“What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.”
Our world contains quite a number of mysterious “singular plurals.” Some take the form of “trinities.” Take the most basic components of the created order for example, space, time, and matter. These three mysterious constituents of created reality are at the same time distinct and yet inseparable. Though they are not identical to each other, it would be virtually impossible to properly define any of them without some reference to the others. If we to zero in on space, we notice that it exists as a kind of trinity also. Length, width, and breath are all spatial dimensions, which are inseparable and yet distinct from one another. When we consider time, we notice that time itself is made up of past, present, and future. These are all references to time but they are not identical to one another. Consider matter. Matter comes in three states, solid, liquid, and gas. Again, each state is distinct and yet that which exists in those varied states remains matter. These mysterious trinities within trinities must surely direct our minds to the Creator Himself, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Who has revealed Himself in the Scriptures as One in nature, but three in Person. That is, the Father, the Son (Jesus) and the Holy Spirit are distinct but inseparable. They are not the same Person but they are the same God (Hebrews 1:1-3; 1 John 5:7). His created order is no doubt intended to reflect this amazing and mysterious theological reality. “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen,” wrote the great apostle, “being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse” (Romans 1:20). There are other precious reflections of the Blessed Trinity in our world that we would do well to reflect upon also. I like to think about Christ, His Gospel, and the church He purchased with His own blood. Once again we see distinct things that can only be defined in terms of each other. How can one properly understand Christ without reference to the Gospel? How can one properly understand the Gospel without reference to Christ or the church? Paul refers to another precious trinity in the great love chapter, 1 Corinthians 13. He wrote, “And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity” (1 Corinthians 13:13). We notice that in the Greek text, the verb translated “abideth” (meno) is in the singular (menei). For Paul, these three virtues—faith, hope, and love—are (or should be) exemplified in the life of every believer as a solid, indivisible and inseparable unit. May God help us all, as Christians distinct and yet inseparable from Christ and from one another, to display these virtues consistently and in a God-honoring manner, for His glory and for the church that He loved first.