Saturday, August 12, 2006

God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit

This post is for greenspot or anyone else wondering about the Trinity.

I am going to try to explain this to you as clearly as I can. I am not a Bible scholar by any step of the imagination. I want to answer your questions with Scripture.

The Trinity is the hardest thing for people to understand. I have put together some verses on this subject. It is crucial for us to properly understand what God is like, how He relates to us, and how we should relate to Him. But it is also something that raises many difficult questions. How can God be both one and three? Is the Trinity a contradiction? If Jesus is God, why do the Gospels record instances where He prayed to God?

While we cannot fully understand everything about the Trinity (or anything else), it is possible to answer questions like these and come to a solid grasp of what it means for God to be three in one. My goal is for you to understand what the Bible says about this.

John 1:1 - "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."

John 1:14 - "And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth."

John 5:18 - "For this cause therefore the Jews were seeking all the more to kill Him, because He not only was breaking the Sabbath, but also was calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God."

John 8:24 - "I said therefore to you, that you shall die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you shall die in your sins."

Note: In the Greek, "He" is not there.

John 8:58 - "Jesus said to them, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.'"

Exodus 3:14 - "And God said to Moses, 'I AM WHO I AM'; and He said, Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’’

John 10:30-33 - "I and the Father are one." 31The Jews took up stones again to stone Him. 32Jesus answered them, "I showed you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you stoning Me?" 33The Jews answered Him, "For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God."

John 20:28 - "Thomas answered and said to Him, "My Lord and my God!"

Phil. 2:5-8 - "Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, 6who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9Therefore also God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those who are in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, 11and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."

Heb. 1:8 - "But of the Son He says, "Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever, and the righteous scepter is the scepter of His kingdom."

Quoted from Psalm 45:6, "Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever; a scepter of uprightness is the scepter of Thy kingdom."

Jesus is worshipped - Jesus said to worship God only, yet He receives worship.

Matt. 4:10 - "Then Jesus *said to him, 'Begone, Satan! For it is written, "You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only."’"

Matt. 2:2 - "Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east, and have come to worship Him."

Matt. 2:11 - "And they came into the house and saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell down and worshiped Him; and opening their treasures they presented to Him gifts of gold and frankincense and myrrh."

Matt. 14:33 - "And those who were in the boat worshiped Him, saying, "You are certainly God’s Son!"

Matt. 28:9 - "And behold, Jesus met them and greeted them. And they came up and took hold of His feet and worshiped Him."

John 9:35-38 - "Jesus heard that they had put him out; and finding him, He said, "Do you believe in the Son of Man?" 36He answered and said, "And who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him?" 37Jesus said to him, "You have both seen Him, and He is the one who is talking with you." 38 And he said, "Lord, I believe." And he worshiped Him."

Heb. 1:6 - "And when He again brings the first-born into the world, He says, 'And let all the angels of God worship Him.'"

Jesus is prayed to

Acts 7:55-60 - "But being full of the Holy Spirit, he gazed intently into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God; 56 and he said, "Behold, I see the heavens penned up and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God." 57But hey cried out with a loud voice, and covered their ears, and they rushed upon him with one impulse. 58And when they had driven him out of the city, they began stoning him, and the witnesses laid aside their robes at the feet of a young man named Saul. 59And they went on stoning Stephen as he called upon the Lord and said, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!" 60And falling on his knees, he cried out with a loud voice, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them!" And having said this, he fell asleep."

1 Cor. 1:1-2 - "Paul, called as an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother, 2to the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling, with all who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours." (The phrase, "to call upon the name of the Lord" is a phrase used to designate prayer.)

1 Kings 18:24 - "Then you call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the Lord, and the God who answers by fire, He is God." And all the people answered and said, "That is a good idea."

Zech. 13:9 - "And I will bring the third part through the fire, refine them as silver is refined, and test them as gold is tested. They will call on My name, and I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are My people,’ and they will say, ‘The Lord is my God.’"

Rom. 10:13-14 - "for 'whoever will call upon the name of the Lord' will be saved." 14 How then shall they call upon Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him whom they have not heard?" (Paul is speaking of calling upon Jesus. (The phrase "Call upon the name of the Lord" is a quote from Joel 2:32).

Joel 2:32 - "And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call." (LORD here is YHWH, the name of God as revealed in Exodus 3:14. Therefore, this quote, dealing with God Himself is attributed to Jesus.)

First and Last

Isaiah 44:6 - "Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: ‘I am the first and I am the last, and there is no God besides Me."

Rev. 1:17 - "Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, 18and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades.

The doctrine of the Trinity -- that God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are each equally and eternally the one true God -- this is very difficult to comprehend, and yet is the very foundation of Christian truth.

Both Old and New Testaments teach the Unity and the Trinity of the Godhead. The idea that there is only one God, who created all things, is repeatedly emphasized in such Scriptures as Isaiah 45:18:

"For thus saith the Lord that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; ...I am the Lord; and there is none else."

A New Testament example is James 2:19:

"Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well; the devils also believe, and tremble."

The three persons of the Godhead are, at the same time, noted in such Scriptures as Isaiah 48:16:

"I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time that it was, there am I; and now the Lord God, and his Spirit, hath sent me."

The speaker in this verse is obviously God, and yet He says He has been sent both by The Lord God (that is, the Father) and by His Spirit (that is, the Holy Spirit).

The New Testament doctrine of the Trinity is evident in such a verse as John 15:26, where the Lord Jesus said:

"But when the Comforter is come whom I will send unto you from the Father, He shall testify of me."

Then there is the baptismal formula:

"Baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost" (Matthew 28:19).

One name (God) -- yet three names!

JESUS -- That Jesus, as the only-begotten Son of God, actually claimed to be God, equal with the Father, is clear from numerous Scriptures. For example, He said:

"I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty" (Revelation 1:8).

HOLY SPIRIT -- Some cults falsely teach that the Holy Spirit is an impersonal divine influence of some kind, but the Bible teaches that He is a real person, just as are the Father and the Son. Jesus said:

"Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak; and he will show you things to come" (John 16:13).

The Trinity is important because God is important. To understand more fully what God is like is a way of honoring God. Further, we should allow the fact that God is triune to deepen our worship. We exist to worship God. And God seeks people to worship Him in “spirit and truth” (John 4:24). Therefore we must always endeavor to deepen our worship of God—in truth as well as in our hearts.

I'll let you read through these verses and ask question that you would like to.

I really don't have all the answer's so I thought maybe the Bible could help you understand.

Let me know if you have any other questions.

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