Summary: This sermon was taken from my upcoming Pamphlet "Doctrinal Cliffnotes: The Trinity." This is a shortened version to make it fit into a sermon for my series on "What We Believe."
(This sermon was taken from my upcoming Pamphlet "Doctrinal Cliffnotes: The Trinity." This is a shortened version to make it fit into a sermon for my series on "What We Believe.")
What We Believe
Through many of the social media sites there’s a lot being said about the nature and character of God.
One attempt used popular merchandise to describe who God is.
• It said that God is like General Electric; He brings good things to life.
• God is like a Visa Card; He’s everywhere you want to be.
• God is like Scotch Tape; you can’t see Him, but you know He’s there.
• God is like Alka Seltzer; oh what a relief He is.
• God is like Tide; He gets the stains out that others leave behind.
• God is like Bounty; He’s the quicker picker upper.
This is just one of the many clever ways people try to describe God. And while they are nice and cute, they do little to help our understanding of God, especially concerning the doctrine of the Trinity.
Out of all the doctrines, the Trinity has caused the most confusion. The doctrine says that God is one and yet eternally exists in three persons.
This has had people as far back as the first century scratching their heads being unable to, or not wanting to, fathom its reality, thus dismissing Christianity as a whole.
Others view the teaching of the Trinity as rationally impossible going so far as questioning Jesus’ sanity saying He was schizophrenic when He prayed to Himself in the Garden of Gethsemane.
Unfortunately they don’t get it.
The Trinity is neither irrational nor impossible. It may be beyond the reach and scope of our complete understanding, but then how can finite human beings with limited brain capacity understand an infinite God with unlimited capability.
Even the Lord tells us about our shortcomings in this area.
“‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,’ says the Lord. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.’” (Isaiah 55:8-9)
Understanding God’s nature goes beyond our ability to understand, and that’s because we know of no other being like God. Therefore it is called a mystery, because a mystery is something that’s bigger than our minds can take in.
However, just because it is a mystery shouldn’t stop us from thinking and exploring its possibility. The mystery of the Trinity invites us to come and study and partake of the biblical revelation found within God’s word, the Bible.
However, before we dig into this doctrine of the Trinity to see if it is biblical or a religious fantasy, it may be good to look at its importance.
The concept of the Triune God, or Trinity, is one of the foundational teachings of Christianity and is considered bedrock of the Christian faith, because it shows the person and deity of Jesus Christ, who is fully God and fully human.
Why is it important?
First, if the doctrine of the Trinity isn’t believed, then a person’s salvation is at stake. If Jesus was just a human being, then like the rest of us He would have inherited the sin nature of Adam.
Further, if Jesus isn’t fully God, if Jesus is a created being, then He could never have offered Himself as that perfect sinless sacrifice John the Baptist declares when he said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29)
If Jesus isn’t fully God and didn’t die as that perfect sinless sacrifice, then all of us would still be in our sins, and thus forever separated from God.
Second, if the doctrine of the Trinity isn’t believed, then salvation wouldn’t be by faith; rather it would be by works, which would make Jesus a liar when He used God’s holy name saying, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.” (John 8:58)
Jesus also said, “If you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.” (John 8:24)
If Jesus isn’t God as He said, then how can we trust Him when He says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6)
Finally, if the doctrine of the Trinity isn’t believed, then Christianity is a farce, and our praying and worshipping Him does absolutely no good.
This was Paul’s conclusion saying, “And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. … And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins!” (1 Corinthians 15:14, 17)
Hopefully we see why it is so important to get this doctrine straight.