Community is an essential part of God’s nature.
This is where we usually insert the word ‘Trinity,’ which is an important and true doctrine. However when we talk about Trinity, we often use words and phrases that are alien to the Bible and that sometimes conflict with the community heart of what the Trinity is actually about.
The core of Trinity is not three and one, it’s unity and diversity. This is where we start charting a road back to Biblical language.
God by nature is diverse and united. 1 Corinthians 12:4-6 says this:
There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord.There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.
The same Spirit is one with the same Lord who is one with the same God. Because of the activities linked to each (the giving Spirit, the servant Lord and the working or creating God) I believe this is clearly a reference to Holy Spirit, Lord Jesus and Father God.
They are one and the same in person, however there is a diversity in their activities; giving gifts, leading service and working/creating.
Yes there is a three and one, so Trinity – but if we simply label this ‘a Trinity passage’ we loose the contextual thrust which is clearly community.
The rest of 1 Cor. 12 talks about unity and diversity in the Church through gifts and individuality. When the Church masters this kind of community – one soaked in unity and diversity – it will look like Jesus and the world will see Him through it. The reason 1 Cor. 12 starts with such a Trinitarian opening is to show that community in the church is a mirror of community found at the heart of God.
When we pursue community together; being united as one people with one heart and vision, but also celebrating differences and diversity we will by nature look more like God.
We don’t do community because its a way of meeting together to learn about God – we do community because in nature it is an experience of God.