God, the Father, Son, and Holy SpiritOscar Baker
The first person of the triune God is the one carrying the title, Father. And those who are curious about such things will at once ask why that God should first of all reveal Himself as a Father. Have you ever thought of it?
Of course we can have no idea of God in His essence. That is a realm strange to us. And that is why that He has come down to the level of our experiences to make Himself known. We can know God only relatively. We have to compare Him with the things we know.
Now it is true that under ordinary circumstances, the father in the family is the ruler of the family. He is also the provider. And he loves his family. So God has used this figure to make us understand that He is like the ideal loving father of an earthly family in His relation to us. What better illustration could He have chosen? Can you suggest one?
And this brings up another point that we should remember. Our concept of God is going to be limited to our concept of an earthly father. May I ask just how much one is going to think of God as a loving father if that one comes from a broken home in which there was strife and no respect for either father or mother? Just what is the concept carried by the average school child of today? Will it help that child to understand about God? Before God, a father has a great responsibility these days.
I understand that in some countries morality is so low that when a child is born it is often hard to identify the father. So the law is that the child must bear the maiden name of the mother. So there the children do not bear the name of the father, but of the mother. How is a missionary in such a country going to explain God as a father? And so it goes in the so-called civilized countries of the world. The father has lost his place in the family, if there is a family.
And would it be to the advantage of the enemy if he could erase morality so that this aspect of God could not be learned? Our Lord Himself emphasized the title of Father and used it in illustrations. He asked if a real father would give a child a stone if it were asking for bread.
We can understand a little more now why the apostle stressed the duties of a father in Ephesians and Colossians. Every father today who professes the faith has the responsibility of doing his very best in every duty so as to show forth the character of God. His actions are going to show a lot more than words ever can. And if he is going to bring up his family in the fear and admonition of the Lord, here is the place to start. Let the children know what the word father means by example.
God is pictured to us as a Father who knows the needs of His children, who rewards them, who has made promises and will keep them, who loves His Son, who gives gifts to His children, who is a merciful Father, and who pities His children. Consider this; would God the Father cast off any of His children and not claim them?
GOD THE SON
Recently we considered the subject, God the Father. There has been little contradiction of the fact that the Father is God. But some have denied that Christ was really the Son, and therefore not deity. So let us go to Isa. 45 for some background.
Elohim is the word for God in Gen. 1:1. El is God in contrast to the gods of the heathen. See it in Gen. 14:18. Jehovah is the I AM that was revealed to Moses at the burning bush. Check these with the Companion Bible and read Appendix 4.
Isaiah 45:1. THUS SAITH JEHOVAH…
3. I, JEHOVAH … AM THE ELOHIM OF ISRAEL.
5. I AM JEHOVAH … THERE IS NO ELOHIM BESIDE ME
6. I AM JEHOVAH, AND THERE IS NONE ELSE.
7. I, JEHOVAH DO ALL THESE THINGS.
8. I, JEHOVAH HAVE CREATED IT.
11. THUS SAITH JEHOVAH, THE HOLY ONE OF ISRAEL,
AND HIS MAKER.
13. SAITH THE JEHOVAH OF HOSTS.
14. THUS SAITH JEHOVAH. SURELY EL IS IN THEE;
AND THERE IS NONE ELSE, THERE IS NO ELOHIM.
15. VERILY THOU ARE AN EL THAT HIDEST
THYSELF, 0 ELOHIM OF ISRAEL, THE SAVIOUR.
17. BUT ISRAEL SHALL BE SAVED IN JEHOVAH.
18. FOR THUS SAITH JEHOVAH THAT CREATED THE
HEAVENS; ELOHIM HIMSELF THAT FORMED THE
EARTH AND MADE IT… I AM JEHOVAH; AND
THERE IS NONE ELSE.
19. I, JEHOVAH SPEAK RIGHTEOUSNESS.
21. HAVE NOT I, JEHOVAH? AND THERE IS NO
ELOHIM BESIDE ME; A JUST EL AND A SAVIOUR;
THERE IS NONE BESIDE ME.
22. FOR I AM EL, AND THERE IS NONE ELSE.
24. SURELY IN JEHOVAH HAVE I RIGHTEOUSNESS
25. IN JEHOVAH SHALL ALL THE SEED OF ISRAEL BE
JUSTIFIED, AND SHALL GLORY.
Now read the chapter through and tell me, are Jehovah, El, and Elohim one and the same? Is there only one God? And is not that one God Creator, Saviour, and the only One to be worshipped? And did you note that in verse 23 El says something that is repeated in Ph’p 2:10? According to this, Christ is El. And El is both Elohim and Jehovah. Then who is Christ?
The Word made flesh is God. Not a god, as some would say, for that brings in other gods and that is contrary to the very first commandment and has to do with idolatry. As true Christians we have to recognize the fact that Jesus of Nazareth was God, or no god at all. Only God is to be worshipped, according to the law of Israel. That has not been changed. Worship is ordained for Christ in Ph’p. 2:10. “And let all the angels of God worship Him.” So says Hebrews 1:6.
We purposely used Isaiah 45 here because some have even tried to make Jehovah a lesser god. The chapter speaks for itself. Jehovah is God and there is none else. Take away Jehovah and there is no God. Take away Jesus Christ and there is no God. The implications are plain. There is one God, but three persons.
GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT
The great commission of the kingdom age (Matt 28:19) included baptizing in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost (Spirit). The word name is in the singular, not plural. So Father is not a name. Son is not a name. Holy Spirit is not a name. But there is a name that includes all three. Do you know that name? It is the name that is given to Jesus (Ph’p. 2:8-11). It is first mentioned in Psalms 7:17. It is Jehovah Elyon (Jehovah, the most high God). That is the name of the one individual which consists of three persons.
What name was Israel to make known? We have already written about God the Father, and God the Son. Now we take up God the Holy Spirit. The subject would fill a book, so for a sample we take the 9 occurrences in Eph. and set them forth.
1. 2:18. The Holy Spirit is the means of access to God, the Father. This person is one.
2. 2:22. The Holy Spirit is the Builder of the holy temple which is a habitation of God. It is built of living stones, believers.
3. 3:5. The Holy Spirit is the Revealer. He revealed the mystery of Christ to the apostles and prophets.
4. 3:16. The Holy Spirit is the Giver of all power and might. Here is a purpose.
5. 4:3. The Holy Spirit is the Origin of the spiritual unity. Here it is the genitive of origin, a figure of speech.
6. 4:30. The Holy Spirit can be grieved or offended. Read the next two verses and see what offends the Spirit.
7. 5:18. The Holy Spirit is the Filler. He can so fill a believer that he will overflow with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in his heart to the Lord. He runs the cup over.
8. 6:17. The Holy Spirit carries the sword. He also provides it for the believer to make up his panoply of armor. The Holy Spirit has given us the Word of God.
9. 6:18. The Holy Spirit is the source and power of all prayer. When we know not what to pray for, He can make intercession for us.
Although we find much about the nature and attributes of the Father and the Son, we do not find so much about the Spirit. And the reason? He does not speak of Himself, but gives testimony of the Son. Christ is the theme of the Bible from beginning to end. And our Lord said that when the Holy Spirit was come He would not speak of Himself, but of Christ.
So although we find a great deal about the activities of the Holy Spirit in the Word, we do not learn very much about Himself. He is there all the way through. He is just as omnipresent as any other person of the Godhead.
This should set you out on a search for further information. You will not find Him in Colossians. Look through the rest of the post-Acts epistles of Paul for Him. References: See notes on above texts in the Companion Bible, Appendices 9 and 101 in the same, and The Giver and His Gifts by E.W. Bullinger.