The Church’s God

Trinity Sunday – 12th June 2022

Sermon #2 in series: Practising our Faith with Christ’s Spirit

O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! (Ps 8:1a)

Trinity Sunday is Christianity’s opportunity to proclaim its unique understanding of Divinity. Our faith teaches God as a Triune Being. God is not three beings but one. And yet the substance of God is manifested through three Persons!

  • The Father is not the Son
  • The Son is not the Father
  • The Father is not the Holy Spirit
  • The Holy Spirit is not the Father
  • The Son is not the Holy Spirit
  • The Holy Spirit is not the Son.

Yet

  • The Father is God
  • God is the Father
  • The Son is God
  • God is the Son
  • The Holy Spirit is God
  • God is the Holy Spirit.

The Christian faith is unique. We believe in one God like Judaism and Islam but unlike them we believe the one God is manifested through three Persons.

Trinity Sunday follows Pentecost Sunday. Last week, we celebrated The Church’s Spirit. This week, we celebrate The Church’s God.

Our God is Sovereign

Last weekend, New Zealand set aside a day to honour her political sovereign, her majesty the Queen. None of us here have ever met the queen in person yet we believe she exists. We do not necessarily see how she rules New Zealand but that is a fact of law. And so with our God, we recognise God alone is Sovereign as God is the King above all kings on earth.

The beauty of Trinity and the existence of God as Spirit is that we can meet God. We can experience God in our personal lives. We can sense God in our collective worship.

God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. (Jn 4:24)

Our Gospel reading today declares God’s sovereignty—the rightful ruler of all things where Jesus said, All that the Father has is mine. For this reason I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you. (Jn 16:15). We see the Father declaring the Son as sharing same substance. Jesus makes this declaration as explanation for the Spirit being sent from the Son to comfort, guide, and advocate for Christians. In other words, the Holy Spirit is of the same substance as the Son of God who is of the same substance of the Father. Father, Son, Holy Spirit are God. There are not three gods but one.

Our God is Present

The beauty of Trinity and the existence of God as Spirit is that we can meet God. We can experience God in our personal lives. We can sense God in our collective worship.

God is not an image that we look toward and pray. God is not an idol that we bring offerings to and lay before. God is a living sovereign Being. God is alive today and we can know God personally.

How? That is the question that moves many souls on this planet to devotion, pilgrimages, and soul-searching. The answer is not complicated. It is explained in today’s reading from Romans 5:1-5. The passage reveals a triune God at work in the life of believers. 

The Father’s grace is offered you through our Lord Jesus Christ. By accepting Jesus Christ as your Saviour, you to God and stand in God’s grace. Standing in God’s grace means you share God’s glory. You become a son and daughter of the Creator. You will inherit all things with Jesus and reign and rule with Christ in God’s Kingdom.

The emphasis is on “will” reign. In other words, that is a future event. We live by promise. We endure all of life’s tribulations, sorrows, pain and sickness with this hope that God will keep His promise. Our character is being moulded with this hope.

How do we live by such faith? We do so because we experience God’s love today. That is not a future event. We experience God by the Holy Spirit right now where we are at in this life on this earth.

Our God is present.

Friend, if you do not know Jesus Christ as your Saviour, I implore you to bow before him today. Admit your good deeds are no match to his. Believe he alone is the way to God. Confess your sin and receive Jesus Christ as your Saviour.

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, life is not easy. It wasn’t for our Lord either when God lived as a Man amongst us. Jesus endured suffering. He was misunderstood, maligned, and crucified as a criminal. Life is not easy.

But, dear brothers and sisters in Christ, God’s love is present by God’s Spirit. Accepting Jesus as your Saviour meant God’s Spirit that is one and the same as the Father’s and Son’s—God’s Spirit came into your heart. As a believer in Christ, you have divinity within your very being. God is in your heart.

Through prayer and scripture, you experience God. God’s Spirit who wrote the Bible speaks to you through the words of scriptures. Prayer is a conversation. It is not a one-sided monologue. Prayer is not you dictated to God your desired list or pleading your cause. That is only part of it. A conversation is two ways. God speaks and you listen as well as God listening when you speak.

Our God is present.

Read from your bible daily. Always be in a spirit of prayer. Tell others about what Jesus means to you in word and through your actions. No matter the trouble life throws your way; no matter the heartache you experience; our God is present.

The beauty of Trinity and the existence of God as Spirit is that we can meet God. We can experience God in our personal lives. We can sense God in our collective worship.

Published by St Johns Papatoetoe

Presbyterian Church, Hunters Corner, Papatoetoe, Auckland, New Zealand belonging to Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand (PCANZ).

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