The Apostle Peter taught, furthermore, that God the Father chose us to salvation, God the Son paid for it by shedding His blood, and God the Spirit set us apart unto the obedience of faith (1 Peter 1:1-2). Without each Person of the Godhead doing His part, we would remain defeated, and lost to God.
• In Proclaiming Salvation. In the early years of the first church, God did spectacular things to verify the Gospel message which the apostles were preaching. Hebrews tells us, “How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? After it was at the first spoken through the Lord, it was confirmed to us by those who heard, God also bearing witness with them, both by signs and wonders and by various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His own will” (Hebrews 2:3-4).
It was the same message that was first spoken by the Son Himself. When the apostles proclaimed it, the Father bore witness to its truthfulness by bestowing miraculous gifts through the Spirit. It was not only a powerful witness to the truth of the message, but another demonstration of the Triune God at work.
For the Christian, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit make up the complete whole. For the cynics, pessimism, distrust and irony is the trinity of their belief system, and it leads to confusion and ruin. Hold on to the God of the Bible and his Jesus of Salvation, and the unholy trinity of humanism will gradually fade away into the echoing sound of clanging cymbals, which it is.
• In Sending the Spirit. The three Persons of the Trinity are so interwoven in sending the Spirit into the world that it is difficult to distinguish between them. In one passage it is stated that the Father would send the Spirit in Christ’s name and that He would testify concerning Christ (John 14:26). In another it is said that the Son would send Him from the Father (John 15:26). In yet another, the Father sends Him and calls Him the Spirit of His Son (Galatians 4:6). What a picture of unity—such perfect unity that the actions of one are considered to be the actions of the other. The Spirit proceeds from both the Father and the Son. But all three are vitally involved in His coming.
• Indwelling Believers. Jesus taught His disciples that both He and His Father would make their home with them (John 14:23). But their indwelling would be in the Person of the Comforter, the Spirit of truth (John 14:16-17). As the Spirit of both the Father and the Son, His indwelling is the indwelling of the Godhead. That would not be possible unless the three are One.
Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty, Early in the morning our song shall rise to Thee. Holy, holy, holy! Merciful and mighty,
God in three persons, blessed Trinity.
We look at another of the elements of the “Three-in-One” like this:
• In Baptizing Believers. In our Lord’s commission to His disciples He said, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19).
The unity of the Godhead is declared by combining them in one “name” (singular). Yet the distinctiveness of the Persons is maintained by listing them separately. It is another link in the long chain of evidence that the Father, the Son, and the Spirit are one God.
• In Entering God’s Presence. All members of the Godhead are involved in the believer’s access into the presence of God. Speaking of Christ, the Apostle Paul taught, “For through Him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit” (Ephesians 2:18). Both Jews and Gentiles can approach the Father through the merits of the Son with the help of the Spirit.
Gerard Manley Hopkins said, “The best ideal is the true, and other truth is no truth at all. All glory is to be ascribed to the holy Three-in-One.”
• In Blessing Believers. In Paul’s final remarks to the Corinthian Christians, he linked the three members of the Godhead together in a beautiful benediction: “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all” (2 Corinthians 13:14). Unless the three are one, eternally and equally supreme, there would be little reason to put them together on an equal basis like this in a