When I first encountered Christianity, I could not quite understand the concept of trinity. One God in three persons sounded to me at that time like an elaborate theory rather than something plausible. In addition, it hindered me from having faith by making me think that other theories in Christianity could follow the same suite. However, after I became a believer, the trinity is the element that made my faith stronger as time goes by.
Of course, I am still not sure of the proposition of ‘One God in three persons’ or how it is possible. I only know that it belongs to the person in the realm of different dimension and its full understanding is possible only in heaven as we meet God face to face. Yet, I am very grateful that God is here with us in a different form.
God was an object of fear before I became a believer. God was someone who watched me and whenever I failed, He was angry with me and sought ways to punish me. Even for those who do not attend church, many have this similar kind of fear toward God. It is inevitable to fear Him since He is Almighty and created heaven and earth and this God is looking down on me. This makes people fall into a despair of predetermination. The Middle eastern expression ‘Inshallah’ (If Allah wills it) is the classic example of this line of thought.
However, we have Jesus who came to us in human form and this fact dispels all such worries. Jesus is the epitome of God’s love for us. Jesus represents all God’s emotion and concern for us; His love, sadness, despair, patience, plan and future, forgiveness, promise and every small passing breath in every small detail. I believe that is why the only condition for our salvation is to accept Jesus. As we get to know Jesus, we get to know God.
Just like we get to know God through Jesus, it is very important to understand that God gets to know us through Jesus. For example, since God is spirit, it is rather difficult to imagine for God to fully understand human suffering. (I know that this argument is against His omniscient nature.) Through Jesus, God experienced humans’ situation as a human.
He experienced the death of his father at a young age and the sadness. He was tempted, and he also suffered all kinds of emotional pain such as betrayal. More than anything, he experienced the indescribable physical pain through the cross.
When we know that God understands fully human suffering, then it is easier to see why the Holy Spirit came. He did not want to leave us alone but wanted to enter into our lives. As we open our hearts, He came to us and lives with us. ‘From now on, your concern is my concern and your dreams and hopes are my dreams and hopes. I will be with you always.’ The moment I understood the Holy Spirit was the time that God, who used to be the object of my fear, came to me as a close and very approachable One.
(Huston seoul baptist church Rev.Lee Soo Gwan)