1 + 1 + 1 = 1?
Have you ever heard of imponderables?
Imponderables: difficult or impossible to evaluate with precision.
In other words, things that are like, hard to ponder...right? The universe is full of imponderables.
- Where does all the white go when all the snow melts?
- Why don't we don't see baby pigeons?
- Why don't sheep shrink when it rains?
Maybe the biggest imponderable is:
- Why is the universe so full of imponderables?
I don't know if you ever thought about this, but the Bible has them too.
- Did Adam have a belly button?
- How many angels can dance on the head of a pin? Or the always classic-
- Can God make a rock bigger than He could lift? (O.K., I'll go ahead and answer that one...no, because He's not an idiot!)
Most imponderables are mainly just for laughs, but there is one that is extremely important to answer. It will never be completely ‘pondered,' but it is critical that we at least have a basic understanding of it.
What is the Trinity?
This is a question over which princes, paupers, scholars. and school kids have wrestled for over 2000 years. It has divided denominations, churches, and even families.
So why bother? Why don't we all just agree to disagree? Why can't we all just get along?
Because...if we have a messed up view of the Trinity, then we have a messed up view of God. If we have a messed up view of God, we end up with a messed up view of life.
Sounds pretty messy, doesn't it?
So let me try to clear up this mess the best way I know how- by looking at what the Bible has to say about it! First, the Bible makes it crystal clear that there is only one God. Deuteronomy 6:4 boldly proclaims that "The Lord is one." Other passages back up this fact with undisputed clarity (Isaiah 43:10, Isaiah 44:6-8, Isaiah 45:22).
So we know from Scripture that there is only one God, not many gods as other religions have mistakenly taught for thousands of years.
Secondly, the Bible teaches that there is one who is called the Father and is identified as being God (1 Peter 1:2), that there is one who is called Jesus and is identified as being God (John 1:1-3&14-18, John 20:28-29, 1 John 1:1-4&5:20, Philippians 2:5-8, Revelation 1:17-18, Revelation 22:12-20), and that there is one who is called the Holy Spirit and is identified as being God (John 14:16-17, John 15:26, John 16:7-15, Acts 5:3-4, Acts 13:2, 1 Corinthians 12:4-18, Hebrews 9:14, Hebrews 10:15-18).
Simply put, the Trinity belief is that the Bible teaches there is one eternal God revealed in three persons. All the crazy verse twisting in the world cannot change this core Biblical doctrine.
As Bible scholar Hank Hanegraaff puts it: One What (God) and Three Whos (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit).
The best way I know of to try and get a handle on this difficult concept is to use an analogy from everyday life. For example, consider a rainbow. There are three primary colors (red, yellow, and blue) that make up one entity, the rainbow. Without one of the colors you don't have a true rainbow. You have the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and without one you don't have the True God.
In our world, with our limited human experience, it's tough to understand the Trinity. Yet keep in mind that just because we can't fully understand something doesn't mean it isn't true. I don't think I'll ever understand how T.V. works, but I know that when I hit the button on my remote, I get treated to images and sounds that are as real as the nose on my face.
The other thing to consider is that the doctrine of the Trinity is a mystery that no mortal can ever completely understand. Finite (you and I) cannot drink in infinite (God) As the famous theologian C.H. Spurgeon once said, this is like "a gnat attempting to drink in the ocean."
Bottom line: let the mystery and awesome truth of the Trinity create a holy trust and wonder for the God who made you, sustains you, died for you, and one day is coming back to take you home!
Head: What you need to know about this truth
The Bible teaches there is one eternal God revealed in three persons. The Father is God, The Son is God, and The Holy Spirit is God.
Heart: What you need to feel about this truth
Write a prayer/song/poem of thanksgiving to God for who He is and what He is doing in your life through each of the members of the Trinity. For example, express thanks to God the Father for being the perfect Dad. He will never leave you or forsake you, and He loves you unconditionally. Communicate your gratitude to Jesus (God the Son) for leaving His home in heaven and coming to earth as God in the flesh so He could make a way for you to receive eternal life. Remember also that because Jesus is human, He knows every pain, every temptation, every joy, and every sorrow that you experience. Finally, give praise to the Holy Spirit for guiding and directing your every step. Thank Him for coming to live inside you and being your only true source of spiritual power and victory.
Hands: What you need to do about this truth
Spend some time in chat rooms that are composed of people with mistaken beliefs about God (i.e. Jehovah Witness, Mormons, etc.), challenging them to look through Scripture to let God guide them into the truth about Himself as opposed to just what they have been taught all their lives. Be sure and be respectful and loving, but at the same time holding to the truth about the Trinity. Direct them to the "Top Ten Questions" section of www.dare2share.org, or other web sites like www.carm.org, www.equip.org, or www.apologeticsindex.org. Be sure and e-mail your experiences/results to firstname.lastname@example.org!