October 24 I Thursday
1 Timothy 4
“There is one body and one Spirit,…one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” —Ephesians 4:4-6
The word “Trinity” does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Yet, if we are Christians, we affirm the doctrine of the Trinity. The most succinct statement about the Trinity is found in the Creed of Athanasius, which was written by Athanasius, a third-century Bishop of Alexandria in Egypt. He wrote his creed to combat the erroneous teachings of Arianism, a heresy that denied the full deity of Christ, where He was a god but not the God. Arianism also denied the eternal pre-existence of the Holy Spirit. In fact, Arianism taught that both Christ and the Holy Spirit were creations of God, but not equal with God.
Around the same time, another heresy circulated by a priest in Rome, Sibelius, claimed there is only one God but He expressed Himself in three forms at three different times and never existed at the same time in more than one of those forms. In other words, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit were consecutive. Beginning with the Father, then He became the Son until He ascended to heaven, where He became the Holy Spirit.
Against these heresies surrounding the Trinity, Athanasius wrote, “We worship one God in Trinity and the Trinity in unity….For the person of the Father is a distinct person, the person of the Son is another, and that of the Holy Spirit still another. But the divinity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is one, their glory equal, their majesty coeternal. What quality the Father has, the Son has, and the Holy Spirit has….And yet there are not three eternal beings; there is but one eternal being….Thus the Father is God, the Son is God, the Holy Spirit is God. Yet there are not three gods; there is but one God.…there is one Father, not three fathers; there is one Son, not three sons; there is one Holy Spirit, not three holy spirits. Nothing in this Trinity is before or after, nothing is greater or smaller; in their entirety the three persons are coeternal and coequal with each other. So in everything, as was said earlier, we must worship their Trinity in their unity and their unity in their Trinity. Anyone then who desires to be saved should think thus about the Trinity.”
From the fourth century through to the present, Athanasius’s creed has stood the test of time, where we affirm as Christians the unequivocal belief of one God. No doubt the concept of the Trinity is intellectually challenging, but that is no reason to reject it, because there are a number of things which our finite minds cannot understand of the infinite, and God, of course, is infinite.
Prayer: Infinite God, although my mind can never fully comprehend the Trinity, I know You are the one true God whom I worship. Praise You!