In our next three-part blog series, we’re going to explore the Trinity. Although we are breaking the topic down across three posts, the Trinity is not, in fact, three separate entities. Christian scholars have tried for thousands of years to define God in the Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) without success since its mystery and majesty are beyond human description; and any explanation that separates one from the whole bears some inaccuracy since our God is inherently Triune, or three persons in one whole.
And yet, in hopes of better understanding the different persons of the Trinity we are going to talk about them separately.
So let’s start by offering a simple diagram that shows both the individuality and connectedness of the Trinity—its “three in oneness”—which may help before we talk about each person separately.
Let’s dive in to the first branch and explore God the Father.
Are You My Father?
You may find yourself picturing God the Father like your own dad. We really don’t have much else to help us define a father-child relationship, right? So, if your dad was kind, affectionate, strong, or brave, you may see God the Father as those things. On the other hand, if your dad was absent or distant, mean or angry, that may also influence how you see God the Father. No dad is perfect (I know I’m not!), but God is perfect. Even though we may not have an example of a perfect dad, we can trust that God is the perfect Father.
At the most basic understanding, we know that God is the Father in heaven, He is holy, and He created everything. Common examples from prayer and scripture show us these most basic facts:
The Lord’s Prayer, for example, begins, “Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name.”
The Apostles Creed begins, “I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.”
And in 1 Corinthians 8:6, we read, “yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live.”
So, we’ve established the most basic points of God the Father, but how do we explain why He is The Father? Well, in Christianity, God is know as God the Father, but also God our Father (the creator of humankind, heaven and earth, and all living things), as well as God the father of Jesus. Through the lens of these relationships, we see God as not only Father of everything, but also, as believers, our Father (He gave us new life through the sacrifice of His son, Jesus—more on this in part 2!).
The heartwarming reality about God is even though God the Father created the universe and everything in it, making Him a pretty BIG deal, He is, at the same time, a personal God. He knows your heart and exactly what you need. “Indeed,” Jesus tells us, “the very hairs on your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more [to God] than many sparrows” (Luke 12:7). A Father who is important and personal? Win-win!
But how and why is God the Father so perfect?
We can find a number of examples in the Bible that tell us about God’s ways. Here are just a couple:
Psalm 18:30—“As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the Lord is flawless.”
Deuteronomy 32:4—“He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he.”
Let’s break these down. God is perfect
. Daunting, right? He is perfect and holy, which means he is separated from evil. We, on the other hand, are far from perfect. In Romans 3:23, we read, “all have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God.” And we know that the payment for this sin (as we read later in Romans 6:23) is death. Ouch!
Yet, we also see that God the Father is holy and just
, and at the same time is loving and merciful
. This almost seems contradictory but when it comes to God, we experience a “yes, and…” not a “this or that”. God the Father is all of these things at once. He addresses anything that falls below His perfection in a way that shows us he is holy (completely separate from evil), just (extremely fair!), loving (unconditionally), and merciful (He gives us a way back to Him).
The rest of the verse in Romans 6:23 shows us just how perfect, holy, just, loving, and merciful God the Father is: “the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Wow!
God set a plan in place to save humanity from itself. Left to ourselves, we would spend eternity in hell because of our sin. God graciously sent Jesus to die in our place, so that when we choose Him, we can choose God and heaven. Just as a dad would love and care for his kids, God loves and cares for us, giving us a path back to Him.
Can’t I just try harder to be perfect?
Yes and no! You can try to live as God the Father wants you to. The Bible is basically our guidebook on how we can live better lives together. But that alone isn’t enough for us to become perfect in God’s eyes. We see this emphasized in Ephesians 2:8-9: “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”
God the Father's plan for salvation is lovingly based on His grace, not on anything we do. Only through admitting our wrongdoing and accepting God the Father (and the Son and the Holy Spirit) can we get back to God the Father and be able to stand before Him without fear, guilt, or shame. God sacrificed for us because He loves us as His children!
After all that, here’s the wrap up!
Let’s take a minute to summarize.
God the Father is perfect. This can be scary because we know that we personally fall below perfection, often! At best, we are limited; yet God is not.
John 3:16, a verse many may be familiar with, summarizes God the Father as part of the Trinity:
“For God [the Father] so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”
God sacrifices so we can be with Him always, as a family. You see, God the Father always had a plan in mind to save us and to be with us. He is the Almighty Creator, who is holy and just, loving and merciful. He loves us so much that He is willing to pay the price for us. While we were still sinners Christ died for us. How awesome is someone who would sacrifice all of that just for you?! God the Father is the ultimate father-figure, and what’s even better, is that God the Father is just one of the three-in-one figures that guide us. We hope you’ll continue exploring the Trinity! For more resources and study materials on God the Father, the Trinity, and other study materials, visit RightNow Media here.
Also, take a listen to ”Heart of the Father” by Ryan Ellis
, which is a wonderful song about our Triune God! We hope you’ll also reach out to us with questions or if you want to talk more about this subject with one of our pastors or staff members. Just send us an email!