How exactly is God three in one? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of CORE Christianity. Well, hi, this is Bill Meyer, along with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. This is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day. We would love to hear from you. You can also post your question on one of our social media sites, and you can email us anytime.
You can send your question to questionsatcorechristianity.com. First up today, here's a voicemail from one of our listeners named Susan. The question I have today is, is it correct for us to bow to people in authority above us in our local government? This question came to my mind because of the recent death of Queen Elizabeth and how all of her people in her country curtsy or bow to her when they meet her each day. I wondered if that is appropriate for us as a Christian to bow or curtsy to royalty. Thank you.
That's a great question. I think it can be appropriate. It reminds me, Bill, recently with my kids, I watched the I Love Lucy episode where she is visiting the queen or she's in England and she thinks she's going to see the queen. There's this whole episode about her learning how to curtsy.
It's so good. In circumstances, it's just paying proper respect. I guess your question is, is that idolatrous or evil?
No, not necessarily. Of course, it's something that we actually see in Scripture in the ancient Near East with kings in particular. Oftentimes, people would pay this obeisance, it's called, to them, showing respect, bowing or curtsying or something like that. This doesn't need to be an act of worship.
In the New Testament, that word, there were a couple of different words for worship, but one of them, proskuneo, can refer to religious worship like bowing before God, but it can also be something that's used in reference to when you meet someone in a position of authority. I don't think you would need to worry. There's nothing wrong with a Christian. Say you come in contact with the queen of England and you curtsy or something. You don't have to worry about, did I just commit something, do something idolatrous there? Of course, I think, like I said, there's scriptural warrant for this case that I'm making because it's something that you see in the Bible as well as people would interact with the king of Israel in the Old Testament and so forth. Appreciate your question. I just encourage you to check out that I Love Lucy episode where she is in England and meets the queen.
It's pretty funny. Just a follow-up question for you. I was thinking about Daniel in the Old Testament who obviously had great respect for the king that he served under and followed his edicts except when it came to compromising and actually violating the law of God. Yeah. That's where you get the old Daniel fast where Daniel and his buddies choose not to eat any of the king's delicacies.
They're just eating broccoli and vegetables and stuff like that. You're absolutely right, Bill. There are certain respects that we ought to give. Scripture calls us to obey and respect and honor those authorities that are placed over us because they're placed over us by God. Paul makes that very clear in Romans chapter 13. But the ultimate authority is God himself. In situations where we're being called to do something that's against God, the ultimate authority, we submit to God rather than to man. It's important that we understand that but really helpful to bring that in because it's not just like we're supposed to honor whatever they say whenever they say it.
Certainly not and especially if it runs contrary to the word of God. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. We'd love to hear from you if you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life.
Maybe you are stumbling over a particular Bible passage that has always confused you or maybe you're having some kind of struggle in your Christian life, especially as it deals with what's going on in our culture right now. Hey, we would love to hear from you. Here's our phone number 833-THE-CORE. That's 833-843-2673.
Our phone lines will be open for the next 20 minutes or so. Let's go to Rose in Rogers, Arkansas. Rose, what is your question for Adriel? Hi. I read this morning in Hebrews about Melchizedek and I don't understand who that person or that priest is. It says it doesn't have a mother or father or genealogy. Can you explain that? Yeah, I would love to, Rose.
Thank you for giving us a call. Melchizedek is one of the most mysterious characters in all of scripture. We don't read about him very often. He appears in Genesis chapter 14 and then you don't hear about him again until Psalm 110 verse 4 and then you have the interpretation of his identity in the book of Hebrews, Hebrews chapter 7. So it sounds like you're reading through Hebrews in your morning devotions. So if you look at Genesis chapter 14, this is a scene where Abram has just basically gone to war and been given a great victory and after his return from the defeat of these kings, he goes to this place where the king of Sodom went out to meet him. It's called the valley of Shaveh, that is the valley of the king. Then we read in verse 18 of Genesis 14, and Melchizedek, king of Salem, brought out bread and wine. Very interesting, bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High and he blessed him and said, blessed be Abram by God Most High, possessor of heaven and earth, and blessed be God Most High who has delivered your enemies into your hand.
And Abram gave him a tenth of everything and the king of Sodom said to Abram, give me the persons but take the goods for yourself and Abram said to the king of Sodom, I have lifted my hand to the Lord God Most High, possessor of heaven and earth that I should not take a thread or a sandal strap or anything that is yours lest you say I have made Abram rich. And so there's a scene where we're introduced to Melchizedek who seems to come out of nowhere. Now what's interesting is in the book of Genesis, if you're reading through Genesis, important figures typically, you know, there's a genealogy that's given to us.
We get some of their family history, some of their background. You see that earlier in places like Genesis chapter five, but of course here in Genesis 14, you have this priest of the Most High God, but we're not told who his parents are. Now does that mean he didn't actually have parents?
No, I don't think that's the case. I think in Hebrews chapter seven where it talks about him having neither father nor mother, it's not that he didn't actually have parents, this character in Genesis chapter 14. It's that he's presented to us in scripture, in God's revelation, as though he came out of nowhere, out of the blue, as though he had no beginning. And in that sense, he resembles the Son of God, Jesus. And so, you know, there are some people who say, I think Melchizedek is a pre-incarnate apparition of Jesus Christ.
I don't think so. I think he's this priest king there in Genesis 14. We're not told very much about him, but he's a type, if you will, of Jesus, the ultimate prophet, priest, and king, who would come to deliver his people. And the author of the Hebrews is saying, look, Jesus is a priest after the order of Melchizedek. He's not like the Levitical priests of the old covenant.
He has an everlasting priesthood. And of course, there in Hebrews chapter 7, verse 3, it says he is without father or mother or genealogy, the point that I was making, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but resembling the Son of God, he continues a priest forever. See, the author of the Hebrews does say he is the Son of God.
No, he resembles him. He's the type and picture of the Son of God and how he's presented to us in Genesis 14 in scripture. And by the way, this is a great proof text, if you will, for the eternality of the Son of God, the second person of the Holy Trinity.
He didn't have any beginning. He's always been. He's God. Jesus is God.
And so there's your answer. And I pray that that encourages you. And ultimately, it's supposed to give us a clear understanding of who Jesus is as he ministers on our behalf as the great high priest of his people praying for us even now. God bless you, Rose. Great explanation for a very, as you said, mysterious character from scripture. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adrian Sanchez.
Christmas coming up, and we want to tell you about an excellent free resource that will answer a common question that we receive this time of year. Yeah. Every holiday season, we hear the claim from friends and family members or maybe on the History Channel that Christmas is a pagan holiday, that the early church was just trying to appease the pagan culture and it is sort of mingling together pagan festivals together with the celebration of the birth of Christ.
Is that the case? And I know for many believers, the struggle, there's a struggle in their conscience. Well, is it okay for me to have a Christmas tree and to celebrate Christmas? Or does that mean that I'm committing pagan idolatry?
We want to help you with this question. And our new resource, Five Reasons Why Christmas Isn't a Pagan Holiday, will unravel some of the most common objections and misconceptions about the origins of Christmas. It's free over at corechristianity.com. You know, we found there's a lot of misinformation out there on this topic, so this would be actually an excellent resource to maybe send to a Christian friend or relative who tends to be more of a Scrooge this time of year and says, I can't have a Christmas tree. I can't celebrate Christmas because somehow it's ungodly.
Again, it's called Five Reasons Why Christmas Isn't a Pagan Holiday. It's a free download on our website. To get it, head over to corechristianity.com forward slash offers. That's corechristianity.com forward slash offers.
And of course, you can always call us for that resource or any one of our resources and call us with your question about the Bible or the Christian life. Here's the number, 833-THECORE. That's 833-843-2673. Well, you can also call us and leave a voicemail on that same number 24 hours a day.
Here's a voicemail that came in from one of our listeners named Armando. My question is, is God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit? Are they all three in one?
Yeah. So this is a question we said we were going to answer on the broadcast. And Bill, as you were opening up and you said, how is God three in one?
I just thought that is really above my pay grade. We're unraveling the how in terms of how is it that God is what he is. There's language that we use and it is accurate to say that God is three in one in the sense that he's three distinct persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, one in essence, undivided, consubstantial is one of the technical terms that was used and has been used by Christians throughout the history of the church, of the same substance. Jesus is of the same substance as the Father, not of a different or similar substance, but equal in terms of power and glory. And so really this is just the language that the church has used is making sense of God's revelation of himself in scripture. God has spoken to us saying, I am one, hero Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one, Deuteronomy chapter six, verse four. But throughout God's revelation, it's very clear, it's very evident that the Father is God, that the Son is God, that the Holy Spirit is God. In fact, when the apostle Paul quotes Deuteronomy chapter six, hero Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one, he inserts Jesus right at the center of it.
When he's writing to the Corinthians, he says, for us, there is one God, the Father, and one Lord, Jesus Christ. And so as we make sense of scripture, we're letting it shape our understanding of who God is as he reveals himself. And so you do have this Trinitarian language throughout, especially the New Testament.
But I think you even see it in places in the Old Testament. Now in the New Testament, you think about Jesus's command to go and make disciples, baptizing them, the nations in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. We're not baptized in the name of a creature.
Creatures don't give grace. God gives grace. We're baptized in the name of the triune God. He is the source of our life, our salvation. And so it's central to the worship of the church and to those ordinances, the sacraments that God has given to his people. You see this Trinitarian language again throughout the Bible. I think of the benediction that Paul gives to the Corinthians in 2 Corinthians 13 verse 14.
He ends his entire letter by saying, the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Again, here we see the persons of the Holy Trinity brought together, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. One God, three in one in that sense. And sometimes people say, well, is that a contradiction? Well, it's not three persons and one person or three essences and one essence. We're talking about three distinct persons, one in essence, one God. And so that's the language that we use. It's the language, I believe, that's given to us by the scriptures, and we want to let God reveal himself to us. I know for many of us, wrapping our minds around these kinds of things is just, boy, this seems so...
So how do I fully understand this? Well, look, we're talking about the God who is incomprehensible, who as to his essence, we can't even begin to fathom him. We can't know him as he is in and of himself because he's God. We're creatures. We're finite.
He's infinite. And so we cling to the ways he's revealed himself to us, and he's most clearly revealed himself to us in the scriptures. And so let's use the language of the Bible to draw near to God, to know him, and to worship him. Amen. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. If you have been waiting to call in with your question, now is the time.
We've got about ten minutes left of the program. We'd love to hear from you. Any question you might have about doctrine or theology or a particular Bible passage that kind of stumps you, here's the number, 833-THECORE. That's 1-833-843-2673.
We do receive emails as well, and here's our email address if you want to send us a question. It's questions at corechristianity.com. And Adriel, here's a question from one of our listeners named Janet. She says, I've been sick at heart since I said something in bitterness when I heard a verse from Proverbs 12-4. It says that a wife who brings shame to her husband is like rottenness in his bones. I've been having a lot of frustration in my marriage lately, and after I heard this verse, I said, speak for yourself. I had Solomon in mind when I said it, based on his own immorality and hypocrisy. It was directed at him, but immediately I felt horrible and began crying and begging the Lord's forgiveness. But because this verse came from God's word, I really felt like I might have blasphemed the Holy Spirit.
My question is, how did the works of King Solomon make it into the canon of scripture when he fell away from the Lord at the end and committed so much gross immorality? I don't see in scripture that he ever repented like King David did. Well Janet, there are a couple of questions there, but one thing I just want to say to you is, no, you did not blaspheme the Holy Spirit. It sounds to me like you spoke out.
There was an outburst, angry, and this happens. We confess that to the Lord when we sin against another person with our speech, whether it's the words that we say or the manner in which we speak those words. We can go to them and say, man, forgive me, because I shouldn't have spoken to you in that way that was not honoring to the Lord, that was not respectful to you as my husband.
We do that, and this is what we need to do in our relationships is confess those things and experience and receive forgiveness, and I hope that that is something that you do experience in your marriage, that when those things happen that you guys can apologize to each other and come together again and just embrace the love and the grace that Christ has for you. So no, you have not blasphemed the Holy Spirit. The latter part of your question with regard to how the Lord could use Solomon is really an amazing story, because here he is depicted as the wisest man to ever live, but then you get to the end of his life, and this guy who was so wise made so many foolish decisions. His heart was drawn away from the Lord into idolatry by these wives that he took that God had told him not to take.
So there's a lesson here for all of us, really, and that is that wisdom, any of us can begin to make decisions that blind us and cause us to act foolish. I mean, certainly Solomon did, and there's question about, well, did he repent at the end of his life, or did he just totally turn away from the Lord? I believe that he did turn back to the Lord. Some people will appeal to the Book of Ecclesiastes to make that case. But here's, in terms of how is it that God could use him still, God uses sinners.
That's just the reality. And the truth of God's word and the efficacy and power of God's word is not dependent upon the person, the individual who's communicating it. And I praise God for that, because I'm a pastor in a local church, and the efficacy of the word of God in my ministry is not dependent upon how perfectly I preach a sermon, if you will, or even my own personal holiness.
It's dependent upon the Spirit of Almighty God working through the word and the lives of the people who receive it. It's the same for Solomon as well. And so throughout scripture, God has always used people who are sinners.
We're all in that category. Now, that doesn't make an excuse for our sin. Certainly no excuse for Solomon's sin, but the reality is the word of God stands, and God is able to use it in the lives of his people even when it's proclaimed, even when the wisdom is given by someone like Solomon. And certainly, if we look at his life as he continued, there are many things, I think, lessons for us to take away to learn from as we seek to walk in wisdom and honor the Lord as well. Janet, may the Lord bless you. May he bless your marriage. May he fill you with a sense of his love and forgiveness as you continue to draw near to him.
Well said. Thanks, Adriel. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. By the way, we're going to be recording a second episode of the Core after this live episode ends here in just a few minutes, so if you weren't able to get in with your question, you still have about 35 minutes to call us, and we will record your question for use in a later broadcast.
Right now, though, let's go to Joel calling in from Minnesota. Joel, what's your question for Adriel? Hi, Pastor Adriel. My question is, you know how Jesus gives the Great Commission to baptize in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit? How can the disciples then go and baptize in the name of Jesus Christ rather than in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit?
Thank you. Excellent question. Yeah, you do have there in Matthew 28, the Great Commission baptized in the name of the Father, of the Son, of the Holy Spirit, and then throughout the Book of Acts, often when baptisms are performed, we read that they were done in the name of Jesus.
So why the discrepancy there? Now, I'm actually of the opinion that these baptisms that were being performed in the Book of Acts were Trinitarian baptisms, but the reason Luke refers to them as baptisms in the name of Jesus is to distinguish them from John's baptism in particular. Remember, many of the people had received the baptism of John, that is, the wilderness preacher who was out paving the way for Jesus.
We read, for example, in Acts 19, verse 1, it happened that while Apollos was at Corinth, that Paul passed through the inland country and came to Ephesus, and there he found some disciples. He said to them, did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed? And they said, no, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit. And he said, into what then were you baptized? They said, into John's baptism. And Paul said, John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, Jesus. On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. There it is again. And when Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking with tongues and prophesying there were about 12 men in all.
But you see the distinguishing factor there. Of course, we have here, in the very early stages of redemptive history, initial converts, many of them being Jewish. And the question is, are you going to follow Jesus, the Jewish Messiah?
He's the one who's coming. You think about Peter's sermon on the day of Pentecost, saying, you guys crucified him, you killed him. He commands you now to repent, to turn to him, to be baptized, to receive the forgiveness of sins.
And so that's why I think you have that. I don't think that there's a contradiction. I think that the focus is now coming out of the old covenant, focusing on Christ as the true Messiah and distinguishing from the baptism of John that many people had received. You have that language given to us by Luke of being baptized in the name of Jesus. But I don't think it was that they forgot that they were supposed to baptize in the name of the Holy Trinity, as Jesus had commanded them there in Matthew chapter 28. It's something that's used there by Luke to help clarify and distinguish from the baptism of John. And so, Joel, appreciate that question, and may the Lord bless you. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez.
We have time for one more voicemail. This one comes in from one of our listeners named Nathan. My question is, am I damned because I abandoned my faith some years ago? I knew I made a mistake, you know, but I, you know, what's done is done, you know. So I did abandon my faith. I became an atheist and all that. And then I, if it's possible, then I repented.
So that verse in Hebrews really haunts me to this day. Take care. Goodbye.
Yeah. Brother, if you go to the Lord, confessing your sin, sincerely longing for his grace, he does not abandon you or shut the door in your face. So long as there is breath in your lungs and you are looking to the Lord by faith, you can receive his mercy and his forgiveness. Hebrews warns against apostates who turn away and reject the gospel, never to return, never to come back. They've totally trampled Jesus Christ underfoot. It sounds to me like that's not what you're doing, but that you're coming to him saying, have mercy upon me, a sinner. And when we come to Christ saying, have mercy upon me, a sinner, he forgives us and raises us up to follow him. And so may God give you the grace to follow him with all your heart. God bless. Thanks for listening to Core Christianity. To request your copy of today's special offer, visit us at corechristianity.com and click on offers in the menu bar or call us at 1-833-843-2673. That's 833-The-Core. When you contact us, please let us know how you've been encouraged by this program and be sure to join us next time as we explore the truth of God's word together.
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