Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Ten things on the Son's submission and the Trinity

1. Father, Son and Holy Spirit are equal in divine being and glory.

2. Father, Son and Holy Spirit are not identical persons. Each has unique individualising properties. The Father is unbegotten as to his person, the Son as to his person is begotten of the Father, the Holy Spirit as to his person proceeds from the Father and the Son. No person receives the divine being from another; each is 'autotheos', or God in themselves. 

3. Each divine person indwells the others and is indwelt by the others in an eternal interchange of loving communicative action. 

4. According to the witness of Scripture there is an order of persons in the Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This order is reflected in the external actions of the Three, by which all things are of the Father, through the Son and by the Holy Spirit. 

5. The persons are not reducible to their relations or their functions in the economy of redemption. The Son is not the Son because he submitted to the Father in becoming man. As the eternal Son he is of the Father as to his person, and God in his own right. 

6. The internal as well as external acts of the Trinity are undivided. The divine decree of redemption is an expression of the singular will of the Triune God. The Son became man in submission to the decree to which he himself was party, together with the Father and the Holy Spirit. 

7. In the covenant of redemption between the persons of the Trinity, the Son is the electing God with the Father and the Holy Spirit, the elect One who was appointed to be sent into the world as man by the Father and through the Spirit, and also the One in whom the elect were chosen for salvation. 

8. The economic Trinity communicates the immanent Trinity. If God as he is for us does not truly disclose God as he is in himself, we are left with an unknowable Deus absconditus. With that in mind, it was reflective of the order of persons in the Trinity that it was decreed that the Son as opposed to the Father, or the Spirit became incarnate. It seems especially fitting that it was the Son, as the image of the invisible God who became human in the image of God, in order to redeem us by his blood. 

9. The Son did not count equality with God as something to be grasped, but took the form of a servant and came in appearance as a man because he was in the form of God, not although he was in the form of God. For the God in whose form he was is the self-giving God of love and grace. In stooping to become one us that he might be lifted up on the cross to atone for our sins, the Son revealed the very heart of Yahweh, the God of the covenant, Exodus 3:14, John 8:28, Philippians 2:5-11. 

10. The Son's willing submission to the divine decree and humble obedience to his Father, even to the death of the cross, provide an example to believers as we seek to follow the Servant King in the whole of our lives; in the home, in church, and in the wider world. Submission leads to exaltation. Down is the only way up, Ephesians 5:22-33, Philippians 2:1-11, 1 Peter 5:5. 

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