THE MAIN POINT
The Trinity is the foundational Christian belief that God is one Being who exists in three Persons:
Father, Son & Holy Spirit. The Trinity is the belief that the identity of God is found within a community of perfect love.
What was God doing before creation?
This is a question [which for Good reason] causes confusion, as we are forcing ourselves to think about something that doesn’t make sense to our reality as humans. It is almost virtually impossible to imagine reality before reality. This is the same for the doctrine (belief) of the Trinity. The belief that there is one God, who exists in three persons, who have distinct roles yet are divinely completely equal. The doctrine of the Trinity, makes your mind melt slightly as it cannot be measured in our understanding as humans, yet is necessary for understanding the identity of God and the meaning of life.
Throughout the gospels, Jesus makes mention of the glory he once had before the creation of the world, alluding to his pre-existence (John 17:5). But in John 17:24 Jesus gives us a window into his experience with his Father for eternity past, and it’s the word love, a relationship of love.
“The eternal state of God for a Christian is the Father loving the Son in and through the Spirit.” Tim Mackie
Three Persons, One God.
The Bible speaks of the Father as God (Phil. 1:2), Jesus as God (Titus 2:13), and the Holy Spirit as God (Acts 5:3-4). Are these just three different ways of looking at God, or simply ways of referring to three different roles that God plays?
The answer must be no because the Bible also indicates that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are distinct Persons. For example, since the Father sent the Son into the world (John 3:16), He cannot be the same person as the Son. Likewise, after the Son returned to the Father (John 16:10), the Father and the Son sent the Holy Spirit into the world (John 14:26; Acts 2:33). Therefore, the Holy Spirit must be distinct from the Father and the Son.
As you prepare the core of the message using personal stories and questions keep in mind these points:
- If God is three Persons, does this mean that each Person is “one-third” of God? Does the Trinity mean that God is divided into three parts? The Trinity does not divide God into three parts. The Bible is clear that all three Persons are each one hundred percent God. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are all fully God. For example, it says of Christ that “in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form” (Colossians 2:9).
- While the three members of the Trinity are distinct, this does not mean that any is inferior to the other. Instead, they are all identical in attributes. They are equal in power, love, mercy, justice, holiness, knowledge, and all other qualities.
- If each Person of the Trinity is distinct and yet fully God, then should we conclude that there is more than one God? Obviously we cannot, for Scripture is clear that there is only one God: “There is no other God but me, a righteous God and Saviour; there is no one except me.” (Isaiah 45:21-22; see also 44:6-8; Exodus 15:11; Deuteronomy 4:35; 6:4-5; 32:39; 1 Samuel 2:2; 1 Kings 8:60).
- Just as human beings’ true identity is found in Christ, God’s true identity is found in the doctrine of the Trinity. To view God as a Trinity never stops at the Trinity, because the whole point is this: God is inviting all creation into his love. In essence, the Father loves the Son, so sends out the Son, empowered by the Holy Spirit, so that others can be invited into the family of love.
As you prepare the application, challenge and/or encouragement, keep in mind these points: