Today is Trinity Sunday, the Sunday after Pentecost. A day when Christian church has historically celebrated one of its central beliefs …that of a Triune God.
We meditate on the theme of “God the Holy Trinity” this morning. It is a day to thank God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit who together form the God-head. The word ‘Trinity’ is not mentioned in the Bible. Trinity is not easy to comprehend. Is it one God in three persons? or three in one person? How do we understand this doctrine?
Augustine, one of the greatest and earliest theologians of the Christian faith said, “Any one who denies the Trinity is in danger of losing their salvation…. And anyone who tries to understand it is in danger of losing their mind.” The truth is that it is great mystery. It took the church nearly three hundred years to complete the wording of Trinitarian Orthodoxy producing the Nicene Creed which we recite every Sunday morning.
A simple way of understanding the Trinity is to think of water in its various forms. Water can exist as vapour and also as ice apart from existing as water itself. However, the component will be only H2O.
Another symbol that can be used to understand is an equilateral triangle. There are three distinct and different angles, angle A, angle B and angle C. All of them are sixty degrees, they are equal but each angle is different but form the one and the same triangle.
So also, it is with the Trinity. God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are distinct and different persons but yet the same. The substance and character of all three remains the same.
In this passage, we see God appearing to Mosses and telling him that he appeared to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as God Almighty (El Shaddai). But by his name the ‘LORD’ (YHWH). He had not revealed himself. It is only through the Exodus event that we know Yahweh.
The message that Yahweh gives to Moses for the discouraged Israelites is the charter of freedom from Egypt. It shows that God was going to free and redeem the Israelites from slavery. Once he does that, he was going to enter into a special covenant relationship with them. He will be their God and they will be his people. The people of Israel will also know who Yahweh his by his Mighty acts and he would keep this solemn promise to give Abraham and his descendants the land of Canaan. These four themes can be traced throughout the Old Testament in New Testament as the basic elements of God’s plan of salvation. In this we see that the Father is involved in the world of redemption, covenant relationship and revelation of his power.
In Mark’s gospel 1:7-13 we notice the baptism of Jesus by John. John says very clearly that the one who will come after him would baptize them with the Holy Spirit. He acknowledges the power of the Holy Spirit that would be made available to the people. Secondly, we notice that heaven was split apart. Mark uses skidzo instead of anoigo which would have been the normal word for open. This is again picked up when the curtain in the temple is split open (skidzo). Jesus makes possible our redemption and our relationship with the father by splitting open the heaven and giving us access to God.
Moreover, the heavenly voice says, “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” So, we see the revelation of Jesus as the Son of God.
In the book of Romans, Paul says, “If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you”. We also see in Ephesians 1:19-20 where Paul says, “His incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms.” So, immense power is available to us.
Because the Spirit of God is available to us, we have an obligation to put to death our sinful nature. We are not to live according to the sinful nature wasting our time in chasing after the desires of the flesh. The outcome of following our sinful nature will be death. It will result definitely in eternal death and sometime in physical death.
The Spirit also endorses our redemption by giving us the right to be called the children of God. The Holy Spirit enables us to stay in this relationship with Jesus and empowers us. We are heirs of God and Co-heirs with Christ if we share in his suffering in order that we may share in his glory.
The Holy Spirit is the one who removes the veils of our hearts and eyes so that we may truly see Jesus as God in human flesh and believe in him. God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are involved in our Redemption, our Relationship, in Revelation and in Release of power to us. May we truly allow the Trinity to work in our lives so that we may become more like Christ.
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