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The Trinity 2019

Acts 2:32 "This Jesus God raised up again, to which we are all witnesses. 33 "Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear.

 

Introduction

This morning we come celebrating the Trinity. That is, we come celebrating the fact that the God we worship is one God and three persons.

Now as we celebrate this holy mystery, I want us to turn our attention to God’s Word in order to see what Scripture has to say about the Trinity. That is, I want us to listen to what God tells us about Himself.

 

 

The Doctrine of the Trinity- when we take all that Scripture says about the Trinity, we may summarize it as follows:

God is one Being and three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three are one God, the same in substance, equal in power and glory.

The doctrine of the Trinity maintains 5 vital points:

 

(1) God is one- There are not three gods. Rather, there is but one true and living God and this God is infinite, eternal, and undivided.

Mark 12:29 Jesus answered, "The foremost is, 'Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God, the Lord is one; (c.f. Deut 6:4)

 

(2) There are three distinct persons in the Godhead- That is, the names “Father, Son, and Holy Spirit” do not describe different modes or aspects of God. They name the three distinct members of the Godhead. Notice then, throughout Scripture, we see the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit acting and interacting in distinction from one another at the same time.

Matthew 3:16 And after being baptized, Jesus went up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove, and coming upon Him, 17 and behold, a voice out of the heavens, saying, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased."

 

(3) Each member of the Trinity is fully God and is in full possession of the divine nature- The divine nature is not divided up among the persons of the Godhead like a pie. Rather, the whole of the divine nature, power, and attributes belong fully and completely to each member of the Trinity. Therefore, each member of the Trinity is equal to the other members in deity, power, and glory. Likewise, each is equally worthy of our worship and praise.

Colossians 2:9 For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form,

2 Corinthians 3:17 Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. (What we say of the Lord we say of the Spirit)

 

(4) The members of the Trinity are equally ultimate- That is God the Father did not create the Son nor did the Father and Son create the Spirit. Rather, each person of the Godhead is fully and eternally God (John 1:1-3, Heb 9:14)

Importance: It is vital to note that whenever Scripture speaks of the Son as begotten or the Spirit as proceeding forth from the Father and the Son, it is always in regards to their role in the work of the Godhead- and not their origin or being. Notice then:

          ·      The Son is said to be begotten not because He is created by or derived from the Father. Instead, the term begotten always has reference to the Son’s role in the work of the Godhead. That is, the Son is sent forth from the Godhead to accomplish the Father’s plan. Thus to see the Son is to see an exact representation of the Father’s will, plan, and love.

         ·      The Spirit is said to proceed from the Father and Son not because the Spirit is derived from the Father and Son but because His role in the work of the Godhead always has reference to both the work of the Father and the work of the Son. That is, the Spirit proceeds from God to bestow the life set forth by the Father’s plan and accomplished by the Son’s sacrifice. FN#1

Simply put, the role of each member of the Trinity in the work of the Godhead can be summarized as follows: the Father plans, the Son accomplishes, and the Spirit applies.

 

(5) Every work of God is the work of the entire Trinity- thus while Scripture attributes certain aspects of God’s work more particularly to specific persons of the Trinity, it also teaches that every aspect of every work involves the active contribution of the whole Godhead. Thus, there is no work of one member of the Trinity where the other members are not fully engaged.

 

For example though the role of Christ’s work on the Cross is emphasized with regards to our salvation nonetheless Scripture teaches that both the Father and the Spirit were active in that work:

2 Corinthians 5:18 Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ, and gave us the ministry of reconciliation,19 namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself

Hebrews 9:14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? FN#2

 

How do I respond?

Mark 12:30 YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH. '

 

 

Footnotes

1] In other words, the Father is called Father because His role in the work of the Godhead always has reference to the work of the other members of the Trinitarian family (He sets forth the plan of the Godhead).

In turn, the Son is called Son and is said to be begotten because His role in the work of the Godhead always has reference to the Father’s plan. He comes forth from the Godhead to accomplish the Father’s Plan. Thus, the Son is the spitting image of His Father. As such, to see Him is to see the Father. In turn, to watch Him is to see the Father’s plan unfold.

Finally, the Spirit is called Spirit (the Lord and giver of life) and said to proceed forth from the Father and Son because His role in the work of the Godhead always has reference to the Father’s plan and the Son’s accomplishment. Thus the Spirit proceeds forth from the Godhead to apply the new life that the Father promised and the Son accomplished

 

2] Two further examples: first notice that Scripture calls God (not just Christ) our savior because salvation is the work of the whole Trinity

1 Timothy 2:3 This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,

In the same way Christ’s resurrection is a work that Scripture attributes to each person of the Trinity

Galatians 1:1 Paul, an apostle (not sent from men, nor through the agency of man, but through Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised Him from the dead),

Romans 8:11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who indwells you.

John 10:18 "No one has taken My life away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father."

 

 

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