The Holy Trinity Reveals Himself to Sinners
We bless the Holy Trinity—the Lord of heaven and earth, the God of our fathers—because He is the God who has mercy on us. Just as His Being is beyond our understanding, even more so is His mercy. That mercy comes to us most pointedly in the waters of Holy Baptism. And that mercy delivered by the Holy Father in the Blood of the Holy Son through the Holy Spirit gives us the ability and boldness to confess the true faith. So our prayer is that this Triune God would continue and keep us steadfast in this Faith.
When Isaiah beheld the glory of the Lord, he cried out “Woe is me!” For the sinner cannot stand in the presence of a holy God and live (Is. 6:1–7). But God the Father lifted up His Son Jesus for us on the cross, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. This eternal life of Christ is given us according to the Holy Spirit’s good pleasure in Baptism. “Unless one is born [again] of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God” (John 3:5). To sinners in fear of death, the messengers of God place on our lips the living body and blood of Christ and speak His words of absolution, “Your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for” (Is. 6:7). Having received forgiveness and life from the Father through the Son by the Holy Spirit, we join with the angels in praising the blessed Trinity, “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts!” (Is. 6:3). “For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be glory forever. Amen” (Rom. 11:33–36).
Sin is rampant. The godless get ahead. Deception succeeds. The believer suffers...or so it would seem. But the Word sets forth testimony to the truth of the Triune God through the Holy Spirit. For the Spirit works through the means of grace—the Gospel found in the Word and in the Sacraments—proclaiming the message of the Christ in the waters of baptism and the blood of the Lord’s Supper. This is the Spirit’s message: the Father has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
THE ATHANASIAN CREED
The Athanasian Creed is named after St. Athanasius, a staunch defender of the Christian faith in the fourth century. It was prepared to assist the Church in combating two errors that undermined Bible teaching. One error denied that God’s Son and the Holy Spirit are of one being or Godhead with the Father. The other error denied that Jesus Christ is true God and true man in one person. The Athanasian Creed continues to serve the Christian Church as a standard of the truth. It declares that whoever rejects the doctrine of the Trinity and the doctrine of Christ is without saving faith.
Our congregation uses the Athanasian Creed once a year on Holy Trinity Sunday. However, this should not underscore the importance of such an important and necessary doctrine. Especially in modern society and culture, the message of true salvation through Christ alone is a message that continually needs to be underscored. Perhaps this Creed should even be used more often!