Saturday, March 3, 2018

The Trinity

Question:  What is the Trinity and why do we care?

Trick Question:  Is God a Person?
Answer:  Technically, NO.  God is three Persons.  This = doctrine of the Trinity.

Question:  What is meant by Christians regarding the Trinity?

A.   Trinity = triunity or three in one.  One being - three persons

God is one WHAT (nature) and three WHOs (persons). 

B.  Nature = the essence of the type of a thing that makes a thing what it is. 

Example:  A styrofoam cup has a nature but it is not a person.  

C.  Person = What makes you who you are:

           1)  Consciousness
           2)  Self-awareness 
           3)  Relationality

 A. There exists only one God (divine nature being)  
 B.  There exists three Persons of the Godhead, each fully and equally personal and divine

  The Persons of the Trinity are eternally distinct from each other.  Can be distinguished from each other. 

Misconceptions and Heresies
Unitarianism: the idea that there is only one Person in the Godhead. 
Modalism: God is one Person that appears in various modes.    As the Father, the Son and Holy Spirit 
Tritheism: each of the Persons is a separate God
D.   P


Bad Analogies:
First, there are no good analogies!
*The Trinity  is like…
*A.  A man who is a father, a son and a husband
*B.  Water, which can take the form of liquid, solid or gas
*C.  An egg   *Really!!!  God is like an egg!! 

The Trinity in Scripture:
 First - the 'word' Trinity is not found in Scripture.  The CONCEPT is!

Three classes of Scripture:

I)  Class 1 - demonstrate essential oneness or unity of God
O.T. - Deut. 6:4  N.T. - Mark 12:29

II)  Class 2 - demonstrate the full Diety of the distinct Persons of the Godhead
Use of 'ho theos' - for God the Father.  Use of kyrios (Greek for Lord) to reference Jesus as opposed to ho theos.  Kyrios in O.T. = Yahjey
         Diety of the Son:   2 Cor. 1:2, 1 Cor. 8:6, Titus 2:13
        Diety of the Holy Spirit:  Acts 13:2, 5:3-4    The Holy Spirit is Diety

III)  Class 3 - demonstrate the simultaneous distinction of the three Persons of the Godhead
        Baptism of Jesus - John 3:16-17
        Great Commission - Matt. 28:19-20
        Upper Room Discourse - John 14:16-17, 26, 15:26.   Not only mention three Persons in same passage but make clear distinction between the three.

Why Care About the Trinity?

Given God is a Trinity, need to understand Him as a Trinity.

Trinity is essential to Christian faith - is necessary and unique to Christianity.  All other religions reject the Trinity.
Other religions that claim to be Christian, but are rejected by orthodox Christianity primarily on the basis of their view of the Trinity.  
Faulty view of Trinity = faulty view of Jesus and His atoning sacrifice.

Worship:  to worship in truth must have a knowledge of God in His Trinitarian form.  If don't differentiate between the different Persons of the Trinity, cannot properly appreciate or praise the work of each of the Persons.


Lack of understanding of Trinity confounds ability to:
     A.  Evangelize - point out inadequacies of other religions
     B.  Defend Christian faith against other false religions
     C.  Teach the faith to new or unlearned Christians
     D.  Refute unsound doctrine 
         Closing Statement by J I Paker: 
We have been brought to the point where we both can and must get our life’s priorities straight. From current Christian publications you might think that the most vital issue for any real or would-be Christian in the world today is church union, or social witness, or dialogue with other Christians and other faiths, or refuting this or that -ism, or developing a Christian philosophy and culture, or what have you. But our line of study makes the present-day concentration on these things look like a gigantic conspiracy of misdirection. Of course, it is not…But it is tragic that, in paying attention to them, so many in our day seem to have been distracted from what was, is, and always will be the true priority for every human being—that is, learning to know God in Christ.





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