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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » James Meehan » James Meehan - The Trinity and What That Means for Me

James Meehan - The Trinity and What That Means for Me

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    James Meehan - The Trinity and What That Means for Me
TOPICS: Culture Makers, Trinity

Well, hello there. Welcome to the Switch Youth YouTube channel. This show is called Switch Uncut and it's gonna be totes lit fam.

And, we have to talk like this.

No, we don't. We don't have to do that.

Oh, thank god. I'm just following your lead.

If you are new to this show, what we wanna do is talk about the big questions around faith, following Jesus, and the Bible. And, what we've been doing is just walking through chunks of scripture at a time, verse by verse, so that we can be wise students of the Bible. because for those of us who are followers of Jesus, we are Christians. We are disciples. And, that word disciple actually comes from the Latin word that means student or learner. And, the thing about students, you know this if you are a student in school, is that students study. And as much as we can, we wanna give you tools to study the Bible well. Now, what's gonna be a little bit different about this week's episode is instead of going through a single passage of scripture, we're gonna jump around a bunch, because, today, we are talking about the Trinity,

Get ready.

I'm imagining like a rainbow in my hands as I say this. The Trinity, like do you know that SpongeBob meme? You know what I'm talking about?

Can we insert it in the show?

I don't know. It might be copyright, but you know what I'm talking about, right?

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Okay, you just didn't acknowledge that you knew what I was talking about. So, kind of feel like I'm on an island.

I'm so sorry.

The Trinity.

You're not alone.

And, so, with the concept of the Trinity, this is one of those beliefs that is central to Christian faith.


And, if you're unfamiliar with it, Trinity is the belief that the God of the Bible is three and one. It is three persons in one being. The word Trinity literally comes from the two words, tri and unity, slam 'em together, you get Trinity. And, so, what we believe is followers of Jesus is that God is the father, the son, and the spirit, that all three of those persons are God. They're all equal. They are all United. And, yet they are unique persons. And, this is such an important concept for us to understand, because it lays the foundation for what we believe about God and how we understand him and his relation to us. So, with all that being said, I'm gonna have Caitlyn jump around, read a whole bunch of stuff. We're gonna pay attention, some of the key word choices and things that are showing up to help us grasp this idea of the three in one nature of our God. And, then when we get to the end, we're gonna talk about why this matters to us as individuals. So, with that being said, Caitlyn, are you ready? I am ready. We're going to part one, Genesis. Will you read Genesis chapter one versus 26 and 27?


And, as she's reading, pay attention to the use of plural and then singular pronouns. Pronouns.


Plural and singular pronouns as God is speaking.

Yep, here we go. Then God said, let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish of the sea, and the birds in the sky, over the livestock, and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground. So, God created mankind in his own image. In the image of God, he created them, male and female, he created them.

So, even here in the very beginning of the Bible, page one, we're starting to get a glimpse of the Trinity, the three in one nature of our God, because it starts in verse 26 with God saying, let us, in our, in our, and so there's plural pronouns here. And, in verse 27, God created mankind in his, in the image of God, he, male and female, he created them. And, so we're starting to get a glimpse even from the very beginning of this unique aspect of God, that he's three and he's one. Ready for part two?


Jumping into what it is known as the Shema in Deuteronomy chapter six.

Here we go. Hear, oh, Israel, the Lord, our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all of your strength.

So, God is one. And, he's also three. Now, what sometimes can happen is, as people think about the concept of the Trinity, we can think of God the father, son, and spirit as three separate gods, but that is not what we believe as Christians. That would be what's called tritheism, three gods. What we believe is that there is a single God who exist as three different persons. And, I know that even as I'm saying this, how difficult it is to wrap our minds around. And, this is a part of what makes God so amazing, is that even though we cannot understand him fully, we can understand him truly. And, because of how big, and infinite, and mighty he is, we will get to spend eternity learning more and more about him. My wife and I got married five and a half years ago. And, when I got married to her, I thought I knew a lot about her. But, being married to someone for five and a half years, you're learning a lot more about them. And, it's been this really cool thing to, every single day, get to learn more and more about who my wife is. And, what's cool is, because I love her, I want to learn more about her. And, the more I learn about her, the more I actually love her.

That's good.

And, I think the same thing is often true in our relationship with God, is that if we really love him, we'll want to know more about him. And, when we know more about him, it will move us to want to love him even more.

That's good.

Part three.

Part three, moving right along. We're in John for this part, and we're gonna read verse one and then verse 14. Here we go. In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God. The word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only son, who came from the father full of grace and truth.

So, here, John, the gospel writer, is helping us understand that Jesus is God. That he's not a separate entity. He's one being, he's just a different person within the Trinity, by saying the word was with God. The word was God. And, in verse 14, he says, hey, that word became flesh. That word is the son. That word is Jesus. So, once again, what we're doing here is we're walking through the different aspects of the Bible, these different chunks, starting in the beginning and working our way through. And, we're seeing this idea of the Trinity start to come together a little bit more clearly over time. And, so with that being said, part four, we're gonna talk a little bit more about that other part of the Trinity. The holy spirit

Here we go. This is from II Corinthians, chapter three, verses 17 and 18. It says, now the Lord is the spirit, and where the spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And, we all, who have unveiled faces, contemplate God's glory, are being transformed into his image with ever increasing glory which comes from the Lord, who is the spirit.

So, things we wanna highlight here is the very beginning and the very end. The very beginning says the Lord is the spirit. And, the very end says from the Lord who is the spirit. And, so what the Apostle Paul is doing here is similar to what John just did, with Jesus, except, now, he's referring to the holy spirit, saying that, yes, this holy spirit, the spirit of God is God. He is one with God. He is three. And, he is also one God, one being, three persons, God, the father, God, the son and God, the spirit. And, what we're gonna do next is actually look at a scene where all three persons of the Trinity are acting to kind of show that, yes, they're three, and they're one, but their threeness actually allows them to be separate and active at the same time.

Yeah, so cool. So, this is Jesus's baptism and we're gonna read the account in Matthew's gospel, chapter three versus 16 and 17. As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment, heaven was open and he saw the spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And, a voice from heaven said, this is my son, whom I love. With him, I am well pleased.

So, here's Jesus, God, the son, being baptized. As he's being baptized, God, the spirit, the holy spirit is descending in the form of a dove. And, then, heaven opens up and God, the father, speaks out. This is my son whom I love. With him, I am well pleased. And, so, what we wanna make sure to not do is just think, oh yeah, God just takes three different forms whenever he wants. That's not what the Christian belief is. Is that God is always God. And, God is always the father, son, and spirit, from eternity past into eternity future. And, those three persons of the Trinity work together in beautiful and mysterious ways. And, right here, we're getting a glimpse of the threeness of our three in one God. Now, to kind of close out and land on our last passage of scripture, we're going to go all the way to the end of Matthew's gospel, where, once again, we're going to see the threeness and oneness all in a single passage. And, so, like we did earlier at the very beginning, pay attention to where things are plural and singular, 'cause we're gonna come back to that.

Okay, here we go. Matthew 28:19, therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the father, and the son, and of the holy spirit.

So, baptize them in the name.

Yeah, one name.

Singular. Of the father, son, and holy spirit, plural. If you were to go and baptize people in the names of James and Caitlyn, we would say names. We wouldn't say name, because it's two different names, and, yet, here is Jesus speaking to his disciples, and he makes that name singular. Why? Because, God is three in one. And, what he does is he says, hey all three of these names of God are equal, the father, the son, and the holy spirit. And, so, what we've done here is kind of walked really quickly through a whole bunch of passage of scripture, but all of them are pointing to the same idea, that God is three and he is also one. It's not sometimes he's three and other times he's one. It's no, God is three in one, the threeness of God, and the oneness of God can never be separated, because it is core to who God is. And, now what we've done here is walk through a whole bunch of passages of scripture to sort of give you the biblical basis for this belief. Now, we're gonna talk about why that actually matters, because it's not just some ethereal abstract idea that's cool to know. It's actually essential to how we view God and understand the fact that he truly is love. So, Caitlyn, when you think about the importance of the Trinity, the significance on our daily lives, and how we operate, how we live, how we interact with God. What stands out to you the most?

I think the thing that jumps out to me the most is the fact that God has eternally existed as this perfect community.


As in relationship with himself.

Come on.

As the father, the son, and the holy spirit. So, like the fabric of reality is built on relationships.


Like God's relationship as the Trinity. And, so, what that shows me is that I, made in his image, am also built for relationships.

Yeah, a 100%. And, I think what's cool here is you've probably heard it many times, the idea that God is love. Now, to be clear, that is a uniquely Christian idea. Now, other people will talk about it. A lot of, kind of, more new agey spiritual people like to use that language, but that idea did not show up until Christianity. Before Jesus, nobody would've thought of God as love, because that's just not how the ancient peoples saw their gods, but because of Jesus in the way that he walked on this earth and interacted with people, John, who wrote that passage earlier about Jesus being the word, later, writes a letter reflecting on his time with Jesus, and says that this is who God is. He is love. Now, to be love and to practice love, you actually have to have something to love. And, this is exactly what you just said. From the very beginning of whatever, because God's outside of time, so that doesn't really work. But, we'll ignore that. We'll move on. But, for eternity, God has always existed in relationship. God, the father, God, the son, God the spirit, have always loved one another. And, we, as human beings, have been invited to share in that love. And, because we are made in God's image, we are created to love and to be loved. And, this is the beauty of the Christian story, is that God created you in his image, because he wants you to know him. And, he wants you to be in relationship with him. God is inviting us to be a part of this beautiful community of love that is the Trinity. And, so, when we think about this idea of God being love, it cannot be separated from the idea of God being the Trinity.

Yeah, that's good.

Because, if God was just a single being, without those three distinct persons, then love wouldn't be core to who he is. It might be something that he does or it might be a part of him, but it wouldn't be the essence of him.

That's good.

And, I think this is what we can always come back to, is, yes, the world out there is crazy. It's complicated. It's chaotic. Yes, there are gonna be times where we question, what am I even doing? Is this even worth it? But, what we can always come back to is the belief that at the very foundation of our faith, that God is love, that God loves you and he loves me. He always has and he always will. That God, the father, God, the son, and God, the spirit, these three distinct persons are one being. And, just as we, as individual human beings, are individuals, we have been invited into the community that is the church, to be united to one another in love by the power of the spirit, through the sacrifice of the son who was sent by the father. And, again, all of this is a really big deal, because this is one of the things that sets Christianity apart from every other way of seeing the world.

Come on. That is so good. I think the thing that continues to encourage me is twofold, one, the distinctness of the different members of the Trinity. They are different from each other, yet they exist in perfect unity.

Come on.

And, that gives me hope for the church. Us, as distinct, unique individuals, it is possible to exist in that perfect unity.

Come on. I just watched Encanto last night and you've got this one family, each of them with different gifts that they bring together to accomplish what they need to accomplish to serve their community. No spoilers here. It's worth watching, but that, I think, is a really good picture of what the church could and should be. This community of individuals with different gifts, and talents, and backgrounds coming together and saying, hey I'm gonna bring what I have to this community. And, we don't actually lose our individuality when we join in on this community. It gets amplified. It gets magnified. Because, when Caitlyn and I are working together, the fact that we are different is more obvious. You put us side by side and it's clear. We're very different individuals but we get to come together, work on these different projects, do what we can to serve you, and help you understand who God is, and that's a really fun and enjoyable thing. And, so, there's something that you have to offer. There's a gift that God's put inside of you, perspective that others don't have, that is meant to be called out, and the best place to be able to use those is inside this community called the church. Now, let me be clear, I'm not saying it's inside the building we call the church. I'm saying it's inside the community called the church, because the church is so much more than a building or a place. It is a people, the people of God called by God to serve others and bring the gospel of Jesus to them. And, so, we say all of these things knowing that this was a fire hydrant of theological and biblical information, and you're like, I'm having a hard time keeping up with anything. You lost me at Genesis one. That's totally okay. All of this is an invitation to a journey. None of us expect anybody to get it all figured out on day one. We've been going on this journey of discovery for a long time together. And, we're just trying to do the best we can to share what we've learned with you, to help you navigate the different questions that you might have. And, so, as you have questions come up, make sure you those down below, let us know what things don't make sense. What things just seem weird. And, if there's anything we can do to help provide a little bit of clarity, then we wanna be able to do that, but we also wanna assure you that faithfulness to Jesus doesn't mean having all of the answers figured out. Faithfulness to Jesus is just showing up day in and day out, and doing the best you can to love God and love others.

That's so good.


I literally think of the last verse that we read, in Matthew 28, before Jesus gives that great commission, go unto all the world, make disciples, baptize them in the name of the father, son, and the holy spirit. Right before that, it says that like Jesus' disciples were gathered on this mountain, and some worshiped and some doubted. They're staring at the resurrected son of God, yet they still have questions.

Gosh, what a bunch of losers.

Yeah, that's what Jesus said.

Yeah, just kidding.

No, no, he still commissioned them to go into the world and to be his church. And, so, that gives me hope when I encounter difficult concepts to wrestle down, like the Trinity, the three in one nature of God, I am learning to see my questions and doubts as an invitation from God to go deeper, and what he promises is that when we search for him, we will find him.

Yeah, I don't think there's anything better to say to end this episode. So, with that being said, like the video, subscribe share it with somebody who needs it, and let us know how we can best serve you moving forward. See y'all.

See you see you next time.
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