We all struggle with the sin of anxiety these days, perhaps more than usual. While our anxious feelings are definitely understandable, however, the Lord calls us to remember His commitment to care for His children. If you’ve repented of your sin and trusted in Christ’s atoning death on the cross as your only source of salvation, you can depend on your Heavenly Father to faithfully take care of you.
Can you think about the Triune God without trying to figure out how He can be one and yet three? You should, you know.
Of course the Trinity should fill you with wonder every time you think of God as three Persons in one Being. But rather than trying to reduce the Trinity to neat metaphors that make you feel able to understand the hows and whys of it all, have you ever simply responded with worship?
This Lord’s Day, why not praise Father, Son and Spirit without analyzing Their unity? Remember that all three of the One we praise deserve honor and glory — each for His unique work.
Originally posted January 30, 2018:
Throughout church history, people have attempted to explain the Trinity. Patrick, the 5th Century missionary to Ireland, famously used the shamrock to illustrate how God can be three distinct Persons and yet one Being. Others have likened the Trinity to H2O (water, ice and vapor) or and egg (shell, white and yoke). There are other analogies, most of which I happily don’t remember.
A friend recently reminded me of an analogy that used to be my favorite. I would explain that, though I’m DebbieLynne in all situations, I am a wife, a sister and an aunt. As such, I have three different roles. Ignore all my other roles (friend, employer, niece, blogger, church member, patient to my doctors and so on).
Obviously the analogy breaks down very quickly. And it should for a few reasons. Two of those reasons particularly trouble me, and I think they should trouble most Christians who really give serious thought to their implications.
Firstly, my roles as wife, sister and aunt depend on how my husband, sister and nieces are related to me. Apart from John, I would not be a wife. If John dies before I do, I will cease to be a wife. Therefore, my identity as wife relies completely on John rather than being intrinsic to my nature.
Yet the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit exist independently of Their roles in relating to the Church. They have definite roles in bringing about salvation and in sanctifying believers, certainly, and we ought to rejoice in how intimately each Person of the Trinity works in our lives. But if God had never created anything, each Person of the Trinity would still exist in His fullness, not needing us to define Him. My various roles hinge on my relationships with others, but God is Father, Son and Spirit eternally, with or without us.
Secondly, and more importantly, it borders on blasphemy to compare ourselves to the Triune God. I tremble in shame at the thought that I ever did such a presumptuous thing! Although He created us in His likeness, we cannot — and indeed, must not — consider ourselves models for describing anything about Him. Especially the Holy Trinity!
God commands Christians to reflect His character qualities like love, righteousness, patience and above all holiness. But He never suggested that anything about us could explain His very essence. My roles as wife, sister and aunt in no way demonstrate the astounding mystery of the Holy Trinity, and God never intended them to do so. Again, the very idea creeps dangerously close to blasphemy, in my opinion.
Many non-Christians dare us to defend the doctrine of the Trinity because they view it as illogical. Consequently, we concoct analogies that seem nifty, supposing that we can convince people with our little illustrations. But in truth, the Trinity lies well beyond the grasp of human reason. Instead of presuming to explain God’s triune nature, maybe we should stand in awe of this marvelous mystery.
God calls us to come to Him as little children (Matthew 18:1-4). In one respect, He wants us to maintain childlike humility and dependence on Him throughout our lives. Actually, we can’t escape such dependence on Him because He controls all of life. Those who fancy themselves to be independent of Him may think they’re getting away with their rebellion, but ultimately He controls even their sin to bring about His purposes.
At the same time, Scripture also Continue reading
Non-Christians do experience a measure of joy; the Lord graciously blesses them with the delights of family and friends.
As an example, many American mothers (regardless of their relationships with Christ) are enjoying special attention today as their children shower them with gifts or make them breakfast in bed. For many, Mother’s Day is a joyful celebration.
Christians, however, have an even deeper joy because Jesus has paid for our sins and given us new life. We see His hand in creation, and rejoice that all His works point back to His glory. Even our ability to love each other ultimately comes from Him.
The Lord is the source of all joy, whether we acknowledge Him or not. Christians merely recognize, by His grace, that joy comes from Him. Consequently, we rejoice all the more as we praise Him for filling us with joy divine!
Have you read through Proverbs lately? Throughout the book, Solomon writes about various benefits of fearing God. For instance, he writes:
26 In the fear of the Lord one has strong confidence,
and his children will have a refuge.
27 The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life,
that one may turn away from the snares of death. ~~Proverbs 14:26-27 (ESV)
Sadly, 21st Century evangelicals have difficulty accepting the idea of fearing God, preferring to emphasize Continue reading
So often evangelicals encourage each other to expect the Lord to bless them materially by saying, “After all, our Father owns the cattle on a thousand hills.” This remark alludes to a verse fragment in Psalm 50. They imply (if not outright declare) that they have unfettered access to material abundance because they claim God as their Father.
Some Scriptures, such as Matthew 6:25-33, assure us that our Heavenly Father will provide the things we need. The Lord indeed takes care of His own, sometimes even giving us much more than we actually need. For example, as I type this article, I’m looking at two of the three blouses my sister sent me as an Easter gift (I wore the other to church yesterday). The Lord definitely blesses His children.
But let’s look at how Psalm 50 uses the clause about God owning the cattle on a thousand hills. Back up to verses 1-6, in which Asaph draws a picture of the majestic Lord summoning His people Continue reading