“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough” ~ Albert Einstein
Have you ever been in an intriguing conversation and right when you are about drop some mind-blowing truth- You just don’t quite know how to explain it?
Albert Einstein would suggest that this is simply a lack of understanding on which you speak. And truthfully, I agree. Knowing something and knowing something are two completely different things. Knowing something well means that you can translate it into an understandable quotation of some sort.
An example of this type of conversation would be any conversation on the Trinity of God. The Bible speaks much of the Trinity, but in our human, finite mind, their is only so much we can understand about it. St. Patrick describes the Trinity as a three leaf clover, but no, that’s not quite right. That means that their are three “versions” of God on one stem. God is wholly three in one. Not segmented.
Another popular illustration you may hear at times is, “God is like an egg. You got the yolk, the white, and the shell.” But even then, God can not be segmented into parts. He is wholly inseparable.
Still yet. some will say, “God is like the three states of matter! Solid, liquid, and gas. They may all be God, just in different ways.” But to that, I say, “That’s polytheism!”
God is three. In one. Fused together, but also individuals in a way that we cannot describe in words. Jesus Christ states, “I and My Father are one” (John 10:30). Or when you see the Holy Spirit descend upon Jesus at His baptism as the Father watches, you may raise the question, how are they all the same God, but also individuals in this moment (Luke 3:22). They aren’t different modes or people. They are all God, at the same time!
Now I, as a pastor, am not one to lean on the wisdom of the early Church fathers, because if you look at their theology, it was often very flawed. But they did derive a very good explanation of the Holy Trinity in a manner that defend the Triune capability of God.
This idea is called perichoresis. This word, literally rendered means, “Holy dance.” By Holy dance, they showed God as three individual beings that dance, and or are tied together in perfect unity as one person. It is not a perfect illustration, as previously stated, but does show the unbroken nature of God, the Holy Trinity.
How you understand God to be affects how you understand the world to work. How you understand God affects how your view of salvation works.
For instance, did God merely send a sacrifice to die for our justification while the Holy Spirit and the Father kicked back and watched, or did God Himself decide to die on our behalf; therefore, fully understanding what it means to “pour Himself out” (Philippians 2:7-8).
Ponder this today and be sure to thank God for truths we can’t fully grasp. Thank God for His perfect being and perfect will for our salvation (1 Timothy 2:4)
For He is great.