February 7, 2018 Trinity Pt. 2

As you guys were trying to make those sandwiches with everything but your hands, how was it? It was much more difficult, right? You were missing the most important tool that you have access to as a two-handed human. When we don’t believe in the Trinity it is basically like trying to make a sandwich with no hands. It is significantly more difficult and almost impossible. When we reduce God to only the Father, then we reject the unity, the beauty and the loving relationship between the Father, Son and Spirit.

 

Last week we covered the Trinity:

·         Who the Trinity is not

·         Who the Trinity is

We looked at sects that believe the Trinity to not exist, which would remove The Son and The Holy Spirit from their place in the Godhead.

They are all co-equal, they just have different functions or personalities. This creates an economic subordination. Not that the Son is less than the Father or that the Spirit is less than the Son, but that these two choose to willingly subordinate themselves to be unified in will. This does not diminish their deity or authority. Their will is unified with the Father’s so that there is no disunity there. None of them will change what their will is for creation, existence, so there is no chance that at some point the Spirit will no longer desire to point us to the Son, or the Son will disobey the Father, or that the Father will stop loving the Son. This does not make them lesser than the Father, but that they perform different roles or actions than the Father.

None of them are higher up than the other because if they were then it would destroy the unity they have in the Trinity and also mean that one is “less” God than the other which would negate their being God. It would also mean that they would not be worthy of our worship and we would therefore be guilty of idolatry and blasphemy. We know through various scriptures that Jesus and the Holy Spirit are worshipped, and therefore must be God.

 

·         We looked at various failed attempts at describing the Trinity in “human” terms.

o   H2O, 3-leaf clover, a man: father, son, husband

o   These all boiled down to modalism (3 masks of the same person) or tritheism (3 beings that come together to create “god”).

·         What we should learn for this is that there are no human explanations that can fully cover the uniqueness and mystery of the Trinity. All analogies break down at some point.

o   But, this should not discourage us from trying to learn more to better understand the Father, Son and Spirit.

Next we looked at who the Trinity is (as well as we can understand)

We also looked at who the Trinity is and scripture to support their being God:

·         The Father

·         The Son

·         The Holy Spirit

Finally, we looked at several examples, but not all, of the Trinity in scripture

 

This week we will look more at the functions of the Trinity.

In Creation/Life:

·         The Father sends the Son because he loves us

·         The Son glorifies the Father by showing us his love and pointing us to the Father

·          The Spirit makes the Son known that we may become like Him

       In Prayer:

·         The Father hears our prayer (Matthew 6:9-13)

·         The Son intercedes (1 Timothy 1:5-6; 1 Timothy 2:5)

·         The Spirit gives us access to the Father (Romans 8:15) and also being helped with how or what to pray to the Father (Eph 6:18; Rom 8:26)

There are times in scripture when there is clear similarity or unity of the Trinity: We will look at two

·         All three are prayed to

o   Father: Ephesians 1:16-17; Romans 16:25-27

o   Jesus: Acts 7:59; Revelation 22:20

o   Holy Spirit: Acts 13:2; 2 Corinthians 13:14

·         All three are worshipped:

o   Father: Matthew 6:9; 1 John  3:1

o   Son: John 20:28 (The Lord of Me, The God of Me); Matt 8:2-3

o   Spirit: Hebrew 9:14; Psalm 139:7-10; Phil 3:3

Let’s take a deeper look at the will of the Trinity.

We know that God is a judge, a ruler, but first He loved, more specifically, He loved His Son.

John 17:24

The Trinity did not have to create, they were unified and content in their shared love and community with each other, but out of the outpouring of their love, creation came to exist.

It is not that God needed to create the world to be satisfied. The Father, Son and Spirit were happy in themselves and enjoyed one another before the world was. The Father so enjoyed fellowship that He wanted to have the goodness of it spread out and communicated or shared with others.

The Creation was a free choice out of nothing but love.

It was God’s over-flowing love for the Son that motivated him to create, and creation is his gift to his son.

The reason that we are drawn to love others is because being created in God’s image gives us the desire to be a reflection of the Trinity in that we are drawn to love and be in relationships (not necessarily romantic) with people around us. We have a desire for community.

I hinted two weeks ago of a little of what I would talk about this week.
Scripture indicates something interesting about the character of God. When we look at John 17:24 we see Jesus proclaiming that even before the creation, God loved him. So, what this means is that before God was a creator, a judge or anything else, He was loving. If we are to view scripture through the lens of God being loving first and foremost, it will change our perspective on what we read. We can look at the events of The Fall through the lens of love.

·         Adam and Eve loved themselves more than they loved God, more than they loved each other and therefore sinned against God. Instead of wiping out Adam and Eve, God had compassion on them. He clothed them in animal skins covering their sin, while also foreshadowing what will come in Genesis 3, where Christ will cloth humanity in His righteousness. Had God been anything other than loving, He could have destroyed Adam and Eve and been completely justified.

·         We see again with the Flood that God showed compassion on Noah’s family and humanity as a whole by destroying those that were wicked but saving him. He could have just as easily destroyed all of humanity but he sent them Noah as a beacon of what was to come and no one listened. So, when the time came, it was too late. God saved the one family that actually listened to His warning.

·         There are countless other examples of how God showed His love to us even through the darkest situations. There is one account that is greater than any other. It was prophesied from Genesis 3 and throughout the entire Old Testament. This was the life of Christ. Through God’s love, He sent his son to live a live that showed us exactly who God is through his compassion and mercy to those that had been rejected by everyone else. He cared for the broken and downtrodden. He redeemed the creation that God loved, those that listened and accepted. He then sent the Holy Spirit to continue this mission by pointing us to Christ who would in turn point us to the Father and His love. Through this understanding, it can really change how we view God and the Trinity.

The Father was love before he was Ruler, Judge, Creator,

 

The Trinity helps us understand things such as family, relationships, sacrificial love, and loving others amongst many other things. How, you ask? Let’s check it out!

Family: Sometimes we have trouble understanding the Father as good when we have a difficult earthly father. We see the example of the love that the Father has for the Son through scripture, how he calls him beloved during the baptism, and how he loved him before creation, how he was in the bosom of the Father (a sign of intimacy, of close love). God loves us as his children in the same way, that we are adopted into His family.

Our families should model this type of relationship. God created Adam and Eve to be a family and to have children so that they may reflect the love that He has for the Son. He creates a family and makes people designed for fellowship with each other. “As the Father, Son and Spirit have always known fellowship with each other, so we in the image of God are made for fellowship.” In the perfect family we reflect the love and unity that the Trinity has for one another. We should strive to reflect that, even though sometimes we don’t or have difficulty doing so.

Relationships:

If God was only the Father, if the Son and the Spirit were not fully God, then there would be no need for relationships, but we see that because of this unity within the Trinity that we, because we are created in the image of God, have this desire for relationships.

We have this innate since of community, wanting to fit in with people or belonging. We were given this desire because of the oneness of the Trinity. We were given it as a reflection of the Trinity, even though there are times we try to find this sense of belonging in the wrong crowd. We should find this sense of belonging in God, and then with our brothers and sisters in Christ.

Sacrificial Love:

We see sacrificial love in the person of the Son. He left heaven, from the Father and the Spirit and came to earth. He loved the creation so much so that He would come here. He would become the sin offering on the cross and return humanity to a place that we could be in communion with the Trinity again. We would see what outward facing love looks like because of how Jesus put others before himself, how he loved the broken hearted and the needy. We should emulate Jesus in that we should put others before ourselves. We should be the love of God to those in the world, so that they may one day experience the same communion or relationship that we have with God. This may cost us our comfort, our time, our money and maybe even our life, but if we are to be a reflection of the love of God, nothing is more important than revealing the love of God to those around us that desperately need it.

Loving Others:

Basically by looking at the other things we have already discussed we can see why and how we should love others. The love of the Father, Son and Spirit is within us and we should be a reflection of that in every aspect of our lives. We will find different ways to express that love, but ultimately we are called to love our enemies and we can only do that when we have the love of God within us.

 

Comments