Summary: TRINITY SUNDAY(B) - May 26, 2002 - We believe in the Triune God as we are led by the Holy Spirit, loved by our heavenly Father, and heirs with God’s very own Son.
WE BELIEVE IN THE TRIUNE GOD (AND AS CHILDREN OF GOD WE ARE)
I. Led by the Holy Spirit
II. Loved by our Father
III. Heirs with God’s Son
Romans 8:14-17 - May 26. 2002
14because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father." 16The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17Now if we are children, then we are heirs--heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
Dearest Fellow-Redeemed and Saints in the Lord:
Everyone likes a good mystery. We read a mystery novel, and then sometimes we find it hard to put it down. Today, on this Trinity Sunday, we have one of those things that are very essential teachings of our Christian faith--the teaching of the Trinity--Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Now we know as we study that teaching of Scripture and try to reason it out, that there are three persons, yet one God. It is hard to make sense of that according to human reason. So Scripture calls it a mystery. Yet, without believing that mystery, there is no salvation at all because it is a fundamental doctrine of Christianity itself. Those who do not believe in the Triune God certainly do not believe in the true God and certainly will not have eternal salvation.
How is it that we understand or how do we believe in this mystery of the Scripture? It is because of God’s grace, which works faith in our hearts. We know what faith is. Scripture defines it for us: "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see"(HEBREWS 11:3). Just as sure as we cannot completely explain the Trinity, at least to the full understanding of our human reason, yet in our hearts we can believe it with the full understanding of our faith.
So we are going look at the fact that as we confess the Apostle’s Creed, that we believe in the Triune God--Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We are able to say that by faith. We use this as our theme--We Believe in the Triune God. Christians everywhere throughout the world believe in the Triune God. We believe in the Triune God; and as our text points out to us this morning, as God’s children, what happens? We are I. led by the Spirit; II. we are loved by our Father; and III. we are heirs with God’s very own Son.
I. Believers are led by the Spirit
Paul writes to the believers at Rome this inspired message of God, and gives them and weaves into these two verses the Trinity--Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. He talks about how their lives have changed. Remember, the people that lived in Rome lived in a big metropolitan area. As it is sometimes today even, there was not much attraction to going to church. There were many other activities to do on the day of worship. There were a lot of "eat, drink, and be merry" attitudes in the city of Rome. These believers who became believers by God’s grace understood the difference between following the ways of the world and following Christ who was the Way, the Truth and the Life. They knew that they did not do it on their own. Paul says that: "Those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God." These believers knew that if they depended on themselves, they would be led down the path of destruction. If they had followed their own reason or thinking, they would still be lost children of Satan.
But God sent Paul to preach to them; and as Paul preached to them, they heard the Word of the Lord. As the Word of the Lord came into their hearing, God used it to change their hearts that they would be led by the Spirit to follow those things that were spiritual. He even calls them sons of God. (That really plays throughout our whole text, and we will be hearing a lot about that yet.) If they didn’t believe that he says, "But the Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children." Certainly for these believers who had not known faith from early on, they understood pretty clearly what Paul was saying. For a while they were "orphans." They were without a god. They didn’t know the truth, but God had made them His children and led them by His Spirit.
He does that to us also. Now maybe for most of us if we would ask ourselves, "When did we become children of God?" We, too, would probably not remember; because for most of us it was when we were baptized. That’s a beautiful description of how a person becomes a believer, not by his own will or choice; but the Spirit leads him. When we were baptized as infants, we didn’t walk up to the front and asked to be baptized; but we had faithful parents who brought us before the Lord’s altar. By God’s Spirit and the washing of water with the Word makes us His children. So the Lord describes that mystery of salvation that comes to every believer; because by our sinful nature we don’t go out of our way to find God; but He has to go out of His way to find us. He describes to us how the Spirit comes to us in the Gospel of John: "The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit"(JOHN 3:8). Now we know a lot about wind here. We know that it comes up and we know what direction it comes from; but we don’t know where it started. We don’t know where it finishes, but it is there. God says that is the same with faith--the Spirit comes to us. The Spirit leads us.