The Attributes of Divine Persons

E W Rogers, Oxford

Part 3 of 11 of the series The Fundamentals

A PERUSAL OF PSALM 139 will show clearly that God is omnipresent and omniscient. It is remarkable that Jonah did not quote this Psalm: it was far too pertinent to his state and actions - it condemned him. He quoted several other Psalms but not this. Add to these attributes that of omnipotence declared plainly by the existence and maintenance of creation, and we apprehend in feeble measure what an immense God is ours. He is 'from everlasting to everlasting', Ps. 90. 2, -eternal in His being. He is 'Jehovah: I change not'. He is immutable.
If, as we have shown, in our last article, the Son and the Spirit are equal in every respect in their essential Being with the Father, we may expect to find these attributes ascribed to them in the Holy Scripture.
Some vital references
Will you go to the trouble to turn up and ponder the following passages:
Touching the eternal Being of the Son, see John 1. 2; 8. 58; 17. 5; Rev. 1. 8, 17, 18; 22. 13.
Touching His immutability, see Heb. 1. 11-12 and 13. 8. We take much comfort in this, for to have a variable Saviour would destroy all sense of assurance.
Touching His omnipresence, see John 3. 13; Matt. 18. 20 and 28. 20. Though it should here be remarked that many boast in this fact, yet their behaviour hardly indicates that they are inwardly convicted of its reality. The 'Real Presence' of such a holy Person should produce awe and reverence.
Touching His omniscience, read Matt. 11.27; John 2. 23-25; 21. 17; Rev. 2. 23. What a thought! How easy it is to write these words, but how terrible (but for die constant efficacy of the cleansing blood of Christ) is the thought!
Touching omnipotence, read John 5. 17; Heb. 1. 3; Rev. 1. 8; 11. 7. How easy it is to fall into Israel's sin and to limit the Holy One by saying 'Can He?'. Turn to Mark 9. 23 and see Revised Version. 'If thou canst'. Note how the Lord repels the idea of questioning His power.
A Difficulty
Mark 13. 32 constitutes a difficulty with some, for they fail to reconcile the statement of that verse with the fact of the Lord's omniscience. Yet if one can affirm that there is only one thing which He does not know, it is an amazing affirmation of the immensity of what He does know. Let us suppose a partnership business, in which all have an equal share both of capital, and profits, and knowledge of affairs. But A is in charge of the stocks, B of the staff and C of the sales. Were you to ask B anything about the stocks he would disclaim know¬ledge, not essentially but administratively, for that is not his department. So, too, 'times and seasons the Father hath set in His own authority', Acts 1. 7, and therefore of the 'day and hour knoweth no man, not the Son, but the Father'. Besides, a voluntary refusal to know certain things for certain purposes does not bespeak ignorance, else we must say that Paul was ignorant of all else 'save Jesus Christ and him crucified' (see 1 Cor. 2. 2). The word 'know' does not only connote knowledge, it may imply acknowledgement.
Some, too, have found John 5.19 and 5. 30 incongruous with the affirmation of the Lord's omnipotence. But there is more than one kind of inability: there is such a thing as moral inability and it is of this that these two verses speak. It was morally impossible for the Lord Jesus to act independently of His Father. It was not an utter incompetency to do whatsoever He would. Else what shall we say? That One through whom all things were made could not do certain things within the 'all things' - things of a relatively insignificant nature? If He could do and did the greater, much more so the less.
Our Lord Incomprehensible
We should never forget that the Lord Jesus is incomprehensible to all save the Father, Matt. 11. 27. The Son reveals the Father to whom He will, but remains unknown in His fulness to all but the Father. The reason for this is that in Himself there are united two whole and perfect natures, deity with all its attributes and humanity with all its sinless characteristics. To the human reason these may appear to be contradictory. If He is omniscient why did He ask questions? If omnipotent, why did an angel strengthen Him? If omnipresent why, when on the mountain top was He not also on the lake? All such questions are resolved when we admit that we cannot explain His inscrutable person. The Father knows. We cannot, but we believe.
The Holy Spirit
Further, these divine perfections are also attributes of the Holy Spirit. Let the reader consult for His omnipresence Psalm 139. 7. For His omniscience 1 Cor. 2. 10 and II, His omnipotence is evidenced in Luke 1. 35; John 16. 13; Ps, 104. 30. In Heb. 9. 14 His eternal being is affirmed. To write at length on the Holy Spirit would far exceed our present space or intention, but this we may add. He is the inspirer of Scripture and what knowledge this assumes! He is the immediate agent in regeneration and what a miracle that is! See John 3. 6 and Titus 3. 5. He is spoken of in connection with the resurrection of the believer's body, Rom. 8. 11. What power will that display!
The harmonious working of all three Persons of the Godhead is one of the fascinating studies of Holy Scripture. We have referred to Luke 15, and 1 Peter 1. 2. But ponder the first fourteen verses of Ephesians 1 and note how these Persons all co-operate, doing their respective parts to bring into eternal effect the counsels of the Godhead. Note how in Hebrews 9. 14 (a) the Lord Jesus by (b) the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to (c) God. The value of these articles on the 'Fundamentals' will lie, not in the mere reading of them, but in the resort thereafter to our Bibles to develop for the nourishment of our own souls the truths, a bare outline of which we have sought to sketch.

There are 9 articles in
ISSUE (1961, Volume 12 Issue 3)

The Care of the Churches

The Attributes of Divine Persons

Liberty

Methods of Bible Study

Moses - The Man of God

New Testament Word Studies - Nous

Thanksgiving

Our Treatment of Truth

Where Love is - Prov. 15. 17

There are 11 articles in this series

The Inspiration of Scripture

On the being of God - The Holy Trinity

The Attributes of Divine Persons

Man

The Fall

Our Lord's Incarnation and Virgin Birth

The Deity of Christ

The Death of Christ

Redemption

Substitution

Eternal Punishment

There are 82 articles by this author

To Spread the Gospel - the Believer’s Responsibility

Smyrna

Pergamos

Thyatira

Sardis

Philadelphia

Laodicea

The Purpose of God

Paul’s Prayer

What a Change!

The Epistle to the Ephesians

The Mystery

Ministry in the Church

Gathered Threads

Some Practical Lessons

Paul’s Pastoral Epistles - Introduction

1 Timothy 1

1 Timothy 2

1 Timothy 3

1 Timothy 4

1 Timothy 5

1 Timothy 6

2 Timothy 1: ‘Be Courageous’

2 Timothy 2: ‘Be Careful’

2 Timothy 3: ‘Be Constant’

2 Timothy 4: ‘Be Considerate’

Titus 1: God is Faithful

Titus 2: Christian Behaviour and its Effects

Titus 3: The Christian and the State

The Believer’s Responsibility in Regard to the Spread of the Gospel

The Infallible Christ

Will the Church go through the Great Tribulation?

The Man of God out of Judah

Having been Gathered Out

‘For Me to Live is Christ’

Short Papers on Some Fundamental Truths

After all This

The Scriptures of Truth (Part 1)

The Scriptures of Truth (Part 2)

Evidences of New Birth

The Inspiration of Scripture

On the being of God - The Holy Trinity

The Attributes of Divine Persons

Eternal Punishment

Gospel Preaching: the Message, Motive and Method

The Believer’s Responsibility in regard to the Spread of the Gospel. 2 KINGS 7 : 9.

Question: What is the meaning of “being crafty, I caught you with guile”? (2 Cor. 12: 16)

Question: Ought Christians to testify to all whom they meet?

Question: Is it wise to submit to being called “Plymouth Brethren”?

Question: Assembly Ceasing to Exist

Question: Delivering unto Satan

Question: Does the pre-eminence of Christ Guarantee that the Saved will Outnumber the Unsaved?

Question: The Activities of The Holy Spirit in the Eternal State

Question: Is the Devil PERSONALLY able to operate in more than one place at a time?

Question: Are the instructions in James 5. 14 applicable to-day?

Question: What was wrong with the desire of the sons of Eli for roast flesh Instead of boiled flesh?

Question: Does John 14. 6 imply that the unevangelised heathen will be lost?

Question: Conviction of Sin?

Question: Attitude of Young Believers in Assembly

Question: Why did blind Bartimeus address the Lord Jesus as “Jesus, thou Son of David”?

Question: Were the “miracles” of Peter and Paul examples of faith comparable with... Heb. 11?

Question: Ministry before the Breaking of Bread?

Question: Necessary to be Baptised to Break Bread?

Question: Concerning “He that believeth on Me the works that I do shall he do also.”

Question: In what sense have believers been crucified with Christ?

Question: The Publishing of Able Brethren's Addresses to Conventions, etc.?

Question: Why are the Proverbs Neglected as a Basis for Practical Ministry?

Prayer to the Lord Jesus

Sanctification

The Ministry Of Reconciliation 2 Cor. 5. 19-21

Question: Does 1 Cor. 14. 34 apply to all meetings when brethren are present?

Question: How far are we justified in speaking of God as Father when preaching the gospel?

Question: What are we to understand by the “spiritual body” referred to in 1 Cor. 15?

Question: To what does the phrase, “that which is perfect,” refer in 1 Cor. 13?

Question: How is it that many of the laws in the O.T. appear to be quite cruel?

Question: If believers go to be with Christ immediately at death how can they be raised?

Question: What happens to the believer when he dies before the Lord returns?

Question: Sins of the believer at the Judgement Seat of Christ?

Question: Satan disputing with Michael?

Victory And Defeat

Paul’s thorn in the flesh

Evidences of New Birth