Tuesday, October 7, 2008

John Piper on the Holy Spirit in the Trinity

While I'm taking a couple of weeks away from intensive blogging, and while you all get hold of Feminine Appeal and start reading it ;), I thought I'd tie up a couple of loose ends on my Enjoying God series.

It occured to me - and one of you pointed it out! - that in my post on how God feels about being God, I talked a lot about the Father and Son's delight in each other, but not much about the Holy Spirit. So I was excited when I read what Piper had to say about this topic during my morning reading:

I have stressed (from texts like Hebrews 1:3; Colossians 1:15; 2:9; Philippians 2:6; 2 Corinthians 4:4; and John 1:1) that the Son of God is the mirroring-forth of God the Father himself in his own self-consciousness. God has a perfectly clear and full idea of all his own perfections. This image of God is so complete and perfect that it is, in fact, the standing forth of God the Son, a person in his own right. ...

Now what about the Holy Spirit? I find it helpful to observe that the mind of God, as reflected in our own, has two faculties: understanding and will (with emotions being the more lively acts of the will). In other words, before creation God could relate to himself in two ways: God could know himself and God could love himself. In knowing himself he begot the Son, the perfect, full, and complete personal image of himself. In loving himself the Holy Spirit proceeded from the Father and the Son.

So the Son is the eternal image that the Father has of his own perfections, and the Holy Spirit is the eternal love that flows between the Father and the Son as they delight in each other.

How can this love be a person in his own right? Words fail, but can we not say that the love between the Father and the Son is so perfect, so constant, and carries so completely all that the Father and Son are in themselves that this love stands forth as a person in his own right?
John Piper A Godward Life pp. 73-4.

image is from stock.xchng

No comments: