Teachings...

 

The Trinity — The Triune Nature of the Godhead
Pastor Paul D. Van Noy
Candlelight Christian Fellowship

 

This year we will begin a new twelve part series on the basics of the Christian Faith. I have chosen to begin with a brief look at the doctrine of the Trinity.

Over the centuries religious leaders and scholars have debated and analyzed what Christians call the doctrine of the Trinity. The teaching asserts that there is only one God and that He has revealed Himself as the personal, transcendent, eternal, sovereign Creator of all things. He is the first and last, the only Savior and Lord; there is no other. He is eternally self-existent and has revealed Himself as a Tri-unity of three persons; Father, Son and Holy Spirit, three persons, yet one God.


Among the many aberrant (erroneous) teachings about the Trinity are the following: 1) God is a Tri-unity of three personalities - not persons. 2) Jesus is not God or is a lesser god - a created being. 3) There are other Gods. 4) The Holy Spirit is not a distinct member of the Godhead but a force or energy. 5) That Jesus is the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Space limits a continuing list. However, our aim is to document what the Bible does teach about the triune nature of God not that which is in error. Let’s look a three basic points.

1) The Scriptures Teach that there is only one God and He is the Father.

In the Scriptures God asks the following question, "To whom will you liken me, and make me equal, and compare me, that we may be like?” Then He answers, …I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me." (Isaiah 46:5 and 9) God said, "Before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me." (Isaiah 43:10) He said, "I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God." (Isaiah 44:6) Jesus taught His disciples to pray using these words, “Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name…” (Matthew 6:9) Paul when writing to the Ephesians declares there is “One God and Father of all, who is above all…” (Ephesians 4:6) It is clear from these verses there is only one God, the Father.

2) The Bible Teaches that Jesus is God, the Son of the Father.

Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of God. He Himself is God incarnate (in flesh) and in Him the fullness of the Godhead dwells and is revealed to man. John when writing his gospel reminds the reader, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men… the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:1-

Isaiah recorded God saying, "I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God." (Isaiah 44:6) Jesus speaking to John in the book of Revelation say’s He is the first and last, “…Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am He that lives and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen…” (Revelation 1:17-18)

If we carefully compare these verses we are forced to conclude that Jesus is either a liar, God was a liar or Jesus is God: “the first and the last.”

Secondly, God tells us in the Old Testament, He is the only Savior. “You are my witnesses, say’s the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that you may know and believe me, and understand that I am He: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no Savior.” (Isaiah 43:10-11) In the New Testament letter to Titus, Paul called Jesus our Savior. “…looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us…” (Titus 2:13-14) Peter called Jesus the Savior. “…our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 1:11) He also said we are to “…grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.” (2 Peter 3:18) John called Jesus the Savior. “And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.” (1 John 4:14)

Just as earlier identified, if we carefully compare these verses we are forced to conclude that either God was lying, Paul, Peter, and John were lying or Jesus is the one and only living God and Savior of the world.

3) The Bible Teaches that the Holy Spirit is God.

When Jesus was publicly baptized an interesting series of events occurred. Matthew records, “When He (Jesus) had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." (Matthew 4:16-17) Please note here the presence of the Son (Jesus), the Father and Holy Spirit. Here present are all three members of the Godhead.

Secondly, we see the Holy Spirit referred to as God when Peter was questioning Ananias and Sapphira, following a carefully planned act of deception. He said, "Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit…” He continued, “…Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God." (Acts 5:1-4) Clearly Peter refers to the Holy Spirit as God.

Three in One. One God – Three Persons.

“For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one.” (1 John 5:7)

“You are my witnesses, say’s the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that you may know and believe me, and understand that I am He: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no Savior.” (Isaiah 43:10-11)

May the Lord Jesus Christ lead us into all truth!

Blessings to you all.