Summary: Is the church (body of Christ) ‘binitarian’ OR ‘Trinitarian?’ Many believe in the Father or Jesus Christ and just pay lip-service to the Holy Spirit.
Opening illustration: St. Augustine - so the story goes - was struggling to understand the doctrine of the Trinity. So he decided to go for a walk on the beach, where he saw a little boy digging a hole in the sand with a seashell. The boy then ran off to the ocean, filling the shell, and rushed back to pour it into the hole he had made.
“What are you doing, my little man,” St. Augustine asked.
“I’m trying to put the ocean into this hole,” the boy replied.
Augustine suddenly realized that this was precisely was he was trying to do … to fit the great mysteries of God into his mind.
Let us turn in our Bibles to Revelation 5 and check out the nature of the Triune God.
Introduction: The most difficult thing about the Christian concept of the Trinity is that there is no way to perfectly and completely understand it. The Trinity is a concept that is impossible for any human being to fully understand, let alone explain. God is infinitely greater than we are; therefore, we should not expect to be able to fully understand Him. The Bible teaches that the Father is God, that Jesus is God, and that the Holy Spirit is God. The Bible also teaches that there is only one God. Though we can understand some facts about the relationship of the different Persons of the Trinity to one another, ultimately, it is incomprehensible to the human mind. However, this does not mean the Trinity is not true or that it is not based on the teachings of the Bible. The Trinity is one God existing in three Persons. Understand that this is not in any way suggesting three Gods. Keep in mind when studying this subject that the word “Trinity” is not found in Scripture. This is a term that is used to attempt to describe the triune God—three coexistent, co-eternal Persons who make up God.
Within the One True God Exists a Plurality of Persons. The doctrine of the Trinity has these elements: (i) The is only One True God (monotheism); (ii) There is a plurality of persons within God, and this plurality is not imaginary, pretended, or temporary.
Is the church (body of Christ) ‘binitarian’ OR ‘Trinitarian?’ Many believe in the Father or Jesus Christ and just pay lip-service to the Holy Spirit.
What is the nature of The Triune God?
1. God the Father (Yahweh, Elohim, Abba)
The Throne and the Scroll: Symbols of God the Father and His Will
It is God the Father who sits upon the throne. The throne is a symbol of power and authority. The Father is the great king whose divine decrees brought forth the universe and initiates all activity. In the vision, the scroll in the right hand of God is a vivid symbol of God’s will and intention. This scroll contains His cosmic plans for redemption and judgment that unfolds in the Book of Revelation.
Alas! The scroll is sealed with seven seals, and no one in heaven or on earth can open it. By what means will God’s will be performed, how will the gap be leaped between the idea and its actuality?
Let us examine in greater depth Calvin’s second statement concerning the distinctive attributes of each person of the Trinity:
"To the Father is attributed the beginning of activity and fountain and wellspring of all things..."
In Scripture, God the Father is revealed to be the initiator of all activity. He is the mighty King from whose will and intention flows forth all things. He is the Creator! In the beginning God said "Let there be light" and there was light. God said, "let us make man in our image." And humankind was formed from the dust of the ground and given dominion over the earth.
After humanity fell to Satan’s designs and was consigned to alienation from God and bound by the curse of sin and death, it was God who established a way of blessing, by making a covenant with Abraham.
Then in the fullness of time God the Father chose to send Jesus Christ to bring eternal life to all who should believe in Him. Thus, it is God the Father who is the originator of all activity. In the mystery of God’s will all things have their beginnings.
2. God the Son (Yeshua)
The Lamb who was Slain: A symbol of Jesus Christ Who Alone is Able to Fulfill God’s Purpose
The Lamb who was slain is symbolic of Jesus Christ. He is the crucified and risen Lord. He alone can open the seven seals, and fulfill the will and intention of the Father written therein.
"To the Son, wisdom, counsel, and the ordered disposition of all things;"
God the Son is the executor of the Father’s will. The one through whom and in whose wisdom the will of the Father is accomplished. God the Father chose to create all things, but it was through God the Son that this was accomplished. Jesus Christ, as the eternal "logos" was with God at the beginning and was the means through whom God the Father created the universe.