The Gospel that we looked at last week implies a certain view of God and therefore of man made in His image. The good news that Jesus died for our sins and was raised again for our salvation is only the tip of the iceberg.
The most famous Bible verse: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (Jn. 3:16)
Notice two things: God has an “only begotten son.” This implies that there is already community/family in God Himself. Second, notice that God loves. In 1 John, it says that God is love. Furthermore, here, John says that God’s love extends to the world. Last week we established the fact that ever since the first sin of Adam, man has been ungodly, sinners, and enemies of God. This has brought death and destruction and confusion and pain into the world. Again, John says that because of God’s great love for the world, He gave His only Son (cf. Rom. 5:8). And we know that this love is an overflow of the love God the Father has for His Son (Jn. 3:35, 5:20, 10:17, 17:24).
Finally, we have the final marching orders of Jesus after His resurrection: “Go therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you…” (Mt. 28:19-20)
Putting all of this together, we should make several points: First, here we have what Christians call the doctrine of the Trinity. This is a word that the Church coined early on to describe the One, True God as a “Tri-Unity” – God is three persons that exist eternally as only one God. We do not worship three gods. Nor are we Unitarian. Much could be said on this, but we’ll keep our comments short: 1. There is only one God because this is how God revealed Himself to Israel (Dt. 6:4). 2. This one God exists in three distinct persons: Father, Son, and Spirit. The Father is God. The Son is God. The Spirit is God. Three persons in One God. 3. The Trinity is how love and community are inherent in the nature of God. God is Himself a community of persons that share eternal love with one another. 4. Man was created to share in this Triune community of love. But we rebelled and rejected God’s love and built our own cities and kingdoms in anger and bitterness and bloodshed. But God in His mercy came and sought us by His own Son who suffered in our place, rose up victorious over the curse of death, ascended to heaven and poured out His Spirit upon all who believe. Continue Reading…