Good morning church. Can see all of you here this morning. Hope you had a good week and hope that you have plenty of reason to praise God this morning. I know that I do and I know that the most all of us do when we really think about it and stop and count about all the ways that God has has blessed us not to say that there aren't those who are going through difficult times right now and our hearts and our prayers go out to so many but I am glad that you've chosen to come and worship god with us this morning. How many how many music fans do we have here? Anybody here here like music. I love music at one time of my life. I wanted to be a musician. I went to school for that for a couple of years, but God had different plans for me. And so I ended up on the stage here before you but I love music and I've always loved music I've sung since I was little my mom played music and gospel group that that went around traveling and singing at churches growing up. I like all kinds of music. I like new music and I like Especially I like old music when I was in the car going up. My dad raised me ride and he had that the radio station turn to cool FM and I don't even know if cool FM is still at station. I turn by turn there the other day and it was playing some different. So I think it's it's it's no longer in existence, but the cool FM played the oldies and so ever since the time I was little my dad introduced me to people like Elvis Presley in the Eagles and the Beatles And The Rolling Stones and Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles and end so many different good musical acts and and one of my favorites was a group called Simon & Garfunkel. How many of you have heard of Simon & Garfunkel? How many of you are wondering? What's a Garfunkel? Hey if this is Art Garfunkel right here at and Paul Simon right here, very good. Prolific songwriters had lots of great songs. For those of you kids who have seen trolls when it says hello darkness my old friend. They're the ones that actually wrote that it in the movie trolls. So there you go. So you actually have heard some By then what do you know about them or not? But a great song So Sound of Silence Scarborough Fair. Mrs. Robinson the boxer Homeward Bound. I mean I can list on and on I love I even like you no feeling groovy. That's it. Yeah weird one that I like it's there so many songs and one that just came to my mind as I was thinking about this topic was the song called. I am a rock how many of you have heard that song before? Okay. I am a rock. I am an island has an introvert growing up listen to that song especially the teenager that that idea. I was just kind of Walden yourself off from everybody and this this world is full of people that are going to hurt you and just kind of hiding in your room with your books and everything else that seemed like a good idea. But the reality is you get into the lyrics of the song and and they're they're brilliant, but the lyrics of the song they start talking about this guy the reason why he is Walling himself off from society is because he's been hurt by relationships before. It even hurt until the song ends with these words in a rock feels no pain and an island never cries. In other words. This world is full of people who are going to hurt you and break your heart. And so you can't trust them. You can't trust people and because you can't trust people then the best thing that you can do. Is just to withdraw? Did you become a rock just to become an island? Because it at least you don't feel any pain then at least you don't cry and some of you know exactly what he's talking about. Don't you because you've been hurt before. Maybe you've been hurt better relationship. Maybe been hurt by a friend. Maybe you've been hurt by a group of people, but you've been hurt. And so you can try to do this all that you want to try to withdraw to try to put up walls to try to keep people at a distance to try not to show anybody who you really are. But underneath this song. There's kind of this idea that that desire for love and to be accepted that never really goes away.
And guess what? It's not going to go away for you either because deep down. We are all created with this desire to be fully known and other words to be completely transparent to have to be known by someone. But also to be fully loved as we are. We are made for that desire and if we try to wall ourselves off from that if we try to become a rock or an island sure we may not feel any pain. We may not ever cry, but we might miss out on the very thing that God has created you and me four and miss out on something that is completely and totally extraordinary but I'm getting ahead of myself. You see all of these thoughts came to my mind as I was studying one of the most complicated and difficult to understand but most important ideas that is presented in scripture itself. And that is the trinity. If anybody raise their hand when I asked who understands the Trinity, I'm going to point it out and say you're not supposed to lie Thou shalt not lie, cuz you can't you cannot wrap your mind completely around the Trinity because we serve how many gods one. But God manifest himself in three persons. So we have God the Father. We have God the son. We have God the Holy Spirit and other people look at Christian to say, well, that's three guys. But no we say it's still just one God. Here's a textbook definition for you for the book that I've got to my office. It says this God eternally exist as three persons Father Son and Holy Spirit and each person is fully God and there is one God got it Crystal Clear we can move on right we cannot understand how this works and some people have have looked at this doctor did say, you know, what? Why is it important for us to believe something like this, isn't it? Just better because people make fun of us for this so I do People of other face make fun of us for this. They think that we don't know our math. We had that they think that we don't understand the way this works. Why is it so important that we believe that God the Father God the son and God the Holy Spirit are one but they're three in one and that is what we're going to talk about today. It's not easy to explain that. I heard a story about a preacher who was going to preach on the Trinity one Sunday and he could not wrap his mind around it. Then it was struggling to try to find a way to talk about it a compelling Everclear understandable way it safe for a walk on the beach which was there was a beach in his hometown and he sees this kid and his kid is dug a hole in the sand and he keeps running back and forth to the ocean and taking water in the sand in that bucket and don't think it in the hole and it goes back and he does this several times and he goes up in the ask the kid. What are you doing? He's like I'm going to try to get all of that ocean in this little hole right here. And he said that's exactly what I'm trying to do. I'm trying to take God the concept of who God is and I'm trying to to put that in here and that is just something that we will never ever be able to do I could stand up here and I could Spin A Yarn flower words and I could give you imperfect illustration to try to explain what this is like, but at the end of the day we can just look back and say, How Great Is Our God, how how amazing is he because we cannot understand there is nothing nothing. Nothing in all of creation. That is like him. He is far beyond anything that we will ever understand but if you think that's a cop out if you say why in the world would you still preach this then if you cannot understand it? Because it is clearly revealed in scripture, even though the truth and understanding it may not be clear. It is clearly revealed in scripture and I want to show you just briefly. I'm going to give you like a barash of scriptures and if anybody wants my notes after this because I'm just giving you a little drop in the bucket of of these examples. I've got more it in my office. I can print it out for anybody if you want to study this on your own but I want you to see that this idea is clearly presented in scripture and then we'll talk about kind of the implications of what that means for you and me in the way that we live our lives because I think that's where some people try to miss out. Most people think that the father is God and they get that but some people question is Jesus really God in the scriptures tell us clearly that he is. So let's go to the next side here. Hebrews chapter 1 verse 3 says the sun god the son Jesus is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being sustaining All Things by his powerful word. And in Titus Chapter 2 verse 13 of Olay while we wait for the Blessed hope the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ. You're just two examples I could give you probably 50 more in Scripture that talk about Jesus being God, but some people question. Well, what about the holy spirit because there's a lot of confusion about the Holy Spirit some people think I was just kind of this impersonal Force but he is God the Holy Spirit as well in the book of Acts chapter 5, it says this then Peter said to ananias this is when ananias and Sapphira are lying to the church about the money that they receive from the sale of land is how is it that Satan is so filled your heart that you have lied to who lied to the Holy Spirit and if kept for yourself some of the money you receive for the land the next verse is this
Didn't belong to you before it was sold and after it was so wasn't the money at your disposal. What made you think of doing such a thing? You've not just lied to human beings but to the god to Peter equates the holy spirit with God the father, but some people look at this idea and they get into this kind of idea of modalism. Well, maybe maybe the father and the Son and the Holy Spirit are one God but they're just that same God in different forms, maybe the father changes into the Sun and maybe the sun changes into the father, but I can show you some verses that say that they are not they are in though. They are unified though. They are God. They are not the same. They are different persons. Look at what it says in this next first year. Chapter John 1 verses 1 and 2 in the beginning was the word now John's going to go on to say that the word is Jesus Christ. So when I say the word I'm talking about Jesus that's God the son in the beginning was the word and the Word was with God and the Word was God now, how can the word be with God and be God at the same time? I don't know but it says that he was with God in the beginning. So there is this distinction. There is this difference between God the father and God the son and it's the same thing for the Holy Spirit In the book of Acts chapter 8, here's what it sets.
Area and he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the spirit because the in the spirit intercedes for God's people in accordance with the will of God. No stop there for just a second. So if God the father is the same as the spirit if there is no distinction then how can the spirit be doing something in the will of God the Father? How can the spirit interceding for us? What is an intercessor an intercessor is a go-between. So the holy spirit is actually going between us and God the father in intercession. And guess what the sun is doing the same thing as well because Jesus does it look at what it says in the next verse 8 verse 34 who is the one that kid is no one Christ Jesus who died more than that who was raised to life is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. So we have both the Father the set we have the spirit and the sun they are all together with the Father. Like I said if your head is spinning, that's fine because I don't know how it all works. I can't put it. The meat little bow explain to you. This is exactly how it works. But the Bible does Clearly say that it's there. So the father is God. The holy spirit is God. The sun is God. The some people look at that and say okay. How many gods do you have one plus one plus one equals three, right? No. Because the very same book The Apostle Paul goes on to say that God is is one look at what it says. Will 1st Timothy 2. Here's what it says for there is one God and one mediator between God and man kind of man Christ Jesus in the Romans chapter 3 verse 30. Since there is only one God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised by faith and I could give you more and more and more examples of these and there are even sections of the scripture where all three the Father the Son and the Holy Spirit are given to us are presented as on an even playing field. Look at what it says in Matthew chapter 3 as soon as Jesus was baptized he went up out of the water. So there's God the son at that moment heaven was open and he saw the spirit of God descending like a dove and a lighting on him. There's the Holy Spirit and the next verse says and a voice from Heaven said, this is my son whom I love with him. I am well pleased if Jesus was the only God and they only form of God where these others come from was he doing ventriloquist was he doing like like show side was he having the voice speak out of Heaven from himself who was Jesus praying to when he was on Earth if he was the only God it is nobody and continues on there's another one second Corinthians chapter. This is May the grace of the Lord Jesus and the love of God and The Fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all and even in the Great Commission where Jesus sends the church out. He says this he says therefore go and make disciples of all Nations baptizing them in who in the name of the father and of the son and of the Holy Spirit.
It is all throughout our Bible that this is true. God is even if we can't wrap our minds around it. So what difference does that make for you and me? Why does it matter? But this is who got its. It all has to do without idea. a community in relationships community the relationships God in the self within himself is a loving community. He is Unified, but he is diverse. It's the Father the Son and the spirit. They have their own rolls. They have their own jobs to do their each God they are each equal with the other. But they are one.
and this is the god who created you and I Did you know what it says? Way back in the Book of Genesis when God created human beings. This is what it says. Then God said let us who was God talking to. Some people look back and say maybe he was talking to Angels some people looking and say maybe he was using the Royal we have you ever heard like the Queen Elizabeth. So, you know, we are not amused as you know, something like that just referring to herself but there's no evidence that the Royal we was actually in used back then when this was written I believe God is talking with in the Trinity itself saying let us make man kind in whose image In our image in the likeness, so they made rule over the fish in the sea in the birds in the sky over the livestock and all the wild animals in over all the creatures that move along the ground and here's what it says. So God created Mankind in his own image in the image of God. He created them male and female he created them. And he takes man and woman and she puts them in the garden before he created Eve. God created everything and everything. He said everything is good. It's good. It's good. But what is the first thing that God said was not good. Anybody know it is not good for man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him. It's here right in the beginning at the dawn of creation. God establishes this idea of relationship this idea of community this idea of two people who are different because male and female are different. If you know if you are married you understand you are not the same person as your spouse. And so these things got take two different people and he puts them together and this idea of marriage is actually a picture. A picture of the kind of unity the kind of relationship that God has within himself marriage glorifies God when it represents him where you have unity and you have diversity. What does it what does it say in Genesis chapter 2 verses 24 it says that is why a man leaves his father and mother and is United to his wife and they become one. Flash 2 One, this is Adam and his wife were both naked and they felt no shame here at the very beginning. God creates this relationship a place where someone can be fully know. They were naked. I had no shame. Someone can be fully known and yet fully and completely loved even though they are not the same, but I know what some of you were thinking because some of you are not married and so am I saying that marriage is the only relationship that God has given us that reflects the glory of God the Trinity know if that Jesus later on the Bible's going to say that marriage is not for everyone. So I don't want anybody to think that if you're not married that you're you're somehow missing out on God's glory. There is another relationship that he has given us another community that he has given us in order to experience. This kind of unity and diversity. And you're sitting in it right here in this morning. He's giving us the church.
I don't know if you've noticed when you read the Bible. But God never calls just one person. He calls a people. Because a community in the Old Testament, it was the nation of Israel. They called leaders for the community, but they were a community. And in the New Testament, it's a community that it's called The Church. and if you look at what the church is supposed to be the church is supposed to be a place where we can come and it is safe to be fully know to be transparent to let everybody know what our struggles are what are good sides are to not have to hide to not have to cover ourselves to not have to do any of those things, but we should be known and we should be fully loved God broke down all of these barriers to where people from different backgrounds different races different economic status different political parties different all sides to come together. And unite behind Jesus Christ. Paul says that God destroyed the dividing wall the barrier of hostility between these two different groups and he brought this people together so that your gifts are different than my gifts and your abilities are different than my abilities and everybody no matter who they are is welcome and invited to take part in this kind of Community of Faith you see people on the outside of the church should look at the church and say why did these people love each other? Because they're so different. If you look around in the church, and you see that everybody looks like you act like you votes. Like you said, he likes the things that you like and does the things that you like. If you look around like this, then we are missing out on the kind of picture that God wants to paint with his church because just as God is Unified and diverse within himself. He wants to see in his church unity and diversity and love compassion people being brought together instead of being torn. apart
Do you feel that way here? you see in Galatians chapter 3 verse 28 He says this. There's another neither Jew nor Gentile. neither slave nor free nor is there male and female for you are all what you're all I want. in Christ Jesus
This is what God wants for you. This is what God wants for us.
But the truth is some of you are more inclined. Not to be open.
Whether it's in a relationship. Whether it's with the church. Is he been hurt?
You've been hurt by marriage before and so you told yourself. There's no way I'm never doing that again.
Or maybe you enter in a relationship, but you're scared to really let yourself and who you are show because you're worried that it's going to turn out the same way that it did last time. Maybe you've been hurt by the church. Maybe you've been hurt by people in this church sitting in this very room if that's the case. I'm so glad you're here.
That's not how it's supposed to be. That's not how God wants it to be.
And you can put on your Simon and Garfunkel records poem If for those of you who still have it and you can sing. I am a rock. I am an island and you can put on walls you can put on masks you can hide who you are, but If you do that in the choice is yours if you do that.
You run the risk of missing out on something that could be potentially extraordinary.
I believe God wants to do something here. I believe God wants to do something in our homes that the world since up and takes notice and says what in the world is going on there because this is different. These are people that get hung up on the same things that other people tend to get hung up on. These are people that argue over these points because they agree on Jesus. These are people that love each other even though they're in perfect that love each other even though they struggled they're honest they're able to admit when they're wrong. They're able to do these things and they're able to love someone even when they're not very lovely.
This is the picture of the church and it all centers around the picture of who God is.
You were created for loving community in whatever form that might take. Whether it's in a marriage, whether it's in your home, if you're single whether it's in the church or in friendships are in all of these things in Christian marriage and Christian Community. We are meant to show who are God really is.
You say it this way if you want to click on the next slide Gracie loving Community is important to God because God is a loving community.
And that's what he wants for us here.
And that's what he wants for your home. That's what he wants for your family. That's what he wants for your marriage. How do we get there?
To thanks and then I'm done. The first is this. We must be willing. to be vulnerable
We can't be her up. And we can't be an island. Because otherwise, what we're going to do is we're going to come to this place.
And will leave. There'll be no interaction. There will be no way that God can can working and penetrate through those walls that you put up. I think Damon did a great job in his class this morning talking about how sin thrives in the dark and you can't fix anything in the dark.
But I know what you're thinking you're worried that if you tell. If you say the things that you struggle with and people are going to think less of you and that's that's a risk. We live in a fallen world that perfect marriage that Adam and Eve had was completely ruined when sent into the world. What do they do? They try to cover themselves up even in marriage? We don't have a perfect marriage anymore. We don't have a perfect Unity, but that doesn't mean that we can't pursue what God has for us. And experience some of the grace and the mercy and the love that he does.
If people are going to be willing to be vulnerable then we must also be a safe place to be vulnerable.
Gossip doesn't help.
I say that because I've experienced that somebody has a moment of weakness and they talked about it and and and I hear just like Facebook and other places just explode with and phone calls with I wonder what's going on with that situation or this that or the other and maybe some of its genuine concern but some of its not helpful.
Because we're so quick to run other people down for their struggles when the reality is that we've all got them.
And it's that God wants us to become a place where we Foster Unity Foster growth Foster connection. But when we do these kinds of things it can destroy it when we are not merciful when we judge when we hurt other people when we do all of these things it can cause a problem, you know, you've always seen people at a political rallies holding up the signs that talk about the kind of people that God hates. God doesn't hate people but he does hate certain actions. Do you want you want to see some of the things that God hates? Is that a verse in the Book of Proverbs Chapter 6. This is this their six things the Lord hates seven that are detestable to him. Now. The idea is there is the six things are bad. The seven thing is the worst thing the main thing it's kind of like a heading over all of these six things that hears when he says he says haughty eyes to somebody who's who's proud and kind of consider themselves better than everybody else a lion comes to somebody who goes around spreading lies about people hands that shed innocent blood violence a heart that devises wicked schemes feet that are quick to rush into Eve. False witness who pours out lies and here's the seven thing. Here's the deal a person who stirs up conflict in where? the community
now you start to see why Jesus talked so much about love why it was so important. Now you start to see why all of these things all of the Bible points to these relationships and you see that relationships are the most important thing in your life. Are they not? At the end of your life, I don't care how much money you make you can three testimony at the testimony of rich people and all the things that they have and they look around at their life and all of the the wealth and things have amassed its success and all those trophies. They mean nothing to them, but they look around at their family. They look around at the people who they care about inside that is what life is really about.
It's about these things. And God wants for this community here to be a community that is open a community or people love one another Arkham people were a community where people who are different. can come together and we can all agree and look to our God and say this is who he is and this is Who We Are
thought your choice
Are you going to be a rock? Are you going to be an island? And are you going to miss out?
Or are you going to take the courage to step out?
to be honest to talk to somebody else. About your struggles to connect to work together to come before God.
and see him work. The whites that I believe we've never seen him work before.
That is what we're invited to do. And to me that is what the Trinity is all about. I said before that. Trinity, the idea of the Trinity open this app for for mockery of other religions. I read a story about a preacher who was in seminary and he went to the cemetery where they were people of all face at the Seminary had a roommate who was Muslim end of the roommate would always pick on him and say, okay. So the holy spirit's God and Father Is God, right? Yes, and then in Jesus the son is God. Yes, and so is that messed up on my math here, but one plus one plus one is is one.
In the preacher he responded he said well if we're going to do a math problem, let's at least get our terms correctly said what's infinity plus infinity plus infinity. I thought that was a good answer.
We may not be able to completely understand how God is these things but we can see how it affects who we're supposed to be can't we? And to me looking at the story of the Bible through that lens, it makes so much more come alive that God doesn't want you just to be on your own. Doesn't want you just to be this good Christian rule follower who checks off the boxes and does all the right things. God wants you to be in community. God wants you to be in relationship with others. God wants to reveal himself in the way that he changes the way that you relate to everyone else. It's so that is what he wants for us. And when he changes Us in that way. We start moving towards us relationships. That's when doors begin to open up lives or changed people.
They end up on a completely different trajectory in their life.
We got to be willing to get our hands dirty. We got to be willing to deal with anyone regardless of who they are. the show them Christ love Can we do that search?
Can we do that?
We stay with me.