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Trinity & Unity

The doctrine of the Trinity is difficult to describe. And although the Trinity is difficult to describe and virtually impossible for our finite minds to fully comprehend, it is one of the essential building blocks of orthodoxy. So, while we may never fully understand it, we must believe it.

One of the clearest articulations of the doctrine of the Trinity is in the Athanasion Creed which has been used by churches since the sixth century, and it states:

…we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity; Neither confounding the Persons; nor dividing the Essence. For there is one Person of the Father; another of the Son; and another of the Holy Ghost. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, is all one; the Glory equal, the Majesty coeternal.

There is a line in the creed that we should catch: “Trinity in Unity.” We believe that God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit are the three persons of the divine being. They are the one eternal God, coequal in glory and majesty, uncreated and coeternal. Inside this Trinity there is perfect unity. The Trinity is the perfect demonstration of perfect fellowship. From eternity past to eternity future the Godhead is infinitely satisfied with the fellowship He enjoys with Himself.

You see, God lacks nothing. God did not create man because he needed fellowship. He created man so that man could glorify God by entering into and enjoying the fellowship that God already enjoys. It is this fellowship that was lost at the fall of Adam. It is the loss of this fellowship that is the source of our alienation from and enmity with God. In reconciling us to God, this is the fellowship that Jesus restores. As a community of redeemed and reconciled saints, this is the fellowship that we have with one another.

So, come and enjoy the fellowship that we have together with the God who desires to have perfect fellowship with us. Come and rejoice in the redemption that has been accomplished as together we wait for the future reconciliation of all things. The doorway to this type of fellowship is the Gospel. Jared Wilson says it well,
The companionship of our God is cause for great exultation. He welcomes us into God-shaped community through the God-shaped [Trinitarian] gospel.[1]

Pastor Aaron

[1] Jared Wilson, Gospel Deeps, (Wheaton: Crossway, 2012), 77.

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Sin, Pastors, & Grace

It has become commonplace in certain sectors of Christianity to deify the pastor. The pastor is placed on a pedestal above the members of the congregation. His decisions and actions are not questioned and any attempts at accountability are seen as an attack on his authority. This practice is unwise and reveals that these congregations significantly misunderstand the nature and effects of sin in every believer, including the pastor.

This Sunday, after the morning service we have the opportunity to affirm into leadership two men, Don Callander and Mike Peterson, that have been set forward to the congregation to serve as pastors. I am excited that God has graciously given NWBC gifted, godly, qualified men that we are able to serve with in the shepherding care of the flock. As we vote on these men, we need to be reminded that serving as a pastor does not nullify one’s struggle with sin. Our old sin nature, brought about by our ancestor Adam, is active in all of us. Puritan pastor Richard Baxter reminds of the struggle each pastor has with sin:

Take heed to yourselves, for you have a depraved nature, and sinful inclinations, as well as others….And, alas! how weak are those of use that seem strongest! How apt to stumble at a very straw! How small a matter will cast us down, by enticing us to folly; or kindling our passions and inordinate desires, by perverting our judgments, weakening our resolutions, cooling our zeal, and abating our diligence! Ministers are not only sons of Adam, but sinners against the grace of Christ….It is most necessary, therefore that men of such infirmity should take heed to themselves, and be careful in the oversight of their own souls. (p. 73-74, The Reformed Pastor).

We (pastors and members) share a common struggle with sin. We stand together in need of grace. We share the responsibility of growing together in our knowledge of the gospel.

Pastor Aaron