The Sanctifying Power of the Doctrine of the Trinity

The great doctrine of the Holy Trinity is not just some abstract thought, but it also points to the greatness of God’s saving work in our lives today. I want to look at this doctrine as it applies to our walk with God and the way that transforms our lives. It is necessary to see that we are being caught up into the plans of the eternal God, it is only our relationship with God that makes sense of our lives and gives them any purpose. As we draw closer to the Lord our lives are changed in a multitude of ways. We are conscious that we have become children of God through the work of Christ, who was sent by the Father into this world and we know this because the Holy Spirit has made this real to us. It is important to see this in Scripture, think about these familiar words that we say so often in Church,

 May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God,     and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.  (2 Co 13:14).

We may use this verse as evidence for the doctrine of the Trinity,and it is but, it is far more than that, Paul here is praying that the believers may know the blessing of the Triune God. He wanted his readers to really grasp the life transforming depths of the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, salvation is entirely a free gift of God we demerit salvation but God in his grace,love and mercy imparts salvation to us through the finished work of Christ. Down the ages as believers have seen the greatness of the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, they have responded by living a life of gratitude to him. but this verse does not stop here it speaks about the love of God the Father, a love which is demonstrated to us by the fact that he sent his only Son into this world to save us, this love is incomprehensible it is so great and yet we live in the good of it. Yet how do we know all this in an experiential way and the answer to this is through the work of the Holy Spirit as he shares the love of God with us. The fact that the Holy Spirit indwells us and makes the work of the triune God real is one that should be a great comfort to us. It is The Holy Spirit who empowers us for living the Christian life, and it is he who opens our eyes to the truth of the Holy Scripture.

This overview of the work of the Holy Trinity is spelt out in much more detail elsewhere in the Scriptures, I can not hope to do justice to all the resources that are available to us in this short article, but let me give you some pointers.

John 14-15: These two chapters show that Jesus himself realised the importance of showing us something of the relationship between the three persons of the Trinity as that applies to our salvation. These verses from John 14 illustrate my point,

   Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. 12       Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13       And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14       You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

15       “If you love me, keep my commands. 16       And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—17       the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. 18       I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19       Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20       On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.  (Jn 14:11–20).

Notice here the relationship between the three persons of the Holy Trinity, Jesus speaks about asking the Father to give us the Holy Spirit and it is through the work of the Holy Spirit that we realise that we are united to Christ, Jesus continues to teach us about that union with him in chapter 15,

   “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2       He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. 3       You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4       Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
5       “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6       If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7       If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8       This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
9       “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10       If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11       I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12       My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13       Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14       You are my friends if you do what I command. 15       I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16       You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. 17       This is my command: Love each other.

18       “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 19       If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. 20       Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. 21       They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me. 22       If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin. 23       Whoever hates me hates my Father as well. 24       If I had not done among them the works no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. As it is, they have seen, and yet they have hated both me and my Father. 25       But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: ‘They hated me without reason.’

26       “When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father—the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father—he will testify about me. 27       And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning.
(John 15:1–27).

These verse show the extent of the love of Christ for his people, we are told to abide in him so that we will be fruitful, we are also told that the Father at times will prune us. Our fruitfulness is grounded in the fact that we are to abide in Christ. As we abide in Christ we will also know that Christ abides in us and that the Holy spirit as been given to us to empower us for the mission of God. I challenge you to meditate on these verses prayerfully, and you will see how life transforming they are.

Galatians 4-5. The book of Galatian is a book that demonstrates the importance of confessing that salvation is by God’s grace alone,Paul strongly argues against those who would try to add anything to god’s free gift but at the same time he demonstrates the reality of that salvation. Paul reminds us of the grand sweep of salvation in these verses,

         But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5       to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. 6       Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” 7       So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.

8       Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods. 9       But now that you know God—or rather are known by God (Ga 4:4–9).

Here,we see once again that the Trinitarian structure of this passage leads us to the depths of our salvation. Paul puts before us the eternal plan of God, Jesus is sent to redeem us from the curs of the law, so that we might know that we are the adopted children of almighty God, and we know this through the work of the Holy Spirit within us testifying to the fact that we are God’s children. This shows that without a shadow a doubt that we are no longer under the condemnation of the law, but instead we are to live as the free children of God. Paul develops this thinking in chapter 5,

   You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. 14       For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 15       If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.
16       So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17       For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. 18       But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
19       The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20       idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21       and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
22       But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23       gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24       Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25       Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.

(Ga 5:13–25).

In this passage Paul shows clearly the meaning of what it is to be a child of God, here he defines freedom, it is a freedom to live for God in the power of the Holy Spirit. A freedom that demonstrates its authenticity by acts of love toward God and man. Once again we see the dynamic work of the Holy Spirit producing fruit in our lives.

Conclusion: In this article I have tried to demonstrate the implications of the doctrine of the Holy Trinity for our lives as believers, I am very aware that I have only scratched the surface of this vast subject, and I hope that you will dig more into the Word of God for yourself because there are many treasures awaiting your discovery on this important subject.

About pneumaandlogos

David Rollings was born in Luton in1949 and raised by my Christian parents in the Gospel Standard Strict Baptist denomination( Hyper-Calvinistic} in the sixties I rebelled against this background and got involved in left-wing politics. I became a Christian in 1969 and soon started reading Francis Schaeffer's books and came to embrace a Christian Worldview. I had the privilege of being on the staff of L'Abti Fellowship from1975 - 1979. After L'abri I studied at London School of Theology where I gained my BA.(1983) A few years later I studied for my MA by distance learning with The Nazarene Theological College Manchester (1999) For the last 25 years, I have been an elder of Shoreham-by-Sea Baptist Church. I also regularly attend the Christian Doctrine Study Group of the Tyndale Fellowship.
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