- Matthew Haan
1 Peter 1:1-2 - Tri/Une
Is God one, or is He three? Yes.
Read / Listen
Read 1 Peter 1:1-2
Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,
To God’s elect, exiles scattered throughout the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, 2 who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with his blood:
Grace and peace be yours in abundance.
Listen to passage & devotional:
Heidelberg Catechism Q&A 25
Q. Since there is but one God,
why do you speak of three:
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit?
A. Because that is how
God has revealed himself in his Word:
these three distinct persons
are one, true, eternal God.
In 1 Peter we see the apostle do something that he was never planning to do: write to gentiles about the faith. Yet that is exactly what he's doing as he addresses this letter to the six unique regions of the Christian world mentioned in Acts 2. People who may have even heard him preach his first sermon on the day of Pentecost are now being spoken to again by God's grace.
Notice how God's grace comes: It comes to those who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of the Father. This grace comes through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, which enables the recipient to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with His blood.
As Peter writes these words, you need to hear and see that this statement is one of the clearest statements of the Trinity, describing the personhood and work of God.
But could you explain the Trinity?
It really is important for you as a Christian to be able to, because the belief in a God being one in essence, yet three in person - this is what is meant by the word Triune (three/one) - is a foundational pillar of the Christian faith.
Review the triangle illustration shown above to see what is, and is not meant when we say that God is a Trinity. What I love about this concept is that the words on the lines come right from the historical Athanasian Creed, which is a creed that we profess to believe in the Reformed World even though many haven’t read it well. But this creed unlike any other describes the role and person of the Godhead for what each is and what each is not.
For nothing is confused in the Godhead. Each person is named Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Each is equal in power and authority, and also in submission to one another. One of the best ways that I have found to display this is to copy down the above drawing on your own sheet of paper. But instead of standing the triangle up leave it on the table. Then you can see the submission that is at work. So that God’s grace and peace would be evident in being submission to God.
Our heavenly Father is always revealing Himself fully through his Word. This is why he uses the titles that he does for each person in the Godhead which we say faithfully in the Apostles Creed.
We're going to be working our way through this creed line by line, learning to understand the key elements of our only comfort in life over these next few months. Lord willing, you attend a church that uses this creed regularly in worship. But if you do not I would invite you today to read through the Apostles Creed very slowly. Just spend five minutes per person and reflect on the truth and work that each of us are to believe in faith without reservation and without doubt.
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Heavenly Father we praise you for revealing yourself, your Son and your Spirit by name to us.
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: We pray Father, Son and Spirit that we would be willing to let you lead our days, our worship and our thoughts and our life.
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED:
Read the New Testament in a year, a chapter a day - Acts 23