Friday, April 13, 2012

A Meditation on the Baptist's Trinitarian Way-Making

“Now in those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, saying, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ For this is the one referred to by Isaiah the prophet when he said, ‘THE VOICE OF ONE CRYING IN THE WILDERNESS, “MAKE READY THE WAY OF THE LORD, MAKE HIS PATHS STRAIGHT!”’ Now John himself had a garment of camel’s hair and a leather belt around his waist; and his food was locusts and wild honey. Then Jerusalem was going out to him, and all Judea and all the district around the Jordan; and they were being baptized by him in the Jordan River, as they confessed their sins. But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, ‘You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Therefore bear fruit in keeping with repentance and do not suppose that you can say to yourselves, “We have Abraham for our father”; for I say to you that from these stones God [the Father] is able to raise up children to Abraham. The axe is already laid at the root of the trees; therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He Who is coming [the Son] after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clear His threshing floor; and He will gather His wheat into the barn, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire’” (Matthew 3:1-12).

Dead souls, as cold, lifeless, and stony as the idols you worship (Psalm 115:4-8//135:15-18), may the Father grant you true life this day: “But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them” (Ephesians 2:4-10). A Christ-less, non-Trinitarian god will not save you (he is an idolatrous imagination of humans), for Abraham looked to Christ’s day in joyous faith (John 8:56-58) and the Father seeks those who will worship Him in Spirit and the truth of His Word (John 4:21-24).

The Son separates humanity into two categories: those who come to the Father through Him and those who are children of the devil (John 8:31-47). No one comes to the Son except that the Father draws Him (John 6:44), and those who come to the Son are given the greatest Promise ever given: the forever-Presence of God Himself in the Person of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:33,38; Galatians 3:13,14; Ephesians 1:13). May the Father draw you to the Son this day that you may be immersed in the Person of His Presence of joy, peace, love, and rest forever.

“The light of nature shows that there is a God, Who hath lordship and sovereignty over all; is just, good and doth good unto all; and is therefore to be feared, loved, praised, called upon, trusted in, and served, with all the heart and all the soul, and with all the might. But the acceptable way of worshipping the true God is instituted by Himself, and so limited by His own revealed will, that He may not be worshipped according to the imagination and devices of men...any other way not prescribed in the Holy Scriptures...religious worship is to be given to God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and to Him alone” (London Confession of Faith [1689], XXII.1,2).

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