Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Father – Son – Holy Spirit – Who Does What?

When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” – Matthew 3:16-17

I have written about this topic before, but because of a recent conversation with my wife and her encouragement, I am going to address the topic once more.  Just recently, she had heard someone refer to Jesus as Father. Not a new Christian, but an experienced and recognized Bible teacher. Martie was baffled and dismayed. I think the confusion lies with the absence of doctrinal teaching and the dominant place Jesus has in the expression of faith in the United States.

I do not profess to be a trained Biblical scholar – just a guy who has been stumbling along trying to make sense out of this new life I am living.

To begin, I used the reference in Matthew 3 because it is one of the few places where we see the Father – the Son and the Spirit mentioned together. Even a cursory reading of the Bible will leave you or should leave you with an idea that they are distinct entities – but still One. Understanding that “oneness” has been a point of struggle through the centuries. All I can do is point to the revelation of the Bible to offer a simple explanation. So over the next few days I am going to share some of those texts and my understanding of the unique roles.

Let’s start with Oneness.

“I [Jesus] do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.” – John 17:20-23

Did you catch that? Jesus spoke to the Oneness He has with the Father and then says His prayer is that those who believe will be one in the Father and the Son.  If to be One meant that Jesus was the Father then Jesus was praying that Believers, being one like that. would also be the Father like Jesus is. “that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us”

You should be thinking – NO WAY! And you are right. So perhaps Jesus’ oneness with the Father is really about harmony and unity in purpose. Another example.

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” – Genesis 1:26-27

Before the fall – mankind was the image of God – in harmony with God. Just like Jesus prayed in John 17, that what was lost through sin might be restored through His sacrifice and faith. Jesus is referred to as the Second or Last Adam. What Adam did in the Garden, Jesus undid on the Cross – Because of Adam – all have sinned. Because of Jesus – all can be saved and restored and born again, but only by faith and the Spirit. And we, being born again, are being conformed to the image of Christ. (Romans 8:29)

Oneness does not mean sameness.

Therefore, a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” – Genesis 2:24

The woman does not become the man and the man does not become the woman. But they are one – inseparable – a reflection of our oneness with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. In Matthew 19:6 Jesus said, “Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.” Did you think the Father said that? Nope, Jesus did after He quoted Genesis 2:24. Oneness is a big deal – it is a demonstration of the power of God and the nature of God and a reflection of God through mankind walking in harmony with God the Father, the Son and the Spirit.

Tomorrow – The Father

Think about it – Pray about it – Believe it – Walk in it. Let your light shine and give God the glory.

By Faith Alone By His Grace Alone And For His Glory Alone

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