Trinity And Salvation
I have said that I don’t understand the Trinity. Yet, I wonder can this concept could deepen my faith life and walk with God. I think I might have caught a glimpse of that during this week’s class on the Trinity. Salvation is an important part of the Christian faith. There are different ways of talking and thinking about. It seems that my current thinking of salvation aligns more with the Trinity than other ways. Salvation begins here and now, it has a relevance and impact on our current life, but is completed later. God is working in and through us to save and bless ourselves and this world. Salvation is a process; salvation is both personal and communal.
A description I adopted soon after coming to faith in Christ: I love Jesus and not the church.
I just needed Jesus. Jesus was it. Jesus was all. I had no real concept of God the Father and the Holy Spirit seemed too new agey for me. God the Father was just too demanding, judging, and violent for me too trust. I think I still tied God too much to the Mormon Church that I had left and would never return to. I pictured God in the image of the men of that church. The men who said you had to do this and that in order for God to love and bless you. This is a lie. So, if that’s who God the Father was then I wanted nothing to do with Him. The Holy Spirit was just too vague to take serious.
Jesus on the other hand was fully human. He was like me but without sin. Jesus was cool. He talked back to the religious leaders and partied hard. He welcomed people, all people. He loves and forgives without a limit. He didn’t ask us clean up to make ourselves presentable, but met us how and where we are and loves us in spite of who we are and what we have done. He tore apart the temple. I have written about affirming Jesus as Lord, affirming the resurrection, and trusting in Jesus. I have written about how Jesus died for our sins, that his life and teachings are as important as his crucifixion and resurrection, and the kind of life Jesus calls us to live here and now. Jesus is awesome!
I haven’t lost my love and reverence for Jesus and I want to follow him more now than ever. I stay Christian in spite of my problems with faith and certain people I have bumped up against, because in Jesus, I see how this life this world should be and I know that Jesus is rescuing the world. I now know that God, the God that Jesus talks about and wants to lead all of us to loves us without reservation or limit. His love is personal and transformative. The Father of Jesus loves us as we are, but loves us way too much to leave us that way. The Holy Spirit remains vague and fuzzy, but I am trying to understand it. I like how both Rob Bell and Eugene Peterson calls the Spirit God’s breath. God breathes into us and we are filled with the Holy Spirit. If we do good, if we love and forgive, if we preach of the gospel with our lives than God’s Spirit the Holy Spirit is in us, is breathing in and through us.
We need all three.
God the Father doesn’t need us but wants us. His plan works, ours don’t. His plan is not just about the big picture, but is also about the moment-to-moment daily life and world we find ourselves in. God blesses us with grace, love, and peace. We belong in body and soul to God. God begot Jesus and breathes out the spirit.
Jesus is our advocate. He serves as teacher, lamb, and secures our redemption through his work. He incarnated, became human to show us the way that God wants us to live here and now. We are adopted into God’s family through Christ. Jesus is the vessel for the forgiveness of sins. Jesus heals, saves, loves, and forgives.
The Holy Spirit gives us wisdom and understanding. The Spirit dwells within and reveals our need for Jesus, guides us in all truth and light. The spirit is our companion who leads us in and through God’s word bringing light to our lives for our good and the good of all who we meet.
This understanding of salvation helps, yet I am not quite there with the Trinity. I may never quite get it. Do I have to get it all the way? No. I can follow Jesus and not get the Trinity. I can align my life more and more to God without getting the Trinity. I can experience the Holy Spirit without getting the Trinity.
Salvation begins here and now stretching beyond this life to the next. Understanding the how and why is not nearly as important as knowing it is true.
As Paul writes in Ephesians 1:17: I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.
That’s what I want for you and I to know him better.