Saturday, June 6, 2009

6/7- God as trinity

6/7- Trinity Sunday

May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of His Holy Spirit be with you all. II Cor. 13:14

Calvin: Moreover, because God more clearly disclosed himself in the coming of Christ, thus he also became known more familiarly in three persons. But of the many testimonies this one will suffice for us. For Paul so
connects these three — God, faith, and baptism [Ephesians 4:5] — as to reason from one to the other: namely, because faith is one, that he may thereby show God to be one; because baptism is one, that he may thence
show faith also to be one. Therefore, if through baptism we are initiated into the faith and religion of one God, e must consider him into whose name we are baptized to be the true God. Indeed, there is no doubt that
Christ willed by this solemn pronouncement to testify that the perfect light of faith was manifested when he said, “Baptize them into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” [<402819>Matthew 28:19
p.]. For this means precisely to be baptized into the name of the one God who has shown himself with complete clarity in the Father, the Son, and the Spirit. Hence it is quite clear that in God’s essence reside three persons
in whom one God is known. Indeed, faith ought not to gaze hither and thither, nor to discourse of
various matters, abut to look upon the one God, to unite with him, to cleave to him. (I.13.16)

Some have no problem with the threeness of the trinity- but rather the oneness of the trinity. Others have no questions about the oneness but about how the persons of the godhead act separately. So Calvin has a chapter in the Insititues addressing oneness and one addressing threeness. The quote above is about how Calvin addresses the unity or oneness of the three persons. Faith is one- so to put faith in the Father or the Son or the Spirit truly is to put faith in the three persons. Baptism is one- we baptize once in the name of God- father son and Holy Spirit.
The trinity allows that God is not simple. It also allows a self-existent God who is in communion with Himself. The trinity allows three handles for us to grasp instead of one. In the end, the trinity is a mystery not fully understood. Yet it is a mystery with many signs pointing to its existence- from the clover to ice-water-steam, to sun-heat-light to mind-body-spirit to human roles (within the same being) of husband-father-son.
Our response to the trinity is to honor each person, pray to each person, meditate on each person and as Calvin says above to unite and cleave to Him through the Holy Spirit.

Prayer: Lord, you reveal your complexity to us. It is truly beyond our understanding. Yet we have experience you in these three ways as God- as our father-Creator; as our Lord who died for us; as the ever-present Spirit who adopts and unites us to you. Help us to embrace you and grow n our love for who you are today.

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