling his love of Jonathan Edwards and his musings on the Trinitarian God. This quote from Edwards comes from his paper “An Essay on the Trinity” and it is simply too good to not share. I had to read it a couple times before I totally understood it, but it seems to me the most complete and robust explanation of the Trinity and how each Person relates to the Other.
This I suppose to be the blessed Trinity that we read of in the Holy Scriptures. The Father is the deity subsisting in the prime, unoriginated and most absolute manner, or the deity in its direct existence. The Son is the deity generated by God’s understanding, or having an idea of Himself and subsisting in that idea. The Holy Ghost is the deity subsisting in act, or the divine essence flowing out and breathed forth in God’s infinite love to delight in Himself. And I believe the whole Divine essence does truly and distinctly subsist both in the Divine idea and Divine love, and that each of them are properly distinct persons.
That totally blew my mind! And it gets even crazier because on the next page Piper includes another excerpt from Edwards’ paper on how the Trinity glorifies itself and delights in itself.
God is glorified withing Himself these two ways: (1) By appearing…to Himself in His own perfect idea [of Himself], or in His Son, who is the brightness of His glory. (2) By enjoying and delighting in Himself, by flowing forth in infinite…delight towards Himself, or in his Holy Spirit.
…So God glorifies Himself toward the creatures also in two ways: (1) By appearing to…their understanding. (2) In communicating Himself to their hearts, and in their rejoicing and delighting in, and enjoying, the manifestations which He makes of Himself…God is glorified not only by His glory’s being seen, but by its being rejoiced in. When those that see it delight in it, God is more glorified than if they only see it. His glory is then received by the whole soul, both by the understanding and by the heart.
God made the world that He might communicate, and the creature receive, His glory; and that it might [be] received both by the mind and heart. He that testifies his idea of God’s glory [doesn’t] glorify God so much as he that testifies also his approbation of it and his delight in it.
So there it is. A rather complete and robust exegesis on the doctrine of the Trinity in less than 200 words! I didn’t think that existed! Just some food for thought since I don’t have time to write any more.
Let me just begin by saying how thankful I am for the sermon series we are in at church! I’m really enjoying the series on the Holy Spirit. It’s remarkable how much I didn’t know about this particular member of the Trinity. The Holy Spirit is definitely overlooked in my life and, I might venture to guess many Christian’s lives as well. The Holy Spirit is amazing because He does so much of the work that leads to our salvation. He is the one whom makes us aware of our sins and leads us to repentance and gives us faith. The Spirit opens our eyes to our spiritual deadness and causes us to cry out for a savior. Once that Jesus has been revealed (by the Spirit’s gift of faith), the Spirit then regenerates our dead heart and gives us a new heart that is alive and sensitive to God. From that point on, this person is considered a Christian. But no it doesn’t stop there for the Holy Spirit. His work is just beginning!
From the first work of salvation the Spirit then comes to reside in us and makes His dwelling in us as we participate in the life of the body of Christ on Earth. By the power of the Holy Spirit we are able to resist sin, live holy lives, and continue walking in the path of righteousness commanded by the Lord Jesus. The Spirit is always encouraging us with God’s grace and love even when we have lost sight of Him or are struggling against a certain sin. Long story short, the Holy Spirit is the visible manifestation of God in our lives! We call it “fruit”, the ways that the Spirit works in us. What it also is, is visible proof that God rules over our lives and that He loves us and that we live to serve Him and His kingdom. That is why Jesus was called “Immanuel”, because it literally means “God with us”. God is surely with us through the presence of His Holy Spirit. Though the Father and Son are enthroned in heaven, the Spirit humbly lives among us every day to strengthen, encourage, and exhort us to live for God’s glory, which is the ultimate purpose of mankind.
I could get into the specific ways in which the Holy Spirit works in our lives such as the gifts He gives to us, but that would be more of a book than a blog entry :0. But that’s just a brief little blurb of the work of the Spirit and I hope that if you read this you would be thankful of the work of the Spirit in your life as well. The Holy Spirit is equally God just as the Father and the Son are and yet so many times we don’t give Him the praise that He’s due. May we all recognize the amazing work of the Holy Spirit in our lives today and give God (Father, Son, & Holy Spirit) all the glory for the awesome gift of salvation and forgiveness!