By Matt Dawson
No other religion in the world claims to worship and believe in a GOD who appears to have 3 different forms (which is a modalism theological view), but is actually 3 individual persons and is yet still ONE God (Trinitarian theological view). There are plenty of ancient polytheistic views on divinity (multiple Greek gods, Roman gods, etc.) but only ONE religion that claims to worship ONE GOD that is Three Persons – The Trinity.
As believers, we move so quickly past the incredible diversity of the Godhead, that we fail to appreciate its complexity and mystery. We also lose our understanding of the purpose that each member of the Trinity holds to each other.
Right out of the gate, Genesis reveals this Trinitarian God.
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep waters. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters.” Genesis 1:1-2
“Then God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us.” Genesis 1:26
Then, to help clarify the “us” characters to this plot, a man named Jesus showed up over 2000 years ago claiming to be God in the flesh, however still referred to the God of the Covenant as “the Father.”
“Yes, I came from the Father into the world, and now I will leave the world and return to the Father.” John 16:28
Jesus tells His disciples that the Spirit (remember from Genesis) will come after he leaves to help us accomplish the mission He is giving us.
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere – in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8
Paul would bring it full circle in his letter to the church in Colossae that Jesus was actually present at Creation and was indeed also the Creator.
“Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation, for through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see“ Colossians 1:15-16
And if there were still any confusion of this Godhead, we see all three described at the baptism of Jesus.
“After his baptism, as Jesus came up out of the water, the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and settling on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.” Matthew 3:16-17
Often, we take our discussion of the Trinity for granted and it’s primarily because we really don’t understand it and have a difficult time explaining this God to others.
During this Christmas season, we’ve decided to engage in “The Beautiful Mystery” that is our God in three persons…the Trinity. We know that some of you will miss the standard teaching of the Christmas story this season, but we hope that engaging in this discussion about the Trinity will increase your understanding, faith, and appreciation for the Advent of Jesus.