by Roland W. Keith
The Godhead or Trinity is made up of three unique beings who are equal in divinity but diverse in power, authority, and responsibility. God the Father, The Son of God, and the Holy Spirit. They are separate yet are still One. The Bible tells us that the God of Israel is the One True and Living God. Moreover, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is an all-powerful God. All things that exist, exists within God or because of God. He is All-In-All. He is the Uncaused (Spirit) and the First Cause (of the physical universe). The Alpha and Omega. The Beginning and End of All Things. It does the human race no good to ponder how God can exist, because such knowledge is beyond our three-dimensional, time-space view of things. In many ways we see God obliquely— like seeing the shadow, but not the Person (Psalm 91:1; Isaiah 51:16; Lamentations 4:20; Hosea 14:7). Even Moses, whom God spoke to as a friend, was only permitted to see God’s glory from the back as He passed by (Exodus 33:18-23). However, God has given us the ability to know Him through His creation and His word.
The Psalmist wrote, “By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, and by the breath of His mouth all their host. He gathers the waters of the sea as a heap; He puts the deeps in storehouses. Let all the earth fear the LORD; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him! For He spoke, and it came to be; He commanded, and it stood firm” (Psalm 33:6-9). Paul echoed this understanding when he told the Hebrews, “By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible” (Hebrews 11:3). Moreover, Paul wrote, the evidence of God’s existence as revealed in His creation is sufficient for man to comprehend His Creator, leaving him without excuse if he denies God (Romans 1:18-22; see also II Peter 3:5-7).
The creation demonstrates the awesome power and infinite nature of God (in that He exists separate from and outside of or beyond all natural boundaries). But it does not reveal the personality or personal nature of God beyond His creative impulses. God divulges the intimate details of His person through His interactions with His creation (particularly man) which is recorded in His word. According to the written word, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (II Timothy 3:16-17). Not only are the scriptures God-breathed, but they were given to man by the Holy Spirit through the Son of God and those disciples selected to herald and record it (I Corinthians 2:9-14; John 8:28; John 21: 24-25; Luke 1:1-4; Ephesians 3:1-6).
God’s will for man is unveiled in the Bible. Foremost in that unveiling is the pronouncement that though man has fallen from grace, God loves him and has determined to redeem him from the consequences of his sin. According to Jesus, the Father sent Him into the world that we might be saved through faith in Him (John 3:16-17). In addition, John tells us that the Father has testified concerning His Son and the promise of eternal life (I John 5:9-12; I John 2:25). Peter also commented on the revelation of God’s plan of salvation when he wrote, “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us to His own glory and excellence, by which He has granted to us His precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire” (II Peter 1:3-4).
The risen Christ commanded His disciples to “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:15-16). God’s plan was put into full effect on the Day of Pentecost, when the apostles were baptized in the Holy Spirit and began proclaiming the gospel with the first sermon delivered by Peter. That same gospel is what the church has been preaching for the past two thousand years, and according to Paul “it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, "The righteous shall live by faith" (Romans 1:16-17). That power Paul speaks of is the blood of Christ and the fact that God sent His Only Son to earth to live a perfect life and then to give that life in sacrifice, His blood shed as an atonement for our sins (Romans 3:21-26; 5:8-10; 6:1-6).
Peter describes our salvation as an eternal inheritance given to those who become the children of God. Though we may be put through many trials during this life our salvation is protected by God if we remain faithful to our confession (I Peter 1:3-7; Hebrews 10:23; I Timothy 6:12). Lest we forget, however, God’s promises are like a two-edged sword that cuts both ways. Even as the righteous are promised salvation, the unrighteous remain under punishment (II Peter 2:9-15). As John has warned us: “Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as He is righteous. Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God's seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother” (I John 3:7-10).
Let each person assess his own spiritual condition. If any one of us who has called upon the Lord, has since returned to a life of sin let him repent and turn back to God. As John wrote, “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever” (I John 2:15-17. We should remember that we have the opportunity to spend eternity in heaven because of God’s great love for us, not because of anything we have done, however, God does require us to accept His gift in obedience, and to walk the path He has set before us (Ephesians 2:8-10.
We are agents of free will. We can choose any path we want. We can even forge a new path if we so desire. Yet, God tells us there is only one path that leads to truth, to salvation, to Him. Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6). It is by submitting ourselves to Christ and following in His footsteps that we are able to enter the promised land. On another occasion Jesus would describe the path with these words: “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few” (Matthew 7:13-14). God has not promised us a free ride, only that He has cleared the way for us, and will be with us every step of that way. Nonetheless, it can still be a difficult road fraught with obstacles and setbacks and all manner of difficulties. Even of those who seek to enter not all will be able to on that day because they did not follow the path with fidelity (Luke 13:24-27).
Paul likened the Christian life to a fight, saying, “Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses” (I Timothy 6:12). He understood that salvation is a gift (Romans 6:23), but it is a gift that we must take hold of and protect. At the end of his life he also said, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (II Timothy 4:7). Paul went through much to make it to the finish line, and in the end, he knew it was worth everything he had given. Are we like Paul? Are we willing to give everything for Christ? (Philippians 3:8). By the power of God, we exist, and it is by His power that we are saved (Romans 1:16-17; Ephesians 2:4-8; Romans 5:6-10). He and His Son, Jesus Christ, paid our ransom in blood. They are the rock and strength of every believer. The power of God becomes our salvation, but only if we believe in the gospel and put our faith in Christ giving our lives over to Him (Romans 1:16). Are we willing to sacrifice anything and everything to receive salvation and help others to do the same? (II Timothy 2:10). If so, we will be “raised with Him [Jesus] through faith in the powerful working of God, Who raised Him from the dead” (Colossians 2:12).
Hi! I'm Roland. I began writing after retiring from the Navy in 2015. I believe that we each should strive to learn from one another, by sharing our thoughts and ideas. As a writer my goal is to help other seekers of truth to find and grow in Christ.