The God of the Bible is Father, Son and Spirit. Three in one. God has made himself known to us, and has shown from the beginning (Genesis 1:26) that he is one God in three persons. The Trinity.
Who God says he is must be the opinion that matters most to us. We must worship him for who he is. If God says he is Father, Son and Spirit, that is the God we must worship if we want to worship in truth (John 4:24). When our understanding of God is consistent with the Bible’s revelation of the Trinity we find greater enjoyment of God as we worship him.
There is a beautiful oneness to the Trinity. A unity that is found nowhere else. It is a joyfully selfless and perfectly loving relationship. Each person of the Trinity is ever seeking to bring glory and honour to the others. You cannot separate God. The Lord is one as Deuteronomy 6:4 puts it. But each person of the Trinity plays an essential part in our worship. So, let’s look at the roles they play.
The Holy Spirit…
The Spirit points human hearts to Christ (John 15:26, 16:14). He stirs our affections for Jesus and makes much of the person and work of Jesus in our hearts. This leads us to worship! The Spirit reveals to us the truth and glory of the Gospel. It is only possible to know you are a child of God if Spirit first pours the love of God into your heart (Romans 5:5) and testifies this truth to your spirit (Romans 8:15). Without the revelation the Spirit brings, we simply cannot worship God as we should.
The Spirit is the advocate, the helper and the counsellor. He stands with us and gives strength to our spirits and bodies to worship even when it is hard. The Spirit breathes life into dead religious attempts at worship and graciously pours out his gifts for the glory of God and the building of the Church. God, through the Holy Spirit has made himself fully present amongst his people. When we draw near to God in worship, he draws near to us in the person of the Holy Spirit.
It is only through Jesus the Son, the one mediator, that we can boldly come before the throne of grace to worship (1 Timothy 2:5 / Hebrews 4:16). If we are ‘in Christ’ we can come to the Father in the same way that Christ does. No shame, no dividing curtain, no fear of being sent away. Full access in every moment to God the Father. Jesus is the firm anchor for our souls, securing us a place within the Holy of Holies. He is our Great High Priest forever (Hebrews 6:19-20).
Without Jesus, true Christian worship is utterly impossible. He is the object of much of our worship. He is our great reward, the most valuable prize, the one before whom every knee will one day bow and every tongue will confess is Lord (Philippians 2:5-11). He is infinitely more superior to the angels, eternally and ultimately authoritative over all things, the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.
He is the one the angels speak of with a loud voice saying, ‘Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honour and glory and praise!’ Every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, declare of Jesus: ‘To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honour and glory and power, for ever and ever!’ (Revelation 5:11-14)
Jesus says in John 8:54, ‘My Father, whom you claim as your God, is the one who glorifies me‘. In the beautiful selfless unity of the Trinity the Father glorifies the Son and bestows upon him the name that is above every other name. It is the work of the Father to point people to worship the Son. It is the will of the Father that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that he is the Lord.
But the worship of the Son, Paul tells us, will be ‘to the glory of God the Father’. As we worship Jesus, we in turn, bring glory to the Father. In John 17:1, after a few chapters of Jesus hailing the divine work of the Spirit, he prays to the Father and says, ‘glorify your son, so that your son may glorify you‘. As we worship Jesus for his ‘glorification‘ at the cross, we are caught up in the glorification of the Father. What a wonderful truth!
The Scriptures do not allow for us to grow in and out of favour with the different persons on the Trinity. We cannot neglect one person of the Trinity for the sake of emphasising another as we worship. We must push back against the constantly shifting trends and maintain a healthy balance in our understanding of the God we gather to. We need to fight for a truly Trinitarian understanding of worship. To maintain a healthy understanding of worship we must maintain a consistently Trinitarian worshipping vocabulary. The flavour of the Trinity must soak through every part of our times of gathered and personal worship.
The Church must worship God as he is. Let’s commit to worshipping the Godhead; Three in One.