When the son of god was on earth, one argument that broke out often among his followers was "Who's the greatest?" In our day, this line is most closely associated with Muhammad Ali, who once told a flight attendant that he refused to wear a seat belt because he was Superman and "Superman don't need no seat belt." Her response: "Superman don't need no airplane."

This is the original temptation ("You shall be as God"), and it continues to infect both families and small groups, congregations and denominations. Whenever we insist on our own way, take credit for a group's accomplishment, or walk away hurt because we weren't consulted, we're struggling with this form of self-centeredness and self-glorification.

By way of contrast, think about life within the Trinity. How do Father, Son, and Holy Spirit relate to each other? Are there lots of arguments over who's the most omniscient, the most omnipresent, or the oldest?

In that absence there is a lesson.

Love's 'Shyness'


Dale Bruner, in an essay on the Trinity, begins with the person of the Holy Spirit:
One of the most surprising discoveries in my own study of the doctrine and experience of the Spirit in the New Testament is what I can only call the shyness of the Spirit …
What I mean here is not the shyness of timidity (cf. 2 Tim. 1:7) but the shyness of deference, the shyness of a concentrated attention on another; it is not the shyness (which we often experience) of self-centeredness, but the shyness of an other-centeredness.

It is, in short, the shyness of love. Bruner points out the ministry of the Spirit in the Gospel of John, a ministry constantly to draw attention not to himself but to the Son—the Spirit comes in the Son's name, bears witness to the Son, glorifies the Son (cf. ...

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