Lou Tiscione, Pastor, Weatherford Presbyterian Church (PCA)
There seems to be a fundamental misunderstanding in the evangelical church. We evangelicals declare that the Bible is the word of God written. It is inerrant, infallible, perspicuous and sufficient. Yet, we fundamentally don’t practice what the Bible is about or rather who the Bible is about. In the practice and preaching in most churches, a passerby might learn that the Bible is about us. With all the focus on how to live and what to do, he might think that God is simply a dictator, issuing commands to men, women and children. The truth is much different. The truth is that the Bible is fundamentally about God. It is His self-revelation.
The Bible is about God. Therefore, who is He? Or, more accurately, what is God?
The Westminster Shorter Catechism provides us with the biblical answer. “God is a Spirit, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable, in His being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth.” The Scriptural bases for this answer are: John 4:24; Job 11:7; Psalm 90:2; Exodus 3:14; Rev. 4:8 and 15:4.
God has revealed to man the truth of who and what He is. Yet, it appears that some Christians and others are more apt to form the answer to the question of God from books or movies. Lately, a movie currently showing based on the book of the same name, “The Shack,” has a very different and blasphemous answer to the God question. The truth is: God is NOT a friendly black woman, nor is He a mild mannered Jewish carpenter, nor is He a young Asian woman! The message of universal salvation conveyed in the book is a lie. If the visible church taught the truth of God to her members, I doubt that any who are in Christ would search out His identity in such a meaningless and damaging fiction as “The Shack.”
Creation is God’s testimony of His existence. The Bible is God’s revelation to man of His way to have a “saving” relationship with Him. In other words, the Bible is God’s revelation of redemptive history.
Jesus is the word of God Incarnate. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God,” John 1:1. Paul wrote, “He (Jesus) is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation, for by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities – all things were created through him and for him.” Colossians 1:15-16
Jesus, the second person of the Trinity, commanded His disciples to, “Make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” Matthew 28:19. Jesus read from the prophet Isaiah in His home town synagogue, “The Spirit of the sovereign Lord is upon me,” Luke 4:18a (Isaiah 61:1a). The Bible declares that God is one, Deuteronomy 6:4. The Bible also declares that there is one God in three persons. The doctrine of the Trinity is revealed throughout Scripture. Each person of the Trinity is fully God. Yet each person of the Trinity is a distinct person. This doctrine is fundamental to the Christian Faith!
As the Triune God created everything out of nothing. The Trinity is essential to our understanding of redemption. The Father initiated redemption. The Son accomplished redemption and the Holy Spirit applies redemption. As I referred to the Westminster Shorter Catechism for the definition of God, likewise I refer to it for the biblical definition of the Trinity. “There are three persons in the Godhead: The Father, The Son, and The Holy Ghost; and these three are one God, the same in substance, equal in power and glory.” (WSC Q/A #6)
Believing in God necessitates believing in the doctrine of the Trinity!
The fact that there is a God is undeniable. Those who think that there is no God are suppressing the truth in unrighteousness, Romans 1:18. Man’s view of God is irrelevant. The only right view of God is revealed by God. First, Creation declares that He is. Second, the Bible reveals what He is and the only way we can relate to Him.
Here’s “the bottom line”, Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life and no one comes to the Father except through me” The only way to know God is to know His Son, Jesus as He is offered in the gospel!