Why the Trinity Matters
The doctrine of the Trinity is perhaps the most pronounced theological divide between
Christianity and all other religions. Scripture reveals something incredible about God – that he is three persons (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) in one God – the same in substance, equal in power and glory. And the practical value of God’s tri-unity for living the Christian life is immeasurable. Let me share with you at least four ways the Trinity impacts our personal knowledge of God: The Trinity shows us that God is mysterious: The Trinity is the central mystery of who God is. The reason why (smart) theologians don’t even attempt to offer a mental picture of the Trinity is because any illustration ultimately results in a heretical teaching about the Trinity. God’s tri-unity reminds us that we’re never going to entirely comprehend him. We have little, finite minds and God is never going to fully fit into our language, concepts, and ways of explaining things. Even the Apostle Paul, who received direct revelation from God himself, writes in Romans 11:33, “Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!” That’s a good reminder for us. It keeps us humble, especially in our interactions with fellow believers who struggle to know and understand God as he reveals himself to be. And while they need instruction and correction (as do we!), we must be humble in the way we go about it because God is mysterious. Any truth you believe about God – and ultimately the only reason why you believe the gospel – is because of God’s grace to you; because he has removed the scales from your eyes and softened your heart to believe in Him. So the fact that God is mysterious should remove all arrogance and pretense from our interactions with others. The Trinity shows us that God is relational: We should remember when the Apostle John wrote that “God is love,” we have to ask the question, “If God is not truine, then who did he love?” Our Muslim friends, who like us, are monotheistic, do not believe that God is triune. Therefore, God needed to create people in order to be relational and to express love. In other words, God depends on his created beings to make up for what is lacking in his nature. But Scripture does not teach us that God created people because he needed someone to love. Such a belief suggests that God was not sufficient in and of himself prior to the creation of Adam and Eve. The reality is that God was already in a love-relationship prior to the creation. As we see in John 1, where the Triune God existed fully from eternity past, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit were in a vulnerable, face-to-face, loving, dynamic relationship. The entire basis for our relationship with others and with God stems from the fact that we are created in his triune image. The Trinity shows us God’s independence: The fact that God is not dependent upon us to give him love or to give love to us affirms the distinction between us and God; between the creature and the Creator. And it reminds us that our lives are to be lived in humility and service to him because of the depth of his grace; that even though he is fully sufficient and independent, he still moved toward us, brought his grace to us in Jesus Christ, and reconciled us to himself. God’s independence reminds us of the beauty of the gospel. The Trinity shows us God’s completeness: If we are a truly blessed people – if our hearts find rest in him and our ultimate fulfillment comes from knowing God and being reconciled to him – how much more content are the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit given that they find pleasure in each other? God is free from anxiety, fear, and discontent because he is fully satisfied in the majesty of himself. And while certain physiological factors may contribute to our mental and emotional anguish, God’s completeness ultimately reminds us that the only way to become whole is to find our significance and contentment in the triune God alone.