“God has given us a record of His majesty in the holy Scriptures.”
–John Calvin, Sermons on the Epistle to the Ephesians (trans. Arthur Golding; Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1562/1973), 180. Calvin is preaching on Ephesians 2:11-13.
“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.
“The redeemed have all their objective good in God. God Himself is the great good which they are brought to the possession and enjoyment of by redemption.
He is the highest good, and the sum of all that good which Christ purchased. God is the inheritance of the saints; He is the portion of their souls.
God is their wealth and treasure, their food, their life, their dwelling place, their ornament and diadem, and their everlasting honor and glory. They have none in heaven but God.
He is the great good which the redeemed are received to at death, and which they are to rise to at the end of the world. The Lord God, He is the light of the heavenly Jerusalem, and is the ‘river of the water of life’ that runs, and the tree of life that grows, ‘in the midst of the paradise of God’.
The glorious excellencies and beauty of God will be what will forever entertain the minds of the saints, and the love of God will be their everlasting feast.
The redeemed will indeed enjoy other things. They will enjoy the angels, and will enjoy one another: but that which they shall enjoy in the angels, or each other, or in anything else whatsoever, that will yield then delight and happiness, will be what will be seen of God in them.”
–Jonathan Edwards, “God Glorified in the Work of Redemption, by the Greatness of Man’s Dependance upon Him, in the Whole of It (1731),” in The Sermons of Jonathan Edwards: A Reader, ed. Wilson H. Kimnach, Kenneth P. Minkema, and Douglas A Sweeney (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1999), 74-75.
“This God, to whom there is none in heaven to be compared, nor any among the sons of the mighty to be likened– this God who is from everlasting to everlasting, an infinitely powerful, wise, holy, and lovely being, who is the alpha and omega, the beginning and the end, is your God.
He is reconciled to you and has become your friend. There is a friendship between you and the Almighty. You have become acquainted with Him, and He has made known Himself to you, and communicates Himself to you, converses with you as a friend, dwells with you, and in you, by His Holy Spirit.
Yea, He has taken you into a nearer relation to Him: He has become your Father, and owns you for His child, and doth by you, and will do by you, as a child.
He cares for you, and will see that you are provided for, and will see that you never shall want anything that will be useful to you. He has made you one of His heirs, and a co-heir with His Son, and will bestow an inheritance upon you, as it is bestowed upon a child of the King of Kings.
You are now in some measure sanctified, and have the image of God upon your souls, but hereafter, when God shall receive you, His dear child, into His arms, and shall admit you to the perfect enjoyment of Him as your portion, you will be entirely transformed into His likeness, for you shall see Him as He is.
The consideration of having such a glorious God for your God, your friend, your Father, and your portion, and that you shall eternally enjoy Him as such, is enough to make you despise all worldly afflictions and adversities, and even death itself, and to trample them under your feet.”
–Jonathan Edwards, “God’s Excellencies” in Sermons and Discourses, 1720-1723, The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Vol. 10. Ed. Wilson H. Kimnach (New Haven, NJ: Yale University Press, 1992), 435. You can read this sermon on Psalm 89:6 in its entirety here. Edwards was only nineteen years old when preached this sermon.
“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.