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One Plus One Plus One Equals One? - Part B

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig
The Truth Network Radio
January 1, 2021 2:00 am

One Plus One Plus One Equals One? - Part B

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig

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January 1, 2021 2:00 am

The Bible openly teaches the plurality within the Godhead—three persons who are distinct from one another yet perfectly one in essence. In the message "One Plus One Plus One Equals One?" Skip explains how the Trinity affects you personally.

This teaching is from the series 20/20: Seeing Truth Clearly.

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Jesus speaking. I will pray the Father and He will give you another what?

What is it called? Helper. Listen, don't you agree? We need all the help we can get to live the Christian life. Good news, He's going to send a Helper, another Helper. The Holy Trinity is active in your everyday life. But before we begin, we want to let you know about a resource that will transform your spiritual life as you see God for who He really is. Does God exist? And if He does, is it possible to know Him? Your answer to those two questions shapes how you see the world.

Skip Heitzig once wrestled with those very questions himself. You know, I've been teaching the Bible for over three decades. Before I became a Christian, and when I was new to the faith, I studied science as a Christian.

I studied science and philosophy alongside the Bible. As I studied, I grew confident that God does exist, and yes, we can know Him. In Biography of God, the brand new book by Skip Heitzig, you'll learn to remove the limits you may have placed on your idea of who God is. Everything changes when you acknowledge and believe that God is who He says He is. Biography of God is our way to thank you when you give $35 or more today to help expand this Bible teaching outreach to more people.

Request your copy when you give online securely at connectwithskip.com slash offer or call 800-922-1888. Okay, we're in John Chapter 14 as we get into our study with Skip Heitzig. You remember the story of Ananias and Sapphira?

They took some land, sold it, pretended to give it all to the work of the Lord, kept back part for 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, for you haven't lied to men, you lied to God.

You see how we put that? You lied to the Holy Spirit, and when you did, you lied to God. John chapter 14 said, when the Holy Spirit comes, He will guide you into all truth. Well, don't you have to know all truth to guide somebody else into all truth? He will guide you into all truth, and He will tell you things to come. Well, you have to know things to come.

You have to know the future to be able to guide people and tell them things to come. So He's omniscient. He's also seen as omni present. Psalm 139, David said, where can I go from your spirit?

Where can I flee from your presence? He's also seen as omnipotent, all powerful. He was there at the creation.

The Bible says the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And you might say, well, that's sort of a nebulous reference that He was involved in creation. Well, then you should read Job 33, where Job the patriarch said, the Spirit of God is the Holy Spirit.

The Spirit of God has made me. So that's pretty clear, right? He's assigning His existence in creation as a work of the Spirit of God.

Something else. You should know that the Trinity is at least hinted at in the very first verse of the Bible. Genesis 1, 1.

And in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The word for God is Elohim in Hebrew. Elohim. Whenever you see an im or hear an im, I am, that's a masculine plural in the Hebrew. Masculine plural. So if you want to say God, it's El or Elah, it's a very generic term for God. You want to make that plural, it's Elohim, like gods. But, though it is a plural noun, it is singular in meaning. So all you have to do is take Genesis 1 and keep reading, keep reading, keep reading, down to verse 26 of Genesis 1, where it says, then Elohim said, God said, let us make man in our image.

You start thinking, who's He talking to? Let us make man in our image. According to our likeness, next verse, so God created man in His image. Singular. Plural, singular. It is a plural noun, singular in meaning. When God said, let us make man, He's not talking to angels.

They had nothing to do with creation. It's inner Trinitarian communication. It's the Father and the Son and the Spirit talking together.

Let us make man in our image, so God created man in His image. Plural noun, singular in meaning. So, the text shows these three are a reality and they share in divinity. Number three, the third observation or discovery is these three pose a difficulty. They pose a difficulty, meaning it's hard, we can talk about it all day long, still hard to understand it.

I'll admit that. I'm really glad that the text shows the difficulty the disciples have in understanding the words of Jesus. Did you notice this? Did you notice in verse five, Thomas said to him, now Jesus just said, now where I'm going you know and the way you know. And then Thomas has something to say.

Now you call him doubting Thomas, I call him honest Thomas. He didn't understand what he's talking about. So he says, Lord, we don't know where you're going. So how can we know the way?

How do we know to get there? So maybe all the other disciples are kind of like leaning in and nodding their heads when Jesus was talking like, yeah man this is heavy, this is so good, yeah right on. And Thomas is going, I don't get it. And I'm in a voice that I don't get it.

So he does. And then also down in verse eight, Philip said to him, because Jesus is talking about the Father is in the Son and the Son is in the Father. Philip said, Lord, just show us the Father.

And it is sufficient for us. And Jesus said, have I been with you long enough, Philip? You don't know who I am.

If you've seen me, you've seen the Father. But what comforts me is that even Jesus' closest followers are going, yeah, no, I don't really understand what you're saying. And even down in verse 22, we didn't read that far, but it says, Judas, not as scary as said to him, Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself to us and not to the world? So you have in this passage three disciples not quite understanding the words of Christ. They're having a difficult time with what he is saying. So if these disciples didn't even know where Jesus was going, how could they understand we're dealing with one being shared by three co-equal, co-eternal persons? That's way above their pay grade at that time.

They would come to believe that, but they're just kind of going, I don't get it. I've always loved the story of a man who was in solitary confinement years ago in a prison when prison cells were completely dark and it was pitch black, not a bit of light in this place of confinement. The only thing this prisoner had was a marble to throw up against the wall to keep him from going nuts. So his routine was to take the marble and throw it up against the wall and it would bounce ricochet on another wall, hit the floor, roll around. He'd listen to it and he would search for it with his hand. He'd pick it up. And he did it again and again and again, day after day, month after month.

One day he decided to change things up. He said, I'm going to throw it up in the air in the darkness and try to catch it. So he threw the marble up, cupped his hands, he heard nothing. Not only did he not catch it in his hands, he didn't hear it hit the floor. He heard nothing at all.

He threw it up and it was silent. So he started thinking about this and trying to figure it out and struggled with it and lost sleep over it. It drove him nuts and he died in prison. When the guards came in to take his body out to bury him, they brought their lanterns in and one of the guards looked up because he noticed a bright little reflection out of the corner of his eye. He noticed a marble in a spider web at the top of the cell and he said, look at that. Of all the crazy things, how on earth did that spider manage to get that marble all the way up there? Now he's trying to figure it out and he's thinking, I'm going to go crazy trying to figure this out. Have you noticed that all of us have marbles when it comes to the things of Scripture?

All of us. Why would God allow this? Well, why did this happen? Listen, the Trinity is the greatest theological marble there is. R.T. Kendall said, the Trinity is the most difficult subject in Christian theology and by the end of the day, we may feel like we are still out at sea. Augustine, Saint Augustine he is often called, a church leader in Egypt years ago, was walking on the beach trying to figure out the Trinity, trying to figure out a way to articulate it so he could tell other people the meaning of the triune nature of God.

He was having a difficult time. And when he was on the beach walking, contemplating this, he noticed a little boy digging a hole on the beach, a sizable hole, and taking a little vessel, a little container to the ocean, putting water in it, going over and dumping it in the hole, going back to the ocean, more water, dumping it in the hole. So finally, Augustine walked over to him and said, young man, what are you doing? And the little boy boldly said, I'm going to take the ocean and put it in this hole.

Augustine walked away relieved and smiling, saying, ah, that's what I've been trying to do with this. I am trying to take the infinite vast ocean of God's nature and stick it into the little hole in my brain. And that's impossible. And this is why, though many Americans will identify themselves as being Christian, far less will say they believe in the Trinity, because they don't understand it.

Can I tell you something that I think will comfort you? God understands it. It's not beyond his understanding. We can't figure it out. It's a mystery to us, but not to God.

I just want to tell you, don't lose sleep if that marble doesn't come down. Don't lose sleep if you can't unravel the mystery of the Trinity. Throughout history, people have struggled with it. Throughout history, people have argued over it.

Throughout history, people have divided over it. And sadly, throughout history, people have denied it, even though it is plainly taught in Scripture. Back in the second century, there was monarchianism.

Then there was Arius of Alexandria in the Patristic period. During the period of the Reformation, there was something known as Sassinianism, all denying the Trinity. And to this day, every major cult will deny one God with three persons. Deny the Trinity.

Not just cults. Muslims, as I mentioned, also deny the Trinity. They say the Trinity is not only illogical, it is the major sin.

The major sin. It is what really makes somebody, in their words, an infidel. According to the Qur'an, God is merciful to adulterers and liars, but not Trinitarians. Now I'm quoting from their book, the Qur'an, Sura, chapter 5, concerning Trinitarians, those who believe in three and one because they knew Christians did, God will forbid him the garden, that is paradise, and his abode shall be hellfire. So you believe like we do, you are an infidel.

But still hard for us. I mean, how can three be one? How does that work?

How is that even possible? I mean, isn't the Bible all about one God? Weren't the Jews fiercely monotheistic?

Weren't they placed in an environment of polytheist belief with the pagan nations all around them? And isn't there a great statement of faith found in Scripture, Deuteronomy chapter 6, called the Shema? In Deuteronomy 6, 4, Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one.

Pious Jews say it every day, Shema Yisrael Adonai Eloheinu Adonai Echad. One. Echad. One. But that word, one, echad, never means one in isolation or stark singularity. It means one in unity. According to the Bible, you can have a multiplicity that is a unity. For example, Israel in Scripture is called one people, echad.

You have a multiple, multiplied group of people with many different individuals, but it's one nation. Then the tabernacle, though it had different implements, in chapter 26 of Exodus, God said you will make 50 clasps of gold and couple the curtains together with the clasps so that it may be one tabernacle. Echad. I did a wedding recently where I was reminded of this because we brought up the Scripture. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined into his wife and the two shall become what? One flesh. One flesh.

Echad. The two shall become one flesh. Now that doesn't mean that they morph into a single human. Although I have noticed as couples get older, sometimes they start looking like each other.

I don't know what's up with that. It means unity in plurality. It's one couple, one family, one unit. So these three are a reality. They do share in divinity. They're all God. They're all called God. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

But they do pose a difficulty. But let's get beyond that because I mentioned at the beginning my aim is to have us enjoy the trinity. So let me give you the fourth discovery about the triune God. And that is that these three, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, provide security. All three play a strategic role in the life of the believer.

There's many texts, but I'll just show you a little sampling of it here. Verse 16, Jesus speaking, I will pray the Father and He will give you another what? What is it called? Helper. Listen, don't you agree? We need all the help we can get to live the Christian life. Good news. He's going to send a helper, another helper.

Jesus helped them. He was going away, but I'm going to send you another helper. That He may abide with you or live with you, stay 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. Then in verse 13, Jesus said, whatever you ask in My name that I will do that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

That should bring you comfort. Jesus promises your prayers will be answered. It may not be the answer you like, but He will answer all of them. Down in verse 23, speaking of the Father now and the Son, Himself and the Father, He says, we will come to Him and make our abode with Him.

So here's what I'm driving at. All three, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, take an active role in the believer's salvation and sanctification. The Holy Spirit comes with us. So that's why, you know, we can say, yeah, I asked Jesus into my heart. That's sort of how we put, we came to Christ. I came to salvation.

I asked Jesus in my heart. But guess what? Jesus will come in your heart, but He's going to bring people with Him, persons with Him. The Father's coming along and the Holy Spirit. It's a package deal. You get all three.

That gives us security. The Father chose you, the Son redeemed you, and the Holy Spirit convicts you and purifies you. That's seen in one verse, by the way, of Scripture. 1 Peter 1, verse 2. Peter writes, God the Father knew you and chose you long ago, and His Spirit has made you holy. As a result, you have obeyed Him and you have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ. All three working together in your life. I suppose if you want to put it in fishing terms for those guys who like to go fishing, the Father sent the Son to go fishing.

Jesus baited the hook and caught you, and then once He caught you, He handed you off to the Holy Spirit to clean you up. That provides security. Finally, I'm going to close with this, another discovery of the Triune God, and that is these three, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, promote unity. They promote unity.

To me, I think this is one of the strongest points to be made. You notice in verse 16, I will pray the Father and He will give you another Helper. Now He's referring to the Holy Spirit. He's going to give you the Holy Spirit. In verse 26, but the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, He will teach you all things and bring into your remembrance all the things that I sent you. I never get the feeling as I read through this, I get the idea that Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are all actively performing their roles without any hint of rebuff toward the other two in the Triune nature of God.

So, for example, Father sends the Holy Spirit. You never hear the Holy Spirit going, nah, I don't want to do that right now. I'm not into helping that dude. Forget it. I'm a person too. I've got my own will.

None of that. There's always this perfect cooperation together, all the way from Genesis 1.26, let us make man in our image, so God did make man in His image, to each member cooperating together. So here's my point. The Triune nature of God becomes for us a template of how to get along with each other. How to cooperate together. In fact, did not Jesus even pray that our unity would be like the unity between the Father and the Son? Lord, I pray, Father, I pray that they may be one as we are one. Just like we share a unity and love and respect and cooperation together, my prayer is that my followers will do the same. So that it might be said, God's purpose in creating people was to expand upon what the Trinity already enjoyed.

To take this love and unity and cooperation out and expand it into what He calls His church. I love what Tim Keller said. When I quote Tim Keller here, I'm not quoting our mayor, Tim Keller.

I don't think he would have said this. But Tim Keller, the East Coast New York City pastor said, if this world was made by a Triune God, then relationships of love are what life is really all about. What a powerful statement. If this world was made by a Triune God, then relationships of love are what life is really all about. Think of it this way. The ultimate reason for families to stay together, the ultimate reason for a couple to stay together is because of the Trinity. Not because we signed a legal document.

It's not even because of the kids. The reason we're going to stay together is we both follow a triune natured God. And they exhibit unity and love for each other. And the reason also that church splits are sinful and wrong is far more than just because it hurts families in the church. It hurts the nature of God. It hurts the heart of God. The reason we should forgive each other and mend relationships is because we have modeled for us a relational God. So we rightly sing the doxology.

So maybe not a great name for a song, doxology, but it's a terrific song. You know it. Praise God from whom all blessings flow. Praise Him all creatures here below. Praise Him above you, heavenly hosts. Praise Father, Son, and not the whole East Coast, but Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

That wraps up Skip Heiseck's message from the series 2020. Now, here's Skip to tell you how you can help keep these messages coming your way as you help connect others to Scripture. You know, there are some things in the Bible that we just won't understand on this side of eternity, like the Trinity. But there's a lot we can know, like God's love and salvation through Jesus Christ. And we want to reach many more people with that love and that message of the gospel. But did you know that you can get in on that work?

That's right. Your generous support helps bring these teachings that you love to more places so more lives can be impacted for eternity. Here's how you can give a gift today.

As always, thank you for your partnership. Did you know there's an exciting biblical resource available right at your fingertips through your mobile device? Skip has several Bible reading plans available in the YouVersion Bible app. Simply download the app and search Skip Heiseck. Now, before we go, tune in to watch Connect with Skip Heiseck on the Hillsong Channel on Saturdays at 4 30 p.m. Mountain or catch it on TVN on Sundays at 5 30 a.m. Eastern.

Check your local listings. Join us next week as Skip Heiseck begins a series called But God and looks at the message God has for you through the most monumental event in history. Make a connection, make a connection at the foot of the cross. Cast all burdens on His word. Make a connection, a connection. Connect with Skip Heiseck is a presentation of Connection Communications, connecting you to God's never changing truth in ever changing times.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-09 01:52:29 / 2024-01-09 02:01:59 / 10

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