God on Monday
All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me
what he will make known to you (John 16.15).
The doctrine of the trinity is central to Christianity. It is often pointed out, however, that it is not taught in scripture. In a sense, this is true. None of the biblical writers propose the trinity as a doctrine. But scripture does speak of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit in such a way that the trinity is a sound means to conceptualize God. The trinity does not need to be named as such in the Bible for it to be a thoroughly biblical doctrine.
The above quotation from Jesus is one of the few verses in the Bible that feature all three persons of the trinity. The verse and its context reflects their complete unity of purpose. The promised Holy Spirit will speak only what is true of God, and all that is true of God is true not only of the Father but also of the Son.
This includes, the verse tells us, all the Father owns. What, then, does the Father own? To draw up a list of God’s belongings would be a never-ending task, for ‘The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it’ (Ps 24.1). This ‘all’ was created through Christ, as the Spirit of God hovered over the waters (Gen 1.2 and Jn 1.3).
When we think of what belongs to God we generally think of nature, like beautiful mountains, rivers, and sunsets. But that leaves out things that human beings have made, such as cities, schools, hospitals, governments, businesses, science, transport and the arts. If God in Christ is not Lord of all (human ‘creations’ included), God cannot be truly LORD at all. Or, as the great theologian, politician and social entrepreneur Abraham Kuyper put it: ‘There is not a single inch of the whole terrain of our human existence over which Christ…does not proclaim, “Mine!”’.
The trinity does not need to be a dry and abstract doctrine. The seventeenth-century poet and preacher John Donne wrote that the trinity is ‘bones to philosophy, but milk to faith’. Take a moment to consider the work of the trinity in your life and in the world at large.
‘Almighty God…bless our land with honourable industry, sound learning, and pure manners’ (from The Book of Common Prayer used by the Episcopal Church, USA).
This Week's Author
Peter Heslam, Director of Faith in Business
God on Monday is produced in partnership with the Church of England. The reflections are based on the scriptural readings designated for the coming Sunday in the Church's lectionary. You can sign up to Faith in Business here to receive each God on Monday instalment.
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