Monday, May 27, 2013

Two Thoughts on the Threeness of God

Why do we celebrate “Trinity Sunday?”
What is so important that God is 3 in 1?

The Trinity can seem like a bit of a complicated theological concept, but it is truly the heart of the Christian faith.  The reasons for this are many, but I can think of two that are very immediate and relatable to our lives, hearts, and faith today.  First, the Trinity means that Jesus, the man, is also God.  If Jesus is God, then His death can give us salvation.  Resurrection wasn’t just something that was done to Christ, he participated in the act Himself (John 10:18).  Therefore we can have confidence that He is mighty to save.  Secondly, the Trinity means that Christ is truly present with us, even now.  He promised in Matthew 28:20 to be with his disciples forever.  This happens through the Holy Spirit, who lives in our hearts and can be found in the Words of Christ (Scripture) and the means of grace (sacraments).  Through these things, Christ is more present with us today even than when he walked the earth in human form.  For more information on the Trinity, and to read one of the church’s more articulate and precise definitions of the Trinity, take a look at the “Athanasian Creed,” which can be found on page 319 of the Lutheran Service Book.  This confession of faith may seem a bit narrow and complicated, but keep in mind that a perfect understanding of the Trinity isn’t necessary for salvation, because it isn’t our understanding that saves us:  Christ alone does, by His grace, through faith.  The important thing to remember is that it all comes down to Christ:  All Christian theology is about Him, and the Trinity means God himself is for us and with us.  The beauty of this doctrine isn’t only that Jesus is God, but also that God is Jesus.  Our creator is the same God who lives, bleeds, and dies to win our salvation, and even now is reigning over the universe so that all things work together for our good.  Rejoice!

From the Augsburg Confession:  on the Trinity:  Our churches teach with common consent that the decree of the Council of Nicaea about the unity of the divine essence and the three persons is true.  It is to be believed without any doubt.  God is one divine essence who is eternal, without a body, without parts, of infinite power, wisdom, and goodness.  He is the maker and preserver of all things, visible and invisible.  Yet there are three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  These three persons are of the same essence and power.  Our churches use the term  person as the Fathers have used it.  We use it to signify, not a part or quality in another, but that which subsists of itself.


  1. The human mind cannot handle paradoxes well. We believe in the Holy Trinity but how can one God be three persons and three persons one God and each person is distinct from the others. The one thing that false religions do is to change the nature of the Triune God.

    Likewise, many Christians cannot understand how we can be both Saint and Sinner at the same time. Some believe that we are incapable of being saints due to our sinful nature. While other believe that as saints we care not still sinners.

    1. The doctrine of simul justus et peccator is very dear to my heart. My previous church taught that Christians were not sinners, our sinful nature had been removed from us, it is not natural for us to sin, and if we appear to be sinning, it isn't us doing it, but sin living in us. It was spiritual antinomianism at its worst, and I watched as over three years it sucked the life out of that poor little congregation. False doctrine kills faith, and that is why the simul is so essential.