God and the Holy Trinity (1689)

By S.C. Shaw

The London Baptist Confession of faith is a beautiful and rich confession of the reformed Christian faith. I simply included the scriptures they reference after each section written out. It is a beautiful meditation and devotion time to read through. I pray you are blessed by it and it helps you see the bigness of God, exalt Christ higher and live by the power of the Holy Spirit more each day. There is no perfect and infallible authority except God’s Words revealed in the Bible. But there is much Christians can and should learn from other godly men and women.

Link to full confession: http://founders.org/1689-confession/

Chapter 2 – God and the Holy Trinity (In Full)

The Lord our God is one, the only living and true God. He is self-existent and infinite in being and perfection. His essence cannot be understood by anyone but him. He is a perfectly pure spirit. He is invisible and has no body, parts, or changeable emotions. He alone has immortality, dwelling in light that no one can approach. He is unchangeable,immense, eternal, incomprehensible, almighty, in every way infinite, absolutely holy, perfectly wise, wholly free, completely absolute. He works all things according to the counsel of his own unchangeable and completely righteous will for his own glory. 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. At the same time, he is perfectly just and terrifying in his judgments. He hates all sin and will certainly not clear the guilty.

God has all life, glory, goodness, 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. 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. He has absolute sovereign rule over all creatures, to act through them, for them, or upon them as he pleases. In his sight everything is open and visible. His knowledge is infinite and infallible. It does not depend upon any creature, so for him nothing is contingent or uncertain. He is absolutely holy in all his plans, in all his works, and in all his commands. Angels and human beings owe to him all the worship, service, or obedience that creatures owe to the Creator and whatever else he is pleased to require of them.

This divine and infinite Being consists of three real persons, the Father, the Word or Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three have the same substance, power, and eternity, each having the whole divine essence without this essence being divided. The Father is not derived from anyone, neither begotten nor proceeding. The Son is eternally begotten of the Father. The Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son. 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.

Chapter 2 – God and the Holy Trinity (w/ Scripture) ESV

-The Lord our God is one, the only living and true God.

(1 Corinthians 8:4, Therefore, as to the eating of food offered to idols, we know that “an idol has no real existence,” and that “there is no God but one.”)

(1 Corinthians 8:6, yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.)

(Deuteronomy 6:4, “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.)

-He is self-existent

(Jeremiah 10:10; But the Lord is the true God; he is the living God and the everlasting King. At his wrath the earth quakes, and the nations cannot endure his indignation.)

(Isaiah 48:12, “Listen to me, O Jacob, and Israel, whom I called! I am he; I am the first, and I am the last.)

-and infinite in being and perfection. His essence cannot be understood by anyone but him.

(Exodus 3:14, God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘I am has sent me to you.’)

-He is a perfectly pure spirit.

(John 4:24, God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”)

-He is invisible and has no body, parts, or changeable emotions. He alone has immortality, dwelling in light that no one can approach.

(1 Timothy 1:17, To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.)

(Deuteronomy 4:15-16, “Therefore watch yourselves very carefully. Since you saw no form on the day that the Lord spoke to you at Horeb out of the midst of the fire, beware lest you act corruptly by making a carved image for yourselves, in the form of any figure, the likeness of male or female,)

-He is unchangeable,

(Malachi 3:6, “For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed.)

-immense,

(1 Kings 8:27, “But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you; how much less this house that I have built!)

(Jeremiah 23:23, “Am I a God at hand, declares the Lord, and not a God far away?)

-eternal,

(Psalm 90:2, Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.)

-incomprehensible, almighty,

(Genesis 17:1, When Abram was ninety-nine years old the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless,)

-in every way infinite, absolutely holy,

(Isaiah 6:3, And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!”)

-perfectly wise, wholly free, completely absolute. He works all things according to the counsel of his own unchangeable and completely righteous will

(Psalm 115:3, Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases.)

(Isaiah 46:10, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand,)

-for his own glory.

(Proverbs 16:4, The Lord has made everything for its purpose, even the wicked for the day of trouble.)

(Romans 11:36, For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.)

-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.

(Exodus 34:6-7, The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.”)

(Hebrews 11:6, And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.)

-At the same time, he is perfectly just and terrifying in his judgments.

(Nehemiah 9:32-33, “Now, therefore, our God, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God, who keeps covenant and steadfast love, let not all the hardship seem little to you that has come upon us, upon our kings, our princes, our priests, our prophets, our fathers, and all your people, since the time of the kings of Assyria until this day. Yet you have been righteous in all that has come upon us, for you have dealt faithfully and we have acted wickedly.)

-He hates all sin

(Psalm 5:5-6, The boastful shall not stand before your eyes; you hate all evildoers. You destroy those who speak lies; the Lord abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man.)

-and will certainly not clear the guilty.

(Exodus 34:7, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.”)

(Nahum 1:2-3, The Lord is a jealous and avenging God; the Lord is avenging and wrathful; the Lord takes vengeance on his adversaries and keeps wrath for his enemies. The Lord is slow to anger and great in power, and the Lord will by no means clear the guilty. His way is in whirlwind and storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet.)

-God has all life,

(John 5:26, For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself)

-glory,

(Psalm 148:13, Let them praise the name of the Lord, for his name alone is exalted; his majesty is above earth and heaven.)

-goodness,

(Psalm 119:68, You are good and do good; teach me your statutes.)

-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.

(Job 22:2-3, “Can a man be profitable to God? Surely he who is wise is profitable to himself. Is it any pleasure to the Almighty if you are in the right, or is it gain to him if you make your ways blameless?)

-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.

(Romans 11:34–36, “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?” “Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?” For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.)

-He has absolute sovereign rule over all creatures, to act through them, for them, or upon them as he pleases.

(Daniel 4:25, that you shall be driven from among men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. You shall be made to eat grass like an ox, and you shall be wet with the dew of heaven, and seven periods of time shall pass over you, till you know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will.)

(Daniel 4:25,34-35, At the end of the days I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High, and praised and honored him who lives forever, for his dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom endures from generation to generation; all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, “What have you done?”)

-In his sight everything is open and visible.

(Hebrews 4:13, And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.)

-His knowledge is infinite and infallible. It does not depend upon any creature, so for him nothing is contingent or uncertain.

(Ezekiel 11:5, And the Spirit of the Lord fell upon me, and he said to me, “Say, Thus says the Lord: So you think, O house of Israel. For I know the things that come into your mind.)

(Acts 15:18, known from of old.’)

-He is absolutely holy in all his plans, in all his works,

(Psalm 145:17, The Lord is righteous in all his ways and kind in all his works.)

-and in all his commands. Angels and human beings owe to him all the worship, service, or obedience that creatures owe to the Creator and whatever else he is pleased to require of them.

(Revelation 5:12–14, saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!” And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!” And the four living creatures said, “Amen!” and the elders fell down and worshiped.)

-This divine and infinite Being consists of three real persons, the Father, the Word or Son, and the Holy Spirit.

(1 John 5:7, For there are three that testify:)

(Matthew 28:19, Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit)

(2 Corinthians 13:14, The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.)

-These three have the same substance, power, and eternity, each having the whole divine essence without this essence being divided.

(Exodus 3:14, God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘I am has sent me to you.’)

(John 14:1, “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God;1 believe also in me.)

(John 14:11, Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves.)

(Corinthians 8:6, yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.)

-The Father is not derived from anyone, neither begotten nor proceeding. The Son is eternally begotten of the Father.

(John 1:14, And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.)

(John 1:18, No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.)

-The Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son.

(John 15:26, “But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, the will bear witness about me)

(Galatians 4:6, And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”)

-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.

Closing.

Please don’t let my word or any mans word be the final word on this. Pick up the bible, read Gospel saturated books by good authors, read good commentaries on the bible, pick up Wayne Grudem’s “Systematic Theology” and learn from a man’s lifetime of study and meditation on the Word of God. Most of all, trust in Jesus Christ and know what He has given us is whole, perfect and is for our good and His glory. Love you all!

The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.

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