No Son, No Father
A daily devotion for May 11th
22Who is the liar? It is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a man is the antichrist—he denies the Father and the Son. 23No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also.
No one who denies the Son has the Father... (1 John 2:22a)
To deny that Jesus is the Christ is to deny the Father and the Son. Here we are confronting something of the mystery of the nature of God. I grant immediately that there is much that we cannot understand about God and the Trinity. We know there are three persons who eternally exist as one God. Our minds boggle when we try to understand fully what that means and to grasp how it works out in its implications.
You recall, in that profoundly significant passage that we call the Upper Room Discourse, when our Lord is gathered with His own, that He Himself reveals to us something of the wondrous relationship that has eternally existed between the Father and the Son. We know that in the beginning was God—God in three persons: Father, Son, and Spirit. The supreme characteristic of God is that He loves: God is love. Therefore, the Father loved the Son, and it was always the Father's delight to take the fullness in Himself and, through the eternal Spirit, to give it to the Son. Love always gives, and God is forever giving. The Father gives of Himself to the Son. All that is in the Father is given to the Son through the Spirit. This is why Jesus said in the Upper Room Discourse,
All that belongs to the Father is mine (John 16:15a).
But the Son also must love and give, for He too is God. This is where creation comes in, for John has told us,
Through him [the Son] all things were made (John l:3a). Why? In order that all the fullness that is in Him, which the Father has given to Him, might be given to the whole creation, headed by man. Paul says,
All things were created by him and for him (Colossians 1:16). He is the full expression of the Father, and the creation is to be the full expression of the Son. Everything that we see about us, the universe in all its wonder of complicated structure, is but an expression of the life of the Son.
The whole program of creation was intended to be the Father, taking of the fullness that was in Him, and, through the eternal Spirit, imparting it to the Son. The Son, in turn, takes of the fullness that He has received, and, through the eternal Spirit, imparts it to humans and the whole creation to the end that the fullness may be reflected back in visible manifestation to the Father, and so the whole created world would glorify God. That is God's design for the universe.
This program was interrupted by people's deliberate choice to repudiate their dependence on the Son and to be their own god, to turn creation to their own purposes. Then the Spirit of God was removed from the spirit of humans, and they lost their ability to love God and their capacity to know God as Father. This is why the devil attacks so vehemently this truth that Jesus is the Christ. Through a denial of this, he can get at that secret, that relationship that God desires for His people, the glory of knowing the Father and His love.
Father, I thank You that everything that is in You—the fullness of the Father—is imparted to the Son, and everything that is in Him is available to me. All that I need for everything has been provided in Him. Lord, teach me to live on this level.
Life Application: The tri-unity of God is a profound mystery. The three persons, eternally One, are a love-giving unity. Are we allowing Christ in us to continue His ministry of love?
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Daily Devotion © 2006 by Ray Stedman Ministries. For permission to use this content, please review www.RayStedman.org/permissions. Subject to permission policy, all rights reserved.