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Christian Worship is Trinitarian

The Christian faith is Trinitarian. We worship the one God in three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. One of the ways we rightly respond to the truth of the doctrine that God is one and three is that we as Christian congregations worship that Triune God. Indeed, our worship should be Trinitarian.

Our worship should be Trinitarian in its function, as we approach God in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ with the Holy Spirit’s sacred presence for the glory of God.

Our worship should be Trinitarian in content, repeating often the mystery of the doctrine we profess, that the Holy Spirit is God, the Son is God, and the Father is God. We should rehearse that the one God exists in three Persons, the same in substance, equal in power and glory.

Our worship should also be Trinitarian in its end. We should worship the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Each person of the Holy Trinity is equal in glory, and so we should worship each of them with holy affections.

As a pastor, there are some ways that I am working to do this, albeit imperfectly and inconsistently. First, we sing a doxology or Gloria Patri every week, typically after one of our Scripture readings. Our hymns themselves will often have such doxologies and Gloria Patris worked into them (e.g., Now Thank We All Our God; All Creatures of Our God and King; O Love, How Deep, How Broad, How High; Blessed Jesus, at Thy Word; Come, Thou Almighty King; Christ is Made the Sure Foundation; etc). My invocation will often mention the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

In addition, we rightly revere the Trinity by noting Trinitarian themes in Scripture when they arise. We should sing the great Trinitarian hymns (Come, Thou Almighty King; Holy, Holy, Holy; Holy God, We Praise Thy Name; All Glory Be to God on High; All Glory Be to God Alone; Father, Most Holy) that magnify the Trinity in all its mystery. Certainly, the times of intercessory prayer in corporate worship can also be used well by evoking the Trinitarian economy in which God helps his people. With proper instruction, creeds can also be used well to help the congregation express her faith in the Triune God.

Herein we perpetuate the faith we confess and love. Without the Trinity, salvation by grace is hopelessly lost. Christ Jesus cannot atone. God’s wrath cannot be surely satisfied. The Spirit cannot rightly minister the grace of God to us. Without this precious doctrine, we are finally lost in our sins; there is no one Mediator between God and man. This in and of itself is sufficient reason to use our worship services to magnify this glorious Bible teaching.

About Ryan Martin

Ryan Martin is pastor of the First Baptist Church of Granite Falls, Minnesota. Prior to that, he served as the associate pastor of Bethany Bible Church in Hendersonville, North Carolina. He is on the board of directors of Religious Affections Ministries. Ryan received his undergraduate degree at Northland Baptist Bible College, and has received further training from Central Baptist Theological Seminary of Minneapolis, Minn. (M.Div., 2004; Ph.D., 2013). He was ordained in 2009 at Bible Baptist Church of Elk River, Minn. (now Otsego, Minn.). He has a wife and children too. Ryan is the associate editor of Hymns to the Living God (Religious Affections Ministries, 2017). He contributed to the Jonathan Edwards Encyclopedia (Eerdmans, 2017) and is the author of Understanding Affections in the Theology of Jonathan Edwards: "The High Exercises of Divine Love" (T&T Clark, 2018).