Sunday, April 7, 2013
Many of you who know me will know my love of Trinitarian theology. This is not because I like resolving riddle--which I do--but because the Triune God is central to faith and action. I was listening to a sermon, where the preacher was talking about sin. He rightly pointed out that this is not particularly a popular subject for contemporary people or even for Christians. It is, however, important to have a conversation about it. Sin, of course, is not a positive subject and, for this reason many pastors avoid it. Biblically, the most common way to describe sin is to "fall short". Paul says in Romans 3:23 that "all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." The question we need to ask is what is this glory of God that we have fallen short of? In the Old and New Testaments, the glory of God is seen as God's presence and his being. In other words we have not reached the measure of perfection--the nature of God. The next question is what is the nature of God? This is where the doctrine of the Trinity comes in. The New Testament reveals God to be triune. three persons and one being. In Greek, three "hypostases" and one "ousia". Clearly this is a mystery for which there is not rational answer to but it is essential to the very being of humanity. The fact that God lives in Trinity means that he lives in a constant conversation of love, joint purpose and mutual self-giving. Now this is what we have fallen short of. Sin is not being in that self-giving, loving relationship. Sin is turning in ourselves and living for ourselves, indulging ourselves rather than giving out to others. Jesus, showed us by his life, how we should live in self-sacrificial giving. Through his death, he dealt with sin and allowed us to die to that self-seeking life and rise again to his new life of self-giving service--in short to return to our true humanity.