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How Does the Trinity Work?

Exploring how God's three-fold nature was uncovered by human experience
This sermon is part of the sermon series "Thorns in the Flesh". See series.


I want to begin our discussion of this difficult question about the Trinity not with intellectual speculation about how God is three and yet one, but rather with human experience. The only reason we know anything at all about the God of heaven and Earth is because this God revealed himself to human beings just like us. Abraham had an experience of God calling him to leave his home and go to a foreign land. This God became known as the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob because these individuals experienced this God's messages, his blessings, and his presence in their lives.

That is why the Old Testament is not a bunch of philosophical explorations, like the Greeks Plato and Aristotle speculated about the Prime Mover, for example. Rather, the Old Testament is a collection of stories—stories of how this God revealed himself in human affairs. The greatest story of all was the hundreds of thousands of Israelites experiencing firsthand the miracle of God leading them out of slavery in Egypt and into their promised land. Forever after, when they referred to God in their scriptures, God was not an object of philosophy but, "the God who delivered us out of Egypt."

Now, fast forward many centuries. A man walked the dusty roads of Galilee saying things like, "I and the Father are one." As a result, "The Jews picked up stones to stone him …." They said things like, "We are stoning you for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God" (John 10:30-33).

When Jesus spoke, he spoke with the authority of God; he claimed God's power and prerogative to forgive sins; he judged as God judges. People began to realize that, when they looked on the face of Jesus, they saw none other than the God of Abraham, Isaac, and ...

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Sermon Outline:


I. The doctrine of the Trinity was uncovered, not invented.

II. The Trinity is a mystery.

III. The Trinity must be experienced.