The Trinity and Humility

I have been given the opportunity to lead a Sunday morning group on the basic doctrines of the Christian faith this semester. Last week I asked my good friend, Justin Kohns, who is in this group to be prepared to discuss how an understanding of the Trinity ought to produce humility in Christians. God blessed Justin with some great content and he has allowed me to share it with you. I hope you enjoy what Justin has to say on this subject as much as I do. 

The Trinity and Humility 

by Justin Kohns

Sometimes studying doctrine can seem disconnected from our personal holiness. The Bible even says that knowledge can “puff up” our minds if it is independent of us growing in love. To be on guard against this, we should always seek to connect what we know with how we live. Our doctrine should shape our thoughts, attitudes and actions. Our “head” must inform and transform our “hands.” This is a brief explanation of how the doctrine of the Trinity can and should produce humility in us.

How does a deeper understanding of the Trinity produce humility in us?

I can answer this question a couple ways.   First, there is a sense of mystery to the doctrine of the Trinity, and our inability to fully grasp it should produce humility in us.  The doctrine of the Trinity transcends reason and logic.   It is hard to fully comprehend or easily explain.   Yet it is true.   So when studying the Trinity we are confronted with a truth that our minds are too small to fully grasp or explain.   We are left with this realization:  ultimate truth is not found at the apex of human thought.  There is truth that is beyond us.   Knowing our limits produces humility.  While we are privileged that God has revealed himself to us, and given us capacities of intellect and reason, we should be reminded that those capabilities are a gift from God (so that no one should boast) and that they are limited.   A study of the Trinity can be a healthy reminder that we don’t fully comprehend all things, which hopefully produces humility.

 

A second truth that we see in the Trinity is this:  God has been eternally fulfilled and he has eternally lived in community.  God lacks nothing yet lives interdependently.  The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit have been forever united.  We need to realize that truth about God so we realize this about us:  we don’t need each other because we’re sinful.  We need each other because we are human.  It’s in our nature.  Even before sin entered the world, God knew “it is not good for man to be alone.”   The idea of the “independent man” goes against our very nature.   We are designed to live interdependently.  That is the whole basis of marriage, family, church, and nation.   Humility is realizing that God created me to be interdependent rather than independent.  I am neither self-sufficient nor self-fulfilled.  I must humbly pursue to live interdependently.

 

The third, and I think primary, lesson for us is this:  God the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are in all ways equal in their divinity, yet they display submissiveness and humility.  They are equally holy and equally powerful.   There is no distinction between them in value, goodness or love.  Yet this is true:

“though he (Jesus) was in the form of God, (he) did not county equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.  And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” (Php. 2: 6-8).

Jesus’ humility has nothing to do with his worth.  Jesus is God!   Yet he humbled himself, taking the form and role of a servant.    True humility is not something that others press into you, and it’s certainly not a feeling of worthlessness within you.  Humility is choosing to honor others ahead of yourself.  Humility is gladly serving and submitting to authority.  And here’s the thing worth wrestling with in your own heart.  Taking the role of a servant does not indicate a lack of significance.   Jesus was submissive to the Father’s will, but he was no less divine.   Role and authority are not the same thing as value and worth.  If the God of the universe exercises authority, and practices submission and humility, we as his family should do the same.

“Therfore be imitators of God, as beloved children.  And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” (Eph. 5: 1-2)    

Humble yourself, even as Christ humbled himself to the Father, and love others, even as Christ has loved you.

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About Daniel Ray
My wife and I live in Waxhaw, NC. Currently, I am a Sales Manager for a flooring company in Charlotte and also a distance student at UNCG. When I have time I like to hear live music, play golf, run, read good books, hike and ride my mountain bike. My wife and I are sinners saved by grace, trying to walk it out in grace.

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