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Delighting in the Trinity, Part 2

Delight in Grace / Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell
The Truth Network Radio
December 14, 2022 12:00 am

Delighting in the Trinity, Part 2

Delight in Grace / Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell

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December 14, 2022 12:00 am

In all circumstances, whether in the comfortable or in the groaning of this temporary life our delight in his person in his character can be an anchor  a balm for the soul.


Welcome to Delight in Grace, the teaching ministry of Rich Powell, pastor of Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem. We can experience a sense of delight in God, and it isn't a religious exercise reserved for Sundays.

No. In all circumstances, whether in the comfortable or in the groaning of this temporary life, our delight in His person and His character can be an anchor and a balm to the soul. Pastor Rich digs in this message called Delighting in the Trinity Part 1.

Let's listen in. So you have your copy of the Scriptures open to Philippians chapter 2, this series for the Christmas season, a call to follow Christ. If we are called to follow Christ, then we must know who He is. And that is the question that I want to answer today. Our focus today is going to be entirely on verse 6.

One verse. Last time it was the call to follow Christ in verse 5, have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus. Make your attitude that of Jesus Christ.

That is the call. That's the imperative. And then Christ is the supreme example for us. When it says then, in the form of God, He is speaking of an outward expression of an inward nature.

In other words, He existed as essentially one with God, infinite, perfect in all of His ways. This is how God has revealed Himself to us. This is what we have in the canon of inspired Scripture. God making Himself known to us in this way. As the writer of Hebrews puts it, God has spoken to us in His Son. This is a formally recognized doctrine of historic Orthodox Christianity. As the Council of Nicaea convened in 325 AD, it's an ecumenical council of all the various is true, and this is a part of the Nicaean Creed. We believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, light from light, true God from true God, begotten not made, one in being with the Father. How's that for detail?

It kind of covers it, doesn't it? There's no question there about what the understanding is. This is how God has revealed Himself to us. The essence of God in Jesus Christ. And then secondly, the pre-existence of Christ. The pre-existence of Christ. It was not just a man that was born in history that became God.

First of all, that's impossible. As John put it, John chapter 1, verses 1 and 2, in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.

And that word, logos, was a loaded word in those days. The reason was a person, the reason behind it all is a person, an infinite personal intelligence, not just a force or a concept. So the infinite Creator by whom all things exist and by whom all things hold together. You see, if not, if He were not this, He would not be God. So He is eternal. This is the eternally existent second person of the Trinity, of the triune Godhead.

Eternally pre-existent. There was no doubt, did see it. And they said, and they said, what do you mean Abraham saw your day?

You're not even 40 years old. How can you say Abraham knew you? And Jesus said this, John 8 58, before Abraham was, I am. Now that's pretty clear, isn't it? There's no question about that. Listen, you can't just be a mere human being and say this and get away with it. Unless you're willing to convince people that you're some kind of lunatic.

This is why C.S. Lewis writes this in his book, Mere Christianity. I'm going to put this, this quote is in your notes and you can fill in here.

This is, he puts it very well. He says, I'm trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about him. I'm ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don't accept him, his claim to be God.

That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things that Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic on the level with a man who says he is a poached egg or else he would be the devil of hell.

You must make your choice. Either this man was and is the son of God or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool.

You can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open. He did not intend to. To simply call Jesus a great moral teacher is not a logical conclusion about Jesus Christ. Can't possibly be, not with the things that he said. And this is the point that C.S.

Lewis is making. And his own father making himself equal with God. See, there was no doubt in their minds about his claims of identity. That he, the very essence of God, in the form of God, the very essence of God, the outward manifestation of an inward nature and the pre-existence before Abraham was, I am. As the writer of Hebrews puts it, very succinctly, he is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. This is why today we're focusing on verse six. That's because he is the supreme example of humility, that to which we are called. Let this mind be in you which is yours in Christ.

Or let your attitude be that of Jesus Christ. He is the supreme example. We have to know who he is because next week we're going to look at verses seven and eight where he is the supreme example of hility, of consideration. And then on the 26th, when we all come together at the Lord's table, all in one service, we're going to be looking at verses nine through 11 and the exaltation of Christ. The one before whom it is said, every knee will bow, every tongue will confess.

There are no exceptions to that. No one can exclude themselves from that statement. Everyone will confess, everyone will bow. There will be those who will confess and bow in humiliating defeat. The rest of us will bow in humble adoration. But all of us will bow and confess.

There are no exceptions to that. This is why this verse is so important. It's who he is in the form of God. Now we all probably have people in our lives, we do, I know we do, we have people in our lives that they do stuff and after they've done it or while they're doing it, you're thinking about it and your first thought that comes to mind is, what were they thinking? Right? Some of you are even sitting in this room this morning.

Maybe it's even you, right? What were they thinking? What Paul is giving us here is a glimpse into the glimpse into the thoughts of God. A peek into what God was thinking.

Jesus, who in the form of God, and it's not given to us just to satisfy our curiosity, but to transform our minds. What was Jesus thinking? He did not consider his equality with God something to be grasped. Now, expositors, translators all agree that that is a difficult line to pinpoint.

Exactly what does that mean? But I think we can pull it together and we can see as he says, he did not consider his equality with God a thing to be grasped. I think we could pull it together with the definition that encapsulates all the meaning in there plus given illustration.

So let's do that now. What was he thinking? That it was not a thing to be grasped. His equality with God. In other words, his equality with God was not something to be forcibly retained or exploited for selfish gain.

His privilege, his equality with God, his divine state was not something to be forcibly retained. Mine. I must have it. I will keep it. I've got to.

I will do whatever it takes to hang on to this. See, that's human nature. But also, it is not something to be exploited for selfish gain. You know, as I was studying this and unpacking this phrase, I was thinking about how I was saying this phrase here in scripture. This one illustration came to mind. Tolkien got it pretty good, I think, in Lord of the Rings.

Who comes to mind? Gollum and the Ring, right? My precious.

Pardon my slaughtering of the impersonation there, but you know what I'm talking about, don't you? He had to have it. He was not willing to let it go. He was willing to do whatever it took to get anybody out of the way so that he could have it.

You know what that is? That is fallen human nature. It's our default nature. And it's depicted very well in Gollum. But that's not what Jesus did. That's not what he was thinking with regard to his equality with God. Here's what Jesus could have thought. In eternity past, as the divine, as the godhead, the triune godhead was decreeing the redemption of humanity, and all that's misnomer, I get it, because God is infinite, right? But as God decreed the redemption of humanity, it became clear that what it would cost would be the separation of the son from the father. That necessary propitiation because wrath had to be poured out on the sin of humanity. And as the second person of the trinity would become a man, a human being, so that the wrath of the father could be poured out on him and he would need to be necessarily separated from the father. Jesus could have thought one of two things.

You want me to become a man? Ain't no way. Those people aren't worth it. Ain't nobody got time for that. There's a second way he could have thought about it, and that is I'm going to show them and come with such incredible glory and power that it would completely eliminate all attempt at resistance. He wouldn't have accomplished redemption by doing that. I am.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-12-14 12:30:25 / 2022-12-14 12:35:03 / 5

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