Tuesday, August 23, 2011

How to Adore the Trinity

The Trinity is meant to be adored
Paul's last words to the church at Corinth are found in 2 Corinthians 13:14 - "14The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen." This final statement was very important to Paul, since throughout His letters to the church at Corinth he was dealing with issues that threatened their fellowship and intimacy with God.  He wanted the Christians at Corinth to have direct interraction and empowerment from the Triune God. 
So who is the God of the Bible?  Passages such as Deuteronomy 6:5 tells us that He is One God whom were are to love with all of our hearts, souls and strength.  Furthermore, the Bible tells us that in being one God in His existence, He is Three-fold in His identity.  Passages such as the one above and Matthew 28:18-20 tell us that the God of scripture is identified as The Father, The Son and the Holy Spirit.  The Father, the Son and Holy Spirit have co-existed with one another for all eternity.  Each one is His own center of personality while having in common the same undivided eternal inward life.
A recommendation when contemplating the Trinity
More could be said about how this One God can exist as three, co-eternal, co-equal persons, however I think it is helpful when contemplating the Triune God to begin with His works, followed by His names and then finally arrive at a point where we can adore His very nature.    
1. God's work
When we say His works, we speak of the activities of the Triune God in relationship to His creation in general, and His people in particular.  In the above passage, we see three distinct areas of God's overall work of relating to His people - grace, love and communion.  All three are one great work, with three incredible properties.  This work of the Triune God, in anchoring the Christian, is a loving, gracious communion.  Thus the work of God here points us back to it's author - who being One in existence, acts within that existence as Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

2. God's names

The names of God point to His character.  Scripture mentions hundreds of them. In this passage, we see When we speak of His names, His names help us identify various features of His character.  It is not enough just to know the works of God, but as Psalm 103:7 states, there is that deeper level of know God, namely His ways.  I have found the names of God to be helpful, since He often revealed His names in contexts where He was revealing His character.  In this text we see three: Jesus Christ, God the Father and the Holy Spirit.  Thus God is One in character, and three in identity.  No conflict exists within God.

3. Adoring God's nature means knowing Him, not comprehending Him

After we have begun with God's works, and proceeded to note His names, we can finally begin to know God.  When we do this, we realize that our goal of comprehending God will never be met, since God's glory is beyond comprehension.  We can legitimately know God, but never comprehend Him.  I can for instance know how a light works when I enter a room - simply flick the switch.  However I may not fully comprehend all the laws of physics, mechanics and engineering that it takes to make the switch work.  In a much more profound way it is the same when it comes to developing a deeper appreciation for the Trinity.  The only proper response is worship and adoration (Psalm 100).