Let us pray: O Lord our God, how awesome is Your name in all the earth! You stand totally beyond human comprehension. And yet You have chosen to reveal Yourself to us sorry sinners. You have chosen to show us that You are kind and loving toward us in sending Christ to die in our places. Since we’re so special to You, Dear Lord, equip and empower us to respond to that love with our endless praise which shows how special You are to us! Amen
GRACE MERCY AND PEACE ARE YOURS FROM THE BLESSED, HOLY TRINITY!
TEXT: Matthew 28: 19
Fellow Redeemed Sinners:
Ignorance is not bliss. It is not bliss when it comes to our retirement savings, our medical health, or our insurance coverage. And most people don’t celebrate their ignorance in such matters either. For if you do, it will cost you “big time” in the end. Think about it. What sane person never ever looks at their pay stub and questions the extent of various withholdings? What sane person never researches the details of their retirement investments? What sane person doesn’t ponder the doctor’s diagnosis of their pain? What sane person ignores the details of their insurance coverage? Yes, sometimes we take an expert’s word on these matters. But in doing so we also quiz them and make them explain the details. Why? We do so because knowledge is empowerment. The more knowledge you have about a specific issue the better you can handle it and not get blind-sided.
One thing about modern, seemingly intelligent people that I’ll never understand is that they will embrace countless details of life but ignore any details about God. And if they are somehow exposed to such details, they usually go: “ho hum,” don’t listen, and turn to their friend to talk about the Red Sox or the price of gasoline instead! Why is this? Do they think they know it all already? Do they think Godly details don’t really matter? I’m at a loss for words to describe this all-too-common phenomenon.
Think of it this way—when you meet that special someone and fall in love, do you ignore getting to know them? Do you content yourself with just knowing their name and what they look like? Or do you probe deeply into their likes and dislikes, their ancestry, how they grew up, their hobbies? Well the list is endless, isn’t it? We avoid superficiality when it comes to mere human relationships. So, why do so many embrace superficiality when it comes to God?
Today is Trinity Sunday. It is a special day in the church year where we delve deeply into Who our God really is and how He defines Himself to us.Hopefully, after this sermon all of you will never forget this one truth:
WHEN IT COMES TO GOD, IGNORANCE IS NOT BLISS
Let me ask you a pointed question: are all mutual fund companies the same? Are all insurance companies the same? Are all car manufacturers the same? If they are, why do you favor one over another? Let me ask you another question: are all Christian churches the same? Does it matter where you go and what they teach? Be careful how you answer that question, too. For remember that the welfare of your eternal soul is at stake.
I’m continually amazed at how many smart, intelligent Americans embrace superficiality when it comes to their church and their God. We see this especially in the rise of “non-denominational” churches across our land. I’ve met such people and had conversations with them. And the recurring theme of those conversations is this: “I really don’t care about all those details in the Bible. I just believe that God loves me and that’s all I need to know. Don’t bore me with doctrine. After all, it’s all a matter of personal interpretation anyway!”
Now, if you accept the Bible as a book of myths, legends, and fairy tales I guess I can understand thinking this way. But, if you really believe that there is an All-knowing, all-powerful God Who has revealed Himself to us in the Bible, well then those details become vitally important. Then each one of them is precious, holy, and simply must be pondered deeply because each detail interlocks with all the others. Together they provide us with a full, unified picture of our God. For people who call themselves Christian to embrace Christ’s love but to ignore the details about God that are revealed by Christ in the Bible, well for them to do so betrays an ungodly ignorance and a willful disrespect for God.
So, exactly Who is God? How do any of us know anything about Him? Do we simply make it up in our minds? If so, then you’re really honoring yourself and not God, aren’t you? And if you go to a church which never confesses the great Creeds of the Church, which are draw from the entire Bible and seek to lay out various details about God so that we can better honor Him, if you go to such a church simply because it plays to your emotions, God is really disrespected in favor of personal whims. And just like you, God doesn’t like to be disrespected or ignored. Just like you, He gives details about Himself to others for a reason. And to ignore those details is to ignore Him. And just like you, such behavior breaks His heart.
Doctrine is not a dirty word. It is simply the ageless truths that God wants us to know. And the chief doctrine of the Bible is: the Trinity. Or, Who God is and how He describes Himself to us.—Pretty important if you want to honestly worship Him! Right here in Matthew’s Gospel, Christ describes God to us when He commands His disciples to go and make disciples of all nations by baptism and by teaching Godly truths or doctrine. We are commanded to do this “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Elsewhere the Bible says: “Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One.” Since God doesn’t contradict Himself, those passages taken together along with many others define God. They define the Trinity. We have one God in three Persons. Each is 100% God and each exists simultaneously. Yet each is special, unique, and has separate aspects when it comes to saving us and making us heirs of heaven. The Father creates, sustains and upholds the universe. The Son redeemed lost souls by buying them back from sin and Satan with His blood. And the Spirit works at applying forgiveness to us and making us holy through His gift of faith in the work of Christ.
Then there are the other passages which shed further light on the mystery of the inter-Trinitarian relationship and qualities that God has and shows to us. The Bible describes Him in male gender terms, not female. It describes Him as just, holy, perfect, all knowing, filling everything, kind, eternally timeless, and also loving toward sinners—just to name a few of His qualities. It describes His hating of sin and also His liking of people who embrace all those fine points of doctrine that many find so disagreeable today. And the bottom line to it all is: When it comes to God, ignorance is not bliss. It is the lostness of hell, the lostness of His goodness and compassion in human lives because such people didn’t care enough about Him to embrace the depth of His details.
To give you one last example of how uplifting Godly details really are, let me quote from today’s epistle where Paul writes this greeting: “May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” Grace is God’s undeserved love in Christ. “Love” is unconditional kindness and mercy shown by the Father in sending His Son to save us. And “fellowship” is unity and oneness with Him–which stems from the Spirit’s indwelling. The Trinity gives all that and more for you! So, honor Him accordingly. Amen