One thing that we as Christians have the tendency to do is focus on the practical aspects of Christianity and leave the doctrinal matters to the theologians. There is a feeling as if those deeper things are intended to keep pastors in business. However, Jesus prayed in John 17:3, “And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” The Greek word γινώσκω used for know in this passage implies more than just an acquaintance but instead implies a deep understanding and perception of God. As Christians, we are called to grow in our understanding of who God truly is. The reality is, no Christian can ever possess the ability to truly apply the Christian faith to his/her life without right doctrine. This can be seen vividly in the doctrine of the Trinity. To begin, the following question must be addressed:
How do we know that the Trinity exists?
The Scriptures, in both the Old Testament and New Testament, are full of examples of a Triune God. First, going back to the Old Testament, Genesis 1:1 used the Hebrew word Elohim for God. This word actually implies plurality as if to hint at the Trinity. Another example is found in Genesis 1:26 when God said, “Let us make man in our image.” Take the application of Elohim as you will, but this is a very clear indication of the existence of the Trinity. Later on in the New Testament in Isaiah 6:8, God ask Isaiah, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” While not as strong of an example as Genesis 1:26, this undoubtedly implies the Trinity. Moving on to the New Testament, the presence of the Trinity at the baptism of Jesus in Matthew 3:13-17 is a prime example. Also, and probably the most concrete example, the Great Commission in Matthew 28:19 says, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”. The Scriptures are saturated with the evidence of a Triune God. Now, a second and very important question must be asked:
Why does the Trinity matter to you?
The Trinity matters to each and every Christian for a number of incredibly important reasons. First, the knowledge of the Trinity leads us to walk in humility. It is often our tendency to believe that God created us because He needs us. However, God has everything He needs in the relationship between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. To say that God created us because He needs us would be to make human beings God’s savior. However, we must realize that God is OUR Savior. Second, the knowledge of the Trinity helps each and every Christian to worship Him in Spirit and Truth. We can never truly worship the Holy and Living God if we are worshipping Him in the image we have made. We must worship Him in the light of who He truly is. There is great liberty in coming to this place of worship. There is great discovery involved in this kind of worship. Third, the knowledge of the roles of the Trinity helps us to pray rightly. There is great confidence in realizing that when we pray we are praying to the Father through the Son with the help of the Holy Spirit. Seeing all three persons of the Trinity involved in our prayer lives is a beautiful reality. Lastly, seeing the Trinity helps us to understand that God is love because we see the love that exist between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. To see the love of the Son for the Father while on this earth is a prime example to us in growing in our own love for God. To see the love that exist between all three members is a testament to the love that is to exist in our own relationships with each other as brothers and sisters in Christ.
Understanding the Trinity is undoubtedly vital to our spiritual growth. The fact is, the more we understand who God is and how He works, the more we grow to love Him and worship Him. So, NEVER say to yourself that right doctrine is simply for the theologians and pastors. Instead, crave a deeper understanding of our Almighty God.