The Trinity acts as one Savior

Posted: June 21, 2011 by doulos tou Theou in Christianity

From page 13 of his book, The Pillars of Grace, Steve Lawson writes:

“… divine sovereignty in salvation involves each of the three persons of the Godhead – the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. All three work in perfect unity to rescue the same undeserving sinners. Within the Trinity, there is one saving purpose, one saving plan, and one saving enterprise. Those whom the Father chooses are precisely those whom the Son redeems and those whom the Spirit regenerates. The persons of the Godhead act as one Savior. The Trinity is not fractured in its saving activity. It is not divided in its direction and intent, as if each person of the Godhead seeks to save a different group of sinners. Instead, each member of the Trinity purposes and irresistibly proceeds to save one and the same people – God’s chosen people.

Sadly, many believe otherwise. They insist that the Father saves only the few sinners whom He forsees will believe in Christ, this mistakenly confusing foreknowledge (Acts 2:23; Rom. 8:29-30; 1 Peter 1:2, 20), which means “forelove,” with mere foresight. They also imagine that Christ hypothetically died for all sinners – a different group from which the Father saves – naively assuming there is only one meaning for the scriptural words world and all. They further claim that the Spirit saves yet another group, that is, some sinners whom He woos. Sadly, they mistake His internal, saving call (1 Cor 1:2, 9) for a general, non-saving conviction (Heb. 6:4-5). According to this leaky scheme, the three persons of the Godhead are purported to be pursuing three different groups of individuals – fewall, and some. Thus, the persons of the Godhead are sorely divided in Their saving activity. Even worse, the sinner – not God – reigns as the determinative in his or her salvation.

But the Bible teaches otherwise. Scripture reveals a perfect unity within the Trinity, a perfect oneness between the Father, Son, and Spirit in Their saving activities. God’s Word teaches that the Godhead acts as one Savior in saving one people. The truth is that man is not sovereign in salvation – God is. All three members work together with absolute sovereignty and unwavering resolve to save the very same people for Their own glory. This is accomplished through the free exercise of the supreme authority of all three members of the Trinity.

(HT:EffectualGrace)

Comments
  1. wordkitty says:

    From a strictly Aristotelian perspective, Christianity cannot be true. God became man to save man from God’s punishment, eternal hell for our sins.
    How can a finite sin be worthy of an infinite punishment? If God were perfect, or even just good, he could not allow this.

  2. DOWANNA says:

    wordkitty, the God I serve is just only to His own standards, His own word. Your need to understand “How” is not even a consideration to Him, neither is your understanding of how He operates. It is what it is, man’s idea of “fairness” is not even remotely accurate in spiritual terms. God is sovereign, and not subject to man’s judgment.

  3. doulos tou Theou says:

    @ wordkitty

    To answer your question a finite sin against a finite being is not worthy of an infinite punishment.
    But, if the sin is against an infinite being isn’t infinite punishment worthy since its stature is greater than a finite being?

    Illustration
    If you threaten me, probably nothing is going to happen to you. If you threaten the US President the Secret Service shows up, why? He has a higher honor and stature than I do. How much more is the stature of the God who created you?

    The Bible says not only have we sinned against man, but that we have sinned against a Holy, Righteous, and just God. Because of this we should spend eternity separated from such perfect goodness.

    To quote a man who was happy at the persecution of God’s people, when he was confronted with the thought of how good God is: “Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

    For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

    peace
    sami

  4. Danny MacDonald says:

    Word Kitty,

    Can you explain more how Aristotelian perspective proves you premise? I am not a logician but I am having a hard time following your argument.

    DA Carson has a book, The God who is there that deals with some of these issues .

    To add to Sami’s point, our sin is against the infinite creator God, which is why David of the Old Testament says in Psalms, “only against you (GOD) have I sinned”.

    Also, if your question is related to Christ, Christ does not suffer in eternal hell. He rose from the dead and conquered eternal hell. Because he conquered eternal hell we do not suffer eternal hell for our transgressions.

    I would love to see comments on the theology of the Christ- God and man, and how his death and resurrection as infinite god and finite man atones for sin against an infinite God?

    Danny

  5. wordkitty says:

    Danny, i must believe in a Creator God. I cannot believe in hell, because How can a finite sin be worthy of an infinite punishment? Since Christianity is predicated on a belief in hell, it must, therefore, be false.

  6. limabean03 says:

    wordkitty,

    There are a variety of ways that a finite sin can could exact the penalty of infinite punishment.

    1) God could be capricious
    2) God could be unjust
    3) God could take infinite offense since he is an infinite being

    Your final point is good, if one takes your unstated (and perhaps unacknowledged?) presupposition to be true, which is that there is a God (massive presupposition!) who acts according to your interpretation of Aristotelian logic (another large presupposition). However I don’t think you’ve done a sufficient job of stating why said God exists nor why he would be bound by your interpretation of Aristotelian logic. I say “your interpretation” because of course, the Medieval church who understood Aristotle quite well never had much of a problem expressing satisfaction in terms of Aristotelian metaphysics.

  7. Danny MacDonald says:

    Word Kitty,

    Sorry for the delayed response. I am no logician and certainly not Aristolean, but your premises seem to be opinion not fact. For example, stating Christianity is predicated on a belief in hell is not a fact or a true premise,it appears to be opinion Likewise, your not believing in hell due to the infinite and finite sin question, is opinion or at least a misunderstanding of fact.. Also, I am not sure I see sin as finite, for two reasons. First sin against infinite God might just be infinite in time and offense. Secondly, sin against finite man, could also be infinite. Once the sin occurs does it not exist forever. While Christ atones for our sins, that does not erase the existence of the sin, it only makes the necessary atonement for the sin. While God no longer considers our sin against us, Christ had to suffer on the cross taking all the wrath for our sin.

    Finally, Christianity is not based on philosophy, or Aristolean logic. It is based on a person, Jesus Christ. If you accept the premise that he is God and Man, and that he spoke to us a reflected in the bible, you have a hard time arguing with what he indicates about sin and its consequences, logical to us or not.

    Your question about the nature of sin is certainly interesting to think about.

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