GOD IN THREE PERSONS

“Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art My beloved Son; in Thee I am well pleased.” Luke 3:21-22 (KJB)

The belief in one God is standard among those who believe in God among Christians, Jews, and Muslims; and there could be others. We begin to part in our beliefs when we as Christians believe that God is revealed in Scriptures as three in One God.

I am not going to try and explain it. It is only fully understood by God Himself, but the answer is the Scripture clearly shows us in the text above, the presence of the Triune Godhead (Romans 1:20; Colossians 2:9), at work on the day of our Lord’s baptism.

Jesus the Son of God, God the Son coming up out of the water, the Holy Spirit descending, the voice of the Father speaking, “Thou art My beloved Son; in Thee I am well pleased.”

You can believe what the Bible says, or you can choose not to believe, but there it is.

The words of the blessed old Hymn came to my mind as I thought of these Scripture verses this morning. The following are verses 1 and 4 of Holy, Holy, Holy:

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!

Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty!
All Thy works shall praise Thy name, in earth, and sky, and sea;
Holy, Holy, Holy; Merciful and Mighty!
God in three Persons, blessed Trinity!

 

Knowing the Judgment of God

“Moreover thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the LORD; Shall they fall, and not arise? Shall he turn away, and not return? Why then is this people of Jerusalem slidden back by a perpetual backsliding? They hold fast deceit, they refuse to return. I hearkened and heard, but they spake not aright: no man repented him of his wickedness, saying, What have I done? Every one turned to his course, as the horse rusheth into the battle. Yea, the stork in the heaven knoweth her appointed times; and the turtle and the crane and the swallow observe the time of their coming; but My people know not the judgment of the LORD.” Jeremiah 8:4-7 (KJV)

Along about Spring, and usually days before the official arrival of Spring, Robins begin showing up in our backyard. A while before Spring the bald eagle leaves, and is not seen until about October in our backyard. It is amazing how one can learn from God’s creation and created order. My how much we can learn from what we call “Nature”.

The prophet being used by the LORD speaks of three different birds of the Palestinian area. The stork, the turtle dove, the crane, and the swallow. They are all what we might call migratory birds, which show up in the Spring, then probably in the Autumn of the year they fly away to a suitable climate for the rest of the year.

How is it that these birds, and others like them know when to go? It is given them by their Creator. We call it “Instinct”; but it is a God-given instinct. They know.

The lesson Jeremiah is giving us, and the question being asked is this: Since the birds know their timing for going; why do God’s people not know the judgments of the LORD? We can be under God’s discipline, and justice, and blame it on weather activity, or inactivity. We experience great numbers of animal attacks on humans, and we call it a “Freak of an animal”, or “animal anxiety” or something, but never the judgment of God.

Humankind is blind to the judgment of God. It has been upon us because we have turned our backs on God, and His Son Jesus. Let me tell you something about the judgment, or justice of God. In Washington, D.C. stands and idol unto “Lady Justice”, she is blindfolded with a set of scales in her hands; symbolizing to us that our justice is blind; meaning it is supposed to be fair to all. Well! God’s justice is much different. He judges with His eyes wide open, and it is just still. Just as He judges with His eyes open; He also forgives with His eyes wide open.

When God judged our sins upon His Son; His eyes were open. When we come to Him broken and contrite (and that is the only way we can approach Him), seeking forgiveness He forgives with His eyes wide open.

We do not have to fear the judgment of God; today’s, tomorrow’s or in eternity. We/You can seek His forgiveness today through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ His only, holy and blessed Son.

The King, His Sheep and the Wolves

The King, His Sheep, and the Wolves

There are brothers and sisters in Christ in other parts of the world today who are suffering beatings, losing their earthly possessions, losing their families, losing their jobs, and losing their lives because of their faith in Jesus Christ.

“Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues; And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles. But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.” Matthew 10:16-20 (KJV)

It is interesting the way our Lord uses the likenesses of “sheep” and “wolves”. Sheep our weak, always in need of protection, and need of a shepherd to lead them to the right place for grazing, ie. feeding. A flock of sheep without a shepherd will eat in a place until there is nothing left to eat, and then, starve. The wolf, on the other hand is strong and often vicious. The vicious temperment is the thing which Jesus is wanting us to see. They protect themselves, they hunt for food themselves, and in our case sheep is their food.

In our study here the disciples/apostles are the sheep. Those who would follow Jesus are likened to the sheep. It is said that Jesus upon seeing a group of people saw them, “as sheep without a shepherd” (Matthew 9:36; Mark 6:34). Jesus is our Shepherd. He leads us to still waters, green pastures, gives us peace and leads us through valley’s of death. His rod is used for our correction and our comfort. (See Psalm 23).

Anyone who would tell us, “O, the Christian life is a breeze. It is really easy. There is no difficulty in all the world for the Christian” is living in a fantasy land, and is deceived or out and out naive. The reason I included that last statement is because I preached a sermon in a church a few years ago, on the struggles of being a Christian, and following the message and the end of the evening service, one dear lady of the church came up to me, and quickly told me, “I have not found the Christian life to be difficult, but rather fulfilling, and a joy”. I think I told her that I could agree with the latter part of what she said, but that there was still difficult times being a Christian. Jesus is warning us in the text of just that. There are people who are going to hate, and despise us, because they hate and despise our Shepherd.

The wolves of course represent false teachers who would teach things contrary to the gospel of Jesus. They actully seek to destroy those who are true to Christ and the truth, and the Church of the Lord Jesus. They bring in the “damnable heresies” (2 Peter 2:1) which Peter the apostle writes of. These teachers/preachers know that what they say is not in keeping with Biblical/orthodox Christian teaching. At the least they have themselves been deceived by the enemy of Christ. This is why the true followers of Jesus Christ must be vigilant to present the gospel and the whole counsel of the Word of God (Acts 20:27).

When we are treated with such vehement hatred, and disdain we are to respond as Jesus would and did. Jesus tells us, “Be wise as serpents, and harmless as doves”. As for the wisdom of serpents they do not seek the attention of men; but rather are prone to avoid attention. The following is commentary from John Gill from the e-Sword version of his commentary:

  • The serpent is a very sharp sighted, cunning creature, and uses various arts and stratagems for its own preservation, and especially of its head; and is so far to be imitated by the followers of Christ, as to make use of all proper methods to preserve themselves from the insults and rage of men, and not expose themselves to unnecessary dangers: and, as much as in them lies, they should be careful to give no just occasion of offence, or irritate, and provoke them to use them ill, and to avoid all snares and traps that are laid for them; and, at the same time, maintain the innocence and harmlessness of the dove, being free from all wicked cunning and craftiness, without rancour, malice, and wrath; not meditating and seeking revenge, but meek and humble in their deportment, leading inoffensive lives, and proceeding in the course of their calling, though liable to many insults, and much oppression.

When we look at a dove we see a bird which is so quiet, peaceful, and genteel. The dove as most people know is recognized as the symbol for peace all over the world. For the Christian the dove is a symbol of the presence of God’s Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit who is to rule our hearts, even when we are being persecuted.

There will be times that we will be delivered to the judges, and we should trust the Lord to give us the words to say. Trust Him completely, and not be worried about what the world says as we go about doing the will of our Lord and God. All Christians should count it a joy to be brought before kings and governors, because they need Jesus as Lord and Savior too. The Holy Spirit speaking through us does not come without us working at studying, reading, and applying the written Word of God in our lives. When the Word of God is needing spoken it will be there in our hearts and minds, only if we have hidden it there (Psalm 119:11).