One God, triune

By Judith Rogers

Right from creation it is clear that there is a plurality within the Godhead: “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness.” (Genesis 1:26) The Trinity is eternal – the Father, Son and Holy Spirit have always existed in perfect relationship. All three were involved in creation: “the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters” (Genesis 1:2); “by Him (Jesus) all things were created” (Colossians 1:16).

When the time was right, the eternal Son of God stepped into time and confined Himself to a human body, taking the name Jesus. Why? So that we could see what God is really like, so that God could come closer than He ever had before, and ultimately so that God could restore His image in us, by taking our sin in His own body.

For the first time in history a human being called God “Father” – a 12 year old boy in the temple who declared “I must be about my Father’s business” (Luke 2:49). This was momentous, and very hard for the Jews to accept. At Jesus’ baptism we witness the Trinity inaugurating Jesus’ earthly ministry as the Spirit descends from heaven as a dove and the Father declares, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:16-17)

In Jesus’ teaching He repeatedly referred to His Father, described how He and His Father are one, and described their relationship with one another (John 10:36-38; 14:9-11; 17:24-26). He also explained the role of the Holy Spirit, and how the Son’s departure would pave the way for the Spirit to come to earth in more permanent way (John 14:16-18).

Yet when Jesus hung on the cross, it “pleased the Lord to bruise Him” (Isaiah 53:10). The Son was forsaken by the Father in those hours of darkness, “the Father turned His face away” (How deep the Father’s love). We can’t begin to understand what it meant for the perfect love and relationship between the Father and Son to be disrupted while the Father laid our sins on the Son – the Father’s heart was broken, the Son had pleaded for there to be another way. But there was no other way. The cross was the only way.

Our capacity for love, and our desire for relationship, comes from the fact that we are made in the image of a triune God, who has relationship within Himself, who is the very epitome of love. C.S Lewis talks about “the dance of the trinity” and in the Gospel God invites us into this dance, this relationship, this family.  

This is the wonderful invitation we will offer to children, teenagers and adults this summer. By faith we have seen a little of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ, and we have the privilege of sharing the greatness of our eternal, triune God with others. As believers we have the Spirit of God to empower us to speak of Him.

It is likely that we will meet people who either take the doctrine of the Trinity for granted, or deny it to be true altogether. May we be given help to show them not only the beautiful truth of our three-in-one/one-in-three God, but also the implications of it. 

Monday: Isaiah 40:12-18

  1. List all the ways these verses describe the majesty of God . . . and then worship Him for it!

Tuesday: John 1:1-14

  1. How do these verses help to explain/prove the trinity?
  2. Why do you think the Son of God is described as “the Word”?

Wednesday: Hebrews 1:1-5

  1. How do these verses help us to understand why Jesus is called “the Word” in John ch 1?
  2. What attributes of the Son do you find in these verses?
  3. Verse 5 is a quote from Psalm 2:7 – why is it amazing that the Psalmist wrote this hundreds of years before Jesus was born?

Thursday: John 14:6-30

  1. What do these verses teach us about each person of the Trinity: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit?

Friday: John 17:9-26

  1. What do these verses teach us about the relationship between the Father and the Son?
  2. What do they tell us about how we are drawn into the fellowship between the Father and the Son?

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