Yesterday in our after-breakfast Bible reading time my family and I read the section on applications in Chapter 14, “God in Three Persons: The Trinity,” of Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology (Zondervan, 1994).
Because God in Himself has both unity (one God) and diversity (three persons–the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit), it is not surprising to find unity and diversity in the human relationships which He has established, two of which Grudem focuses on, marriage and the church.
Paul says in 1 Corinthians 11:3, “But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God” (ESV; all Bible quotations are from the ESV). Thus the relationship between a husband and a wife is similar to the relationship between the Father (“God”) and the Son (“Christ”). Other passages on marriage which Grudem quotes or refers to are Genesis 1:27; Genesis 2:24; 1 Corinthians 6:16-20; and Ephesians 5:31.
Paul says in 1 Corinthians 12:12, “For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body thiugh mnay, are one body, so it is with Christ.” Thus the relationship between the members of the church or body of Christ is similar to the relationship between the members of the human body, which Paul describes in 1 Corinthians 12:14-26. Other passages on the church which Grudem refers to are 1 Corinthians 12:4-11 and 27-30 on the diversity of gifts in the church (actually he refers again to 1 Corinthians 12:14-26, but I think that he intended to refer to 1 Corinthians 12:4-11 and/or 27-30); Ephesians 2:16 and 3:8-10 on the uniting of Jews and Gentiles in the church; and Ephesians 5:31-31 on the union between Christ and the church.
Grudem closes his consideration of applications of the doctrine of the Trinity by referring to the many activities that we carry out in everyday life in which many distinct individuals contribute to a unity of activity or purpose. He observes that we can see in them a faint reflection of the glory of God in his trinitarian existence.
Tomorrow I’ll share from my family’s discussion of the questions for personal application which Grudem poses at the end of Chapter 14, “God in Three Persons: The Trinity,” of his Systematic Theology. I’ll also share the Bible memory passage and hymn with which Grudem closes the chapter.