This past weekend I was blessed with the opportunity to attend a conference called G3. Each year there is a different theological theme that is focused on over the 3 days of the conference. This year the focus was on the doctrine of the Trinity. For much of Christendom the doctrine, at least by name, is settled. Most believe in it, even if they cannot explain it fully. If the truth be told, almost every analogy falls short of actually explaining it, and some are just flat out heretical. The reason is . . . we really don’t have much of anything to compare it to.
I believe the doctrine of the Trinity to be a foundational doctrine, and one that must be held to, for a person to truly be counted as one of the redeemed. It is interesting to think that all of the major heretical religious perversions of Christianity (Jehovah’s Witness, Mormons, and you could count Oneness Pentecostals) agree on one thing: they all discard the doctrine of the Trinity. While it may be hard to describe, the doctrine of the Trinity is crucial. All the speakers at the conference did a superb job pointing out the importance of it in our daily life. I was extremely refreshed, encouraged, and convicted over it all this weekend.
I believe that we can all do a better job of being more Trinitarian in our daily walk. It is easy sometimes to polarize ourselves to one person in the God head. However, we would be wise to make sure that we keep a balance in our thinking on God, and not drift off to one third of the God pie (wait…that’s heresy as well). Below are a few ways I think we can do a better job of worshiping and living out this Trinitarian belief.
In The Way We Pray:
Do you know that all three persons of the Godhead are involved in our prayers? When we pray, the general process is that we pray to the Father (Matthew 6:9), in the name of the Son (John 14:14), in the power of the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 6:18). This does not mean from time to time that we cannot pray to Jesus and ask the Holy Spirit to come. They are all equally God, but the general process is to the Father, in the name of the Son, in the power of the Holy Spirit. This is part of the reason we say what we do at the end of our prayers, “In Jesus’ name we pray . . .” They all have different roles to fill, and if we want to get the Trinity right, our prayer life is one of the best ways to do it.
In The Way We Sing:
Theology matters. R.C. Sproul once said, “Everyone is a theologian.” Oh how true this is. The problem is that often many are not good theologians, and bad theology leads to a wrong understanding of God and can easily lead to wrongful living. Music and songs are such wonderful things. It is in song that we can so easily be taught. It is in song that so many people get their theology, because it is often easier to remember a song than it is to remember a passage of Scripture. If the song is not written with a proper view of the Trinity, it can easily lead us to a wrong view as well. For example, the Holy Spirit is God. God is worthy to be praised. How grateful we are for the Holy Spirit, but we should be careful how much we sing praise to Him, for in His role, He does not draw attention to Himself. His role is to point glory to Jesus and to the Father. We would be wise not to focus much of our words directed at Him, but instead to worship through Him (John 4:24). When we sing, let’s make sure we do it in a way that honors the Trinity, which leads to true worship.
In The Way We Teach:
For those of us who have been blessed with the opportunity to teach or preach it is imperative that we do so with a right view of the Trinity in mind. When the proper noun “He” is invoked in our English Bibles, let’s make sure that we point out who that “He” is referring to (Father, Son, or Holy Spirit). Good doctrine should start with us. Our people often get their doctrine from how we teach and preach. We would be wise not to overlook these opportunities to teach about the Trinity. After all, it is one of our responsibilities and privileges (2 Timothy 2:15).
The Trinity is a bit mysterious I know, but I believe the words of the Athanasian Creed best describe it. It reads,
“we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in unity; neither confounding the persons nor dividing the substance. For there is one person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Spirit, but the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit is all one, coequal in glory, and coeternal in majesty.”
We owe our life to the Trinity. We owe our worship to the Trinity and because of this I was so encouraged this past weekend. I hope maybe we can all be encouraged to pray better, sing better, and teach better to the glory of God in a Trinitarian way. I believe that this is what we need, and I know that is what God desires. So, does the Trinity matter? Your life actually depends on the answer.
Soli Deo Gloria,
Adam B. Burrell