Monday, January 16, 2012

1+1+1=1? Exploring the Trinity

Living from the Inside Out

A Prayer . . .

Oh God, we stand in wonder as we consider the mystery of you.

With a word, you formed the heavens, the earth, and everything in it. With great finesse, you created every living thing with an intricate design. Just as no two mountains are alike - their peaks, elevations, and faces taking their unique place in your landscape - no two humans are alike - each created in a distinct way for a distinct purpose in your kingdom. 

We marvel at another great mystery of you . . . your ability to be three persons in one - God the Father; Jesus, the Son; and the Holy Spirit. God the Father, you are perfectly holy, righteous, and just. You are all-powerful, all-knowing, and cannot be contained. You are faithful and loving to all you have made. Jesus, you are God with us. You make the Father's heart known to us, demonstrate unearthly compassion, endure our punishment, clear our name, and reclaim us as your own. Holy Spirit, you are the breath of heaven empowering, guiding, teaching, comforting, convicting, molding, and restoring us. We acknowledge your personal presence within us, and are so grateful for the joy of being close to God through you. You are his presence within us.

Another great mystery that perplexes us but also makes us grateful, is the mystery of your love for man. Even though we are imperfect and unworthy, through Jesus you gave your life to save us. Through your Holy Spirit, you implant special God-given abilities within your followers. There are many gifts, but there is one Spirit that empowers us.  Though we each have unique purposes, it is one God we serve.

We celebrate the mystery and the "bigness" of you, oh God. It keeps us searching, pursuing, discovering . . . 


The Trinity . . .

Christianity is the only religion that believes in a triune God. God doesn't just exist. He came to be with us in human form through Jesus Christ. He lives within us through the Holy Spirit. It is because God is triune that we are able to live from the inside out.

1+1+1=1 . . .

    The three persons - God, the Father; God, the Son (Jesus Christ); and God, the Holy Spirit are each God - and together are one God. 

There are not three separate Gods; nor one God who appears in three different forms; nor three persons who exist in some sort of hierarchy. There is unity, diversity, and equality. They are each fully self-sufficient yet fully interwoven. 

Like a perfume consisting of three floral essences that combine to form a unique fragrance; if any one of the floral essences is removed, the fragrance is not the same. It becomes something altogether different. The three (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) commingle to form the one. 1+1+1=1

The Lord our God is one Lord. (Deuteronomy 6:4)  
I am the Lord, and there is no other, beside me there is no God." (Isaiah 45:5)

Evidence and Proof . . .

God gives us evidence of the trinity in the Old Testament. 

"Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness . . ." Genesis 1:26

 God provides proof of the trinity in the New Testament when Jesus, the Son of God appears; and later when he reveals himself as the Holy Spirit.

As God, they all have the same attributes but different roles. Each is precious, personal, and essential to living from the inside out.