Does the fact that God is Trinity even matter? Does it make any difference to the day-to-day walk of a follower of Christ?
The doctrine of the Trinity has some very practical consequences. How we understand God as Trinity affects three important areas of life.
It Changes How We Relate to God
Because the Triune God is perfect love and perfect community in and of himself, he is perfect Life-Together, and from the beginning of time he has invited his creation to participate in the Life-Together that he is. In fact, after humanity again and again rejected his invitation, he finally delivered it “in the flesh” through Jesus. We do not relate to God as the angry policeman in the sky, but as the one who loves us, woos us, and invites us to enter into the Life-Together that he is.
It Changes How We View Life
The fact that God is Father, Son, and Spirit, means that we can change our view of life from thinking that life is a struggle to realizing that life is an invitation and a gift! Living the Christian life is not about will power, duty, and moral effort. Rather, it is accepting God’s invitation to participate in Life-Together with the completely complete Triune God. Instead of “being good so we get to heaven” (a poor understanding of life), we can focus on being in relationship with Perfect Relationship. You and I are invited to join the perfect community that is God and find complete fulfillment. This would be impossible without God’s triune presence.
It Changes How We Love Others
As discussed earlier, because God is three-in-one, he is perfect love. You and I are invited to join that perfect love. That means when you are having difficulty loving that irritating co-worker, you don’t need to whip up some sort of love on your own. The Triune God, who is love, already loves your co-worker perfectly. You cannot add to that. However, you can join him in loving that person. Darryl Johnson puts it this way: we are invited to be a co-lover with God of God (which is worship). We are invited to be a co-lover with God of one another (which is community). We are invited to be a co-lover with God of the world (which is mission).[i]
Perhaps we can sum it up this way: you and I were brought into being by the Trinity in order to experience life in the Trinity, which is intimacy, joy, servanthood, purity, power, creativity, and peace. None of this would be possible if God were not eternally three-in-one!
[i] Experiencing the Trinity, p.59-69