Trinity and Creation

The name of our University presents that mysterious and wonderful concept of the Three-in-One. While the word "Trinity" isn't found in Scripture, many great Biblical passages can be collected from Old and New Testaments alike which reveal this Trinitarian character of God. Perhaps "the great commission" comes to mind: "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you." (Matthew 28:19-20, NIV). Or perhaps Jesus' baptism by John: "the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: 'You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.' " (Luke 3:22).

Early in the semester, in a number of my physics or astronomy classes at Trinity Western University, I briefly discuss a verse which is somewhat subtle and perhaps doesn't come to mind right away as Trinitarian.

Together with the Psalmist, the church confesses:

"By the word of the LORD were the heavens made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth." (Psalm 33:6)

We often think of creation as an act of God the Father, as the Apostles' Creed begins: "I believe in God, the Father Almighty, the Maker of heaven and earth."

But in this passage we can see in a nutshell that all Persons of the Trinity are involved in the creation of the world.

Here "LORD" is that special name which God revealed first to Moses in the episode of the burning bush, in Hebrew "YHWH", and often pronounced "Yahweh" or "Jehovah". It designates God as eternally self-existent, primary, before all things, and a God who is covenantally faithful to His people and to His creation, God the Father.

But where are the Son and Spirit?

Well, we have "the word of the LORD", and especially in John 1 we learn to identify Jesus Christ as "the Word": "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made...The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth." (John 1:1-3,14) So, the "word of the LORD", by whom the heavens were made (Psalm 33:6), is Jesus Christ, God the Son, the second Person of the Trinity.

And finally, we have "breath", which is the Hebrew word "ruach", which means "wind" or "spirit" or, indeed, "Spirit". God the Father creates by means of God the Son and God the Holy Spirit!

So, as we study creation at Trinity, we can also see the Trinity in creation! This is true not only of the "physical creation" as it's often conceived, but the creation in all its aspects as it is unfolded and unpacked in the multiplicity of disciplines represented, from art to zoology. What an amazing privilege that, once having received the revelation of the Triune God through creation and through the Scriptures, we can, in the light of that revelation, communally explore the creation at Trinity!

 

Last updated Jun. 1st, 2009 at 4:04pm by Arnold Sikkema