Holy Trinity Sunday

This Sunday is “Holy Trinity Sunday”. On that day churches throughout the world confess their faith in the words of the Athanasian Creed. Normally, at least in Lutheran churches, the Apostle’s or Nicene Creed is professed. But on this one Sunday a year, the point to say this particular profession of faith is emphasized. Why?

Because as soon as the early 4th century, the spiritual poison had entered the mainstream of the Christian church! The biggest threat was Arianism; the denial of the Trinity. Athanasius, a champion of the Nicene Creed, fought hard against the Arians who, like the Jehovah's Witnesses today, deny the reality of a triune god. In reality, too, the Mormons do the same; saying that the Holy Spirit is not a person but the “power of God” and that Jesus, though God “now”, is not eternal God. They believe that Jesus, supposedly, “made it to god-hood” (like all Mormon males believe they will also do one day”). Wow…..

While the exact authorship of the Athanasian Creed is not known, we give credit to Athanasius for its formulation because he was such a strong warrior for the teaching of the Trinity and the Nicene Creed.

The life of Athanasius, itself, is one to be admired and modeled after as his life showed great heroism, fortitude, and faith. Through all the controversies he battled through, he was banished five times and spent twenty years in exile; never renouncing the true faith.

Statements from the Athanasian Creed like: “Whoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the catholic (i.e., universal, Christian) faith.” are “bizarre” to most churches today. The teaching of Universalism is rampant throughout the visible church. This teaches that the triune God is “one of many ways to enter Heaven”. This, of course, flies in the face of the First Commandment (“I am the Lord your God. You shall have NO other gods before Me.” (Exodus 20: 2-3) and the words of Jesus, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. NO man comes to the Father but by Me.” (John 14:6). Universalism is paganism “clothed” in Christianity.

So, like Athanasius, we “fight the good fight” with the Gospel “armor” God gave us (Ephesians 6: 13-17); knowing that the true God has saved us through the Cross of His Son and believing that God, the Holy Spirit, will continue to work stronger and stronger faith in our hearts through His Word and the Sacraments. His love draws us to confess with all our hearts the words of the Apostle’s, Nicene, and Athanasian Creeds because they are formulated from the Holy Scriptures. This we believe, teach and confess to His glory! In Jesus’ Name, Amen!!