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Potent Prooftexts: the exception to the rule

11 March 2011 by David

Q9: How many persons are there in the Godhead?

Answer: There be three persons in the Godhead, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; and these three are one true, eternal God, the same in substance, equal in power and glory; although distinguished by their personal properties.

Q10: What are the personal properties of the three persons in the Godhead?

Answer: It is proper to the Father to beget the Son, and to the Son to be begotten of the Father, and to the Holy Ghost to proceed from the Father and the Son from all eternity.

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. … Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image …” —Genesis 1:1–2, 26

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. —John 1:1–3

The incarnation was a big event. The Word became flesh (John 1:14); God was now with us more intimately than he had ever been before (Matthew 1:23). Pentecost was also a big day in history. The promise of Christ to send the Helper, the Holy Spirit, was fulfilled in dramatic style.

But don’t mistake what happened in either case. No new ideas were conceived in the mind of God. Nothing new was created. The incarnation of Christ is the exception to the rule that life begins at conception. Pentecost was not the introduction of the new guy. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit had existed together from eternity. God’s entire redemptive plan , Trinitarian to the core, existed before the foundation of the world (John 17:24; Ephesians 1:4).

That means we have a Savior who did not just come along after the fact to pick us up. He was there in Eden when we fell. He was there when the Father promised him as a sacrifice to crush the serpent’s head. It means that the Spirit was there as well, prepared to come alongside and guide us into all truth (John 16:13). Everything that had to be done for our redemption was accomplished in Trinitarian harmony in the beginning.