FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL
ON THE TRIUNE GOD
THE TRINITY AND THE NEW EVANGELIZATION
Holy Trinity Sunday
May 31, 2015
Today’s reading: Matthew 28:16-20
We are commissioned to do worldwide evangelization. “Go,
therefore, and make disciples of all nations” (v.19a).
In our understanding this, a major aspect is the intimate
connection with the Trinity. We are to baptize the nations
“in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the
Holy Spirit” (v.19b). The three Persons of the Trinity
are intimately connected with the work of evangelization.
The Father desires to bring us back to Himself and so sent
His very own Son to suffer and die for us and thus win for
us our salvation. The Son made the supreme sacrifice of giving
his own life, and with his resurrection has become our Savior
and our Lord. The Holy Spirit guides us to all truth and equips
and empowers us to go forth to become effective witnesses
So we are commissioned. But at times, even as we accept Jesus
as Savior and Lord, even as we understand that we are called
to proclaim his salvation, we might doubt. “When they
saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted.” (v.17).
The Greek verb for “doubt” occurs in the New Testament
only in one other place, in Matthew 14:31, applied by Jesus
to Peter for his little faith. To effectively do the work
of evangelization is a great act of faith. Our little faith
is one obstacle we need to overcome.
How do we manifest little faith?
When we are too awed by the call to rapid, massive and worldwide
evangelization and doubt our capability to accomplish such
a great task.
When we are intimidated by our opponent the devil and the
worldly powers at his bidding and doubt how effective in our
work we can be, and thus hold back or not live out mountain-moving
When we look to our own weaknesses and lack of resources and
conclude that we can only do so much, much less than what
God would want to accomplish through us.
When we look at the darkness and evil in the world, and the
reality that many Christians today are lapsed and not practicing,
and thus decide that bringing in a rich harvest is unrealistic.
We must understand the truth that when God commands us to
do something, He would enable us to accomplish that. And so
Jesus says, “All power in heaven and on earth has been
given to me.” (v.18). Now that is mighty and all-encompassing
power! And that is the power given to us by Jesus, in order
to accomplish his work, in order to step into his sandals
and continue what he has started and accomplish his will.
God wants all to be saved, and that is why the Father sent
His very own Son. Now Jesus has entrusted to us the proclamation
of that saving message, and sent his Spirit to accompany us.
This work of evangelization is all-important, and thus we
In his public ministry, Jesus sent his disciples on practicum,
and they actually drove out demons! Now Jesus sends us. But
he is still there with us, through the Holy Spirit. “And
behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.”
(v.20b). He is observing how we carry out our commission.
Let not Jesus tell us, just like he told Peter, “O you
of little faith, why did you doubt?”
Let us now bring in that harvest.
* * *
THE SERVANT GENERAL
ON THE TRIUNE GOD
LOVING ONE ANOTHER
LOOKING TO PERFECT LOVE
Today’s reading: 1 John 4:11-18
Jesus restored us to our relationship with the Father. At
the core of our Christian faith is this relationship. It is
a relationship of love--God’s love for us and our love
for God, with God acting first and unilaterally. “We
have come to know and to believe in the love God has for us.”
(1 Jn 4:16a). How can we be assured that this mutual love
is in place? Well, God’s love is already proven, and
so it is up to us to respond in love. How can we be assured
that we are with God and He is with us?
is when we love. “God is love, and whoever remains in
love remains in God and God in him.” (1 Jn 4:16b). The
one basic identifying characteristic of God is that He is
love. God created us out of love. God redeemed us out of love.
God will bring us to heaven because of love. If we are children
of God, if we are made in the image and likeness of God, if
we are to follow in the footsteps of Jesus, then we must love.
If and when we do, then God remains in us and we in Him.
love is manifested in three basic ways.
it is accepting that Jesus is our Savior. “Moreover,
we have seen and testify that the Father sent his Son as savior
of the world. Whoever acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of
God, God remains in him and he in God.” (1 Jn 4:14-15).
God so loved the world that He sent His own Son Jesus to suffer
and die for us. God loved us first. We love Him in return.
We recognize His love through the supreme sacrifice on the
cross. So we accept Jesus as Savior.
it is looking to the Spirit. “This is how we know that
we remain in him and he in us, that he has given us of his
Spirit.” (1 Jn 4:13). Jesus won for us our salvation.
But we need to work at that salvation in order to finally
make it to heaven. It is the Holy Spirit that Jesus sends
who enables and empowers us. God the Son who loved us so much
that he gave his very life for us is he who promised to be
with us until the end of the age, doing so with his Spirit.
So we live a life in the Holy Spirit.
it is loving one another. “Yet, if we love one another,
God remains in us, and his love is brought to perfection in
us.” (1 Jn 4:12b). It is easy and difficult to love
God. It is easy because God is lovable. It is hard because
we do not see Him, nor interact with Him in the way we do
with friends and loved ones. “No one has ever seen God.”
(1 Jn 4:12a). But the Trinity is love, and God has already
manifested His love for the world in Jesus and the Spirit.
Now the manifestation of God’s love in us is our love
for one another. “Beloved, if God so loved us, we also
must love one another.” (1 Jn 4:11).
Such Christian love for others is very difficult, because
people are not always so lovable. But if God’s love
is to remain in us, then we must love one another. It is precisely
when we strive to love, despite the difficulty, that our love
grows, according to the very love of God. “In this is
love brought to perfection among us” (1 Jn 4:17a). It
is precisely when we love one another that we see the love
of God--Father, Son, Spirit--truly at work in us.
such Trinitarian love is in us, then we know that we are growing
to be like God, and we know that we will make it to heaven.
As such, “we have confidence on the day of judgment
because as he is, so are we in this world.” (1 Jn 4:17b).
for others is a great challenge. We could be rejected. We
could be hurt. We could be betrayed. But it is right for us
to love, because God has loved us. And if the untoward incidents
happen, then those would be just more occasions by which we
grow in unilateral, unconditional, self-sacrificial love,
which is the very love of God for us. Thus we can more and
more experience the perfection of our imperfect human love.
So we must never be afraid to love. “There is no fear
in love, but perfect love drives out fear because fear has
to do with punishment, and so one who fears is not yet perfect
in love.” (1 Jn 4:18).
us strive to be perfect in love.