Beyond Knowledge

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Earthrise from Apollo 8

Daily Reformation, Isaiah 6:1-8

From the Reformer

Sabellius says that the Father, Son, and Spirit, indicate some distinction in God. Say, they are three, and he will bawl out that you are making three Gods. Say, that there is a Trinity of Persons in one Divine essence, you will only express in one word what the Scriptures say, and stop his empty prattle. Should any be so superstitiously precise as not to tolerate these terms, still do their worst, they will not be able to deny that when one is spoken of, a unity of substance must be understood, and when three in one essence, the persons in this Trinity are denoted. When this is confessed without equivocations we dwell not on words. But I was long ago made aware, and, indeed, on more than one occasion, that those who contend pertinaciously about words are tainted with some hidden poison; and, therefore, that it is more expedient to provoke them purposely, than to court their favour by speaking obscurely.

—John Calvin, Institutes

Pulling It Together

Even the liturgies of the Old Testament proclaim the oneness of God’s persons. God is not merely holy but, “Holy, holy, holy, is Yahweh.” The clues to comprehending just a little of the greatness one calls God are present in the scripture. Yet just reading them will not provide the seeker with that for which he seeks. God is not merely interested in furnishing you knowledge. He wants to have a relationship with you. Therefore, the one who simply comes seeking information will likely be disappointed. God wills to give more than data; he would give himself. Within relationship with the Holy, knowledge is garnered, but there is more. When Yahweh dwells in the inner person by faith, he gives himself, and his gift is so much more than knowledge. He does this so that you “may be strengthened to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know Christ’s love which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” (Eph 3:18-19) God does this; you do not. God would fill you with the largeness of himself that goes beyond mere knowledge.

© Mark E. Ryman, Daily Reformation: Devotions with the Reformers

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