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Practical Gems Found In The Trinity

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Dear friends, today is a follow-up to last week’s message about the God of the Bible being the Triune God, a key heartbeat Christian doctrine, though ever so unfathomable.  Today the aim is to have us see more some of the practical gems to be gleaned from the doctrine of the Trinity! It has been rightly said by Christians in the past: Try to fully understand the Trinity and you lose your mind, but ignore the Trinity you will lose your soul. In other words, there is so much most essential and wonderful to be gleaned from the gospel fact that the God revealed in the Bible is the Triune God, One God in three distinct Persons. The doctrine of the Trinity is not just something for ivory tower theologians to discuss and debate, but it is real to life, wonderful, most helpful gospel truth for God’s people day by day till journey’s end here on earth, and then in eternity far more so, even perfectly and endlessly! Consider with me the following fives ways the doctrine of the Trinity is such a blessing when believed and lived by.

1. Think of the Christian comfort this doctrine provides us.  To prove this is a key purpose for the revelation of the Trinity, namely, to give us rich comfort in the faith, notice with me what Jesus especially focused on with His disciples before His crucifixion.  On the night before His death, we are told in John chapters 13-17 about Jesus spending quality intimate time yet with His disciples. You may be aware how the Bible tells us the disciples were deeply troubled and confused and concerned with all that was going on in connection with Jesus. Not only did they witness the increasing hostility against Jesus but they heard His words repeatedly mentioning about Him laying down His life. They were very concerned about a devastating break in their relationship with Jesus and what would happen to Him and themselves.

But Jesus then, as told to us in these chapters 13-17 of John’s gospel account, spoke ever so tenderly to them and went out of His way to speak comfortably to them in their time of need and doubt and despair. “Let not your heart be troubled” we hear Him say at the beginning of John 14. And then what does Jesus focus on especially? Let us take note what He does especially to comfort and encourage His disciples in their troubles is teach and show them something of God’s Trinitarian Being and works and ways. What comforting good news He proclaims and promises thereby! What Jesus makes plain is that knowing the one true God as three Persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, proves Him as the God of all comfort beyond all words can tell! Indeed, and how the doctrine of the Trinity should so enrich and gladden us in our daily life relationship with Him and even with one another. Jesus Himself dwelling on God being Triune the night before His crucifixion shows us in a real way not only the importance of God being Triune God, but also something of its infinite meaningfulness.  

Just take two texts like John 14:16 & 26.  In John 14:16 Jesus says in regards to the disciples’ fear of being abandoned and left alone when He would depart from them, “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever.”  And then in John 14:26 Jesus declares divine assurance of the gospel promise saying, “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” Notice here how Jesus is shown as the asking, caring Saviour for His people, and the Father declared as the giving, caring Father for His people, and the Spirit revealed as the ministering, caring Helper for His people. Isn’t that most precious? Though Jesus in His human nature would be leaving them after His death and resurrection and with His ascension return to heaven, yet the Father, for Jesus’ sake, is ready to give abundantly all the salvation gifts Christ purchased and obtained through His once for all sacrifice on behalf of His people. And those salvation gifts include especially also the Divine Comforter and Helper, the Holy Spirit in us and with us in all our ways.

How comforting also that the Holy Spirit, Whom God the Father and the Son would send, will not only will teach His followers all things Jesus taught and obtained for His people, but will remind us of it all too, and that He will remain with us, each one of His people, forever even! This means God’s people, all who repent of sin and trust and follow Christ, are never left alone, never left as orphans, literally. No, but even in the darkest and most difficult of our times in life here on earth, when joined to Christ by grace through faith, we may know and be assured of the Triune God of salvation ever with us. Yes, and with God always above us and for us and in us, in and through the Three Persons of the Divine Trinity, the one only true God!

The doctrine of the Trinity, as revealed in Christ and His saving work, enriches the Christian’s comfort exponentially in an infinite measure.  From John chapters 13-17, when Jesus even the night before His crucifixion so focuses on the Trinity, should prove and promise to us what comfort is found in and with God Triune as your God and my God.  God’s people may know that in any trouble and crisis we have God the Father that we may turn to always caring for us; God the Son always praying and interceding for us and reaching out to us from glory with His sin-atoning, all-sufficient, nail-pierced hands, ever ready to help us and to save us, to forgive us and to restore us, to strengthen us and equip us; God the Holy Spirit as other divine Comforter and Helper in us and by us ever ministering to us, leading us in God’s gospel way, the way everlasting, the way of eternal life now and forevermore!

Practically speaking, no doubt not even the holiest Christian in this life draws comfort from the blessed Trinity as we might and should, and as God in His Word invites us to do. But may this teaching be of gospel encouragement now to glory in God Triune for you who are Christians.  Whatever your trial and need, your temptation and struggle, bring it to the Triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, as made known especially with Jesus and Him crucified, and what comfort and help you will find! Who will deny we live in such an overall comfortless world? But in the Christian gospel with the Triune God as revealed in Christ Jesus and by Christ Jesus also especially in John chapters 13-17, do you see it with me? What endless and precious and practical daily comfort is found for all who rely on the LORD in true faith and repentance before Him as Triune God of salvation for sinners like us.

To see also the practical aspect of this more too, we need to think of Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 1 where in praising God as the God of all comfort who comforts us in all our tribulations, what else does Paul say then? Receiving this comfort for ourselves, by God’s grace, he tells us what we are to do. Namely, “that we might be able to comfort them [others around us] which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.” In other words, God reveals Himself to His people as triune God of salvation and endless comfort that we in turn also might not only glorify Him, but reach out to others in witness and testimony of this only true God and God of all comfort He truly is as Triune Saviour God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Are you and I, when Christians, pointing others to the Lord and showing the blessedness of trusting and following the Triune God of the Bible? 

Here let us move on now to a second practical gem to be gleaned from the Trinity for not only does it so show us the source and riches of Christian comfort as can nowhere else be found.

2. How this doctrine of the Trinity can be of so much help in the way of showing true love, not only to God but also to our neighbors. The doctrine of the Trinity, when trusted and prized, so impacts our relationships with others most graciously and lovingly. The solemn reality is that in this fallen world with us as depraved sinners by nature, while there is endless talk about love, yet true love and humble respect for others can neither be known nor shown on our own. In God’s common grace and mercy on this fallen world we see unbelievers showing some genuine love still, thank God. But honestly speaking, caring and faithful true love in all our relationships before God and those around us is a gift of God; something from God Triune in our lives. Such love is not natural for us as fallen corrupted sinners on our own as the Bible makes clear and world history proves. So for the measure and character and commitment in true love for one another, we should think much on the love relationship within the Trinity, and the love shown by God Triune in His works and ways.

What can we say about the love of God Triune? Jesus tells us in here that God the Father’s love towards Him is endless, and the love bond within the Trinity eternal, mutual, and everlastingly steadfast. Jesus knew He Himself was so loved by His heavenly Father, and it was in infinite love to His Father as well as for sinners that Jesus gave Himself even to the death of the cross for the salvation of sinners. All the Trinity knew Jesus and Him crucified and risen as Saviour on behalf of sinners is the only way that the infinite love of God Triune may also be shown to us.  In these same chapters, however, Jesus also makes plain how something of this same love from God Triune is to be shown by us not only to God, but to all those around us, especially in our families and church and in the communities where we live.

The definition of true love before God and our neighbor is not to be determined by human standards, but by God’s standards and the Triune God’s own example.  Of course we never are as God Himself. No, but as creatures made in God’s image, we are to reflect in our relationships the love and care He shows to us as revealed in His Triune Being and works and ways. How is that love of God characterized? Is it not gracious and godly love repeatedly, which means also humble and giving love again and again, and steadfast committed love, or you might, say patient endurance in love? Is it not a delighting in love too, and something evident in showing self-sacrificing service love to one another even on a daily basis?

It is almost surprising how often Jesus mentions in these chapters the importance of walking in true love even as God loves us in Christ Jesus. This whole special section of John’s gospel account begins with telling and showing how Jesus loves His people, “he loved them unto the end”, that is, to the full infinite measure that can be. And then notice in that same chapter, in John 13:34-35 the Saviour, about to lay down His life for His sheep even the next day, instructs His disciples saying, “A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.  By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” It is most interesting to refer here also to 1 John for his many references to walking in truth and love when joined to Christ as only Saviour and Lord. Let me just mention 1 John 4:11 where John exhorts, in God’s name, “Beloved, if God so loved us [giving His only begotten beloved Son to save us, even to the death of the cross in the sinner’s place], we ought also to love one another.

So apply this now in regards to your marriage relationship if you are married. Paul instructs in Ephesians 5 that husbands are to love their wives as Christ loves His church, and wives are to serve their husbands as the church is devoted to the Saviour.  What tender love and forgiving love, patient love and self-sacrificing love, respect and enduring Christ-like love we are to show one to another as spouses, and also as parents with our children, and as brothers and sisters in the Lord, in the church, and as people in our communities to those around us.  Don’t let your love standards and practices be determined by the world or by your feelings, but by God’s Word, and His revelation of Himself as Triune God even the night before Jesus’ crucifixion.

True Triune God-like Christ-like love always gives and never takes in a demanding and entitlement sort of way before God and our neighbor, including in marriage and family life. Sadly, how much sinful selfishness is sometimes presented as being loving when it is not so at all. Being lustful is our natural way as sinners, but not loving.  Who of us doesn’t have so much to learn from God Triune and His love most fully revealed also in Christ and Him crucified? It is at Golgotha where we see the love bond of the Trinity stretched and strained in humanly incomprehensible measure! And you see now, God’s people joined to Christ by the Spirit’s working are fervently to love others with something of that same Christ-like Triune God-like love, especially as Christians and in our relationships at home and in the church and communities where we live. Hearing all this, does it give you reason even now to repent of sin and all too much impatient and selfish lovelessness still? Oh, to be sorry and to apologize truly is not bad, should that be the case. It would be sad, in fact, if you and I don’t and won’t say sorry, for all too often being yet so unloving or so selfishly loving in a worldly way rather than a Christian way.

 

Most certainly it is the case that nothing can promote true love in our fallen world like a Christian understanding and hearty personal acquaintance and familiarity with God’s love as the Triune God reveals His love in His own Being, and makes known that love to us as most fully shown in Christ and Him crucified.  “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” So Paul exalts in Romans 5:8. In Ephesians 3:19 he speaks too of the “love of Christ, which surpasseth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.” Yes, and that we might know and enjoy and reflect also something of what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height of God Triune’s infinite love in Himself and overflowing to His people in and through Christ Jesus, the God-sent Saviour of sinners. 

Jesus forewarns us that one of the signs of His second coming approaching closer will be an increasing lovelessness in this world even in closest family relations.  “And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” So Jesus says in Matthew 24:11. Are we not living in such dark and dreadful times? Only in daily fellowship with God Triune and His love, and practically living out of that bond of eternal love, can and does this lovelessness of the natural man in sin change.  May the LORD by His Spirit and Word now so richly bless the doctrine of the Trinity to us that the love bond within and from the Trinity also shine through in our lives by grace through faith in all our relationships with others at home and all around us. Do you care and pray about this too?  Shouldn’t we, if it is well with our soul? 

3. A third related practical gem in connection with this is to see the importance of faithfulness in all our responsibilities. We can learn about true comfort, and real love, and also steadfast faithfulness considering God as Triune God. Think here of how the Trinity in eternity made a most holy covenant between them that the Father would elect sinners unto salvation, the Son would give His life as Redeemer for their salvation, and the Spirit would be the Minister of salvation in people’s minds and hearts.  From eternity to eternity have not the Three Persons of the Trinity been ever faithful and true in all their promised commitments and responsibilities, regardless of whatever? Not one Person of the Trinity from the eternity before to the present has ever failed in a responsibility given and commitment promised. No wonder the Bible exclaims even in the book of Lamentations 3, “Great is Thy faithfulness”, thinking of our Triune God!  The Triune God’s faithfulness is reflected perfectly in all the inter-Trinitarian relations, and also in all their works and ways altogether as Trinity, and each Person of the Trinity. With the work of creation and providence and redemption God has remained always faithful and true regardless the opposition and resistance and ingratitude that He would encounter from Satan, and this fallen world, and all depraved rebellious mankind. 

Again, shouldn’t the faithfulness of God Triune in all His being and works and ways inspire and motivate us to be faithful even in the smallest details and responsibilities in life? Does the LORD not work this by His Spirit and Word in all His redeemed people in His sanctifying grace? What a poor witness when as confessing Christians we are not faithful in the duties given to us or requested of us, especially also when we have agreed to them.  Let the doctrine of the Trinity and God’s faithfulness through the endless ages convict us of our sins and shortcomings in this regard. Let it spur us on in repentance and renewal in being faithful before God and our neighbor in all that is expected and required of us, in whatever place and calling we have in life.

Doesn’t this relate then also to the daily routine responsibilities in life at home, and school, and in our places of employment, and life in our neighborhoods? An irresponsible and unfaithful Christian even in the most routine and mundane matters of life is a dishonor before God and a poor witness to their neighbors. If you don’t care at all to be faithful, does it not mean really you don’t yet know or belong to God Triune as only Saviour God?  What does Paul write to the Christians in Colossae in Colossians 3:17&23?  “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him…And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as unto the Lord, and not unto men.” 

Listen here yet to Jesus’ own words in John 14:31 showing His steadfast faithfulness even to the death of the cross when He says there, “But that the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do. Arise let us go hence.”  And so Jesus went even to Golgotha to give His life a ransom for many, even to the death of the cross. There are many more practical gems to mention to be gleaned from the Trinity, no doubt.   

4. Think of how the doctrine of the Trinity believed and reflected surely also impacts our worship of God that it be Trinitarian dependent and devoted. True Christian worship and praise is always Trinitarian mindful and glories in God Triune. It is the mark of orthodox Christian worship to God’s glory. In true Christian worship, you, by God’s grace, rejoice in God as your dear heavenly Father and delight in Him as your beloved Saviour, the crucified and risen Redeemer. You honor Him as your Holy Spirit Comforter and Helper and Teacher, who remains with us forever as Jesus promised. Do you and I conscientiously and repeatedly give fervent praise and prayer to God as Triune God in this way, worshipping the Three in One and One in Three?  Isn’t this something to learn and grow more and more in the Christian life?

5. Shouldn’t the doctrine of the Trinity have the practical benefit and fruit in our lives of guiding us in joyful Christian witness? I mean, how great is the God of the Bible and what blessings are found with Him for us by grace through faith in Jesus as only Saviour and Lord. God’s people may be filled with so much hope and expectation already in this life, but then for the life to come even infinitely more so!  Jesus in John chapters 13-17 mentions the peace and the joy and riches that may be yours and mine when belonging to Christ in true faith and having this one only God Triune as our God in and through Jesus, the triumphant Saviour of sinners. The gospel promises from the Triune God is nothing like the false peace and passing joy and futile riches of this sinful world. No, but looking to Jesus, durable riches and everlasting blessings for soul and body from God Triune may be ours and we may be partakers thereof already here in part and in the next life in eternal fullness forevermore. What a future God’s people have, a sure future of never-ending blessings and discoveries beyond our wildest imaginations, all of grace for Jesus’ sake alone, as given by the Father and ministered to us and in us by the Holy Spirit. 

Oh, that all Christians would live and die giving, by God’s grace and Spirit, sincere and steadfast Christian testimony and praise to our Triune God in a way that people can’t help but notice! Think of the practical gems: the great comfort in life; the gracious love in relationships; the faithfulness in responsibilities in life; the focus in holy worship; and the glorious testimony in Christian witness! These five gems you and I may glean from and live out and enjoy and reflect living in faith communion with the Triune God! Indeed, ever gleaning from Him and His Word as ultimately revealed in Christ, the Saviour of sinners, and trusting and following after this one only God Triune, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, whom to know in Christ Jesus is life abundant and life eternal.

If you are someone who doesn’t yet know God Triune as revealed in Christ Jesus and made known in the Holy Bible, the Triune God in all three Persons calls you to seek Him while He may yet be found, and to call upon Him while He is near. He is near even now as you hear His Gospel Word on this blessed subject today, Practical gems from the doctrine of the Trinity. May God Triune so bless this message now to all who hear it. In Jesus’ Name, yes, and to God alone be all the glory, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.   

Hans Overduin, Radio Pastor   

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