Thinking in a Trinitarian Way

The idea of a Trinity Sunday [June 16 this year] is not a bad idea, so long as it is not seen as an excuse for only “doing the Trinity’ once a year. It is good to have a regular Trinitarian adrenalin rush in our churches. After all, preaching about the Trinity is simply saying to the Lord’s people, ‘Behold your God!’ and declaring the wonders of the Lord of creation and salvation. . . . Sermons and talks, whether on topics or specific biblical texts, need to seek to bring out the roles of the different persons of the Trinity. They need to make explicit the dynamic connections between the persons of the Trinity and move back and forth between the Three and the One. This can be done in an evangelistic sermon as well as in a talk on ecology, the cross, caring for our neighbour, walking worthy of the Lord, Christian hope or whatever. My contention is that regular exposure to such an overt Trinitarian syntax will shape Christians who learn to think in a Trinitarian way, relate to God in a Trinitarian way and read Scripture in a Trinitarian way.

Robin Parry, Worshiping Trinity, 168-9

Fitting and Right

It is fitting and right to hymn you, to bless you, to praise you, to give you thanks, to worship  you in all places of your dominion.  For you are God, ineffable, inconceivable, and your only begotten Son and your Holy Spirit. You brought us out of not-being to being; and when we had fallen, You raised us up again; and did not cease to do everything until You had brought us up to heaven, and granted us the kingdom that is come. For all these things, we give thanks to You and to Your only begotten Son and to Your Holy Spirit, for all that we know and do not know, Your seen and unseen benefits that have come upon us.  We give You thanks also for this ministry, vouchsafe to receive it from our hands, even though thousands of archangels and ten thousands of angels stand before You, cherubim and seraphim, with six wings and many eyes, flying on  high, singing the triumphal hymn proclaiming, crying and saying “Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord of Sabaoth, heaven and earth are full of your glory.  Hosanna in the highest.  Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest.”

—John Chrysostom (4th century)

Eastertide (7)

There had been a Copernican revolution in the thinking of these early Jews due to the Easter events, and this led rather rapidly to a Christological reformulation of monotheism which one can see as well in the remarkable Christian “Shema” in 1 Corinthians 8:6: “For us there is one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.” This so clearly echoes Deuteronomy 6:4—“Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is One”—only now the term God is applied to the Father and Lord to Jesus Christ. This shows just how profound a change had occurred in the thinking of devout Jews like Paul. Not even the odes of salvation history in the Old Testament give any hint of God sharing His praise or divine work with anyone else.  

—Ben Witherington III, We Have Seen His Glory: A Vision of Kingdom Worship, 72

The Alpha and Omega of Worship

There is no work of God in which the members of the Trinity are not jointly operative.  This is true of creation, redemption and worship. It is by the perfecting causality of the Spirit that the Church’s worship offered in the Son reaches the Father. As a perfecter, the Spirit leads us to the Son, through whom our being and our act (worship) have free access to the Fatherly sanctuary in the same Godhead. Only Spirit-perfected worship is true worship. Not only the Spirit joined through the Son to the Father is the proper object, but also the causative agency of worship, the one who exalts the community in Christ to the heavenly throne of the Father. . . . Worship as such is a gift of grace: what God begins in us He shall complete. God is the alpha and the omega of worship.

—Ngien, Dennis.  Gifted Response: The Triune God as the Causative Agency of our Responsive Worship, 32-33

Worship in Revelation (14)

This is, I think, a very significant thing in the NT, and certainly here in Revelation chapter 5—if the goal of worship is to admire Him in all of His majesty and to cast our crowns before Him and crown Him Lord of all, then notice that in this portrayal of worship, all worship flows from Christ’s leadership and through Christ’s mediation. Isn’t it interesting that John sees the Lion/Lamb standing right at the front of the throne of God, and from Him the Spirit of God flowing to all those who are present in heaven’s glory—as though to say, your worship of the One who is seated on the throne need first of all to be conducted by the One who stands at the front of the throne. And it always need to come through the Spirit by the Son to the One who is seated on the throne. Because, as we have noticed already, He is not only the Mediator of our reconciliation; He is the Mediator of our adoration in worship.

—Sinclair Ferguson, “The Church’s Worship” (audio message: Ligonier Conference, 2006)