God is 3-in-1
That is, 3 persons yet 1 God.
The fancy word for that is tri-unity, where tri = 3 and unity = 1 (or more technically, we say God is a Trinity). It’s a mystery in many ways, yet is nevertheless affirmed as true. Consider passages such as:
- “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.” (1 Cor. 12:4-6). Here Paul is preparing the church to understand they are many members yet 1 body. He does this by looking first at God, who has 3 members, yet 1 God. His body reflects this in our unity and diversity.
- Father-Son-Spirit fill the church: “the church, which is his body, the fullness of him [Christ] who fills everything in every way” “be filled to…all the fullness of God” “be filled with the Spirit” (Eph. 1:22-23; 3:19; 5:18). Father-Son-Spirit dwell inside the believer: “you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.” “that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith” (Eph. 2:22; 3:17). Notice in the small, early letter of Ephesians how effortlessly Paul speaks of the 3-in-1 nature of God.
Many more could be added (see Jesus & God).
Consider also in nature how the equilateral triangle is the strongest architectural shape to build upon. I believe God is speaking something in this. He, as a 3-in-1 (Triune) God is the sturdiest foundation.
As such, we see that major stages and foundations of Christianity are similarly defined in 3-in-1 ways.
God reconciled sinners to himself via:
- Living a righteous life in the flesh.
- Dying for our sins.
See 1 Cor. 15:1-4.
Share the Gospel
In 1 Thes. 1:5, Paul says that the gospel came via 3 means:
- Our words
- The Spirit’s convicting power
- Our transformed life
Receive the Gospel
We are called to receive this gospel via 3 immediate actions:
- Be baptized
See Acts 2:38; 16:31
After receiving this gospel, we see a devotion to 3 things grew the church unto maturity:
- God’s Word / Teaching of God’s Word
- Fellowship (especially shared meals)
See Acts 2:42.
And as we seek to be a disciple who makes disciples, we are given 3 charges by the Lord:
- Know his Word
- Obey his Word
- Share/Teach his Word
See Ezra 7:10; Matt. 28:18-19.
Be the Church
Then, as we seek to grow corporately, we see the church called to 3 main duties:
- Love God
- Love each other
- Multiply / Make new disciples
See Matt. 22:37-40; Matt. 28:18-19; Acts 2:47; 9:31
We need God
- God the Father – to seek and pray his sovereign will (Matt. 6:9-10; Acts 4:24-30)
- God the Son – as an example; being covered in His righteousness (1 Cor. 1:30; 1 John 2:6)
- God the Spirit – His indwelling life and fruits; His power (1 Cor. 12-14; Gal. 3:5; 5:22-25)