Category: Columns

Article II-B of The Baptist Faith & Message 2000: God the Son

Jesus is the eternal Son of God who, in the Incarnation, set aside his privileged position at the Father’s right hand (but not his deity) in order to become a human being who rescued us from sin by becoming sin for us on the cross.

Article II-B of The Baptist Faith & Message 2000 reads:

“Christ is the eternal Son of God. In His incarnation as Jesus Christ He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. Jesus perfectly revealed and did the will of God, taking upon Himself human nature with its demands and necessities and identifying Himself completely with mankind yet without sin. He honored the divine law by His personal obedience, and in His substitutionary death on the cross He made provision for the redemption of men from sin. He was raised from the dead with a glorified body and appeared to His disciples as the person who was with them before His crucifixion. He ascended into heaven and is now exalted at the right hand of God where He is the One Mediator, fully God, fully man, in whose Person is effected the reconciliation between God and man. He will return in power and glory to judge the world and to consummate His redemptive mission. He now dwells in all believers as the living and ever present Lord.”

Simply stated, the doctrine of the Incarnation means the eternal Son of God took on human flesh in the person of Jesus of Nazareth. As such, Jesus is one person in two natures: divine and human. As the apostle John writes, “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14).

The importance of this truth should not be overlooked. If Jesus is not divine, he cannot be the Christ; if he is not human, he cannot be our Mediator. 

The doctrine of the Incarnation flows naturally from a biblical understanding of the Trinity. Historic Christianity affirms belief in one infinitely perfect, eternal, and personal God, the transcendent creator and sovereign sustainer of the universe. This one God is triune, existing eternally and simultaneously as three distinct, but not separate, persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. 

In this light, Jesus clearly may be seen as the eternal Son of God who, in the Incarnation, set aside his privileged position (but not his deity) at the Father’s right hand  in order to become a sinless human who rescued us from sin by becoming sin for us on the cross (2 Cor. 5:21). 

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Article II-A of the Baptist Faith & Message 2000: God the Father

God the Father is the first person of the Trinity. He is a divine, eternal, non-human person who is immortal and invisible. He adopts believing sinners as his sons and daughters.

Article II-A of The Baptist Faith & Message 2000 reads:

“God as Father reigns with providential care over His universe, His creatures, and the flow of the stream of human history according to the purposes of His grace. He is all powerful, all knowing, all loving, and all wise. God is Father in truth to those who become children of God through faith in Jesus Christ. He is fatherly in His attitude toward all men.”

There is little dispute among professing Christians that our Heavenly Father is God. But if we fail to understand the Father correctly, and if we miss the clear teachings of Scripture with respect to his relationship with the other members of the Godhead, then the biblical doctrines of creation, redemption, and restoration suffer as well.

It’s important to note while the Father is a person, he is not human. Balaam – a scoundrel who prophesied for hire – nevertheless spoke the truth concerning God’s unchanging decrees when he said, “God is not a man, that he might lie, or a son of man, that he might change his mind. Does he speak and not act, or promise and not fulfill?” (Num. 23:19).

On another occasion, the prophet Samuel informs Saul that the Lord has torn away the kingship of Israel from Saul and given it to David. “Furthermore,” he says, “the Eternal One of Israel does not lie or change his mind, for he is not man who changes his mind” (1 Sam. 15:29). Other Old Testament passages make similar claims (Job 9:32; Isa. 31:2; Hos. 11:9). 

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The Holy Spirit and Scripture

This is the last in a series of excerpts from “What Every Christian Should Know About the Trinity,” published by the MBC’s High Street Press (visit

The Holy Spirit is the primary agent through whom the Scriptures came to us. He superintended the thoughts and words of the prophets and apostles so that what they wrote were the very words of God. 

In a previous column, we looked at 2 Timothy 3:16-17 and 2 Peter 1:20-21. These two passages are key to our understanding of the Bible as the breathed-out Word of God given to men directed by the Holy Spirit. 

But in addition to these verses, the Bible reveals other ways the Holy Spirit works in concert with the Father and the Son to confirm biblical truths. Here are just a few examples:

Ezekiel 2:1-2 – “He [the Lord] said to me, ‘Son of man, stand up on your feet and I will speak with you.’ As he spoke to me, the Spirit entered me and set me on my feet, and I listened to the one who was speaking to me.”

The same Spirit of God that energizes the chariot wheels (Ezek. 1:12, 19; 10:16-17) now enters Ezekiel and supplies the strength needed to carry out his prophetic ministry. This same Spirit superintends the prophet’s words as they are recorded in the book bearing his name. 

The Spirit appears along with “the likeness of the Lord’s glory” (1:28). Perhaps this is a rare vision of the preincarnate Christ. Or, at the very least, it’s a veiled view of Yahweh on His heavenly throne. 

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Jesus and Scripture

This is another in a series of excerpts from “What Every Christian Should Know About the Trinity,” published by the MBC’s High Street Press (visit

Although Jesus doesn’t leave us with words He penned, He speaks and acts in ways that become Scripture when faithful eyewitnesses record them. And He makes it clear He is working in concert with the Father and the Spirit. 

For example, Jesus claims to be sent by the Father: “For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me” (John 6:38). In addition, Jesus casts out demons by the power of the Holy Spirit: “And if I drive out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you” (Matt. 12:28). 

Jesus claims not only to speak the truth, but to be truth incarnate: “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).

At the same time, Jesus confirms the inspiration and authority of the Hebrew Scriptures. He tells His listeners in the Sermon on the Mount, “Don’t think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or one stroke of a letter will pass away from the law until all things are accomplished” (Matt. 5:17-18). 

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God the Father and Scripture

This is another in a series of excerpts from “What Every Christian Should Know About the Trinity,” published by the MBC’s High Street Press (visit

In the previous column, we introduced the biblical teaching that while the Holy Spirit is the divine agent of God’s written revelation, He moved in concert with the Father and the Son to give us the Bible. 

Now, let’s survey a sampling of Bible passages that show how the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit work together to give us the Scriptures. In this column, we focus on the Father. In future columns, we turn our attention to Jesus and the Spirit.

Consider just a few of the dozens of people to whom the Father speaks directly. In these verses, the Father either is implied as the speaking member of the Trinity, or the context identifies Him as such:

Cain: “Then the Lord said to Cain …” (Gen. 4:6-16)

Noah: “God said to Noah …”  (Gen. 6:13-21)

Job and his friends: “Then the Lord answered Job …” (Job 38:1 – 42:8)

Abimelech: “But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night and said …” (Gen. 20:3-7)

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