One Plus One Plus One Equals One? - John 14:1-18 - Skip Heitzig
God isn't really something to worship.
He's just waiting to destroy all of us.
I guess there's a God out there somewhere.
I hope there is a God.
God isn't really something to worship.
God is everywhere.
Yes, he does love you, and I love you as well. Would you turn in your Bibles please, this morning, to the Gospel of John chapter 14? Let me just say how glad I am that we are participating in a relief effort for Beirut.
I've had the opportunity to go there. I have spoken at several times in Beirut at churches in the area. One of which sustained enormous damage during this explosion, and it's an honor to be able to reach out in the name of Christ and with his love to people who are hurting.
We're in John chapter 14. If you don't mind, I'm going to ask you to do something we did a few weeks ago. Could you stand for the reading of God's word? I'm going to read it out loud.
You can read along, and then we can sit down and get started. We're in John chapter 14. Let not your heart be troubled. You believe in God, believe also in me.
In my father's house are many mansions. If it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go to prepare a place for you, I will come, again, and receive you to myself that where I am, there you may be also.
And where I go, you know, and the way you know. Thomas said to him, Lord, we do not know where you are going, and how can we know the way? Jesus said to him, I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father, except through me.
If you had known me, you would have known my father also. And from now on, you know him and have seen him. Philip said to him, Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.
Jesus said to him, have I been with you so long, and yet, you have not known me, Philip? He who has seen me has seen the Father, so how can you say, show us the Father? Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in me?
The words that I speak to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does the works believe. Me that I am in the Father and the Father in me, or else believe me for the sake of the works themselves. Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in me, the works that I do, he will do also. And greater works than these, he will do, because I go to my father.
And whatever you ask in my name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the son. If you ask anything in my name, I will do it. If you love me, keep my commandments, and I will pray the Father. And He will give you another helper, that he may abide with you forever the spirit of truth whom the world cannot receive. Because it neither sees him nor knows him, but you know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.
I will not leave you orphans. I will come to you. And then down in verse 25, things I have spoken to you while being present with you. But the helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance the things that I said to you. Have a seat, please, and thank you for that.
Let's pray together. Father, thank you for this portion of your scripture, your word, spoken to us by the Lord Jesus himself. I pray, Lord, that even as you promised a helper, we ask for the Holy Spirit to help us to grasp, to understand, to be inspired by the example we have here.
Thank you, Lord, for the ability to meet together, to give friendly eyes or a smile, to give encouragement to one another, to meet, to enjoy that fellowship and the strength that comes from it. We humbly ask these things in Jesus' name. Amen.
I suppose, if I were to try to use my sermon title in a math class, I would fail the class. One plus one plus one equals one. I understand that's bad math, but it's good theology. And I suppose, if I wanted to be mathematically precise, I would state it differently.
I would say one times one times one equals one. That would be more precise, especially with the Trinity since we are dealing with a compound unity. The subject today, the Trinity, the triune nature of God is foundational to our faith. It is essential to our faith, but I also know it is controversial.
Winston Churchill once described Russian foreign policy, and he called it a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma. That's a great description. I feel the same about the Trinity. It's a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.
This is difficult territory for anybody. There was a family visiting from India, visiting friends in California. The friends in California on a Sunday went to church and took the family from India with them. They didn't have the background in India in American evangelical churches, obviously, didn't quite understand it.
But after church, the host family asked their foreign visitors, what did you think? And the 11-year-old girl, who is a part of that Indian family said, I don't understand why the west coast is not included. And they looked at her, like, what? What do you mean?
And she said, well, you know, when the minister stood up and said, in the name of the Father, and the son, and the whole east coast. Of course, she didn't understand that it was the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost. That was just a foreign expression to her.
The Trinity poses a problem to us if we try to share our faith with a Jewish person, a Muslim, a Mormon, a Jehovah's Witness. None of those groups believe in the Trinity at all, and apart from that, it's a problem for some of us. We wonder, should I pray to the Father? Is it OK to pray to Jesus?
Should I pray to the Holy Spirit? If I don't give attention to two of them, but I give attention to one of them, will the other two be offended? And aren't we just dealing with one person using different names?
There's confusion even among believers. And then even beyond that, how do I explain this mystery to my kids who ask questions to figure this out? Do I use an egg? That's how some people try to describe it to their kids.
You know, you have one egg, but you have a shell. And you have a white, and you have a yolk. Or do I use water? Water can be one substance, but appear as a solid, or a liquid, or a vapor.
Or do I use three matches, and, say, you have three separate entities? But you put them together, and it forms one flame. There's all sorts of creative explanations and analogies. I don't know if any of them is perfect.
I think it's always something we should be careful. We should be careful not to trivialize God and reduce him to a formula. What we are dealing with is the inability to take something infinite and comprehend it with a finite mind.
At the end of the day, it's not going to be possible, but that is not my aim. My goal here is not to explain to you the Trinity. I don't want necessarily you to understand the Trinity as much as enjoy the Trinity. That is my aim.
I don't want you to just know what the Trinity is or how the Trinity works. What I hope we get out of this out of church today is how all three members of the Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, help us, how they sustain us, and how they inspire us by their example. We've read the text. I'm going to dip back into it for just a couple of things, but I want to show you five discoveries of the triune God out of this chapter.
The first and most obvious is all three, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, are a reality. You notice this when you read through chapter 14, chapter 15, and chapter 16. This whole section, Jesus will speak of the Father or my father. He will speak of the Holy Spirit.
He will speak of himself. He will call himself the son, and he does this freely throughout the entire section. And he gives personal pronouns to each of the three using terms, like he, his, him. So it's pretty evident and obvious as we read through the section that he is speaking about three distinct persons all working in concert together, a Trinity, a triune God.
It's pretty obvious. Now not everybody agrees. Some will object, and here is the objection. Well, the word Trinity isn't in the Bible. So what?
The words second coming are not found in the Bible, but you read it. Jesus said, if I go I will, come again. Guess what that is? A second coming.
The word Bible isn't in the Bible. You don't have to have the word present for it to be a truth. Yes, I understand the word Trinity is not a biblical term. It's a theological term meant to express biblical truth.
So if you go through the scriptures, you get the obvious reality that not just the Lord Jesus, but the apostles. And you have in the Old and the New Testament the evidence that there are three persons that we are dealing with. We find it at the baptism of Jesus in Matthew chapter 13, where it says, Jesus came up from the water. The heavens were opened.
The spirit of God descending on him like a dove and a lighting upon him. And suddenly, a voice came from heaven. This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased. You have all three, son being baptized, the Father speaking, the Holy Spirit coming in presence.
At the end of Jesus' ministry in what is called the Great Commission, Matthew chapter 28, our Lord Jesus said, go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, in the name of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Again, there is that formula, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It's something Paul the Apostle did in a benediction at the end of second Corinthians in the 13th chapter.
May the God of our Lord Jesus Christ-- excuse me. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all. Now, again, we're dealing with three separate persons. After all, since the Father sent the son into the world, John 316 for God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son.
Since the Father sent the son into the world, they can't be the same person. They're separate and distinct. And as we read in our text this morning, since the son and the Father both send the Holy Spirit, there is a distinction from one another.
This has always been the understanding throughout church history. Church leaders in their generations carefully articulated the belief that the Bible sets forth of the triune nature of God. Here's a sampling.
In 96 AD, almost a century after Christ, Clement of Rome, a leader in Rome, was the first one to refer to all three members of the godhead in an oath that he wrote. And he said, and I quote, "as God lives, and as the Lord Jesus lives, and as the Holy Spirit lives." Father, Son, Holy Spirit. In the second century AD, leaders, like Ignatius and Justin Martyr, did the same thing.
In the third century, Irenaeus and Tertullian did the same thing. In fact, it was Tertullian who came up and coined the term Trinity as we know it, using the Latin trinitas, the three in one. Fast forward a little bit to 325 AD when church leaders needed to come together to settle an issue.
There was already a division over, is Jesus God? Are there three different separate persons in one God head? So they had a meeting in Nicaea, an ancient Asia minor, modern day Turkey, and they formulated a creed called the Nicene Creed or the Apostles' Creed. Some of you grew up in your churches saying it.
I believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ's only son, our Lord. That's the language of a creed to distill the major beliefs of Christianity. I love what Spurgeon said. Charles Haddon Spurgeon said to have a gospel without the Trinity is like having a rope of sand that cannot hold together.
Then Satan can overrun it, but give me a gospel with the Trinity. And the might of hell cannot prevail against it. No man can anymore overthrow it than a bubble could split a rock or a feather in half a mountain.
Come on. So well put. Spurgeon just had a knack. So these three, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, are a reality. That's the first discovery.
The second is that all three share in divinity. It's. Not just three separate persons. It's one God, one God. This is where it gets tough for us to understand.
All three are referred to in scripture, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, as being God and having the attributes or qualities of God. We see a sampling here, verse nine. Jesus said, if you have seen me, you have seen the Father.
It's a bold statement to say, the Father and the Son share the same nature. In verse 16, speaking of the Holy Spirit, the helper-- listen to what he says. --will abide with you forever. Now, he is assigning an eternal nature to this third person, the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will abide with you forever.
Now, I've had conversations with folks who have said, well, Jesus never claimed to be God, and the New Testament never says overtly that Jesus is God. Whenever somebody says that to me, I say, could you tell me what version of the Bible you happen to be reading? Because I have never found what you say you have found, and I've read a lot of different versions.
First of all, Jesus said, before Abraham was, I am. And you know what the Jews did in response to that? Took up stones to kill him. And Jesus said, why do you want to kill me? Think of all the good works I've done.
They said, oh, we're not going to kill you for the good works you've done. We want to kill you, because you being a man are constantly making yourself out to be God. So Jesus said it. His enemies understood what he said.
Then he accepted worship from Thomas after the Resurrection when Thomas saw him alive. Thomas said, my Lord, and my God. Don't you think, if Jewish Jesus was just a man, he would have said to Thomas, oh, no, no, no, don't say that. That's blasphemy, unless he was God. And he was.
He accepted Thomas' worship. Then he claimed to forgive sins. When he healed the paralytic, he said, son, your sins are forgiven. And a Jewish leader said, hey, wait a minute. Only God can forgive sins. Yeah, that's why I said what I said.
Then Jesus performed miracles that only God can perform. He demonstrated power over disease, power over demons, power over death. He claimed omnipotence, all power. He said in Matthew 28, all authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth.
That's omnipotence. He claimed omnipresence in Matthew 18. Wherever two or three are gathered in my name, I will be in their midst. He showed omniscience that he knew everything on many occasions.
He was speaking to a woman at a well in Samara, and she was getting all coy, and hurt, and back and forth with Jesus. And she said a few things. And finally, he just said, go call your husband. And she goes, I don't have a husband.
Jesus said, you're right. You've had five husbands in the past, and right now, you're living with a guy who's not your husband. She didn't tell him that. How did he know that?
Well, she said, sir, I perceive that you're a prophet. Then on other occasions, it says, and Jesus knowing their thoughts said to them. So he can read minds. He knows people's past backgrounds. He showed omniscience.
And not only that, but Paul the Apostle, the rabbi from Tarsus, said Jesus was God very clearly and overtly in a few places. Here's just a couple. Romans nine, verse five. He said, Christ, who is over all, the eternally blessed God. You can't get any clearer than that.
Titus chapter two, verse 13, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. Again, very clear. And then the Holy Spirit is also called God in scripture. Fifth chapter of The Book of Acts. You remember the story of Ananias and Sapphira. They took some land, sold it, pretended to give it all to the work of the Lord, kept back part for themselves. Not that that was a problem. The problem was they lied.
And so Peter said, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit? And then he says immediately after, for you haven't lied to men. You lied to God. You see how he put that? You lied to the Holy Spirit, and when you did, you lied to God. Then the Holy Spirit is seen as omniscient, for Jesus and John 16, Verse 13 said, when the Holy Spirit comes, he will guide you into all truth. Well, don't you have to know all truth to guide somebody else into all truth?
He will guide you into all truth and he will tell you things to come. Well, you have to know things to come. You have to know the future to be able to guide people and tell them things to come. So he's omniscient. He's also seen as omnipresent. Psalm 139, David said, where can I go from your spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? He's also seen as omnipotent, all powerful. He was there at the creation. The Bible says the spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
And you might say, well, that's sort of a nebulous reference, that he was involved in creation. Well, then you should read Job 33, where Job the Patriarch said, the spirit of God has made me. That's pretty clear, right? He's assigning his existence in creation as a work of the Spirit of God.
Something else. You should know that the Trinity is at least hinted at in the very first verse of the Bible, Genesis 1:1. In the beginning, God created the heavens and the Earth. The word for God as Elohim in Hebrew. Elohim. Whenever you see an -im or hear an -im, I-M, that's a masculine plural in the Hebrew, masculine plural.
So if you want to say God, it's El, or Allah-- it's a very generic term for God-- you want to make that plural, it's Elohim, like gods. But though it is a plural noun, it is singular in meaning. So all you have to do is take Genesis 1 and keep reading, keep reading, keep reading down to Verse 26 of Genesis 1, where it says, then Elohim said, God said, let us make man in our image. You start thinking, who is he talking to?
Let us make man in our image according to our likeness. Next verse. So God created man in his image. Singular, plural singular. It is a plural noun, singular in meaning. When God said, let us make man, he's not talking to angels. They had nothing to do with creation. Its intertrinitarian communication. It's the Father and the Son and the spirit talking together. Let us make man in our image. So God created man in his image. Plural noun, singular in meaning.
So the text shows these three are a reality and they share in divinity. Number three, the third observation or discovery, is these three pose a difficulty. They pose a difficulty, meaning it's hard-- but we can talk about it all day long-- still hard to understand it. I'll admit that. I'm really glad that the text shows the difficulty the disciples have in understanding the words of Jesus. Did you notice this? Did you notice in Verse 5, Thomas said to him-- now Jesus just said, now where I'm going, you know, and the way you know.
And then Thomas has something to say. Now you call him Doubting Thomas. I call him Honest Thomas. He doesn't understand what he's talking about. So he says, Lord, we don't know where you're going. So how can we know the way? How do we know to get there? So maybe all the other disciples are kind of like leaning in and nodding their heads when Jesus was talking like, yeah, man, this is heavy. This is so good. Yeah, right on. And Thomas is going, I don't get it, and I'm going to voice that I don't get it. So he does.
And then also down in Verse, 8 Philip said to him-- because Jesus talk about the fathers and the son, and the son is in the Father-- Philip said, Lord, just show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us. And Jesus said, have I been with you long enough, Philip? You don't know who I am? You've seen me, you've seen the Father.
But what comforts me is that even Jesus' closest followers are going, yeah, no, I don't really understand what you're saying. Even down in Verse 22-- we didn't read that far, but it says, Judas, not Iscariot, said to him, Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself to us and not to the world?
So you have in this passage three disciples not quite understanding the words of Christ. They're having a difficult time with what he is saying. So if these disciples didn't even know where Jesus was going, how could they understand we're dealing with one being shared by three coequal, co-eternal persons? That's way above their pay grade at that time. They would come to believe that, but they're just kind of going, I don't get it.
I've always loved the story of a man who was in solitary confinement years ago in a prison, when prison cells were completely dark, and it was pitch black. Not a bit of light in this place of confinement. The only thing this prisoner had was a marble to throw up against the wall to keep him from going nuts.
So his routine was to take the marble and throw it up against the wall, and it would bounce, ricochet on another wall, hit the floor, roll around. He'd listen to it, and he would search for it with his hand, he'd pick it up. And he did it again and again and again, day after day, month after month.
One day he decided to change things up. He said I'm going to throw it up in the air in the darkness and try to catch it. So he threw the marble up, cupped his hands. He heard nothing. Not only did he not catch it in his hands, he didn't hear it hit the floor. He heard nothing at all. He threw it up and it was silent. So he started thinking about this and trying to figure it out and struggled with it and lost sleep over it. It drove him nuts. And he died in prison.
When the guards came in to take his body out to bury him, they brought their lanterns in, and one of the guards looked up because he noticed a bright little reflection out of the corner of his eye, and he noticed a marble in a spider web at the top of the cell. And he said, look at that. Of all the crazy things, how on Earth did that spider manage to get that marble all the way up there? Now he's trying to figure it out, and he's thinking, I'm going to go crazy trying to figure this out.
Have you noticed that all of us have marbles when it comes to the things of scripture? All of us, why would God allow this? Well, why did this happen? Listen, the Trinity is the greatest theological marble there is. RT Kendall said the Trinity is the most difficult subject in Christian theology, and by the end of the day, we may feel like we are still out at sea.
Augustine-- St. Augustine, he is often called-- a church leader in Egypt years ago, was walking on the beach trying to figure out the Trinity, trying to figure out a way to articulate it so he could tell other people the meaning of the triune nature of God. He was having a difficult time.
And when he was on the beach walking, contemplating this, he noticed a little boy digging a hole on the beach, a sizable hole, and taking a little vessel, a little container to the ocean, putting water in it, going over and dumping it in the hole, going back to the ocean, more water, dumping it in the hole. So finally, Augustine walked over to him and said, young man, what are you doing?
And the little boy boldly said, I'm going to take the ocean and put it in this hole. Augustine walked away relieved and smiling, saying, that's what I've been trying to do with this. I am trying to take the infinite, vast ocean of God's nature and stick it into the little hole in my brain. And that's impossible. And this is why, though many Americans will identify themselves as being Christian, far less will say they believe in the Trinity because they don't understand it.
Can I tell you something that I think will comfort you? God understands it. It's not beyond his understanding. We can't figure it out. It's a mystery to us, but not to God. I just want to tell you, don't lose sleep if the marble doesn't come down. Don't lose sleep if you can't unravel the mystery of the Trinity. Throughout history people have struggled with it. Throughout history people have argued over it. Throughout history people have divided over it. And sadly, throughout history, people have denied it, even though it is plainly taught in scripture.
Back in the second century there was monarchianism. Then there was Arius of Alexandria in the Patristic period. During the period of the Reformation there was something known as Socinianism, all denying the Trinity. And to this day, every major cult will deny one God with three persons, deny the Trinity.
Not just cults. Muslims, as I mentioned, also deny the Trinity. They say the Trinity is not only illogical, it is the major sin, the major sin. It is what really makes somebody, in their words, an infidel. According to the Quran, God is merciful to adulterers and liars, but not Trinitarians.
Now I'm quoting from their book, the Quran, Surah Chapter 5, concerning Trinitarians- those who believe in three in one because they knew Christians did-- God will forbid him the garden that is paradise, and his abode shall be hell fire. So you believe like we do, you are an infidel.
But still hard for us. I mean, how can three be one? How does that work? How is that even possible? I mean, isn't the Bible all about one God? And weren't the Jews fiercely monotheistic? Weren't they placed in an environment of polytheist belief with the pagan nations all around them? And isn't there great statement of faith found in scripture Deuteronomy Chapter 6 called the Shema. In Deuteronomy 6:4, here, oh Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one.
Pious Jews say it every day. [SPEAKING HEBREW] One, [HEBREW], one. But that word, one, [HEBREW], never means one in isolation or stark singularity. It means one in unity. According to the Bible, you can have a multiplicity that is a unity. For example, Israel in scripture is called one people, [HEBREW]. You have a multiple, multiplied group of people with many different individuals. But it's one nation.
Then the Tabernacle, though it had different implements, in Chapter 26 of Exodus, God said you will make 50 clasps of gold and couple the curtains together with the clasps so that it may be one tabernacle, [HEBREW]. I did a wedding recently where I was reminded of this because we brought up the scripture. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined unto his wife, and the two shall become one, one flesh, one flesh, [HEBREW]. The two shall become one flesh.
Now that doesn't mean that they morph into a single human, although I have noticed as couples get older, sometimes they start looking like each other. I don't know what's up with that. It means unity and plurality. It's one couple, one family, one unit.
So these three are a reality. They do share in divinity. They're all God. They're all called God-- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit-- but they do pose a difficulty. But let's get beyond that because I mentioned at the beginning, my aim is to have us enjoy the Trinity. So let me give you the fourth discovery about the triune God. And that is that these three, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit provide security.
All three play a strategic role in the life of the believer. There's many texts, but I'll just show you a little sampling of it here, Verse 16, Jesus speaking. I will pray the Father, and He will give you another what? What is it called? Helper.
Listen, don't you agree we need all the help we can get to live the Christian life? Good news. He's going to send a helper, another helper. Jesus helped them. He was going away, but I'm going to send you another helper that He may abide with you or live with you, stay with you forever, the spirit of truth whom the world cannot receive because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. But you know him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans. I will come to you.
Then in Verse 13 Jesus said, whatever you ask in my name, that I will do that the Father may be glorified in the son. That should bring you comfort. Jesus promises your prayers will be answered. It may not be the answer you like, but he will answer all of them.
Down in verse 23, speaking of the Father now and the son, himself and the Father, says, we will come to him and make our abode with him. So here's what I'm driving at. All three, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit take an active role in the believer's salvation and sanctification as a helper. The Holy Spirit comes with us.
So that's why we can say, yeah, I asked Jesus into my heart. That's sort of how we put we came to Christ, I came to salvation, I asked Jesus in my heart. But guess what? Jesus will come in your heart, but he's going to bring people with him, persons with him. The Father's coming along and the Holy Spirit. It's a package deal. You get all three. That gives us security. The Father chose you, the Son redeemed you, and the Holy Spirit convicts you and purifies you.
That's seen in one verse, by the way, of scripture. 1 Peter Chapter 1, Verse 2. Peter writes, God the Father knew you and chose you long ago, and his spirit has made you holy. As a result, you have obeyed him and you have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ, all three working together in your life.
I suppose if you want to put it in fishing terms, for those guys who like to go fishing, the Father sent the son to go fishing. Jesus baited the hook and caught you. And then once he caught you, he handed you off to the Holy Spirit to clean you up. That provides security.
Finally, I want to close with this, another discovery of the triune God. And that is these three, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit promote unity. They promote unity. To me, I think this is one of the strongest points to be made. You notice in Verse 16, I will pray the Father, and he will give you another helper. Now he's referring to the Holy Spirit. He's going to give you the Holy Spirit.
In Verse 26, but the helper, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all the things that I sent you.
I never get the feeling, as I read through this, I get the idea that Father, Son, or Holy Spirit are all actively performing their roles without any hint of rebuff toward the other two in the triune nature of God. So for example, father sends the Holy Spirit. You never hear of the Holy Spirit going, nah, I don't want to do that right now. I'm not into helping that dude. Forget it. You know, I'm a person, too, and I've got my own will.
None of that. There's always this perfect cooperation together, all the way from Genesis 1:26, let us make man in our image-- so God did make man in his image-- to each member cooperating together. So here's my point. The triune nature of God becomes for us a template of how to get along with each other, how to cooperate together. In fact, did not Jesus even pray that our unity would be like the unity between the Father and the Son? Lord, I pray, Father, I pray that they may be one as we are one. Just like we share a unity and love and respect and cooperation together, my prayer is that my followers will do the same.
So that it might be said God's purpose in creating people was to expand upon what the Trinity already enjoyed, to take this love and unity and cooperation out and expand it into what he calls his church.
I love what Tim Keller said. And when I quote Tim Keller here, I'm not quoting our Mayor Tim Keller. I don't think he would have said this. But Tim Keller, the East Coast New York City pastor said, if this world was made by a triune God, then relationships of love are what life is really all about.
What a powerful statement. If this world was made by a triune God, then relationships of love or what life is really all about. Think of it this way. The ultimate reason for families to stay together, the ultimate reason for a couple to stay together, is because of the Trinity, not because we signed a legal document. It's not even because of the kids.
The reason we're going to stay together is we both follow a triune-natured God, and they exhibit unity and love for each other. And the reason, also, that church splits are sinful and wrong is far more than just because it hurts families in the church. It hurts the nature of God. It hurts the heart of God. The reason we should forgive each other and mend relationships is because we have modeled for us a relational God.
So we rightly sing the "Doxology". It's maybe not a great name for a song, "Doxology". But it's a terrific song. You know it. Praise God from whom all blessings flow, praise him all creatures here below, praise him above you heavenly hosts, praise Father, Son, and not the whole East Coast, but Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. It's a great song. We're going to close with that.
Could I have you stand as we pray together, and we'll get ready to sing. Father, we give praise to you, one true God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We haven't got it figured out. We're glad that we haven't got it figured out. There's always a mystery to the godhead, always a mystery in our relationship with you, which just simply shows how far above us and transcendent above us you are.
And so our posture is always humble before you. We give you praise, we give you thanks. And we're so grateful that Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are actively working in our lives, giving us help, sustaining us, giving us an example to follow, empowering us and loving us, staying with us, abiding with us forever.
Lord, may you comfort your people this day in Jesus' name. Amen.
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