Summary: The mystery of the Trinity of old and revealed in Jesus and the Holy Spirit. How do you explain this unfathomable, paradoxical truth that will not make your head spin?
The church has made up a calendar of events. The ones we recognize most are Christmas and Resurrection Sunday. Now, of course we don’t know the actual day or month of the year these events took place so the church decided to choose dates that were approximately where we thought they should be according to the available historical data.
What we do know from the most accurate historical data, that is the eyewitness accounts found in the Bible, is that the ascension of Jesus took place 40 days after the resurrection of Jesus and the Holy Spirit was given 10 days later on Pentecost.
With that being said, last Sunday would have been Pentecost Sunday and this Sunday is designated as Trinity Sunday on the church calendar.
Today we'll take a look at the Trinity …
(First, show the slide of the Trinity showing that the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are all God yet they are not each other and leave it up for the congregation to view as the Anathasian Creed is read.
This is the section of the Athanasian Creed that deals with the Trinity
[W]e worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity; Neither confounding the Persons; nor dividing the Essence. For there is one Person of the Father; another of the Son; and another of the Holy Spirit.
But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, is all one; the Glory equal, the Majesty coeternal. Such as the Father is; such is the Son; and such is the Holy Spirit.
The Father uncreated; the Son uncreated; and the Holy Spirit uncreated. The Father unlimited; the Son unlimited; and the Holy Spirit unlimited. The Father eternal; the Son eternal; and the Holy Spirit eternal.
And yet they are not three eternals; but one eternal. As also there are not three uncreated; nor three infinites, but one uncreated; and one infinite.
So likewise the Father is Almighty; the Son Almighty; and the Holy Spirit Almighty. And yet they are not three Almighties; but one Almighty.
So the Father is God; the Son is God; and the Holy Spirit is God. And yet they are not three Gods; but one God. So likewise the Father is Lord; the Son Lord; and the Holy Spirit Lord. And yet not three Lords; but one Lord.
For like as we are compelled by the Christian [faith]; to acknowledge every Person (of the Trinity) by Himself to be God and Lord; so are we forbidden… to say, there are three Gods, or three Lords.
So there is one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three Sons; one Holy Spirit, not three Holy Spirits. And in this Trinity none is before, or after another; none is greater, or less than another.
But the whole three Persons are coeternal, and coequal. So that in all things, as aforesaid; the Unity in Trinity, and the Trinity in Unity, is to be worshipped. He therefore that will be saved, let him think of the Trinity in this way.
Aren’t you glad that we live on this end of History when so much has been revealed instead of shrouded in mystery.
Over the thousands of years the Lord used progressive revelation.
The Trinity was firmly in place from eternity past but not yet ready to be revealed.
Over the thousands of years of the Old Testament messianic Scriptures were placed throughout the Old Testament.
Let's look through the Bible to see the eternal existence of God the Son even though He was not fully revealed until His incarnation.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.”
“But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.”
“… the Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world.”
So you see, Jesus is God and was God even at the time of creation but He was not revealed as the Son of God, the second person of the Trinity until the fullness of time had come.
In addition to that, His part in the plan of salvation, that of being the perfect, sinless sacrifice was determined from the beginning of time.
But, it was all revealed to humanity progressively.
So, it is when Jesus arrives on the scene that in just a few short years the image of the Trinity explodes onto the scene. Not because the Trinity did not exist from the beginning but because the MYSTERY OF CHRIST had not yet been revealed.