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To the extent that our worship does not extend to communion with the individual members of the Trinity it lacks an important quality and depth.  Moreover, when thinking in a Trinitarian we must not make the opposite error of thinking of three Gods – for there is only one God.

 I do God no wrong by being honest with his revelation.  It is you who do God wrong by denying his nature.  Just as Gregory Nazianzen said 1500 years ago, “When I say God, I mean Father, Son and Holy Spirit.”

It is fascinating that it is just at this point of prophesying the Messiah and the New Covenant – the very covenant being instituted because the people would not rightly worship the One God – that God gives the clearest indications of being a tri-personal being.  We will see a similar emphasis in the New Testament:  Where the writers are most plainly extolling the oneness of God is often when they are discussing the threeness of the God.

The great theologian of the church Gregory of Nazianus told us that when we think of God as one, we must think three and that when we think three, we must think one: 

No sooner do I conceive of the One than I am illumined by the Splendour of the Three; no sooner do I distinguish Them than I am carried back to the One. When I think of any One of the Three I think of Him as the Whole, and my eyes are filled, and the greater part of what I am thinking of escapes me. I cannot grasp the greatness of That One so as to attribute a greater greatness to the Rest. When I contemplate the Three together, I see but one torch, and cannot divide or measure out the Undivided Light. Orations 40:41.

 

Having shown that worship is directed toward each member of the Trinity, Owen rounds off his overview by noting that the same qualities are attributed to each member of the Trinity:

Thus, the Father (John 6:45), the Son (Mark 9:8; Matt. 3:17), and the Spirit ( John 14:26; 1 John 2:27). This point could be further proven by additional citations as to other attributes.

 

Thus, the distinction between the members of the Trinity lies in ground of the exercise of their attributes. Taking the attribute of giving life, Owen notes that while each member of the Trinity is specified as able to and in fact “quickening” (giving life), the ground of such difference with each member.

 

The Father communicates all grace by the way of original authority.

 

Thus, the Father “raises from the dead” (John 5:21).  The Son gives grace from a purchased treasury:

 

For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. John 1:16 (ESV)

 

The Spirit by way of immediate efficacy:

 

If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you. Romans 8:11 (ESV)