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When the preincarnate Christ arrived in the flesh He forced the apostles to think even father back than the prophets

In Apologetics, Chrisitian, Christ, Christian, Christianity, Prayer, Satan, Saved, Sin, Trinity on March 2, 2011 at 8:51 pm

Joh 17:1 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,

Joh 17:2  since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him.

Joh 17:3  And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.

Joh 17:4  I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do.

Joh 17:5  And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.

Joh 17:6  “I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word.

Joh 17:7  Now they know that everything that you have given me is from you.

Joh 17:8  For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me.

Joh 17:9  I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours.

Joh 17:10  All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them.

Joh 17:11  And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one.

 

Where do we start with the beginning when it comes to thinking of Jesus the Christ the Son of the Living God! Old Testament prophets spoke of God choosing us but they never discussed anything prior to the beginning of the world. When the preincarnate Christ arrived in the flesh He forced the apostles to think even father back than the prophets. When the Son of God in the form of a human arrived He required man to seek the very foundation of God’s ways and works even before the foundation of the world.  Jesus left no options concerning who He is and His relationship to the Father. Is He the fulfillment of ancient prophecies, how is He connected to Abraham, David, even Adam?  Or maybe the best way to acknowledge Jesus the Christ is to acknowledge Him as the eternal Son of the Living God going back in eternity before the foundation of the world. Taking that one step past the foundation of the world is peering into the eternal nature of God. In John 1:1 we see that the Word was God and the Word was with God. In the prayer of Jesus above he is reclaiming the glory that was His with the Father before the world began. We see the Son receiving from the Father all that was promised and the Son glorifying the Father by presenting all He was given as gift back to the Father no finer or deeper love is expressed than this. Then we are promised a unity with the Father like Christ has with Him. This unity expressed here refers not to a union of nature, but of feeling, plan, and purpose. Any other union between Christians is impossible; but a union of affection is what the Savior sought, and this he desired might be so strong as to be an illustration of the unchanging love between the Father and the Son. This confirms we understand the newer testament and we are biblically sound. When we claim God was the Trinity from all eternity or God is Father, Son, and Spirit without reference to the creation of the world.

The eternal Son has eternally existed alongside the eternal Father always receiving the full goodness of divinity from Him. Without the Father’s self-giving to the Son creation becomes (metaphysically) necessary to the being of God. According to the theologian Augustus H. Strong (1836-1921) “Neither God’s independence nor God’s blessedness can be maintained upon the grounds of absolute unity. Anti-Trinitarianism almost necessarily makes creation indispensable to God’s perfection, tends to a belief in the eternity of matter, and ultimately, leads to pantheism.” This makes grace all the more great and gracious! God’s expression of love in the creation and redemption of His fallen creatures from the background of the Trinity shows the astonishing graciousness of God’s free grace to be seen for what it is.  Because God is self sufficient through the community, harmony, and diversity of the Trinity he didn’t create us from need, or loneliness but simply from love and to glorify Himself through us. Our purpose is complete in Him but his existence is not dependent on me! His favor, blessing and love come from His abundant love. If God had created us out of need or loneliness then it lessons and weakens Him making Him dependant on something outside of Himself, a lesser God. An eternally essentially self-giving God would require an eternal world. This in turn would make God dependent on the world he created for his own satisfaction. Without the world, God would be a frustrated giver. A God that is less than sovereign, unable to avoid frustration and unable to accomplish His will or decrees ends up a lesser God. An infinite gospel requires an infinite background of whom and how God reveals himself. To quote David Sanders ( The deeper things of God: How the Trinity changes everything) a balanced view of the fountain from which the river of salvation flows “keeps one foot in the happy land of the Trinity and one foot on the ground of the gospel. When evangelicals lose their sense of proportion, they begin to talk as if they no longer care about the character of God unless they get something from it.” Our best defense against this kind of thinking has always been the doctrine of the eternal Trinity. God is eternally Trinity because triunity belongs to his very nature. The actions of God creation and redemption are things He does, and he would still be God if he hadn’t done them. Without the Trinity the expression of who he is, he would not be God. God minus the Father, Son and Holy Spirit would not be God, if he did nothing more than exist he would still be God. The things God does are the result of who he is and His greater glory. He is the being capable of receiving worship and praise without it destroying who He is. We see in the fall Satan, Angels, and man cannot receive that kind of adulation without it consuming and destroying us.  This makes grace all the greater and praise all the more deserving and the object of our worship worthy.

 

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  1. Great post. One thought that came to mind is that God’s position as God is not dependent on our acceptance of that fact. I think that there are times that we try to view God as lesser so that we can feel better about ourselves. But it is so wonderful that we are so significant to God that he sacrificed his Son for us even though we are nonessential to His existence.

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