Make Straight the Way of the Lord
Bro. Mike Miller
The New Hampshire Baptist Confession, 1833
Of the True God
We believe that there is one, and only one, living and true God, an infinite, intelligent Spirit, whose name is JEHOVAH, the Maker and Supreme Ruler of Heaven and earth; inexpressibly glorious in holiness, and worthy of all possible honor, confidence, and love; that in the unity of the Godhead there are three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; equal in every divine perfection, and executing distinct and harmonious offices in the great work of redemption.
We agree with the above statement of faith on the doctrine of God. We would also add a few things to clear up some modern misconceptions and false teachings concerning the Godhead.
We would emphasize that there is perfect unity in the Godhead. There is no difference of opinion among the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit about anything whatsoever. What God the Father feels, believes, and declares about something, the Son and the Holy Spirit are of the same opinion and disposition. All teachings about the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit should agree and not present a contradiction in any way. We must emphasize this because there are ideas presented that, when considered carefully, set one over against the other.
For example, some have taken the fact that Christ is our "Advocate" with the Father and presented it in such a way that it sounds like Christ and the Father are at odds over what to do about sin. God the Father is harsh and merciless, and ready to drop us into hell in a heartbeat, while Christ is pleading and trying to persuade the Father not to judge us. In other words, Jesus is soft on sin while the Father is harsh and unforgiving. This is a misrepresentation of the whole matter.
For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. Rom. 8:15
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are all in agreement about sin and what to do about it - and they have been for eternity. The fact of the matter is that Jesus is the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. God does not look at the sin of mankind and his redemption as a ongoing challenge to be dealt with. Christ has died for sinners and has risen from the grave. It is finished! If you are a child of God by the new birth, which became a reality in your life when you repented of your sins and trusted Christ and his sacrifice for your sins, there is provision made for you concerning forgiveness. If you reject Christ you are throwing away the only hope you will ever have of being delivered from your sin and going to heaven. This is what is meant by Christ being our "advocate." He is not continually pleading with God the Father not to destroy us, as has been presented in modern theology. No such thing is taught in the Bible and there is no such division of opinion in the Godhead.
Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; - Heb. 1:3
Jesus is of the same opinion concerning sin as the Father - always has been and always will be. That is why He came and died and endured the shame and the pain of death. Don't believe that He is now defending sinners against God, or that He is soft on the sin that He gave his very blood to purge.
Besides being a terrible misrepresentation of God, this is also a terribly distorted representation of what salvation does for a person. According to this way of thinking, a saved person has no victory over sin, but lives in continual, habitual sin, and the only thing that keeps God the Father from destroying him instantly is Jesus standing in between preventing God the Father from doing what He wants to with you. This is NOT the Gospel message of deliverance from the bondage of sin! This is not freedom from sin! This is not forgiveness! This is no kind of salvation at all!
It should be added that the Holy Spirit is also in
agreement with the Father and the Son, and works to convict men of sin and point them to
Christ who made atonement for their sin, and is the only means by which they can obtain
forgiveness. Of the Holy Spirit Jesus said:
The Holy Spirit will never comfort someone about their sin until they repent of it, confess it, and forsake it. Many profess to be finding comfort from God while they continue in their sin. They seem to be assured that God understands and God pities them because of their sin. This is not the work of the Holy Spirit. They are not receiving this comfort and assurance from the Holy Spirit of God. The Spirit of God does not comfort while God the Father condemns. Their work complements and agrees with one another.
The Law of God is another area where much confusion is sown. God did not give the law in the heat of anger and then later repeal it or regret it. There is perfect unity and continuity in the plan of God to redeem man from sin. God gave the law and sent his Son to fulfill the Law. The Law was given to be our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ. The Law is not BAD and DREADFUL as it is so often presented. The Law is not a curse. The Law is HOLY, it is SPIRITUAL (Rom. 7). It is desirable and wonderful according to the Psalmist - "sweeter than the honeycomb" (Psalm 19). It should be presented in that manner and not as our enemy but our friend and something God gave as a blessing rather than a curse.
Much more can be said on this matter, but this is something for you to consider.