Join with others to discuss God and/or the Biblical Doctrine of the Trinity (Godhead). Discuss the attributes and characteristics of God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

How Do We Relate to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit?

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    How Do We Relate to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit?

    by Michael Horton

    Adapted from his new book, Rediscovering the Holy Spirit: God’s Perfecting Presence in Creation, Redemption, and Everyday Life.

    What we meet in the unfolding biblical drama is not merely three “personas” but three concrete persons; not just three roles, but three actors. We encounter the Father as the origin of creation, redemption, and consummation, the Son as the mediator, and the Spirit as the one who brings every work to completion.

    There are various ways of formulating this mystery:

    1. The Son is the Father’s image; the Spirit is the bond of love between them. Consequently, in every external work of the Godhead the Father is the source, the Son is the mediator, and the Spirit is the consummator. Creation exists from the Father, in the Son, by the power of the Spirit; in the new creation Christ is the head while the Spirit is the one who unites the members to him and renews them according to Christ’s image to the glory of the Father.

    2. Or we can say that the Father works for us, the Son works among us, and the Spirit works within us.

    3. God’s works, both of creation and new creation, are typically described in Scripture as performed through speech, so we may also say it this way: Just as the Son is the Word of the Father and the Father (or the Father and the Son) breathes out the Spirit, all of the Father’s speech in the Son brings about its intended effect because of the perfecting agency of the Spirit. We hear the voice of the Father, but we behold God himself in the face of Christ. Jesus could even tell Philip, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9). “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30). But the Spirit is the one who brings about this recognition within us, as Jesus goes on to point out so clearly in the following verses (vv. 15–27). The Trinitarian reference is implied in 2 Corinthians 4:6: “For God [the Father], who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in our hearts [by the Spirit] to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”

    4. In the covenant of grace, the Father is the promise maker (Heb 6:13), the Son is the promise (2 Cor 1:20), and the Spirit brings about within us the “amen!” of faith (1 Cor 12:13).

    5. Athanasius observed that “while the Father is fountain, and the Son is called river, we are said to drink of the Spirit.”

    For it is written that “we have all been given to drink of one Spirit” (1 Cor 12:13). But when we are given to drink of the Spirit, we drink of Christ; for “they drank from the spiritual rock that followed them, and that rock was Christ” (1 Cor 10:4). . . . But when we are made alive in the Spirit, Christ himself is said to live in us: “I have been crucified with Christ,” it says, “I live, yet it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me” (Gal 2:19–20).

    It is not different works but different roles in every work that the divine persons perform. This can be something like a paradigm shift not only in our thinking but in our worship, living, and mission. As we begin to discern the Spirit’s distinctive role across the whole canvas of biblical revelation, we begin to recognize his distinctive role in our own lives.

    Again, for emphasis: We will have a very narrow vision of the Spirit’s person and work if we identify him only with specific works (like regeneration and spiritual gifts) instead of recognizing the specific way he works in every divine operation.

    In creation, redemption, and the consummation, the Spirit is the life-giver.

    Source: How Do We Relate to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit? | Monergism

    #2
    You once mentioned not really looking to the Baptist preacher Charles Spurgeon as one of your 'go to' sources, so when I saw the following this morning, I thought of you and wanted to share it:


    The only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. —John 1:14

    Believer, YOU can bear your testimony that Christ is the only begotten of the Father, as well as the first begotten from the dead. You can say, "He is divine to me, if He be human to all the world beside. He has done that for me which none but a God could do. He has subdued my stubborn will, melted a heart of adamant, opened gates of brass, and snapped bars of iron. He hath turned for me my mourning into laughter, and my desolation into joy; He hath led my captivity captive, and made my heart rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory. Let others think as they will of Him, to me He must be the only begotten of the Father: blessed be His name. And He is full of grace. Ah! had He not been I should never have been saved. He drew me when I struggled to escape from His grace; and when at last I came all trembling like a condemned culprit to His mercy-seat He said, 'Thy sins which are many are all forgiven thee: be of good cheer.' And He is full of truth. True have His promises been, not one has failed. I bear witness that never servant had such a master as I have; never brother such a kinsman as He has been to me; never spouse such a husband as Christ has been to my soul; never sinner a better Saviour; never mourner a better comforter than Christ hath been to my spirit. I want none beside Him. In life He is my life, and in death He shall be the death of death; in poverty Christ is my riches; in sickness He makes my bed; in darkness He is my star, and in brightness He is my sun; He is the manna of the camp in the wilderness, and He shall be the new corn of the host when they come to Canaan. Jesus is to me all grace and no wrath, all truth and no falsehood: and of truth and grace He is full, infinitely full. My soul, this night, bless with all thy might 'the only Begotten.'"

    [Morning and Evening, by Charles H. Spurgeon]
    How's that for some encouragement on how to relate to the Son? :)
    Comment>

      #3
      Thanks for that, William. I found it very interesting. I have to admit that sometimes, it can be a bit confusing for me. This spells things out in ways that make it a bit simpler to understand. Number 4 is particularly beautiful.

      Of course, I don't necessarily have to understand things to believe them, but still, this helps. I've often had trouble trying to explain it to others, since I have issues of understanding as well. I like these breakdowns and find this quite useful.
      Comment>
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