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December 31, 2020 2:00 am
One of the most fundamental yet challenging truths in Scripture is the doctrine of the Trinity. In the message "One Plus One Plus One Equals One?" Skip shares why this doctrine is essential to the Christian life.
This teaching is from the series 20/20: Seeing Truth Clearly.Links:
This week's DevoMail: https://connnectwithskip.com/devomail
The subject today, the Trinity, the triune nature of God is foundational to our faith. It is essential to our faith.
But I also know it is controversial.
The doctrine of the Trinity is one of the most difficult to understand today on connect with Skip Heitzigs explores this foundational doctrine and why it's essential to spiritual and at the end of today's program Skip sending share some key insight to help you grasp this.it's okay to have Mr. think it's okay to go I don't get it, but it's true.
I think it's good to have Mr. do I think similarly try to use natural illustrations to describe supernatural things were doing a disservice for trying to make it within the box of our understanding that God is so beyond our understanding. Thanksgiving may be sure to stay tuned after today's message to the full conversation.
Now we want to tell you about a resource that will help transform the way you pray and the way you live Hudson Taylor, the great missionary to China said it is possible to move men through God by prayer alone and down to other nine books on prayer said God shapes the world by prayer, the more praying. There is in the world, the better the world will be and Billy Graham said to get nations back on their feet, we must first get down on our knees here Skip I say you know the Bible says that we will experience God's peace. When we pray, and it tells us to pray about everything. We want to help you know how and what to pray. What to expect.
That's why were offering. Lord, teach me to pray in 28 days by Kay Arthur when you give to support this ministry. Prayer is meant to up the game of peace and joy in our hearts, Lord, teach me to pray is our thanks when you get $25 or more today to help keep this ministry on the air, connecting you and others to God's work, call 800-962-1888. Get online securely connectwithskip.com/offer John chapter 4 starts today, but not your heart be troubled you believe in God believe also in me. My father's house are many mansions if it were not so I would've told you. I go to prepare a place for you and if I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to myself, that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know and the way you know Thomas said to him, Lord, we do not know where you are going and how can we know the way Jesus said to him, I am the way, the truth and the life.
No one comes to the father except through me.
If you had known me, you would have known my father also and from now on you know him and have seen him so upset to him, Lord, show us the father and it is sufficient for us. Jesus said to him, have I been with you so long and yet you have not known me, Philip, Eli seen me has seen the father. So how can you say show us the father do not believe that I am in the father. The father in me the words that I speak to you.
I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does the works.
Believe me that I am in the father and the father in me or else believe me for the sake of the works themselves. Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes and made the works that I do he will do also and greater works than these he will do, because I go to my father and whatever you ask in my name that I will do that. The father may be glorified in the son. If you ask anything in my name I will do it if you love me, keep my commandments and I will pray the father and he will give you another helper, that he may abide with you forever. The spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.
I will not leave you orphans, I will come to you and then down to verse 25. These things I have spoken to you while being present with you but the helper, the Holy Spirit whom the father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance, the things that I said to you. Have a seat place and thank you for that.
Let's pray together.
Father, thank you for this portion of your scripture. Your word spoken to us by the Lord Jesus himself pray Lord that even as you promised a helper. We ask for the Holy Spirit to help us to grasp to understand, to be inspired by the example we have here.
Thank you Lord for the ability to meet together to give a friendly eyes smile to give encouragement to one another to meet to enjoy that fellowship in the strength that comes from we humbly ask these things in Jesus name, amen. I suppose if I were to try to use my sermon title in a math class.
I would fail the class I+I+I = 1.
I understand that's bad math but it's good theology, and I suppose if I wanted to be a mathematically precise, I would. Stated differently, I would say 1.
That would be more precise, especially with the Trinity. Since we are dealing with a compound unity of the subject. Today, the Trinity, the triune nature of God is foundational to our faith. It is essential to our faith. But I also know it is controversial. Winston Churchill once described Russian foreign policy, and he called it a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma. The great description. I feel the same about the Trinity.
It's a riddle wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.
This is difficult territory for anybody. There was a very family visiting from India visiting friends in California. The friends in California on a Sunday. Went to church and took the family from India with them. They didn't have the background. In India in American evangelical churches obviously didn't quite understand it but after church. The host family asked their foreign visitors.
What you think and the 11-year-old girl who was a part of that Indian family said I don't understand why the West Coast is not included and they looked at her like what what you mean and she said well you know when the minister set up and said in the name of the father and the son and the whole East Coast, or she didn't understand that he was the father and the son and the Holy Ghost, that was just a foreign expression to her. The Trinity poses a problem to us.
If we try to share our faith with a Jewish person a Muslim Mormon Jehovah's Witness, none of those groups believe in the Trinity at all and apart from that it's a problem for some of us we wonder should I should I pray to the father. Is it okay to pray to Jesus. Should I pray to the Holy Spirit. If I don't give attention to both two of them, but I give attention.
One of them with the other to be offended and and are we just dealing with one person using different names. There's a confusion even among believers and then even beyond that. How do I explain this mystery to my kids who ask questions to figure this out. Do I use an egg. That's how some people try to describe it to their kids, you know you have one egg, but you have a shell and you have a white and you have a yoke or do I do I use water.
Water can be one substance, but appear as a solid or liquid or vapor will use three matches and so you have three separate entities, but you put them together and forms.
One flame there's all sorts of creative explanations and analogies. I don't know if any of them is perfect.
I think it's always something we should be careful we should be careful not to trivialize God and reduce him to a formula and what we are dealing with is the inability to take something infinite and comprehended with a finite mind the end of the day it's not going to be possible, but that is not my aim. I might my goal here is not to explain to you the Trinity. I don't want necessarily you to understand that the Trinity is much as enjoy the Trinity that is my aim. I don't want you to just know what the Trinity is or how the Trinity works right. What I hope we get out of this out of church today is how all three members of the Trinity, father, son and Holy Spirit help us how they sustain us and how they inspire us by their example so we read the text.
I'm an addict back into it for just a couple of things.
But I want to show you five discoveries of the triune God out of this chapter. The first and most obvious is all three father son and Holy Spirit are a reality. You notice this when you read through chapter 14.
Chapter 15 in chapter 16. This whole section. Jesus will speak of the father or my father. He will speak of the Holy Spirit. He will speak of himself. He will call himself the son, and he does this freely throughout the entire section and he gives personal pronouns to each of the three using terms like he his him, so it's pretty evident and obvious as we read to the section that he is speaking about three distinct persons all working in concert together a Trinity triune God pretty obvious now, not everybody agrees. Some will object and here is the objection well the work. Trinity is in the Bible. So what the words second coming are not found in the Bible, but you read a Jesus that if I go I will come again. Guess what that is. A second coming, the work Bible is in the Bible. You don't have to have the word present for it to be a truth yes I understand where Trinity is not a biblical term is a theological term meant to express biblical truth and so if you go to the Scriptures you get the obvious reality that not just the Lord Jesus, but the apostles and you have in the old and the New Testament the evidence that there are three persons that we are dealing with find it at the baptism of Jesus in Matthew chapter 13 where it says Jesus came up from the water, the heavens were opened.
The spirit of God descending on him like a dove and alighting upon him, and suddenly a voice came from heaven. This is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased you have all three son being baptized the father speaking the Holy Spirit coming in presence at the end of Jesus ministry in what is called the great commission. Matthew chapter 28, our Lord Jesus said, go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the father in the name of the son and of the Holy Spirit. Again there's that formula father son and Holy Spirit is something Paul the apostle bid in the benediction at the end of second Corinthians in the 13th chapter May the God of our Lord Jesus Christ or Seesmic may the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all know again were dealing with three separate persons. After all, since the father sent the son into the world right.
John 316 for God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son since the father sent the son into the world. They can't be the same person there, separate and distinct, and as we read in our text this morning. Since the son and the father both send the Holy Spirit. There is a distinction from one another. This is always been the understanding throughout church history, church leaders in their generations carefully articulated the belief that the Bible sets forth of the triune nature of God is a sampling in 96 A.D., almost a century after Christ. Clement of Rome, a leader in Rome was the first one to refer to all three members of the Godhead in an oath that he wrote and he said and I quote as God lives and is the Lord Jesus lives and as the Holy Spirit lives father-son Holy Spirit in the second century A.D., leaders like Ignatius and Justin Martyr did the same thing in the third century by Ren閑 S and Herculean did the same thing. In fact, it was Herculean came up and coined the term Trinity as we know it using the Latin Trinity toss the three in one. Fast-forward a little bit to 325 A.D. when church leaders needed to come together to settle an issue. There was already a division over is Jesus God are there three different separate persons in one Godhead and so they had a meeting in Nicaea. Ancient Asia minor, modern-day Turkey, and they formulated a cream called the Nicene Creed or the apostles Creed. Some of you grew up in in your church is saying it. I believe in one God the father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth and in Jesus Christ his only son our Lord. That's the language of a creed to distill the major beliefs of Christianity.
I love what Spurgeon said Charles Haddon Spurgeon said to have a gospel without the Trinity is like having a rope of sand that cannot hold together then Satan can overrun it but give me a gospel with the Trinity and the might of hell cannot prevail against no man can anymore overthrow it. Then a bubble could split a rock or a feather break in half amount, not so well put.
Spurgeon just had a knack so these three father-son Holy Spirit are a reality as the first discovery. The second is that all three share in divinity such as three separate persons. It's one God, one God, this word gets tough for us to understand all three are referred to in Scripture, father, son and Holy Spirit as being God and having the attributes or qualities of God because we see a sampling here. Verse nine Jesus said if you have seen me, you have seen the father is a bold statement to say the father and the son share the same nature.
In verse 16.
Speaking of the Holy Spirit, the helper. Listen to what he says will abide with you for ever. Now he is assigning an eternal nature to this third person the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will abide with you forever now. I've had conversations with folks who said well Jesus never claimed to be God and the New Testament never says overtly that Jesus is God. Whenever somebody says that to me. Isaac could you tell me what version of the Bible you happen to be reading because I have never found what you say you have and I read a lot of different versions. First of all, Jesus said, before Abraham was, I am. And you know what the Jews did in response to that took up stones to kill him. And Jesus said why do you want to kill me.
Think of all the good works I've done is all right to kill you for the good work you've done. We want to kill you because you being a man are constantly making your self out to be God. So Jesus said it. His enemies understood what he said.
Then he accepted worship from Thomas after the resurrection.
When Thomas saw him alive. Thomas said, my Lord and my God what you think of Jewish Jesus was just a man, he would've said to Thomas on another don't say that. That's blasphemy unless he was God and he was.
He accepted Thomas's worship. Then he claim to forgive sins when he healed the paralytic, he said, son, your sins are forgiven and the Jewish leader said hey women only God can forgive sins.
Yeah, that's why I said what I said. Then Jesus performed miracles that only God can perform.
He demonstrated power over disease power over demons power over death. He claimed omnipotence, all power, he said in Matthew 28 all authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. That's omnipotence he claimed on my presence in Matthew 18 wherever two or three are gathered in my name, I will be in their mid-he showed omniscience that he knew everything on many occasions he was speaking to a woman at a well in Samaria and she was getting all Corian curtain back and forth with Jesus and she said in a few things and finally he disagree call your husband Jacob I don't have a has been Jesus in your life you've had five husbands in the past and right now you're living with a guy who's not your husband. She didn't tell him that. How do you know that will heat.
She said Sir I perceive that your profit then on other occasions, it says and Jesus knowing their thoughts said to them, we can read minds. He knows people's past backgrounds. He showed omniscience and not only that, but Paul the apostle, the rabbi from Tarsus said Jesus was God very clearly and overtly in a few places are just a couple of Romans nine verse five he said Christ, who is over all the eternally blessed God. You can't get any clearer than that.
Titus chapter 2 verse 13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, again very clear and then the Holy Spirit is also called God in Scripture fifth chapter of the book of acts.
You remember the story of Ananias and Sapphire.
They took some land, sold it, pretended to give it all to the work of the Lord Back parts of themselves. Not that that was a problem.
The problem was they lied and so Peter said, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and then he says immediately after you have been lied to men. You lied to God. See how we put that you lied to the Holy Spirit and when you did lied to God Skip Heitzig with the message from the series 2020 gnomon school to studio Skip as they share some key insight to help you grasp this doctrine.
The doctrine of the Trinity is one of the most challenging documents to understand and we probably won't ever fully understand this side of heaven, but Skip is there any insight that help you to better grasp this doctrine so you can embrace it and apply it to your life at the top, it's the hardest one and and and I guess my gut level reaction to the question is no. There is not. I couldn't give you but that's because no chapter in the Bible has an explanation of the Trinity. Rather, the Bible does have a formulation of the Trinity. So it's borne out by just viewing the whole story. Just keep reading the book and the more you read the book, the Bible, you can discover that God manifests himself in three distinct persons not three gods but three distinct persons now.
I think it's important when we teach children to AI we can go to eggs and we can go to water water. There's all sorts of different explanations that may be helpful but listen.
Your kids need to be taught the Trinity. Whether you are. They understand and if you don't understand it, guess what there.
I can understand it now, and when they grow up so it's okay to have ministry in your faith. It's okay to go I don't get it, but it's true. I think it's good to have ministry to I think some as we try to use natural illustrations to describe supernatural things were doing a disservice because were trying to make it fit within the box of our understanding. But God is so beyond our understanding and that's what makes him magnificent.
That's what makes them incredibly to serve a God. It's a lot bigger than our natural you know understanding of the world is and when you're Talking to your kids. You can use other illustrations that are trying to unlock the Trinity's. For example, you know, son. I don't always understand electricity but I know when I flip the switch the lights, I don't always understand you know our combustion engines, but I know and I turned the key, the car works so you can say just like that. There's a lot of things about truth and God. We don't understand, but I know this and you can underscore that. Thank you, Skip and Nate. We hope this conversation with get the Nate increase doing your thing.
Now we'd like to tell you how you can help keep these difficult messages coming to zoom in others, you can see failing relationship with Christ. Just visit connexus.com/donate to give now connect with.com/donate or you can call 819 to 119 to 18. Thank you for connecting more people to and just to remind tune in to watch connect with Skip Heitzig to Camille Sanchez on Saturdays at 4:30 PM on catch it on TBN on Sundays at 5:30 AM Eastern. Check your local listings.
Tune in tomorrow Skip Heitzig six years of the holy Trinity is so Skip Heitzig visitation of connection communications, never changing truth ever-changing time