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Defending the Christian Worldview, Creationism, and Intelligent Design

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Defending the Christian Worldview, Creationism, and Intelligent Design » Bible / Christian faith / Apologetics » The trinity explained

The trinity explained

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1The trinity explained Empty The trinity explained Sun Dec 23, 2018 9:46 am

Otangelo


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The trinity explained

https://reasonandscience.catsboard.com/t2767-the-trinity-explained

The doctrine of the Trinity states that God is one being, and this one God exists as three distinct Persons. This truth means, first of all, that we must distinguish each Person of the Trinity from the other two. The Father is not the Son or the Holy Spirit, the Son is not the Holy Spirit or the Father, and the Holy Spirit is not the Father or the Son. They are each a distinct center of consciousness, a distinct form of personal existence. Yet, they all share the exact same divine nature/essence. Thus, the three persons are one being. The divine being/essence is not something that is divided between the Persons with each Person receiving one-third. Rather, the divine being is fully and equally possessed by all three Persons such that all three Persons are each fully and equally God.
https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/how-can-jesus-be-god-and-man

God is relational in triunity.

The trinity explained Explai10

"Technically, a molecule with resonance is every one of its structures at every point in time, yet no single one of its structures at any point in time. It's all the structures all the time, never just one of them."
This explains how the eternal Word of God became flesh as the Person Jesus Christ, was filled with the Holy Spirit while on earth, did only what He saw His heavenly Father doing, then completed God's salvation for man going to the cross and shedding His blood to cover our sins.
In His resurrected eternal body, Jesus is now Lord of heaven and earth, sitting of God the Father's right hand, giving the gift of the Holy Spirit to all God's born again children who repent of their sins, and receive/honor Him as Lord of their lives.

http://www.billionbibles.com/explain-the-trinity.html

Explaining the Holy Trinity of God the Father, God the Son (Jesus) and God the Holy Spirit will be needed at some point when presenting the God of the Bible to children, Muslims, Jehovah's Witnesses and other non-believers. Yet most Christians have difficulty explaining the Trinity clearly and Biblically.

Part of the reason for this difficulty in explaining the Trinity is that the word "Trinity" is not found in the Bible. Explaining the Trinity to Muslims also must deal with their erroneous equation of the Trinity with polytheism. But the bigger, more common issue is that most professing Christians don't read or know the Bible enough to explain the clear Biblical truth that the word "Trinity" represents.

"One God in Three Persons" nature:

The Father is God;
The Son (Jesus) is God;
The Holy Spirit is God;
but,
The Father is not the Son;
The Son is not the Holy Spirit;
The Holy Spirit is not the Father.

The Bible unequivocally declares monotheism: "Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one!" (Deuteronomy 6:4), and that this declaration from the Old Testament was affirmed by Jesus Himself in the New Testament: "Jesus answered him, "The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one.'" (Mark 12:29)

The Bible also unequivocally declares the deity of Jesus and the Holy Spirit, and their oneness with God the Father (the highlights below are added):

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God... And the Word became 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 1:1,14)

Then as He entered a certain village, there met Him ten men who were lepers, who stood afar off. And they lifted up their voices and said, "Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!" So when He saw them, He said to them, "Go, show yourselves to the priests." And so it was that as they went, they were cleansed. And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan. So Jesus answered and said, "Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?" (Luke 17:12-18)

But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession. And he kept back part of the proceeds, his wife also being aware of it, and brought a certain part and laid it at the apostles’ feet. But Peter said, "Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself? While it remained, was it not your own? And after it was sold, was it not in your own control? Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God." (Acts 5:1-4)

Jesus answered them, "I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in My Father’s name, they bear witness of Me... I and my Father are one." (John 10:25, 30)

If the hearers acknowledge the above passages but protest that they still can't comprehend how there is one God in three persons, acknowledge that Trinity is hard to grasp but ask if they ultimately should believe what God said or what they can comprehend. The former trusts God as God; the latter reduces God to what fits into the limited human mind.

As an analogy, if a child in an airplane asks how such a heavy machine can remain in the air and then fails to comprehend the aeronautics explained by an engineer, should the child accept the reality of aeronautics or reject it because it is beyond his comprehension?

If Muslim hearers protest that their Quran denies there being one God in three persons, gently but firmly advise them that Muhammad, who dictated the Quran, was illiterate, had only a vague notion of the Bible, and did not even understand who the three persons are: instead of God the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit, Muhammad mistakenly thought that Trinity refers to Allah, Mary and Jesus:

And [beware the Day] when Allah will say, "O Jesus, Son of Mary, did you say to the people, 'Take me and my mother as deities besides Allah?'"... - Quran 5:116

Did Jesus ever tell anyone to treat Mary as a deity?

Of course not. To the contrary, Jesus told people that Mary had nothing to do spiritually with Him and God the Father:

While He was still talking to the multitudes, behold, His mother and brothers stood outside, seeking to speak with Him. Then one said to Him, "Look, Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside, seeking to speak with You." But He answered and said to the one who told Him, "Who is My mother and who are My brothers?" And He stretched out His hand toward His disciples and said, "Here are My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother." (Matthew 12:46-50)

What does the Bible teach about the Trinity? 2
The most difficult thing about the Christian concept of the Trinity is that there is no way to perfectly and completely understand it. The Trinity is a concept that is impossible for any human being to fully understand, let alone explain. God is infinitely greater than we are; therefore, we should not expect to be able to fully understand Him. The Bible teaches that the Father is God, that Jesus is God, and that the Holy Spirit is God. The Bible also teaches that there is only one God. Though we can understand some facts about the relationship of the different Persons of the Trinity to one another, ultimately, it is incomprehensible to the human mind. However, this does not mean the Trinity is not true or that it is not based on the teachings of the Bible.

The Trinity is one God existing in three Persons. Understand that this is not in any way suggesting three Gods. Keep in mind when studying this subject that the word “Trinity” is not found in Scripture. This is a term that is used to attempt to describe the triune God—three coexistent, co-eternal Persons who are God. Of real importance is that the concept represented by the word “Trinity” does exist in Scripture. The following is what God’s Word says about the Trinity:

1) There is one God (Deuteronomy 6:4; 1 Corinthians 8:4; Galatians 3:20; 1 Timothy 2:5).

2) The Trinity consists of three Persons (Genesis 1:1, 26; 3:22; 11:7; Isaiah 6:8, 48:16, 61:1; Matthew 3:16-17, 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14). In Genesis 1:1, the Hebrew plural noun "Elohim" is used. In Genesis 1:26, 3:22, 11:7 and Isaiah 6:8, the plural pronoun for “us” is used. The word "Elohim" and the pronoun “us” are plural forms, definitely referring in the Hebrew language to more than two. While this is not an explicit argument for the Trinity, it does denote the aspect of plurality in God. The Hebrew word for "God," "Elohim," definitely allows for the Trinity.

In Isaiah 48:16 and 61:1, the Son is speaking while making reference to the Father and the Holy Spirit. Compare Isaiah 61:1 to Luke 4:14-19 to see that it is the Son speaking. Matthew 3:16-17 describes the event of Jesus’ baptism. Seen in this passage is God the Holy Spirit descending on God the Son while God the Father proclaims His pleasure in the Son. Matthew 28:19 and 2 Corinthians 13:14 are examples of three distinct Persons in the Trinity.

3) The members of the Trinity are distinguished one from another in various passages. In the Old Testament, “LORD” is distinguished from “Lord” (Genesis 19:24; Hosea 1:4). The LORD has a Son (Psalm 2:7, 12; Proverbs 30:2-4). The Spirit is distinguished from the “LORD” (Numbers 27:18) and from “God” (Psalm 51:10-12). God the Son is distinguished from God the Father (Psalm 45:6-7; Hebrews 1:8-9). In the New Testament, Jesus speaks to the Father about sending a Helper, the Holy Spirit (John 14:16-17). This shows that Jesus did not consider Himself to be the Father or the Holy Spirit. Consider also all the other times in the Gospels where Jesus speaks to the Father. Was He speaking to Himself? No. He spoke to another Person in the Trinity—the Father.

4) Each member of the Trinity is God. The Father is God (John 6:27; Romans 1:7; 1 Peter 1:2). The Son is God (John 1:1, 14; Romans 9:5; Colossians 2:9; Hebrews 1:8; 1 John 5:20). The Holy Spirit is God (Acts 5:3-4; 1 Corinthians 3:16).

5) There is subordination within the Trinity. Scripture shows that the Holy Spirit is subordinate to the Father and the Son, and the Son is subordinate to the Father. This is an internal relationship and does not deny the deity of any Person of the Trinity. This is simply an area which our finite minds cannot understand concerning the infinite God. Concerning the Son see Luke 22:42, John 5:36, John 20:21, and 1 John 4:14. Concerning the Holy Spirit see John 14:16, 14:26, 15:26, 16:7, and especially John 16:13-14.

6) The individual members of the Trinity have different tasks. The Father is the ultimate source or cause of the universe (1 Corinthians 8:6; Revelation 4:11); divine revelation (Revelation 1:1); salvation (John 3:16-17); and Jesus’ human works (John 5:17; 14:10). The Father initiates all of these things.

The Son is the agent through whom the Father does the following works: the creation and maintenance of the universe (1 Corinthians 8:6; John 1:3; Colossians 1:16-17); divine revelation (John 1:1, 16:12-15; Matthew 11:27; Revelation 1:1); and salvation (2 Corinthians 5:19; Matthew 1:21; John 4:42). The Father does all these things through the Son, who functions as His agent.

The Holy Spirit is the means by whom the Father does the following works: creation and maintenance of the universe (Genesis 1:2; Job 26:13; Psalm 104:30); divine revelation (John 16:12-15; Ephesians 3:5; 2 Peter 1:21); salvation (John 3:6; Titus 3:5; 1 Peter 1:2); and Jesus’ works (Isaiah 61:1; Acts 10:38). Thus, the Father does all these things by the power of the Holy Spirit.

There have been many attempts to develop illustrations of the Trinity. However, none of the popular illustrations are completely accurate. The egg (or apple) fails in that the shell, white, and yolk are parts of the egg, not the egg in themselves, just as the skin, flesh, and seeds of the apple are parts of it, not the apple itself. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are not parts of God; each of them is God. The water illustration is somewhat better, but it still fails to adequately describe the Trinity. Liquid, vapor, and ice are forms of water. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are not forms of God, each of them is God. So, while these illustrations may give us a picture of the Trinity, the picture is not entirely accurate. An infinite God cannot be fully described by a finite illustration.

The doctrine of the Trinity has been a divisive issue throughout the entire history of the Christian church. While the core aspects of the Trinity are clearly presented in God’s Word, some of the side issues are not as explicitly clear. The Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God—but there is only one God. That is the biblical doctrine of the Trinity. Beyond that, the issues are, to a certain extent, debatable and non-essential. Rather than attempting to fully define the Trinity with our finite human minds, we would be better served by focusing on the fact of God’s greatness and His infinitely higher nature. “Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?” (Romans 11:33-34).

1. https://www.everystudent.com/forum/trinity.html
2. https://www.gotquestions.org/Trinity-Bible.html



Last edited by Otangelo on Wed Nov 17, 2021 8:14 pm; edited 4 times in total

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Otangelo


Admin

THE REASON FOR GOD Belief in an Age of Skepticism TIMOTHY KELLER

https://reasonandscience.catsboard.com/t2767-the-trinity-explained#7283

The Divine Dance
Christianity, alone among the world faiths, teaches that God is triune. The doctrine of the Trinity is that God is one being who exists eternally in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Trinity means that God is, in essence, relational.

The gospel writer John describes the Son as living from all eternity in the “bosom of the Father” (John 1:18), an ancient metaphor for love and intimacy. Later in John’s gospel, Jesus, the Son, describes the Spirit as living to “glorify” him (John 16:14). In turn, the Son glorifies the Father (17:4) and the Father, the Son (17:5). This has been going on for all eternity (17:5b).

What does the term “glorify” mean? To glorify something or someone is to praise, enjoy, and delight in them. When something is useful you are attracted to it for what it can bring you or do for you. But if it is beautiful, then you enjoy it simply for what it is. Just being in its presence is its own reward. To glorify someone is also to serve or defer to him or her. Instead of sacrificing their interests to make yourself happy, you sacrifice your interests to make them happy. Why? Your ultimate joy is to see them in joy.

What does it mean, then, that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit glorify one another? If we think of it graphically, we could say that self-centeredness is to be stationary, static. In self-centeredness, we demand that others orbit around us. We will do things and give affection to others, as long as it helps us meet our personal goals and fulfills us. The inner life of the triune God, however, is utterly different. The life of the Trinity is characterized not by self-centeredness but by mutually self-giving love. When we delight and serve someone else, we enter into a dynamic orbit around him or her, we center on the interests and desires of the other. That creates a dance, particularly if there are three persons, each of whom moves around the other two. So it is, the Bible tells us. Each of the divine person centers upon the others. None demands that the others revolve around him. Each voluntarily circles the other two, pouring love, delight, and adoration into them. Each person of the Trinity loves, adores,
defers to, and rejoices in the others. That creates a dynamic, pulsating dance of joy and love. The early leaders of the Greek church had a word for this— perichoresis. Notice our word “choreography” within it. It means literally to “dance or flow around.”

The Father…Son…and Holy Spirit glorify each other…. 


At the center of the universe, self-giving love is the dynamic currency of the Trinitarian life of God. The persons within God exalt, commune with, and defer to one another…. When early Greek Christians spoke of perichoresis in God they meant that each divine person harbors the others at the center of his being. In constant movement of overture and acceptance each person envelops and encircles the others.

In Christianity God is not an impersonal thing nor a static thing—not even just one person—but a dynamic pulsating activity, a life, a kind of drama, almost, if you will not think me irreverent, a kind of dance…. [The] pattern of this three-personal life is…the great fountain of energy and beauty spurting up at the very center of reality.3 The doctrine of the Trinity overloads our mental circuits. Despite its cognitive difficulty, however, this astonishing, dynamic conception of the triune God is bristling with profound, wonderful, life-shaping, world-changing implications.

If God is unipersonal, then until God created other beings there was no love, since love is something that one person has for another. This means that a unipersonal God was power, sovereignty, and
greatness from all eternity, but not love. Love then is not of the essence of God, nor is it at the heart of the universe. Power is primary. However, if God is triune, then loving relationships in community are
the “great fountain…at the center of reality.” When people say, “God is love,” I think they mean that love is extremely important, or that God really wants us to love. But in the Christian conception, God really has love as his essence. If he was just one person he couldn’t have been loving for all eternity.

Ultimate reality is a community of persons who know and love one another. That is what the universe, God, history, and life is all about. If you favor money, power, and accomplishment over human relationships, you will dash yourself on the rocks of reality. When Jesus said you must lose yourself in service to find yourself (Mark 8:35), he was recounting what the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit have been doing throughout eternity. You will, then, never get a sense of self by standing still, as it were, and making everything revolve around your needs and interests. Unless you are willing to experience the loss of options and the individual limitation that comes from being in committed relationships, you will remain out of touch with your own nature and the nature of things.

Jonathan Edwards, in reflecting on the interior life of the triune God, concluded that God is infinitely happy. Within God is a community of persons pouring glorifying, joyful love into one another. Think about this pattern in our own experience. Imagine there is someone you admire more than anyone else in the world. You would do anything for him or her. Now imagine you discover that this person feels exactly the same about you, and you enter into either a lifetime friendship or a romantic relationship and marriage. Sound like heaven? Yes, because it comes from heaven—that is what God has known within himself but in depths and degrees that are infinite and unimaginable. That is why God is infinitely happy, because there is an “other-orientation” at the heart of his being, because he does not seek his own glory but the glory of others.

“But wait,” you say. “On nearly every page of the Bible God calls us to glorify, praise, and serve him. How can you say he doesn’t seek his own glory?” Yes he does ask us to obey him unconditionally, to glorify, praise, and center our lives around him. But now, I hope, you finally see why he does that. He wants our joy! He has infinite happiness not through self-centeredness, but through self-giving, other-centered love. And the only way we, who have been created in his image, can have this same joy, is if we center our entire lives around him instead of ourselves.

Why would such an infinitely good, perfect, and eternal being create?… Here Edwards drew on the Christian Trinitarian conception of God as essentially interpersonal…. The ultimate reason that God creates, said Edwards, is not to remedy some lack in God, but to extend that perfect internal communication of the triune God’s goodness and love…. God’s joy and happiness and delight in divine perfections is expressed externally by communicating that happiness and delight to created beings…. The universe is an explosion of God’s glory. Perfect goodness, beauty, and love radiate from God and draw creatures to ever increasingly share in the Godhead’s joy and delight…. The ultimate end of creation, then, is union in love between God and loving creatures

God did not create us to get the cosmic, infinite joy of mutual love and glorification, but to share it. We were made to join in the dance. If we will center our lives on him, serving him not out of self-interest, but just for the sake of who he is, for the sake of his beauty and glory, we will enter the dance and share in the joy and love he lives in. We were designed, then, not just for belief in God in some general way, nor for a vague kind of inspiration or spirituality. We were made to center our lives upon him, to make the purpose and passion of our lives knowing, serving, delighting, and resembling him. This growth in happiness will go on eternally, increasing unimaginably (1 Corinthians 2:7-10).

This leads to a uniquely positive view of the material world. The world is not, as other creation accounts would have it, an illusion, the result of a battle among the gods, nor the accidental outcome of natural forces. It was made in joy and therefore is good in and of itself. The universe is understood as a dance of beings united by energies binding yet distinct, like planets orbiting stars, like tides and seasons, “like atoms in a molecule, like the tones in a chord, like the living organisms on this earth, like the mother with the baby stirring in her body.”

The love of the inner life of the Trinity is written all through it. Creation is a dance!




Eric Murphy & Trey Jadlow
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QSrvuba5WKA

how do you know it's not Allah

Allah is a monad and you cannot have if God is unipersonal then he would depend on creation in order to be relational and therefore he would be deficient and he would be contingent by definition he must be relational as he is so Allah does not work

so you're saying that relational is equality can you can you help me understand what relational is

are we relating to each other

sure

would it be fair to say that you call that quality of relationality one

I I'm willing to accept that okay okay

so Allah how can he be relational and love be real when there's when he depends on creation in order to love

so you're saying that the the the Muslim God depends on love to exist

no it depends on creation in order to love

okay

and love, therefore, is not a part of who he is, therefore, it cannot be loving

okay so how do you give your God that out I mean you you're assigning qualities to a thing that you can't even show has thoughts because even if I granted you the the the premise that we've been arguing about we can we don't you what's your justification for that being a thinking being

because we see thought  and purpose theology instantiating in this conversation right now

are you giving me the argument from look at the trees

no I'm giving the argument for you wanting to interact with me you cannot have is that a purpose is that a goal for you to interact with me and to learn maybe or to share an idea

or so I'm just I'm surprised so you're saying that you see intentionality in this universe and that points back to a thinking God

you can't have intention unintentionally

I agree so how did you get to the idea that there's intention

because you just intended to say that

all I need is one instant of intention I mean there must be an eternal intention ER because intention can I intentionally

hold on he created I mean technology no it means that where you were describing

https://themelios.thegospelcoalition.org/review/allah-a-christian-response/
No adequate relationship can exist in one unipersonal being, and the triune relationship is others-love and not self-love. In fact, the glory of the Trinity is in the honor each person gives to the others. This love and humility not only overflowed in creating but also in Christ’s death on the cross.

https://www.monergism.com/who-god-mp3-series
If God was unipersonal, there would have been no love until he created the world. However, if the world was created by a triune God, then relationships of love are what life is all about. The Godhead is characterized by mutual self-giving love as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit orbit around one another in a dance. It is impossible for us to join in if we focus on ourselves, but through Jesus Christ and his sacrificial death on the cross, we can be brought into the dance. Scripture: Mark 1:9-13; Genesis



Last edited by Otangelo on Sun May 23, 2021 11:13 am; edited 3 times in total

https://reasonandscience.catsboard.com

3The trinity explained Empty Re: The trinity explained Thu Nov 12, 2020 5:58 am

Otangelo


Admin

The one, eternal, and living God of the Bible, the only real God there is, is the God who has forever known himself, and who in the history of salvation has revealed himself to us, as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. To deny this truth is to lapse into heresy.

https://reasonandscience.catsboard.com

4The trinity explained Empty Re: The trinity explained Wed Nov 17, 2021 8:20 pm

Otangelo


Admin

Trinity: Does the Trinity appear in the Bible?

The Trinity appears throughout the Old Testament from the beginning. The opening lines of Scripture reveal God in a most surprising way:

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.1

We see both God the Father and the Spirit of God involved in creation.

Paul reflects this pre-Christian Trinitarian understanding when he describes the Son as “the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.”2 John also uses this idea as he teaches about Jesus Christ as the Word: “All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.”3 It is evident that the people of God understood the fundamental concepts of the Trinity long before Jesus was born.

Just a few verses later in Genesis, God speaks of himself with plural pronouns: “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.’”4 This is very unusual, happening in only three other places in the whole Bible.5 It makes no sense at all. But when you see the Trinitarian understanding of Genesis 1:1–2, everything falls into place and helps us understand some otherwise unclear Old Testament passages.

Sometimes, people will wrongly say that the God of the Old Testament is different than the God of the New Testament. The Trinitarian God of the Bible is the same in both the Old and New Testaments. The Trinity, in fact, appears not only in the New Testament but also in many Old Testament passages. One of the most important is: “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor.”6 We see the “Spirit,” the “me” who is anointed (which is Messiah Jesus), and the “LORD” (God the Father). We read that Jesus began his public ministry by reading this passage and identifying himself as the “me” of Isaiah 61:1, saying, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”7

Here is another example of the Trinity appearing together in one Old Testament passage:

In all their affliction he [the Father] was afflicted, and the angel of his presence [the Son] saved them; in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; he lifted them up and carried them all the days of old. But they rebelled and grieved his Holy Spirit; therefore he turned to be their enemy, and himself fought against them.8

The “angel of the LORD” is another puzzling phenomenon in the Old Testament, but it makes total sense when you realize it is coming from a Trinitarian perspective.9 In Genesis 16 “the angel of the LORD” finds Hagar and speaks both command and comfort to her. Then in verse 13 Hagar “called the name of the LORD who spoke to her,” El Roi, which means, “You are a God of seeing.” Is this the LORD (Yahweh) or the angel, which means “messenger” or “word,” of the LORD? The conundrum is solved when we realize this is the second person of the Trinity, the eternal Son who became incarnate in Jesus. He came down to comfort and bless Hagar at the spring. She recognized that it was God who had appeared to her in love. In the New Testament, when Jesus comes in the flesh, he again comforts and commands a troubled, non-Hebrew woman by a spring.10 This was the Samaritan woman, and she, too, recognized that God had appeared to her.

Lastly, the Old Testament reveals in advance the divine Son who will come as the Messiah, God coming to save sinners and crush sin on behalf of God the Father:

The LORD [Father] says to my Lord [Son]: “Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.”11
Draw near to me, hear this: from the beginning I have not spoken in secret, from the time it came to be I have been there. And now the Lord GOD [Father] has sent me [Son], and his Spirit.12
I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man [Son], and he came to the Ancient of Days [Father] and was presented before him. And to him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed.13
From the beginning of the Bible we see the Trinity, as well as other key doctrines, appearing in bud form. As the Scriptures continue to reveal God, what is called progressive revelation, the bud opens bit by bit. The Old Testament people of God looked forward to the coming of the Spirit-anointed Son who would reveal the Father more completely. Then they would understand more of this mysterious promise of the one who is God but differs from the Father, who will be anointed by the divine Spirit who is neither Father nor Son, who would fulfill the ancient promise of God to crush the head of the serpent and redeem God’s people.

The Trinity in the New Testament

The New Testament continues and deepens the revelation of God living and active in three fully divine persons. While we get glimpses into the inner, heavenly life of Father, Son, and Spirit (what theologians call the immanent or ontological Trinity),14 Scripture focuses on the concrete and historical acts in which the Trinity is revealed as the three persons working together in creation (what theologians call the economic Trinity). This is helpful because it allows us to see how God always works in unison and does so in history for his glory and our good.

The New Testament reveals more of the Trinity doing the work of creation, speaking of the role of the Father,15 Son,16 and Spirit.17

In the Gospels we see the entire Trinity involved in Mary’s conception of Jesus. Luke 1:35 says, “The angel answered her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High [Father] will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God [Jesus].’”18

At the baptism of Jesus we witness one of the clearest pictures of the Trinity. Matthew 3:16–17 says, “When Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; and behold, a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my [Father] beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.’” All three persons of the Trinity are present, and each one is doing something different: the Father is speaking, and the Son is being anointed and empowered by the Holy Spirit to be the Messiah and missionary.

Jesus’ Great Commission is also Trinitarian. Matthew 28:19 says, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Baptism is in one name and three persons, an unmistakably Trinitarian formula. In addition, Acts 1:7–8 says, “He [Jesus] said to them, ‘It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.’”

One way to come to a fuller appreciation of each member of the Trinity is to see their unique role in our salvation. The entire Trinity is involved in our salvation, but with distinct roles, as the following verses indicate:

In love he [the Father] predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved [Jesus]. In him [Jesus] we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace. . . . In him [Jesus] you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him [Jesus], were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit.19
. . . The foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood.20
But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior [Father] appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior.21
God the Father devised the plan of salvation and predestined our salvation. God the Son came to die on the cross in our place for our sins. God the Holy Spirit takes up residence in Christians to regenerate them and ensure their final salvation. In this, we see the Trinity clearly at work in our salvation.

Furthermore, the entire Trinity is involved in the bestowing of our spiritual gifts: “Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord [Jesus]; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God [the Father] who empowers them all in everyone.”22

When New Testament authors sum things up they often use Trinitarian formulas:

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God [the Father] and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.23
There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call—one Lord [Jesus], one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.24
Praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.25
Finally, Jesus himself describes the Trinity: “Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves. . . . And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit.”26

Of the Scriptures listed above, which one do find to be the most helpful in revealing the Trinity to you?

1Gen. 1:1–2.
2Col. 1:15–16.
3John 1:3.
4Gen. 1:26.
5Gen. 3:22; 11:7; Isa. 6:8. Since God refers to himself with singular pronouns thousands of times and in the plural only four times, this cannot be the royal “we.” If God were into that, he would do it consistently. This cannot refer to God and the angels either, since angels don’t create.
6Isa. 61:1.
7Luke 4:18–21.
8Isa. 63:9–10.
9See Gen. 22:11, 15; Ex. 3:2; Num. 22:22–35; Judg. 6:11–22; 13:3–21; Zech. 3:1–6.
10John 4.
11Ps. 110:1. Gen. 19:24; Ps. 45:6–7; Isa. 48:6–7; Hos. 1:6–7; Zech. 3:2; and Mal. 3:1–2 are some of the other Old Testament passages where two beings are distinguished and both are called Lord or God.
12Isa. 48:16.
13Dan. 7:13–14. Gen. 19:24; Ps. 45:6–7; Isa. 48:16-17; Hos. 1:6–7; Zech. 3:2; and Mal. 3:1–2 are some of the other Old Testament passages where two beings are distinguished and both are called Lord or God.
14John 17 is one of the clearest examples of this.
15Acts 17:24; 1 Cor. 8:6.
16John 1:2; 1 Cor. 8:6; Col. 1:16.
17Matt. 1:18–20; John 3:5; 1 Cor. 6:11; Titus 3:5; see also Gen. 1:2; Pss. 33:6; 104:30; Isa. 40:12–14.
18Cf. Matt. 1:20–23.
19Eph. 1:4–13.
201 Pet. 1:2.
21Titus 3:4–6.
221 Cor. 12:4–6; see also Eph. 4:4–6.
232 Cor. 13:14.
24Eph. 4:4–6.
25Jude 20–21.
26John 14:11, 16–17.

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