Monday, September 7, 2015

NT75 Day 1: Matthew 1-4

Our church is embarking on a journey through the New Testament in 75 days.  If you would like to join along or jump in, you can download the information here:  NT75 Reading Plan.  More info is available on our church's website (

I'll be blogging some thoughts that come to my mind as I read along.

Today's thought:  the Trinity is one crazy deal.

I'm reading along just fine until I run into the baptism narrative (Matthew 3).  This is the first explicit expression of the doctrine of the Trinity in the NT.  The Father speaks from heaven.  The Spirit descends like a dove.  The Son fulfills righteousness and sets an example for us to follow.

There they are.  Father.  Son.  Spirit.

For those unfamiliar with the doctrine of the Trinity, the biblical and historical statement goes something like this:  God is one God in three persons.  They are co-equal and co-eternal and one God, but three.

Sound confusing?  It is.  No.  Seriously.  It is.  So if you're scratching your head as I do mine sometimes when this stuff makes me...well...scratch my head,  you're not alone.

All sorts of analogies have been tried and found lacking significantly.  Plenty of people have found themselves in the zip codes of good old-fashioned heresy by trying to say what they think rather than what the Bible says.  I can explain the Trinity but I don't necessarily understand it.  I can affirm it without wrapping my brain fully around it.  And I actually think that's a good thing.

Why in the world is something so mysterious a good thing?  How can it be good if I can't understand it?

If I fully understood it all, if the God of the Bible had no mystery about Him, I promise you this:  I would work to manipulate Him rather than magnify Him.  I would work an angle rather than worship a Savior.

That kind of mystery is good.  He has told me all I need to know about Him in order to know Him, love Him, and follow Him.  He's revealed Himself clearly enough for me to worship Him.  But He remains beyond me, so I cannot manipulate Him.

Father.  Son.  Spirit.  Three in one.  One in three.  It's a mystery.

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