Category Archives: Trinity

“The name ‘Father'” by Herman Bavinck

“The name ‘Father’ is now the common name of God in the New Testament. The name YHWH is inadequately conveyed by Lord (κυριος) and is, as it were, supplemented by the name ‘Father.’

This name is the supreme revelation of God. God is not only the Creator, the Almighty, the Faithful One, the King and Lord; He is also the Father of His people.

The theocratic kingdom known in Israel passes into a kingdom of the Father who is in heaven. Its subjects are at the same time children; its citizens are members of the family.

Both law and love, the state and the family, are completely realized in the New Testament relation of God to His people. Here we find perfect kingship, for here is a king who is simultaneously a Father who does not subdue His subjects by force but who Himself creates and preserves His subjects.

As children, they are born of Him; they bear His image; they are His family. According to the New Testament, this relation has been made possible by Christ, who is the true, only-begotten, and beloved Son of the Father.

And believers obtain adoption as children and also become conscious of it by the agency of the Holy Spirit (John 3:5, 8; Rom. 8:15f.). God has most abundantly revealed Himself in the name ‘Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.’

The fullness that from the beginning inhered in the name Elohim has gradually unfolded and become most fully and splendidly manifest in the trinitarian name of God.”

–Herman Bavinck, Ed. John Bolt and trans. John Vriend, Reformed Dogmatics, Volume 2: God and Creation (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2004), 2: 147.

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“Eternally glorified” by Wilhelmus à Brakel

“God is worthy to be eternally glorified, even if there were no creature in heaven or upon earth.”

–Wilhelmus à Brakel, The Christian’s Reasonable Service, Volume 3, Ed. Joel Beeke, Trans. Bartel Elshout (Grand Rapids, MI: Reformation Heritage Books, 1700/1994), 3: 257.

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“A doxological tone that glorifies Him” by Herman Bavinck

“The essence of the Christian religion consists in the reality that the creation of the Father, ruined by sin, is restored in the death of the Son of God, and re-created by the grace of the Holy Spirit into a kingdom of God.

Theology is about God and should reflect a doxological tone that glorifies Him.”

–Herman Bavinck, Eds. John Bolt and John Vriend, Reformed Dogmatics, Volume 1: Prolegomena (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2003), 61.

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“The heartbeat of God’s entire revelation” by Herman Bavinck

“In the doctrine of the Trinity we feel the heartbeat of God’s entire revelation for the redemption of humanity. Though foreshadowed in the Old Testament, it only comes to light fully in Christ.

Religion can be satisfied with nothing less than God himself. Now in Christ God Himself comes out to us, and in the Holy Spirit He communicates Himself to us.

The work of re-creation is trinitarian through and through. From God, through God, and in God are all things.

Re-creation is one divine work from beginning to end, yet it can be described in terms of three agents: it is fully accomplished by the love of the Father, the grace of the Son, and the communion of the Holy Spirit.

A Christian’s faith life, accordingly, points back to three generative principles. ‘We know all these things,’ says article 9 of the Belgic Confession, ‘from the testimonies of holy Scripture, as well as from the operations of the persons, especially from those we feel within ourselves.’

We know ourselves to be children of the Father, redeemed by the Son, and in communion with both through the Holy Spirit. Every blessing, both spiritual and material, comes to us from the triune God.

In that name we are baptized; that name sums up our confession; that name is the source of all the blessings that come down to us; to that name we will forever bring thanksgiving and honor; in that name we find rest for our souls and peace for our conscience.

Christians have a God above them, before them, and within them. Our salvation, both in this life and in the life to come, is bound up with the doctrine of the Trinity.”

–Herman Bavinck, Reformed Dogmatics: Holy Spirit, Church, and New Creation, Vol. 4, Ed. John Bolt, and Trans. John Vriend, (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2008), 4: 333–334.

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“You have Him” by Sinclair Ferguson

“Owen’s great burden and emphasis in helping us to understand what it means to be a Christian is to say:

Through the work of the Spirit, the heavenly Father gives you to Jesus and gives Jesus to you. You have Him.

Everything you can ever lack is found in Him; all you will ever need is given to you in Him. From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.’

For the Father has ‘blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.’

It is as true for the newest, weakest Christian as for the most mature believer: from the first moment of faith, we are fully, finally, irreversibly justified in Christ.”

–Sinclair Ferguson, The Trinitarian Devotion of John Owen (Sanford, FL: Reformation Trust, 2014), 64-65.

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“To be a Christian” by Sinclair Ferguson

“To be a Christian is, first and foremost, to belong to the triune God and to be named for Him. This is the heart and core of the privileges of the gospel.

Once we were aliens from the family of God, strangers to Christ, without desire or power to please Him. But now, through the Son whom the Father sent into the world to save us, and the Spirit who brings all the resources of Christ to us, we have come to know the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God the Father and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit.

To become a Christian believer is to be brought into a reality far grander than anything we could ever have imagined. It means communion with the triune God.”

–Sinclair Ferguson, The Trinitarian Devotion of John Owen (Sanford, FL: Reformation Trust, 2014), 28.

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“The greatest privilege any of us can have” by Sinclair Ferguson

“There is nothing in all the world more important to you than these truths:

(1) God is Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This is a great mystery— because we are not God and we cannot fully understand the sheer, wonderful, glorious mystery of His being. But we can begin to grasp it, and learn to love and adore Him.

(2) If you are a Christian, it is because of the loving thought and action of each person of the Trinity.

The Father, along with the Son and the Spirit, planned it before the foundation of the world; the Son came to pay the price for your redemption and, supported by the Holy Spirit, became obedient to His Father in your place, both in His life and death, to bring you justification before God; and now, by the powerful work of the Holy Spirit sent by both the Father and the Son, you have been brought to faith.

(3) The greatest privilege any of us can have is this: we can know God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We can enjoy fellowship— what Owen calls ‘communion’— with God.

This knowledge is as rich, wide, deep, long, and high as are the three persons of God. Knowing Him and having fellowship with Him is an entire world of endless knowledge, trust, love, joy, fellowship, pleasure, and satisfaction.

This is what John Owen wanted Christians to know.”

–Sinclair Ferguson, The Trinitarian Devotion of John Owen (Sanford, FL: Reformation Trust, 2014), xvii.

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