The Trinity: Together in Our Salvation
On Trinity Sunday, the Christian Church ponders with joy and thanksgiving what the Father, Son and Holy Spirit have done to accomplish the salvation of sinful humanity. While the word “trinity” does not appear in in Scripture, it is taught in places like Matthew 28:18-20 and 2 Corinthians 13:14 along with many other Bible passages. The Bible tells us, “And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and o earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit’” The concept of the Holy Trinity can never be completely understood - it is a mystery - but it is clearly taught in Scripture. Understanding this comes through the work of the Holy Spirit; therefore, it is appropriate that this mystery is celebrated the first Sunday after Pentecost, when the outpouring of the Holy Spirit first occurred. To understand the Trinity is to understand God more fully.
One of the ways we will do that this week is by using an ancient creed of the Church called t
he Athanasian Creed
The Athanasian Creed, which is traditionally affirmed on Trinity Sunday, is an early summary of Christian doctrine. It is believed to have been written by Athanasius, archbishop of Alexandria, who lived in the 4th century A.D. The Athanasian Creed was written primarily to refute heresies involving the deity and humanity of Jesus Christ, and is one of the strongest assertions of the doctrines of the Trinity.
The Athanasian Creed
We worship one God in trinity and the Trinity in unity, neither confusing the persons nor dividing the divine being. For the Father is one person, the Son is another, and the Spirit is still another. But the deity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is one, equal in glory and coeternal in majesty. What the Father is, the Son is, and so is the Holy Spirit.
It is necessary for eternal salvation that one also faithfully believe that our Lord Jesus Christ became flesh. For this is the true faith that we believe and confess: That our Lord Jesus Christ, God’s Son, is both God and man. Although he is God and man, he is not divided, but is one Christ. For as the rational soul and body are one person, so the one Christ is God and man. He suffered death for our salvation. He descended into hell and rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead. At his coming all people shall rise bodily to give an account of their own deeds. Those who have done good will enter eternal life, those who have done evil will enter eternal fire. One cannot be saved without believing this firmly and faithfully.