2 Corinthians 13:11-14
It’s a new season
in the Christian year. We call it Trinity Sunday. We enter into the “season
of Trinity”. It’s that season in the life of the church when we turn to the
mission of the church. It is fitting then, that we have a Sunday designated
to God who gives the church its purpose.
Our texts for the
day represent the Bible teaching about a concept for which there is no specific
word. The idea is clearly there – just never a word for it. Taken for granted
at least until heresy demanded it, belief in the Trinity has become a mark of
captures the heart of Trinity Sunday in his comments: “The closing benediction
in 2 Corinthians 13:14 is one of the most beloved used in the church. It emphasizes
the Trinity (see Matt. 28:19) and the blessings we can receive because we belong
to God. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ reminds
us of His birth, when He became poor in order to make us rich (see 2 Cor. 8:9).
The love of God takes us to Calvary
where God gave His Son as the sacrifice for our sins (John 3:16). The communion of the Holy Ghost reminds us of
Pentecost, when the Spirit of God came and formed the church (Acts 2).1
On this Trinity
Sunday, we encounter God who is one, yet three. We encounter God, who within
Himself is complete, yet chooses to share Himself with those of us who are not
complete without Him.
We see the character of God in Jesus
Jesus is present
in creation (John 1; Heb. 1; Col. 1). He is yet willing to become one of us
(John 1:14, 18; Heb. 2:14-18). We have the privilege of seeing the activity
of God first hand in Christ. We travel with disciples through stormy seas,
up puzzling mountains, in amazing encounters, and we see God. Jesus is indeed
Lord and Christ (Acts 2:36).
In all of his majestic
deity, He brings us grace. Peter voices the dreams of the disciples when he
offers “you are the Christ.” But within sentences he rebukes Jesus, only to
be told “get behind me, Satan.” Mark tells us there was 6 days of silence following
that encounter. But at the first opportunity, “Jesus took with him, Peter,
James and John…” That is spelled G-R-A-C-E.
Worship on Trinity
Sunday reminds us not to take the grace of God for granted. Professor R. C.
Sproul tells the story of three seminary students late with their papers. They
asked for grace, which was extended. A week later they were still without their
assignments. Again they sought grace, and received it. The following week,
the story repeated itself. Only this time Professor Sproul refused to extend
grace. The students left angry at the professor. His conclusion, we have stopped
“being surprised by grace.” May this Sunday remind us of grace.
the love of God in the Father
calls it the parable of “the Waiting Father.” Thielicke changes the ego-centric,
human-focused approach of the “prodigal son” to a more appropriate God-focus.
In the Father, we encounter love like we’ve never known it.
We live in a culture
in which John 3:16 on a placard in the end zone is interpreted as “meet you
in the men’s room, third level, stall 16.” The greatest news in the history
of man has become an enigma to most. Trinity Sunday addresses this unacceptable
situation. It is the Trinity that forms the foundation of our evangelism.
We make disciples, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and Spirit.
Belief in the Trinity requires obedience to the great commission.
We not only live
in a “God-challenged” culture, we live in a “love-deprived” culture. We have
substituted physical, sexual satisfaction for love. We’ve substituted companionship
for love. We’ve substituted entertainment for love. God is the answer to those
concerns. He fills the void we have in our lives.
calls for the love of God to be with us. It’s among the richest prayer wishes
we could ask for. May this Sunday remind us of love.
the presence of God in the Holy Spirit.
amazes us with His statement in John 16:17, “it is for your good that I am going
away.” We realize now that without leaving, His Spirit could not take up residence
with us. Jesus was geographically limited to one place at one time. His Spirit
are reminded in Romans 8 and Ephesians 1 that through the Spirit of God we are
blessed in every way. In the Spirit, we experience God. He speaks to us, bears
us up, intercedes for us, assures us, comforts us, shapes us in the likeness
of Christ, and so much more.
Every time the
gospel is preached and men listen, God is experienced in the Spirit. Read the
book of Acts. Not a conversion experience is reported without the presence
of His Spirit. We are renewed, continually in the presence of God through His
Spirit (Eph. 5:18). He works in us to produce joyful singing (vs. 19), gratitude
(vs. 20), mutual submission (vs. 21), healthy marriages (vs. 22ff.), rewarding
families (6:1-4) and honorable relationships (6:5-9).
This Trinity Sunday
we are reminded we live in the company of God, through the fellowship of His
Spirit. May this Sunday remind us of fellowship. This Sunday, may the grace
of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of the Father, and the fellowship of the
Spirit be with you.
1. Wiersbe, W.
W. (1996, c1989). The Bible exposition commentary.
Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books.
Sermon brief provided by: Chuck Sackett, professor of preaching at Lincoln
Christian Seminary in Lincoln, IL