Practice Thoughts on the Trinity from Dr. Bruce Ware

Bruce Ware Trinity

Dr. Bruce Ware, in his book Father, Son, & Holy Spirit: Relationships, Roles and Relevance gives ten reasons to focus on the wonder of the Trinity that I found helpful and insightful.

  1. The doctrine of the Trinity is one of the most distinguishing doctrines of the Christian faith and therefore is deserving of our careful study, passionate embrace, and thoughtful application.
  2. The doctrine of the Trinity is both central and necessary for the Christian faith to be what it is. Remove the Trinity, and the whole Christian faith disintegrates.
  3. Worship of the true and living God consciously acknowledges the relationship and roles of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
  4. The Christian’s life of prayer must rightly acknowledge the roles of Father, Son, and Spirit as we pray to the Father, through the Son, in the power of the Spirit.
  5. The Christian’s growth in Christlikeness or sanctification is rightly understood and enriched when seen as the work of the triune God.
  6. The triune relationships of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit cause us to marvel at the unity of the triune God.
  7. The triune relationships of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit cause us to marvel at the diversity within the triune God.
  8. The triune relationships of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit cause us to wonder at the social relationality of the triune God.
  9. The triune relationships of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit cause us to marvel at the authority-submission-structure that exists eternally in the three Persons in the Godhead, each of whom is equally and fully God.
  10. The doctrine of the Trinity – one God existing in three Persons – provides one of the most important and neglected patterns for how human life and human relationships are to be conducted.

As people who are made in the image of God, we live rightly and best when we mirror our relationships after the relationship within the Trinity, which is marked with love and unity. So does the Trinity matter?  Yes, regarding our understanding of salvation, sanctification, how we understand our relationships with one another and a host of other issues too!

For further reading on the Trinity, here’s an article Dr. Ware wrote concerning the implications the Trinity has on the family. You can read it here.

3 thoughts on “Practice Thoughts on the Trinity from Dr. Bruce Ware

  1. The Divine Trinity.

    The New Testament speaks of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Many have understood this to mean that God is in three Divine Persons, each of whom is infinite and eternal, and each of whom is God and Lord. But the New Testament does not speak of Persons in God at all, much less of three Divine Persons existing from eternity.
    It is admitted by many that the question of how three persons make one God is past all human understanding. And because of this mystery many people do not think deeply about God, believing that their minds are not capable of entering into such thought.
    What does Swedenborg teach concerning the Divine Trinity?
    From what has gone before in this lecture it can be seen that the Father, the one infinite and eternal God, is not one Divine Person and the Son another Divine Person. but that they are one. as soul and body are one. The Son. the Divine Human, is the Divine Body, and the Father is the Divine Soul in that Divine Bodv. Even as the soul and body of a man are not two people, but one person, so the Father and the Son, the Divine and the Divine Human of the Lord are one Divine Person.
    But what then of the Holy Spirit?
    Swedenborg teaches that the Holy Spirit is the Lord’s own Divine Spirit going forth from Him to men and angels. It is the Divine Love and Wisdom proceeding out of the Divine Human of the Lord to work the regeneration and salvation of mankind. This can be seen perfectly represented in the Gospel of .John:

    “And when He had said this. He breathed on them and said. Receive ye the Holy Spirit.” (John 20:22)

    This was said after the Lord’s Resurrection. The Holy Spirit is there represented as the Breath of the Lord. His Breath is His Divine Truth going forth from Himself to men. Swedenborg calls this the Divine Proceeding, or, the Divine Operation.
    That the Holy Spirit is the Divine proceeding from the glorified Human of the Lord is also taught in these passages from the New Testament: “But this He spake of the Spirit, which they that believe on Him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.” (John 7:39.) The original Greek reads “The Holy Spirit was not yet, because that Jesus was not yet glorified.”

    “It is expedient for you that I go away; for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you.” (John 16:7.)

    After the Lord was glorified, that is, after His Human was made Divine, the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, which leads men into all truth, could come to men, because through the Divine Human the Divine Good and Truth can inflow into our minds.
    The conclusion therefore is that the Divine Trinity is not a Trinity of Persons, but that it is a Trinity of essentials in the one Divine Person, our Lord Jesus Christ. The Father is the Divine itself, present in Him as the Soul. The Son is the Divine Human, which is the Body of that Divine Soul, and the Holy Spirit is the Divine Operation, the Divine Good and Truth proceeding from God to men.
    This is taught also by Paul, in these words concerning the Lord:

    “For in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” (Col. 2:9.)

    If you see God as one Divine Person, one Divine Man, and the Trinity in Him as Soul, Body and Proceeding, you will have an understandable idea of God and of the Divine Trinity in Him. This teaching is that which is given in the Old Testament and in the New Testament. It is the Supreme Truth concerning the Lord.
    This truth may be summarized thus: That the Lord Jesus Christ is the one God of heaven and earth, that He is Jehovah, the Lord from eternity, that He is the Creator from eternity, that He is the Redeemer in time, that He is the regenerator into eternity, and thus that He is at the same time the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit.
    The Lord Jesus Christ is our God. There is no other. To Him we owe all that is good and all that is true. All power in heaven and on earth is His. To Him alone should we pray. To Him alone should be our worship, our love, and the service of our lives.

    • Thanks for taking the time to comment. I believe our understanding of the Trinity is markedly different. I’d encourage you to get Dr. Bruce Ware’s book, if for no other reason then to see another theological viewpoint on the Trinity. Blessings.

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