The Father’s Humility in Creation

In the last post we discussed the humility of God the Father before creation. Today we turn to his humility in the act of creation.

The Father’s Humility in Creation

We have established the perfect equality of the three persons. It is also important to touch on distinction within the Trinity, historically called taxis. Bruce Ware gives us some helpful categories for understanding distinctions in the Godhead.

“For Trinitarian doctrine, distinction of personhood is as necessary to maintain as unity or equality of essence is also to maintain….It is clear that two categories seem to encompass the heart of their distinctiveness: relationship and role. Each is distinct in relationship within the Godhead such that each is who he is in part defined by the distinctive relationship each has with the others. The very identity of the first person of the Trinity is seen in and through his relationship as the Father of the Son. Likewise the very identity of the second person of the Trinity is seen precisely through and not apart from his being the Son of the Father. That the Spirit is subject to both Father and Son seems, then, to make it clear that his relationship is as one under the authority of the Father and the Son. Relationship, then, is a central category for understanding what distinguishes the three persons from each other.”

Colin Gunton further discusses the Father’s relational authority over the Son and Spirit.

“The priority of the Father is not ontological but economic. Such talk of the divine economy has indeed implications for what we may say about the being of God eternally, and would seem to suggest a subordination of taxis—of ordering within the divine life—but not one of deity or regard. It is as truly divine to be the obedient self-giving Son as it is to be the Father who sends and the Spirit who renews and perfects. Only by virtue of the particularity and relatedness of all three is God God.”

We are now positioned to discuss God’s humility toward the Son and Spirit in creation. Scripture designates the Father as the one holding supreme authority. He is identified as the architect of creation. Yet, it is precisely in creation where we glimpse this King’s humility.

He empowers the Son to speak the divine fiat that brings all things into existence (Jn 1:3). He tasks the Spirit with the honor of enlivening creation through the spoken word of the Son (Gen 1:2, Ps 33:6). The Father shared the glory of bringing all things into existence. He did not keep this to himself. In the New Testament the Father gladly takes the back seat along with the Spirit as they spotlight the Son as the Creator (Jn 1:3, 1 Cor 8:6, Col 1:16-17, Heb 1:2).

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