We need to study the Trinity. If you’re a believer, you know the Trinity . . . you just may not know you know nor know how to articulate what you know. You know? We do know. We, who believe, are regenerated into the family of God through Christ, made children, heirs of the promise, indwelled by the Holy Spirit, able to call God, Father. In other words, whether you can articulate the doctrine or not, you know the Triune God.
This is truth. It doesn’t happen when you learn to articulate the doctrine. It happens when you get saved.
But it behooves us to study this great doctrine. It behooves my soul to remember, I’m not studying words, definitions, and classic paradigms, but the unity and distinction of the Triune God who created me, this world, and is worthy of my worship.
Fred Sanders, in his book, The Deep Things of God, says this,
“The Trinity: Try to understand it and you’ll lose your mind; try to deny it and you’ll lose your soul! Heavy-handed theological pressure like that is about as helpful, in the long run, as tying your shoelaces tighter to make up for a bad-fitting shoe. Wherever this pressure is felt, it turns us from negligent Trinity-ignorers to motivated Trinity-phobes. If we know nothing else about the Trinity, we at least know that explicitly denying it will put a church on the list of non-Christian cults. To many evangelicals, the stakes of thinking about the Trinity seem too high and the payoff too low — and we are not gamblers. No wonder the word ‘Trinitarian’ is conspicuously absent from the list of adjectives that leap to mind to describe the theological character of evangelicalism” (page 8).
Personally, I do not want to misunderstand or diminish the Triune God. So on one hand I fear explaining this relationship and dishonoring Him. Yet, this doctrine is biblical, with OT and NT references for my edification, to equip me for every good work (2 Tim 3:17). So, I want to know my Lord better. There are benefits to studying this great work.
Where do I start? First, begin to read Scripture knowing it is about the Triune God. Look at some of the OT texts talking about “The Angel of the Lord,” Isaiah 9:6, Psalm 110, and Genesis 1:26ff. Look at John. John records many of Jesus statements about his relationship to the Father.
Second, grab some good books.
- Bruce Ware, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit: Relationships, Roles, and Relevance, Crossway. This is a great book. Small, but packs a strong punch. If you only buy one, this is the one. Great read, easy to follow, and will help you dig deeper into the Trinity.
- Roberth Letham, The Holy Trinity: in Scripture, History, Theology, and Worship, P&R. The most scholarly of the three books. A definite read for digging deeper into Scripture.
- St Basil the Great, On the Holy Spirit. This church father will help you see a historical and biblical treatment regarding the relationship between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
- John Feinberg, No One Like Him, Crossway. This work on the doctrine of God has a great chapter on the Trinity.
- Fred Sanders, The Deep Things of God: how the Trinity Changes Everything, Crossway. Good read, and a different approach, one that draws us to meditate and seek to know the Trinity more intimately.
- Be sure to evaluate the Nicean Creed too.
Lord willing, some of my studies will become blog posts. Take some time this Christmas to know Him better.