So it’s been a few weeks since I went to the WorshipGod Conference in Santa Ana. But everything I learned and experienced there still feels so fresh, constantly opening my eyes in amazement as if I was hearing these things for the first time again.
The theme for this year was Triune. I know, random, right? Throughout the course of my one-and-a-half year of being a Christian, the only time I’ve heard this topic ever mentioned is that Father, Son, and Spirit make up the Holy Trinity… and that’s about the extent of it. So by the time I was leaving back to San Diego, heck, by the time I was leaving Cavalry Church after the first message, I felt smarter. It was mind-blowing, filled with those moments where I’m asking myself how I didn’t know this before because it made so much sense.
I think the biggest thing that I took away is to remember the importance of how God is the Father. This is what stuck out the most to me: the fact that our God is a trinitarian God, who is inherently a Father, makes Him an eternally life giving and loving God. And that is what makes Him God instead of god. Other gods who are not trinitarian rely on their creations, making them weak. God the Father does not rely on His creations in order to demonstrate love; He does not need us. We need Him.
“The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” (1 John 4:8 NASB)
With that being said, there is no Gospel without the Trinity. Triune offers free salvation, while other gods require success. There is salvation by grace because God the Father provides a perfect sacrifice. If it were up to us to execute God’s plan, it would never succeed because our sacrifices would never meet His perfect standards. And even if we were somehow able to do so, we would not be God’s children then. Performance does not play a role in adoption. Effort makes us slaves, not children; sonship is free. (Clarification: I’m not saying we can now feel better about being lazy and doing nothing all day, but it’s the effort in trying to save ourselves that makes us slaves). Now here’s something I jotted down in my notes that’s a neat segue to my next point of elaboration:
The Father plans, the Son provides, and the Spirit fulfills.
It’s no secret that God the Father has this sovereign plan all laid out, complete and perfect. We may not know the nitty gritty details of its future, but the past occurrences have been conveniently put together in this nifty book we call the Bible. And of course, I am referring to the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus Christ AKA God the Son. The Son provides the sacrifice necessary to carry out the plan of the Father. It’s important to mention that Christ’s aim is to make the children of men the children of God because it highlights the fact that if God was not a Father, then we could not be His children. Through the execution of this plan, the Holy Spirit, who is fully God (equal in divinity, essence, and character), dwells within the believers. And all who have the Spirit share the status of the Son. And that is what justification is: clothing ourselves with Christ’s perfection before God.
Okay, that paragraph was probably full of information you’ve heard a million times, but I promise you there’s more to it. Continuing on, I don’t think the Holy Spirit gets much credit in the Trinity. Christians don’t really talk about the Spirit all that much, not in my experience, anyway. And we should give credit where credit is due, yes? Being Christian is humanly impossible. Now before you run away with your hopes crushed, let me just say that that is exactly what the Spirit’s purpose is. Because being Christian is humanly impossible, the transformation of the Spirit is needed to fulfill God’s promise of salvation. The Holy Spirit is fully necessary for salvation because it demonstrates the glory of the Father and the Son by opening our eyes, our minds, and our hearts, and then drawing them to God.
I realize this post, just like every single post I type up, has resulted in me rambling on and on and on. Oops. I’m just really bad at being short and concise, so just bear with me a little while longer. So let’s get to the point of all this, shall we?
Remember who we are and whose we are to stand firm in the grace of God.
In a message referring to 1 Peter 1:1-2:
1) We are elect exiles. “Exile” is our relation to the world, meaning it is not our home/we don’t belong here. “Elect” is our relation to God, making us God’s chosen people. Put them together: We are selected by God, and, therefore, rejected by the world.
2) We are God’s (God referring to Father, Son, Spirit). This point refers heavily to verse two regarding the Trinity. “Foreknowledge of God the Father” reveals our origin of this election, emphasizing the fact that we are chosen because we are loved by God. “Sanctification of the Spirit” reveals our new position/power of being set apart by God and for God. “Obedience to Jesus Christ” reveals our purpose of election. All this to say, God is our inheritance and our true home.
And this is only what I learned from the messages. My brain is still racking from unshared information from the workshops. As fun as the workshops with Ryan Foglesong and David Zimmer were, to keep this short, I’ll briefly talk about the two more interesting ones, which were the songwriting sessions with Steve and Vikki Cook. In the second songwriting workshop, we were asked to send in a recording of up to 2 original songs to be reviewed in class. And, let me just say, that was such a blessing to sit through. It was pretty cool to get the chance to listen to other songwriters, some who actually write songs for their church’s musical worship team to lead the congregation to sing. There are like million things to worry about when writing a song and a million more things when writing a potential worship song. Everything from lyrics to melody to meter to rhymes to rhythm can drastically change a song. For me personally, I’ve always been a lover of lyrics. When writing songs, lyrics always come before melody, and when listening to songs, a line of amazing lyrics will always win me over rather than a line of amazing music. But, after a session, I realize that I need to find more of a balance between the two. The song I submitted had celebratory lyrics (for my baptism) but the music did not match it at all dragging along at a very chill pace that communicated “life is fine” rather than “my life calls for a celebration!”
And here is where I’ll end my post with a final conclusion that’ll wrap up both topics nicely. The Trinity is what some people have deemed the “logic” for music. The Heavenly harmony of the Father, Son, and Spirit explains how everything is held together by unity. I’ve heard people say many, many times how when we’re all in Heaven singing, it’ll be this perfect harmony of a bajillion voices all layered together to create a beautiful, joyous sound. But until then, I hope you will remember that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is the Supreme Harmony and celebrate how awesome and perfect that is that we have a triune God.