Advent 12 (2013): LOVE Came from the Father

came from the fatherLet’s continue our Advent series Emmanuel: When LOVE Showed Up In-Person with a return to a panoramic view of the Incarnation.  Back before time began, LOVE was powerfully present within the triune godhead (Father, Word, and Holy Spirit), but at the first Advent, Jesus came from the Father to begin the effective work of saving humanity, foretold as early as Genesis 3 in His Word.

Perhaps it’s a good time to revisit an analogy I like to use regarding Trinity because we must be clear: Christians do not worship three gods, but One True God. 

All analogies to something spiritual (Nothing Material) will fall apart if pressed too far into the material world, but I find this helpful to seeing how One God could have 3 Persons without being 3 gods:

  • three windows of the trinityIf God is like a one-room spiritual house (One True God), then the Father is like a window, a sky-light allowing a look inside to see the entire contents of the one room spiritual house.  Inside the spiritual house, Father, Son and Holy Spirit roam freely about all the contents of the house and share fully the same space furnished with character and attributes.  We cannot get inside the house to see.  We take God at His word.
  • Furthermore, we can’t climb high enough to get a view through the Father sky-light since that’s God’s holy space.  The Word/Son and the Holy Spirit inside the spiritual house can see the skylight fully, witnessing the light and looking out.  It’s important to know that the window is not the house or even the contents of the house.  The window gives light and perspective to see the sacred space that’s on the inside.
  • The Holy Spirit (Spirit of God) is another window to seeing the whole contents of the one-room house, but the Holy Spirit, being spirit—just like the Father—doesn’t allow us a view into God’s character.  We cannot access that window either.  This window also is not the house.  But the Spirit allows us a different view upon the same contents as God chooses to make Himself known.  Specifically the role of the Holy Spirit to reveal God’s character took on a new emphasis after Jesus’ death and resurrection.
  • But then there’s the window called the Word. From before time began, the Word existed, sharing that beautiful sacred space and knowing the fullness of LOVE.

The Word is not a wall on the house separate from the other walls.  The Word is a window allowing us to see a bit of who God is.  At Creation, we were given a partial view of God’s goodness—as much as our beings could absorb without killing us.  In the fall of man, human sin made the view foggy, not because of what’s on the inside of the house (forever unchanging), but because of what’s outside the house and human sin changed everything outside.

You know how when a business is taking over a new space, sometimes they’ll paint a whitish paint on the window until they unveil the new store, maybe allowing peep-holes to see bits and pieces of what’s going on inside?  Sin painted something that obstructed our view.  What happened in the Incarnation is that God wiped the paint away so that in Jesus we can clearly see into the character of God—something only the Incarnate Word can show us.

We are eyewitnesses to the glory of the One and Only God through the perfectly clean window of The Word Made Flesh, Jesus Christ. 

Had He not come from the Father, we would not be able to see through the window from a human level.

Hebrews 1:1 In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. 3 The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.

In the powerful Prologue of the Gospel of John, verse 14 lays the groundwork for faith.

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)

We must believe that in Christ, God has given us a glimpse of His glory, an eye-level window into who God is, and Jesus can show us who the Father is because He came from the Father.

Questions for pondering:

  1. Why is it important that Jesus came from the Father?
  2. How do pictures depicting God the Father and Jesus as men and the Holy Spirit as a dove contribute to misunderstandings about the nature of the Trinity?

Categories Articles and Devotionals, Devotionals | Tags: | Posted on December 12, 2013

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