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Dear COA Family,

Today we commemorate Trinity Sunday. Our Christian faith is the only unique faith that reveals God as the Triune God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Without the Holy Trinity, we would not have our Christian faith and would not have known salvation. It is also the first
article in our Anglican 39 Articles of Religion. 

Here are some quotes on the Trinity:  
When thou sayest, ‘Saviour,’ remember there is a Trinity in that word — the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, this Saviour being three persons under one name. Thou canst not be saved by the Son without the Father, nor by the Father without the Son, nor by Father and Son without the Spirit.”
Charles Spurgeon

Worship the Trinity, which I call the only true devotion and saving doctrine.” 
St Gregory of Nazianzus. 

Yet can the Trinity truly be explained?

When I was young, I was taught the Trinity as being like water. Water is ice when below zero degrees, liquid at room temperature and steam at boiling point. Yet all the different states are essentially still water. In the same way, God exists as Father, Son and Holy Spirit at different times but is still God.

Yet this is the heresy or wrong teaching of modalism that God exists in three different modes, appearing to us differently at different times. An example of this teaching is that God is the Father at creation, the Son when he came to earth and the Holy Spirit now that Jesus has ascended to heaven. The truth is that in the unity of the Godhead, there are three Persons of one substance, power, and eternity — the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. (Article I of the 39 Articles of Religion.)

However, it must be acknowledged that the concept of the Trinity is not easily understood. Because our God is ultimately unfathomable, we will never arrive at a place to fully understand him. Yet we also cannot say we do not and will never know God as he has clearly revealed himself to us through his word. And so, it is our responsibility to come to a right understanding of God within the right parameters. This is what our church services and teaching classes aim to do.

Ultimately, though, the understanding of God as Triune is not merely for academic purposes but for us to experience him in a personal way. Love is truly possible because the Father loves the Son and the Son loves the Father. The Father and the Son love the Spirit and the Spirit loves the Father and Son in return. Out of the love of the Trinity we are recipients of that love. We can also worship and praise the Father for creating us, thank our Lord Jesus for saving us from our sins, and pray to and depend on the Holy Spirit for wisdom and strength each day. This is how we grow in our understanding of and intimacy of relationship with God. And this is a journey that we progress in all of our lives.

Have a blessed Trinity Sunday!

Revd Ian

(Note: There will be no Vicar’s Message for the next two Sundays as the Vicar is on leave.)