The Bible is the book of salvation, and it’s central message is the proclamation of Jesus Christ and the redemption prepared by Him. The Bible also tells what God is like and how He works.
The Bible tells that God has created everything and takes care of His creation. This is surely not one of the more difficult questions of faith as there are parallels to this in other religions as well.
But the message of Jesus as a savior is more difficult to accept. For example, this is exactly why there is a divide between Christian faiths and Judaism. Only Christian faiths accept Jesus as their savior.
On the other hand, the message of the Holy Ghost and it’s work is completely impossible to understand through reason. God as the Father, Son and Holy Ghost is not an issue understood through common sense, but one of declaration and faith. Martin Luther explained this in a down-to-earth, succinct and diverse manner in the Small Catechism based on the Creed. He clearly explains how God is the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. God the Father created the whole world and continuously sustains that which He has created. God the Son redeemed mankind from the power of sin, death and Satan through His suffering and death. God the Holy Ghost does His sanctifying work among people by calling and helping people into salvation and protecting them in salvation.
The Trinity as the foundation of the salvation doctrine
The Triune God belongs to the core of the Christian doctrine. The Trinity is the foundation of a God-faith and salvation doctrine. The Nicene-Constantinople creed which was approved in the year 381 encapsulates the outline of the Triune doctrine: “We believe in one God - - Maker of heaven and earth. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made - -. And in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of life - -.”
The Augsburg confession from the Book of Concord joins with that old church’s understanding of the Triune God: “Our Churches, with common consent, do teach that the decree of the Council of Nicaea concerning the Unity of the Divine Essence and concerning the Three Persons, is true and to be believed without any doubting; that is to say, there is one Divine Essence which is called and which is God: eternal, without body, without parts, of infinite power, wisdom, and goodness, the Maker and Preserver of all things, visible and invisible; and yet there are three Persons, of the same essence and power, who also are coeternal, the Father the Son, and the Holy Ghost. And the term “person” they use as the Fathers have used it, to signify, not a part or quality in another, but that which subsists of itself.”
The New Testament Trinity
The acts of God, Jesus and the Holy Ghost form one entirety in the New Testament. The Holy Ghost was always present in Jesus’ persona. The Holy Ghost was affective in Jesus’ birth, baptism, teachings, proclamations and works. Jesus commanded to baptize in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Jesus expressed his relationship to his Father by saying: “I and my Father are one” (John 10:30).
The Apostle Paul included the Triune God in the opening to his letter: “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all.” (2 Corinth. 13:14). In speaking of grace gifts, service duties and the affects of God’s power, Paul emphasized God’s unity (1 Corinth. 12:4-6). He also highlighted this unity in speaking of Jesus and creation: “Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principles, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:” (Col. 1:15–16).
Holy Christian services are held in the name of the Triune God, the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. At the end, the Benediction is recited which also ends in the name of the Father and Son and Holy Ghost. These customs stress the holy nature of the service. They are not just human, temporal gatherings, but quieting in front of the holy God. The Bible has proclaimed God as the Father and creator, as the Son and Redeemer and the Holy Ghost and Sanctifier.
The Triune God is often illustrated by drawing a triangle. A triangle is a good aid when teaching what the concealed and invisible God is like and how God’s works can be studied from three points of view.
Text: Eero Nuolioja
Published: SRK Yearbook 2005
Translation: Angela Hänninen
Julkaistu englanninkielisessä kieliliitteessä 11/2013
Israelin kansan vaeltaessa kohti tavoitteena olevaa luvattua maata Jumala antoi sille ruokaa yhden päivän annoksen kerrallaan (2. Moos. 16:4). Uskovaista sanotaan edelleen päivän lapseksi. Toivetta taivaan kotiin pääsemisestä saattaa himmentää epäilys siitä, etten ehkä jaksakaan kilvoitella uskossa koko elämääni ja jään välille. Raamattu neuvoo uskovaista kuitenkin ottamaan välitavoitteeksi tämän päivän – enempää ei kerrallaan tarvitsekaan jaksaa.
Siionin Joulu on lehti joulun kristillistä sanomaa kaipaavalle. Lehti on värikäs, aikaansa heijastava. Hartauksien lisäksi siinä on haastatteluja eri puolilta maailmaa.
Lohdullisia ja riemullisia lauluja taivaasta Jämsän Kristillinen Kansanopiston kuoron laulamana.