The name “Jesus Christ, the Son of God” is a window into the eternal, essential life of our God. In John 17:24, Jesus prays, “Father . . . you loved me before the foundation of the world.” And that is the God revealed by Jesus Christ. Before He ever created, before He ever ruled the world, before anything else, this God was the Father loving His Son in His Holy Spirit.
The Father loves His Son in a very particular way, something we can see if we look at the baptism of Jesus:
And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” (Matt. 3:16–17)
Here, the Father declares His love for His Son and His pleasure in His Son, and He does so as the Spirit rests on Jesus. For the way the Father makes known His love is precisely through giving His Spirit. In Romans 5:5, for instance, Paul writes of how God pours His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit. It is, then, through giving Him the Spirit that the Father declares His love for the Son.
In other words, to talk about “Trinity” is only a way of speaking about the God who is revealed in Jesus, the God we meet in the gospel. The Trinity is not the product of abstract speculation, for when you proclaim Jesus, the Spirit-anointed Son of the Father, you proclaim the triune God.
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Why did the Father send the Son to us? Part of the answer is our fallenness and sin. Part of the answer is that God loved the world, even in our rebellion (see John 3:16). That is stunning enough, but later on in John’s gospel, Jesus speaks of an even more primal and potent reason. Praying to His Father, Jesus says:
O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them. (17:25–26)
That is, the Father sent His Son to make Himself known—meaning not that He wanted simply to download some information about Himself, but that the love the Father eternally had for the Son might be in those who believe in Him, and that we might enjoy the Son as the Father always has. Here, then, is a salvation no single-person God could offer even if He wanted to: the Father so delights in His eternal love for the Son that He desires to share it with all who will believe. Ultimately, the Father sent the Son because the Father so loved the Son and wanted to share that love and fellowship by the Holy Spirit. The Father’s love for the world is the overflow of His almighty love for His Son.
The Father, then, is not about sprinkling blessings from afar, and His salvation is not about being kept at a distance. We are not merely pitied and forgiven by our Creator. Instead, He pours all His blessings out on His Son and then sends Him that we might share in His glorious fullness. The Father so loves us that He desires to catch us up into the loving fellowship that He enjoys with the Son in the Spirit. And that means we can know God as He truly is: as Father. In fact, we can know the Father as our own Father.