Summary: The Trinity is the Original Community and we need to discover that as people made in God’s image, community is of vital importance.
Building Authentic Biblical Community: The Original Community
Genesis 1 and 2
14 September 2003
SUBJECT: The Trinity: The Original Community
RESPONSE: Discover that as people made in God’s image community is of vital importance.
HOW TO/HOW LONG: Sign up for a Small group during this series.
Can you name the members of the first small group? Do you know the names of the partners in the first community? Can you identify the players on the first team?
Let me help you: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
For the next few weeks, I will be challenging our church family to commit to Building Authentic Biblical Community. I am hoping and praying that many of you, whether you’ve been coming to the church for eighty years or eight minutes will seriously consider becoming part of our Small Groups (more on that later).
But the place where we need to begin is with the very first community—the original community—the Trinity—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
We start at the beginning—in Genesis:
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
--Genesis 1:1, NIV
The Bible begins with God. He is the creator of the universe. We don’t need to prove his existence—we simply believe in him.
Although the word “Trinity” is never used in the Bible, authentic Christians believe that God exists eternally as three persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—all of whom are co-equal and of the same essence.
God created the universe. We just need to go down a verse to see the Holy Spirit’s presence:
Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
Okay, we have God the Father; we have God the Spirit; where is God the Son?
We need to fast forward a bit. The apostle John, writing about Jesus, the Word of God, tells us.
He was in the world, and though the world was made through him.
The apostle Paul agrees:
For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
All right—we have the whole team, the whole community—the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—God himself, our Creator.
We learn from the opening pages of Scripture, that God exists in community. He is the original community. No wonder God said,
Let us make man in our image, in our likeness…
Let us—this is more than the royal “we.” God exists in community. Did you notice that God said, “Let us make man in our image?” Did you notice the “us” and the “our”?
Can you imagine the conversation?
“Listen, Son. I have a wonderful idea. We’ve done a marvelous job with the Sun, the Milky Way Galaxy…”
“You’re right Father. I love the penguins we made. They are wonderful. What do you think, Holy Spirit?”
“Well, Father and Son, I think we did an excellent job with the apple trees and the chrysanthemums too!
“But we need something more, Son and Spirit. We need someone who can relate to us. We need someone who will be part of our family.”
“I have it!” they all said together. “Let us make man in our image.”
Gilbert Bilizekian, in his book, Community 101, writes,
Indeed, community finds its essence and definition deep within the being of God. Oneness is primarily a divine mode of being that pertains to God’s own existence, independently from and prior to any of his works of creation. Whatever community exists as a result of God’s creation, it is only a reflection of an eternal reality that is intrinsic to the being of God.
Now you might be asking, “What does that have to do with us?” I’m so glad you asked that!
On the sixth day, God created man in his image. Later that day he said something very significant:
It is not good for the man to be alone.
Let’s go back to God’s conversation:
“You know, Spirit. He’s not complete.”
“You’re right Son. He’s alone.”
“And that’s not good,” said the Father.
“If he’s not in relationship, how can he truly be like us?” They all said together.
God did not want the pinnacle of his creation living in isolation. So God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, took a rib and fashioned a partner, another person, a community.
For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.
Adam and Eve are two in one. God is three in one. The Hebrew word for one, echod, is used for a plurality in unity. It’s the same word used in Deuteronomy 6:4…