As we begin, it is important to note that this is not a thesis on the Trinity. Nor is it intended to be a theological argument. I just have some questions – born out of concern – that I believe God would have us consider.

Growing up in the United Methodist Church, I was taught the Nicene Creed. Every Sunday, we recited the Triune nature of the God-head: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Somehow, I came away an understanding of the Holy Spirit as “Jesus in you”; in essence, that the Holy Spirit was nothing more than the personification of Jesus Christ living inside of me. I am sure this was not done intentionally, but that’s what I came away with.

In those days, the Holy Spirit simply wasn’t a topic of conversation… or teaching.

I have since learned that He (the Holy Spirit) is much, much more. The person and work of the Holy Spirit is unique to Him; and without Him, the followers of Jesus Christ are severely handicapped.

I did not recognize that the Holy Spirit was an equal person of the God-head until I aged into my thirties. I believe it grieved Him. I had to confess, apologize and ask His forgiveness.

The Holy Spirit has since been an intimate Comforter, Teacher and Transformer. His fruit and gifts are much more evident in my life, now that I know Him and His role in my faith journey.

God works all things to the good of those that love Him. My ignorance of the Holy Spirit has made me sensitive to the unique personalities of the God-head – and sensitive to Their absence.

Recently, I have noticed a new kind of replacement theology. It seems to me that God the Father is being replaced in our Christian consciousness by His Son. Are you sensing the same thing?

Now, don’t get me wrong. I think Jesus deserves all the attention and praise we are giving Him. He is our Savior and intercessor. It is His mind and faith that empowers our living out of His life.

However, when I hear, in a song referring to Jesus, “Yours is the glory”, it makes me pause. When I hear so many praying to Jesus, I get a bit concerned. Does it bother you?

Jesus was clear that His Father was to receive the glory (Matthew 5:16; John 15:8); and He taught us to pray to His Father (Matthew 6:8) – further emphasizing that we were to no longer ask Him for anything, but “the Father in My name” (John 16:23).

I can see how well-intentioned pastors would go light on the Father. He is, after all, the One Who lovingly chastens, rebukes and scourges His children. He is the Judge; the One Who makes the rules; and the One we are to fear. Perhaps the seeker – particularly those with a poor father experience – would be turned off by God the Father.

So, here are my questions:

  1. Who is to receive the glory from men?
  2. Who is the One that glorifies the Son (John 17:1)?
  3. Who is working in us to will and do to His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13)? To Whose will are we to surrender (Matthew 7:21)?
  4. Who is responsible for our forgiveness (Matthew 6:15)?
  5. Are we teaching others to worship a false God when we minimize the Father’s role and relationship?
  6. How much is this confusion of roles responsible for the disfunction that exist in the Western Church?
  7. Are we – intentionally, or not – distancing people from the love of the Father, in order to avoid presenting them with His severity?

I encourage you to allow these questions to challenge your understanding of the God-head. Generally speaking, Christians have become lazy with the truth – satisfied with the little they are fed on Sunday.

May God the Father, in Jesus’ Name, and by the Holy Spirit, stir up a hunger for the truth in us – along with the courage to purchase it.

Humbly yours and forever His,

Rob

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