The Hearing of Faith
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. — 2 Corinthians 13:1
This verse is strong proof that the trinity of the Godhead is not for the doctrinal understanding of systematic theology but for the dispensing of God Himself in His trinity into His chosen and redeemed people. In the Bible the Trinity is never revealed merely as a doctrine. It is always revealed or mentioned in regard to the relationship of God with His creatures, especially with man, who was created by Him, and more particularly with His chosen and redeemed people. The first divine title used in the divine revelation, Elohim in Hebrew, a title used in relation to God’s creation, is plural in number (Gen. 1:1), implying that God, as the Creator of the heavens and the earth for man, is triune. Concerning His creation of man in His own image, after His own likeness, He used the plural pronouns Us and Our, referring to His trinity (Gen. 1:26) and implying that He would be one with man and express Himself through man in His trinity. Later, in Genesis 3:22 and 11:7 and Isaiah 6:8, He referred to Himself again and again as Us in regard to His relationship with man and with His chosen people.
In order to redeem fallen man that He might again have the position to be one with man, He became incarnated (John 1:1, 14) in the Son and through the Spirit (Luke 1:31-35) to be a man, and lived a human life on the earth, also in the Son (Luke 2:49) and by the Spirit (Luke 4:1; Matt. 12:28). At the beginning of His ministry on the earth, the Father anointed the Son with the Spirit (Matt. 3:16-17; Luke 4:18) in order that He might reach men and bring them back to Him. Just before He was crucified in the flesh and resurrected to become the life-giving Spirit (1 Cor. 15:45), He unveiled His mysterious trinity to His disciples in plain words (John 14–17), stating that the Son is in the Father and the Father is in the Son (John 14:9-11), that the Spirit is the transfiguration of the Son (John 14:16-20), that the three, coexisting and coinhering simultaneously, are abiding with the believers for their enjoyment (John 14:23; 17:21-23), and that all that the Father has is the Son’s and all that the Son possesses is received by the Spirit to be declared to the believers (John 16:13-15). Such a Trinity is altogether related to the dispensing of the processed God into His believers (John 14:17, 20; 15:4-5) that they may be one in and with the Triune God (John 17:21-23).
The trinity of the Godhead is not for the doctrinal understanding of systematic theology but for the dispensing of God Himself in His trinity into His chosen and redeemed people.
After His resurrection He charged His disciples to disciple the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit (Matt. 28:19); that is, He charged the disciples to bring the believing ones into the Triune God, into an organic union with the processed God, who had passed through incarnation, human living, and crucifixion and had entered into resurrection. Based on such an organic union, the apostle, at the conclusion of this divine Epistle to the Corinthians, blessed them with the blessed Divine Trinity in the participation in the Son’s grace with the Father’s love through the Spirit’s fellowship. In this Divine Trinity, God the Father operates all things in all the members in the church, which is the Body of Christ, through the ministries of the Lord, God the Son, by the gifts of God the Spirit (1 Cor. 12:4-6).
The above is an excerpt from footnote 1 of 2 Corinthians 13:14 in the New Testament Recovery Version. For further reading on this subject, please see the complete footnote in the Recovery Version; The Economy and Dispensing of God; and The Divine Dispensing of the Divine Trinity, published by Living Stream Ministry.
From Issue No. 56, December 2002