|Create Date||June 6, 2020|
|Last Updated||June 11, 2020|
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You’re invited to the Party!
Presented by Gordon Green – 7 June 2020.
The doctrine of the Trinity is controversial – in fact many find it boring, cold and irrelevant. “What does it matter in my life today?” For many the doctrine of the Trinity is like a puzzle that you just cannot complete – it’s too hard, the pieces don’t fit. It’s the same with the Trinity. How can 3 be 1 and 1 be 3 and 1+1+1 =1?
God is love because God is Trinity. But there are many arguments against the Trinity. Some Christians say why can’t we just keep it simple? Just worship Jesus. Focus on the pure and simple truths. What does it matter whether God is a Trinity or not. What does it matter? Yes the Trinity is controversial and mind stretching - thinking about one God as 3 and 3 as one is hard work. But it’s worth it. Having a deeper understanding of the Father, Son and Spirit will breathe fresh life into you. One Christian theologian wrote: “The triune being of God is the vital oxygen of Christian life and joy.” Thinking about the Trinity in a way you never have before is invigorating.
What the trinity is - The word Trinity can’t be found anywhere in the bible. This is true, but it proves nothing. There are many words and phrases that Christians use but are not found in the bible. For example, the word “bible” is not found in the bible.. "Millennium" is also not in the bible. The words "incarnation” and “communion” are not in scripture and there are more. What we do find in the bible is that God is 3 real and distinct Persons. Not persons as we think of a person - but not separate. Not 3 gods. 3 distinct persons . They are who they are together and always are together and they always work together. Is the Holy Spirit an impersonal divine force? “May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all (2 Corinthians 13:14) Elsewhere you can read that the Holy Spirit can be grieved. That the Holy Spirit speaks (Acts 13:2,4 ) he teaches (Jn 14:26, he can be lied to etc.
Why does the Trinity matter? Many people see God in different ways – even Christians. Some see God as basically a law giver and a judge. Others see God as a watchmaker - the creator who created and wound up the cosmos and now doesn't interfere. But what is the truth? If you could get into a time machine and go back way before the creation of the world, if you could look back to when there was nothing but God, what would you see? The answer is you would see love. John tells us "God is love." For love to exist it requires an object to love. If you use the word love you are talking about someone or something else – apart from yourself, you are talking about loving God or someone. But if God is only one person, love—even divine love—could not exist before creation because there would be nothing for God to love. God could not be love if there was nobody to love. God is not a solitary God because love involves loving another. This doesn’t mean that God created humans because he was lonely and he wanted somebody to love. No. If God needed us, that would indicate some deficiency in his being. God does not have any needs
Remember God is love. - that is who he is. And he created out of the overflow of the perfect, almighty love that had always existed among Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God is a sharing God, a God who loves to include, that is why God went on to create. It is entirely characteristic of him to create others that he might also love them – and they might experience his love. Put another way, at the center of the universe is a relationship. A community and it is out of this relationship that you and I were created and redeemed. And it is for that relationship that you and I were created and redeemed. We are wired for that love and the truth is that when we don’t live in that love, bathe ourselves in that love there will be a gaping hole, a void and we’ll do anything to fill that void. GK Chesterton said “Every time a man knocks on a brothel door, he is really searching for God.’ Because his love cannot be contained, God created. God expanded the circle of the Trinity to include us. Thomas Torrance wrote about why the doctrine of the Trinity is central, vital, fundamental. Why? He said “because God has opened himself to us.” It’s a staggering thought. We are created and redeemed to enter into the love each person of the Trinity has for the other. Amazing. We human beings were brought into being by the Trinity – to participate in the inner life of the Trinity. Robert Farrar Capon wrote beautifully about the Trinity. He described God as an eternal party (book extract) That may be strange to say that but think about it. Jesus often taught in parables and his parables often centred around banquets, and feasts or shared meals. The parable of the prodigal son is a good example of that. The father said “Let’s have a feast and celebrate!” And there was music and dancing. So do you see? This world is built on the foundation of a relationship. This is why we can say that Christianity is a relationship, not a religion.
When Jesus tells his followers in Matthew 28 to "go make disciples of all people, baptizing them into the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit," he wasn't just talking about water. To be baptized into the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit means that we are invited to live and share in the party of the Trinity. To abide in the Trinity. To be immersed into the Trinity. It is an absolutely astonishing invitation. We don’t deserve to be there. We haven’t earned the right to be there, but because a long time ago, the Father sent the Son. And the Son revealed to us this everlasting party. He died so that our sin would not prevent us from joining it. And the Father raised him from the dead through the power of the Spirit. If we put our faith in him, we too can be filled with the Spirit, raised from death to life, and join the Father, Son, and Spirit in this party that will never end.
This is why the trinity matters. It tells us that at the heart of the cosmos is love, a relationship - a party. It is because of the Trinity that we believe we can have a personal relationship with God that will never end. Study and meditate and pray Ephesians 3:14-:21. Paul is praying that we experience Trinity. The truth of the Trinity is overwhelming. God is not a solitary God. He is not a lonely God. God is a relationship. And God draws close to us to draw us close to himself, pulling us into the circle to participate with him in the Trinitarian life. What we think about God really matters.