Ciphering

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Daily Reform, Proverbs 8:1-4, 22-31

From the Reformer

Now what the third person is, the holy evangelist, St. John, teaches, chapter 15, where he says: “But when the Comforter is come, which I will send unto you from the Father, the Spirit of truth which proceeds from the Father, he shall testify of me.” Here Christ speaks not only of the office and work of the Holy Ghost, but also of his substance and faith; he goes out or proceeds from the Father, that is, his going out, or his proceeding, is without all beginning, and everlasting. Therefore the holy prophet Joel gives him the name, and calls him, “the Spirit of the Lord.”

Now, although this article seem strange or foolish, what matters it? `tis not the question whether it be so or no, but whether it be grounded on God’s Word or no. If it be God’s Word, as most surely it is, then let us make no doubt thereof; He will not lie; therefore, let us keep close to God’s Word, and not dispute how Father, Son, and Holy Ghost can be one God; for we, as poor wretches, cannot know how it is that we laugh; or how with our eyes, we can see a high mountain ten miles off; or how it is, that when we sleep, in body we are dead, and yet live. This small knowledge we cannot attain unto; no, though we took to our help the advice and art of all the wise in the world, we are not able to know the least things which concern ourselves; and yet we would climb up with our human wit and wisdom, and presume to comprehend what God is in his incomprehensible majesty.

—Martin Luther, Table Talk

Pulling It Together

Some say that if they cannot reason a thing, that thing cannot be. Yet those same folks believe Calculus is real. I say those people then have faith. Of course, they would counter that there are classes for Calculus and that others understand it; therefore it is real. There are also classes in Theology and Biblical Studies; there are people who understand these matters. Yet people still believe in Calculus when they do not comprehend it. Those people have a kind of faith. Their “faith” is not deep enough to embrace the Triune God spoken of in scripture because the “formula” three and yet One is tougher than Calculus.

Trusting higher math somehow sets the world in order—especially when one trusts it to others. It feels right that there are things bigger than oneself and One that make sense of “it all.” God is bigger than one can reason; God is a higher math than Calculus. Comprehending how there can be three substantial Beings comprising one essential Being should be tough to cipher. Indeed, it is impossible except through faith in God’s word about the matter.

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

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