That’s my boy!

One of the most challenging concepts in Christianity to understand is the Trinity.  It’s a challenge because there’s nothing like it in humanity. The word Trinity isn’t found in the Bible. It’s a theological term given to explain a biblical concept. It’s the idea that there is one God in three distinct persons.   The Father is God. The Son is God. The Holy Spirit is God.   All three are the same God.    The math formula for the Trinity is – One God in three persons.

The Trinity is even harder to explain. Christians have been accused over the centuries of being polytheists. Many can’t understand the idea of Trinity so they just assume three distinct persons must equal three gods.   I’ve heard great pastors and theologians try to use analogies to describe the Trinity. Frankly, I’ve yet to hear an analogy that really adequately explains the Trinity.  The Trinity is hard to explain… But here goes.

Listen to Jesus

If you want to hear the words of God the Father, listen to Jesus!   There are two occasions in the New Testament when God speaks with an audible voice. The first is at Jesus’s baptism (Luke 3:21-22).   On this occasion, God speaks to his Son. God is pleased by Jesus’s obedience in baptism.   God speaks from Heaven, because he wants everyone on earth to know he’s pleased with his Son.

The second occasion when God speaks so that people can hear his voice is at Jesus’s Transfiguration (Luke 9:35).   On this occasion God speaks about his Son.   Again here he’s proud of his Son and he wants everybody to know it.   But what he says demonstrates how we are to honor our Father in Heaven.    God states that obeying Jesus is the equivalent of obeying God. If you want to honor God the Father, listen to Jesus.

The book of Hebrews makes this concept even clearer. Hebrews 1:1-2 says that God now communicates differently than he did in the Old Testament. God used to speak through dreams and prophets- now he speaks through Jesus.

Look to Jesus

If you want to see God the Father, look to Jesus!   Late in Jesus’s ministry, after hanging around with his disciples for a long time, Philip asked Jesus to show them what God looked like (John 14:8).   This wasn’t an unreasonable request. In fact, any sincere believer should long to see more of the Father. But it’s clear from Jesus’s answer that he was hurt by the question (John 14:9).

Jesus’s answer to Philip’s request cannot be misunderstood. He is saying, “to see me is to see the God the Father.” He is the physical representation of God.  Jesus is God made into flesh.  I think this is what John the apostle is stressing in 1 John 1:1.   He’s reminding his readers that he saw God with his own eyes, touched God with his own hands, heard God with his own voice when he was with Jesus.

Live like Jesus

If you want to put the power of the Holy Spirit on display for the world to see, live like Jesus!  It should be the goal of every child to honor their parent.  It’s a command in Scripture (Exodus 20:12).   So if you take what God says in Luke 9 and combine it with 1 John 1, you have a pretty obvious picture of how to honor God the Father. You honor your Father in Heaven by modeling your life after his Son.

When you became a Christian you were adopted into God’s family (Romans 8:15).  God expects his children to honor him. A child obeys their parents by doing what they’re told in the presence of the parent. A child honors their parent by doing what they’re told even when the parent is not around.   God gave us an example of what it looks like to honor him.  Jesus was that example. If you want to put the power of the Holy Spirit on display for the world to see, live like Jesus.

Further reading

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