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The Revelation of Father, Son, and Spirit

How are Father, Son, and Spirit made known to us? Let us search the Scriptures.

First, we find that no one comes to the Son unless the Father draws him (John 6:44). We find an example of this in the account of Peter’s confession that Jesus is the Messiah, for Jesus responds:  “You are blessed, Simon son of Jonah: for  flesh   and   blood  has not revealed this to you, but rather my Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 16:17)

On the other hand, no one knows the Father unless the Son reveals Him: for Jesus also says, “No one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son will reveal Him”  (Matthew 11:27, MKJV)

It seems odd that the Father brings us to the Son, while the Son introduces us to the Father.  The Father draws people to His Son, even before He introduces them to Himself. He  works anonymously,  speaking to their hearts and directing their steps (Romans 2:14-16, Proverbs 16:9).  But in the end, it is the Son who introduces us to the Father, pulling back the curtain to reveal Him to us (Luke 23:45).  So even while the Son introduces us to the Father, it is the Father Himself who has  facilitated the introduction.

Why does God work in such a roundabout way?  This may be understood as follows.  Consider light emanating from a lamp.  The light makes the presence of the lamp known to us, but all the while light itself is invisible.  Only by seeing the lamp do we become aware of the light that we see.  Spiritually, Jesus is the Lamp which lightens the darkness (John 1:9); while the Father is Light itself (1 John 1:5).

Where does the Holy Spirit fit into this picture?  Whereas the Father can be identified with light itself, the Holy Spirit  can be likened to the specific light received from the lamp.  According to the Scriptures, the Spirit comes from both Father and Son (John 15:26).  The Father is the Spirit’s ultimate source:  but  Jesus serves as the Spirit’s immediate source in the world.

Just as the lamp’s light is light by nature, so the Spirit possesses the Father’s nature and personality.  Our contact with the Spirit is even closer than our contact with Jesus (John 14:17);  just as the lamp’s light impinges on our eyes, and actually touches us, while the lamp itself is distant, we cannot grasp it.

The Spirit’s work is to make manifest the contents of our hearts (Proverbs 20:27, John 16:7-11, Hebrews 4:12-13).    The more attuned we are to the Spirit, the clearer and purer our hearts are (Matthew 5:8), and the more brightly we shine with His reflected light.

At night, the moon enlightens the darkness with reflected light from the sun.  But when morning comes, the sun  rises and bathes the world in brightness.  Just so spiritually: in this current age the Church shines with Christ’s reflected light, and is the immediate source of the world’s light (Matthew 5:14);  but when Christ Himself  returns, His own light will suffuse the world (Malachi 4:2, Revelation 21:23)

Jesus Christ is the Son, and the Church is His body, “the fullness of Him who fills all in all” (Ephesians 1:23).  Just as Jesus was the exact representation or “express image” of His Father, so the Church is the exact representation or “express image” of Him (Hebrews 1:3).  Christ lives in His Church—His whole Church.    To know Christ practically means to know His Church.  This knowledge must be intimate and experiential, not just theoretical.  Christians have a deficient knowledge of Christ, because they have not experienced the Church as a single, corporate, coordinated Body.  By segregating ourselves in separate churches we are essentially walking by the light of our own lamps (Isaiah 50:11), and not by the light of Christ.

Prayer:  O God of our Lord Jesus Christ, Father of glory, give to  us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of You. (Ephesians 1:17)
Father, have mercy on Your blind children, who do not see that they comprise the body of Your Son.  Change our hearts, so that we begin to function practically as a single Body, all praying together, all worshipping together, all encouraging each other in the Lord.  I pray in the Name of Jesus Christ the Lord, whose gave His own body that we might become His Body.

e-mail: thornroot@juno.com
Copyright © 2002 CrossPollen
Last Revised: November 9, 2002

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