Father, Son, and Holy Spirit: To Know and Love Him, part 3
Our goal is true worship of the true God. "
God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.
Strive to know God according to His truth and to love God from the depths of your heart. Only God the Holy Spirit can enable us to do this, so we must pray and exercise dependance on Him. And only God the Son, Jesus Christ, makes this possible through His life, death, and resurrection, so we must repent and believe in Him for salvation.
How can sinners attain to such lofty things as true knowledge of God and true love for God? Only through faith in Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit. This is the treasure of all treasures. This is true worship of the true God.
Persons and Essence
You and I have both personhood (i.e., we are unique persons with our own spirits and minds), and an essence (i.e., we are humans). Personhood and essence, therefore, are two different things. Water has an essence but not personhood. Trees and stars have essence but not personhood. They are not made in the image of God. It is not advanced thinking to recognize that personhood and essence are different aspects of existence.
God's Essence and Person
The Bible teaches that God is one eternal essence who exists in three co-equal, co-eternal, distinct persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This is proved below from the Bible. God the Father is God. God the Son is God. God the Holy Spirit is God. Yet the Father is not the Son and the Son is not the Holy Spirit.
God, according to Scripture, has an essence and personhood. He is one tri-personal essence.
You are one person with an essence that others also have, but God is three persons with an essence that only He has. That is, there are many humans, but there is only one eternal God. There are furthermore many created things that exist in time, but there is only one non-created being that dwells in and from eternity.
Many things have been created, but only One has created: God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This certainly demands contemplation and praise.
How is this not a contradiciton. It transcends our limited grasp of logic, but it is not illogical. "One essence with three essences," is a contradiction. "One person and three persons," is a contradiction. "One essence in three persons," is not. Essence and personhood are distinct aspects of existence. It makes sense, in fact, that both God's essence and God's pershonhood transcend ours. He is not like us. We are creatures; He is Creator. We are finite; He is infinite.
We only know the nature of God's essence and persons because He has revealed it to us and illumined our hearts to see and embrace it by faith. We thank God for that.
Persons are Not Parts
The persons of God are not parts of God, such as 1 + 1 + 1 = God. In that case, 1 part by itself would not be God. But the Bible teaches that the Father is fully God, the Son is fully God, and the Holy Spirit is fully God.
The Father is God.
Yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.
1 Corinthians 8:6
The Holy Spirit is God.
But Peter said, "Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back for yourself part of the proceeds of the land?  While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal? Why is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to man but to God."
The Son, Jesus Christ, is God.
Thomas answered him, "My Lord and my God!"  Jesus said to him, "Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."
Persons are Not Modes
The persons of God are not modes that God changes back and forth from, such as ice into water into steam. In that case, only one mode could exist at a time. But the Bible teaches that the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit co-exist.
The Father speaks and the Spirit descends when the Son is baptized. They are distinct; they co-exist.
In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan.  And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove.  And a voice came from heaven, "You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased."
The Father sent the Son and the Son prayed to the Father. They are distinct; they co-exist.
When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, "Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you,  since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him.
The Father gives the Holy Spirit. They are distinct persons.
If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!
The Son, as a man, received the full blessing of the Holy Spirit from the Father. The Son, therefore, has poured out the Holy Spirit in climactic measure on earth.
Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing.
Redemption and Revelation
The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit clearly co-exist as they take up different roles in God's plan of redemption. Redemption, as a matter of fact, is the way God reveals His Triune nature to us. The Father plans redemption, the Son is sent to accomplish redemption, the Holy Spirit is given to apply redemption to the hearts of sinners.
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
The sending of the Son and the giving of the Holy Spirit in the fullness of time are not only God's way of saving us from sin, but also God's way of revealing Himself as a Trinity: one divine essence who exists in three distinct persons. Why? That we can know and love Him.
Read Genesis 1:1-5 and John 1:1-5 and meditate on the role of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in creation. Meditate on how each person is eternal and infinite.
To know and love God, we must know and love Him as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We confess that God transcends our limited grasp of logic, but we reject the man-made notion that God's self-revelation is illogical. Any god whose essence is small enough to fit within the confines of our understanding would not be worthy of worship.
The true God is incomprehensible; but He is not a self-contradiction. God is worthy of more worship than we could ever give.