I’ve been writing this week about the truth of the triune nature of God, so I thought it might be appropriate to list a few reasons why this doctrine (commonly called the Trinity) is so important. It is certainly true that according to the claims of Christianity, salvation actually requires the triune God of the Bible. As believers, our redemption is originated by the Father (see Galatians 4:4), achieved through His Son (see 1 Peter 3:18), and then applied by the Spirit (see Titus 3:5). Every member of the Trinity has a role to play. But there are a few other reasons why the Trinity is important to those of us who call ourselves Christians:
The Trinity Accounts for the Description of Evidence
The Bible describes the existence of one true God, yet also attributes the characteristics of this God to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit individually. The Biblical evidence requires us to seek a solution that acknowledges the singularity of God while respecting the Deity of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. For this reason, the Trinity is not a creative whim, it is an effective solution.
The Trinity Accounts for the Derivation of Love
God is love (I John 4:8) and He has been love from all eternity. How could this be possible if God could ever exist without someone to love? Did God create humans so He could experience love? Was this the first time that God experienced relational love of this nature? The Triune nature of God explains why love is an innate quality of God; the three eternal Persons of the Godhead are in eternal relationship with one another.
The Trinity Accounts for the Deity of Jesus
This is often over looked, but make no mistake about it: all deviations from historical Trinitarianism have compromised the eternal divine nature of Jesus. It’s that simple. The Early Church Councils corrected the errors of Adoptionism (2nd Century), Docetism (2nd Century), Monarchianism (2nd and 3rd Century), Sabellianism (3rd Century), Arianism (4th Century), and Socinianism (16th and 17th Century). In addition to these historic mischaracterizations of the triune nature of God, there are several current mischaracterizations, including the polytheism of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and the denial of the Trinity present in many Unitarian groups, including the Christadelphians. When the Trinity is denied, Jesus is typically demoted from divinity or subjugated as a lessor being.
All worldviews (including theistic worldviews) have distinctive beliefs that characterize and distinguish them from other ways of viewing the world. Christianity is no different. When it comes to the nature of God, Trinitarianism is a Christian distinctive for several very good reasons.
For more information about the reliability of the New Testament gospels and the case for Christianity, please read Cold-Case Christianity: A Homicide Detective Investigates the Claims of the Gospels. This book teaches readers ten principles of cold-case investigations and applies these strategies to investigate the claims of the gospel authors. The book is accompanied by an eight-session Cold-Case Christianity DVD Set (and Participant’s Guide) to help individuals or small groups examine the evidence and make the case.
J. Warner Wallace is a Dateline featured Cold-Case Detective, Senior Fellow at the Colson Center for Christian Worldview, Adj. Professor of Christian Apologetics at Talbot School of Theology, Biola University, author of Cold-Case Christianity, God’s Crime Scene, and Forensic Faith, and creator of the Case Makers Academy for kids.
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