In some of my closest worship leader circles, where the cross is lifted high and the gospel is seen as the shaping paradigm for the Christian life, much is made of the concept of “Christ-centered worship”—worship that focuses on Jesus, especially the imputation of the merits of his life and the atonement of his death onto believers. Yet, as orthodox Christians, we profess that our God is Triune—one God, eternally existing in Three persons. And while each Person might have unique roles, we’re careful to point out that Their oneness encourages our worshiping the Three by neither excluding nor neglecting any one Person. In the words of the Nicene Creed, around which all Christians should be able to rally, we rightly adore “the Spirit, who with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified.” So is “Christ-centered worship” challenged by this notion? Bryan Chapell helps answer the question:
The redemptive flow of biblical worship inevitably makes our liturgy Christ-centered. This does not mean that Christian worship diminishes the honor of any other member of the Trinity. God the Father makes our worship Christ-centered by redeeming us through the work of his Son, and giving the Spirit to testify of him. Because worship is a response to this witness of redemption, the grace God provides through his Son is the thread that sews the service together.*
So, in other words, Christ-centered worship and Trinitarian worship are one and the same. To speak of Christ-centered worship is to make explicit what Trinitarian worship is—approaching the Trinity through Christ, who is applied to us by the Spirit. Christ, the only mediator between the Godhead and humanity (1 Tim 2:5), is the door through which we walk to enter the blessings of the mutual, self-giving love of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Even more profoundly, and certainly more mysteriously, the Spirit unites us with Christ—we are one with Him—such that we somehow are experiencing the Trinitarian life as we are in Christ. This is getting at what Scripture means when it says that our life is “now hidden with Christ in God” (Col 3:3) and why we in some sense here and now have “died with Christ” (Col 2:20) and are “raised with Christ” (Col 3:1). This is what John the apostle is meaning when he says that “our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ” (1 John 1:4), and it is what Peter is pointing to when he says that we “participate in the divine nature” (2 Pet 1:4). In the words of John Piper, “God is the gospel.” The good news is that in Christ, through what He has done for us in His life and death, we’re invited to experience the joy and life shared by the Magnificent Three. So gospel-centered is Christ-centered is Trinitarian. The three are one.