The concept of the Trinity is one of the great mysteries of Christianity and one that has no doubt brought about much dissension between factions or different schools of thought. I am not going to attempt to demystify how three are one or how God is one person but also three persons. Though I understand it, I am not sure I can explain it and I am perfectly comfortable living with the fact that there are aspects of God that I cannot explain. My understanding though is that God is one person but manifests himself in three different personalities for our benefit; God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. It is also important to note that the term ‘Trinity’ does not appear in scriptures though the idea of a three-in-one God is alluded to severally.
“May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” – 2 Corinthians 13:14 (NLT)
God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit all have unique manifestations and “specializations” as it were which are love, grace, and fellowship respectively. All members of the Trinity are loving, gracious and fellowship with us, yet the strongest manifestation of God the Father is love, the Son is grace and the Holy Spirit is fellowship. Due to this, realizing the best of our relationship with God would require an understanding of these unique ministries and relating to each member accordingly.
It would be very difficult to attempt to fellowship with God the Father without the Holy Spirit though it is possible. Fellowship has been specifically packaged for effectiveness through the Holy Spirit. Similarly, while Jesus does love us, God the Father is the main custodian of the expression of God’s love. We’ll elaborate on one of these in three posts for this week starting with God the Father and His ministry of love.
God is many things indeed and His many-sidedness cannot be exhausted but one thing we can be sure about is that God is love. God is not power though He is powerful. God is not grace, though He is gracious. God is not might though He is without doubt the Almighty. God is primarily love when it comes to his relationship with us as Christians and as human beings in general.
But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love. – 1 John 4: 8 (NLT)
It is interesting that the Bible does not say that God is loving despite the fact that He is, but that God is love; the noun and not the adjective. He is love and love is God. Despite the adulteration of the concept of love in the world today, anywhere love is manifest in pure form has its source in God and the nature of God in us gives us the capacity to love.
It is important therefore that we relate to God with understanding of His ministry is love. We often project our formed mindsets based on human interaction to God and consequently approach God like some mean old man who does not want what is best for us. God always wants what is best for us because He is love. Everything He does is good and for our benefit because He is love. He can be trusted because He is love. He so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son as a sacrificial lamb for mankind.
“Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!” – 1 John 3:1 (NKJV)
“This is real love–not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.” – 1 John 4:10 (NLT)
I need to emphasize this; God is love and His love for us must never be called into question. We often believe the status of our lives, how well things are going for us or not going for us is an indication of God’s love hence we question His love when it seems all hell is breaking lose in our lives. That is due to a lack of understanding because for one, God might not be instant but He is constant. It is man who flakes and is unreliable.
Also, Jesus the Son of God went through a hell of suffering while on the earth before he attained the eternal glory of sitting at the exalted right hand of the Father. Nothing you and I go through on earth will ever surpass the pain of Jesus yet He never once questioned the Father’s love for Him and we know for a fact that God loved Him. On two occasions, He did make a public announcement that He loved Jesus. This is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased. Not only did God love Jesus, He was pleased with Him yet He suffered pain. This is not to say we should tolerate suffering in our lives because we ought not to; Jesus paid the price for all that already. However, the presence of suffering is not an indication of God’s love. It cannot be.
Because God has the ministry of love, everything He does is motivated by love. This should be firmly established in our hearts as it would change our approach to God. The level of confidence we exhibit when we pray can often be an indication of the awareness of God’s commitment to loving us. A loving Father gives good gifts within his capacity and all things are within God’s capacity.
While we live in a troubled world, it would warm our hearts to know that God loves us. He loves us fervently and while you may or may not currently have the love of people, the love of God which is the purest, deepest, form of love is yours. That should excite you. He loves without an agenda.
This leads me to correct a common misconception about love. Love is not an emotion or a feeling. Love is a choice. Being in love is a feeling which gives butterflies in the stomach and all those nice things, however loving someone is a choice. 1 Corinthians 13 lists the composition of love and it is clear that being kind, patient, humble, and selfless, keeping no record of wrongs, among others are not emotions but choices we can make. Being in love is transient state like most emotions. Just as you cannot be happy all the time, you cannot be in love all the time. Married people would attest to this. However, you can love always and we ought to.
God the Almighty and all powerful chose to love us even while we were yet sinners. He gave us His son as evidence of His love and He did it just for you. It gives me great comfort to know that of everything that could be the dominant trait of God, He chose love. I feel pretty good about this God and I accept His love. Shalom.