Sunday, June 11, 2017

Trinity Sunday

16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17 And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in [2] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:16-20 (ESV)

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.”
It’s Trinity Sunday. The whole Sunday revolves around a doctrine. It is the only Sunday in the church year to celebrate a doctrine rather than an event that teaches a doctrine. But the Trinity is important enough to merit this because without it there is no salvation for mankind. It is essential that Jesus be both God and man if there is to be forgiveness of sins, life and salvation found in his blood. Thus it was the great controversy of the early church as it debated with the Jews over the divinity of Jesus, over and against the gnostics and other concerning his humanity, and with each other as to just how it was possible for both the Father and the Son to be God, and what about the Holy Spirit.
Careful reading of the Scriptures show that all three of these persons are to be regarded as God. Perhaps the biggest clue is a careful look at Christ’s words, 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.
To understand this you have to understand the meaning of the name of God in Scripture. It was more than a moniker or a label. It was he himself. The temple was built as a place for His name to dwell. So the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, all three mentioned by name here share one name into which we are baptized. This is the divine essence and being of God. And it is because Jesus Christ shares this divine essence and being that all authority on heaven and earth can be given to him.
He has it now. He had given it up to take on our flesh, to bear responsibility for our sins. Yes, he was certainly still able to do the miraculous, and show that he was God in the flesh, but he did not make full use of his divine powers. He did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped but took on the form of a servant to be obedient to the Father even onto death. Well that is the other place you start finding the Trinitarian formula and its relation to Christ and our salvation hammered out. Philippians chapter  2.
He was equal to the Father, but he gave it up for our salvation. It is the exact opposite of our sin. In our sin we want to be equal to the Father. This is the sin with which the devil tempted Eve, you will be like God and know good from evil. That is you would be able to decide for yourself what is right and what is wrong, and not only in the moral realm. The problem, the greatest problem man has with the Trinity, the idea that Jesus could be God, is we think we are too smart for that. It doesn’t jive with all the other things we think we know about God, his omnipotence, his omniscience, his omnipresence. How could God take the form of a man? Take the form of a servant. It runs counter to everything. It is a repudiation of everything we think we know. We think the greatest good is to have power and authority, to rule the world and make others our servants. We dream about this in childhood fantasies, or perhaps as we walk to the store to buy lotter tickets trying to imagine what it would be like to have 484 million dollars! And that is just earthly riches. It doesn’t compare to what Jesus gave up to save man. But this he did. For you for me. And then he as God, and as man died. This is really at the root of the trinity, the deep divine mystery that the God who created this world, and made you and I would be able to die. God died. It’s absolutely incredible.
But now Jesus who won salvation for us. He resumes his divinity, receives all authority in heaven and on earth, that he as God and Man could continue his work of salvation among us. That he who won salvation for us, would keep winning us for salvation. That he would be able to continue making us disciples by baptizing us into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Resumes all authority in heaven and on earth that he could continue to be God with us, in and through or baptism, guiding and directing our ways to life everlasting, now and forever, Amen.

Now the peace of God that Surpasses all understanding keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen. 

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