There are many things in this world that are beyond comprehension. I imagine that you sometimes feel that way. What are some things that remind you that you still have things to learn? Perhaps for some of you when it comes to cars you are out of your depth. Maybe it isn’t vehicles that make you scratch your head. Maybe its technology. You get a new phone, or a new computer, or a new TV and you look at the thing sideways. All you want to do is watch your favorite show, but just don’t know how to get there.
The one common fact about all these difficulties is that we know someone, somewhere has mastered these items. We also know that we are glad to have such people assist us in those areas where we feel less than competent. Although this may be difficult to believe, but given the right situation, training, and time, any one of us could in theory become an expert on these matters. They are all skill-related items. Some learn quickly. Others take a long time. This is the case for skills.
Is this still the case when we come to the Bible? There are certainly some things where this is the case. You can grow in familiarity with the books and teaching of the Bible. But there are limits to what we can know. The God of the Bible has revealed Himself to be holy, eternal, just, powerful and even a friend to all who repent and believe in Christ. He teaches us sufficiently about Himself, though not exhaustively. But the greatest mystery unveiled is that our God has revealed Himself to be triune. Now what does that mean?
Technical terms can sometimes be intimidating when we first encounter them. But they become clearer when we slow down and think carefully. Let me ask you a question: What is a tricycle? It’s a three wheeled vehicle. What is a unicycle? It’s a one wheeled vehicle; and I used that last word loosely. We understand those two words well enough. The first part of that word “tri-” means three. The first part of the last word “uni-” means one. So, when we speak of God and that He has revealed Himself to be triune we are saying that God is Three and One. This is what we mean when we speak of the Holy Trinity. We are speaking of the one God, who always exists as three divine persons.
Why do we use this language? Because these ideas are taught in the Bible. The word “trinity” or “triune” is not found in the Bible, but the concept, or ideas are so biblically rooted, that to deny them is to deny the Christian faith.
I want to challenge you a bit: If someone asked you to explain the trinity, where in the Bible would you point them towards? Maybe you aren’t sure yourself. As Christians we have the responsibility and the great privilege of making God’s gospel known to the world. We have been entrusted with much. We must always be ready to give a reason for the hope that is in us (cf. 1 Pet. 3:15). We need to be ready. We need to always be prepared.
We also need to see that our salvation is rooted in the work of God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It is the Father’s love that sends the Son. It is at the cross that we see the Son’s love made tangible. The Holy Spirit’s love is manifested in His dwelling within us and transforming us to be more and more like Christ. Classic biblical texts for the trinity are easy to see. We could look at Jesus’ baptism in Matthew 3. We could look at Jesus’ Great Commission in Matthew 28 where we receive our formula for holy baptism. One other clear place is John’s Gospel as the Lord teaches us about the person and work of the Holy Spirit in John 14-16.
My prayer for you is that you would grow in your understanding of the person and work of our triune God. Such knowledge is not banished to the corners of stuffy libraries but is meant to abound in the heart of every believer. The Holy Spirit has been poured out upon Christ’s church to be their helper. The Spirit is a divine person, and the Spirit of truth. He is uniquely given to believers alone. Though invisible His effects are undeniable. His mission is to point to Christ, not Himself. He is our sure guide into all truth. He did so through the Apostles then when they needed to remember all Christ said verbally, He does the same for believers today who have great need to remember all Christ has given to us in the Bible. May you grow then, in knowing this triune God. May you be utterly dissatisfied with a superficial or basic knowledge, not so that you could be puffed up with pride but that you might grow in your effectiveness in sharing Christ with the world.