GOD SAVED US THROUGH THE WASHING OF REBIRTH AND RENEWAL BY THE HOLY SPIRIT, WHOM HE POURED OUT ON US GENEROUSLY THROUGH JESUS CHRIST OUR SAVIOUR. (Titus 3:5-6)
– Genesis 18. The Lord appeared to Abraham near the great trees…Abraham looked up and saw three men… (v.1-2)
– Psalm 33. By the Word of the Lord were the heavens made, their starry host by the Breath of His mouth. (v.6)
– Matthew 28. …go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. (v.19)
– 1 Corinthians 12. There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men. (v.4-6)
As we just celebrated Trinity Sunday, I invite you today to READ and MEDITATE on our Trinitarian Christian Faith. The HOLY TRINITY- ONE GOD doctrine is not relevantly explicit in the 66 books of the Bible. It was first formulated as early Christians attempted to understand the relationship between God the Father, Jesus Christ and the work of the Holy Spirit and the whole Dogma of the Trinity was finalized in the first four centuries by Church Fathers and Synods. Disagreements over the nature of God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit had to be biblically clarified and the controversies took some time to be resolved. Creeds were born, following on from The Apostles’ Creed of the first century, and adding to it well debated biblical terms to deepen its understanding. The starting point was the Trinitarian Baptismal Formula: IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER, AND OF THE SON, AND OF THE HOLY SPIRIT (Matthew 28:19), as the basis of Initiation into the Church. During seven so called Ecumenical Synods (Oikumene – in Greek – means: The Inhabited World) the already divided Christian Churches finally agreed on a Formula that defines the Christian Trinitarian Faith. Since then, most Churches created their own contemporary, present-day versions of Statements. In the Trinitarian faith, God exists as three persons but is one being, having a single divine nature. “The members of the Trinity are co-equal and co-eternal, one in essence, nature, power, action and will. 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 separate from one another. Each person is understood as having the identical essence or nature, not merely similar natures”. This is how The New Dictionary of Theology summarizes the official Dogma of Trinity. There are religious doctrines (i.e. teaching, instruction), while the official summary of doctrines in one matter is called a Dogma, both expressions deriving from Greek notions.
Without entering in too much theological and historical details, I thought, it would be helpful to see our Church’s position in this matter, and in the meantime it would also be an interesting Read-Meditate-Pray exercise, to have a look at our Statement of Christian Faith in God, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Holy Trinity, One Eternal God. This Statement of Faith was authorized for use in worship and teaching by the General Assembly of The Church of Scotland in 1992.
A STATEMENT OF CHRISTIAN FAITH.
We believe in one God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. God is love.
We praise God the Father: who created the universe and keeps it in being. He has made us his sons and daughters to share his joy, living together in justice and peace, caring for his world and for each other.
We proclaim Jesus Christ, God the Son: born of Mary, by the power of the Holy Spirit, he became one of us, sharing our life and our death. He made known God’s compassion and mercy, giving hope and declaring forgiveness of sin, offering healing and wholeness to all. By his death on the cross and by his resurrection, he has triumphed over evil. Jesus is Lord of life and of all creation.
We trust God the Holy Spirit: who unites us to Christ and gives life to the Church, who brings us to repentance and assures us of forgiveness. The Spirit guides us in our understanding of the bible, renews us in the sacraments, and calls us to serve God in the world.
We rejoice in the gift of eternal life: we have sure and certain hope of resurrection through Christ, and we look for his coming again to judge the world. Then all things will be made new; and creation will rejoice in worshipping the Father, through the Son, in the power of the Spirit, one God, blessed for ever. Amen.
by using elements of our Church’s present Creed. Offer your faith, praise, proclamation, trust and rejoicing to our one God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, who is love, not forgetting The Lord’s Prayer, to summarize all your petitions in the words of our Lord Jesus Christ.
MAY THE GRACE OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST AND THE LOVE OF GOD AND THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE HOLY SPIRIT BE WITH US ALL FOR EVER MORE. AMEN.
Sandor, your Minister.