“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.” Romans 8:26-27
“What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all — how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died — more than that, who was raised to life — is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.” Romans 8:31-34
The doctrine of the Trinitarian nature of our God is impossible to comprehend. Our God is one. Since God revealed Himself to man we’ve known this. The ancient Jewish prayer, the Shema, begins with this phrase “Hear, O Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One.” The Ten Commandments open with this truth “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me.” Exodus 20:2,3
God is one. But from the earliest lines of Genesis we get hints that this ‘one’ doesn’t look like our concept of one. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.” Genesis 1:1,2 In the beginning God created and present at creation was the Spirit of God. Then in Genesis 1:26 we see this phrase as God contemplated the creation of man – “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, in our likeness …’” Let US make man in OUR image. There was present at creation a being that within one entity, God, embodied an ‘US’. The book of Colossian reveals a bit more about this time before time, letting us know that the Son was also present at creation. “He (speaking of Jesus) is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” Colossians 1:15-17
Read the New Testament with an eye to look for the presence of our triune God and you can’t miss Him. When Jesus walked the earth we see Jesus in constant communication with the Father. We see the Spirit descend upon him and we hear Jesus speak of the Spirit and the time when the Spirit would be given to all those who believe. The mystery of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is woven throughout the books of the New Testament.
Yesterday I once again read in Romans 8 thanks to a study I’m enjoying right now. What most struck me about Romans 8 was the obvious presence of our Triune God. Paul spends some time early in Romans 8 teaching the truth that those who are in Christ have the mind of the Spirit to help them live out a life of freedom. He describes the work of the Spirit as our intercessor, the one living in us who knows both the mind of God and our mind and is therefore equipped to pray on our behalf in ways we don’t fully understand. Since a trip to Latvia earlier this year, I’ve kept Google translate open in my web browser so that I can get a translation of the posts I see on my Latvian friend’s Facebook pages and blogs. These translations are rough at best, sometimes downright peculiar, but generally I get an idea of what is happening in my friend’s lives and often I end up in prayer for them. The Holy Spirit is my perfect translator/intercessor. He knows my mind, He knows the mind of God, and He can take my mixed up messed up motives and desires and pain and bring to the ear of God that which my ‘wanting to follow Christ heart’ truly desires.
Paul takes us from this deep understanding of the Spirit’s work as our intercessor right to the heart of God. He reminds us that God is for us – that in all things He is working for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purposes. Then in Romans 8:31-34 he brings a series of the best questions ever and reveals another intercessor working for us in heaven.
- What, then, shall we say in response to this? HALLELUJAH!
- If God is for us, who can be against us? NO ONE!
- He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all — how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? YES, OF COURSE. PRAISE HIM!
- Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? NO ONE!
- It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? NO ONE!
- Christ Jesus, who died — more than that, who was raised to life — is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. GRACE UPON GRACE! HALLELUJAH!
God is for us. The Holy Spirit lives in us, knows our mind, knows the mind of God, and intercedes in ways beyond our comprehension. Jesus Christ, the beloved Son of the Father, not spared by the Father but given on our behalf, is at the right hand of God also interceding for us.
Have you ever watched an obviously loving family enjoying one another? Teasing, laughing, deferring, honoring, choosing one another and delighting one another. It is fun to watch people who know each other well choose to delight and enjoy one another because of and as a response to their shared love. It is even better when that kind of winsome love isn’t exclusive. When there is so much love overflowing, that those enjoying one another invite us watchers in. “Come play with us! There’s enough love and joy for you too!” This is the nature of our eternal, three-in-one, ever-loving, ever-relating God. God is love. Such abundant love that we are invited in. PRAISE HIM!
“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. We know that we live in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.” 1 John 4:7-16