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The Trinity

In Touch / Charles Stanley
The Truth Network Radio
March 8, 2023 12:00 am

The Trinity

In Touch / Charles Stanley

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March 8, 2023 12:00 am

Dr. Stanley examines the important connection between the Trinity and the hope of our salvation.

In Touch
Charles Stanley
In Touch
Charles Stanley
In Touch
Charles Stanley

Welcome to the In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley for Wednesday, March 8th. There is one God. The Bible also says there are three persons within the Godhead. So let's listen closely to this crucial aspect of the character of God. Now when you begin to study the Trinity, the first thing you discover in the Bible is that the word Trinity is not in there. And so you say, well, where in the world do we get the idea that we believe in the Trinity?

And we hear people say all kinds of things. Well, it doesn't matter about this, and it doesn't matter about that, and it doesn't matter about the other. But it's interesting to me, when you start reading this Bible, it suddenly begins to matter about all of those things. Because there isn't anything just dropped into the Scripture. It is all here for a purpose. Now we who believe in the Trinity have a reason for believing that.

And let me say this to you. The understanding of the Trinity, it has great limitations in every single philosopher who is a Christian, every single theologian. You can read all the theology books you want to read and all the commentaries you want to read. All of them exhaust all of their human thinking.

And I discovered, and I came to the conclusion after I'd read, I think hundreds of pages, I came to the conclusion. They don't know any more about that than I do. Because they were all saying at the end, in spite of all the verbosis that they had all the hundreds of pages of description, they all ended up saying, we don't understand it. There's some things God reveals with great limitations, and the Trinity is the greatest mystery in the Word of God. There is no philosopher who can explain it. And there is no theologian who can analyze it and say, well, it's very simple, A, B, C, D, E, and there you have the Trinity.

Because there's some things the Bible says that God has reserved for himself. And you see, if man could analyze, if man could dissect God and come up with a human explanation of the Trinity, he would almost be omniscient. Because he would understand as God understands and as no human being in all the earth understands the relationship of the Father, the Son, and the Spirit. Now, when people say, I believe in nature, and I believe that God's revealed himself in nature, I want to ask you a question. Where in nature has God revealed the Trinity?

He hasn't. He has not revealed his holiness, nor has he revealed his Trinity within nature. Some things he reveals, but in nature, he's not revealed God. The only way in the world we would ever come to a conclusion that God is a Trinity, that he is one. But he's three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Three distinct persons make up the Godhead. Three persons in one.

How do you separate the three? How do you explain the three? They're all deity. The Father is deity. The Son is deity.

The Spirit is deity. All three are omniscient, omnipresent. All three of them are omnipotent. How do you explain the Trinity? All three of them are immutable, unchangeable.

All three of them are truth. All three of them carry all the attributes of God. And you can take your Bible and go from Genesis to Revelation, and it will be an absolute unbelievable study of scriptures how God has so clearly given us a description of the Father, the Son, the Spirit, and all three of them have all the attributes. Now you recall last week we were talking about the names for God. But you'll remember, as we talked about them, we said first of all in the beginning, chapter one, Elohim, he who is infinite in supernatural power and absolute in faithfulness.

Jehovah God, the self-existent one. And then Adoniah, the master, the ruler, the Lord. It is in the New Testament that Jesus Christ reveals to us that Elohim, Adoniah, and Jehovah is the Father to his children. Now the Old Testament saints had a little concept of that maybe along the way, but not much because you see Revelation is progressive.

What God said to Adam was very minute, and then he moved on to a deeper revelation to Abraham, and then to Isaac, and to Jacob, and to Moses as he gave the law. And then all the way up through the judges and the kings and the prophets, what is God doing? It's just like he's opening the lid on this tremendous pot of Revelation.

And what does he do? He simply cracks the lid back in the Old Testament in the early days. And as centuries go by, he simply raises the lid until finally in the New Testament it is taken off and Jesus comes forth to reveal to us the nature of God, that he is the Father of those who have accepted his Son, Jesus Christ.

Now I want to deal with three or four things here. First of all, the problem that you and I have to face in dealing with the idea of the Trinity. We say to an unbelieving world that we believe in one God. And you remember as God is giving the law to Moses and as he's giving Israel direction, a direction that will guide them all throughout their life, he says to them in verse three of chapter six, Hear therefore, O Israel, and observe to do it, that it may be well with thee and that you may increase mightily as the Lord God of thy fathers hath promised thee in the land that floweth with milk and honey. Hear, O Israel, the Lord, our God is one Lord.

He's not three, he's one. Thou shall love the Lord thy God with all thine heart and with all thy soul and with all thy might. And you'll recall in the Old Testament, time after time after time, what was the danger signal for Israel?

What was the red light that flash brighter than all the rest? And that is, he said to them over and over and over again, he said, Thou shall not commit a dollar trade. And you recall when he gave Moses the law in the 20th chapter of Exodus, he starts off by saying, Thou shalt have no other gods before me. And then he said, Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, in earth beneath others in the waters under the earth, and then he describes it.

And now let's look for just a moment here. When we think about the Trinity, how can you explain that three persons can be one? When you began to analyze the relationship, all of the illustrations that we come up with break down, because they are three distinct persons.

They all operate in combination with each other. Even though the Father is a distinct person, the Son is a distinct person, the Holy Spirit is a distinct person. And if you recall him in John 14, how Jesus said this, he said, I Jesus will pray to the Father. And he said, He the Father shall give you another. Allos in the Greek that is another just like me. Now, there's another Greek word heteros, which means another of another kind.

Had he used that word, we'd have some question about whether they're alike or not. But it's no accident that the Holy Spirit inspired that little Greek word, which means another just like me. So Jesus was saying in the upper room, I will pray to the Father. The Father is going to send someone just like me. He's called the comforter of the Holy Spirit. He will be in you with you and forever. He will abide with you. Now, if that be true, there has to be three distinct persons who make up the Godhead, all three of which have distinct responsibilities in their work and ministry to man.

What is happening? Well, look, if you will, in chapter 16. And here again, we're talking about what Jesus is saying in the Holy Spirit and so forth. Verse seven of John 16.

Nevertheless, I tell you the truth, it is expedient for you that I go away. If I go not away, the comforter of the Holy Spirit will not come because you see, here was their plan. Listen, the Father and the Son and the Spirit had a plan.

What was their plan? The Father and the Son and the Spirit agreed, if we may put it in human terms, that the Son would come to earth and die for man's sin. And that when the Son finished his ministry here on earth, he would ascend back to heaven with the Father. When that happened, the Holy Spirit would then come and what would he do?

Not live here for three years and walk among men. He would indwell the hearts of those who are receiving Jesus Christ as their Savior, so that the Father had his work, the Son had his work, the Spirit had his work. And even though Jesus said, you know, I do what the Father tells me to do, it does not mean that the Son is less than the Father, and therefore the Spirit is less than the Son. If the Father sent the Son and the Son sent the Spirit, that does not mean that there are grades of attributes.

It simply means that three persons who are absolutely and totally and completely equal had functions and activities and ministry and work that were different. They did not claim to do the same thing, although all of them had the power, the omnipotence to do what the plan called for in the salvation of mankind. Now I want us to look for just a moment to the Old Testament. Let's just look at a few verses here. And let's begin with chapter one, verse one. You remember we said, with concerning God, that he says in the beginning, he created the heavens and the earth, Elohim, infinite in power, absolute in faithfulness, and the earth was without form and void and darkness was upon the face of the deep.

And what happened? Elohim, he created the heavens and the earth, and then by the inspiration of the Spirit of God, another person is involved. And the Spirit of God of Elohim moved upon the face of the waters. All right, look, if you will, go over to Colossians chapter one for a moment. Colossians chapter one, somebody else gets in on the creation.

In Colossians chapter one, the Bible says that Jesus created the whole world. Somebody says, I knew there was some contradiction in the Bible. If you don't believe in the Trinity, there is.

But if you believe in the Trinity, there is not. Look in Colossians chapter one, verse 16. For by him, that is by, well, let's look in the verse before so you have no question in your mind about it. Look in verse 14, in whom, speaking of Christ, we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sin.

So you know what he's talking about. Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature? For by him were all things created that are in heaven, that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, dominions, principalities or powers, all things were created by him and for him. And verse 17 says, and he is before all things.

That means he's eternal. He's before all things and by him, all things consist, that is he holds them together. So the scripture says concerning the creation, that in the beginning, Elohim, the Father created the heavens and the earth. The Spirit of God moved upon him. In Colossians one, he says it is the Lord Jesus Christ, likewise in on the creation. And he says all things are created for him, by him and he holds all things together. Look in Isaiah chapter six for just a moment.

And I think it's no accident that it's this way. In Isaiah chapter six, you'll remember the King Uzziah had died. And chapter six, verse one of Isaiah says, in the year that King Uzziah died, I saw also the Lord, Adoniah, sitting upon a throne high and lifted up and his train filled the temple.

Above it stood the seraphim, each one having six wings, with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, with two he did fly. And one cried unto another and said, Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts. The whole earth is full of his glory. Why didn't he just say holy? All through the scriptures, when the adoration of praise to God goes up, it is holy to the Father, holy is the Son, holy is the Holy Spirit.

And the indications of the scripture are, that is the praise is given, it is given in three, because there are three who make up the Godhead, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Now, if you look for just a moment in John chapter one, John chapter one, and you recall, as John writes this gospel, how he begins. He says, in the beginning, that is before anything was, he says, in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was what?

God. The same was in the beginning with God, and all things were made by him, and without him was not anything made that was made, in him was life, and the life was the light of men. All right, he says, in the beginning was God. Jesus Christ and God are one. He says they had a face to face relationship with each other before the beginning of the world, because the Father and the Son are what?

They are God. So when you read the book of John, there are many passages in the book of John. For example, let's turn over to chapter 17. And you recall in this chapter, this is the prayer that Jesus prays for his disciples. And you recall in this chapter, he's talking about being glorified by his Father and so forth, and verse four says, he finished the work that the Father sent him to do. And then he says, in verse 18, he says, As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And he's talking to the Father now, Jesus is.

And for their sakes, I sanctify myself that they also might be sanctified through the truth. Neither pray I for these alone, but also for them, which shall believe on me through their word, that they may all be one as thou, Father, art in me and I in thee, that they also may be one in us that the world may believe that thou has sent me speaking of a relationship of oneness here. Well, let's look at two or three more verses right quick back to John 16. Verse seven, John 16. Nevertheless, I tell you the truth, it is expedient, absolutely necessary for you that I go away. Listen, now watch this for how can he be God and say this, for if I go not away, the comfort to capital C, the Holy Spirit will not come unto you. But if I depart, I will listen, I will send him unto you. When he's come, that's what he'll do. Now why?

You know why? Because Jesus Christ knew the Father's plan. What was the Father's plan?

They planned man's redemption. Jesus Christ would come. He would walk among men, reveal the Father, and down a cross, fulfill the Old Testament prophecy.

He'd go back to the Father. When he went back to the Father, the Holy Spirit would come. So that today, you and I are living, watch this, you and I are living with God within us.

Let me tell you something. Don't you ever back up embarrassed to defend, if necessary, that Jesus Christ is God. And that man's only hope of heaven is in God who is in Christ Jesus. If the Spirit of God is not God, you'd never get your eyes open enough to see Jesus Christ. Why did he come? Well, look in John chapter 16 for a moment.

Remember what Jesus said? He says, it's expedient for you that I go away. If I go not away, he'll not come.

But if he comes, here's what he's going to do. Now watch this. You're saved tonight. You say, well, I got saved because I read the Bible and understand it.

No, you didn't. You were saved, dear brother, because God the Holy Spirit moved in on you and opened your blind eyes and exposed the word of God to you and gave you enough truth by which you could be saved. Why did he say the Holy Spirit would come? He says, I'll send him unto you. And when he's come, he will reprove, that is, he will convict the world of sin, righteousness and judgment, of sin because they believe not on me, righteousness because I go to my father, you see me no more, and of judgment because the prince of this world is judged. And then again, in Acts chapter one, what did he say?

Now watch this. Remember what he said in the Great Commission? He said, as you go, make disciples of all nations. He said in Acts chapter one, and ye shall receive power, dynamite, dunamis, supernatural power.

After that, what? The Holy Ghost is come upon you. Listen, how can a man be empowered with supernatural power if that which is doing the in doing and empowering is not of God?

Let me tell you something. If there is no Trinity, my friend, the whole theology of that book crumbles like quicksand, and there's nothing left. But man made human carnal manipulated mental theology without a God.

And that's where the majority of people today are. They've carved out of this book from their minds with the pen of their minds, they've carved Jesus Christ deity right out of it. They've carved the Holy Spirit right out of it. And they say, we believe in God. What kind of God? If you do not believe in God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, you believe in a man made God and you are guilty of the sin of idolatry and you're lost. There is no one God. And bless his sweet, wonderful Holy Name. Jesus came to tell us what he's like.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-08 05:53:43 / 2023-03-08 06:01:07 / 7

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