7 JANUARY (BEGUN SUNDAY EVENING 8 JANUARY 1769)
The Three One
‘In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.’ Genesis 1:1
SUGGESTED FURTHER READING: Isaiah 42:1–7
God. Who can describe him! Guess at him by his works—but alas, we know them not. If I was qualified to speak at large of the magnitude, the motions, the regularities and order of the heavenly bodies, many of which, taken singly, are probably hundreds or thousands of times larger than the globe we live on—if I could help you to judge of their immense distances from each other and from us—if, to come lower, I could assist you to number the sand upon the seashore and the drops of water in the ocean, every one of which is as much the effect of divine power and the object of his providential care as the sun in the firmament—if I could give you a view of that great family in heaven and earth from the highest angel to the meanest worm, which all derive their being from him and could not subsist a single moment without him—this might give some assistance to help you to conceive of his greatness, his wisdom and goodness. The consideration of those things is very useful in its proper place to those who have leisure and abilities for it, but these are not the direct subjects of the gospel ministry. Such knowledge of God as is attainable from his works will neither break a hard heart nor heal a wounded conscience. I will rather speak of him as he has revealed himself in Scripture in a way more suited to sinners—the Lord Jehovah: Father, Word and Holy Spirit. The God who in the fullness of time was in Christ reconciling sinners to himself—he in the beginning created the heavens and the earth. The work of creation is ascribed to each of the glorious three: to the Word or Son (John 1:3; Colossians 1:16); to the Holy Spirit (Acts 4:24–25 compared with 1:16). Let us always keep in view the God of the Scriptures as the Three One—the Covenant God whose glory and grace is revealed to sinners in the person of Jesus Christ.
FOR MEDITATION: Although he is ‘the high and lofty One’ who inhabits eternity, he promises also to dwell with him who is ‘of a contrite and humble spirit’ (Isaiah 57:15).
SERMON SERIES: GENESIS, NO. 1 [3/4], GENESIS 1:1