June 26: “A Christian Consensus: One God Three Ways”

Audio of the sermon from June 26, 2016.

“Jesus sent his disciples out into the world to ‘make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them all I have commanded you.’

“Jesus, who was a Jew, said this to eleven other Jews. So one thing they were all very clear about was that God is one. None of them had the least temptation to think there were three Gods. There was one God. But at the same time, Jesus clearly puts three words, three names, really, in parallel. They are to act “in the name of the Father,” by which he clearly means God, because this is one of the names of God in the OT, the only Bible they knew; and in the name of the Son, and in the name of the Holy Spirit. And there are no qualifiers, no limits mentioned. If he means God when he says Father, then he also means God when he says Son, and when he says Holy Spirit. That’s just the way the sentence is put together. So somehow, within or alongside the common knowledge that the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is one God, it turns out that this God is one in three ways: The one God is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Father is God; the Son is God just as the Father is, but he isn’t the Father, and the Holy Spirit is God just as the Father and the Son, but is not the Father or the Son.”

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