The Holy Trinity

I wonder if one of the reasons why people reject the Trinity as the truth about God is because they sense that if God is Trinitarian then he is harder to ‘take or leave’. The concept of the Trinity is of course hard enough in itself for us to understand – that 3 = 1 – that the three Persons of the Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) are each God but each individual Person is not identical with or evolutions of the same being so there is still only one God.

I can imagine that the more God is a single Being, the more we can take or leave him. Even if God has rescued us and his salvation is there for us – think of it as a present gift wrapped with your name on it – then it is easier for us to decide when to open it. If God is at his location – and presuming we’re not there – then we can more easily decide whether to move closer to him or further away. This translates into worship that is very much centred on us doing what we wish – determining our spirituality and theology by our feelings or intelligence – and God is the audience looking on.

But life with God – with a Trinity – is much more complex and mysterious. The Apostle Paul wrote to the Ephesians:

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith – that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:14-19 ESV)

Can you see how interconnected the Persons of the Trinity are – all working with the same pur-pose for the same goal – that we ‘may be filled with all the fullness of God’? Of course each Per-son of the Trinity is working in his own but interconnected way and our ‘focus’ is on the love of Christ. That of course takes us to the cross and then the empty tomb and then transported across centuries to our time to the font and then to the altar. God is busy and active establishing relation-ships with people by the power of the Spirit through the life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus so that we might live with God now. And we don’t see or hear him as we see or hear other people but instead we are directed to words, water, bread and wine. The Trinity, it seems to me, is much harder to ‘take or leave’ because he is always active working for us and giving us life with him.

God’s presence with his people challenges our identity, our sense of individualism, the perspec-tive that our view of people and things is always unbiased and correct. The Trinity is a commun-ion – a community of Persons related to each other – who has drawn us into fellowship with him-self and then with others. If God was not a Trinity, it might be easier to set ourselves up as god and oppose him. But the presence of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in our lives brings us to the truth that he is gracious and despite all our good points, we are sinners, and God is still gracious! God teaches us that we are recipients of his grace, members of the Body of Christ while we live in family, country, and the economy. These earthly relationships identify our roles and functions in the world but they don’t define us. Only the Holy Trinity does that.  — GS