Summary: The identity of God is Holy Trinity, three-in-one, the Divine Community.
CATM Sermon - The Holy Trinity & You
Who are you? What makes you tick? What are you about? Why is it that you think the way you think and behave the way you do? What leads you to live the life you live?
Important questions. Questions about identity, character. Questions that start to get at the heart of
what makes us go...what motivates us.
There is a thrill about getting to know a new person. And those are the kind of things we often want to learn about people who are new to us. It’s only normal to ask these kind of questions.
These very same questions are also ones we can ask of God...because God is a person.
For some that last statement may seem pretty odd. There are a lot of people who think of God as being impersonal...for many God is something very, very distant & very different from us - so different as to be unknowable, so beyond us that, many would ay, "The best we can know about God is that he represents the best in all of us”.
And that probably is the most we can say about God...when we rely on our ability to figure God out. That is why most religions come down to this. Be good. And if you’re good enough, you might get to go to heaven. God is out there somewhere, pretty much unreachable, or to some he’s angry, to some he’s a judge waiting to determine how much we will submit to him.
But we don’t have to rely on our ability to figure God out. God knows that the best we could ever come up with on our own is a very, very pale imitation of who he is. And that’s what you find in many expression of religious faith. Christians aren’t exempt from this. For reasons that should become clear in a little while, it is strange but true that a lot of Christians settle with a notion of God that is also distant, fearful, unknowable. But we really don’t have to rely on our ability to figure God out. There’s a better way.
We have the revelation from God about who He is. We have the Holy Bible, and if we read it, we can hear what God has to say about who He is. That is what the Holy Bible is-God’s gift of revelation.
And what does the Bible reveal about God? That’s a big question but there is something in particular that I really believe is worth knowing about God, and if we know it already, there’s something worth probing a little bit deeper into.
The Bible tells us, through the passages that were read earlier as well as in many other passages, that God is One. That is the most important revelation that came to the Israelites in the Old Testament. Most people back then thought that there were many gods. Ancient Roman and Greek people worshiped many different gods and lived in dread, trying to
appease the god.
But God revealed Himself to Israel as One. But the funny thing was, even though it was very, very clear that there was truly only one God, there were odd statements
Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. 26 Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground." God talks about Himself, which is One, as somehow also more than one.
4 “Who has gone up to heaven and come down? Who has gathered up the wind in the hollow of his hands? Who has wrapped up the waters in his cloak? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is his name, and the name of his son? Tell me if you know! “ Can you tell me?!?
There are many, many more such statements in the Old Testament, which was written, remember, long before Jesus Christ walked the earth.
And then we have the New Testament passages that clearly refer to Jesus and the Holy Spirit as God. Again, there are a ton of passages that speak about this [See “The Divinity of Jesus Christ” or more details]. But let’s just look again at two. The first is from Matthew 3:16-16 where we see, together at one special occasion at the same moment in history, the Son and the Spirit and the Father
“And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Matthew 3:16-17