Don Explains the Trinity

By Dr. Don Martin Senior Pastor October 17, 2014 "Can you explain the Trinity to me?" he asked as we stood in the vestibule following worship. I wanted to say, "Sure, right after I leap tall buildings in a single bound and catch a speeding bullet." But it's a great question of depth, deserving of an answer. And if you can't ask your pastor, who should you ask? Google or Jeeves? So, here goes in a few short lines. The Trinity was the experience of Christians long before it became doctrine. Simon Peter didn't sit down for lunch with the Apostle Paul and say, "We're gonna have to hammer out a doctrine of the Trinity to resource our business model for the expanding church." No, no, no! They experienced the greatness and presence of God in three specific ways. They looked at the moon and the stars and the mountains and oceans and experienced God our maker. They read the creation stories in Genesis and said, "Amen." They heard Jesus speak about and pray to his Father in heaven. They experienced our Father "who art in heaven," to recall a well coined phrase. And they took a closer look at Jesus following the Easter Sunday miracle. They remembered that Jesus spoke boldly about his profound connection to the Father above. They heard Jesus confirm Peter's confession that he was the Christ. They knew that he said plainly that he was God's son when asked directly by Caiaphas, the high priest.They felt and knew they were forgiven by him. They remembered the miraculous moments when it was difficult to believe their eyes and impossible to close their hearts -- and they got it. He was more than a prophet and greater even than Moses. They saw how he carried himself, how he carried his cross and how he carried them, and they were in awe. He was himself God the Son, at their elbow -- with us. And, then the Spirit rushed into their hearts and minds. They knew beyond all doubt that it was the same Spirit that energized and directed their doing and thinking. They felt a new power within themselves. They weren't scared of the power brokers who killed Jesus and threatened them. They spoke the gospel truth with courage. They saw the Jew/Gentile barrier collapse like the Berlin wall. They saw wandering knuckleheads become believing saints. They saw people begin to live and act just like Jesus. And they knew that the God who was forever above them, and the Son who was for a time with them, was now within them. "Oh my", they said. This is God in all his fullness -- at least as much as we can absorb in the here and now. Make sense? Then some gifted Christian thinkers scribbled it into a doctrine so that a preachin' goober like me could offer a brief explanation to a thoughtful Christian as we stood in the vestibule. I hope this was a bit helpful. I'd write more but I have a building to leap.