Summary: Christians claim to believe in one God yet worship three. How can this be? This message will challenge your thinking on who God is and ask you to consider what you believe about the trinity.
What is God like? If you were to describe God, what would you describe him like? Someone once said:
God is little like General Electric. He brings good things to life.
God is a little 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.
How would you describe God? Today we are starting a new series called “Foundations.” Over the next five weeks we are going to build and check and strengthen the foundation which our faith is built. It is my hope that this series causes you to question what you believe and search for the right conclusions.
Here are the foundational blocks that we are going to set:
Why Jesus Had to Die
The Holy Spirit
I would love you to dig around a little bit with me. Surf the web, hit the library, call your cousins nephew who knows this guy who has a neighbor who is a pastor and ask them about the subjects we are going to cover. We are searching for a solid foundation. We want to know the truth about God and grace and forgiveness and the concept of the trinity and the church. We might not completely understand them but they are the foundational components of our faith and they are unchanging. So using the words of Discovery Channel, Let’s all discover our faith.
Back in school I remember my teacher trying to explain the concept of multiplication. He used simple examples to explain the concept to me and it took me a while but I got it. Two times two equals four. Four times four equals sixteen. I understood that if you take a number and multiply it by another number you would come up with a higher number.
Life was good until the teacher told me that ½ times ½ equaled 1/4th. I didn’t get it. I argued with the teacher and remember taking one half of something like an apple and taking another half an apple and putting them together to show that ½ times ½ equaled one whole.
He was adamant in his decision that ½ times ½ equaled ¼. I thought he was nuts and everyone else who came to that conclusion was nuts and the whole numbers system was junk because ½ times ½ did not equal ¼. After arguing with my teacher for a while I finally gave in agreed to make ½ times ½ equal ¼ even if I didn’t think it was right.
It turns out that I was wrong. ½ times ½ does equal ¼ and that’s just a fact. There isn’t anything I can do to change it because it’s a reality. Even if I didn’t get it, even if I didn’t understand it, the fact is that it’s true. It was true when I was in grade school and it’s true today. Mathematical principles are timeless. What was true 100 years ago is true today. What was true 500 years ago is true today. What was true 5000 years ago is true today. Just because I didn’t get it didn’t mean that it wasn’t true.
The first foundational block we are going to set in place deals with the concept of one God who resides in three parts: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
If you were to write this concept of one God in three persons into a mathematical formula here is what you would get.
Another way to write it would look like this
Let me ask you a question: What illustrations have you heard to describe the concept of one God who resides in three parts? Some people have said that God is like an egg. You have the yolk, the white stuff, and the shell. All three parts make up the sum total of the egg. Others have said that the three in one concept is like fire. Fire gives off heat, light, and gas. Still others have said that the concept of three in one is like water. Water can be ice, liquid or gas. All three are water but are distinctly different from one another. Whichever illustration you use is up to you. I’m not sure of any of them are a perfect fit but at least they try to explain the concept.
We have come up with a word that describes the three in one concept. It’s the word “trinity” and we get this word from combining two other words: “tri” meaning three and “unity” meaning one, thus the word trinity or three in one. The trinity consists of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. These three coeternal and coexistent parts alone and together equal one God.