Many people, even Christians, find the doctrine of the Trinity to be obscure. Can this doctrine actually bring us joy? Today, Michael Reeves invites us to delight in the love of our triune God.
NATHAN W. BINGHAM: We’re recording live from Ligonier’s 2022 National Conference, and I’m joined by the president and professor of theology at Union School of Theology in Oxford, England. Dr. Reeves, in what way can the doctrine of the Trinity bring us delight?
DR. MICHAEL REEVES: I think many people feel the doctrine of the Trinity won’t bring delight because the Trinity seems like this obscure theological add-on to who God is. But God is spoken of as the blessed God, or the happy God, in 1 Timothy. Which God are we talking about? The blessed or happy God is only the triune God and you will share His blessedness or happiness when you know Him. And so, the Trinity is not an obscure doctrine for professional theologians only. The Trinity is a description of who God is as Father, Son, and Spirit.
Now, let’s just press into that. What does that actually look like? In pressing in to know the living God, let’s start with John 20:31. John says he’s written these things “so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” He’s calling you to faith in Jesus. But that faith in Jesus, who is the Anointed One, the Christ, the Son of God, shows you that when you come to Jesus, you’re taken to a triune God. He’s the Son of the Father, anointed with the Spirit. When you come to Jesus, you are introduced to a God you never dreamed of.
You thought God was a monstrous boar, a tyrant in heaven who you would never be interested in. You might have to serve, but you didn’t want to. What you see in Jesus is God is a Father, the sort of Father who’s eternally been loving His Son and who has so enjoyed His Son that He wanted His Son to be the firstborn among many brothers. Pressing in through Jesus to know the triune God is the only way to see this God truly is delightful, and you will not find joy like that in another god.
If you go to a single-person god, for instance, a single-person god, imagine what is a single-person god motivated by? Well, they’ve always been by themselves. They’re not motivated by love. Only the triune God, the Father who’s been eternally loving the Son for all eternity, only that God can you say—only the triune God, can you say—“this God is love.”
He is the sort of God who will be gracious even to sinners and give them a blessing in His gospel no other God could give: adoption. A god who’s not a Father and a Son and Spirit could not adopt us as children. Pressing into the Trinity is the oxygen of Christian joy and healthiness. It is knowing the living God better.
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