Category Archives: Father

Three in One – The Necessity of the Trinity

The Trinity

Romans 3:22-24  the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction:  for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,

Some may ask, “Why is the Trinity so important to Christian belief?”.  Why, for instance, can’t I just believe in God and leave it at that?  Why do I need to know that God is Three in One?  This is a valid question and it really has more than one answer.

Without the Trinity, we lose the Gospel.  Man is sinful and God’s wrath (The Father’s) is upon us.  Jesus, the Son, comes to earth to take the sins of man upon Himself and imputes His righteousness on to those who believe on Him.  This brings reconciliation with the Father.  Upon His departure back to the Father’s side, the Holy Spirit is given to the regenerate Christian to empower him or her to live out God’s will.  If we lose any part of this plan, we lose all of it.  Each person of the Trinity plays His role in the redemption of man.  No Trinity, no salvation and no right relationship with God.

Without the Trinity, the Bible makes little sense.  Some Christians believe in something called Modalism, where God is one, but acts in different modes at different times.  The Father created the world.  Jesus was the manifestation of God as a man on earth.  The Holy Spirit is active today in the lives of Christians.  In Modalism, God does not exist as three persons simultaneously.  But then, why did Jesus come to pay the price of man’s sins to satisfy the wrath of God?  How then did God the Father speak from heaven as Jesus was baptized and the Holy Spirit descend on Him like a dove?  It’s a stretch to makes sense of such things.

The reasoning goes on, but what every Christian needs to understand about the Trinity is that God is real right now in your life and is capable of acting in any capacity necessary.  God our Father, Jesus our Mediator, and Holy Spirit our Helper. They are Three and they are One.

Three in One – Calling

 

The Trinity

Matthew 3:16-17  And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him;  and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”

What we see at the baptism of Jesus is the Father confirming the ministry He was sent for and the Holy Spirit empowering Him by coming upon Him.  Jesus, being God himself, is at all times filled with the Holy Spirit, but the picture we get here as believers is that when God calls us to something, He empowers us to do it.  We have the blessing of the Father, the authority given by the Son (Matthew 28:18), and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, which enables us to carry out God’s mission.

All three persons of the Trinity are at work as we carry on with what God has called us to do and each plays a part in their own respective roles along the way.  As finite humans who are quite incapable of fully understanding how God works, we may never know exactly how God is working in a given situation, but we can know that He is working and that He is simultaneously acting in the distinct persons of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  These three are one and they equip us to do what we’re called to do.

Three in One – prayer

The Trinity

1 Timothy 2:5  For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus

Ephesians 6:18a  praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.

One aspect of Christian belief that does not often make its way into devotions or teaching on how to apply biblical truth to daily living is the Triune nature of God.  We neglect to focus on the nature of God as three persons in one as part of our view of God in daily life.  But it’s essential that we remember who God is as we seek to know Him more, as we petition Him, as we carry out His will.

As we pray, we are in fact engaging with all three distinct persons of the Trinity.  We speak to the Father, asking Him for our needs to be met, giving Him praise, interceding for the needs of others, and giving Him thanks.  We do this through the Son, who is our mediator.  Were it not for the role of Jesus Christ standing in the gap between man and God, we would have no access to the throne and our prayers would go unanswered.  Since God himself is spirit, we must act in the Holy Spirit to communicate with Him.  All three persons of the Triune God are present and active as we pray.

We can’t neglect any part of God’s nature as we seek Him.  If we forget that He is good, we will have an unnatural fear of Him.  If we forget that He is all-powerful, we will tend to pray without expecting results.  If we forget that He is all-knowing, we may fear that we won’t quite say the right thing and that God will answer our prayers incorrectly because we didn’t get our message across right.  The fact is that God is all of these things and He is present in our lives as our Father, as Jesus the Son, and as the Holy Spirit.

He loves

The Father

John 3:16  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

God isn’t just another person in life who goes around saying things He doesn’t mean.  God cannot lie and He does not make promises He doesn’t keep.  When He says He loves us, He doesn’t just leave it at that.  He demonstrates it.

Do we understand what it means that God loves us?  Do we grasp the heaviness of the fact that the one who created all things has affection for us?  That He thinks about us?  That He has a plan for us?  He works in our lives, shaping us to be who He created us to be.  He disciplines us when we’ve done wrong, just as a father disciplines his children so that they’ll learn right from wrong.  God shows His love by being involved in our lives.

In an act that could never be confused for anything but love, God sent His Son to die a painful death of suffering on a cross, taking on our sin and giving us His righteousness, so that He could have a relationship with us.  This act was not because we had done anything to earn His love, but because He just loved us that much.

When we struggle in life, when things just don’t seem to make sense, when we feel like no one loves us, we can look at all that God has done for us.  Look to the forgiveness you’ve received in Christ, to the wonderful promises God has made, and to the Holy Spirit He’s placed in your life to comfort and guide you.  He loves you so much that He can’t stay away from you.  He’s crazy about you.

 

He judges

The Father

Isaiah 33:22  For the Lord is our judge; the Lord is our lawgiver; the Lord is our king; he will save us.

The bad news is, God is our judge. The good news is, the Judge is on our side.  If we’re in Christ, we have a mediator who acts on our behalf to keep the Judge’s wrath from us.  The Judge sees His Son in us and rules in our favor.

Which of us is worthy of judging another?  We’ve all committed sins and are guilty of our own transgressions.  How could we judge anyone with so many strikes against us?  But God isn’t like us.  The Judge is without sin, without blemish.  He is holy, and only one who is holy is worthy to judge.  He alone holds the right to hand down a verdict.

One day we’ll all stand before Him and He’ll make His ruling.  We’re either not-guilty because we’ve believed on Christ for our salvation, or we’re guilty because we tried to be good enough on our own and didn’t measure up.  Where will you stand on the final judgement day?  Will you be acquitted of all charges because Christ your mediator stands between you and the Judge, or will you find yourself accused without counsel to defend you?

 

He shapes

The Father

Isaiah 64:8  But now, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.

What does God want from us?  Sometimes we need but ask Him.  We’ll find many times that He’s already at work in us to bring about His purposes.  We are His instruments in this life, if we’ve given ourselves over to Him…and really even if we haven’t (Romans 9:20-23).  He makes us into what He needs us to be, what He wants us to be.

We all have our own desires and our own ideas about what being godly means, but it’s God himself who determines what our strengths and weaknesses are, what our opportunities will be, what our roles in life will be.  But we get to where we are in His great plan one step at a time, one little minor change at a time.  We experience and encounter things that develop us as a people and then we in turn become a little bit more of what God intended.  If we’re following Christ, we’ll be used for good.  God will have us play out a role on His team.  The wicked and ungodly play a role too in His plan, but not for the same side.

Pray for wisdom, pray that God the Father would work on you to make you into the creation He intended you to be.  Seek to be more like Christ, in His character and in His devotion to the Father.  Let God work in you and through you as He shapes you into a fine piece of art.

He disciplines

The Father

Hebrews 12:7-8  It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.

How does a child learn to do what’s right?  They learn through the example their parents give, yes, but they also learn through correction and discipline when they do the wrong things.  By being taught what the rights things are and disciplined over the wrong things, a child can grow into maturity, knowing right from wrong.

How does a Christian learn what God wants?  We have Jesus as our example and we have the commandments to guide us in what’s right.  But when we stray from what God has taught us doesn’t He also correct us?  Doesn’t He sometimes put us back on the right track because He loves us?  There’s a big difference between punishment and discipline.  Some have the view that God is up above watching for us to mess up so He can take His vengeance on us.  That action out of anger would be punishment.  But God doesn’t punish those He loves.  He disciplines them.

The truth is, we may not always even know we’re being disciplined.  The Father may remove something from us that isn’t good for us in a way that provides correction.  We may not even have been aware of what happened.  God may also put people in our lives at certain times that give some correction.  Whatever the method, God disciplines because He loves.  Any parent who provides no guidance and no boundaries to their children does not love them.  If a child is allowed to destroy themselves, the parent has no love for them.  But our Father does love us, and He loves us enough to make sure we’re everything we’re supposed to be.

He adopts

The Father

Galatians 4:6  But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.

Christian, you have been chosen.  Just as an adopted child is chosen by his parents, so too have you been chosen by God and given all the rights due one of His children. Women shouldn’t be put off by the masculine language here.  It’s good that we’re all called “sons” of God, despite our gender, because the firstborn son in any first century family who would have been reading this letter written by Paul would have had an abundance of rights that the other children would not have had.  We should all be pleased to be called sons of God.

He has adopted us into His family through His Son, Jesus Christ.  Through Jesus’ life, death on the cross, and resurrection from the dead, God sent an invitation to us to be part of the family.  When we respond, the adoption is final and we gain child status.  The adopted children of God have rights to everything the firstborn has as co-heirs with Christ.(Romans 8:17)

Not everyone is a child of God, though He created everyone.  Only those who belong to Him through faith in Jesus Christ are His adopted children.  But if you are His, take comfort in the knowledge that He chose you to be part of His family.  Even while you were still just a sinner, He chose you and called you to Himself.  He loves you that much.

He provides

The Father

Matthew 6:11  Give us this day our daily bread.

We all have needs.  Every one of us has something that we can’t live without, even if it’s only the basics of food and water.  But no matter what our needs may be, they are supplied by our Father in heaven.  All good gifts are from above. (James 1:17)

What’s more, God knows what we need before we do.  He’s aware of our everyday necessities and even our desires.  He provides not only what we need to survive, but to thrive and to carry out His purposes.  If He calls us to it, He’ll equip us to carry it out.  We’re never left without the required tools and skills to be used by God.  He’s always ready to give.

Though He knows what we need, in some cases God does want us to ask of Him what we seek.  It may be at times that He gives out of His grace and we never even knew to ask.  It may, however, be at times that He withholds something from us until we petition Him.  This is His prerogative, but it’s done to keep us aligned with His will.  If we ask what He wills, it will certainly be given.

He protects

The Father

Psalm 23:4  Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

Our loving heavenly Father watches over His flock and will not lose even one without knowing about it.  There’s nowhere that we can go where we’ll be outside His sight and His protection.  He can and does protect us.  We have nothing to fear.

The things of this world can be dangerous to anyone, but to a follower of Christ, some of them are downright disastrous outside the grace of God.  He keeps us from harm and allows nothing to prosper against us as we carry out His purposes.  If we’re on the path He sets us on, we’ll see plenty of opposition, but He’ll be the One who keeps us going, guarding us all the way.

He know our weaknesses and won’t allow us to face more temptation than we can bear.  In fact, when faced with temptation, God provides us a way out!  He gives us the avenue to get away from it, because He cares about our future.  He has things for us to do and He’ll provide a way for us to make it to the finish line.  He’s there for us, even when it sometimes seems He’s not.  He’s never off duty, He’s always watching over us, like a shepherd who cares about each and every one of his little sheep.