Summary: “All things that the Father has are mine. Therefore I said that He will take of mine and declare it to you” John 16:15.
Theme: How great is Your Name
Text: Pr. 8:22-31; Rom. 5:1-5; Jn. 16:12-15
Today is Trinity Sunday - the day we celebrate the Holy Trinity of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. We can only understand this revelation, as the Scriptures teach us, when the Spirit, who is identical with Jesus Christ as He is with His Father, reveals it to us. Jesus is the truth and the Holy Spirit the Spirit of truth. Just as Jesus Christ received everything from the Father and was the “way” to know the Father while on earth, so the Holy Spirit has received everything from Jesus Christ in order to be the “way” for us to know Him. The difference between Jesus and the Holy Spirit is that Jesus, the divine Word become incarnate and dwelt among us whereas the Holy Spirit is not incarnate in one body or person but dwells in all who love Jesus by keeping his word. Like Jesus the Holy Spirit is in conflict with the “world” which cannot see or recognize Him, just as those “of the world” could not truly see Jesus even though they could see him on the physical level. He also, like Jesus, serves as teacher, only now he explains the implications of what Jesus said whereas Jesus revealed and explained the Father. To explain the doctrine of the Trinity is like trying to describe an iceberg. To describe the tip of the iceberg above the water is not to describe the entire iceberg. So as Christians we affirm the Trinity, not as a complete explanation of God, but simply as a way of describing what has been revealed to us. What we know about God is just the tip of the iceberg and points us to how great His name is.
An infinite God cannot fully be grasped by a finite human mind. If we think we fully understand God, we have created God into an image and He is no longer God. The Scriptures reveal that God is one. The words recorded in Deut. 6:4, “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one” are recited by every devout Jew at least twice a day. This simple statement of faith is followed by a call to single hearted devotion to Him. The Scriptures also reveal that God is three and that each person of the Trinity is unique, equal is stature to the other, yet still only one God. Each is fully divine – fully God - and each is a fully distinct person. We must not confuse the Father with the Son or the Son with the Spirit. The Father is not the Son and the Son is not the Spirit. And it is not as if God were simply changing roles, like an actor in a play, sometimes playing the role of Father, sometimes the role of Son and sometimes the role of Spirit. God is always Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
The Trinity is one of the distinctive doctrines of Christianity. Just because it’s hard for the brain to understand it doesn’t mean we should pretend it’s not there. How can God be one and God be three at the same time? It cannot be fully explained but looking at light we often do not realise that it consists of three kinds of rays. Its chemical rays are invisible and can neither be felt or seen. Its light rays are seen but cannot be felt and its heat rays can be felt but cannot be seen yet it is the same one light. St. Augustine so the story goes was struggling to understand the doctrine of the Trinity, the belief that God is One, Father Son, and Holy Spirit. One day while taking a walk on the beach he saw a little boy digging a hole in the sand with a seashell and then running to the ocean, filling the shell, and rushing back to pour it into the hole he had made. “What are you doing, little man,” Augustine asked. “I’m trying to put the ocean into this hole”, the boy replied. St. Augustine immediately realised that this was indeed, what he had been trying to do - to fit the great mysteries of God into his mind. We have to accept the Trinity by faith as someone once said, “A God understood, a God comprehended, is no God.” For some this is difficult because our minds want to understand everything so we can be in control. But there are many things we cannot understand. Do we really understand what makes some seeds grow into flowers, others into vegetables or fruit? Do we understand how an orange seed when planted can produce oranges on a tree? We know the soil, the rain, and the sun helped but what exactly turned those seeds into flowers, vegetables, and fruit. We try to understand how and have explanations for what happens but in spite of all our explanations the process is still for us a mystery. The Holy Trinity, the many truths of God’s dealings with us are difficult to understand. There is a mystery about God, a mystery we just have to accept. The mystery of the Trinity is difficult, but the Holy Spirit of that Trinity leads us to accept and believe that mystery by faith.