As Christians, we believe in a Triune God, called ‘Trinity.’ And, belief in the Trinity is not just some inconsequential philosophy, but the essence of what we believe. So, as follows are ten reasons belief in the Trinity is of the utmost importance to Christians.
The Trinity Shows God is Love
Love is the fountain of everything we do as Christians. Christ says, ‘Love one another, as I have loved you.’ John’s first epistle says, ‘God is love.’ What could be more loving than God incarnate, taking on flesh and sacrificing himself for humanity? Everything about God’s work is Triune.
Thus, Augustine used the analogy for God that love itself is Triune, requiring one who loves, a beloved, and the love exchanged between the two. If God were a mere monad, not triune, he could not have possibly loved from eternity past to eternity present and future.
But instead, the Father loved the Son from ever-to-ever, and the Holy Spirit bore witness to the Son’s love forever-and-ever. We love the people around us, our friends, neighbors, communities, because we believe in a God of Love.
Tells Us Life is a Comedy, Not a Tragedy
Because God is love, we know that life is a comedy, not a tragedy. The dual masks of Greek theatre were comedy and tragedy, the first being something that starts off wrong, and ends up right; while, the second starts alright (or even bad), but gets even worse. A Triune God of love will rescue and redeem, the Divine Comedy, as Dante titled his famous book.
Teaches Us of the Crucified God, Who Is Close and Far
Only a Triune God can be close and far, the sovereign Lord above it all, and personally near both you and me. The God who lives and loves, and laughs, and weeps, and became incarnate for humanity can only be the Triune God, and no other. We see the Father, because we have seen the Son. As Jürgen Moltmann wrote, any aspect of Christianity which cannot face the cross is not Christianity at all.
Provides Model for Our Relationships
The divine dance of the Triune God, his inner life: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, teaches us what true harmony is—in our communities, families, marriages, and friendships. If God has loved for all time, the Father pointing towards the Son, the Holy Spirit creating and bearing witness to Christ, and Christ the Son humbling himself for the Father (Phil. 2:5-8), how much more should we humble ourselves for the life of our families and our communities?
Redefines Our Conception of God’s Glory
If God really does love as such, self-sacrificing for a time beyond eternity, glory itself is a self-sacrificing glory, not an egotistical mania, but a result of his self-sacrificing expression of love.
Tells us Theory and Practice are Not That Far Apart
Looking at the Trinity closely helps us understand our theory of who God is affects the way we actually live. As theories of parenting affect how you actually parent, and theories of science affect how you do science, theories of who God is, and how he works, affect how you live.
Sets Christianity Apart from All Other Religions
That Christianity believes in a Triune God, not a monadic God, sets it apart from Judaism and Islam; but, it is also the same doctrine that has opened and allowed inter-religious dialogue with Hinduism. On either side of the coin, it makes Christianity distinct, causing some to be intrigued by it, and others to be repelled.
Connects Us to Christians of the Past
Judging by the scores of creeds, confessions, or books, written in the past, older Christians thought the Trinity was incredibly important. The creeds, the confessions, prayers (such as the Breastplate Prayer, or those of Catherine of Seina), and books (like De Trinitate) all bear witness to the fact the Trinity was critically important to the faith of Christians in the past.
Helps Us Understand Our Liturgies in the Present
Belief in the Trinity affects the way we remember and reflect. The Eucharist, the Lord’s Supper, is innately Trinitarian. When we pray, we pray to God the Father, in the name of the Son, by the help of the Holy Spirit. Baptism, too, the symbol of faith, is Trinitarian. With water we are baptized using the tridactic formula (‘in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.’)
Permeates the Mission we do Everyday
Even the Great Commission is, by nature, Trinitarian. We make disciples of Christ, encourage them to pick up their cross, by the help of the Holy Spirit. The end of Matthew (28:16-20) is a famous Trinitarian formula, but even John and Luke refer to the threefold identity of God in their formula.
Jesus says, in the Gospel of John, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me. I also send you. Receive the Holy Spirit.” (John 20:21-23). And, as written in Luke’s second volume, Acts, ““It is not for you to know times or periods that the Father has set by His own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”