God could never be fully revealed as one. He is one; but He was revealed as one in contrast with a multiplicity of gods. But when revealed to be one, He was not fully revealed. He existed always in trinity in unity – that is unfathomable – but when He was revealed as one, before Chris’s incarnation, He did not suffer Himself to be approached, dwelling behind the veil. The way into the holiest had not yet been made manifest.
But when the Son was on earth in the bosom of the Father, He was the image of the invisible God, so ‘He that hath seen me hath seen the Father’ (John 14:9). If God had ceased to be invisible, Christ would have ceased to be God’s revealer and image. He would not have been God. The light of God would not have been in the world, and we would never have known God’s love, goodness, forbearance, patience, power or God’s nature and purity.
But this is not all. Although the darkness did not comprehend the light, the Holy Spirit has quickened us. The Spirit distributes to whom He will; but this is not separate from the will of the Father and the Son. They are one in counsel, mind, purpose, and thought; yet each acts in a distinct way. The Son was not separate from the Father. ‘The Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works’ (John 14:10). Darby says ‘ There is unity in all that constitutes oneness when we speak spiritually – not unity as one by arriving at the same things, or union, or by being united, as we are by having only one Spirit dwelling in all, but – by being one in eternal being; so that all else flows from that one will and counsel, yet so as that distinction in action in that will is revealed to us: not distinct will, but distinct willing’.
The creature cannot reach to God, or God would not be God. It is simply impossible for the finite reach to the infinite, otherwise neither would be finite nor infinite. Nor could the infinite God reveal Himself to a finite creature, neither physically nor morally. But God is revealed in the Son, by the work of Christ and the operation of the Holy Spirit. Man is able appreciate the Father’ s love, glory, righteousness and holiness, and is able to enjoy intelligently the love of both the Father and the Son, by the presence of the Holy Spirit.
We learn a lot from John. He said that ‘God so loved the world,’ (John 3:16) and speaks of grace and power bringing man into the knowledge and enjoyment of God. He tells us of the Father and the Son, and what Jesus said about the presence and work of the Comforter. John is the one who speaks particularly of the revelation of God. He does not emphasise man’s presentation to God whereas Paul does.
We are constrained by the limitations of language, but we understand that there could be no full revelation of the One God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit., but through the Son and by the Spirit. This is what the One God is, one identity of will and being, so that the three Divine Persons are essentially one and one only, distinct in willing and acting, but always willing and acting in total unity. The only full revelation of the one true God is in the Trinity. Our prayers rise to God. Through Christ the Son we have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
For original see A few words on the Trinity
Whilist writing the above, I thought of the hymn
Josiah Condor – Thou art the Everlasting Word
Image of the Infinite Unseen,
Whose being none can know;
Brightness of light no eye hath seen,
God’s love revealed below.
The light of love has shone in Thee,
And in that love our souls are free.