June 7th, 2020
Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. When
they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Sermon: Three in One
My cousin Stan is a college physics professor in Virginia. When our granddaughter Anna Wilkins was
born, Stan Cheyne and his wife gave birth to triplets. They are not identical because they were not
monozygotic triplets. One was a boy and the other two were girls. Therefore, these triplets are considered to be fraternal.
Monozygotic Triplets: It is rare for triplets to be completely monozygotic, meaning that all three
children formed from a single egg that split three ways or splits into two and then one of the two splits again, ultimately resulting in three embryos with the same general DNA characteristics. Monozygotic triplets are always of the same gender, either all boys or all girls. The odds of having identical triplets is 1:100,000 births; that’s a lot of pregnancies to have three baby boys or three baby girls who are identical! Consider these pictures of triplets and you will soon believe in the concept of three in one.
In the time of Christ, many nations worshiped many gods. In both ancient Rome and Greece, people
worshiped as many as twelve separate gods. This is called polytheism. In Christianity, we worship only one God. This is called monotheism.
The basic beliefs of the United Methodist Church include: Triune God. God is one God in three
persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. In contrast, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, informally known as the LDS Church, teaches that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are distinct beings who are not united in substance, a view sometimes called “social trinitarianism.”
In Trinitarian doctrine, God exists as three persons, but is one being, having a single divine nature.
“The Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit” are not names for different parts of God, but one name for God because three persons exist in God as one entity. They cannot be separated from one another. It is a mystery. Although the word Trinity does not appear in the Bible, the Trinitarian formula is mentioned in the Great Commission in Matthew 28:19 and in Paul’s benediction in 2 Corinthians 13:14.
Matthew 28:19 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of
the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Every new Christian is baptized in the Holy Trinity.
2 Corinthians 13:14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of
the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen. Paul confirms the three persons of the Holy Trinity.
Deuteronomy 6:4-5 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord
your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.” These were God’s words to Moses and the people of Israel, called the Great Shema. The Holy Trinity as three in one is revealed to the world.
Isaiah 61:1 “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach
good tidings to the poor; he has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound.” Jesus read these words in his first sermon in Nazareth, declaring this prophecy was fulfilled in their hearing. Jesus was anointed by the Spirit of the Lord. Do you see the Trinity?
Luke 10:21-22 In that hour Jesus rejoiced in the Spirit and said, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven
and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and revealed them to babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in your sight. All things have been delivered to me by my Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal him.” Here, the Father and the Son are united as one being. This mystery is being revealed.
John 8:18 “I am one who bears witness of myself, and the Father who sent me bears witness of
me.” Now the Father and the Son bear witness to one another.
John 12:49-50 “For I have not spoken on my own authority; but the Father who sent me gave me a
command, what I should say and what I should speak. And I know that his command is everlasting life.
Therefore, whatever I speak, just as the Father has told me, so I speak.” Jesus spoke the words his Father in heaven directed him to speak. The Savior’s words are written in red, his precious blood.
John 14:16-18 “And I will pray the Father, and he will give you another Helper, that he may abide
with you forever — the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor
knows him; but you know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.” Now their identical triplet is introduced to the world. This Spirit has the same DNA.
John 14:26-27 “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, He will
teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” When the Son spoke only the words his Father gave him, the Spirit will remind us of everything the Son spoke.
What have we learned about the Trinity this morning? I am convinced the Father, Son, and Holy
Spirit were all together in the beginning of time. Genesis records “Let us create man in our image.” The Triune God was present during the Exodus when the presence of God was behind them to protect them, beside them to guide them through the waters and the wilderness, and out in front of them to lead them to the Promised Land. In the Great Shema, the Triune God was three persons was one being: I, the Lord your God, the Lord is one. In Isaiah 61, the Spirit of the Sovereign Lord anointed Jesus to teach his children about the kingdom of God.
Jesus spoke the words his Father gave him to speak, accomplished all the Father intended in his plan
of salvation, and sent God’s Holy Spirit to remind us of everything he said. Before his ascension into heaven, Jesus gave his disciples the Great Commission, commanding us to baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. That same Holy Spirit arrived on the Day of Pentecost, empowering Jesus’ disciples to transform lives in his name. We received this Holy Spirit when we professed faith in Christ as our Savior.
This Spirit dwells in our hearts and abides with us forever. How will we recognize this Triune God?
Jesus taught that anyone who has seen him has seen the Father, because I and the Father are one. The
Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John provide a brilliant picture of the Son, who promised to be with us always. The Spirit will remain in our hearts, guiding us in the Father’s will, strengthening our faith in Christ the Son, and interceding on our behalf when we cannot find the words to say. We have the full benefits of monozygotic triplets we know as the Holy Trinity: the Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit.