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Treasuring the Trinity

Love Worth Finding / Adrian Rogers
The Truth Network Radio
May 6, 2024 4:00 am

Treasuring the Trinity

Love Worth Finding / Adrian Rogers

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May 6, 2024 4:00 am

The doctrine of the Holy Trinity is one of the great distinctions of the Christian faith. It’s what makes Christianity stand out in a world of religions. In this message, Adrian Rogers reveals the treasure of the Trinity, and shares how the one true God reveals Himself in three persons.

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Known for his unique ability to simplify profound truth so that it can be applied to everyday life, Adrian Rogers was one of the most effective preachers, respected Bible teachers, and Christian leaders of our time. Thanks for joining us for this message.

Here's Adrian Rogers. Take your Bibles and turn with me, if you will, please, to Isaiah chapter 6, a very familiar passage of Scripture. In just a moment, we're going to be talking on this subject, Treasuring the Trinity. Now, the doctrine of the Trinity is one of the great Christian distinctions. As a matter of fact, it is what makes Christianity stand out from all of the religions of the world.

And while it is perhaps our greatest distinctive, it is beyond the shadow of any doubt the hardest to understand or to grasp. The idea that we worship one God, not three gods, but one God, but that one God has revealed himself in three persons. And I want to say there are many who do not accept that doctrine.

For example, Islam. They say there is one God, his name is Allah, and they believe that we as Christians worship three gods. And of course, our Jewish friends say, how can Christians worship three gods? How can they call Jesus God? Then, of course, the Jehovah's Witnesses say it is impossible that Jesus could be God's Son and God at the same time. The message this morning is complicated.

So would you, even if you don't understand it, would you look like you do? I mean, just be saying amen all the way through because it is complicated, but it is so necessary. And I could just talk about something that would be a blessing to us all, but the message this morning is absolutely radically fundamental to all that we say, all that we are, all that we believe. So I want you to listen.

I'm going to say something else. I am going to be using this morning an incredible amount of scripture. And so you may want to get a pen and a pencil and jot the scriptures down because you may not have time to turn to all of the scriptures. As a matter of fact, I, in preparing this message, have listed the scriptures and written them down so as to save time and compress time.

Do you understand that? Now, let me say that we are not talking about polytheism, that is, worshiping three gods. The Bible completely, totally condemns the worship of any god, but Jehovah God.

But we do worship a Trinitarian God. Now, Isaiah chapter 6, verse 1, in the year that King Uzziah died, this is Isaiah speaking, in the year that King Uzziah died, I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. What kind of train is he talking about? Well, when a bride comes down the aisle, she has a long train on her dress many times, the last part of her dress that comes down the aisle. Kings will come up to sit upon their throne and often the king will have attendants just carrying a part of his robe that's called the train. What Isaiah is saying, this king has such majesty that it goes from one end of the temple to the other.

That's what he's talking about. His train filled the temple. The longer the train, the greater the majesty. And above it stood the seraphims. Each one had six wings with twain he covered his face and with twain he covered his feet and with twain he did fly. And one cried unto another and said, now listen to this, Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts. The whole earth is full of his glory. Now, Isaiah saw the Lord high and lifted up and Isaiah said holy once, holy twice, and holy three times. And you're going to see even here we see an insight into holy is the Father, holy is the Son, and holy is the Spirit. Go down to verse 8. Isaiah said, also I heard the voice of the Lord saying, whom shall I send, who will go? You would expect him to say, who will go for me, wouldn't you? But he says, who will go for us?

Whom shall I send, singular, who will go for us, plural? Isaiah answers, then said I, here am I, send me. Now, how do we know about the Trinity? Let me say that the only way, the only way any of us can understand or believe the Trinity is by divine revelation. You would never learn about the Trinity by human logic, not by investigation, not by philosophy, not by mathematics, not by science. The only way any of us can know that God Almighty is a triune God is by divine revelation, by picking up the Bible and reading it. Well, you say, pastor, it sounds a little contradictory to me that God is one and yet God is three. Well, listen, don't worry if you can't understand it. I wouldn't have much confidence in a God that I could understand or that you could understand. Somebody said try to explain the Trinity.

You lose your mind, deny it, you lose your soul. You don't say I figured this out. You don't say it makes logical sense to me. The Trinity is not contrary to logic. The Trinity is beyond logic. And by the way, if you don't understand it, let me remind you of this.

A five-year-old child can ask questions nobody can understand, isn't that right? I mean, just think about infinity and think about eternity. Just think about those two things. Infinity. Space never ends. Eternity, existence, never ceases and never began. How does that fit in your logic? You can't understand that.

I mean, that's beyond us. God is the infinite, eternal God. So don't try to cram God into your mind and say because I can't understand God, because I can't understand the Trinity, the Trinity is an impossibility.

Charles Wesley said, when a worm can understand a man, then maybe man can understand God. We know about the Trinity not by logic, not by philosophy. We know about the Trinity by revelation.

God tells us in the Bible. Now, every now and then, somebody will try to illustrate the Trinity. They'll say the Trinity is like this or the Trinity is like that and they have some illustration. There is not one illustration you can ever get that will illustrate the Trinity. Not one.

Why? Because everything else can be compared to everything else. One man can be compared to another man, one chair to another chair, one carpet to another carpet, one preacher to another preacher, but there's only one God, isn't there? There's only one God and so God throws out this challenge in Isaiah chapter 40 and verse 18, To whom then will ye liken God? Or what likeness will ye compare unto him? There's nothing you can say this is like God because God is not like anything. God is God.

He is separate. Now, you see reflections of the Trinity all around because God who is a triune God, you see reflections of his triunity in everything that he has created. For example, God has created space and space is height, width, and depth.

You can't have height without width, or width without depth, or depth without height. They're all part of the same. Each is distinct and yet each is distinguishable and inseparable are time. Time is past, present, and future. You can't have a past without a present. You can't have a present without a future.

You can't have a future without a past. The past, the present, and the future are all distinguishable. All are yet a part of the same are man. Man is body, soul, and spirit and yet there's just one man standing here speaking to you and yet this one man made in the image of a triune God has a triune nature.

I am body, soul, and spirit. But these are not proofs of God's triunity. These are only reflections of God's triunity. I am telling you, folks, there's absolutely nothing you can compare God to. Listen again to Isaiah chapter 40 and verse 18.

To whom then will you liken God or to what likeness will ye compare unto him? Somebody says, well, it doesn't make sense. One plus one plus one equals three. Well, what about one times one times one?

That equals one. You see, we're not trying to rationalistically come to the doctrine of the Trinity and don't try to water the Trinity down or explain it away. Say, well, there's just one God but he appears to us in three different modes. Just like we say we have one senior pastor here at Bellevue Baptist Church but he's also a father and he's also a husband. So, Adrian is both pastor, father, and husband, one in three.

Oh, no. That doesn't fit the Trinity. We're not just talking about three different modes in which God appears. There are three distinct persons in the Godhead. Now, I want us to go, first of all, to the Old Testament and we're gonna find the doctrine of the Trinity in the Old Testament.

Don't think that the doctrine of the Trinity suddenly appeared in the New Testament. We're going to spend some time now. Remember, you're gonna look excited even if you're not because you need to know this. You need to understand this.

You need to learn this. Believe your pastor. What I am saying is so essential in this day and in this age. Now, where do you find the Trinity? You find the Trinity in the first verse in the Bible. The first verse in the Bible, first of all, in Genesis chapter 1 and verse 1.

In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth. Now, look at the word God. Do you see the word God there?

It is a plural noun. Elohim. Elohim.

In the beginning, Elohim created the heavens and the earth. Elohim is not a singular noun. It is a plural noun. It has the plural ending, I am.

Im, Elohim. That's the plural ending. Like one angel is a seraph. More than one, a seraphim, I am. One angel may be a cherub.

More than one, cherubim, or cherubim, I am with that ending. That's the plural ending. And so, what this literally says in the beginning, God's, G-O-D-S, created the heavens and the earth. This same word is translated God's, exactly the same word in Exodus chapter 20 verse 3 in the Ten Commandments where it says, Thou shalt have no other gods before me. That's exactly the same word, Elohim.

Thou shalt have no other gods before me. But there it comes as plural. It's the same word as is in Genesis 1-1. And it's the same word that is used when God warns against pagan gods in Deuteronomy chapter 13 and verse 2. And the sign or the one to come to pass wherever he spake unto thee saying, Let us go after other gods, other Elohim. So, you have the verb in Genesis 1-1 is singular. But the noun is plural.

It is a plurality acting as a unity. The same thing is seen in not only the creation of the heaven and the earth, but the creation of man. Look, if you will, in Genesis 1 verse 26. God now has fashioned the earth.

He's going to put a man on it. And listen to what God says. Now this is God and Elohim. Elohim, remember that's plural. Elohim said, Let us make man in our image after our likeness. Now, to whom is God speaking?

We're not speaking of the angels. We're not made in the likeness of the angels. God said, Let us make man in our image.

Well, he's speaking as Jehovah God communing with his triunity. Who made everything? Well, you say, Genesis 1-1 says God made it. But what does John 1 say? It says Jesus made it. And what does the book of Job say? It says the Holy Spirit made it.

Let me give you those scriptures. Genesis 1-1, In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. John 1 verses 1 through 3, In the beginning was the Word, that's the Logos, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him, that's Jesus. And without him, Jesus was not anything made that was made. Wait a minute, I thought it said in Genesis 1-1 that God made it, that's right. I thought it said in John 1 that Jesus made it, that's right. And then in Job 26 verse 13, By his Spirit he hath garnished the heavens. Well, I thought that Jesus made it. Well, Job says the Spirit did it. Well, that's right.

Why? Because God's made the heaven and the earth. Let us make man in our image. God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God of hosts. Now, our Jewish friends, and I could tell every one of them this, their great profession of faith is called the Shema. That is a passage of scripture taken from the book of Deuteronomy that is quoted in the synagogue services very regularly. To start the daily liturgy, morning and evening, they quote a verse from the Bible from the Old Testament. And every good Jew is supposed to quote it at least once a day, and I want to give it to you. It is Deuteronomy chapter 6 verses 4 and 5. Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord. Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart and with all thy soul and with all thy might.

That is an incredible passage of scripture. In the New Testament, when they asked Jesus Christ what was the great commandment, in Mark chapter 12 verse 29, and Jesus answered him, the first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord, and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul and with all thy mind and with all thy strength. This is the first commandment. Jesus said the Jews are absolutely right.

This is it. This is the whole thing. This is the first commandment. Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord. And some would say, well, this is the prime text for the unity of God, not the triunity of God.

Well, I want you to stay with me. The word Lord comes from Jehovah, and so we can read it this way. Hear, O Israel, the Jehovah, Jehovah, the Jehovah our Elohim. The Jehovah our God is one Lord. Now, the word Jehovah is singular, Lord. The word God is plural, Elohim. And there's no contradiction here because he explains it as he goes on.

Listen to it. The Lord our God is one Lord. Now, look at the word one. You are in Deuteronomy chapter 6, verse 4. The Lord our God is one Jehovah. Now, the word one, echad, is a very interesting word. One, it doesn't mean one as a singular absolute digit.

It means a collective one. I told you it'd get deep. Are you still with me? Lift your hand and say, hi, pastor. Okay, now, listen. Listen, this word one is a very interesting word. It doesn't mean just a singular digit one. It means a collective one. Let me show you some places in the Bible.

I'm gonna rattle these off real quick, but I'm gonna show you some places where this is used. For example, Genesis 2, verse 24, they too shall be one flesh. Got that? Man and woman, one flesh. Genesis 11, 6, behold, they are one people.

Here's a good one. Numbers 13, verse 23, one cluster of grapes. A bunch of grapes is one cluster of grapes. 1 Samuel 13, verse 17, one company. 2 Samuel 2, verse 25, one troop. 1 Chronicles 17, verse 21, one nation. Now, what is God saying to Israel? Hear, O Israel, Jehovah our God is Jehovah a unity. A unity, one unity. That's what the word echad means.

It doesn't mean a singular digit, but it means a collective one. I've given you all of these verses where that exact same word is used. Now, when Isaiah, Isaiah came to worship the Lord in our text that we read, he saw the Lord high and lifted up.

His glory filled the temple. There were those seraphim there who were praising him, and they were saying, holy, holy, holy is the Lord God of hosts. Isaiah's feeling the call now, and he asks the Lord in Isaiah chapter 6, verse 8. Also, I heard a voice of the Lord saying, whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Jehovah is saying, who will go for us?

Not who will go for me, but who will go for us? Now, in verse 1, Isaiah chapter 6, verse 1, the word for Lord is Adonai, which is a name used for God alone. But in verses 3 and 5, Adonai is identified as Jehovah, the Lord of hosts.

And so it is Jehovah, the Lord of hosts, who is asking who will go for us. Now, let me tell you another way that we see the Trinity. I'm just picking out passages in the Old Testament and showing you the Trinity. Let me show you the Trinity and the prophecies concerning the Lord Jesus Christ.

And by the way, let me say this. Don't get the idea that suddenly in the New Testament we learn that God has a son. We learn that God had a son in the Old Testament. And any Jew who would pick up his Bible can learn from reading the Bible that God has a son. Let me give you some Old Testament scriptures that speak of the Son of God. Daniel chapter 3 verse 25. Remember when those three Hebrew servants of God were thrown into the fiery furnace and the king looked in?

And he answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose walking in the midst of the fire and they have no hurt. And the form of the fourth is like the Son of God. Read in Proverbs chapter 30 and verse 4.

Here's a good question by divine inspiration. Who hath ascended up into heaven or descended? Who hath gathered the wind in his fists and hath bound the waters in a garment? Who hath established all the ends of the earth?

What is his name and what is his son's name? If thou canst tell. And then read in Psalm the second chapter. I think perhaps comes very close to being my favorite Psalm. Psalm chapter 2 verses 6 and 7. God speaks of all of the contortions and machinations of the wicked people of this earth. And yet God overrules history and he says, Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion, and I will declare the decree, the Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my son, this day have I begotten thee. These are Old Testament passages of scripture.

And so you see prophecies concerning the Lord Jesus in the Old Testament and there he is shown even in the Old Testament as co-equal and co-eternal with God the Father. Now, I want you to turn this verse because I want you to see it. Turn to Isaiah chapter 48. Isaiah chapter 48. We're gonna begin reading in verse 12, okay? Isaiah chapter 48, don't flake out on me now.

Stay with me. This is so important. Isaiah chapter 48 beginning in verse 12. God is speaking. He says, Harken unto me, O Jacob and Israel, my called. I am he, I am the first, I also am the last. Mine hand also hath laid the foundation of the earth, and my right hand hath spanned the heavens.

When I call unto them, they stand up together. Now, who is he talking about? God.

I mean, this is the one who's the first and the last, the one who made the whole shooting match, folks. This is God. Now, going down to verse 16. Come ye near unto me, hear ye this.

Have I not spoken in secret from the beginning and from the time that it was? There am I, and now the Lord God and his Spirit has sent me. Now, wait a minute. God sent God? That's right. This is talking about God, a very God, and he says, the Lord God sent me. I thought we were just talking about God. We were. God sent God.

That's what he's saying. Now the Lord God and his Spirit sent me. There you have God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Thus saith the Lord thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel. I am the Lord thy God which teacheth thee.

The Lord our God is the Redeemer. So it's just wonderful when you see that. Look in Isaiah chapter 63.

Just fast forward to 63 for a moment. You're going to see the same thing. You're going to see the Trinity.

Now go ahead, turn the pages, look at it, because, folks, I want to promise you you're going to get a lot more out of it if you put your eyes on it, if you take your pen and just kind of circle some of these things. What I'm showing you is the Trinity in the Old Testament. Isaiah chapter 63 and verse 9. In all their affliction, he was afflicted. Now just circle the word he because the context makes it very clear that is Jehovah. And the angel of his presence saved them. Underscore angel of his presence. In his love and in his pity he redeemed them and he bare them and carried them all the days of old.

But they rebelled and vexed his Holy Spirit. There you have Jehovah. There you have the angel of his presence, the messenger of his presence.

That's what the word angel means. That's Jesus. And vexed his Holy Spirit. That's the Holy Spirit. By the way, the Holy Spirit here is a person who can be vexed. You have three distinct persons in the godhood.

Jehovah God, the angel of his presence, and the Holy Spirit. Now you're in Isaiah. Just go on to Isaiah chapter 59 if you will with me for just a moment. Isaiah 59 verse 19.

So shall they fear the name of the Lord from the west and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him, underscore the spirit. Now verse 20, and the redeemer shall come to Zion, underscore redeemer. That's Jesus. And unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob saith the Lord.

That's Jehovah. There you have Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in just two verses. You see, this Jesus in the Old Testament is God, co-equal and co-eternal with God.

Isaiah chapter 9 and verse 6. For unto us a child is born, and unto us a son is given. Now the child was the earthly Jesus. The son was the heavenly Messiah.

One and the same person. Unto us a child is born. That's his humanity. Unto us a son is given. That's his deity. Now listen to this. And the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name, the child's name, shall be called Wonderful Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.

Well, is he the child or is he the father? Yes. Yes. He is the Mighty God. And the word mighty God is El Gabor.

That literally means God-man. He is the God-man. Isaiah 10 verses 20 and 21 make certain that Mighty God refers to God the Father alone, and yet it is spoken of as God the Son also in Isaiah chapter 9 and verse 6. I'm just telling you, folks, I'm telling you that in the Old Testament you'll see that God has a son, and that son is the Mighty God. That son is called the Everlasting Father. And when Jesus Christ was born into this world, he was older than his mother and just as old as his father. And don't ever get the idea that there was a time when Jesus was not. He existed in the bosom of the Father through all eternity.

If God is the Everlasting Father, then there must be an Everlasting Son. Now, let's just leave the Old Testament. Let's get into the New Testament. I want you to see the doctrine of the Trinity in the New Testament. I want you to see the doctrine of the Trinity.

For example, in the virgin birth of the Lord Jesus Christ, Luke tells us about the virgin birth of Jesus, and I love the story. In Luke chapter 1 and verse 35, And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee. All right, that's the Spirit. And the power of the highest shall overshadow thee.

Who is the highest? The Father. Therefore that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. There you have the Trinity, the Holy Ghost, the Father, and the Son of God.

You have the same thing in the baptism of the Lord Jesus Christ when Jesus was baptized. Matthew chapter 3, verses 16 and 17, And Jesus, that's the Son, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water, and the heavens were open, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, there's the Spirit, lighting upon him, and lo, a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. There you have it, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. There's no way to explain the deity of Christ apart from the Holy Trinity. Now, Jesus, when he was here on earth, spoke of himself as having a unique relationship with God the Father. He was not merely the Son of God, he was God the Son. Let me give you some scriptures.

Now, these are coming fast because we're running out of runway and we're about to hit the pine trees, so I want you to listen real carefully to me right now. I'm gonna give you some scriptures. I want you to see who Jesus says that he is. In John chapter 8, verse 58, he says, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.

That was the great Old Testament name for Jehovah God, the great I Am. Before Abraham was, he didn't say, I was. He said, I am.

That is, there never was a time when he was not. He is the great I Am. John 5, verse 23, That all men should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. He that honoreth not the Son, honoreth not the Father which hath sent him.

John 14, 6, Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man cometh unto the Father but by me. Matthew 11, verse 27, Jesus said, All things are delivered unto me of my Father, and no man knoweth the Son but the Father, neither knoweth any man the Father except the Son, and to whomsoever the Son will reveal him. John 5, verses 22 and 23, For the Father judgeth no man but hath committed all judgment unto the Son, that all men should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. He that honoreth not the Son, honoreth not the Father which hath sent him.

John 14, verse 9, Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet thou hast not known me, Philip? He that hath seen me hath seen the Father. How sayest thou then, Show us the Father? Suppose you were to say to me, Pastor, show me God, and I'd say, You're looking at him.

You'd say, Get the butterfly nets. Jesus said, Listen, if you've seen me, you've seen the Father. I and my Father are one. Folks, this is the treasure of the Trinity, the Father above us, the Spirit within us, the Savior who died for us, and that's the reason we stand and sing the song that we sang the first Sunday that I was here at Bellevue in 1972. The Bellevue congregation stood and sang a song, and when they did, the presence of God so filled the house. This is what you sang.

Some of you were there. Holy, holy, holy, merciful and mighty, God in three persons, blessing Trinity. So many times we enjoy beginning our service here singing, Praise God, from whom all blessings flow. Praise him, all creatures here below. Praise him above, ye heavenly hosts. Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. We worship one God who has revealed himself in three persons. And when God wanted to bless, do you know when God wants to bless a congregation, you know what the blessing is?

Number six, verses 22 through 27, And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto Aaron and unto his sons, saying, On this wise shall ye bless the children of Israel, saying unto them, The Lord bless thee and keep thee. That's Jehovah God. The Lord make his face to shine upon thee and be gracious unto thee. That's the Lord Jesus Christ, because we see the face of God in Jesus Christ.

The grace of God came through Jesus Christ. The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee and give thee peace. That's the Holy Spirit. For the fruit of the Spirit is peace, and they shall put my name upon the children of Israel, and I will bless them. And I want to say this to you, my people.

Listen to me today. The Lord bless thee and keep thee. The Lord make his face to shine upon thee and be gracious unto thee.

The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee and give thee peace. Thank God for the treasure of the Trinity. What a mighty God we serve. Father God, we thank you for the treasure of the Trinity. Now, Lord, I pray that should there be anyone here who does not know God the Father through God the Son in the power of the Spirit, that today they might receive him. And, precious friend, if you're here without God today, let me tell you that God so loved you that he sent his only begotten Son, the Lord Jesus, who was God in the flesh, who suffered, bled, and died, and with his blood paid your sin debt.

And the Holy Spirit is here today to open your heart, to give you faith, to help you to believe in God the Father who sent his Son. Would you pray this prayer right now if you want to be saved while you stand there with your head bowed? Lord God, I am a sinner. My sins deserve judgment. I need to be saved. I repent of my sin.

I open my heart. Now by faith I receive Christ as my Lord and Savior. I put him upon the throne of my life, and by grace I will live for him. Save me now, Lord Jesus. Pray it and mean it. Save me now, Lord Jesus, and help me never to be ashamed of you. Amen. If you would like to learn more about how you can know Jesus or deepen your relationship with him, simply click the Discover Jesus link on our website, lwf.org. For a copy of this message or additional resources, visit our online store at lwf.org or call 1-800-274-5683. Thank you.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-05-06 06:33:37 / 2024-05-06 06:47:30 / 14

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