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Final page of last lecture for Southern California Reformed Baptist Pastors’ Conference ‘17

 

You can register for the conference here.

 

Psalm 104:30 says, “You send forth Your Spirit, they are created; And You renew the face of the earth.” Here both creation and renewal are attributed to the Spirit of God. But notice one more thing about this text. Notice these words carefully: “You send forth Your Spirit.” Now listen to Bavinck: “special properties and works are attributed to each of the three persons . . .  in such a way that the order present between the persons in the ontological Trinity is revealed.” [1] The theologia is reveled in the oikonomia. The mystery of the Trinity is manifested in the external works of the Trinity. As Emery says, “In their common work of creation, the three persons act through their common nature, each person bringing his own property into play.” [2] This is why Webster can say the following:

 

The Holy Spirit is Lord and giver of life, creation’s perfecting cause. Creation is distinctly assigned to the Spirit in that he is the divine person by whom created things are brought to the proper end. . . . By the breath of the Spirit, who is himself breathed by the Father and the Son, creatures . . . come to be alive. [3]

 

“You send forth Your Spirit, they are created; And You renew the face of the earth,” says Psalm 104:30. The language of sending forth echoes the intra-trinitarian life of God. The Spirit is from the Father and the Son. As Horton says, commenting on Psalm 104:30, “The Spirit is not a power emanating but a person sent.” [4] Though God’s external works are not God (i.e., they do not constitute him), they tell us something about the triune God of the works (i.e., they manifest him). The works of God toward creatures reveal the triune God to creatures.

Economic appropriations are grounded in intra-trinitarian personal relations. A robust theological method of trinitarian creation accounts for the oikonomia through the lens of the theologia. This is why we can assert that all things come from the Father, by the Son, in the Holy Spirit. This is also why we confess the “doctrine of the Trinity [as] the foundation of all our communion with God, and comfortable dependence on Him” (2LCF 2.3). And this is why we sing:

 

Praise God from whom all blessings flow;

Praise him, all creatures here below;

Praise him above, ye heavenly host:

Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

 

I will close with these familiar words penned by our Lord’s apostle.

 

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen. (2 Cor. 13:14)

 

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[1] Bavinck, RD, 2:318.

[2] Emery, The Trinitarian Theology of St. Thomas, 346.

[3] Webster, God without Measure, 1:97, 98.

[4] Horton, The Holy Spirit, 31.

Home Uncategorized Final page of last lecture for Southern California Reformed Baptist Pastors’ Conference ‘17