Trinity Sunday

Holy Trinity depicted with the hand of god, a dove, and the lamb
Cargale-Vittorio Giardini, CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Introduction

Yesterday was Trinity Sunday, the first Sunday after Pentecost. The Trinity is a complex concept; the Word itself is not mentioned in scripture. Instead, we have multiple scriptures about the community that is our God. Recently, my husband wrote a statement about the Trinity, and I’m sharing much of his work here.

What is the Trinity

The one true and living God is the God of revelation. If He were not, we would be left to our speculation or imagination to determine what God is like. Fortunately, God has revealed Himself to us in his Word, the Bible. He has shown Himself to be one God in three persons–the Father, the Son, and the Spirit. This three-in-one God exists from eternity past and will continue to live in eternity future. He is uncreated and self-existent.

God is the creator and sustainer of all things and lives in perfect unity and loving community as the Father, Son, and Spirit trinity. As Father, He is loving and benevolent toward his children. As Son, God came to earth in the flesh as Jesus of Nazareth to redeem humanity from sin and rebellion. Jesus, the Son, lived a perfect life, died for our sins on the cross, was resurrected for our justification, and ascended to the Father’s right hand, where He rules over all things until His return. As Spirit, God convinces the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment and gives new birth to all who trust in Jesus. The Spirit indwells all believers and transforms them into the likeness of Jesus.

God, who has revealed Himself as Father, Son, and Spirit, is incomprehensible–but he is not unknowable.


He is Father, loving his Son in the fellowship of the Spirit.

“This ‘God’ simply doesn’t fit the mold of any other. The Trinity is not some inessential add-on to God, some optional software that can be plugged into him. At bottom, in essence, this God is not first of all Creator or Ruler or even “Deity” in some abstract sense. He is Father, loving his Son in the fellowship of the Spirit. A God who is in himself a community of love, who before all things could never be anything but love. And if you trust and come to know such a being, it changes absolutely everything.”

Michael Reeves, Delighting in the Trinity, pp. 36-38

Why the Trinity is significant

When we believe in the triune God, we bring Him glory by acknowledging who he has revealed Himself to be. As we marvel at the revelation of God as He is, we are led into worship and awe.

We contemplate God as Father and experience joy that He has chosen us as his children, and He is now our Father. He loves, cares, and provides for us. We find that we have all that we need in and through Him.

In thinking about Jesus, the Son, it is humbling to remember that Jesus left the glory of the Father’s presence to save us. He is our friend, one that is closer than a brother.

As we contemplate the Spirit, we rejoice that we are not alone in this world because the Spirit lives in us. The Spirit empowers us so that we do not depend on our ability to live a life that honors God.

We cannot exhaust the richness and the depth of God, the Trinity, but we can enjoy, love, worship, and adore Him in this life and the next.

The Trinity and our Unity

“I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me.

“I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me.

John 17:20-23 NLT

Did you notice what Jesus said in that prayer? He says that He has given us the glory that God gave Him. God reveals His glory through us, His people! And through our unity, we reflect His glory, even the Trinity, the best!

Our unity is possible because we have this same glory given to Jesus by the Father. Unity is not uniformity, it is not organizational, and it is not about “religion.” Our unity is based on the communal life of our triune God and our shared life through salvation! It is all about our common love, loving God, and neighbors! Unity is about our common purpose – doing all things for the glory of God!

We represent our triune God the best when we reflect God’s identity as a community of love!

God’s identity as a community of love represented in the Trinity is mirrored when humans choose to live in a community of love as well. 

Tim Mackie

Hymn of Praise

Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
Early in the morning, our song shall rise to thee.
Holy, holy, holy, merciful, and mighty!
God in three persons, blessed Trinity!

Holy, holy, holy! All the saints adore thee,
casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea;
cherubim and seraphim falling down before thee,
which wert and art and evermore shalt be.

Holy, holy, holy! Though the darkness hide thee,
though the eye of sinful man thy glory may not see,
only thou art holy; there is none beside thee,
perfect in power, in love, and purity.

Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
All thy works shall praise thy name in earth, and sky and sea.
Holy, holy, holy! merciful and mighty!
God in three persons, blessed Trinity!

Reginald Heber 1826
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