3 Simple Reasons the Trinity Is Important

Thabiti Anyabwile
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Why should Christians make a fuss over God being one God in three persons? Why not merely focus on Jesus and avoid the difficulties of talking about the mystery of the Trinity? Or why not settle for the use of the term God and allow the listeners to give it whatever meaning is comfortable for them?

There are many reasons. But I think it’s important to keep at least three in mind.

It’s Who God Reveals Himself As

First, we are bound in humility to accept what God reveals of Himself. After all, we are creatures and He is the Creator; we are finite and He is infinite. Accepting and maintaining the Trinity as central to the Christian faith is to say to God, “I believe You—not others and not myself—as You reveal Yourself.” In short, believing and defending the Trinity is essential to genuine Christian faith and witness.

To Turn Away From Idolatry

Second, to deny the Trinity is to commit idolatry. Here the Christian and the Muslim come to irreconcilable differences. We may not maintain that God is one God in three persons and at the same time accept that God is radically one with no persons in the Godhead as Muslims believe. That would be to accept a contradiction. And it would deny the revelation God gives of Himself, making an idol graven with the tools of our own imagination.

The Spirit of God preserves us until the day of our complete redemption.

God is jealous for His name. He calls His people to “worship [Him] in the Spirit and in truth” (John 4:24). Surrendering the Trinity turns us to idolatry and away from true spiritual worship of the only living God. 

The Trinity Is Essential to the Gospel

Third, apart from the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit there is no possibility of eternal salvation. If we surrender the Trinity, or weaken our presentation of who God really is, we in effect deny the gospel. Each person in the Godhead plays an essential part in redeeming sinners from judgment and bringing them to eternal life. Consider the roles of each:

God the Father “chose us in him [Christ] before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves” (Eph. 1:4–6). Apart from the Father’s election and predestination, there is no rescue of sinners.

God the Son provides our “redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins” (Eph. 1:7). Apart from the sinless sacrifice of God the Son, there would be no satisfactory atonement for sin (Rom. 3:21–25a) and no way for sinful humans to enter the presence of a holy, righteous, and just God (Heb. 2:17–18). “Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness” (Heb. 9:22). The God-man Jesus Christ offers the only sacrifice without blemish that is able to purify us and satisfy the Father.

God the Holy Spirit produces in the sinner the marvelous work of the new birth (John 3:3, 5–8). God the Holy Spirit becomes for the believer the “seal” and “a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory” (Eph. 1:14). The Spirit of God preserves us until the day of our complete redemption, when we shall be ushered into the presence of God and be satisfied with seeing His face (Ps. 17:15).

For Further Reading:

The Gospel for Muslims

by Thabiti Anyabwile

There are over three million Muslims living in the United States today. Soon, if not already, you will have Muslim neighbors and coworkers....

book cover for The Gospel for Muslims