The Doctrine

The Trinity is not just a doctrine, it is the doctrine of the Christian faith. Ted Johnston made this point in the seminar he gave for the pastors in my network this past Saturday.

Too many Christian descriptions of reality start in one of two places: with a statement about God’s holiness, power, and intelligence or with a statement about the authority of the Bible.

Yet the only reason that God is holy, powerful, or smart is because he is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And the only reason the Bible has any authority is because it bears witness to Jesus – who is the revelation of God as Father, Son, and Spirit.

All of our thinking (i.e. doctrine) about the Christian faith and life in general has to begin with the foundational basis of all reality and existence: The One who has always existed, and always will exist, as the loving, embracing relationship of the Father and Son with the Spirit. Here’s a few examples:

How can I be happy in life? By trusting the truth revealed to me in Jesus by his Spirit: that I am liked, loved, and included in the life they share with the Father. Jesus’ Father is my Father and his words to Jesus are his words to me in Jesus: “Here is my son that I love very much and I am very happy with him!”

How can I have a good marriage? By first seeing and believing how my wife and I are included and embraced in the Father’s life with his Son and how we have been immersed in their Spirit.

How can I raise happy children? By cooperating with the Spirit’s work in their lives to help them see that they are included in Jesus’ life and that his Father loves and likes them as much as he loves and likes Jesus.

In fact, the more I surrender to Jesus and let him baptize me in his Spirit – and in the assurance they share with me of the Father’s love for me – the more I realize how needlessly complicated I have made my life in the past! To know that the ultimate reality of the universe is the love and acceptance of the Father, Jesus, and Spirit makes everything else in life much easier to understand.

As a final note: I highly recommend Ted’s seminar to all of you. It’s called Understanding and Teaching Trinitarian Theology and you can read more about it here. He does a fantastic job of explaining, in simple terms, how our whole vision of life changes when we let Jesus give us a Trinitarian vision of God.

If it were up to me all the districts in my denomination (WCG) would schedule this seminar for their pastors and all of our regional conferences this year would consist of an expanded version of this seminar. After all, the Trinity is not just a doctrine, it is the doctrine, and the best thing we can be doing as minsitry leaders is learning how to speak of life in fully Trinitarian terms.

~ by Jonathan Stepp

6 comments so far

  1. Kimberly on

    It seems when circumstances combine with blindness and I lose sight of how MUCH we are loved and liked you come along and blog the most encouraging “just what was needed” words! Thank you Pastor Stepp!

  2. Paul Kurts on

    CORRECT ! Jonathan. The Triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirti, THE TRINITY, is THE Doctrine. Is the Truth of all Truths. It tells us all WHY we are here in the first place, to be brought into the very life of God–forever–for His Good Pleasure. ( We will participate in His pleasure as well–forever. Psalms 16:11 )

    One has NO starting place without the beginning place of the Trinity. All Biblical ‘reasoning’ is flawed with out this understanding. There is no meaning to existence without knowing God exists and wants to live forever WITH all of us humans and has made it a reality in Jesus Christ.

    ALL who will accept and believe this Truth will participate in this ABUNDANT life now and forever. How good is that GOOD NEWS.

    Paul Kurts

    http://www.pastorpaulsinteractiveblog.blogspot.com

    http://www.newlifewcg.org

    Thanks Jonathan for all of your insights. They have been a great blessing to me as well as others. Keep up the good work in the Spirit.

    PK

  3. mjpailthorpe on

    “The Trinity is not just a doctrine, it is the doctrine of the Christian faith.”

    Amen

  4. Pastor Jonathan on

    Thanks for the feedback!

    Kim, I’m so glad you let me know what an encouragement the blog is to you.

    Paul, thanks for all your encouragement and your helpful comments!

    mjpailthorpe: enjoyed looking at your blog, looks like we share a common connection to Baxter Kruger, hope to hear more from you on this page in the weeks to come

  5. Santiago Lange on

    “The Trinity is not just a doctrine, it is the doctrine of the Christian faith”.

    The Psalmist would say “Selah”, stop and listen.

    It all starts and ends in the Triune God (who is the Alpha and Omega).

    Unfortunately, even in Christianity, so much of what is being taught is works based, as if “being saved” would really depend on us. The foul fruit of such a distorted religious paradigm can only be legalism, profound disappointment and deception. How good is good enough? I am so glad that I no longer have to worry about that question. We have all been included in Christ and HE is our righteousness. In HIM I find my confidence and assurance.

    I pray that through Trinity and Humanity many will be helped to come out of the world of religious darkness and confusion so that they can see and bathe in the light of the REALLY good news in Christ.

    Keep spreading THE word…

  6. Pastor Jonathan on

    Thanks, Santiago, that’s a really good point – when we think we get ourselves into Christ we are forever on the hamster wheel trying to keep ourselves there.


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