The Trinity, Part 1: Worshipping the Triune God
This first installment in our series on The Attributes of God Series is a long time coming, but I trust the copious notes I have taken will be of use to the both of us as we explore this seldom exposited, and perhaps underrated, yet tremendously fundamental aspect of God’s person. During this series we will, in part, be following along with a series by the same name put on this summer by Grace Community Church. We will look at other sermons as the week progresses and I will give some of my thoughts as well. I trust that they will be a blessing to our growth in understanding and living out a Trinitarian view of our great God. To start, we will consider a sermon by Austin Duncan of Grace Community Church called “Worshipping the Triune God.”
Notes on “Worshipping the Triune God”
The Gravity of the Trinity
The doctrine of the Trinity is perhaps the most mysterious and difficult doctrine that is presented to us in the entire range of Scripture. Lorraine Boettner
The Trinity is a doctrine where error is especially deadly.
The Trinity Defined
- The Trinity
- “One God, who eternally exists in three distinct persons — Father, Son, and Spirit — who are each fully and equally God.”
The Biblical Trinity
- There is One God and There is No One Like Him
- Deuteronomy 4:35
- Deuteronomy 4:39
- Deuteronomy 6:4
- Isaiah 37:20
- Isaiah 45:5
- Isaiah 46:9
- Ephesians 4:6
- 1 Timothy 1:17
- 1 Timothy 2:5
- Psalm 86:8
- Psalm 86:10
- Jeremiah 10:10
- John 17:3
- 1 Corinthians 10:20 False gods and Idols are Demons. People are having genuine spiritual experiences with… demons. All other religions worship demons.
- The Father, Jesus, and the Spirit Are Each God
- God the Father is God
- God the Son is God (Jesus Christ is God)
- Failure to affirm this truth makes Christianity meaningless
- “His human name was Jesus, but his divine title was Christ.”
- Isaiah 9:6
- Jeremiah 23:5-6
- John 1
- John 5:22-23 “… if you do not honor the Son, you do not honor God. In other words, if you do not worship Jesus Christ, you do not worship God.”
- John 8:58
- John 10:30-33
- John 20:28
- Titus 2:13
- Colossians 1
- Hebrews 1
- God the Spirit is God
- The Three Persons of the Trinity are Distinct Persons
- Each person of Trinity is distinct. “Father,” “Son,” and “Holy Spirit” are not simply names for God, but three unique persons.
- The Trinity is Eternal — It always existed, and always will.
- We see the triune nature of God in the very first verse of the Bible, Genesis 1. “God created the heavens and the earth” — “God” is a plural noun, “elohiym.”
- Genesis 1:26 “Let us make man in our image…”
- Genesis 3:22 “Behold, the man has become like one of us.”
- Genesis 11
- Isaiah 40-48: Describes the incomparability of God the Father.
- Isaiah 49-57: Describes atonement of God the Son.
- Isaiah 58-66: The work of God the Holy Spirit.
- Isaiah 48:16
- John 14:26 “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things….”
- Matthew 3:17 All three members of the Trinity at the baptism of Jesus.
- Matthew 28:19 The Great Commission: “Our mission is a Trinitarian mission.”
- Hebrews 9:14
- “If you are tempted to shy away from this doctrine because it’s too mysterious or too complicated, that route is not open to you … we could study and understand the attributes of God … you could know all of those things and you would not rightly understand God, at all. Because God has always existed, always existed, as three persons, yet one God.”
- All of God’s attributes are true of each person in the Trinity because each person of the Trinity is fully God.
- All analogies of what the Trinity is like fail, miserably. They invariably mislead into heretical theologies, such as modalism or tritheism. “You know what the Trinity is like? It’s like the Trinity.”
The Practicality of the Trinity
Three Implications of 1 Thessalonians 1
- The Gospel Message is Trinitarian
- Sanctification is Trinitarian
- Christian Worship is Trinitarian
1. The Gospel Message is Trinitarian
- The Gospel is Trinitarian by nature.
- God the Father elects: “4 knowing, brethren beloved by God, His choice of you;”
- God the Son is the atoning sacrifice: “10 … Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath to come.”
- God the Spirit indwells the believer: “6 … having received the word in much tribulation with the joy of the Holy Spirit.”
- Augustine: Love must have an object.
- God was not existing in a state of loneliness prior to His creation of the world. He lived in Trinitarian fellowship with Himself, fully content, for enternity.
- Jonathan Edwards’ essay on the Trinity: Why did God create? “The world was made for the Son of God especially. For God made the world for Himself from love to Himself; but God loves Himself only in a reflex act. He views Himself and so loves Himself, so He makes the world for Himself viewed and reflected on, and that is. The same with Himself repeated or begotten in His own idea, and that is His Son. When God considers of making any thing for Himself He presents Himself before Himself and views Himself as His End, and that viewing Himself is the same as reflecting on Himself or having an idea of Himself, and to make the world for the Godhead thus viewed and understood is to make the world for the Godhead begotten and that is to make the world for the Son of God.”
2. Sanctification is Trinitarian
- God the Father ordains our sanctification in His election and giving of us to the Son.
- We are sanctified in the precense and reverence of the Father: 1 Thessalonians 1:3
- The Spirit works in the believer: 1 Thessalonians 1:6 “…having received the word in much tribulation with the joy of the Holy Spirit.”
- The Son shows a pattern by which we are to live.
3. Christian Worship is Trinitarian
- Paul’s prayer is precise, mentioning all members of the Trinity.
- There is an imbalance in our worship if we have an imbalanced view of God.
- Trinitarian worship give honor to every person of the Trinity — we pray to God the Father, in the name of the Son, by the Spirit.
- This doctrine is absolutely essential to Christianity. It is one of the most uniquely Christian doctrines, truly distinguishing Christianity from all other religions.
- If this is mind-boggling to you — this concept of the Trinity — Good. Good! Because it’s God we’re talking about, not your neighbor… You cannot, in your finite mind, comprehend the infinite Trinitarian God. Nor, I believe, will you ever [even in heaven].”
- “When we arrive at our destination, we don’t say ‘I get it.’ We say, ‘How great is our God!’”