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The Triple Crown
By David B. Smith

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iBelieve: Three in One | PDF Version | Study Guide: The God Head

During a family camping trip, little Missie is abducted and murdered by a serial killer. Mackenzie, the distraught father, is beside himself with grief — but gradually finds healing through the loving intervention of three caring friends.

That’s the premise of The Shack, runaway Christian bestseller by William P. Young. This trio of helpers, each with a distinct personality, teams up to restore this lost and emotionally battered parent . . . and readers soon figure out that we’re uncovering the workings of what the Bible calls the Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Even in the first chapter of Genesis, God speaks of Himself in a plural sense: “Let us make man in our image.” Just hours before He died, Jesus reminded His disciples: “No one comes to the Father except through Me.” Moments later, He referred to the third member of the Godhead: “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor [Comforter] to be with you forever — the Spirit of truth” (John 14:6, 16, 17).

Christian believers are sometimes accused of being polytheistic — worshiping a multitude of gods — but this is decidedly not the case! The “Triune God” is, as the hymn suggests, “[One] God in three persons.”

The Bible teaches that the Godhead, while being three distinct beings, are one in design and purpose and unity. Their love for the human family is unvarying; all three are dedicated to our healing and salvation. They pursue a common galactic agenda; they never differ in goals or attitudes or feelings of compassion for their creation. They never experience a 2-1 committee vote or possible coup d’état. While here on earth, Jesus spoke regularly about the reality that His Father had sent Him, that to know Jesus was to know God, that Jesus’ love for His disciples was an endearing representation of the fact that God the Father loved them equally. “Anyone who sees Me has seen the Father” (John 14:9).

It is a mystery to us humans — who all too often sense the separateness that divides us even from those we love the most — how God the Father, the Son, and Spirit are completely individual beings with unique personalities, yet so bound together as to be “One God.” For 33 years, Jesus and His Father were millions of light-years apart. Jesus had His own physical form, His own emotions and life experiences, His own daily tasks. And yet He told His followers, “By Myself, I can do nothing. I do My Father’s bidding.” Even the Holy Spirit, third full partner in the “Godhead,” has feelings and desires; He can grieve when we fail and rejoice when we repent. But He is the ambassador from the Father, sent here to seal us into a lasting, unbreakable relationship with our adopted heavenly Dad.

Historic Christianity willingly accepts the mystery of the Trinity, believing that all three Members in this circle of love are all-powerful, all-knowing, eternally existent. Jesus the Son is not “lesser” than the Father; God did not, at some distant point in past history, travel to a maternity ward and “have” Jesus. C. S. Lewis uses the illustration of books on a table: a second book resting on the first book. Both have been there for millions of years, indeed, for all time; the second book’s position is due to the first book’s position. Jesus, he suggests, is that second volume, the shining forth of the Father’s glory and love and witness. He is the eternal expression of the Father’s abiding care and power. Both — make that all Three — extend back to an endless eternity . . . and forward into our own present and future.

The most important truth we must express and cherish is that Father, Son, and Spirit are indivisible in their plan to rescue us. The Bible speaks of Jesus as a Mediator — but this doesn’t suggest that a reluctant Father has to be persuaded to accept the Calvary payment. John 3:16 asserts that “God so loved the world that He sent His only Son.” Borrowing from the gospel line penned by Cleland McAfee: “O Jesus, blessed Redeemer; sent from the heart of God.”

David B. Smith writes from California. (2 of 28)  His web page is davidsmithbooks.com. Biblebay Copyright © 2014. Click here for content usage information.