1137) The Trinity (d)

     Christians believe, as do Jews and Muslims, that there is one God.  But unlike Jews and Muslims, Christians believe that within that one God are three separate and distinct persons; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  Not even the most brilliant theologians have understood this concept of a three-in-one God, but anyone who takes Jesus own words seriously is left with this difficult description of God.  If you feel the need to comprehend completely the nature of God, you are going to be in trouble on this.  But if you, like the disciples and early Christians, are sufficiently impressed by a man who rises from the dead, then you, like them, will be happy to believe in Jesus as Lord, and accept what he had to say about the nature of God– whether or not you can comprehend it.

     Jesus prayed to the Father as if the Father was someone else, but then he said, “I and the Father are one.”  When Jesus was dying he committed his spirit into the hands of his heavenly Father, even though he had said, “I and the Father are one.”  Jesus said, “Believe in me and you too shall live,” and he rose from the dead.  If we think mathematically, we are puzzled.  We think we will have to decide which it is, one God or two?  The resurrection of Jesus gave the highest authority to everything he said, and the disciples believed in what he said about God, whether or not the math worked for them.

     Who led them into this belief?  In John 16:13 Jesus said, “When the Spirit of Truth comes, He will guide you into all truth.”  It was, therefore, God the Holy Spirit who led them into that truth, that’s who.  The disciples, good Jews that they were, must have said to each other, “Who?  What’s this, another God?  How is this going to work?”

     But again, the authority of the risen Jesus forced them to deal with it.  Finally, after a couple centuries, the church said, “We give up on trying to figure this out. We are just going to go by what our Lord told us, and so “We believe in God the Father… and, we believe in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord… and, we believe in the Holy Spirit.”  One God and three persons within that one God.

     Any questions?  Yes, of course there are questions.  But the Bible says that we are saved by believing in Jesus; we are not saved by fully comprehending the nature of God.  So if you believe in Jesus, and you are not overly bothered by the fact that the nature of God is beyond your limited understanding, you will be all right.

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John 1:1-4…14  —  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was with God in the beginning.  Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.  In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind…  The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.  We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

John 8:23-25a  —  (Jesus said), “You are from below; I am from above.  You are of this world; I am not of this world.  I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am he, you will indeed die in your sins.”  “Who are you?” they asked.

John 18:36  —  Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world.  If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders.  But now my kingdom is from another place.”

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