What is the Trinity? – The distinct roles

As I stated in a previous blog, I am reading Christian Beliefs: 20 Basics every Christian Should know by Wayne and Elliot Grudem. Here of are some of main points of  Chapter 3 titled “What is the Trinity.”

The distinct roles of the Trinity

All 3 members of the Trinity have different roles.

Example, in creation God spoke all things into being.

  • And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place,and let dry ground appear.” And it was so. 10 God called the dry ground “land,” and the gathered waters he called “seas.” And God saw that it was good. (Genesis 1:9-10)

John 1:3 says that God carried out those words “Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.” and Genesis 1:2 tells us that while God was creating, “the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters,” sustaining and manifesting God’s presence in creation.

In our salvation God the Father sent His only Son into the world so that we might be saved through Him.

  • 16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. (John 3:16-17)

Jesus’ role, came from heaven to do the will of the One who sent Him (God the Father), and that will was to die for out sins so we don’t have to.

  • For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. (John 6:38)
  • And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. (Hebrews 10:10)

When Jesus rose from the dead and ascended into heaven, He and the Father sent the Holy Spirit to bring completion to the work the Father and the Son started.

  • And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever (John 14:16)
  • But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. (John 16:7)

Distinction in the Trinity.

  • God the Father directs both God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
  • The Son with the Father sent the Spirit.
  • The Son was obedient to the Father and the Spirit was obedient to both the Father and the Son.
  • Both the Son and the Spirit carry out their roles in equal deity with the Father, they are in submission to the Father

The functions and roles of the Trinity are simply the outworking of the eternal relationship between the Father, Son and the Spirit, but they do not diminish the deity, attributes or essential nature of the Father, Son or Spirit.

The unity and the diversity of the Trinity provide basis of the unity and diversity in life. Example, in marriage 2 distinct persons come together and become one flesh. Husband and wife have equal standing, value, and person-hood before God but have distinct roles. The Father has the authority over the Son, and the husband has authority over the wife. The relationship within the Trinity provide a model for marriage.

  • “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” (Ephesians 5:31)
  • Now I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God. ( 1 Corinthians  11:3)

Another example is the Church. Many members with different  skills, but “one body” with one purpose that includes members  from “every nation, tribe, people, and language.” The unity and diversity that exists in the world is a reflection of the unity and diversity that exists within the Trinity.

  • The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. ( 1 Corinthians 12:12)
  • After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, and in front of the Lamb standing before the throne (Revelations 7:9)
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