Summary: This is the first message in a series shared by 4 preachers on the Trinity and seeks to motivate listeners to deeper devotion and service to God.

Sermon for CATM - January 6, 2019 - Essential Truths The Triune God: Intro-God is Spirit; a Consuming Fire

John 4:21-26; Hebrews 12:28-29

When you read the Bible, when you study the Bible, you learn about God and you learn about you. You learn surprising things about God that expand your heart and mind, and you learn some surprising things about you. How much God truly loves you.

How much your struggles are very similar to the struggles of others. How you are not alone in the world in your desire to do good, but also how you are not alone in your struggle to do the right thing all the time.

You learn from the Bible that life is generally very difficult. And you learn that all who want to live for God also live with struggle.

Today we begin a new series for a New Year. We will be looking at essential truths about the Christian faith over the next few months.

We’re doing this to go deeper. We’re doing this because truth matters, because God cares that we understand what He has revealed about Himself.

It’s part of being a disciple, growing in our interest in and our understanding of Who God is. As we learn more about Who our heavenly father is, we learn more about ourselves as His Church, about ourselves as His beloved children.

So you learn about God, and you learn about you as you study the Bible.

I hope this series, shared by a number of different preachers, Pastor Arleen, Pastor James, Pastor Jan, Hannah Kim, will be a blessing, and will help us to better understand who God is, but more importantly, that we will come to desire to worship with more passion and more commitment in your day-to-day life. And then to have more energy to share our faith with others.

So there are 2 passage we’ve heard read today. On that talks about God being a Spirit, and another that talks about God being a consuming fire. We’re going to spend some time looking at both of these truths.

God is a Spirit

What are you without your body? You are a spirit or a soul.

Who you are, all your characteristics, your personality, your likes and dislikes, those can’t be understood by looking at you.

Those things can only be learned by observation and conversation. Heart to heart discussion.

Our spirit is the core of who we are. It is the center of our volition and our emotions.

We also know that God is a spiritual being. To worship in spirit, then, is to do something that is beyond the physical.

As we think afresh about the Trinity, the triune nature of God, we’re aware that the Trinity is One and 3 in One.

God the Father

God the Son

God the Holy Spirit

The word Trinity comes from 2 other words. ‘Tri’ meaning 3, and ‘Unity’ meaning 1.

When we think about God, as Christians we think of God as Trinity. That’s because God the Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit are presented in the Bible as God.

Yet God is One. This is a mystery on the one hand, but on the other it is a revealed mystery. The Bible presents, shows, reveals the Trinity in no uncertain terms.

There are metaphors that people sometimes use to try to describe the Triune nature of God.

They can be helpful, but they are limited in how well they describe the Trinity. All metaphors and similes about the Trinity are imperfect.

They are: the egg (shell, yoke, egg white), three components that make up a single whole.

H20: it appears as water,steam and ice. It’s all the same, just different forms of the same thing.

Another illustration would be the sun. From it we receive light, heat and radiation. 3 distinct aspects, but only one sun.

These are efforts to try to understand the nature of God, but no illustration will be perfect.

It needs to be understood that Christians don't believe in three Gods. That's an error called Tritheism.

Second, we don't believe that the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit are three "forms" of God—like, steam, water and ice. That's the heresy or error called Modalism.

This says that in the OT God appeared as the Father, in the NT God appeared as Jesus, now God appears as the Holy Spirit.

Third, we don't believe that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are "parts" or "pieces" or God. That would imply that Jesus is 1/3rd God, the Father is 1/3rd God, and the Holy Spirit is 1/3rd God.

You and I live in a three-dimensional world. All physical objects have a certain height, width, and depth.

One person can look like someone else, or behave like someone else, or even sound like someone else.

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