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First Thoughts

Does the Trinity Really Matter?

Does the Trinity really matter?

This is a question that many people struggle to answer.

Some say that the Trinity doesn’t matter because the word “Trinity” isn’t in the Bible.

Others say the Trinity can’t matter because it is too difficult to understand. They’ll say, “If God really wanted the Trinity to matter in my life, he wouldn’t have made it so confusing! It feels like I have to solve an impossible riddle just to be an orthodox Christian!”

Still, others say the Trinity doesn’t matter because it has no practical relevance for the Christian life. They wonder, “Why do I need to figure out how God can be three and one at the same time when I just want to have a good marriage or share the gospel with my neighbor or overcome this temptation I’m facing?”

Considering these objections, here are three reasons why the Trinity matters.

1. The Trinity matters because the Bible matters.

As Christians, the foundation of our faith and life is the Bible. The Bible is the Word of God. In the Bible, God reveals himself to us and makes us wise for salvation through faith in Christ.

This means that we must ensure that what we believe comes not from our own understanding but rather from the perfect revelation of God’s Word.

That leads us to the question: Is the Trinity biblical?

Even though it is true that the word “Trinity” isn’t in the Bible, the Bible unequivocally teaches that there is one God and that he is three persons – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

The Bible affirms that there is one God: “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might” (Deuteronomy 6:4-5).

And the Bible affirms that there are three persons in God: “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all” (2 Corinthians 13:14).

Scripture teaches that God is one and three. There is one God, and he is three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Because this is what the Bible teaches, and because the Bible is the foundation of the Christian faith and life, the Trinity matters.

2. The Trinity matters because theology matters.

In his book, The Knowledge of the Holy, AW Tozer says that “what comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.”

Why is that? It is because if what comes into your mind when you think about God is anything other than the God revealed to us in Scripture, then you are committing idolatry.

That’s why it is so important to make sure that when we think about God, what we think lines up with what the Bible reveals. That’s what theology is – conforming our thoughts about God to the Bible’s revelation of God.

And when it comes to what the Bible reveals to us about God, the Trinity is central.

For instance, the Bible’s account of creation involves the work of the Father (Genesis 1:1), the Son (John 1:1-3), and the Spirit (Genesis 1:2).

Likewise, the Bible’s account of salvation involves the work of the Father (Ephesians 1:3-6), the Son (Ephesians 1:7-12), and the Spirit (Ephesians 1:13-14).

This means that it is impossible to have a biblical understanding of the Christian faith without having a robust understanding of the biblical Trinity.

3. The Trinity matters because the Christian life matters.

When was the last time you faced a struggle in your life?

My guess is that as you were struggling, the Trinity was not the first place you went to find answers and solutions to your problem.

But amazingly, the Bible regularly points us to the Trinity as the central solution to the problems we are facing in our Christian lives.

Let me give you a couple of examples.

Example #1: The Trinity matters when you are stuck in your prayer life.

Perhaps you, like many other Christians, have gone through seasons in your Christian life when prayer has been difficult. You haven’t felt motivated. You have allowed your commitment to slide. You have gotten distracted.

The Bible presents the Trinity as one of the most potent solutions to our struggles with prayer.

Consider this wonderful Trinitarian reality that will revitalize your prayer life: “For through [Christ] we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God” (Ephesians 2:18-19).

Through God the Son and in God the Spirit, we have access to God the Father. And what that means is that we’re no longer strangers and aliens, but instead, we are members of God’s family. We’re residents in God’s house. Even more, we’re adopted sons.

And so, because we know God as our triune God, we know that we are free to go to our Father through the Son and in the Spirit whenever we want and with whatever burdens and requests we have on our hearts.

This Trinitarian truth transforms our struggles with prayer.

Example #2: The Trinity matters when you are feeling discouraged.

The Trinity can bring you deep and lasting encouragement during seasons of discouragement.

Listen to this prayer that Jesus prays to the Father for you: “The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me” (John 17:22-23).

What Jesus says is stunning. If nothing else will bring you encouragement, this will. When you are in Christ, you get to share in the love and glory that the Father and the Son have shared in for all eternity. Through Christ you are in on the fellowship of the eternal triune God. Be encouraged!

The point with these examples is that the Trinity isn’t some abstract theological principle. The Trinity is central to living a vibrant Christian life.

In fact, the Trinity isn’t even a principle at all. The Trinity is God himself. Knowing him and worshipping him is what the Christian life is all about.

Recommended Resources:

Michael Reeves. Delighting in the Trinity. Lisle, IL: IVP Academic, 2012.

To hear more about this topic, check out Pastor Andrew’s Midweek Class on the Trinity.

Andrew Morrell is the Nocatee Campus Pastor of Discipleship at First Baptist Church Jacksonville. Andrew is currently pursuing a Master of Divinity from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

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