Section 1: God
Week 3: God Exists As Trinity
Day 5: The Trinity Is Central to Our Faith
We sometimes treat the Trinity as a throwaway doctrine. We believe it to be true, but we don’t think about it very often. That’s a shame, because when we understand the doctrine of the Trinity, we realize it explains a lot about our faith. We believe, for example, God became man to die as a sacrifice for our sin in order to save us so we could spend eternity with him. All of that makes sense once we understand the Trinity.
Why Would God Want to Spend Eternity with Us?
When we recognize God has eternally existed as three persons, we realize, as we said earlier, God is not only relational—he is relational to the core. He doesn’t just have relationships; he exists as relationships. So why would God want to spend eternity with us? Because he is by nature relational.
Why Would He Sacrifice Himself for Us?
Stargate SG-1 was one of my favorite shows. Toward the end of the series, they introduced the Ori, a group of ascended beings who promised salvation to all those who worshiped them and destruction to those who refused. It turned out the Ori drew power from being worshiped. So everything they did was an attempt to manipulate people for their own gain. They craved power, and people were simply a means to that end.
Many people see God in a similar light. He wants us to fear and worship him. Beyond that, though, he doesn’t really take an interest in our lives. He might occasionally step in to help us out of a jam, but only if we’ve offered the prescribed worship and gone through the prescribed rituals all at the prescribed times. Even then, he only does it in order to secure our future fear and worship.
But that’s not what God is like. Love is part of God’s DNA. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit have eternally existed in an intimate relationship with one another. Love flows naturally out of who God is.
So why was he willing to become man and sacrifice himself for us in order to make that happen? Because he is by nature loving and, therefore, sacrificial.
Why Should We Be Confident God Will Follow Through and Actually Bring Us into Eternity with Him?
We’ve mentioned already that we can count on God to always be there for us. That may be true, but the reality is God often feels distant. Given that, how can we be sure he hasn’t walked away from us? On a human level, after all, that’s a common occurrence. We connect with someone and we promise to be there for them forever. But our love grows cold and we either walk or drift away. How do we know the same thing won’t happen with God?
We know, in large part, because of his Trinitarian existence. God is not like us. Love is not something that comes and goes for him. Love is inextricably tied to his being. His love could never grow cold because it would go against his very nature.
The doctrine of the Trinity is important, as a practical matter, because it helps to form the basis for faith. At rock bottom, ours is a deeply relational faith, and we can hold firmly to it because ours is a deeply relational God.
Has this study of the Trinity affected your understanding of God’s nature? Has your understanding of God’s nature changed the way you look at your relationship with him in any way?
Make a list of the actions you believe God is calling you take as the result of your study.