14th August 2011

Trinitarian Theology

“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.”
Ephesians 2:4-5 (NIV UK)

“Garbage in—garbage out” is a truism in many areas, and the most important area is in our personal theology. Wrong concepts about God result in lives that miss the fullness of life that God wants us to have.

Now, the whole idea of theology might sound a little intimidating, but really it’s just another way of saying “God knowledge.” Our personal theology consists of whatever we believe to be true about God. So in one way or another, we all have a theology. And certainly every church and denomination has a theology. It’s the framework that undergirds and informs their doctrines and practices.

‘Trinitarian theology’ is a particular approach to theology that sees the Trinity—Father, Son and Holy Spirit—as the core and foundation for understanding the Bible and all aspects of Christian faith. Trinitarian theology, seeking to know God as God is, correctly begins with “Who?” It asks, “Who is the God made known in Jesus Christ, and who are we in relation to him?”

The Bible, of course, gives us the answers. There we learn that the Triune God created all people to participate through the vicarious humanity of Jesus Christ in the love relationship enjoyed by the Father, Son and Spirit.  Jesus said “…I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.” (John 14:20).

Jesus Christ is the representative and the substitute for humanity at the right hand of the Father, and he draws all people to himself by the power of the Holy Spirit. In him, humanity is loved and accepted by the Father.

As we learn in Romans 5:1-2, “…since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.”

Salvation does not come about through some kind of transaction in which God gives us salvation in exchange for our repentance and faith. It is a free and unearned gift. Jesus Christ paid for all our sins—past, present and future—and there is no longer any debt to pay.

The gospel is about a relationship, a relationship which God healed and made real by God’s own action in Christ on our behalf. It’s not about a set of demands, nor is it about a simple intellectual acceptance of a set of religious or Bible facts.

Jesus Christ not only stood in for us at the judgment seat of God; he drew us into himself and made us—with him and in him, by the Holy Spirit—God’s own beloved children.

Heavenly Father, it has to be the greatest privilege for a human being to know you, to have you reveal yourself to him or her. And we thank you that this is the real biblical, theological and religious knowledge you want us to have. Help us, now knowing your nature just a little a little better, to live that nature in our lives. In Jesus’ name we pray.

Study by Joseph Tkach

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