Summary: Message on the Triune nature of God
THE TRINITY VI
Is It THAT Important?
For many years just about every sermon that you have heard from this pulpit has ended the same way. They have ended with the proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ. That Jesus Christ died for our sins, that He was buried, and He rose again on the third day, and sits at the right hand of the Father. I call on people to repent and trust in Jesus Christ for forgiveness of sin and eternal life.
What if I were to take this little plastic lizard here and say this is Jesus. You need to trust in Jesus for salvation. You would think me a fool for saying such a thing because you know that is not the “Jesus” of the Bible. That is not the “Jesus” that the apostles proclaimed. You know that believing in this “Jesus” will do you know good. In others words, you know that there is a difference between the Jesus proclaimed in the Word of God, and this “Jesus”.
For the Bible does indeed tell us that there are those who proclaim a different Jesus. A Jesus that is different then the one proclaimed by the apostles. 2 Cor 11:3-4 tells us “But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough.”
While we can easily see that this plastic lizard is a “different Jesus”, sometimes these different Jesus’ are not so easily recognized. Let me say that if anyone does not proclaim that Jesus Christ is the Eternal Son of God, that He is as the Nicene Creed states, “Very God of Very God”, that He is also fully man, that He is coeternal and coequal with the Father and Holy Spirit. If that is not the Jesus that is proclaimed, then it is another Jesus. It would not be the Jesus proclaimed in Scripture.
We must understand how important it is to have faith in true Jesus, the Jesus of the Bible.
Last week we began to look at four specific Scriptural reasons as to why the study the Trinity is so important. We looked at the first two last week, The first Scriptural reason as to why the study of the Trinity is so important is that we have the command to know God. The second reason, which again we looked at last week is we are commanded to worship God in Spirit and in Truth.
This brings me to the third specific Scriptural reasons as to why the study the Trinity is so important and that is because the gospel is proclaimed in the Trinity. In other words, if you deny the triune nature of God, you strip the gospel of its power. You cannot have one without the other, which as we can see can be demonstrated from the Scriptures.
Before we continue let me remind you again of our definition of the Trinity, that is “Within the one being that is God, there exists eternally three coequal and coeternal persons, namely the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” That teaching as we shall see is vital to the proclamation of the Gospel .
As we examine this topic I want us to begin with an illustration. This was given in Alister McGrath’s book “Understanding the Trinity” so we are going to follow his line of thinking on the how the gospel and the trinity are inseparably linked.
Say you are taking a cruise on a ship up by Greenland. Why you would want to do that I don’t know. But anyway there you are on the ship and you see an iceberg. You may be very impressed with the iceberg, but you also understand that you are only looking at small portion of the iceberg. In fact you can only see about 10% of the whole iceberg, about 90% of it is underwater, hidden from your view.
The point is this, the vantage point from which we look at something, be it an iceberg or a tree, the moon, determines how much of it we can see. This is especially true with God. Just think about our vantage point in reference to God. We live on earth, we live in time and space. We live in the material and I will say that because of our vantage point we only comprehend a fraction of the being that is God.
There will come a time when that vantage point will change, as we are told in 1 John 3:2; “Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.”