October 10th 2010

Trinity:  More Than A Doctrine

“Philip said, ‘Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.’ Jesus answered: ‘Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father….’”
John 14:8-9 (NIV)

Have you ever wondered why the doctrine of the Trinity is so important to Christian faith? After all, most people seem to think of God as a single, solitary being ‘out there’, somewhere in the vast recesses of space—not as three in one and one in three.

You might remember Bette Midler’s song, From a Distance, which has the chorus, “God is watching us, from a distance.” That’s how most people think of God. He’s way up there in the sky, looking down on humanity. He might be an angry judge, racking up a tally sheet of our sins, or a kindly old gentleman with a flowing white beard, who sometimes steps in to help out if we make enough noise for him to hear us.

Maybe like George Burns’ portrayal of God in the movie, Oh, God, or Morgan Freeman’s portrayal in Bruce Almighty and Evan Almighty. But the God of the Bible is not like any of those. The God of the Bible is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The three are one God, perfect in unity, communion, and love.

“So what?” you might ask. “What does that have to do with me?” Just this. The fact that God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit, three in one and one in three, means that Jesus Christ and the Father are not separate Gods. And that means you don’t ever have to worry about what God thinks about you, how God feels about you, or what is going to happen to you when you die.

And that’s because, as Jesus Christ put it in John 14:9, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.”

Jesus Christ is the perfect revelation of the Father. If you want to know what the Father is like, or how the Father thinks about humanity, or about you, you only have to look at Christ, because he shows us what the Father is like. And the Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Trinity, ministers to us the confidence, hope, courage, love and power that we have in Christ.

When the Bible talks about us being “in Christ” it means that we share in the relationship Jesus has with the Father. Just as Jesus is the beloved of the Father, so we too, because we are “in Christ”, are also the beloved of the Father. We are included in the household of God, brothers and sisters of Christ, fully accepted by the Father because we are united with Christ through faith.

We know the Father loves us, because we know from the Bible that Jesus the Son loves us. That’s why the doctrine of the Trinity is so important. It lets us know exactly where we stand with God the Father, because since the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are one God, where we stand with Jesus is where we stand with the Father.

Prayer
Holy Father, how can we ever come close to comprehending the love you have for us? Through faith we accept that Jesus perfectly reflects you, because you and he are one, and we can readily comprehend Jesus’ love for us. This understanding, Father, helps us to come boldly before you in prayer, and to walk easily with you daily in our Christian lives. In Jesus’ name we pray.
Amen

Study by Joseph Tkach 

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