I’ll be preaching from 1 Peter 1 tomorrow at Providence Reformed Church, in Greenville (NC). An excerpt:
1:2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.
Here we see the functioning of the Economic Trinity (vs. the Ontological Trinity: God as He has been eternally). This is the Trinity acting in history. Cults like the Jehovah’s witnesses stumble here, so it’s important to understand. God doesn’t reveal himself like an actor in a Greek tragedy, putting on different masks to play different roles (modalism). God, the One Divine Being, is eternally Triune. There are three Persons in the One Godhead. These three persons are all Divine, are all eternal, and all equally powerful. However, this does not mean God is three Super Clones. There is not only Unity in God, but there is also Diversity. Allah is one boring God, all alone in heaven: the Trinity is a glorious Dance, fellowshipping eternally. God was not lonely: creation issued out of the abundance of God’s life and joy. The Trinity was having so much fun, They had to share their joy with created beings.
Thus, in history, God manifests his Unity and His Diversity. The One God saves His people throughout history, but in each stage of history, God reveals more and more of his wonderful Diversity. In the Old Covenant, God stressed his Unity. This was most important in the pagan context. Every pagan nation worshipped a pantheon of gods, a plethora of gods, a gaggle of gods. Israel was spiritually immature, and God was training them up as his sons. The fact that they continually fell into idolatry shows how hard this basic lesson of God’s Unity was.
Then, in the fullness of time, God sent forth his Son to be obedient unto death on a cross (Phil. 2:8). But the dance didn’t stop there. Jesus went away so that the Holy Comforter could come (Jn. 17) and shape a community of people into the image of the Trinity.