First Things

My 5 year-old said “Maybe I’ll draw a picture of the Trinity” and I was reminded again how important it is that we get First Things first when teaching others about the gospel.

Just a few years ago I would have considered the Trinity to be a difficult and remote doctrine, the subject of study for “mature” Christians and theology students – not something to teach children about.

How wrong I was!

How can my kids ever understand their existence, the purpose for their lives, or the nature of reality itself unless they have a healthy image in their hearts and minds of the God who made them?

God is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The essence of God’s nature is loving, inclusive relationship. If this isn’t the First Thing you know about God then you don’t know God as he really is! If this isn’t the First Thing we teach others about the gospel then we haven’t really taught them the gospel fully enough!

Only when we know God as the Father who has adopted us in the incarnation of his Son Jesus Christ and poured out the Holy Spirit on our humanity (Eph. 1:5, Acts 2:17) can we begin to know who we are and whose we are.

But aren’t kids too immature to understand the Trinity?

I guess it depends on what you mean by “understand”. If you mean “explain why and how God is Triune” then I would say that no one understands the Trinity! How can I, a mere mortal, explain the how and why of my creator? The best that any of us can do is to know and believe the testimony of Jesus. He tells us that he is God, that his Father is God, and that their Holy Spirit is God, and that together the three of them are the one God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

As it turns out, kids can actually understand that quite well.

My son Lewis is only 5 years old but when he thinks of God he thinks of the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. And when he sits down to create a picture of something he knows the Trinity is on his list of things that he can draw.

Looking at the picture he drew I thanked Jesus for helping me begin to learn to get First Things first.

~ by Jonathan Stepp

2 comments so far

  1. Rick Stillwell on

    Jonathon Perhaps chilren can more easily understand the trinity because in the little lives they have less baggage,or no baggage. By baggage I mean year of painful studing with the wrong perspective. They have had less time to take in sermons that have faulty doctrine. Maybe to be childlike is to be free of baggage.They are most interested in play. Not playing church,not playing christian, but playing real life. How marvelous it would be to have the innocent mind of a child.
    As always thanks for all you do bro.

  2. Pastor Jonathan on

    Thanks, Rick – I couldn’t agree more! It is so much easier for kids to embrace the gospel because they don’t have the baggage we have.

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