Friday, March 03, 2006

Trinity

I am working on my questions for the BOM and will start to post some of my thoughts on the questions here. I would love comments that can help me think more, clarify more, or correct an inconsistant idea. Thank you... we will start with the Trinity.

Working as a pastor has expanded and deepened my understanding of the Trinity. On a basic level, I view the Trinity as God’s expression of what John Wesley called God’s “Means of Grace.” Prevenient grace is shown through the “Father” figure of the Trinity, justifying grace is shown through the “Son” figure, and sanctifying grace is displayed through the “Holy Spirit.” In this way one God works communally. As a church we model this behavior as we are one body working in the world in a variety of ways. We are to model God by treating people with love displaying the very same means of grace that God displays to us. This is at the heart and center of evangelism and missions. I have seen God’s grace shown through people’s actions in the church to others inside the church and out. To be “Christ-like” is to treat others with this grace as he exemplified. We are to live as one in community, just as our Trinitarian God does and as a community of faith we can share God with the same means of Grace God uses as exemplified in the Trinity. When people reach out to others through church programs and evangelism and when we perform a baptism in the church, this is like God’s “fatherly” prevenient grace. When individuals respond to God and reach back through involvement in the ministries of the church and when people are confirmed or join the church in another way it exemplifies God’s justifying grace given through Jesus Christ the “son.” In the church, we practice God’s sanctifying grace through the Holy Spirit by reaching outward to others, thus getting closer with God. Mission work, mentoring, and bible study are things we do in the church to experience God’s sanctifying grace.

2 comments:

Pastor Laura said...

Good luck with that! I just went through the process and will be recommended to be Elder in Full Connection this June. It is a lot of work, but totally worth it!

John Wilks said...

I like your assessment- though beware that some might misinterpret it as modalism.

If your BOD likes to rattle cages just to see how well you can explain your theology, my guess is that is where they will go. (maybe they don't do that in New Mexico, but up here, they like to make us run the gauntlet now and again to see if we can take a little heat.)

Anyway- blessings on you as you face the "firing squad." The hot seat is never a fun place to be, but I'm sure you'll do fine. Just treat it like iron sharpening iron!