Taught by the Trinity
How do you learn best? For some of us, it is by reading what someone else has written. Others will retain the most by hearing someone say it out loud. And then there are those who learn best by watching someone else do it. Some of us need all three ways of teaching in order for concepts to penetrate our minds and hearts.
Puritan writer John Owen points out that the Trinitarian God we serve provides, in the three persons, various ways of teaching us about Himself and how He wants us to live. Let’s take a look:
The Father: He is the one who sent the prophets with specific teaching for specific times in history: Moses, Elijah, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Hosea, Amos, to name a few. He is also the person of the Trinity who developed a special relationship with humans beginning with Adam and Eve at creation and continuing through history with Abraham and his offspring. The teaching of many of the prophets as well as the history of creation, the fall, and God’s unique relationship with His chosen people are found in the Old Testament writings which have been provided and preserved by God Himself.
The Son: When Jesus came, He was a further revelation of the Father. He told His disciples that He and the Father were one. There was no division between them. But now, as the writer of Hebrews says, “Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days He has spoken to us by his Son . . .” The second person of the Trinity had actually entered time and space to live with and teach everyone who was willing to listen about who God was, what He was really like, and what His plan was to redeem humans and restore His fallen creation.
The Holy Spirit: After Jesus died, was raised, and eventually ascended to the Father, He sent the third person of the Trinity to live within the true disciples of Jesus. One of His roles, Jesus says in John 14, is to teach us. In fact, He describes Him as “the Spirit of truth” (v. 1w7). It is the Holy Spirit who says to us “This is the way, walk in it.” (from Isaiah 30:21). His the one who reminds us of what we have been taught and who illumines Scripture so we can understand it more completely.
The truth does not change, but our understanding of it can and does if we have a humble and willing spirit. When we are reading God’s Word, learning from Jesus’ life and teaching, and listening to the Spirit within us, we will be taught and we will be changed.
Note: We are going to present a series of short devotionals based on the book Communion with God: Fellowship with Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, written in 1657 by Puritan author John Owen. The book was selected by Reach the Nations because of the importance of understanding Trinitarian doctrine when working in world evangelism and leadership training, but, more than that, because of the loving call it gives to all Christ’s followers to experience genuine, sweet communion with all three persons of the Godhead. We pray you will be blessed by this series.