Why the Trinity Really Matters
I want to know God more than anything. However, in order to know Him, I have got to know and understand the Trinity. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are one in essence and three in persons. They are co-existent and co-eternal.
It’s popular these days, I mean it really is, to say, “Why is the Trinity such a hot issue? Aren’t we splitting hairs? I mean, what does it really matter?” I’m talking to you, friends, about the crux of Christianity. I’m talking to you about the foundation of our faith.
What if I said, “Okay, here’s a couple of hundred thousand dollars. Go out and build a house.” You wouldn’t say, “Who cares about the foundation? I’m just going to go ahead and build the house.” Foundations matter, don’t they? They matter, especially in this area. They really matter. We are talking about something that is huge. We are talking about the very foundation of our faith.
We have this belief these days, this politically correct belief that God is like this big “smoothie” God. Anywhere you look these days, you will see a smoothie store on the corner — Smoothie King, Jamba Juice — we even sell smoothies at The Source. I love smoothies. Smoothies are good. You can customize your smoothie.
A lot of us think God is a “smoothie” God. We think, “You can throw Islam, Scientology, Mormonism, Jehovah Witnesses, astronism and all this stuff in the blender, and God could just push the button and blend them all together. They are all the same.” Whenever someone says that, they are advertising their ignorance. They are saying, “You know what? I have never studied the world religions. I never have.” Christianity is totally unique and totally different from all the other major world religions. In God’s blender, it’s God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. You will never have another smoothie like it. It’s unique.
In John 14:6, Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life.” He said that. He didn’t say, “I’m an option.” He didn’t say, “I’m one of many different ways.” He said, “I am the way.” I didn’t say it. I’m just telling you what Jesus said. You see, the exclusivity of Christianity really bothers people in our pluralistic culture. We can’t take it.
The Trinity – it’s unique. Think about Islam, for example. Muslims deny the Trinity. They see God as a sequestered god, a god you can’t really know, and an authoritarian god. Think about Mormonism. Mormons deny the Trinity. In Mormonism, everybody is a god. You’re a god. He’s a god. She’s a god. They deny the Trinity. Jehovah’s Witnesses deny the Trinity. They feel that God the Father created God the Son. One sect of Hinduism denotes over 330 million different gods. They, obviously, deny the Trinity. Buddhism is just a philosophy of life. So, to sit there and say, “Yeah, all the world religions are kind of the same…” Hello? They are not.
We love Muslims. We love Buddhists. We love Hindus. We love Jehovah’s Witnesses. We are to build bridges of love to them all. But, we are going to draw lines in the sand. We are going to say, “Here is our standard. Here is truth. Here is how God has revealed himself to us in this holy mystery.” As believers, we need to understand this. We don’t need to argue people into the kingdom. We need to love them by speaking the truth cloaked in compassion.
Just for a second, think about yourself as a 9-year-old. Just for a second. Let’s say you are at the local swimming pool — the community swimming pool. You are 9 years of age, and you are there with your mom. You are swimming in the shallow waters, and you still have your floaties on. Let’s say you look at your mom and say, “Mom, my friends are jumping off the high dive. Today, Mom, I am going to jump off the high dive. I really am, Mom.”
Your mom says, “Good! Go for it.” So, you rip those floaties off and you climb up the ladder. “Wow,” you say to yourself, “I didn’t realize it was this high.” You wait your turn while your friends are jumping off. Your friends say, “Come on, man. It’s easy!” You say, “I am. I’m going to do it.”
Now, it’s your turn. Everybody in the pool is watching. You make your way to the end of the diving board. You curl your toes over the end. “Mom, I’ll do it. I’m going to do it, Mom. All of a sudden, you realize, “Man, look how deep it is! It’s deep. Look how high I am. This is freaky!” You start hyperventilating. Then you say, “I can’t do it, man.” You walk back down the diving board, “Excuse me. Excuse me, man. I’m sorry.” Your friends start teasing you, “Man, you’re a baby, man.” “Sorry I can’t do it, Mom. I’m going to put my floaties back on.”
Then, you go back to the shallow end.
Throughout history, starting specifically in the second and third century, a lot of people have treated the Trinity that way. A lot of people have walked to the edge of the high dive, looked down and gone, “Whoa, look how mysterious, look how big, the Trinity is. Look how vast God is. I can’t do this.” They back off the diving board and they scale down the ladder. They have given shallow water solutions to the nature and the character of God. They have “dumbed down” the Trinity.
As Christ-followers, we have got to know the basics of the faith. We have got to know them so well that, when a counterfeit comes our way, it just stands out like a sore thumb. So, this is the Bible. The Trinity is what makes Christianity, Christianity. It separates it from all other world religions. The Trinity now, is what makes truth, truth. The Trinity is our standard. God’s Word is our standard.
The most important thing is not the knowledge. The most important thing is living our lives in light of that doing it. It’s living it out. It’s allowing the Trinity to transcend the areas of our lives. Most of us don’t need another Bible study. We need to have a venue of ministry where we can do the stuff. We have got to know it, and we have got to do it. If you are a believer, then you are a Trinitarian. What are the implications of the Trinity? You know truth. What are you doing with truth?
What if I said, “You know what? I figured out the cure for AIDS. I’ve got it. I’ve got it, but I’m not going to tell anybody about it. ”
We’ve got the truth. We’ve got the message of hope and love and compassion. We have got to share it. Do you really want to live out what it means to be a Trinitarian? Think about your finances. Jesus said that we should help the poor. Are you helping the poor? We have clothing drives, food drives, and mission trips here at Fellowship. Are you really helping the poor? Jesus said that we are to. Again, I’m just talking about going deep. People say, “I want to go deep.” How about that person who works beside you in the cubicle who doesn’t know the Lord? Are you a Trinitarian? Are you serving them? Are you loving them? Are you sharing with them when you get a chance? Maybe your lifestyle and what you do really doesn’t sync up with God’s nature. Hey, husbands, are you a Trinitarian in your marriage? Love your wife like Jesus Christ has loved the Church. Children, honor your parents.
The world is watching you and me. They want to see the holy mystery of the Trinity — not only in the church, but also in the theatre of the world. As they look at your life and mine, do they see a holy mystery?