The Trinity

The Trinity
Pastor Stephen "Red" Shumate
July 23rd, 2017
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The Trinity

Matthew 28:19-20
Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you.

Many of you will recognize this scripture as the great commission.  This is the mission that Jesus gave us before He returned to heaven.  This is also one of the few places that we find the trinity mentioned in 1 breath.  And in this case, it was Jesus’ own words.

The word trinity is not found in scriptures but the concept of the trinity is.  When I say concept of the trinity, what I mean is the concept that God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are all unique but also part of 1 God.  And we find this concept in this verse.

Notice here it says to baptize in the name of The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit.  The fact that it says to baptize in the “Name of” indicates it is under 1 authority, the authority of God.  And the fact that Jesus then goes on to mention all three indicates that each one has its own characteristics therefore making them 3 unique parts of 1 God.  So, to me, this verse and in Jesus’ own words, the concept of the Trinity is very clear.

Why is the Trinity important?
The thing is, that a god in 4 parts doesn’t work nor does a god in 2 parts work.  And what I mean by this is that a 3 legged stool is the most stable stool possible.  If a stool has 4 legs it is subject to wobbling, and a stool with 2 legs will not stand, however a stool with 3 legs is always balanced.

This means that our God in the form of the trinity, is a perfectly stable and complete God.  If you take the traits and characteristics of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit and put them all together, they are one complete and perfect God. They complement each other.

How does the Trinity point good news?
The trinity is crucial to the plan of salvation.  Without the Trinity, salvation as we know it does not exist.  The trinity is required for God’s plan of Salvation and each part has a specific role in salvation.

God the Father is the creator and is control of the plan of salvation.  Even Jesus confirms this for us in Matthew 26:39 when He prays to Father and asks if there is another way.  And He ends His prayer with, “not according to my will but according to yours.”  Meaning He is acknowledging that it is God the Father’s plan and that God the Father is in control.

God the Son (Jesus) is the execution of the plan.  In John 19:30 Just before Jesus dies on the cross, He says “It is Finished.”  Jesus’ death is the execution of God’s plan of Salvation.  Without Jesus dying on the cross in our place.  Salvation is not possible.

God the Holy Spirit is the promise of the completion of the plan.  After Jesus died, was buried and came back to life, He then went back to heaven to prepare a place for us.  But He did not leave us here alone.  We are given the Holy Spirit as a down payment to the kingdom of God (Ephesians 1:14-16). As a down payment, the Holy Spirit is here to guide us, comfort us and  to be the promise that Jesus will one day come again to establish His kingdom and us as His people.

So the trinity is crucial the plan of Salvation.  God the Father is the creator and is in control of the Plan of Salvation.  God the Son is the Execution of the Plan of Salvation. And God the Holy Spirit is the Promise of the Completion of the plan of Salvation.

Why is the trinity important to us?
Before we answer this question, I want to share with you 3 aspects of good parenting. Don’t worry, I’ll bring this all together in just a moment.

3 aspects of Good Parenting:
1. Rules and Discipline – Parents give children rules and discipline out of love.  They want to see their child grow up to be all that they can be and they don’t want to see their child get hurt.  And the rules that parents give children help make this happen.  And when the child doesn’t follow the rules, the parents discipline the child, in order to correct negative behavior.  But make no mistake, rules and discipline are given out of love.

2. Grace and Mercy – While rules and discipline are good, there are times when grace and mercy are needed as well.  When a child makes a mistake and they know it’s wrong and they are truly sorry for what they did, sometimes it is appropriate to respond with grace and mercy and simply forgive the child and forgo punishment.  A child who is raised without grace and mercy, has a hard time forgiving others and ends up holding on to bitterness.

3. Guidance, comfort and just being there – Sometimes what a child needs is not discipline or grace and mercy, but they simply need to be held or need guidance and advice.  Sometime a hug or being pointed in the right direction is what they need most.

Rules, Grace, Guidance are the 3 aspects of good parenting.  What does this have to do with us and the trinity?  The 3 aspects of good parenting is one of the most awesome ways that we experience our God.

We experience rules, discipline and correction through God the Father.
Hebrews 12:5-6
My son, do not take the Lord’s discipline lightly
or lose heart when you are reproved by him,
6 for the Lord disciplines the one he loves
and punishes every son he receives.

We experience grace and mercy (or forgiveness) through Jesus – He died on the cross so that we might be forgiven…
I Peter 2:24
He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree; so that, having died to sins, we might live for righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.

We experience God’s guidance and comfort through the Holy Spirit…
I Corinthians 3:16
Don’t you yourselves know that you are God’s temple and that the Spirit of God lives in you?

So, we experience God in 3 very distinct ways, and each way connects us to a different part of the trinity.  And yet all three ways, connect us to the 1 living God.  Paul sums up this idea as he concludes his second letter to the church at Corinth.  Here is the last line of his letter:

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 13:13

We need all three of these persons of God to experience God in a perfect and complete way.  Without God the Father, we do not experience Rules and Correction, and we live a lawless life.  Without Jesus, The Son, we do not experience grace, mercy and forgiveness for our sins.  And without the Holy Spirit we do not experience guidance and comfort, and we live a life unto ourselves.  

How do you connect with the Father, the Son and The Holy Spirit? Are you strong in 1 but not in others?  

Perhaps you are a person who identifies with rules and you do your best to live as the Bible teaches to the letter of the law… but you have a hard time, accepting the forgiveness of God.

Maybe you are the type who constantly seeks out forgiveness, and you give no thought to living under Christ’s commands.

Or perhaps, you do well in living in the law, and asking and accepting forgiveness…but you keep trying to do this on your own, without any help or guidance from the Spirit.

To have a complete relationship with God, we need to connect with the all of the Trinity!

We need to connect to God in a trinity of ways…with our heart, mind and soul…  
And we need to let Him connect with us in a trinity of ways as well… in discipline, grace, and guidance…

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