Recently, I’ve had some discussions with one of the young people about the Trinity. In preaching the subject of assurance of salvation, this young person became concerned about his confusion on the Trinity. It is not that he didn’t believe it, but that he didn’t understand it. This is not uncommon, although I will say there used to be much more preaching of the Trinity than we hear in the modern pulpit. The failure of the younger generation to understand may have much to do with our failure to preach it often enough as essential to the Christian faith.
In my daily reading, I crossed paths with a very good article on the subject, commenting on the apathy of Christians towards the doctrine as if it doesn’t matter as much to the person in the pew as it does to academics who argue its intricacies. Indeed, lately there has been a raging argument in Reformed circles about its inner workings with charges of heresy crisscrossing from both directions.
However, this article was much more practical, showing how important the doctrine is for every Christian regardless of their theological acumen. I would like to copy a small portion of the article which takes one of the most beloved Bible verses and shows how important the Trinity is even to the neophyte with limited theological understanding. Read carefully and consider the following:
“Did you ever notice that even in John 3:16 you’re already wading into trinitarian waters? Don’t get me wrong—I’m not saying that the whole doctrine is here full-blown (you’ll need the rest of John’s Gospel to get the Holy Spirit, including a few verses earlier in 3:5). But just think about all the Trinity-related truths stated or implied in this one simple verse. I can think of at least six:
As Paul puts it in Galatians 4, But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” (Gal. 4:4–6)
As one writer has said, “The Trinity and the gospel have the same shape.” Are you beginning to see why? This is how God saves us—by sending his Son and Spirit. Our salvation hangs on these two sendings. Without them, God would still be a Father, but he wouldn’t be our Father. He would still have a Son, but he wouldn’t have many sons. The Trinity matters because the gospel matters.”
Next week, I want to follow up with another part of the article that makes the point: The Trinity matters because God matters. Think on this first part and look forward to more understanding in the second.
Pastor V. Mark Smith