Commentary, Featured, John McReynolds - Posted by john on Sunday, July 31, 2011 19:32 - 1 Comment 3,198 views
Basics 22 – The Functions of the Trinity
BASIC BIBLE DOCTRINE
Lesson Twenty Two: The Functions of the Trinity
Among believers that hold to Christian orthodoxy—the viewpoint that the Bible is the inspired word of God and that it is inerrant in the original languages—there is little or no disagreement on Genesis 1:1 – “… God created the heavens and the earth.” But there is considerable disagreement among those who hold to the creationist viewpoint about the following 30 verses of Genesis chapter one. One school of thought holds that the seven days of Genesis one were literal 24 hour days and that God accomplished the entire creation of the universe including the earth and all its life forms in one literal 168 hour week. Another school of thought contends that the days were not literal 24 hour days, but were much longer in duration—perhaps thousands, millions, or even billions of years—this being an attempt to harmonize Genesis 1 with the geological – evolutionary viewpoint popular with mainstream science today.
However, there is another viewpoint that is held by many believers that contends that the seven days of Genesis 1 were not creative days in the sense of original creation, but rather seven days of restoration. Those who hold to this viewpoint—myself included—contend that the creation of the universe was accomplished by God in Genesis 1:1. This creation was perfect and probably instantaneous—omnipotent God would not require time to accomplish anything, including the creation of the universe. This creation was ex nihilo—a Latin term meaning “out of nothing”. In other words, God did not require any starting material—He simply spoke the universe into existence—a viewpoint anathema to Big Bang theorists.
BASIC BIBLE DOCTRINE
Lesson Twenty Two:
The Functions of the Trinity
by John McReynolds
As is our custom when approaching the study of the word of God we pause for a moment to be sure that we are in fellowship with Him. If we are not in fellowship with the triune God there is no way that the study of God’s word can become real and effective in our spiritual lives. First John 1:9 says that if we confess our sins God is faithful to forgive those sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Confession of sins is the only way to insure the filling of the Holy Spirit so essential to learning God’s truths. Let us pray:
Thank You, Heavenly Father, for giving us the opportunity to learn about You. This is the central purpose for leaving us to live here on the earth after You saved us, so that we can learn about You and apply these truths to our own lives, and then to tell the world about our incomparable Savior Jesus Christ. Bless now this study to edify us and to conform us more closely to the image of Your dear Son, in Whose name we ask it, amen.
In our last post we looked at the concept of the Trinity, some of the illustrations of the Trinity in nature and a few of the Old Testament and New Testament scriptural references about the Trinity. In this post we want to explore the different functions of the Members of the Trinity and how They impact us as believers in our daily lives.
Different Activities of the Members of the Trinity
Not only does God exist in three different Persons, each of these Persons is engaged in different activities in human history.
We all know that God created the heavens and the earth (Gen. 1:1). But each of the members of the Trinity were engaged in the creation.
God the Father Designed the Universe
As the ultimate authority of the universe (Eph. 4:6) God the Father directs the activities of the Trinity (Luke 11:13; Matt. 24:36; John 5:19-20; 8:28). Therefore it was God the Father who designed the universe. This is told us by the first half of 1 Cor. 8:6:
“… yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things and we exist for Him… ”
1 Cor. 8:6a
God the Son Created the Universe
Under the authority of the Father the Son of God—the Lord Jesus Christ—was the Creator of the Universe, as we see from the second half of 1 Cor 8:6:
“… and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him.”
1 Cor. 8:6b
Other scriptures that show Jesus Christ as the Creator:
“All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being … He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him.”
John 1:3, 10
“For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him.”
God the Holy Spirit Restored the Chaotic Earth
Genesis chapter one contains the familiar account of creation:
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”
Among believers that hold to Christian orthodoxy—the viewpoint that the Bible is the inspired word of God and that it is inerrant in the original languages—there is little or no disagreement on Genesis 1:1 – “… God created the heavens and the earth.” But there is considerable disagreement among those who hold to the creationist viewpoint about the following 30 verses of Genesis chapter one. One school of thought holds that the seven days of Genesis one were literal 24 hour days and that God accomplished the entire creation of the universe including the earth and all its life forms in one literal 168 hour week. Another school of thought contends that the days were not literal 24 hour days, but were much longer in duration—perhaps thousands, millions, or even billions of years. This idea is widely regarded as an attempt to harmonize Genesis 1 with the uniformitarian/evolutionary viewpoint that is popular with mainstream science today and that is taught in American public schools and universities.
However, there is another viewpoint held by many believers that contends that the seven days of Genesis 1 were not creative days in the sense of original creation, but rather seven days of restoration. Those who hold to this viewpoint—myself included—contend that the creation of the universe was accomplished by God in Genesis 1:1. This creation was perfect and probably instantaneous—omnipotent God would not require time to accomplish anything, including the creation of the universe. This creation was ex nihilo—a Latin term meaning “out of nothing”. In other words, God did not require any starting material—He simply spoke the universe into existence—a viewpoint anathema to Big Bang theorists.
Big Bang theorists postulate the the universe started out as matter packed into a tiny, almost infinitely dense sphere of matter, which then exploded forming the galaxies, stars, planets, etc. But they cannot explain the origin of the infinitely dense sphere of matter. Personally I don’t think that God needed a “Big Bang” to get things rolling. The Big Bang theory has been running into a lot of trouble lately, and many scientists are raising serious doubts about its ability to explain the observable facts. But in my opinion—and the opinion of many other students of the word—the Biblical account favors an earth that was created perfect, but later was ruined.
“The earth was [became] formless [tohu] and void [bohu], and darkness [chôshek] was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters.”
The creation – restoration model of the earth essentially contends that the earth was formed pristine and perfect, but became reduced to a completely frozen wasteland and what was once the surface of the pristine, perfect earth became a homogenous frozen mass, much as if the entire surface—soil, water, atmosphere and all—was whipped into a frappé and quick frozen. Two words are used in Genesis 1:2 to describe the earth at that point: tohu (תּהוּ) and bohu (בּהוּ). Tohu means to lie wasted, desolate, formless, in a state of confusion. Bohu means to be empty of any distinguishable construction, a ruin. Many exegetes say this passage paints a picture of the earth, once perfect, now reduced to utter, icy desolation. This devastation was apparently the result of a tremendous cataclysm brought by God on the earth as a part of His judgment upon angels led by Lucifer who rebelled against God.
Furthermore darkness was over the surface of the deep. The word there is chôshek (חשׁך), and it doesn’t mean just simple darkness—it infers misery, destruction, death, sorrow, wickedness. It infers a darkness brought about by some wicked deed. This then was the condition of the earth when the Holy Spirit brought about the restoration of the earth.
So according to the Creation-Restoration model, during the course of Satan’s rebellion the planet earth—originally created perfect like all of God’s creation—was reduced to a chaotic waste. The Hebrew of Genesis 1:2 paints a picture of the earth as wasted, desolate, formless, in a state of confusion. The next 23 verses of Genesis chapter one record how the Holy Spirit restored the ruined earth and made it into a habitable Eden for the creation of man. As much as I would like for us to explore this passage in detail, this is a study of the activities of the Trinity, and so we must leave it for another time.
Obviously the most significant act of God with respect to fallen humanity was the provision of our so great salvation. Each member of the Trinity plays a different role in providing salvation to mankind.
God the Father Planned Salvation
As the Author and Planner of salvation it was He who sent the Son to earth as Jesus Christ to accomplish His will:
“Jesus said to them, ‘My food is to do the will of Him [the Father] who sent Me and to accomplish His work.’”
“And Jesus cried out and said, ‘He who believes in Me, does not believe in Me but in Him who sent Me. He who sees Me sees the One who sent Me.’”
“This was in accordance with the eternal purpose [plan of salvation] which He [the Father] carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord …”
God the Son (Jesus Christ) Executed Salvation
It was Jesus Christ the Son of God that carried out the actual work of salvation by entering into the world of lost humanity, and becoming a true human being. For 33 years He lived a perfectly righteous life, totally fulfilling every aspect of the Mosaic Law (a law impossible for fallen humans to keep), thus qualifying Himself to be the perfect sacrifice for the sins of mankind. So by His work and His death on the cross He made it possible for all of us to be reconciled to God and to have eternal life instead of the eternal death we all deserve.
“But He [Jesus] answered them, ‘My Father is working until now, and I Myself am working [the Plan of Salvation].’”
“… and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.”
1 Peter 2:24
“For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit …”
1 Peter 3:18
“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
“Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come (in the scroll of the book it is written of Me) to do Your will, O God.’”
God the Holy Spirit is the Agent in Salvation
God the Holy Spirit plays several key roles in the process of human salvation:
The Holy Spirit Reveals Salvation
The Spirit has been the primary agent for the dissemination of God’s Word—the primary vehicle of His message of salvation to mankind. It was by inspiration of the Holy Spirit that the human authors of the 66 books of the Bible recorded the Word of God that brings eternal life to those who believe.
“… for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.”
The Holy Spirit Makes the Gospel understandable
The Gospel is what we as unbelievers must understand in order to receive Christ as our Savior. It is the convicting ministry of the Holy Spirit that enables us to understand the Gospel and make it possible for us to believe. The Scripture says that the unbeliever cannot understand spiritual matters. But the Holy Spirit makes the Gospel message understandable to the unbeliever so that he can make an informed decision relative to Jesus Christ. This is known as the Convicting or Convincing Ministry of the Holy Spirit.
“… a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.”
1 Cor. 2:14
“… for our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction …”
1 Thessalonians 1:5
The Holy Spirit is the Agent of the New Birth
In the Gospel of John chapter 3 Jesus told the Pharisee Nicodemus that he had to be “born again” to see the kingdom of God. The process of being born again is known theologically as regeneration. We are all born spiritually dead—we are born with bodies and souls, but no human spirits. In this condition we are what 1 Corinthians 2:14 calls “natural men”. The Greek word translated “natural men” is psuchikos (ψυχικός – pronounced “su-ki-KAHS” – literally “soulish”). But at the moment we believe in Jesus Christ for salvation the Holy Spirit creates a human spirit and imputes it to us. Thus we become pneumatikos (πνευματικῶς – pronounced new-mah-ti-KOCE – “spiritual”). This is regeneration—we are literally born again spiritually.
“Jesus answered, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water [physical birth] and the Spirit [spiritual birth] he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.’”
Since we have a living human spirit imputed to us at salvation by the Holy Spirit, we are now by nature spiritual (pneumatikos) men, and are now able to receive the knowledge of God.
“Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the [spiritual] things freely given to us by God, which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words.”
1 Corinthians 2:12-13
The Holy Spirit Places Us in Union with Jesus Christ
This is known theologically as the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. This union occurs instantly at the moment of salvation—the moment a person believes and accepts Christ as their Savior. This is totally a grace action of the Holy Spirit—the person plays no role in the Baptism of the Holy Spirit apart from believing in Christ.
The word baptize comes from the Greek word baptizo (βαπτίζω – pronounced bahp-TID-zoh). It means to be completely identified with something as when a person is immersed in water and becomes soaked with it—he becomes completely identified with the water. This is of course what happens in ritual baptism—the person is made to be totally wet. This becomes a picture of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit wherein the Holy Spirit places us in union with Jesus Christ and we are completely identified with Him.
“For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.”
1 Corinthians 12:13
Some who are of the Charismatic persuasion mislead new believers by telling them that after they are saved they must pray for the Baptism of the Holy Spirit which they refer to as “the second blessing.” Then they give them the impression that this will be accompanied by ecstatics, speaking in tongues, spontaneous healings and other such spectacular signs. Nothing could be farther from the truth! In 1 Cor. 2:13 it says “we all”. The Greek word translated “all” is pas (πᾶς – pronounced “PAHS”) and it means “all in a category”, the category being supplied by the context. The category referred to here in 1 Corinthians chapter 2 is all believers, not just those who have received some “second blessing”.
The Holy Spirit Seals Us
All of the works of the Holy Spirit at the moment of salvation have tremendous significance to us, and the Sealing Ministry of the Holy Spirit is no exception. The Sealing of the Holy Spirit is the very basis of our eternal security. The Doctrine of Eternal Security is well established in Scripture, most notably in this passage in the Gospel of John, which also shows the role of the Father in salvation. Jesus, speaking to the Jews, says this:
“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”
This passage of Scripture promises us that we are eternally secure in the hands of both the Son and the Father, but how does the Holy Spirit guarantee our salvation?
“In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.”
When we express faith alone in Jesus Christ alone God saves us—we are assured of an eternity with Him. But He doesn’t take us straight to heaven—we are left here on this cursed earth with all the problems of life seemingly unchanged—not a very reassuring situation. But God gives us the Holy Spirit as a down payment on our eternal inheritance, and the Spirit places a seal on us that establishes God’s ownership of us. That seal establishes once and for all time that we are eternally God’s possession. Incidentally, this passage also shows us the three sequential steps in the salvation process:
We must listen to the message of truth,
We must believe the message of truth, then
The Holy Spirit seals us as God’s own possession for all eternity.
Notice in this verse that the only things required of us is listening and believing—there is no room for human works! All the real work is done by the Holy Spirit at the moment a person believes the message of truth—the Gospel—on the basis of the perfect work of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary!
The Holy Spirit Indwells Us at the Moment of Salvation
This action of the Holy Spirit is unique to the Church Age. In the Old Testament times God dwelled with Israel first in the pillar of smoke by day and the pillar of fire by night, and later in the tabernacle in the wilderness, and still later in the Temple. Today in the Church Age God the Holy Spirit again dwells in a temple, but this time the temple is literally us!
“Do you not know that you are a temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?”
1 Corinthians 3:16
“However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.”
The terms “Spirit of God” and “Spirit of Christ” are both functional titles for the Holy Spirit. The above verse in Romans tells us that whoever does not have the Holy Spirit indwelling in him is not a believer—he does not have a saving relationship with God. On the other hand 1 Cor. 3:16 affirms that as believers we are indeed indwelled by the Holy Spirit. So these two verses show that the Indwelling of the Holy Spirit is exclusive—it is limited only to believers in the Lord Jesus Christ living in the Church Age. This indwelling of the Holy Spirit makes the power of the Holy Spirit available to every believer to enable him to live the spiritual life to which every Church Age believer has been called.
The Holy Spirit Fills us at the Moment of Salvation
The Filling of the Holy Spirit is distinct from the Indwelling of the Holy Spirit. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit is permanent—every person who is a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ is indwelled by the Holy Spirit at the moment he or she believes in Christ, and as we have seen, this is permanent—it is the basis for the eternal security of the believer. But the Filling of the Holy Spirit is temporary—it is lost through sin. Any time the believer commits a sin he loses the Filling of the Spirit. But the Filling of the Holy Spirit is regained by confessing the sin or sins directly to the Father—1 John 1:9.
The purpose of the Filling of the Holy Spirit is to provide the Divine power for living the Christian life. This life that God calls us to after salvation cannot be lived by human efforts—it requires Divine spiritual resources. And it is the Holy Spirit that supplies these resources.
The difference between the Indwelling Holy Spirit and the Filling of the Holy Spirit can be visualized like this: Imagine your house—in most parts of the world it is wired for electricity. When the house is built the wires are there, waiting for the electricity to be supplied. When electrical power is supplied the electricity is there indwelling the wires, waiting for you to use it. Now if the light switch is off there is no light in the room—it is just as dark as if there was no electricity in the wires. But once you flip the switch, light fills the room!
When we are saved the Holy Spirit indwells us, energizing the circuits of our lives, waiting to supply power for our Christian walk. And Jesus Christ has paid our electricity bill for all eternity—we don’t have to fear ever getting it cut off. It is always there able to supply the light we need for our Christian walk. But if the light switch is off because of sin in our lives, our way is darkened and we will just stumble around bumping into things.
When we begin at salvation the light is on—the Holy Spirit illuminates our lives the moment His power energizes us. But if we sin we flip the light switch off—and the house goes dark. The Holy Spirit is still there—our circuits are still energized—but the power cannot be used because the light switch is off. It will stay dark until we flip the switch back on. Sin cuts the light switch off and darkens our lives. Fortunately for us God the Father, the architect of our lives, provided the switch for us to use to get light back into our lives:
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
1 John 1:9
So the energized circuits of our houses are like the Indwelling Holy Spirit, and our houses filled with light are like the Filling of the Holy Spirit. Our hands are on the switch, however. God gives us the freedom to flip the light switch off when we sin, and then to stumble around in the dark stubbing our toes and banging our shins. And when we’ve had enough suffering as a consequence of our own bad decisions, He gives us the freedom to switch it back on by using 1 John 1:9 to get back into fellowship with Him and begin, once again, walking in the light.
All three members of the Trinity are involved in moving forward the plan of God with respect to redeemed mankind. God’s goal for those who are saved is to make them fit for a glorious future in eternity. This involves the process known as Sanctification. Sanctification simply means to set someone apart for a special purpose, and it involves everything from choosing whoever is to be set apart, to preparing them or making them fit for whatever God’s purpose for setting them apart, and then the actual using of the prepared person for His eternal purpose. This process involves three phases: Positional Sanctification, Experiential Sanctification, and Ultimate Sanctification. Each phase is executed by a different Member of the Trinity.
God the Son Executes Positional Sanctification
At the direction and the will of the Father, the Son entered into the world as true humanity in the person of Jesus of Nazareth. He lived a sinless life, perfectly fulfilling God’s Law which had condemned all of mankind. As the sinless, spotless Lamb of God He was qualified to sacrifice Himself upon the cross of Calvary in order to take upon Himself the condemnation that rightfully should have passed to every member of the human race—including you and me.
“After saying above, ‘sacrifices and offerings and whole burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You have not desired, nor have You taken pleasure in them’ (which are offered according to the Law), then He said, ‘behold, I have come to do Your will.’ He takes away the first in order to establish the second. By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”
As a result of this incredible sacrifice on the part of our Lord, anytime a person expresses faith alone in Christ alone he is figuratively covered by the blood of Christ. Now when the Father looks at the sinner He does not see his disgusting sins—instead He sees the perfect, propitiating sacrifice of His Son which He has accepted as payment for sin. So now He accepts the sinner who has been placed in Christ.
“But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption …”
1 Corinthians 1:30
“For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.”
1 Corinthians 15:22
When we receive salvation by believing in Christ we are placed “in union with Christ.” This is our legal standing before God—it is a positional standing only. To be sure, it is a permanent, eternal standing—we will never lose our position in Christ—John 10:27-30. But while from a legal standpoint we are blameless before God, we still reside in our sinful flesh, and we are still prone to sin. And so for the rest of our lives here on earth, God is engaged in cleaning us up and making us fit for eternity—the next stage in the sanctification process.
God the Holy Spirit Executes Experiential Sanctification
When we are saved we are immediately positionally sanctified. This is not anything we are aware of—we don’t know it when it happens; there is no sensation that accompanies it. But Experiential Sanctification we are aware of—it happens to us over the course of a lifetime and it is definitely a conscious experience.
Because God does not take us directly to heaven to be with Him when we are saved we remain here in our sinful flesh after salvation. This poses a real problem for us because while we live in our bodies with our sin natures we have a constant source of temptation to sin—our own old sin natures. God’s intent for us after salvation is to walk in His way while we are here on the earth so that we can represent Him as His ambassadors. But personal sin blocks our effectiveness and opens us up to discipline from our Father. So He gives us the means to recover from sin—1 John 1:9, and to then walk blameless before Him as He commanded us.
“Do all things without grumbling or disputing; so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world …”
God understands that for us to be able to do this that a transformation must occur. We must be transformed from the slaves to sin as we were born, to the fulfillment of all He intends us to be—free men all, yet who willingly and eagerly work out His will for our lives—Rom 6:16-23. This transformation occurs as we take in God’s word—the very mind of Christ—and allow it to transform our lives.
“… But we have the mind of Christ.”
1 Corinthians 2:16b
“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”
And as we approach the end of our lives here on earth we approach the end of that lifelong transforming process—this Experiential Sanctification—which the Holy Spirit performs in us that makes us fit to live in the Father’s eternal kingdom, so that we can say with Paul the Apostle:
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day [the Judgment Seat of Christ]; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.”
2 Timothy 4:7-8
God the Father Executes Ultimate Sanctification
And so the day will come when we all must face the Lord at the Judgment Seat of Christ to give an account of what we did with the time and opportunities He gave us while we remained on the earth after salvation.
“But you, why do you judge your brother? Or you again, why do you regard your brother with contempt? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. For it is written, ‘As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue will give praise to God.’”
At that judgment we will receive all the rewards we have earned while in our Lord’s service here on earth. For some the rewards will be great—for others they will be very little. While we are here on the earth God gives us freedom to participate in the process of experiential sanctification. In other words He allows us to determine the extent of that sanctification process. If we cooperate with the Holy Spirit and exploit every opportunity that God gives us in His grace, we will heap up great treasures in eternity. If we pursue the dictates of our flesh and ignore the opportunities God gives us, we will not accumulate rewards—instead we will receive discipline from the Lord. That will be the only way left for Him to prepare us for eternal life in His Kingdom. But if our minds—our hearts—are occupied with the Lord Jesus Christ, great wealth will accumulate in heaven for us to enjoy for all eternity.
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
And so when our rewards are given it is God the Father who welcomes us into Eternity—into the magnificent dwelling places—literal mansions—that our Lord Jesus has prepared for us.
“In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.”
It is our Heavenly Father that completes our transformation. When we are taken to heaven we will be transformed into creatures that our present minds cannot conceive. Our eternal bodies will be exactly like that of our Lord Jesus Christ, with powers we can only guess at—the ability to travel instantaneously to any point in the universe at will, the ability to pass through solid matter—undoubtedly there is vastly more that we can even imagine.
“Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.”
1 John 3:2
So it is a magnificent future we have before us. And our actions here and now on earth will determine how much we will be able to enjoy all that the Father has for is in eternity. Some of us will enjoy unimaginable blessings and vast, eternal joy, while others will simply be glad they aren’t in hell. They are the ones whose works will be burned up at the Judgment Seat of Christ and will have no rewards in heaven except for just being there. It’s up to us to determine which it will be.
If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.
1 Corinthians 3:15.
“Now to Him [the Father Who provides us with and eternity of blessings] who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.”
Thank You, Heavenly Father, for Your matchless grace. We thank You for Your provision of salvation, for the sacrifice of Your Son, and for the countless blessings that accrue to us through Your provision. We thank you for Your revealing to us of the wonderful works of the Trinity that have impacted our lives in every conceivable way. Bless now this message—may it edify the hearts of its readers that Your Son Jesus Christ might be glorified, for we ask it in His name, amen.
To the reader: If you have read this lesson, I would greatly appreciate any feedback, questions, or comments you have. Getting feedback from my readers is very helpful and encouraging to me. I promise to respond to all legitimate questions or comments as appropriate. But please, do keep your questions and comments appropriate and constructive.
Thank you very much.
In His Service,