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The Lord is One

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.

Deuteronomy 6:4-5
The Lord is One Book Cover

The Trinity, that word we use to describe the oneness of God and that He is a community within Himself. This is one of those theological concepts that is easier to affirm than it is to understand. But the reality is that a perfect, loving, inexhaustible God made Himself known to a flawed, limited, vulnerable people. How God did this is a mystery that can’t be fully understood.

It was a mystery that God would send his Son to be born to a young virgin named Mary (Luke 1:26-45). It was a mystery that a host of angels would proclaim His coming to humble shepherds (Luke 2:8-20). And it was a mystery that a little Jewish Boy, born in a manger, would redeem the entire world. We can’t understand it, we can’t explain it, but God’s revelation attests to it: God desires to make Himself known to us, His creatures. He makes himself known through his creation. He makes himself known through His word, both spoken by the prophets and recorded in our scriptures. And He makes Himself known as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

one essence

When God delivered the people of Israel out of slavery in Egypt, He revealed Himself to be the one and only God worthy of their affection and their worship. This is the truth we find in the Shema, or Deuteronomy 6:4-5. These two verses make up the heart of the Jewish confession of faith. There is one God, with one Spirit. And God and His Spirit have been present in creation from the very beginning of time (Genesis 1:1).

This is what Jesus was taught and what Jesus believed. It is also the core of “the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 1:3), what every believer has been taught and has confessed from the beginning of the church on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2).

three persons

But beginning even before the birth of the church, those who believed in Jesus did so because they recognized Him as God in the flesh (John 1:1-5). They’d witnessed “the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him” (Matthew 3:16), and they’d heard a voice from heaven say, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased” at His baptism (Matthew 3:17).

God reveals Himself in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Any other god is not the God of the Scriptures. Any other god is but a cheap imitation, an illusion, an idol. Because we believe in the God who reveals Himself, we add our voices to the voices of the church, our brothers and sisters across time and space and culture, and confess,

We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, begotten of his Father before all worlds, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made… And [we believe] in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of life, who proceeds from the Father, who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified, who spoke by the prophets.1

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Daily Question

Reread the creed at the end of the lesson. Do you believe these things? Where do you see mystery in the Trinity? Ask God to help you grow in your understanding of the beauty and wonder of the Trinity.

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Comments (5)

I believe in in the Trinity. It is a beautiful union of all aspects of God. I feel that it works in conjunction with God’s word in my life. The more I know God’s word and follow it, I feel more intimate with the Lord. I know I am loved know matter what I do. It is such a carefree way of living when you trust in God.

In this crazy year of 2020, I have come to know the Holy Spirit. I always thought the Holy Spirit was an intellectual concept and I accepted and believed, even though I didn’t understand. But this year, Holy Spirit has become real to me, a companion who lives in my heart. This is astonishing to me. I simply had no idea. It’s hard to describe the difference this has made in my life, the peace, grace and energy that I feel now when I tune in to Holy Spirit. I thought I was giving up so much to give my heart to Christ – and I was willing – but what I have gained is so much greater. I don’t know how I faced this world before I had such faith. I am so grateful He never gave up on me.

Yes, I do believe. I feel strength and confidence when I read the creed. It brings me back to when I was a little girl reciting it with the whole congregation every Sunday at mass. It’s a beautiful memory I cherish.

I believe the creed. This is what I have been taught since a child, and whenever I’m feeling a little down or need reaffirmation of my faith, I add the creed to my daily prayers. I miss not being able to attend mass in person for the past 8 months and recite this together as a community.

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