Christian Devotions

Posts tagged ‘Holy Trinity’

Elohim

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.  And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.   And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. ~~ Genesis 1:13

Most mainline denominations, both Catholic and Protestant, acknowledge a doctrine of the trinity of God. God in three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (or Holy Ghost).

The opening verses of the Bible contain that concept. Let’s look at it.

In the beginning, God…

There it is, God – the one and only – no modifiers as to which god – just God. He needs nothing but the name to identify him.  But the word used here is Elohim which is a plural construction, equivalent to our word “gods”.

At the end of verse two we have:

And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

The Spirit of God – the Holy Spirit – a second person of God, a second manifestation of God.

Then verse three:

And God said

The Word of God – the Son of God – appears. How do we know this refers to the Son of God?

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. ~~ John 1:1-3

These verses in John refer to Jesus, the person of God who limited himself to human form and function to be the redeemer of each of us in this world. The Word of God created our physical world; the Son of God interacted with mankind in the physical world.

The doctrine of the Holy Trinity is slightly difficult to wrap one’s mind around: one God, three persons.

Early on, when I tried to explain the doctrine to others, I used this crude analogy.  I am one person, but I am my mother’s daughter, my husband’s wife, and my children’s mother. I function very differently in relationship to each of these people.  In the same way, each of the Persons of the Trinity functions differently from the others.

God created us; Jesus redeemed us; the Holy Spirit indwells us.

God is our Father; Jesus is our Savior; the Holy Spirit is our Comforter, the Paraclete, the One Who Walks Beside.

God has us covered from all sides.

Father, God,

Help us to wrap our minds around all that You are. Give us the grace to believe what we cannot fully comprehend. Open our ears to the promptings of Your Holy Spirit and strengthen us for immediate and unquestioning obedience.

In Jesus’ most precious name,

Amen.

 

 

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Jesus Prayed For You

Focus verses: John 17:1-26

We were studying the John 17 when the realization hit me. God loved me as much as He loved Jesus! Impossible! After all, Jesus was the son of God, the second person of the Holy Trinity. Who was I? Nothing, nobody, just an average jane.

It was 1970-something. Our large Tuesday evening group was studying scriptures. I was sitting on the floor (we had more people than chairs) against the north wall of Marcella’s living room when I read and understood that twenty-third verse. It felt like my heart would explode. I could barely breathe. The enormity of that realization fell on me like huge weight that turned to gossamer when it touched my shoulders. In that moment, I was forever changed. All the world was different.

This seventeenth chapter of John begins with Jesus’ prayer for Himself. Here He says He was with the Father “before the world began.” Jesus, by His own admission, was present at creation.

Then He prays for the disciples and their future in this world, that God would protect them. Obviously that means in the spiritual sense, because the disciples were physically persecuted, tortured, and executed. But they never succumbed to the evil one. That protection was their unity with Christ, just as Christ is unified with the Father.

Then Jesus prayed for you and me – for all who would believe because of the words of the disciples. The outcome of this prayer is to be our unity with Christ and therefore with the Father.

Jesus prayed that we (all Christians) would be unified – one in the Holy Spirit. Now I don’t believe that means that all our sectarian differences will fade away – that we must all be one amorphous worshiping mass.

We each come to Him as individuals. How you worship might just set my teeth on edge – and vice versa. The point is our love for one another (whether we agree on all the details or not) should be the guiding force in our relationships with one another.

Father, God,

Make us sensitive to the indwelling of Your Holy Spirit which creates the unity between God and man. Help us to respond appropriately to Your unbounded love for us.

In Jesus’ most precious name.
Amen.