Summary: A guide to help ease understanding of the Holy Trinity.
Great Mysteries of the Faith
How Can One God Be Three Persons?
How many of you have seen the new advertising campaign on television for the store Staples? As you may already know, the slogan for the store is this: Staples – that was easy. To build off of this slogan, they have now created a series of ads featuring the easy button. Basically, all you have to do is press the easy button and all of your problems and questions are solved right away. For example, one ad features two armies on the battlefield. One army is significantly overmatched in the battle, so when the larger force begins to charge, they go to their secret weapon. Out comes the easy button, and when they push it, a large wall rises out of the ground between them and the other army keeping them protected. They even have another commercial in which a man in the office uses a coworker’s easy button to find his easy button which he lost among the clutter of the office.
The funny thing about all of this is that Staples has actually received requests by their customers in stores and over the phone asking to purchase the easy button. Now, I suppose most of these requests are jokes, but chances are, some of them are serious. Deep down, I think everyone knows that the easy button is fictitious, but deep down, I think a lot of people really want and need an easy button in their lives. After all, how many of you would like to have an easy button available to you when tough times come? I think all of us would.
We have been talking about the great mysteries of the faith for the past few weeks, and to tell you the truth, it would be nice to have an easy button to answer some of these questions. This week’s question is no different. How can one God be three persons? Now, when we start talking about the character of God, most of it is too much for our little minds to fathom. However, I think God reveals enough of himself in Scripture to get us by in this life. Then, in the next life, we will get the easy button in heaven and we will get to know the rest of the story. Let’s see what we can uncover this morning to get us through until God reveals himself to us completely in the next life.
Many times in Scripture, we are taught about the Trinity. Even though the word Trinity never appears in Scripture, most of us know what it means. It simply refers to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – the three persons that make up the Godhead. Even thought this word is not Biblical, we can see evidence of it in Scripture. One of these occurs in Matthew 28:19. Most of you know this Scripture as the Great Commission. It is Jesus’ last instructions to His disciples. He tells them, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Now, Jesus had just beaten death and proved that He was God, and now, He is passing on the information that the Father and the Spirit are equally God as well. It seems that He is telling us that there are three Gods. However, when we look at other Scripture, we can see that this is not the case. One of these Scriptures is James 2:19. James states, “You believe there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that – and shudder.” It seems that James is telling us that it is pretty common knowledge that there is only one God. How can this be? How can the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit all be God and there still only be one God? This morning, I am going to try and give you some answers to these mysteries, and I am going to answer these questions by asking three more questions. Before we do this, let’s go to the Lord in prayer.
Question #1: Are the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit equally God?
If I were to bring in a chicken this morning, how many people would be able to tell me that it is a chicken? But, how do you know it is a chicken? Many years ago, the “Chicken Methodology” was developed by scientists to determine what some unknown chemicals were that they were using in experiences. Basically, the chicken methodology goes like this:
If it looks like a chicken, walks like a chicken, clucks like a chicken –
It’s a chicken!
As science students worked with certain unknown chemicals, they would take a look at their qualities to see what similarities they had to known chemicals they had worked with before. When all these chemicals qualities matched up with a known chemical, they could assume that it was that chemical. This morning, we are going to use this methodology to prove that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are all in fact God.