Trinity of Fire

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God describes Himself as a consuming fire many places in the Bible, and we would do well to use the Bible’s own metaphors for Him. He knows how to describe Himself best. Fire can be thought of a having three parts: heat, fuel, and oxygen. Take away any one of them and you have no fire. But when you have fire, all three of them have to have been there from the beginning. 

That is something like how God is. He is three. He is one. All of Him is required for any of Him to be. This is why the whole Godhead was affected by the crucifixion. All feel the same. All love the same. All hurt or rejoice together. From eternity He has been a loving community of persons. This is why love is fundamental to reality.

The trinity is the foundation of our understanding of love. God Himself is a loving community. To misunderstand this is to misperceive the nature of love. Before there were ever any creatures to love, God Himself is love. Each Person, Father, Son, and Spirit, would do anything for any of the others. Self-sacrificial love is the foundation of the universe. And when God created Mankind He made us each a trinity of sorts: spirit, soul, and body. These are not to be at war as we so often see them now, but they are to be in a loving harmony that reflects the harmony within the Trinity.

The trinity is the foundation of our understanding of love. Click To Tweet

I often think we are to be like the filament on a gas lantern, a place where the oil of the Spirit of God Himself burns brightly. A filament is useless until the cloth that contains it is burned away leaving behind a porous network of rare earth metals that glows brighter than the oil that causes it to burn. The filament goes down into the oil and brings it up into the air. From there the smallest spark will set the whole thing aglow for hours. The lamp burns brightest when the pressure is high enough to force the oil up and when the flow of oil is unimpeded.

Photo by Severin Höin on Unsplash

In the same way, we burn brightly with the light of the Trinity. We make God visible to a fallen world of men and demons. The fact that we are made of earth only makes the glow of the spirit more intense and miraculous. The Spirit of God, like oil, like air, like the spark of life, makes us glow with the life of God. The fleshly life must burn away before the Spirit will flow. Then the pressures of life can only increase the flow of the Spirit and the brightness of His glory in our lives.

Like God, we are a trinity of fire: body soul and spirit burning together as one. The body is like the filament where the fuel burns, the soul or mind is the air, and our spirit is the spark of life that ignites the flame of the whole man. God’s own Spirit is the oil we are designed to burn. If the body would resist the spirit, it would be like lighting a candle with a wet wick. You can do it, but it’s very difficult and often won’t last. We must use our mind to patiently fan the gift of the spirit into flame until our body cooperates.
We are told we must lay aside every weight and the sin that hinders us from walking after the spirit. We are told to walk by means of the Spirit, as if it were a set of crutches. We are instructed to depend on the life of God so we will not be destroyed by living out the life of the flesh.

“… let us lay aside every hindrance and the sin that so easily ensnares us…”

Hebrews 12:1 (CSB)

Living carnally hides the power of God and puts our lower nature on display. We are supposed to be treasures of the Kingdom, houses fit for the King Himself. Yet too many settle for carnality, living the wet-wick life of the flesh, immune to the spark of the spirit. Only darkness and rot lie in that path. 

“You took off your former way of life, the old self that is corrupted by deceitful desires; you are being renewed in the spirit of your minds.”

Ephesians 4:22-23 (HSB)

The body was designed to be surrendered to the flames and to glow with the life of God’s glory like burning embers. It was not designed for sin and self. So strip off the old; put on the new! God wants His glory on display, and it burns brightest in your body!

Photo by Joshua Newton on Unsplash

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