Psalm 61:3

Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayer; for You have been my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

What do we [Lutherans] stand for?

     What do Christians stand for?  Far too often we have been labeled according to what we stand against.  While it is necessary to reject error and falsehood, there is far more that we are FOR.  The Lord Jesus has not placed us in this world merely to shake our fingers at it, but rather to point that world directly to Him.  The attempt has been made with title such as "pro-life", and "pro-marriage".  However, we can go much further than that.  The content of the Christian faith is an articulation of what "we believe, teach, and confess", not merely what we hate, fear and loathe.

     We stand for the Holy Trinity.  In times past the Trinity could be assumed in the United States whenever one used the word "God".  Certainly "Jesus" was seen as a reference to the Second Person of the Trinity.  Today, with the rise of Mormonism, the Jehovah's Witnesses, and generic New Age spirituality this is no longer the case.

     God is three-in-one.  That is what "Trinity" means.  There are three Persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  These three are distinct.  Yet they are not separate.  There remains only one God.  When a Christian refers to God, they do not mean some abstract being in the sky, but the Divine One who acts in history, the Holy Trinity who creates, redeems, and sanctifies us.  There is no other God. 

     So, as I tell my students in catechesis, the Father is God; the Son is God; the Holy Spirit is God.  Yet there is only one God.

     This doctrine is summarized for us in the three Ecumenical Creeds (Apostles' Nicene, and Athanasian).  Any who reject these creeds reject the doctrine of the Trinity revealed in the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments.

     But, I know how it is.  You want a quick test.  How can you tell if someone is talking about the Trinity, or some other God?  The answer, as usual, revolves around Jesus.  If you want to know if a person speaking with you is talking about the Trinity a good question to ask is this: "Is Jesus Christ the one true God?"

     If they answer "yes", then you have a solid starting point.

     If they say "no", then there is no possibility that you are talking about the Holy Trinity of the Bible.

     Jesus Christ is the one true God.  He is the center of the Divine Trinity who acts to save us.  May He bless you with His gifts always.

[Tomorrow: We stand for universal depravity.]          

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