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Why is the Doctrine of the Trinity a Hill Worth Dying On?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
February 22, 2024 4:30 pm

Why is the Doctrine of the Trinity a Hill Worth Dying On?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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February 22, 2024 4:30 pm

Episode 1430 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

Show Notes

 CoreChristianity.com

    1. Can I be a pastor and care for the health needs of my future spouse?   2. Does God truly forget my sins when I confess them?   3. Is the doctrine of the Trinity a hill worth dying on?   4. How can I explain to a new believer that Jesus is the only way?       Today’s Offer: Why Would Anyone Get Married?   Want to partner with us in our work here at Core Christianity? Consider becoming a member of the Inner Core.   View our latest special offers here or call 1-833-THE-CORE (833-843-2673) to request them by phone.

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Why is the doctrine of the Trinity a hill worth dying on? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of Core Christianity. Well, hi, it's Bill Meyer, along with Pastor Adriel Sanchez, and this is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day. Here's our phone number, and if you get our voicemail, feel free to leave a voicemail question. It's 833-THECORE.

That's 1-833-843-2673. Now you can always post your question on one of our social media sites, and you can email us anytime at questionsatcorechristianity.com. First up today, let's go to Artin calling from California. Artin, what's your question for Adriel?

Hi, my name is Artin, and I had a question. I'm a born-again believer who got saved in 2019, and I'm pursuing the pastorate. I want to be a pastor, and I'm dating a young, godly, fruit-bearing believer, but my girlfriend is chronically ill and homebound, and as someone who wants to pursue the ministry, I just want to make sure that my girlfriend can be a suitable helper for me. She's not my wife yet, so I'm not yolks to her in marriage. I just want to make sure that, is this a wise thing that I'm doing? She won't be able to do much around the house.

She'll be primarily bedridden majority of the day. I just want to see from a pastor, do you think it's wise? We're both praying, if this is not in the Lord's will, that we end this relationship. Do you think it's wise for me to be dating someone chronically ill and homebound, as someone who wants to pursue seminary and to become a pastor?

Do you think this can be useful or something that I should consider maybe putting aside? Thank you. Brother, God bless you, and I don't know that that necessarily rules out ministry. There have been godly pastors who have cared for family members, spouses, children, who needed a lot of help, a lot of care. I think of Charles Spurgeon, for example, the great Baptist preacher.

His wife spent much of her life, I mean after a kind of a botched surgery, just really not able to care for herself. But your first priority as a pastor is your family, and so that's what you have to consider in terms of caring for an individual and being able to devote the time that's needed for that. And this is, you know, this is a part of the qualifications that Paul gets at in 1 Timothy chapter 3.

It's wonderful that you have that desire, that aspiration, you know, the sense of call to the ministry. Paul says, if anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. Therefore, an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well with all dignity, keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God's church?

He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders so that he may not fall into disgrace, into the snare of the devil. James says in James chapter 3, let not many of you become teachers, my brothers, knowing that we will receive a stricter judgment.

So there is this, there's a weightiness, as you know, Artin, there's a weightiness attached to this call. We are held to a higher standard. We're accountable to the Lord for the things that we teach. And so there's a warning here. And then even in 1 Timothy 3, the snare of the devil is very real and very present.

And so I think we approach this question with a sober mind. I think where you can also get a lot of help and where you should be getting a lot of help and wisdom is from the local church, the people who are around you, the people who know you best, the people who are hopefully affirming you and encouraging you in this sense of call to the ministry. It's not that we, you know, we don't call ourselves to the pastorate. The internal call, that internal feeling that we have, you know, I'm desiring this is a part of it, but really it's the church that calls us to serve in this capacity. And so they need to be affirming that call, seeing that.

And so as they know you and hopefully this young woman that you're dating, your girlfriend, they should be able to speak into this situation as well. And like I said, it's not that this rules out the call to the ministry and the pursuit of the pastorate, but I think you also, as much as is possible, want to go into it. Both of you want to go into it, counting the cost, recognizing, you know, that there are particular challenges associated with ministry, particular needs. But again, for you to realize, my primary, just as a man, as a Christian man, my primary calling is to my family to make sure that I'm caring for them.

And it sounds like in this situation, I mean, it's a little bit more complex. And so for you also to say, okay, I'm on board with that. I'm willing to do what it takes to love her as Jesus loves his church. And that doesn't have to be something that hinders your ministry.

I think that could be something that even enhances it and gives you an ability to speak into these issues and difficulties with personal experience as well. So this is something to continue to pray about, and again, to seek the counsel and the wisdom of your local church. God bless you, brother, and thank you for reaching out.

Thanks, Artin. We appreciate you, and we pray that you will continue down that path and get the right counsel that Adriel talked about from your local church. 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. You can leave us a voicemail anytime at 833-THE-CORE.

That's 1-833-843-2673. You can also email us at questions-at-core-christianity.com. This question came in from Chris in Tennessee, and he says, when we confess our sins, does God really forget our sins? In other words, keep no record of wrong. Well, that's precisely what love does, isn't it? That's what Paul says in 1 Corinthians chapter 13 when he's describing love. Yeah, and you know, the language in Scripture that we find about where, you know, it talks about God forgetting our sins, you see that especially in the promise of the new covenant. Jeremiah 31 quoted in Hebrews chapter 8, God says, I'm going to be merciful to you. I'm going to forget your sins. Now, does that mean that God, you know, has amnesia or something like that?

No, no. I mean, it's a way of speaking to communicate that God is not going to repay us according to what we deserve through his son, Jesus Christ, and it really is a wonderful promise. Again, speaking of God's forgiveness, I think about what the prophet Micah said in Micah chapter 7 verse 18. Who is a God like you? Pardoning iniquity and passing over transgression for the remnant of his inheritance. He does not retain his anger forever because he delights in steadfast love. He will again have compassion on us. He will tread our iniquities underfoot. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.

Why isn't that beautiful? Just the imagery there. You know, so there's a lot of imagery that's painted for us of how God deals with our sins. He forgets about them. He casts them into the depths of the sea. No more to be found, no more to be searched for, and how does God do that?

This is so important, right? Because the problem of sin and guilt, I mean, that's a real problem that humanity is faced with, and so often in our therapeutic society, the way in which people try to deal with the problem of sin is just to justify themselves, to make excuses for why we did this or that thing so that we can feel better about it. But there is a God in heaven who knows all of our sins and is able to cast them into the depths of the sea. When we go to him, confessing our sins, and it wasn't free, I mean, it's free for us, but it came at a great cost. God sent his son into the world, Jesus, and Jesus Christ bore the penalty for our sins. He was crucified on the cross so that we, coming to him by faith, might be forgiven, so that the judgment that we deserved, we deserved to be thrown into the sea, to sink there to the bottom.

No, God the Son went down the sun, went down into the depths of the grave with our sins, and he left him there, and he rose again from the dead, and grants us by faith eternal life. And so, you know, this question that you're asking, I don't know if it's because, you know, you're struggling with that, you know, with that one, you know, wondering, is God holding this against me? If you are in Christ trusting in him, if you've confessed your sins, know that God has blotted them out. He's obliterated them. He's obliterated them with the blood of Jesus Christ, which is far, far more powerful than any of your sins. And may the Lord comfort you and encourage you with that, and set you free to honor him with your life.

Great explanation. Thank you for that, Adriel. You're listening to core Christianity. We'd love to hear from you if you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life. Again, you can call us 24 hours a day.

Leave your voicemail at 833-THE-CORE. We actually had two voicemails come in on a related topic, Adriel, and these have to do with the Trinity. I really don't have a question, but I do have a disagreement with his theology on the Trinity. Nowhere in the King James Bible does it state God being a Trinity. Deuteronomy 6 and 4 God tells you exactly who he is.

Hear ye, O Israel, the Lord our God is one. Jesus even stated in the New Testament that me and my Father are one. Jesus even says, when you've seen me, you've seen the Father. My question is, if you don't believe in the Trinity, can you still make it to heaven? I have two questions there about the importance of this doctrine, and let me just say that the doctrine of the Trinity, rejected by Jehovah's Witnesses, rejected by Mormons, rejected by Unitarians, rejected by so many throughout the history of the Church, is one of those doctrines that if you reject this, we're not talking about some minor issue here, we're talking about something that gets to the very heart of the Christian faith, because we're talking about how God has revealed himself in his Word. And so for someone who knowingly rejects the doctrine of the Trinity, though that person cannot be saved, it would be saved.

It would be like rejecting the Gospel, because at the heart of the Gospel is who God is and what he's done for us. God the Son, assuming humanity so that we might be redeemed. God didn't save us through a creature or an angel or just another mere human being, it was the God-man, infinite in glory and power, of the same substance with the Father. That's how the Church spoke, the eternal Word of the Father, of the same substance, consubstantial with the Father, equal in power and in glory. That was the one who made atonement for our sins. And that's why his redemption is of infinite value.

That's why we can hope in God. And so this question gets to the very heart of the Christian faith, of who God is, but also at the very heart of the Gospel, our redemption and how it was accomplished. And so to the second caller there, you must believe this doctrine. And let me encourage you by saying, the first person who calls it, I just don't see that in the Bible, the word Trinity.

Well, it's the substance of the doctrine that matters. It's does the Bible teach that there is one God, the eternal Lord, in three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit? And the answer to that is yes, the Scriptures do in fact teach that. It's interesting that you brought up Deuteronomy chapter 6 verse 4 and following the Shema, that great confession of faith that the Hebrews had.

Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Well, let me just say, here's a principle of Bible interpretation that you want to know. And it's that we let Scripture interpret Scripture. Scripture is the only infallible interpreter of Scripture, which is to say that man's interpretations can err, but when you have the word of God providing interpretation on itself, when it's giving us clarification about a particular passage, we can take that to the bank.

We can say this is the divine, apostolic, authoritative interpretation. And when it comes to Deuteronomy chapter 6, what's so interesting is we have something like that in the New Testament. In 1 Corinthians chapter 8, we have the apostle Paul referencing, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, referencing that great Shema, that great confession, Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you know what he does?

It's really shocking, and a lot of people miss this. Paul, the apostle under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, inserts Jesus into that confession of Deuteronomy chapter 6. He says, this is 1 Corinthians chapter 8 verse 6, Yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord. Hear the echo there, Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. For us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist. And this is why Paul, in places like Romans chapter 9 verse 5, referred to Jesus as our great God and Savior. The substance of the doctrine of the Trinity is all over the pages of the Bible, and especially the New Testament. We're baptizing in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

This is God himself. And so it seemed to me, based on at least that first question that took issue with my belief in the doctrine of the Trinity, what Christians have have affirmed since the very beginning, it seemed like you were trying to say or suggest that Jesus and the Father were the same person. You know, Jesus' comment about, you know, I and the Father are one.

If you've seen me, you've seen the Father. But that's not the proper way of interpreting those verses. That's actually an ancient heresy, sometimes referred to as modalism, this idea that the one God revealed himself in these different ways, with these different modes of appearing. You know, the Father in the Old Testament, then he came as Jesus.

He's no different or distinct from the Father. He came as Jesus, and then the Holy Spirit. So the issue there is they're not distinguishing between the persons of the Holy Trinity. And yet you run into all sorts of problems in the New Testament, because who is Jesus praying to when he's praying to the Father? When he says, into your hands I commit my spirit, he's not talking to himself there. He's talking to the Father, God the Father, the first person of the Holy Trinity. And so the grace of God comes to us from the Father through the Son and in the Holy Spirit.

The doctrine of the Trinity is so important, you know, it's how God has revealed himself in Scripture, but it's also so important for our salvation, because it is the triune God who works in concert for our redemption, the Father sending the Son into the world to bear our sins, the Holy Spirit applying that redemption to us by faith, now in real time. And so to both of these individuals, to both of these callers, I would just appeal to you, and to anyone listening right now who rejects this doctrine, I would appeal to you to search the Scriptures, to humble yourself to repent truly, and to embrace what the Scriptures teach on this very point, because it is crucial and it strikes at the vitals of a true religion. And so thank you for reaching out to us and hope that you'll hear what I have to say.

Great explanation, thanks for that, Adriel. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. We'd love to hear from you if you have questions about doctrine or theology. You can email us anytime at questionsatcorechristianity.com.

So here's an interesting question. How should we think about marriage in the year 2024? Seems like our culture views marriage completely differently than God views it, and because of that we've created an excellent resource for you on that topic. Yeah, the resource is called—I was just searching for it right here in my office, and I found it.

It was on the floor next to me. Why would anyone get married? And especially really with the attack that we've seen in the last several decades on marriage, on family, on the relationship between man and woman. There's so much confusion about what marriage is and the purpose for marriage. That's what this resource seeks to get at, and this is where we're answering those questions here in this resource. It's not too long. It's about 60, 70 pages, but there's a lot of great information here.

I hope that you'll get it. Again, the resource is called Why Would Anyone Get Married? It's for both married people and unmarried people. Maybe you have a young adult son or daughter who's considering marriage, getting engaged, and you'd like to pass this along to them. Again, it's a great free resource.

We'd like to make that available to you. Just go to corechristianity.com forward slash offers and look for Why Would Anyone Get Married? Well, we do receive voicemails here at Core Christianity, and here's one that came in from one of our listeners named Karen. My question is, how do I explain to someone who is a new Christian that people have to come to God through Jesus? They ask me, what about people who never have heard about Jesus, or what about people who are Hindu or just about whatever?

I have a really hard time explaining it. Great question, and certainly the kind of question that I think many people ask, and especially a newer believer, I'm grateful that you have an opportunity to speak with them. There are a couple of questions there. One that you asked is, well, what about the people that have never heard of Jesus? We're all accountable to what we know, we're held accountable for what we know, and actually the Apostle Paul in Romans chapter 1 says that we know more than we often let on, that the whole world, even people who haven't heard the Gospel, has a sense of God, a sense of the divine. Just through the created order, we look around us, we know there's something greater than us out there. The problem is, instead of instead of seeking the true God and worshiping Him, we suppress that knowledge, that sense that we have.

Instead of digging into it, we turn away from it, and we worship things, money, the creature rather than the creator. That's Paul's point. On the day of judgment, when we stand before the Lord, God is perfectly just and fair, and so sometimes people are concerned, what about this person or that person? God knows more than we know, He sees more than we see, and so nobody is going to dispute with God's verdict on that last day.

Everyone is going to be held justly accountable. And with regard to the question of why Jesus, well, I would say that the answer there is simple. It's because it's only through Jesus that a perfect atonement was supplied for our sins. You're not going to find that in another world religion. Too often people say all religions are just basically the same, you know, it's just kind of, you know, the ten commandments or love God and love your neighbor.

They are all basically saying that. And to an extent, that's true, you do have these moral principles that you find in these various world religions, in the call to love God, the call to love one another, but that's not all that Christianity offers. And sadly, that's what so many of these religions offer, you know, and that's it, you know, this essentially moral renovation law and rules to follow.

What do you do when you don't keep those rules, though? When you break God's law, when you've sinned. And the Bible teaches that each and every one of us have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. And so having those rules is, and they're good because, you know, law and justice and righteousness, those are good things, and God is certainly for those things.

The problem is you and I are not good, not as good as we should be. Even people who, you know, externally seem to be doing pretty good, and God is looking at our hearts, and there is sin and selfishness. And so we need more than just rules and, you know, moral reformation. We need the gospel. We need the good news of how sinners can have forgiveness and a relationship with God, and that's precisely what Jesus came to bring, that you don't get in any other religion.

You might have, obviously, the concept of forgiveness and whatnot, but in terms of an atonement that was made so that God could justly forgive sinners, you don't have that. And that's why Jesus could say in John chapter 14, verse 6, I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Friend, if you're searching right now, you're looking for God, you're not sure where to go, hear the words of Jesus, hear Him say to you, I am the way, the truth, and the life. Come to Me. Come to Me. Jesus is the way. Hey, God bless. Thank you for listening. We explore the truth of God's word together.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-22 20:03:54 / 2024-02-22 20:13:20 / 9

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