Some people worry and wonder whether they are addressing the Person of the Father or the Divine Essence when they pray the Lord’s Prayer. It is not at all surprising that strange thoughts come to a person in this extremely mysterious and incomprehensible article of faith and that occasionally one of these goes away and a word miscarries. But wherever the basis of faith remains intact, such splinters, chips, or straws will not harm us. But the foundation of faith, as we have heard,37 is this, that you believe that there are three Persons in the one Godhead and that each person is the same, one, perfect God, in other words, that the Persons are not intermingled and the essence is not divided but the distinction of Persons and the unity of the essence is preserved. For it is this mystery, of which, as we read in 1 Peter 1:12, the angels cannot behold and wonder their fill in all eternity and about which they are in bliss through all eternity. And if they were able to satisfy their longing, their happiness would end too. We, too, shall behold this, and it will make us eternally blissful, as the Lord says in John 17:3: “And this is eternal life, that they know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent.” In the meanmeantime, faith must cling to the Word, for reason cannot do otherwise than assert that it is impossible and contradictory that there should be three Persons, each one perfect God, and yet not more than one God; that only the Son is Man; that he who has the Father and the Son will surely learn to know the Holy Spirit from the Father and the Son.
Luther’s Works Vol. 15
TREATISE ON THE LAST WORDS OF DAVID
2 Samuel 23:1–7
Translated by MARTIN H. BERTRAM