Trinity Sunday tomorrow. And the Athanasian Creed…
Trinity Sunday can be a difficult Sunday to preach. How do you explain something that is a mystery? Every analogy that is offered may help a little, but falls short. And what do we do then? Remember the analogy but not believe the mystery?
How can we know who God is? Some want to climb a mountain or walk a quiet stream and assume God will be there revealing himself. Well, he can reveal himself in power and splendor on the mountain or by the stream. But can we know God’s love that way? And even more, can we be sure we are getting to know the true God? Or is it just a figment of our imagination?
The Bible reveals God as he really is by sending his Son to take on human flesh. It is not our ascending to heaven to see and become like God (Gen. 3:1-6). Rather it is God descending becoming human to demonstrate who he is and what he is like through his Son.
In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. (Hebrews 1:1-3 NIV)
So, if we want to know God, we can only do so through his Son, Jesus Christ. In John’s Gospel we read, John 14:6-11 NIV:
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”
Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”
Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works.
The only way for us to know this God we worship is by knowing Jesus Christ. And then we can publicly confess the truth: The triune God: three in one, one God, three persons. And we leave it there; explanations only go so far. We refute false teachings about God based on Scripture, but we cannot go beyond Scripture in knowing God.
Come tomorrow to learn more about this awesome, mysterious God, who in love revealed himself in his Son. And that is the foundation of our salvation.