I am reading over the The 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith In Modern English (accessed from https://founders.org/library/1689-confession/, on November 25, 2019) which historically was held by the 293 delegates that constituted our Southern Baptist Convention in Augusta,Georgia in 1845. The section that I am reviewing this afternoon is the second chapter entitled God and the Holy Trinity. This is what it states with Scriptural references:
1. The Lord our God is one, the only living and true God.1 He is self-existent2 and infinite in being and perfection. His essence cannot be understood by anyone but him.3 He is a perfectly pure spirit.4 He is invisible and has no body, parts, or changeable emotions.a He alone has immortality, dwelling in light that no one can approach.5 He is unchangeable,6immense,b,7 eternal,8 incomprehensible, almighty,9 in every way infinite, absolutely holy,10 perfectly wise, wholly free, completely absolute. He works all things according to the counsel of his own unchangeable and completely righteous will11 for his own glory.12 He is most loving, gracious, merciful, and patient. He overflows with goodness and truth, forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin. He rewards those who seek him diligently.13 At the same time, he is perfectly just and terrifying in his judgments.14 He hates all sin15 and will certainly not clear the guilty.16
btranscends all space
11 Corinthians 8:4, 6; Deuteronomy 6:4. 2Jeremiah 10:10; Isaiah 48:12. 3Exodus 3:14. 4John 4:24. 51 Timothy 1:17; Deuteronomy 4:15, 16. 6Malachi 3:6. 71 Kings 8:27; Jeremiah 23:23. 8Psalm 90:2. 9Genesis 17:1. 10Isaiah 6:3. 11Psalm 115:3; Isaiah 46:10. 12Proverbs 16:4; Romans 11:36. 13Exodus 34:6, 7; Hebrews 11:6. 14Nehemiah 9:32, 33. 15Psalm 5:5, 6. 16Exodus 34:7; Nahum 1:2, 3.
2. God has all life,17 glory,18 goodness,19 and blessedness in and of himself; he alone is all-sufficient in himself. He does not need any creature he has made nor does he derive any glory from them.20 Instead, he demonstrates his own glory in them, by them, to them, and upon them. He alone is the source of all being, and everything is from him, through him, and to him.21 He has absolute sovereign rule over all creatures, to act through them, for them, or upon them as he pleases.22 In his sight everything is open and visible.23 His knowledge is infinite and infallible. It does not depend upon any creature, so for him nothing is contingent or uncertain.24 He is absolutely holy in all his plans, in all his works,25 and in all his commands. Angels and human beings owe to him all the worship,26 service, or obedience that creatures owe to the Creator and whatever else he is pleased to require of them.
17John 5:26. 18Psalm 148:13. 19Psalm 119:68. 20Job 22:2, 3. 21Romans 11:34–36. 22Daniel 4:25, 34, 35. 23Hebrews 4:13. 24Ezekiel 11:5; Acts 15:18. 25Psalm 145:17. 26Revelation 5:12–14.
3. This divine and infinite Being consists of three real persons,c the Father, the Word or Son, and the Holy Spirit.27 These three have the same substance, power, and eternity, each having the whole divine essence without this essence being divided.28 The Father is not derived from anyone, neither begotten nor proceeding. The Son is eternally begotten of the Father.29 The Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son.30 All three are infinite and without beginning and are therefore only one God, who is not to be divided in nature and being. Yet these three are distinguished by several distinctive characteristics and personal relations. This truth of the Trinity is the foundation of all of our fellowship with God and of our comforting dependence on him.
csubsistences, or individual instances of a given essence
271 John 5:7; Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14. 28Exodus 3:14; John 14:11; 1 Corinthians 8:6. 29John 1:14,18. 30John 15:26; Galatians 4:6.
The God of the Bible whom we believe truly is magnanimous, or as A.W. Tozer once said, “He is oceanic!” Although He is transcendant and something totally different than all of us, He has made Himself known to us through several different avenues: 1) He has given us His name; 2) He has given us language; 3) He has given us His Word; 4) He has given us the Second Person of the Trinity, Jesus Christ, as our Lord and Savior; and, 5) He has given us His Holy Spirit. Dear Ones, I don’t know about you, but I am so grateful that God has made Himself known to us in the way that He has. We may not fully comprehend Him or fully comprehend His Word, but He is who He is and He has made Himself known to those who beleive. And although He has made Himself known, Romans 1:18-32 and 3:10-18 describe those who do not know Him. They have exchanged the truth of the existence of God for a lie and they worship the creation rather than the Creator. They are all unrighteous as we are but they don’t seek after God nor do they understand Him. And according to 1 Corinthians 1:18-24, what is foolishness to those who are perishing is the wisdom of God to those of us who beleive. I cannot help but praise the One who loved me before I ever loved Him (1 John 4:19)!
Today, although I am uncertain of the future, I am praising the One who is certain of all that He is, all that He has decreed, and all that He intends to accomplish in my life, my wife, my children, and Sagamore Baptist Church. Let’s love Him, adore Him, praise Him, and bless Him together!