Trinity (13) The Spirit


A few weeks ago I enjoyed a coffee with my friend Sandy Robertson. He is a Pastor at New Covenant Church which is a church in the same town I pastor.  Titusville, Fl.  While we were chatting he said something I had heard many times before.  But, you know that moment when the Spirit of God quickens you and you hear something you have heard before and yet it is as if you heard for the first time.

He said:  “You know there is a reason why He is called the HOLY Spirit.”

That was it…. that simple…. and yet, so profound and true.  It grabbed my heart.  I hope it grabs yours today.

Why is the Spirit called the Holy Spirit?

1.) HOLY Spirit and HOLY Scripture

The word holy in the bible means to be set apart, consecrated, and blameless.  The Bible is a Holy Bible.  It is a “set apart” book – no other book like it on the face of the earth.  And, the Spirit is not just any spirit – He is the Holy Spirit.

You say…. ok – so what?

I am amazed at how a believer will attest to the above few sentences and turn around and knowingly and blatantly do the opposite of what scripture says and then…. pull the Spirit in the ditch with them by saying:  “I prayed about it and I feel lead this is what God (The Spirit) would have me to do.”

Nope….   The HOLY Spirit will NEVER lead you to do anything contrary to the HOLY Bible.  The Holy Spirit ALWAYS, ALWAYS leads us to do what we find in Scripture.

Christian, let’s stop this nonsense of dragging the Spirit into our UN-holy living.  Take up the Word of God, ask the Spirit of God to illuminate His Word, and follow Him.

2.)  The Holy Spirit and salvation

It is the work of the Holy Spirit, in our lives, that brings us from death to life.  See previous post:  Trinity (12).  It is the Spirit that makes us alive to the work of Christ (In His life, death, and resurrection.)

3.)  The Holy Spirit and sanctification

And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. (2 Corinthians 3:18 ESV)

  • Have you come to a place of faith in Jesus Christ?
  • Do you desire to grow in Godliness?
  • Do you find yourself repenting of sin and seeking to pursue righteousness?
  • Have you ever pursued a friend for accountability to help you overcome an area of sin?
  • Have you ever had the thought:  I want to pray more or spend more time reading God’s Word?
  • Have you experienced conviction while reading Scripture, hearing the Word preached, or…….?

If you answered “yes” to these questions then Praise God and specifically Praise the Holy Spirit.  Just as the Father and Son play a specific role in your salvation and your life as a Christian, so does the Holy Spirit.

He is day by day, moment by moment, growing you in Christ Jesus.

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.  (Philippians 1:6 ESV) 

Trinity (12): 5 Quick Reasons Why It REALLY Does Matter



Grab your coffee and consider today the glory of the Trinity!

We have had 12 posts on the Trinity.  We have gone out into the “deep end”.  You might be thinking: “ok, ok, the Trinity matters, but does it REALLY matter that much?”

Good question!

Here is an attempt to give a short Answer:

5 quick reasons why the Trinity REALLY does matter:


1.)  Atonement Implications

“If Jesus is merely a created being, and not fully God, then it is hard to see how he, a creature, could bear the full wrath of God against all our sins.  Could any creature, no matter how great, really save us?”  

Wayne Grudem

Take the Son out of the Trinity….. and you and I are not and CAN NOT be saved!

Good news…. Jesus IS God!

2.)  Trust Implications

The Trinity gives me reason to trust in God for salvation.

  • If the Father did not send the Son…
  • If Jesus did not come in human flesh, die, rise from the grave….
  • If the Spirit did not breath new life in us….
  • Then who, exactly, are we trusting in for salvation, forgiveness, eternity, etc and is it wise to do so?!?

Good news….. you can trust in the 3 in 1 for salvation!

3.)  Worship and Prayer Implications

If the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit do not equal God…. why worship Him or pray to Him?  Every prayer ever uttered “in Jesus name” is meaningless.  The reason the words, “in Jesus name” carry meaning is because the Son is our mediator before the Father.  We don’t come before the Father in prayer, in the name of our self or in the name of a priest. We come in the name of THEE great high priest – Jesus Christ.  He is your mediator!    If Jesus is not God, then Christians are the worst of idolaters!

Good news….you can come to the Father!

4.)  Bible Implications

If the Trinity is not God, then the Bible and all of its teachings are meaningless and should NOT be followed.

Good news…. Father, Son, Holy Spirit = God!

5.)  Gospel Implications

The Gospel IS Trinity

Meaning we experience our salvation by all of the Godhead.

“We are saved by the eternal purpose of the Father, by the atoning work of the Son, through the power and wisdom of the Spirit.  We grow in our understanding of God’s grace as we see how each person of the Trinity interacts with the others to bring us out of darkness, into the light.”  

John Frame Systematic Theology

Good news… the gospel IS good news because of the Trinity!


For Further Study: 

The Father:  Sends His Son into the world

1 John 4:14

The Son:  Obeys the Father fully by living a perfect life and dying on the cross for to forgive us of our sins.

Phil 3:9

I Corinthians 15:3

The Spirit:  Is sent by the Father and the Son to apply salvation to us.

John 15:26

Galatians 4:6


5 quick reasons to once again stand in awe of who our God is.

Praise the Father,

Praise the Son,

Praise the Spirit, three in one!


Trinity (12): Drawing Pictures


I am reading a book with two of my sons.  Tanner and Tim (9 and 14 yrs old).  The book is titled:  Big Truths For Young Hearts by Bruce Ware.  Young hearts…. really?  It seems to me to be: Big truths for old hearts too!  As I read this to my kids I stand in awe of our God!

It is with that in mind that I want to share with you an excerpt from the book.  The chapter is titled One God in Three Persons. The author is explaining that many analogies and illustrations that seek to describe the Trinity fall short of doing so.


“A question often asked is whether there are any examples, any analogies or illustrations, to the Trinity that can help us understand how God is both one and three.  Some have suggested that the Trinity is like a triangle – three sides make up one triangle, so you have three in one.  This example helps for a bit, but when you think about it more deeply, you can see it isn’t quite right. You see, the Bible teaches that there is one God, and the Father is fully God, the Son is fully God, and the Holy Spirit is fully God – not three gods but three Persons, each of whom expresses fully that one God.  But a triangle is not this way.  Yes, it has three sides, but each of the sides is not fully a triangle, right?  So, while a triangle shows one thing made up of three parts, it doesn’t show one thing that is fully expressed by each of the three parts.

Some have thought that perhaps the Trinity is like three men, say Peter, James, and John.  They all are human, but they are three persons.  Will this work to show us the Trinity? Here the problem is the opposite of the problem with the triangle.  Each person is fully human, but in this example you not only have three persons, you have also three human beings.  After all, Peter is a man, but a different man from James, who is a different man from John.  So if we followed this illustration we would end up with three gods as well as three persons who are god.

Yet others have thought H2O (water) shows us the Trintiy since H2O can be three things:  solid (ice), liquid (running water), and vapor (steam).  But the same H2O molecules cannot be all three at exactly the same time. H2O is a good illustration of modalism (a false teaching of the Trinity that we’ll learn more about later) where God is first the Father, then the Son, and then the Spirit, one at a time. But the Bible teaches that God is Father, Son, and Spirit all at the same time. Each person lives eternally as God.

The closest thing I have imagined to the Trinity is drawing a circle using three colored markers (perhaps red, blue, and green). If you draw the same circle three times, with each color overlapping exactly the previous one, you have one circle. But the red line is not the blue line, and the blue line is not the green line. Yet all three lines enclose only one circle. While this illustration may work in a very small part, the truth is that there simply is nothing in our experience that shows us exactly what the Trinity teaches.  Nothing quite works to show what it means for God to be one in his nature as the one true God, yet three in Persons as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, each fully God. But we should not be surprised at this. After all, the Bible has told us many times that there is no one like the Lord (Exodus 8:10; 9:14; Deuteronomy 33:26; 34:11; Jeremiah 10:6-7). He is the one and only true and living God, and He also is unlike anything or anyone else.

There truly is no one like the Lord. He is one God, but that one God lives and is expressed through the three Persons of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  Each Person is fully God, yet each Person is also distinct from the other Persons.  We have here a biblical teaching that in the end we must believe even though we cannot understand it fully. And what we can learn from this is that God is greater than we can imagine and more beautiful than anything we’ve seen. The doctrine of the Trinity calls us to wonder and marvel at just how great our God is.

Three in One and One in Three – This is God, and there is no other!”

Bruce Ware


Greater than we can imagine…….  Praise Him!




Trinity (11) The Spirit

old bible

When you think of the Jesus with His disciples in the upper room, what do you think of?

  • Communion?
  • Or, maybe the announcement of coming betrayal?
  • While that is true, I want to inject another thought into your upper room thoughts…….
  • A trinitarian thought.

When you think of the upper room, think of….. the Trinity and specifically the Spirit.

The Spirit?  Yes, the Spirit!

It is in that upper room Christ gives us a promise that we would do well to consider.

John 14:16  And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever…

I want us to consider 2 words from John 14:16 today.

1.)  Another

2.)  Helper

Let’s tackle the “Helper” first and then we will come back around to the word “another”.

Re-read John 14:16.  Did you catch the promise Jesus just made to His disciples.  That promise is not only for His first disciples, it is for ALL disciples of Jesus Christ!

Jesus is telling those 1st disciples that He is going to be leaving them.  Imagine the despair in the disciples hearts!  Imagine the fear, the hopelessness, and defeat these men felt at that moment.  Jesus, seeks to comfort them at that moment with these words –

“I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever” (John 14:16).

Jesus is saying – I am leaving guys, but don’t despair.

  • I (THE SON) will ask the FATHER to send another HELPER (The Spirit)

Did you catch it?  The Trinity is at work seeking to bring comfort to His disciples!

Helper = Parakletos

In the original language the word Comforter here (or Helper depending on your translation) is Parakletos.  A parakletos was someone who advocated or stood alongside of another.

R.C. Sproul describes parakletos like this:

Some translations use the word “Comforter” instead of “Helper.” The Greek word that is translated as “Helper” or “Comforter” is parakletos; it is the source of the English word paraclete. This word includes a prefix, para-, that means “alongside,” and a root that is a form of the verb kletos, which means “to call.” So, a parakletos was someone who was called to stand alongside another. It usually was applied to an attorney, but not just any attorney. Technically, the parakletos was the family attorney who was on a permanent retainer. Any time a problem arose in the family…

Sproul, R.C. (2012-11-01). Who Is the Holy Spirit?: 13 (Crucial Questions Series) (Kindle Locations 290-297). Reformation Trust Publishing. Kindle Edition.

Jesus is saying to His disciples – yes, I am leaving you, but I will send ANOTHER Helper.  (Parakletos)  What incredible news for despairing disciples!  You are not alone!  I am sending you the Holy Spirit!


Why does Jesus say:  Another Helper?

The first Helper is Jesus Christ.  He was our Helper by coming to us and taking on human flesh (John 1:14 “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us…) God, in the flesh, walking among us!  wow!  Immanuel, God with us!  And, if that is not amazing enough…..  He then died for our sins, rose from the dead, and ascended to the right hand of the Father AND THEN He sent His Spirit to be ANOTHER Helper.

This Helper would not dwell among us, this Helper would dwell IN US!  Are you kidding me??  If this is not gloriously amazing, you need to check your spiritual pulse!!

The first Helper (Jesus) atoned for our sin

The second Helper (the Holy Spirit) empowers us to live our lives for Christ.

Thank God today for your 1st and 2nd Comforters!


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Trinity (10) The Spirit



When it comes to the Trinity, and we speak of the Father and the Son, we have categories to help us understand and grasp these persons of the Godhead.  I have a father, I am a father, and I have sons, I am a son.  But, when it comes to the Spirit we seem to be left scratching our heads a bit. The goal in these next few posts is to unpack a little bit of the Spirit in the Trinity.

So who is the Holy Spirit?

He is the 3rd person of the Trinity!  Understanding that He is a person in the Godhead affects how we view the Spirit.

  • He is NOT an impersonal force of some sort
  • He is not a thing.
  • He IS a person and thus
  • He is personal!
  • Scripture always refers to the Spirit as a “He” or “Him” and never a “it”.

He IS a person of the Trinity – He IS God.

Does Scripture teach this?  YES!

One quick example is found in Acts 5:1-4.  In this text Ananias and his wife Sapphira sell a piece of property and seek to bring the proceeds and give the money to the apostles.  The problem was that they were lying by saying their donation was more than what it was.  Peter rebukes them by saying:  “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit?” He then concludes his rebuke by saying:  “you have not lied to man but to GOD.”

So, to lie to the Holy Spirit IS TO lie to God – Because the Holy Spirit IS God

Much more can be said here. For instance, Scripture speaks of the Spirit eternally which of course is an attribute of God Himself. For now, I will leave it at that. The Holy Spirit IS God!

In an effort to answer the 1st question (Who is the Spirit?) it might help us to ask a 2nd question:

What does the Holy Spirit do?

While He does many things (sanctifies, convicts, transforms) we might summarize all that He does by saying that the Spirit applies (or empowers) the work of Christ in our lives.

Christ’s work is an effective work, an empowered work, in our lives because of the work of the Spirit.

The Spirit’s work in Salvation:

Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.” Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

(John 3:1-8 ESV)

Having once been dead in sin, we are now alive in Christ Jesus.  (Ephesians 2:1-6)  We are born – again.  We have been given new life.  We were once spiritually dead – we are now spiritually alive.

Once dead – now alive in Christ Jesus – because of the work of the Spirit!

It is the Spirit of God who does this life giving!  It is the Spirit who takes the spiritually dead and gives them new life.  He gives life where there was no life.

Not unlike Lazerus being raised from the dead.  Jesus spoke words of life. “Lazerus come forth” – and his once, dead body obeyed!  The heart started to pump and blood began to flow again!

WOW – that is what has taken place (spiritually) in every person who places their faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ.

  • Once dead
  • now alive in Christ
  • this is the work of the Holy Spirit.

Praise Him!




Trinity (9) The Son – By Alex Bowman



The Resurrection and Ascension


It has been said that all of Christianity stands or falls on Jesus’ resurrection.  All of our previous claims can be deemed false, our faith will be in vain and we will still be in sin if Jesus was not raised from death to life.

In order for His resurrection to be believable, there must be witnesses.  The Bible gives us several witness accounts.  The apostle Paul in 1 Cor. 15 tells us that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.  He then appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time and last of all He appeared to Paul also.

Jesus didn’t just appear to people, He did many signs.  The apostle John said if every one of them were written down for us to know, he supposed that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written (John 21:25).  Can you fathom that?  John recorded Jesus’ life, death and resurrection so that we may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; that by believing we may have eternal life in His name (John 20:31).

Another thought that should provoke awestruck wonder is how Holy Scripture has been preserved for us today.  Yet, how often do we take reading it for granted?  Instead, we should read it as God the Father Himself speaking to us- very much like when He spoke directly to Moses or Abraham or Paul.  He speaks to us through His written word and His word is His testimony that Jesus has been raised from the dead.  What better witness do we need?  But I have digressed a little.

What does the resurrection mean for us today? 

  • It means that Jesus’ atoning sacrifice was acceptable to God the Father.
  • It means that God’s justified wrath has been satisfied.
  • Christ’s suffering and dying are complete.
  • All the punishment has been dealt out and received, there is none left for us.
  • All the ransom has been paid.
  • The innocent was punished and now the guilty that are in Christ Jesus go free.
  • It means that Jesus stands victorious over death, sin and Satan.
  • It means that for us who trust in Him and repent of our sin and live our lives for Him have the assurance of eternal life.
  • It means that our right standing before God has been made secure (Rom. 4:25).
  • It means that not even death can separate us from the love of God (Rom. 8:38-39).
  • Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (Rom. 5:1).


After forty days, He led his disciples out as far as Bethany and while they watched- He ascended to heaven (Luke 24: 50- 51, Acts 1: 9 – 10).   Now He is seated at the right hand of the Father indicating that His work of redemption is complete.  His ascension secures our future ascension and our home in heaven.

Jesus is now our great high priest since He was the once and for all sacrifice and He was the priest that offered the sacrifice (Heb. 4:14).  As our great high priest, Jesus continually prays for us (Rom. 8:34, Heb. 7:25).  Wow, can you imagine that?  I am so grateful that my mom prays for me and my family every morning and evening, but how much more the Son of God always praying for the redeemed?

So far, we have only touched on the glories of God the Father and God the Son.  Next, we will explore and mine the glories of God the Holy Spirit.  Come, let us behold Him!

Trinity (8): The Son – By Alex Bowman

celtic cross



The doctrine of the Trinity can too often be categorized as a mystery, but yet pages of Holy Scripture reveals so much about the Trinity that can lead us to awestruck wonder and passionate worship often leaving us undone.


The next two posts will be on the second person of the Trinity- Jesus the Son of God.  This post will focus on the sending of Jesus and His death for sin.  The next post will focus on His resurrection and ascension.


In the Godhead, each member is fully God, eternally God and equally God.  Jesus is not one third God and two thirds other.  Each member of the Trinity is equal in essence and nature.  Though the three persons are one in so many ways, they are also distinct in several ways.  For instance, they are distinct in roles, functions and they differ in how they relate to one another.

When we look at the creation account:

  • we see that God the Father spoke the world into being
  • God the Son carried out these creative words (John 1:3, Col. 1:16, Heb. 1:2)
  • and God the Holy Spirit was moving over the face of the waters manifesting God’s presence in His creation (Gen. 1:2).

In salvation history:

  • God the Father planned redemption (Eph. 1:4)
  • and sent God the Son who accomplished redemption for us (John 3:16, Gal. 4:4, John 6:38, Heb 10: 5-7).
  • God the Father and God the Son sent God the Holy Spirit to apply redemption to us (John 14:26, 16:7).


What blows away how we think about the categories of authority and submission is that though the Father and the Son are both fully God, Jesus submitted Himself to the Father’s will and obeyed Him perfectly; not counting equality a thing to be grasped (Phil 2:6).  Wow!  What display of profound love for His Father!

At the appointed time in redemptive history, God sent His Son to redeem us, so that we might receive adoption as sons and daughters.  Because we are now sons and daughters, God sent the Spirit of His Son to bear witness with our spirit to give us assurance that we are indeed members of God’s family, and if members then we are no longer slaves- we are now heirs through God (Gal. 4:4- 7).  Amazing!

But this gift of membership to God’s family and becoming heirs through God came at a great cost.  Because without the shedding of blood there is no forgives (Heb. 9:22),  our redemption came at the cost of Christ’s precious blood. 

Jesus the sinless One was horrifically beaten as He took on our sin on the cross.  He suffered the wrath that was reserved for us.  The Father turned His face away and for the very first time in the history of eternity, Jesus experienced separation from His Father’s love.  In eternity past, Jesus experienced perfect harmony and fellowship with the Father and the Holy Spirit, now he was spurned- for us.  As a father, one of the things that hurts me most is seeing one of my sons getting hurt and their blood shed on their clothes or on the ground, can you relate?  Jesus ransomed us not with gold and silver but with His precious blood (1 Peter 1:18 – 19).  Oh depths of the Father’s love for us!

When the Father imputed our sin to Jesus, Jesus became our substitute.  But He didn’t just leave us sinless or morally neutral, He imputed Jesus’ righteousness to us (2 Cor 5:21).  Now we who believe in Him are declared righteous!  We have been justified, and we have been brought near.


Come now and worship Jesus Christ with me!


Trinity (7): The Father – By Steve Page



Last post we looked at the importance of first knowing God the Father as the Father in the Trinity.  In part 2 we are going to build on that truth and see how this speaks to the wonder of God the Father for us.

The foundation of this truth is clearly expressed in Jesus’ high priestly prayer in John 17

“Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.” John 17:24 (ESV)

We saw that God the Father elected and gave a group of people to the Son as an expression of His Love. Here we see that God the Son is asking that the elect be treated just as the Son Himself! Jesus wants us to see the glory (the life-giving, overflowing, super-abounding love) that the Trinity shared before the foundation of the world! (See 17:5 as well)

We are promised, by God the Son Himself, to be brought up into the Love that has been shared for all eternity within the Godhead. This is what Peter is getting at when he wrote that God “granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature…”(2 Peter 1.4).

We have a precious and very great promise: to be human partakers in the “perfect triangle of Love”; to be caught in the crossfire of the Father’s love for the Son and Spirit; to experience, in human form, the eternal love-relationship of the Trinity!

Let’s come down from the heights of this dizzying Love for a moment:

How does this look in day-to-day living?

Actually, let’s not come down from the heights of this dizzying Love- Let’s instead see our day-to-day living in light of it! This really changes everything

We can look at Scripture and see how the Son:

  • obeyed and accomplished all that the Father sent Him to do (John 17; Phil. 2.1-11).
  • was a faithful Son (Heb. 2.17; 3.6)
  • with whom God is well pleased (Matt 17.5).
  • He perfectly did everything that the Father asked.
  • He failed in nothing!

This means that the Son ‘has it made’…and so do all those who are in the Son! Everything that makes up our true identity; everything like our forgiveness, favor, blessing and eternal life- has been purchased by the Son and sealed to us by the Spirit!

The Father, of the Son of God, is now our Father…

to quote the old King James: Believest thou this?

This is the beauty of John 1:12 “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” 

Every benefit that the Son enjoys is a benefit conferred upon those who are in Christ the Son!

The value of your relationships (husbands/wives/sons/daughters/friends/etc) are based upon the glorious success of the Son’s relationship to the Father: priceless.

Your standing before God the Father is not determined by your sin- it is determined by the Son.

The Father bestows his Love upon you- not because you’re as awesome as you think you are- but because the Son is more awesome than you know.

Our hearts should soar with Mary’s when she heard the words from the risen Christ “but go to my brothers and say to them, I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.” John 20.17

Wow!  The Father is worthy of our worship!


Trinity (6): The Father – By Steve Page


The Trinity

 It is a baffling irony that this doctrine is the most important for Christians today and yet it is, perhaps, one of the most neglected.

It can be intimidating to confront (or rather, be confronted by) such a unique, deep, and soul-challenging doctrine as the doctrine of the Trinity. Yet, for the Christian, there is nothing left but to dive in- we must know our God because our God has drawn us to Himself. The simple fact is: we cannot know God if we do not know the Trinity.

The Father in the Trinity is the basis for…the Father for us.

I am posting a two-part series on the Father.

  • In part one, we will look at who the Father is in the Trinity.
  • In part two we will look at the Father for us.

To rightly know the Father for us we must know the Father in the Trinity.

“God is Love” (1Jn 4:8,16) This is one of the most basic truths we know about God. But often it is read in the context of “God is love, and so God loves me and saves me.” While this is true, we are missing a point that is definitional to who God is. God is Love. He has always been Love. He will always be Love. But, how can a God be Love before He created anyone to love? We believe God is one, so how could He love anyone before he made us?

Enter: TRINITY!   

Before anything was ever created, the Father, Son and Spirit existed in perfect harmony and unity.


  • By the Spirit, the Father loved the Son and
  • the Son loved the Father.
  • God was totally full and complete in and of Himself.
  • He had no need to create.
  • He was not lonely.
  • He didn’t have a “human-shaped hole” in His heart that could only be filled by you or me.
  • To understand this is to begin to rightly understand the Trinity.

To be a Father is, by nature, to be life-giving. It is no surprise, then, that the Father freely chose to create a Universe in which He could bring others into the glorious overflow of the love of the Trinity. The nature of true love is to share in the bounty of love!

Within this “perfect triangle of love” the love of the Father for the Son (through the Spirit) expressed itself by creating a universe in which an elect people could exist.
The elect were chosen by the Father from before the foundation of the world (Eph 1.3-6), they were given to the Son by the Father (John 6.37), they were given the promised Spirit by the Father (Luke 24.49); and through the obedience of the Son and the sealing of the Spirit, the elect will be glorified in eternity (Rom 8.28-30).

This is called “Salvation History” or the “History of Redemption”. The whole sweep of human existence has come about by the overflowing of the love of the Father for the Son in the Spirit. You are here because the live-giving, overflowing, super-abounding love of the Father is being expressed to the Son through the Spirit…all to the glory of God!

When we believe this we realize that our position before God is not dependent upon our performance. God’s love for us is not based upon how good you are. God’s love for you is based on the Father’s love of the Son, and we are sealed in that love by the Holy Spirit.

More on this in part 2, The Father for Us…

Trinity (5): True of False?


We grasp in vain for “easy” Trinity explanations.  Most of the time our explanations fall short and our pictures… well, they are inaccurate representations of the glory of the Trinity!

True or False?

1.)  The Trinity is like having different names for one person:

This is False

Some say:  It is like a dad.  He is a dad, a husband, and sometimes he is an employee at work.  Different names for the one guy.  Dad / Husband / Employee.  Simple…. Right?  Wrong….

This misses the glory of the Trinity.  The Trinity is NOT 1 God with 3 roles.  The Trinity is 1 God 3 persons and each of the 3 persons is fully God.

  • One God
  • 3 Persons
  • All Fully God

Lets try another True or False:

2.)  The 3 leaf clover:

The Trinity is like a 3 leaf clover.  3 parts and yet it is 1 clover.

This is False.

Yes, the 3 leaves each make up the one clover, but each leaf is only part of the clover.  The Trinity contains a greater glory!  The Trinity is: each part of the God-head does not make up a separate part (leaf).  Rather, each aspect – Father / Son / Holy Spirit is fully God!  Each is fully God!  Uhhhh WOW!

3.)  The Trinity is like H20:  Steam / Water / Ice  True or false?

This is false.

This is false because H20 is not fully water, fully steam, or fully ice at the same time.  Rather, each has its own properties and its own characteristics.  Once again, the glory of the Trinity supersedes our attempts to contain it with our human analogies.

So, what analogy can we pull from?  Well, actually the Bible does not give us an analogy.  Maybe that is because any analogy diminishes the glory of the Trinity?!?.

Certainly, we see the Bible teach about God the Father (and we get what a father is) and Jesus is God’s Son (and we get that too).  But, we fail to make the full connection.  We might say:  I am a father to my children and at the same time I am a son to my parents.  But, even still, I am never a father to my parents or a son to my children.

There are other variations that shoot off of the above examples, but you get the idea.

1 God / 3 persons / Fully God = mystery!  

No human analogy is going to match it.  We strive in vain for a human illustration to match the glory of the Trinity. But, if there were an illustration that could rightly contain it…..  the Trinity would take on a lesser glory!

Once again:  1 God – 3 persons – all are fully God.

Do you struggle with the mysteries found in God?  While we want to wrestle with who God is, I would encourage you to glory in the mysteries of God.  Those mysteries further reveal we are NOT God!  There is a Creator and we are the created.  He is without limits and we are limited.

How big is your Trinity?  Is it big enough to wow you?  Or have you reduced to your created minds ability to contain it?

Praise Him!


*  Credit is given to Wayne Grudem and Bruce Ware on much of the above.  While, the above is not a quote from either of them, none the less, they and others have formed much of my thoughts and examples given.



Trinity (4): 1 God 3 Persons

bible study


We so easily make God to be who we want Him to be. We like a God who is fashioned in our own image. Thankfully, we have the Word of God to adjust our thinking.  To think rightly about who God is, is to think biblically.  We don’t need to guess, nor do we need to make it up.

God’s Word was written to reveal God to us.  It is God… on God.  He makes Himself known so that we can know Him!  Did you catch that?  The Bible reveals God – we can know Him!  As a Christian, I want to know God – but not just any ol’ image of God that I conjure up.  I want to know Him AS HE IS!  And He is:  Father / Son / Holy Spirit.

One of the ways He makes Himself known is by the Trinity.  The 3 in 1.  Think about it:  While the Trinity is beyond our ability to fully comprehend, the Trinity is also easy to comprehend.  Meaning, we can easily grasp aspects of the Trinity.  How helpful is the Trinity for us to begin to know God!



Holy Spirit

All the aspects of each begin to give us a picture of who God is.

Wayne Grudem defines the doctrine of the Trinity as:

 God eternally exists as three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and each person is fully God, and there is one God.  

Wayne Grudem Systematic Theology

What would we do without the Trinity?

It is the Trinity that helps us to know who God is, what He has done, and how He is involved in sinful man.

It is much more than knowing Trinity “facts”.  Much more than knowing the Trinity factually, the Trinity is:  Father – Son – Spirit.  But we will get to that in future posts. For now, just consider how awesome it is that God reveals Himself as He does…. Trinity!

How Big is your Trinity?

Is the Trinity you hold to, the Trinity of the Bible?  If it is NOT, then you are creating a god in YOUR image.  YIKES!

Consider Today:

Do you hold to God – 3 in 1?  Or do you minimize one aspect of the Godhead?  Does your God have the Father?  Does your God have the Son?  Does your God have the Spirit?  Consider the implications if your view of God is lacking in any of the 3 persons we have in God.

thanks for reading!

Trinity (3): 4 Ways To Think About “Deep End” Theology

Swimming pool

When we talk Trinity we are entering into…. the deep end of the theological pool!  Remember as a small child playing in the shallow end?  The deep end was…. scary.  It was for the big people.  The experienced swimmers!  Not me…. I was a shallow end kid!  Guys like me were sure to drown in the deep end.

And so, I never ventured out… until the lure of all the fun that was being had in the deep end drew me!  It begins by edging your way around the pool while hanging on to the side.  And slowly but surely you found yourself…. in the deep end!  And, while the deep end should be respected by a little kid – it should also be enjoyed!  And enjoy it I did!  Almost daily!

Some think:  Why venture out into the Trinity.  They say: “you can’t fully understand it, so why bother?”   Oh friend, we need to bother.  Yes, it is the deep end and yes the deep end should be respected, but the deep end is GREAT!  It is here that we learn who God is and what He has done for us.  The deep end creates worshipers and it stirs passion and love for God. It is in the deep end that we begin to behold the glory of our God.

So, are you ready?  The following posts are all: deep end theology.  I don’t pretend to have it all figured out!  Nobody has God all figured out!  Are you kidding me?  He is, after all…… GOD!

Ok, here we go – let go of the wall…..

God is both 1 and 3!

Got it!?!

If so, your brain is far better than mine!  Trinity = 1 God 3 persons.  And that is the deep end theology we will be getting into in the posts to come.  But before we venture too far out into the deep end, let’s head back to the shallow end and ask:  “How are we to think about the deep end?”

4 Ways to Think About Deep End Theology

1.) Humility

Pride demands to have it all figured out.  Our pride actually thinks that the created should be able to fully grasp – in entirety – the Creator.  Think about this for a minute.  How silly is that?  Don’t get me wrong.  I am not suggesting that we should throw up our hands and say – If I can’t figure Him out… why bother.  Please…. Bother!  Remember the deep end is fun!  Humility is not opposed to study and diligence or deep thought.  BUT, what do we do when our study brings us to the Infinite, Almighty, Eternal, God?  HUMILITY!

2.)  Joy

Consider…. if you are a Christian, you serve a God who is without limits.  He is beyond us.  The fancy word for this is transcendence.  God transcends us.  Here are some good synonyms for the word transcendence: incomparability, matchlessness, peerlessness,magnificence, excellence, supremacy.

Yep – that is God – the 3 in 1

He is beyond us, He is infinite and that fills my heart with joy.  Because, if He were not transcendent……  then He would not be much of a God!

3.)  Worship

What does it mean that the infinite, transcendent God came and dwelled among us?  (John 1)  That’s right the infinite God took on – human flesh – skin and bones and…. limits to dwell among us!  WHY WOULD HE DO THAT?  He did that so that he might live a perfect life and die on the cross for our sins and rise from the grave ascending to the Father so that He might send us His Spirit and the Father might adopt us as His children.  Deep End Theology stirs my heart to worship Him!

4.)  Hunger

I WANT TO KNOW HIM!  It becomes a Psalms 27 moment for me, how about you?


One thing have I asked of the LORD,
that will I seek after:
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD
and to inquire in his temple.

(Psalm 27:4 ESV)


Trinity (2): One God In A Many god World



Bill Maher

Recently, talk show host and comedian Bill Myer had a moment of brilliance when he tweeted:

Isis- “one of thousands of Islamic militant groups” (NYTimes) “beheads another. Lets keep pretending all religions are alike”

Not only are they not all alike!  But, the implication of the above is ALSO, that not all are serving the same God.

Yawn, so what, who cares, says the society that trumpets all roads lead to heaven.  Culture cries:  “it doesn’t matter which God or which book (Bible, Koran, Book of Mormon, etc) one turns to…  they are all the same…all seeking their version of God….aren’t they?”

Well, I would love to take another post to lay out the HUGE differences between the Bible and these other books – another time….  But, in this post I will keep my focus narrow.

Is there any difference between praying to Allah, or the god of the Jehovah Witness, or ______ and the God of the Bible?

The answer is YES!  And we need to look no further than the Trinity.  The Trinity shouts loudly – “Yes, there is a difference that is bigger than epic proportions!”

Culture:  We live in a many god culture.  We have gods of money, fame, materialism, relationship, substance, and then there is Buddah, Allah, and on and on it goes.

What is idolatry?  Idolatry is devotion.  It is anything that rules and controls you – including anything that controls your emotions, decision making, and your loyalty.  What controls us, what we build our life around, or what we faithfully serve…. that is an idol and that is our god or God.  And….  wow, have you noticed…..culture has many gods!

But, that is nothing new.  This has been true ever since Genesis 3. Remember, it is in this “many gods” culture – the Bible’s opening words are… In the beginning God…

Eve’s temptation in the garden wasn’t hunger or better fruit from a better tree.  It was a temptation of:

  • Being like God
    • See Genesis 3
  • She essentially sought to dethrone the true God and become like God herself!  Imagine the created seeking to become the Creator.  No longer worshiping God, she became an idol to herself…. thus, she was seeking to worship herself.

Christianity:  What does the above have to do with the Trinity?  A lot!  Christians are monotheistic.  Meaning: We believe in ONE God.  But, so does the Muslim… right?  Well yes and no.  They believe in one god but that god is NOT the God of the Bible.  The God of the Bible is:  1 God in 3 persons.

The Father is God

The Son is God

The Spirit is God

Islam, or any other religion, does not believe in the God of the Bible.  The 3 in 1.

As Christians we need to wrestle with WHO God is. Christian, it can not be both!  One cannot say: “she is a moral, good person… she believes in HER VERSION of god, she is going to heaven…”  Either the God of the Bible IS God or He Is NOT God.  But, it can’t be both.  You can’t have the God of the Bible and the god of the Muslim and the god of the Mormon and say:  “we are all good to go – you pick your god and I will pick mine….it doesn’t really matter.”

The reality of the 3 in 1 tells us something.  It tells us IT MATTERS!  To live for, worship, and serve a god who is NOT the 3 in 1 is to NOT worship God.  Because this IS who God is!

The Point?:   My point is to stress to 2 things:

1.)  The doctrine of the Trinity is no small matter!  It is greatly important.  It has incredible implications for the Christian.  So, let’s not entertain some “wishy – washy” – or hold to a vague understanding of the Trinity.

2.)  The Trinity IS WHO GOD IS!  We should labor to know and understand God as best and as accurately as we can.  This labor will have great and lasting implications on our lives!


A Parting thought:

For the believer ask:  How has the Father / the Son / the Holy Spirit each brought about your salvation?



7 Reasons Why I Love “Trinity”


I have had the extreme privilege of pastoring in the same church these last 18 years.  Recently, we have been going through some big changes.  One of those changes is our name.  We are no longer Sovereign Grace Church.  We are now officially Trinity Community Church.

Here are a few reasons why I like our new name.

1.)  I didn’t “pick” the name.  Why, you ask, is this a reason for Tim to like the new name?  Well, it is because it represents a healthier day for us as a church.  Let me explain:

In the past, I was the SR. Pastor.  Emphasis on “Sr.”  Which means I called the shots.  Sadly, this created a lack of input, a lack of decision making accountability, and wisdom.  Structurally, I believe this has hindered us.  Don’t get me wrong, God has been kind!  He has blessed us over the years and has used this church in spite of the Sr. Pastor.  But, a few years back we recognized we needed to make some major shifts in how we do things.  Now I am one of 5 elders, and I love it!  The elders sought to hear from the church and gain input from everyone who was willing to chime in on the name.

In the end, I liked a couple of names.  Some of the elders really liked Trinity. I was a bit more….indifferent towards the name.  It was a joy for me to participate in the conversations and not feel the need to lead the charge.

2.)  I like the name!  As we kicked around many potential names, Trinity grew on me.  I went from indifferent to passionate.  In the beginning of our discussions it sounded old, dated, and, well…. Catholic.  But, the more we chatted and prayed the more the name stood on its own.  TRINITY!  I love it!

But more than that….. It is rooted in who God really IS.  He has revealed Himself to us as 1 God in 3 Persons.

“Seeing God as both one and three is important because through this we can understand better the ways in which the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit relate to one another and do their work.”  Bruce Ware

3.)  It is a name with historical roots:  Trinity (as a name) has endured throughout history.  And, it’s is not going anywhere in the future either!  A historical name for a contemporary church that loves historically rooted doctrines.  We love theology, and rather than shying away from theology, we seek to embrace it and help believers understand it.  Trinity IS theology!

4.)  I like the idea of being a contemporary church with a historic name.  People will be doing a google search for churches in Brevard county and when they see Trinity Community Church perhaps they will think of an architectural style, or a certain denomination, or a particular liturgy.  We don’t really fit into most of the boxes people will want to put us in.  Trinity Community Church is a people who deeply love and celebrate the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

5.)  There is one God:  The Father is God, The Son is God, The Spirit is God.  When we look at each aspect of the Trinity we are looking at relationship in the Godhead and relationship with us.  The Father, Son, and Spirit all participated in your salvation!  We will be looking at each of these in future posts in an effort to make some Trinitarian Gospel Connections.

6.)  It has and will stand the test of time.  Trinity is a name that will last.  We trust another name change will not be needed in the future!

7.)  Trinity is worship.  It is not just a term or factual information to learn for knowledge sake.  It is worship.  To consider the nature and the extent of the Trinity is to be found in awe of our great God!


Many more posts to come to help us understand the Trinity.  Subscribe above (Top Right) of this page to have Gospel Connections delivered to your inbox!