DISCLAIMER: We are all dummies when it comes to completely understanding a being as complex and lofty as God. Aside from knowing his favorite cereal (obviously Peanut Butter Crunch!), I have to admit there are many divine details we must be willing to leave as intriguing speculation. That being said, understanding God need not be a lost cause, especially for One who has been willing to reveal so much about himself to humans through the Bible, the Christian God’s words to us.
Now we could talk about a whole lotta things here, like God’s character, his morals, or his actions and plans, but to keep this post non-seminarian friendly, we’ll just stick with his very core: WHO God is. In Christianity, God’s person is more accurately described as persons, as we keep getting these three biblical entities that repeatedly pop up, all bearing divine labels and abilities: the Father, the Son or Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.
There’s no doubt that this has caused a lot of confusion, so if you’re like “One God, 3 Gods, triple-changer transformer God?” I can see why. Even by my own pastors, I’ve had the concept of the Trinity-or a 3-in-1 God-explained to me in terms that left me bewildered or dissatisfied.
That’s why I’m gonna talk about riding bikes now. Too obvious of a segue-way perhaps? Well, I’ll explain anyway. This past summer, I had the joy of teaching my son to ride his sweet Pro-Thunder (his name for many subsequent toys as well) bicycle. As you can see, initially he didn’t get it at all. All these different entities and functions-pedaling, steering, braking, balancing-that are supposed to come together into one unified whole? Impossible! It’s frustrating and even seems downright ridiculous, just like God’s explanation of himself seems to many as well. But then you try a little harder and push a little longer (my son has advanced currently to snow biking!), and speeding along on 2 wheels not only becomes very simple and sensible, but incredibly enjoyable and helpful, right?
So it seems to be with God. When you push to try and understand the function of the Trinity, you find the concept of the Trinity makes a lot more simple sense. Think of it from God’s point of view. He creates us with the eternal purpose of finding and knowing him (Acts 17:26-27, John 17:3), so he’s gotta have a way to communicate to us as much of himself as we need to know in a way we can understand.
We’d probably agree that it’s pretty hard to represent the mercy and justice, infinity and tangibility, love and wrath, and power and humility of God all in one entity that humans could understand, so God represents himself in three persons instead. Although oversimplified in a blog post, the authority/purity/omnipotence/justice of God the Father, the tangibility/compassion/practicality/mercy of Jesus, and the intimacy/comfort/guidance/empowerment of the Holy Spirit are wonderfully rational ways to not just comprehend a being so complex as God, but even see and experience him directly! And he has always been these attributes-not just for us-so he has always been the three persons he is in his words.
The Trinity is God making a concept as unfathomable as himself understandable to finite, physical human beings (Click to tweet). He ain’t no dummy, so he makes himself findable and knowable so we don’t need to be dummies regarding him either. To explore more of his words on how he does this and what it means for us, check out Healing Hereafter, my free book series. Download it instantly and directly here in less time than it takes to eat a bowl of Peanut Butter Crunch! Mmm, so good.