The Holy Trinity
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ (The Son), and the love of God (The Father),
and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.
2 Corinthians 13:14 (Spoke 3, Cycle 3)
The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; One God in Three Persons. The Doctrine of the Trinity is one of the
greatest and most important revelations of all Scripture. Any thorough discussion of it will almost
certainly cite the verse above. In his review of 2 Corinthians, Baxter devoted two whole pages to discuss this
one verse, which he opened as follows:
The last verse of 2 Corinthians has become the best-known benediction in Christendom, and well
merits reflection. Whether, as some expositors aver, it is "alone sufficient to prove the Biblical doctrine of the Trinity"
is open to question; but taken with all the other cognate intimations of Scripture, it certainly "completes the evidence."
Baxter concluded that it "furnishes clear proofs of personal tripartition in the Godhead – proofs which, so
far as we know, have never been satisfactorily countered by unitarian authorities, and which, so far as we can see,
cannot possibly be overthrown." The significance of these comments is amplified by the unique revelation of
"the Lord the Spirit" discussed above as well as the fact that
this verse, which some have seen as "alone sufficient to prove the Biblical doctrine of the Trinity" appears
on the Third Spoke of the Wheel.
Traditional theology recognizes two fundamental aspects of the Trinity called "ontological" and "economic."
Here is how Berkhof described them in his Systematic Theology :
- The Ontological Trinity: This refers to aspects of the Trinity based on essence and being.
Berkhof says: "The subsistence and operation of the three persons in the divine Being is marked by a certain
definite order. ... In personal subsistence the Father is first, the Son second, and the Holy Spirit third.
It need hardly be said that this order does not pertain to any priority of time or of essential dignity,
but only to the logical order of derivation. The Father is neither begotten by, nor proceeds from any
other person; the Son is eternally begotten of the Father, and the Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son from all eternity."
- The Economic Trinity: This refers to aspects of the Trinity that manifest in Time,
such as Creation, Redemption, and Sanctification. Berkhof says: "There are certain personal attributes by
which the three persons are distinguished. ... Though [all the works of God] are all works of the three persons jointly,
creation is ascribed primarily to the Father, redemption to the Son, and sanctification to the Holy Spirit.
This order in the divine operations points back to the es-sential order in God and forms the basis
for what is generally known as the economic Trinity.
Augustine (died 430 AD) expressed similar ideas in his treatise On the Trinity in which he also
explicitly linked the Holy Spirit with the primary Spoke 3 theme of giving:
And yet it is not to no purpose that in this Trinity the Son and none other is called the
Word of God, and the Holy Spirit and none other the Gift of God, and God the Father alone is
He from whom the Word is born, and from whom the Holy Spirit principally proceeds.
The Bible is God's Self-Revelation. He designed it on the "definite" and "essential" order of His
own Trinitarian nature. The first three Hebrew Letters link directly to the characteristic work of each of
the three Persons, and all of this fits perfectly with the dominant themes of the first three Books,
which are, of course, fully integrated with their corresponding Spokes:
Nothing could be plainer than this. The Holy Spirit (Gimel) sequentially proceeds from the Father (Aleph)
and the Son (Bet). It is as simple as 123, ABC, though the ramifications extend to the
unfathomable mystery of the very nature of God! Think about what this really implies:
the order of the Books, the meaning of the Hebrew Letters, the structure of the Hebrew language, and the
Alphabetic Verses all cohere to reveal the nature of the everlasting God, and in so doing,
they proclaim the Gospel of our Salvation as well! And this is only a hint of the truly endless Wisdom
the Lord of History engraved in His Capstone! Glory to God!