Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
May the Lord bless you this week as you labor and live for his glory! There are two things I’d like to make you aware of regarding our church:
First, this Sunday is going to be a uniquely wonderful Lord’s Day! We will be receiving several new members and celebrating a baptism. I look forward to worshipping our great God and savior Jesus Christ with you this Lord’s Day!
Second, there is an article in the recent edition of New Horizons (the magazine of the OPC) that I would encourage you to read. It is an article written by our own Dr. Carl Trueman, pastor of Cornerstone OPC in Ambler, PA, and a professor at Westminster Seminary in Philadelphia, which describes the benefits of Confessions. We are a confessional denomination and a confessional church. That is, our ministers and elders subscribe and take vows to uphold the Westminster Confession of Faith. Dr. Trueman explains why that is a blessing to the church. You can access the article here: http://www.opc.org/nh.html?article_id=771.
Finally, this week’s devotional is a reminder concerning the most fundamental, yet often neglected doctrine in the church, the Trinity!
Have a wonderful week and God’s blessings.
We Are Trinitarian
Matthew 3:16-17, “And when Jesus was baptized … the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; and behold, a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my beloved son with whom I am well pleased.’”
The doctrine of the Trinity is the very core of what we believe as Christians. That is to say, the glorious truth of the one God who exists eternally in three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, is the very sum and substance of what we hold dear as Christian believers. I fear, however, that all too often the Trinity is relegated to second place in the life and preaching of the church. In other words, while we may give this doctrine lip service, it rarely affects how we live and how we think.
The gospel record, however, reveals something quite different. Throughout the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ, both the Spirit and the Father are active. For example, Jesus was conceived in the womb of the virgin Mary by the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:35). All three members of the Trinity were present at Jesus’ baptism (Matt 3:16-17). Jesus, being filled with the Spirit, was then driven by the Spirit into the wilderness to face the devil’s temptations (Luke 4:1-13; Mark 1:12-13). Jesus’ life and work was one of obedience to his Father (John 4:34; 5:30; 6:38; Phil 5:8). The Holy Spirit empowered Jesus throughout his ministry (Luke 4:14;18). The Holy Spirit was involved in the Son’s offering of himself on the cross (Heb 9:14). All three members of the Trinity were involved in the resurrection of the Son (Acts 5:30; John 10:17-18; Rom 8:11). It was the Father who sent the Son to live and to die for believers (John 3:16; Rom 8:32). The Son voluntarily humbled himself to the will of the Father (Phil 2:5-11). The Father and the Son poured out the Spirit on the church to indwell, sustain, and strengthen it (John 14:26; 15:26).
Well, what is the purpose of this? Why list verse after verse describing the Trinitarian character of the life and ministry of Christ? The point is simply this: that while the Son is the person who uniquely lived and died for sinners – from the beginning to the end of his ministry, both the Father and the Spirit were active and involved! Thus again to emphasize, as believers we are Trinitarian. Brothers and sisters, may we recover this most central of truths in our personal lives and in the life of the church. May we praise and worship the God who is one in three, three in one. May we give worship and honor to our glorious Lord and God, the God who exists eternally as Father, Son, and Spirit!
– Rev. Robert Arendale