Recently, I read an article entitled Real Evangelism Is Trinitarian, which I commend to you for your edification. Basically, the gist of the article is this: if your evangelism isn’t shaped by the Trinity, it’s not real evangelism. In the article, Glen Scrivener takes time to deal with some of the objections one may have about Trinitarian evangelism (e.g., “it’s too complicated”) and some of the misconceptions about what Trinitarian evangelism looks like (e.g., “let me tell about the Trinity, it’s kind of like an egg”). Once we get past some of those preliminary road-bumps, grasping the idea is a pretty smooth ride. Who is this Jesus that we are inviting people to put their faith in? He is Jesus, the Son of God. Jesus is irreducibly God the Son, which means, he’s got a Father–the eternal Father. And not only that, but also, this Jesus lives and communes with his Father through the eternal Spirit, and when we put our faith in this Jesus, we get his Spirit as our seal. In other words, you can’t simply “save the Trinity for later.” You don’t get the gospel without the Trinity; even the benefits of the gospel are Trinitarian (a Christian is adopted into the family of God, with Jesus as his brother, Jesus’ Father as his Father, and Jesus’ Spirit as his Spirit), and prayer is Trinitarian (we pray to God the Father, through the atoning and mediating work of the Son, by the power of the Spirit).
What does all of this have to do with Emmaus and this week’s Looking to Sunday? Well, this week, we are finishing our book study through Philippians. Remember, we’ve entitled this book study “Partnership In the Gospel,” and our elders chose this book because they believe we have room to grow in the area of evangelism–we need to partner together for the advancement of the gospel. Throughout this study, we have been challenged in many ways to share the gospel with the lost. My prayer (and the prayer of our elders) is that this study would set a precedence for the rest of our lives; we don’t want to just be serious about evangelism during the weeks that we study through Philippians, we want our lives–like Paul’s–to be marked by a zeal for gospel advancement. As we go and evangelize, it’s important that we are evangelizing as Trinitarian Christians.
However, if we aren’t thinking about the God we worship in Trinitarian categories regularly, we won’t share the good news of this Triune God. So for my own part as a worship leader, I am doing everything I can to assure that our worship services are shaped by the Trinity. I want our public prayers to be shaped by the Trinity. I want our confessions and assurances of pardon to be shaped by the Trinity. I want our benedictions to be shaped by the Trinity. In short, I want you to know and love that the God I invite you to worship with me on Sunday mornings is Triune.
This week, we will be singing the “Doxology,” which is an explicitly Trinitarian hymn that Christians have been singing in a multitude of languages for hundreds of years. I’ve written two additional verses to this hymn that try to retain the song’s same theme of the sovereign power and glory of our Triune God. You can hear the new recording in the link below. Here are all the lyrics to the song:
Praise God from whom all blessings flow!
Praise him, all creatures here below!
Praise him above, ye heavenly hosts!
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost!
Praise God who spoke and made dust flesh!
Praise God who fills inhabitants!
Praise God who opens eyes of men,
To see his worth and treasure him!
Praise Father God who sent his Son!
Praise Christ who makes peace by his blood!
Praise to the Spirit who seals us!
Praise the Almighty Three-in-One!
We will also be singing “My One Comfort” (link below). This song was written by Dustin Kensrue, and is a musical adaptation to the first question and answer of the Heidelberg Catechism (by the way, parents, if you’re looking for a catechism to work through with your kids, this one is great!). Again, the song is explicitly Trinitarian, and is therefore instructional for true worship (and subsequently, true evangelism). Here are the lyrics:
My one comfort both in life and death
Is that I am not my own
I’ve been bought with blood and I confess
I belong to you alone!
By the Father’s good decree,
Jesus, you’ve delivered me
By your Spirit, set me free
To follow you
Jesus you have taken hold of me
And in your grip of grace I’m finally free