My children believe that my wife and I have always been as boring as we are right now. They have no concept or clue about who we were as children, teenagers, young adults (pre-kids). I am extremely happy that they don’t know some of that stuff because it may give them some ideas. But what I always ask is, “Why is it so hard to believe that your mom and I were normal people before you came along?”

The question I am always asked when studying the book of Genesis, especially with youth, is “What was God doing before he created the earth?” or “Who created God, so that he could create us?” Just like my children, we have a hard time conceiving the whole idea of God existing before the world was created. God is eternal, he never had a beginning and will never have an end. I don’t know about you, but my mind works on a temporal scale and the thought of eternity completely blows my mind. Because of this the questions will continue to be commonplace until Jesus returns.

Our finite minds trying to figure out an infinite God, leaves us with a mystery. Mystery is not bad. It can be a tool for the human mind to know that they will never know God completely by any measure of human reason. God is bigger than what we can imagine or create in our minds. So I have learned to embrace the mystery instead of fighting with what I don’t know.

There was a time in the church that people were not allowed to question or discuss the mysteries of the faith. It usually came down to some person in authority saying, “This is one of those things you have to accept by faith.” I don’t like to answer any question that way because it shuts down the conversation. The Trinity has always been a mystery to believers, but it doesn’t mean that we can’t spend time exploring and understanding it. By trying to avoid the conversation, have we made the doctrine of the Trinity irrelevant to the Christian life and practice? I hope not, it is only because of the doctrine that the believer is able to live their life of faith at all. So let’s open the conversation once again and begin thinking about the mystery that is the Trinity.

Even before the world began, God already existed and was relational in Himself. Each person of the Trinity glorifies the other. Listen to the way the theologian Cornelius Plantinga says it:

“The persons within God exalt each other, commune with each other, and defer to one another…each divine person harbors the others at the center of his being. In constant movement of overture and acceptance, each person envelopes and encircles the others…God’s interior life [therefore] overflows with regard for others.”

When you glorify something you find it beautiful for what it is in itself. Its beauty compels you to adore it and your imagination is captured by it. Think about what you find to be beautiful in this world. I took an art class in college, that I had to study artists and all the different techniques. I needed to do this in order to pass the class. I had to pass the class to fulfill my requirements to get my degree. So a weak correlation would say that I studied art to make money. Today I love to look at art. I have been quite happy to spend money to look at art. It is no longer a chore or work, I enjoy it because it is beautiful. When you happen to find that kind of beautiful in a person you want to serve them unconditionally.

The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are centered on each other. They are pouring love and joy and adoration into the other, not seeking their own glory but seeking the glory of the others. Every picture in the Scriptures validates this relationship within the Trinity. Jesus is always pointing back to the Father and the mission that has been entrusted to him. Jesus points to the Holy Spirit and says that he will never do or say anything a part from the Father or Son. When we hear the Father speak he is always affirming the ministry of his Son Jesus.

This is what we have been created to be a part of. The problem sets in when we humans long to be the centers of our own universe. We might help others or have some friends, but if it ever compromises our individual interests then its over. Self-centeredness makes everything we do and every relationship we have a conditional one because everything revolves around me. This is diametrically opposed to who God is and who he has revealed himself to be in the Trinity.

This view of the Trinity has changed my perspective on life and the real purpose we have in this place. If we are called into a relationship with this Eternal God who is relational at his very core, then should we not be looking to be a reflection of the God who created us? The doctrine of the Trinity then directly relates to our lives and to our purpose here on earth.

How does this view of the Trinity help you to view the mystery of God? What are some other ways that have helped you to understand the Trinity?

Look forward to hearing from you. Have a great day!