Edgewater Lutheran Church
The Trinity - 6.12 test
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        Fall Church Retreat

        August 6, 2022 - 12:00 AM - August 7, 2022 - 9:00 AM
        This weekend will be at Rancho Jurupa park. We will drive up together on Friday afternoon (if you need to come later because of work, there is flexibility) and return on Sunday. Bring your RV or tent camp, enjoy a Worship Under the Stars type experience on Saturday night, and spend a weekend with your church family! The weekend will be filled with plenty of time to relax, play games, and hang out. The only mandatory parts of the weekend are the times of devotion, Bible study, and prayer. Registration covers the whole family and includes the campsite and food for the weekend. If you have questions, would like more information, or need financial assistance - please reach out to Pastor Josh.
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        Fall Men's Retreat

        August 13, 2022 - 12:00 AM - August 14, 2022 - 9:00 AM
        This weekend will be in the Lake Arrowhead area. We will drive up together on Friday afternoon (if you need to come later because of work, there is flexibility) and return on Sunday. The weekend will be filled with plenty of time to relax, play games, and hang out. The only mandatory parts of the weekend are the times of devotion, Bible study, and prayer. Register using this link. The cost of registration covers food and housing for the weekend. If you have questions, would like more information, or need financial assistance - please reach out to Pastor Josh.
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        Fall Women's Retreat

        August 20, 2022 - 12:00 AM - August 21, 2022 - 9:00 AM
        This weekend will be in the Lake Arrowhead area. We will drive up together on Friday afternoon (if you need to come later because of work, there is flexibility) and return on Sunday. The weekend will be filled with plenty of time to relax, play games, and hang out. The only mandatory parts of the weekend are the times of devotion, Bible study, and prayer. Register using this link. If you have questions, would like more information, or need financial assistance - please reach out to Pastor Josh.
  • Not To Us
  • Here For You
  • We Praise You
      • Mark 1:9–11ESV

  • This sermon has six different versions and is going to give you an opportunity you might never have again - when the sermon ends is going to be completely up to you. Today is Trinity Sunday, and the sermon is going to be about the Trinity. Coincidentally, the sermon has three parts and each part has a long version and a summary version. This sermon is mostly focused on things we understand about the Trinity and I’m going to start each section by asking a question. If most everyone gets the question right, that means that we generally understand the idea from that section and you’ll just get the summary version of that section - a few sentences. If most everyone gets the question wrong, that means that the topic needs a little more explaining and you’ll get the full section. Sound good?
    Now for this exercise we’ll be using the cards that were on your seats as you walked in. Each card has four choices on it, A, B, C, and D. When I ask a question, you’ll pick your answer and hold the card with that choice facing up. I’ll scan the room from here with my phone and it’ll give me a readout of the answers you gave. So let’s do a test question:
    What is your favorite pizza topping?

    Three In One

    So our first question is this, who are the three persons of the Trinity?

    Summary

    You guys have this one well, which makes sense because we name the three persons of the Trinity all the time in songs, in readings, in prayers, and in the service. We have the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The Father bore the Son and the Holy Spirit proceeds from them both.

    Full Feature

    So it looks like we might need a little bit of a refresher on this idea. The answer to the question is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. And what sometimes gets confusing about the whole thing is the paradox that 3 does not equal 1. Yet, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are one God. But they’re three distinct persons. And people have come up with all sorts of metaphors to try and explain this. You might’ve even heard some, anyone brave enough to share one of the ones they’ve heard?
    I also found these online, and each are helpful to a point but fall short in some key way.
    The Trinity is like an egg. An egg has a shell, a yolk, and an egg white - but it’s one egg. But God can’t be divided into totally separate parts.
    The Trinity is like an apple with skin and flesh and seeds - but it’s one apple. This has the same weakness as the egg metaphor.
    The Trinity is like a shamrock with three leaves but being one plant. This is better, but still has the risk of dividing God into three “parts”
    The Trinity is like water and it’s different states of matter. Ice, water, and vapor are all still H2O in different forms. This is better, but the metaphor falls apart when we think about how water can switch between forms.
    The simple reality is this, there are a lot of different metaphors that can get us a little closer to understanding how God works, but they all fall short at some point because we cannot fully understand God. It’s like asking a horse to repair a merry-go-round, he might do his best, but mostly he’ll just get confused.

    Who’s Who?

    So our next question is actually three questions.
    What is the primary role of the Father?
    What is the primary role of the Son?
    What is the primary role of the Holy Spirit?

    Summary

    You guys are exactly right, we generally understand the Father as creator, the Son as savior and redeemer, and the Holy Spirit as giving us faith. Now, that last question was a tough one because we also credit the Holy Spirit with sanctifying us and changing our thoughts, feelings, and actions to be more in line with God’s will. We also credit Him with working through us to give faith to others. The truth is, with each of the persons of the Trinity they have many roles. The Father creates but He also gives the Law, protects, and acts. The Son redeems but He also teaches and guides. But, generally speaking, we understand the Father as creator, the Son as savior and redeemer, and the Holy Spirit as giving us faith.

    Full Feature

    Alright, let’s talk about this a little bit. How do we characterize people, regular people, not the persons of God? Well, we walk about what they say and what they do. So let’s apply that same strategy to what we see each person of the Trinity do.
    The first person of the Trinity we meet is God the Father. He speaks with unbelievable power and authority and things start to exist. It’s like a rich person with a servant who says “sandwiches” and the servant scurries off to bring a tray of sandwiches - except with the whole of everything. Then He takes a personal interest in forming Adam and explaining the rules of the world He designed to mankind. He’s constantly directing the flow of things and sending His messengers to explain more and more about what’s going on. He almost sounds like the founder and CEO of a company, with the company being the whole of creation.
    The second person of the Trinity we see for certain is the Holy Spirit. He appears in the Old Testament as God pours out the Spirit on prophets, giving them power to prophecy. The most notable prophecies that the Spirit speaks through these prophets are the prophecies that point to Jesus. Then, in our reading today, Peter reminds the people listening that
    Acts 10:38 (ESV)
    God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.
    And we see the Holy Spirit working at Pentecost and through the first disciples to point people to Jesus, constantly drawing people’s focus to the work of Jesus.
    Who is the final person of the Trinity that Scripture reveals. He is born in a miraculous way, teaches people no one else invests in, loves people who no one else will, and heals people no one else can. Peter reminds the people, reminds us today that
    Acts 10:39–43 (ESV)
    And we are witnesses of all that he did both in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree,
    but God raised him on the third day and made him to appear,
    not to all the people but to us who had been chosen by God as witnesses, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead.
    And he commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one appointed by God to be judge of the living and the dead.
    To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”
    That promise is for us as well.
    So we see what they do, and we can fairly put each person of the Trinity in these roles - the Father as creator, the Son as redeemer, and the Holy Spirit as pointing to Christ.

    Labels

    Which brings me to two last questions.
    What word is used to refer to the parts of the Trinity that we understand?
    What word is used to refer to how the Trinity works between the persons, how they relate to each other?

    Summary

    I have to be honest, I am pretty surprised. Either you guys are more in touch with theology than I had guessed or you’re better guessers. But you’re right. The Economic Trinity is what we understand, how it impacts us, and how we relate to the Trinity. It is presumably much more limited than the Immanent Trinity which is the specifics of how God relates to Himself in His three persons and we don’t know or understand very much at all about it.

    Full Feature

    This might not have been a fair question, this is pretty specific, academic theological language. But you know what, you already got to breeze through 1/2 thirds of this sermon - so I don’t feel too bad. The Economic Trinity refers to everything we know about the Trinity. The persons, how they function, what role they play, and how they connect to each other on some level. The Immanent Trinity, on the other hand, almost refers exclusively to things we don’t know about the Trinity. This is talking about the fullness of what each person is, how they relate to each other on a personal level, and a total understanding of the paradox that is the Trinity. In short, the Economic Trinity is how God works in the world and the Immanent Trinity is how God deals with God. And it can be a lot to think about, definitely something that we could get stuck on, so I think Rahner’s Rule is helpful here. He says that, as far as we are concerned, the economic Trinity is the immanent Trinity because
    All we know is what we’ve been shown
    God has only shown us what we need to know

    Conclusion

    So hopefully you know a little bit more about the Trinity than you did when you walked in today, but I want to draw one last connection for you. God created us out of love for us, and all of His guidance has been about His plan for the work of Christ. The Holy Spirit constantly works to bring us and the world to faith. Jesus’ work was to save us, to pay for the sins and mistakes we make. The entirety of God has done, continues to do, and promises to do incredible things for us purely our of love. So if you take nothing else away from this, remember that the Father created you because He loves you, the Son saved you because He loves you, and the Holy Spirit gives you faith because He loves you. Amen.
      • Acts 10:34–43ESV

      • Acts 10:38ESV

      • Acts 10:39–43ESV

  • Reckless Love
  • Your Grace Is Enough

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