Luke 3:21-22 “The Trinity on Display”
Last week I mentioned that there are two major things going on with Jesus’ baptism. One was what God spoke one Jesus as He inaugurated His ministry. That is a huge message that I am confident you will wrestle with believing for the rest of your life. The second is that in this brief section, the Trinity is put on Display. Because This book is written to Theopholus and us so that we may have certainty about the things we have been taught, I wanted to take some time and explain the Christian doctrine of the trinity.
Now, I am aware that many of us come from different backgrounds and there are some who were raised to believe that the trinity was a false teaching. So what I want to do today is to articulate the orthodox view of the trinity for us and explain why understanding it is important. First off, lets read the text.
So, just to point out from this text, what we see here are the three persons of the trinity existing at the same time in he same moment, performing different functions.
The Father is in Heaven, speaking over the Son, who is in the form of a man, and the Holy Spirit descends like a dove to empower the ministry of the Son.
So, what does the Bible teach about these three persons?
First off, there is only one God. That is The foundational principle for the trinity. We are a monotheistic religion.
Secondly, one God exists in three persons. One in essence, three in persons.
Each has their own function in the Godhead. Equal in value, different roles.
Athanasian Creed: “That we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity; Neither confounding the Persons; nor dividing the Essence. For there is one Person of the Father; another of the Son; and another of the Holy Ghost. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, is all one; the Glory equal, the Majesty coeternal. Such as the Father is; such is the Son; and such is the Holy Ghost. The Father uncreated; the Son uncreated; and the Holy Ghost uncreated. The Father unlimited; the Son unlimited; and the Holy Ghost unlimited. The Father eternal; the Son eternal; and the Holy Ghost eternal. And yet they are not three eternals; but one eternal. As also there are not three uncreated; nor three infinites, but one uncreated; and one infinite. So likewise the Father is Almighty; the Son Almighty; and the Holy Ghost Almighty. And yet they are not three Almighties; but one Almighty. So the Father is God; the Son is God; and the Holy Ghost is God. And yet they are not three Gods; but one God. So likewise the Father is Lord; the Son Lord; and the Holy Ghost Lord. And yet not three Lords; but one Lord. For like as we are compelled by the Christian verity; to acknowledge every Person by himself to be God and Lord; So are we forbidden by the catholic religion; to say, There are three Gods, or three Lords. The Father is made of none; neither created, nor begotten. The Son is of the Father alone; not made, nor created; but begotten. The Holy Ghost is of the Father and of the Son; neither made, nor created, nor begotten; but proceeding. So there is one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three Sons; one Holy Ghost, not three Holy Ghosts. And in this Trinity none is before, or after another; none is greater, or less than another. But the whole three Persons are coeternal, and coequal. So that in all things, as aforesaid; the Unity in Trinity, and the Trinity in Unity, is to be worshipped. He therefore that will be saved, let him thus think of the Trinity.”
Now, I admit that is a very cursory look at what Orthodox view of the Trinity. If you want to learn more, there is a great series by R.C. Sproul on Right Now Media called understanding the Trinity. I would recommend you check it out if you want an in depth explanation.
What I want to do now though is look at why understanding the Trinity matters for Christians. Just as in this moment, the trinity is on display, so too, in many aspects of our lives as believers, the triune nature of the Godhead is on display.
Your Relationship with Jesus: Romans 6:1-11 Displayed in Baptism…
Your Relationship with other believers: John 17:6-26 Displayed in Communion…
Your Relationship with your spouse: Matthew 19:4-6 Ephesians 5:20-33 Displayed in Marriage…
Your Relationship with your parents: Ephesians 6:1-4
Your Relationship with your boss: Ephesians 6:5-9