August 21, 2018
THE GEORGIA CAPITOL DEVOTIONAL - 21 August 2018
The Bible reveals that God is triune. The theological term “Trinity” means that God has one divine nature, and is a tri-unity of three distinct persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. There are indeed three members of the Trinity as opposed to merely one, yet there are not three gods; rather, God is one (Deut 6:4; Isa 46:9). If each member of the Trinity is eternal and equal in substance, then how could they be distinct in their existence? The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are the same in substance; however, the relations between them are not equal.
The Father is different from the Son because he is not begotten from the Son. The Son is different from the Father because he is begotten of the Father, and the Son is different from the Holy Spirit because He is the only begotten son of the Father. The Holy Spirit is not the son of the Father; therefore, the Son has a relationship to the Father that the Holy Spirit does not. Neither the Father nor the Son proceeds from the Holy Spirit. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are different not in quality but in relation. The distinction between the members of the Trinity is their personal mode of existence. The Father is not begotten, the Son is begotten, and the Holy Spirit proceeds but is not begotten. First John 5:6-12 reveal the impact of this doctrine upon our life.
Jesus Christ “came by water and blood” (5:6), which is another way of saying that He came by both baptism (water) and by blood (crucifixion). Even today, there are religious groups who seek to distinguish the Christ spirit from the man Jesus (i.e. the Christ, as a spiritual being, descended upon Jesus at His baptism, but departed prior to the crucifixion), which is a denial of the physical death and resurrection of Jesus, the God-Man. Not only does the baptism and crucifixion testify that Jesus is the Son of God, but also the Holy Spirit testifies (5:6). The testimony of the Holy Spirit is “the testimony of God” through the prophets and the Bible (5:7-9). God’s people were taught to accept the testimony of two or three witnesses (Deut 19:15; 2 Cor 13:1), yet “the testimony of God is greater” (5:9). Anyone who denies that Jesus is the Son of God “has made [God] a liar” (5:10).
The truth with regard to Jesus’ baptism, crucifixion, and the testimony of the Spirit in the Bible are sufficient witnesses to elicit faith/trust in Jesus Christ as the only Lord and Savior of the world. All “three that testify” agree (5:7-8). The testimony of the Spirit through the prophets and the Bible, in addition to the testimony of the historical facts of Jesus’ life from the beginning of His ministry (baptism) to the end (crucifixion) are sufficient witnesses. No reasonable person would demand more. What is the impact of the doctrine of the Trinity upon our lives?
First, belief in the Trinity is based upon the entirety of the Bible — which testifies to the deity of Jesus Christ — in addition to the deity of the Father and of the Holy Spirit. The Son of God came in flesh, which means He was a true man, and paid the wages of sin because He was both God and Man (cf. John 8:31-36; Rom 6:23; 1 Pet 2:24). Whoever believes/trusts in Jesus as God’s Son can testify with regard to who He is. There is an internal assurance that the Holy Spirit gives, which is given in addition to the historical evidence (5:10; cf. Rom 8:16). Either one believes God’s testimony or remains in opposition to Him.
Second, to have the Son is to have “eternal life,” which is life in God’s Son (5:11-12). Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have God’s Son does not have eternal life. Would you like to know with certainty that you have eternal life? If you can answer “yes,” there is “confidence” in prayer (5:13-14). If you cannot answer the question with certainty, why delay when now is “the day of salvation” (2 Cor 6:2)?
Your Missionary to Georgia's Leaders,
Ron J. Bigalke, Ph.D.
Capitol Commission Georgia
Capitol Commission is prepared to encourage and enable local churches to participate in reaching our capitol communities for Christ (1 Tim 2:1-4). We only need to hear from you, if you have not already contacted us. We also seek to enlist individuals, businesses, and churches to become strategic partners with us in this ministry (2 Cor 8:3-6). Our success as a ministry is based upon God blessing all facets of the ministry, which certainly includes partners in this ministry. We earnestly desire to engage those who desire to participate in the ministry by offering their time and talents (Matt 25:20). If you have not already done so, join us and experience the joy of bringing hope, light, transformation, and truth to those who constitute our capitol communities.