John 16:12–15, 1 Peter 1:1–12
The Trinity has long been a struggle. As the church began to mature, there were many struggles, discussions, and arguments over what exactly they believed. Out of those many discussions, creeds were formed seeking to unify the church in understanding. Many have tried (and continue to try) to dismiss creeds as “The Victor’s spoils,” meaning that because the creeds were what “won”, they are invalid. The argument being that there wasn’t a consensus, and those that did not agree were tossed out of the church, argue that the creeds were then just a source of power, control, and bullying. The reality is that the creeds defining the Trinity are essential to understanding who Jesus is.
Jesus himself makes clear that there is definite relationship between Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Jesus conveys unified ownership (What is the Father’s is mine; what is mine is the Holy Spirit’s.). There is also the often ignored, but almost essential statement, “…you can’t bear them now.” The Greek implies an inability (i.e., immaturity) to be able to understand what Jesus means.
Peter triune greeting shows us that while there is not an explicit understanding of the relationship of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, there is an understanding that the relationship is essential to the church and the faith. Why is this important? Why does it matter? As we move in the world, an incomplete understanding can be an issue, and can often lead to doubt or attack. While the Trinity is beyond the scope of a devotional, knowing what you believe, and why you believe it, gives you the firm foundation to walk as a Christian.
1) When we read Jesus’ words in the light of our relationships, there is a strong mutuality of ownership. How do you see mutuality in your relationships with others? Do you see it in your church relationship?
2) When it comes to hard-to-understand things in life and faith, how do you approach things?
3) Peter’s words end with service. How are you serving others in the faith, whether younger or older?