2 Starting PointWe are never going to fully get our head around the trinity! It is impossible for us to completely understand God – otherwise we would be God! Look up Romans 11 v 33-36God's character is so enormous that we, with our limited minds, cannot understand all that he is.It is a bit like someone who lives in 2D trying to understand the concept of something in 3D.Augustine said that anyone who denies the Trinity is in danger of losing his salvation, and anyone who tries to understand it is in danger of losing his mind!Look up Romans 11 v in NLTGod's character is so enormous that we, with our limited minds, cannot understand all that he is. Any time we think about an infinite concept with our finite mind, we are going to come up short in our understanding. Can you really get your head round inifinty or eternity or how massive the universe is? – likewise we can't completely get our head around the trinity! The Holy Spirit can help us to understand, but even then we may not have words to describe what we have been shown.It is a bit like someone who lives in 2D trying to understand the concept of something in 3D . I.e. imgaine we were all flat living in a world the was only made up of flat things (cartoon pictures) imagine if you saw someone who wasn't falt but who was solid – how would you explain what you had seen, would they get it without seeing for themselves.(In the same way scientists use a fourth dimension in maths and science – this makes no sense to us – I have studied a bit of it at degree level and really it still makes no sense – we just cant get our heads around it).A very early, very clever chrisitian bloke who wrote books and books to try and explain the trinity (among other things) called Augustine said that anyone who denies the Trinity is in danger of losing his salvation, and anyone who tries to understand it is in danger of losing his mind!
3 So what do we know?Althougth the Bible never actually uses the word “trinity” it is clear that God is three-in-one: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy spirit.Two examples:In Matthew 28v19 Jesus says “baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”In 2 Corinthians 13 v 14 Paul writes “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with all of you.”
4 There are 3 points that we can see in the Bible which help us clearly see the Trinity to be true. 1) There is one God “Listen, Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is One.” Deut 6v4This is echoed in the New Testament:John 5v44, Romans 3v30, 1 Tim 1v17, James 2v19, John 17v32) They are each GodThe Father is God. 2 Peter 1 v 17 “For when he received honour and glory from God the Father...”The Son is God. The healing of the Paralytic man – Mark 2 v 1-12(Many other examples: Matt 1 v 23, John 8 v58, John 1 v14, John10 v 30, John 20 v 28)The Holy Spirit is God. Acts 2 v 17 “And it will be in the last days, says God, that I will pour out My Spirit on all Humanity..”(Again other examples inc Acts 5 v 3-4)Dont need to spend a lot of time over this slide – just showing them that the trinity is biblically trueThere is one God“Listen, Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is One.” Deuteronomy 6v4The Hebrew word for one here is Echad meaning united one.The Son is God. The healing of the Paralytic man – Mark 2 v 1-12Only God had the power to forgive sins – so in healing the man, Jesus showed that he could forgive sins, and was in fact God!
5 3) They are eternal, distinct and unchanging 3) They are eternal, distinct and unchanging. There has always been the Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit Father “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ... for He chose us in Him, before the foundation of the world...” Eph 1 v 3-4 Son In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. All thing were created through Him..” John 1 v 1-3 Spirit “...and the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters...” Genesis 1 v 2They are seperate (not one changing into another) and they have always had seperate roles to play.John 14 v 26 “But the Counsellor, the Holy Spirit – the Father will send Him in My name – will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have told you.”As with previous slide dont need to spend a lot of time over this – just getting across that the trinity is biblically trueSon“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. All thing were created through Him..” John 1 v 1-3Word = Jesus (John 1 v 14 – The Word became flesh)Jesus is talking about the Father sending the Holy Spirit – 3 seperate people.
6 What are the different roles of God – the Father, Son and Spirit? Father – God forever seated in the heavenlies, Holy, awesome, all knowing and all powerful, everything is under his plan.Son – God who came as a man, our example on earth who died for our sins, rose again and is seated now at the right hand of the Father in heaven speaking on our behalf.Spirit – God on Earth after Jesus' return, who comes and lives and works in us.Show title and then:Brainstorm – ask young people to suggest the different roles and relationships we have with each person of the trinityTry and bring out some of the folllowing points – but dont labour it – just need to get across basics of different roles. Can the summarise using the 3 descriptions.Father – God forever seated in the heavenlies, Holy, awesome, all knowing and all powerful, everything is under his plan.It is the Father who has laid out the plan for his creation, he chose us before the beginning of the world (Eph 1), he always wanted us to be his family and he loved us so much that he sent the Son to die for us (John 3 v 16), he raised Jesus from the dead and continues to work in our lives through the Spirit – all according to his will and for his glory.Son – God who came as a man, our example on earth who died for our sins, rose again and is seated now at the right hand of the Father in heaven speaking on our behalf. It is the son who created us – all life came from him (John 1). He is our perfect example, a man who we can relate to, a friend of sinners. He chose to die to pay for our sins with his blood, on the cross(Romans 5:9). The Son also acts as a "mediator" between us and God (1 Timothy 2:5), and speaking "to the Father in our defense" (1 John 2:1).Spirit – God on Earth after Jesus' return, who comes and lives and works in us.He gives us power – the same power which rose Jesus from the dead! The Spirit helps us pray (Romans 8:26-27). He gives us new life (John 3:3-6). He is our Comforter, and he helps us understand God's word (John 14:26). He lifts up Christ (John 15:26). He convicts us of sin (John 16:7-11). He helps us to live holy lives (Romans 15:16). He gives us love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). He helps us share our faith (Acts 1:8). And he lives inside us (Romans 8:11).
7 What would happen if the trinity didn't exist as it does? What if we only had God the Father?What if we had God the Father and God the Son, but no Holy Spirit ?We need God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit – without them all there would not be the amazing relationship with God that is open to us. “Now all of us can come to the Father through the same Holy Spirit because of what Christ has done for us.” Ephesian 2v18What if we only had God the Father? (ask youth)It would just be like in the OT – no personal relationship with God, only hearing God through prophets, not able to come into his presence when we worship, us striving to keep the Law and trying to make up for our sins through sacrifices, and ultimately no promise of eternal life.What if we had God the Father and God the Son but no Holy Spirit?(Ask youth)Once Jesus had gone back to heaven we would be left alone without any help, and with no Holy Spirit living inside of us we would have no encouragement, guidance or power and would most likely give up!We need God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit – without them all there would not be the amazing relationship with God that is open to us.“Now all of us can come to the Father through the same Holy Spirit because of what Christ has done for us.” Ephesian 2v18
8 Analogy or not to analogy?! We can try to explain the Trinity with analogies, but even these come up short, because God is so great, no illustration really does him justice.Egg – shell, white, yolkH2O – ice, water, steamShamrock – 3 leavesFamily Roles – one man can be a father, husband and sonThey all have faults and they are all so impersonal and pathetic compared to God!Note:If short on time go straight to video as it talks about analogies not being any good.Egg – shell, white, yolk (each bit on its own does is not an egg)H2O – ice, water, steam (only one substance changing into something different – not three distinct things at once)Shamrock – 3 leaves (each leaf is the same not 3 different roles)Family Roles – one man can be a father, husband and son (only one man, not 3 seperate people)Watch video
9 What it comes down to: Just enjoy the Pizza! However much we try and get our heads round the Trinity we will never fully get it. But this is not a bad thing. We can clearly see that it is Biblically true, but more importantly we can see how much we are blessed by it. God in all his fullness Father, Son and Spirit, is amazing and worthy of our praise. God has had always had us in mind, we have always been part of his plan, and throughout creation he has been working at every point in every way that has been needed for us to know him personally and intermately. God is good - let's enjoy him!Finish by praying – thanking God for the amazingness of the trinity and what it means we have – go round and each pray outloud.