Why The Trinity Matters (Practically Speaking)
A.W. Tozer said, “What you think of God is the most important thing about you.” This is certainly true in relation to idolatry, where the Bible repeatedly warns that we will become like our idols (Psa. 115:8; 135:15-18; Isa. 44:18-20; 2 Cor. 4:4). Idolatry is not only repugnant to God, it is a deadly disease of the heart.
Idolatry is anything that exchanges the glory of God for something else (Rom. 1:23). One of the ways we trade God’s glory is by failing to appreciate His triune nature. When we do this, it effects us in deeper ways than you might think.
What If God Were Not A Trinity?
To see the horror of a god who is unitarian (instead of triune), look no further than Islam. The Muslim god, Allah, is exclusively one person; he has no Son or Spirit. Before creation, Allah was completely alone – a sort of divine hermit. He had no one with whom to share his divine nature for eternity. He was always just a solitary being. So he created the world so he could have something over which to rule.
In contrast, the God of the Bible has always existed – even before Creation – as Father, Son, and Spirit. And one of the eternal attributes of God is that He is “love” (1 John 4:8). Love must always have an object to love and by which to be loved. The Bible never teaches that God became loving after He created the world. So for God to have always been love, He must have always had someone to love. Thus, before the foundation of the world, the Father, Son, and Spirit were (and always will be) an indivisible God of infinite love. One in essence; three in Person; perpetually loving one another. This is why the Son said to the Father in John 17:24, “You loved me before the foundation of the world.”
Remember, how we think about God affects us in monumental ways. Islamic theology is founded on the principle of totalitarianism and absolute submission. The merciless Muslim view of Allah is projected onto their view of civil government, marriage, and religious life. Every institution is based upon the theory of subjection and control. To them, there is no such thing as “separation of church and state” — all must bow to Allah. The highest level of spirituality in Islam is that of submissive fear towards the autocratic Allah.
Christianity is just the opposite. When we understand the true God is a Trinity, it results in love, grace, and obedience to Him from the heart. This in turn is projected onto the Christian’s view of government, marriage, and religion. Christianity is based upon giving and mutual respect in every arena of life, because that is what God has given us. The highest level of spirituality in Christianity is that of obeying God from the heart because we love Him as “He first loved us” (1 John 4:19).
Why are the religions of Islam and Christianity so radically different? Because, ultimately, the god of the Quran and the God of the Bible are two very different Gods. Consequently, human cultures saturated by Islam and cultures permeated by the Biblical worldview are like night and day. Allah says, “I exist so you will die serving me.” Our Triune God says, “I died for you so you can live for Me.” The God we choose to serve will change us in fundamental ways.
The Trinity Makes Us Sweeter
Christians Have Been Adopted Into A Family, Not Made Into Slaves
When we understand that God is a Trinity, we get a better picture of our salvation. The apostle Paul shows us that Christians have been adopted into the family of God:
For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ (Rom. 8:15-17)
God sent His Son into the world to pay the penalty for our sins against Him. Now, through the Son, we can be welcomed into the household of God and be made brothers of Christ Himself (Heb. 2:11).
This is incredibly different than the picture of followers of the solidly monotheistic Allah.
Christians Are To Love One Another As God Loves Us
When we understand that God is a Trinity, we become a more loving spouse, friend, and church member.
The Spirit reveals to us what was once an incredible mystery of God (Eph. 1:13-14). God has shown us the relationship He has with His Son and His Spirit. We stand in awe as we read the words of Jesus: “As the Father has loved Me, so I have loved you” (John 15:9). Nothing better teaches us that love than the Trinity. The Son traded His life for the life of His bride (you and me, the church). Likewise, we are to model this love in our marriages (Eph. 5:25, 28-30) and within the church among one another (John 13:35).
In the words of C.S. Lewis:
When Christianity says that God loves man, it means that God loves man: not that He has some ‘disinterested,’ because really indifferent, concern for our welfare, but that, in awful and surprising truth, we are the objects of His love. You asked for a loving God: you have one.
God loves us. We see this love between the Father, Son, and Spirit, and now He has offered His love to us. But with this love, comes responsibility and obligation. Greater knowledge of God demands greater commitment from us.
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