Summary: 1) The Tri-unity of God is One God 2) The Tri-unity of God in Three Persons 3) The Tri-unity of God Can be Confused and 4) The Tri-unity of God impacts us
Summer time allows us to do quite unique things apart from the rest of the year. As we are currently experiencing, it means short term missions trips for some who normally don’t go the rest of the year. It tends to be wedding season, like we are preparing for now and it also means special outings like going to the beach.
Illustration: Augustine, a Bishop of Hippo, in northern Africa, while puzzling over the doctrine of the Trinity, was walking along the beach one day when he observed a young boy with a bucket, running back and forth to pour water into a little hole. Augustine asked, “What are you doing.” The boy replied, “I’m trying to put the ocean into this hole.” Then Augustine realized that he had been trying to put an infinite God into his finite mind.( Green, M. P. (1989). Illustrations for Biblical Preaching : Over 1500 sermon illustrations arranged by topic and indexed exhaustively (Revised edition of: The expositor’s illustration file). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.)
• This is the challenge for us, like Paul, as we saw with Romans 11:33-36: To fathom the infinite God by our finite mind.
• It has been one of the most challenging and contentious topics in church history is over the nature of the tri-unity of God.
• The term Trinity is a word not found in Scripture, but used to express the doctrine of the unity of God as subsisting in three distinct Persons. This word is derived from the Gr. trias, first used by Theophilus (A.D. 168-183), or from the Lat. trinitas, first used by Tertullian (A.D. 220), to express this doctrine.
The essence of the propositions involved in the doctrine are that: 1. God is one, and that there is but one God (Deut. 6:4; 1 Kings 8:60; Isa. 44:6; Mark 12:29, 32; John 10:30). 2. That the Father is a distinct divine Person (hypostasis, subsistentia, persona, suppositum intellectuale), distinct from the Son and the Holy Spirit. 3. That Jesus Christ was truly God, and yet was a Person distinct from the Father and the Holy Spirit. 4. That the Holy Spirit is also a distinct divine Person. (Easton, M. (1996, c1897). Easton’s Bible dictionary. Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.)
In dealing with challenging things, we tend to isolate particular elements that we can understand, and almost forget the others. This message this morning is only an overview of the topic, to give us some of the essential elements. If we spend dedicated time in considering the Tri-unity of God, we not only come to see the impact of each person of the Godhead in salvation, have a richer worship but come to see more clearly prayer and even a solid defense of the faith.
Scripture clearly shows the Tri-unity of God. First in being that:
His unity is stressed in the Bible in order that we might not fall into the very common error of polytheism, even when talking about the God of the Bible.
Deuteronomy 6:4 "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. (ESV)