For almost 17 centuries, Christianity has asserted that the oneness of God’s divine essence exists in the unity of three persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Thus, “tri-unity” or the Trinity.
Each of the three possesses the whole divine essence undivided, being equally eternal, and each fully shares the one being that is God.
How did such a complex concept come to be regarded as an essential component of the simple gospel? It was developed in reaction to error. It was hammered out on the anvil of controversy against heretical teachings in the third and fourth centuries.
Some reject the Trinity because it doesn’t seem logical. But just because such a doctrine is beyond human ability to fully understand, that is not a valid reason to reject it. People believe many things they cannot understand. Christians do not understand how God created the universe out of nothing, but we believe it to be true based upon the Scriptures (Hebrews 11:3; Colossians 1:16). Similarly, Christians do not understand how God can be one in essence and three in persons, but we believe it, based on what God tells us about himself in Bible (Matthew. 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:13-14; Ephesians. 4:4-6; 1 Pet. 1:2; Revelations 1:4-5).
But there are practical benefits to believing in the Trinity. Theologian Charles Spurgeon once said, “No subject of contemplation will tend more to humble the mind, than thoughts of God. Nothing will so enlarge the intellect and magnify the whole soul as a devout, earnest investigation of the subject of the Trinity. It is a subject so vast, that all our thoughts are lost in its immensity; so deep, that our pride is drowned in its infinity. He who often thinks of God will have a larger mind than the man who simply plods around this narrow globe. I know nothing that can so comfort the soul, so calm the swelling billows of grief and sorrow, so speak peace to the winds of trial, as a devout musing upon the subject of the Godhead.”
So, when I bend my knee to worship the Trinity, I am bowing before a God whom I will never be able to wrap my mind around.
Such a God is greater than my wildest imagination and loftier than my highest thoughts, yet one with whom I have a personal relationship. Knowing that the Trinity is beyond human comprehension further stokes the fire of my devotion and praise, thus inspiring me to preach God’s Word with confidence.
John Giarrizzo is senior pastor of Grace Covenant Church, 1255 N. Greenfield Road, Gilbert.