Trinity Sermon: Galatians 4:4-6
Let me ask you a question and let’s see where your mind goes. ‘What was God doing before the creation of the world?’ What do you think God was up to when there was no universe to run, no people to care for. Just God, nothing else. What was that like?
Well the wrong answer to that question is basically to think about one solitary god.
God was not lonely before creation, He wasn’t bored, He wasn’t just itching to get on and create since He had only His thoughts for company!
No, what was God doing before creation?
They were enjoying one another. Who’s they?
The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Is that who you were thinking about when I asked my question? Or were you thinking about some other god – a god who is not Father, Son and Holy Spirit?
This morning we will learn that God is not, and never has been, lonely or aloof or self-centred or brooding or solitary or bored. God is and always has been, loving and giving and other-centred and relational and sociable, companionable, friendly. Because the real God is the relationship of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Christians call this relationship of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit the trinity (and I’ll tell you why in a second). And this God, the trinity, is the living and true God.
But that other, solitary, self-centred god is not really God at all.
That god is simply an imaginary idea that reflects our own culture and times. Other people in other times have imagined – perhaps – lots of different gods and warring people have imagined warring gods. Sensual people have imagined sensual gods. Intellectual people have imagined that God is ‘an eternal mind’. And touchy feely people have imagined God as ‘pure energy which we tap into’. None of this tells you about the real God – instead it tells you a lot about the people who offer their opinion. It’s like the heavens are a gigantic mirror, we look up but all we really see is ourselves. God has to tell us about God. And we just have to listen and discard all our own opinions on the matter.
I’m convinced that most of the problems people claim to have with the trinity, are because they want to have the trinity AND the god of philosophy, or the god of our popular imagination. For most of us it’s an attempt to MIX the trinity with the solitary, self-centred god. And you just can’t do it.
So let’s allow God’s Word – the Bible – to tell us who He really is. And let’s be prepared to let go of your own dearest ideas of god. And be shaped again by God’s Word…
Read the whole sermon here..
Read my brief Trinity article here.
Here’s another sermon on Trinity to mark the Queen’s Jubilee, 2012.
And here’s the wonderful Mike Reeves on Trinity – unmissable!