The biblical narrative introduces itself with a couple of enormous presuppositions: God is real and YHWH is the only God who deserves worship. It is undeniable that Scripture affirms other gods. It does not affirm that they exist, so to speak, in some sort of spiritual location where they fight against each other. Scripture affirms that these other gods are real, but not true. To give them some credit, they exist, while YHWH is. God’s own being should be enough reason to awe and wonder before his existence. He is the essence of being, the supreme structure of all that there is. As if that was not enough for us to trust him, one more other reason can be given: he is the Alpha (A) and the Omega (Ω).
God is the Alpha, the beginning, the origin of all things. While pantheism affirms that everything is an extension of the gods, Christianity affirms that YHWH is the origin of all that there is. The merism “heaven and earth” found in Genesis 1:1 expresses that there is nothing that has been actualized that does not find its grounding origin in the Alpha. Paul also states that all things, both visible and invisible, came from Him (Colossians 1:16-17), affirming John’s words concerning the Son of Man in John 1. His creatorship is included in the well-known fact that every act God performs is intentional. God created all that there is because he wanted people to have a relationship with him. This creative act is proof of his libertarian freedom, for he could have created different, and could have restrained from creating, and yet nothing would be considered as loss or gain to him. God is transcendent in his way to create, but immanent in the intentions and relations with created things.
When the Bible depicts God as the Omega it is clarifying God’s role in the end of history since the beginning. World history has found its cataclysmic apex in Christ, the Redeemer of all. It logically follows that redemption is inherent in God’s being and role. God redeems all that was lost in the fall, which he passively decreed in order to display his glory through the Messiah. The New Heavens and New Earth are just two examples that God is actively involved in his plan to redeem all peoples to himself.
It is very important, then, for the Bible to start with these two ideas and flourish its message from there. If Genesis 1:1 affirms that God created all that there is (time, matter, and space), the question “why?” is inevitable. The answer is provided later on, and the reader can see God’s desire to be among his people when he graciously provides clothing for Adam and Eve (Genesis 3:21). In a very anthropomorphic language, God creates clothes using matter (for the first and only time in the Old Testament) in order to cover their sinfulness and implicitly predict what Christ would do: to definitively cover the sins of all who accept Him by faith.
Scripture starts with creation to preset God’s intentions with it, and doing so, it implicitly prognosticates God’s plan to redeem a people for himself, in order to have a relationship with them in the heavenly Eden (Revelation 22:1-2). It is a two-chapter introduction that sets the scenario to everything that will take place. This theological treatise presents a God who is in control of everything, who is the structural foundation of everything, and who is willing to redeem all who have sinned against him.
Romans 10:9 guarantees us that “if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (NKJV). It seems, at first, that if you simply confess (i.e. repeat or say something) Jesus and you believe that God raised Jesus from the dead, then you are good to go, right? Well, not so fast.
Is it possible for one to confess Jesus as Lord without knowing what the word “Lord” means? I would argue that yes. If that confession fits the guarantee of Romans 10:9, I will bet to differ. To confess Jesus as Lord is to publicly affirm that he is your master, and you are his slave. Jesus, then, has all authority over your life, heart, emotions, desires, passions, etc. If this person fails to provide testimony of his or her words, then his testimony was false, and should not be regarded as having truth value. If is not possible to confess Jesus if we do not understand his role in our relationship with him, how would it be possible for someone to be Christian without believing in the Triune God?
“Well, ‘believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead’,” seems very simple. The matter here is, who raised Christ form the dead? Was it the Father, as Galatians 1:1 indicates? Or was Jesus himself, as John 2:19-21 asserts? Could it be the Holy Spirit, as Romans 8:11 affirms? The One who raised Jesus from the dead was the Triune God! All three were deeply involved in this action. If one affirms that one God the Father raised Jesus from the dead, he would be ignoring Biblical passages.
The God of Scripture is the Triune God. Any worship or serving to other type of God is idolatry. If one recognizes that there is a God because of creation, he too is a heathen. Why? Because he worships a “creator god” and not the Triune God. “Unless you believe that I AM HE you will die in your sins,” said Jesus in John 8:24 (ESV). The ESV adds the word “He” to the regular “ἐγώ εἰμι.” This adding is unnecessary, for other passages like Deuteronomy 32:39, and Isaiah 41:10, or even verse 58 in this same chapter, affirm that “egō eimi” refers to God, and therefore affirm his deity. If one denies that Jesus is God, he is not doing heterodoxy, as some like to identify themselves, but he is going against what Jesus himself taught. If to us that is unacceptable, I see no Biblical reason for why the Triune God would accept that.
I would argue, though, that the doctrine of a person might not always be as accurate as his or her faith in his or her heart. One might believe in the Triune God, yet having a weird speech regarding how he organizes that in his mind. Praise God that we are not saved by the accuracy of our theological communication, but by our faith! Most of us, if not all, would be damned if we were to be judged by that standard. I do not know, however, how far God’s mercy goes in this matter. I prefer not to take any unnecessary risks.
One thing is not to understand the Trinity but accept it by faith, another thing is to deny it when you have knowledge of Scripture. Perfect articulation of this doctrine is not necessary, faith in the God revealed in Scripture is.