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January 15, 2018 11:15 am
While last week pastor Navy cover the inerrancy of God's word is without error in the original manuscripts and that's been handed down to us very accurately through the centuries.
The 66 canonical books of the Bible that we have in tonight to look at article 2 of what we believe your articles of faith at Calvary church. We believe in the triune God is reduced saying number two that the articles of faith states this, we believe in one God, who is creator of heaven and earth, who is spirit, light, love and truth eternal Almighty infallible and unchangeable, infinitely wise, just and holy, and that God eternally exists in three persons, father, son and Holy Spirit well starting place tonight. How can we define or explain the undefinable because as I prayed, God is infinite, we are finite and yet the Bible teaches the doctrine of the Trinity.
And as we all know the word Trinity is not used in Scripture and yet the Lord teaches us both in the Old Testament and the New Testament the concept and the doctrine of the Trinity. That's what we want. Take a few moments to look at tonight but to begin, I want to use some definitions by some gentlemen that have good definitions about what the Trinity is first of all, starting with James White in his book the forgotten Trinity.
He says this before we present a definition of the Trinity.
It's important to point out that we face a real difficulty right at the start language itself. Christians have struggled for centuries to express within the limitations of human language.
The unique revelation God makes of his mode of existence. We struggle because language is finite means of communication.
Finite minds are trying to express in words infinite truths. At times we simply cannot say what we need to say to adequately express the grandeur that is our God, and in a few moments we will look at his definition of the Trinity because I think he gives a very good one that we can use to talk about tonight.
The last Sunday morning when pastor Navy was preaching he joked around a little bit saying the pastor pal tonight would give you three easy ways to explain the Trinity. Well, tonight I get to get even a little bit. I'm going to actually quote pastor Navy because this week is he and I talked as we frequently do about theology things of Scripture. I asked him to jot down a few thoughts and send them to me at what he sent to me this is very helpful, pastor, Navy writes this, God makes himself known even in creation, but nothing measures up to his Majesty.
We can take physical examples like H2O three leaf clover, etc. many illustrations that you've heard over the years, they all point to God and we see shadows of the Trinity, but all analogies break down at some point. Nothing in nature in creation itself adequately bears witness to his glory and infinity. So we must rely on Scripture, it is adequate to give us the absolute truth about God.
It is the reliable source because it is from God. The caution forces make an argument for the Trinity based on nature alone. And that's not adequate. We have to come to what the Scriptures, God's special revelation is right. That's very helpful.
His thoughts, so I thank you pastor Navy for those for those thought this week also.
Let me quote John MacArthur he says is the Trinity has no perfect analogies in human experience. Theologians have attempted to find a perfect illustration of the Trinity. But all these attempts have either divided the essence comprised the distinction between the three persons or lost sight of God's personal essence, nothing in creation is exactly like the Trinity. Again, these men are right, it's hard to put words in the natural realm of which the Scriptures explained that the supernatural God's supernatural, but let's make it attempted that now some definitions, the theologians give us regarding the Trinity.
First of all I I quote here, Dr. Paul Enos. He states this the Trinity of God is a doctrine that is fundamental to the Christian faith belief or disbelief in the Trinity marks orthodoxy from on orthodoxy, human reason, however, cannot fathom the Trinity, nor can logic explain it. And although the word itself is not found in the Scriptures. The doctrine is plainly taught in the Scriptures. The early church was forced to study the subject and affirm its truth because of the heretical teachings that arose opposing the Trinity. A proper definition of the Trinity states this the Trinity is composed of three united persons without separate existence so completely united as to form one God, the divine nature subsists in three distinctions, father, son and Holy Spirit one essence subsisting in three persons, David Helm, writes this about the doctrine of the Trinity and is book small devotions. Big beliefs. The Bible teaches two important things at the same time. First, God is one.
He is not divided into many gods.
Second, God has revealed himself as three persons. The father the son and the Holy Spirit. These three persons in the Trinity worked perfectly together without any arguments or problems we may not fully understand how it is that there is one God in three persons, but we know enough from the Bible to say that this is true God is Trinity three in one now that brings me back to James White again and here's his actual definition of the Trinity. And I think it's a good one, and helpful to us and will break it down a little bit tonight from the Scriptures. He says this again in the forgotten Trinity within the one being that is God there exists eternally.
Three coequal and coeternal persons namely the father the son and the Holy Spirit. Again, one being that is God who coexists and Cody is coequal and coeternal in the father son and Holy Spirit bullets write down that definition little bit and look at some passages that support that definition because when you think about it. The doctrine rests completely upon the truth that there is only one true God as described in Scripture. The one being as he says that he is God and this is the historic belief shared by Christians and Jews known as monotheism one God Ellis take a look at some passages that demonstrate that again. This is what theologians would say there's unity within the Godhead here one indivisible God. Deuteronomy chapter 6 verse four says hero Israel. This is the great Shema, the prayer of the Israelites you're familiar with this passage and it talks about parenting to pass on these teaching talks about parents passing on this teaching to their children. Hero Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is what one that's monotheism one God Scriptures clearly teach that. Now take your Bibles for a moment and go to Isaiah chapter 41 in in Isaiah over and over again in chapters 41 through 48 we see God challenging the false gods to prove that they are God's.
God challenging them through the prophet Isaiah in any real God. He says says says the God of Israel will be able to predict the future and control histories, events, and if he cannot do this, then he's not really a God so God challenges the false gods.
Here we see examples of this in chapters 41 through 48. Let me give you a sample that Isaiah 41 beginning in verse 21. Here's the futility of idols in here again we see that the Lord is one God, our Lord Jehovah. Isaiah 4121 set forth your case says the Lord.
Bring your proofs says the king of Jacob. Let them bring them and tell us what is to happen. Tell us the former things what they are, that we may consider them, that we may know their outcome or declare to us the things to come, tell us what is to come hereafter, that we may know that you are God's do-gooder to harm that we may be dismayed and terrified but notice what he says here in verse 24 behold, you are what nothing in your work is less than nothing, and abomination is he who chooses you one Lord set forth your case says the Lord is challenging these false idols flip over to chapter 43 verses 11 through 13.
Again, this becomes very clear one God, the Lord is one. He is our Lord. Isaiah 43 verse 11.
I I am the Lord, and besides me there is no savior. I declared and saved and proclaimed when there was no strange God among you, and you are my witnesses, declares the Lord. I am God also henceforth I am he. There is none who can deliver from my hand. I work, and who can turn it back the Lord, the one true God and flip over to Isaiah chapter 45 beginning in verse five I am the Lord, and there is no other besides me there is no God.
I equip you, though you do not know me, that God may know from the rising of the sun and from the West that there is none besides me. I am the Lord, and there is no other. I form light and create darkness, I make well-being and create calamity. I am the Lord who does all these things, one Lord now flip over to the New Testament. First Corinthians chapter 8 first Corinthians chapter 8 verses four through six.
Here we see again the God is one and yet we have a clear affirmation of the essential equality of God the father and God the son here in first Corinthians chapter 8 verses four through six.
Part of my intention tonight is to give you some clear passages of both the indivisibility about God, the Lord is one, and also the plurality of God, demonstrating the Trinity.
First Corinthians 8, six through eight. I'm sorry first Corinthian's 84 through six. Therefore, as to the eating of food offered to idols, we know that an idol has no real existence and that there is no God but one. For, although there may be so-called gods in heaven or in earth, as indeed there are many gods and many lords yet for us there is what one God the father, from whom all are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord. Notice here, second person of the Trinity, the Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist. So there we see some passages, both old and New Testament affirming that God is one. Now let's take a look at the last part of his definition there exists eternally. Three coequal and coeternal persons namely the father the son and the Holy Spirit. Here's what theologians would tell us is the plurality of the Godhead. First we saw the unity God is one, here's the plurality existing in the Godhead, one God, existing in three persons of different roles and responsibilities within the Godhead unified essence of the Godhead unity within three persons. As I was reading this week there's a German word that says three oneness and that's a good concept three oneness one God, existing in three coequal and coeternal persons Genesis 126 if you want to take a moment and turn their Genesis 126 here's the floor first clear indication of the Trinity in Scripture all the way back in the creation account. Again, you're familiar with this passage. Genesis 126 says, then God said, let what led us make man in our image, after our likeness led us an indication of the triune God flip over to Genesis 322 Genesis 322 then the Lord God said, behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat and live forever. Again we see a clear indication here. Elohim like one of us, we see another picture of the triune God.
Here in Genesis, which is a glimpse into the divine community. Again, the plurality within the essence of the Godhead itself.
God the father, God the son God the holy spirit in the triune God. Another clear example. Always go back to Isaiah flip over to Isaiah chapter 48 verse 16 Isaiah chapter 48 verse 16. Here again is a good verse Old Testament teaching, showing us a picture of the Trinity. He received the Messiah, the servant of the Lord who will be sent by God and the Holy Spirit for the final regathering of Israel to establish his kingdom in the future that Isaiah goes on to talk about it. Isaiah chapter 61. Take a look at Isaiah 4816 draw near to me here this for from the beginning.
I have not spoken in secret from the time it came to be. I have been there and now the Lord God has sent me reference to Christ, the Messiah, who's going to come and his wife spirit. Here again we see the plurality a good picture of the triune God in the Old Testament by the hand of the prophet Isaiah. What about some New Testament passages that show a clear description of the Trinity over to Matthew chapter 3 verses 13 through 17, Matthew 313 through 17. This is a familiar account of Jesus's baptism at the beginning of his ministry. Here we see the beauty of the doctrine of the Trinity Matthew chapter 3, beginning in verse 13 then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John to be baptized by him. John would have prevented him, saying, I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me.
But Jesus answered him, let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness that he consented and when Jesus was baptized immediately he went up from the water. Behold, the heavens were opened in and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him, and behold a voice from heaven said this is my beloved son, with whom I am well pleased. Now noticing that passage we see all three persons of the Godhead present. Don't the father spoke of his son from heaven, Jesus. Of course it was there God in human flesh who was being baptized and we see the spirit of God descended on the son in the form of the dove, and this was in keeping with Isaiah's prophecy. You can go back and read that in Isaiah chapter 11 verse two that the Spirit would rest upon the Messiah and the dissent of the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove empowered to sign the Messiah for the work of his ministry among the people.
Again, a clear indication of of the Trinity seen in Matthew's gospel now flip back. I'm sorry go forward to the end of the same gospel, Matthew chapter 28. Another passage that I trust you're very familiar with Matthew chapter 28 verses 19 and 20 and this is what is known, of course, is the great commission, Christ commanding us all to go and make disciples. He commissions us to go into the whole world and make disciples. Matthew 2819 through 2018 through 20. Let's pick it up there, and Jesus came and said to them all authority in heaven and on earth has been have been given to me.
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the father and of the son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold I am with you always, to the end of the age. Again we see here a clear and strong affirmation of the Trinity, God the father, God the son and God the Holy Spirit. Jesus affirming that with his own words now to go over to Ephesians chapter 1 Ephesians chapter 1 again a very powerful passage the apostle Paul shows us the doctrine of the Trinity, and in a clear way the spiritual blessings that we have in Christ. Ephesians chapter 1 verses three through 14 now notices I redone through this passage and as you follow along. Pick out God the father, the Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. Again, this is a very good passage for you to help your family and friends understand the doctrine of the Trinity is receded, given here clearly by the apostle Paul. Blessed be. Verse three Blessed be the God and father of our Lord Jesus Christ. The first person and second person of the Trinity, seen right there, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.
Again we see the sufficiency of Scripture here the word of God in Christ even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world that we should be holy and blameless before him in love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ according the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace with which he has blessed us in the beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us in all wisdom and insight, making known to us the mystery of his will according to his purpose which he set forth in Christ. Again we see God the father, God the son. Throughout this text is a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.
In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the Council of his will so that we who were the first to hope in Christ, might be to the praise of his glory in him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promise by whom the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it to the praise of his glory.
That is just a magnificent passage that is so rich in theology, but we see the triune God, represented here very clear God the father, God the son God the Holy Spirit now. Good way to remember this passage as we see God the father, our Creator who elected us before the foundation of the world, God the son, our Redeemer, the one who came to redeem us from our sins, and then God the Holy Spirit who notice Paul says seals us and sanctifies us and so again we see the beauty of the Trinity here so beloved. We believe in the Trinity don't leave because that's what the Bible teaches God's special revelation. He clearly gives it to us in the Scriptures, and we accept that by faith because God's word is true. I want to spend just a few minutes enclosing here to think this through a little bit because God doesn't just give us doctrine without the practicality of it. How we apply this happens the Trinity impact our Christian walk. Maybe you haven't thought about that you think this this is a tremendous theological truth. The Trinity that we accept by faith because the Bible teaches that God is one and yet existing in three persons. But how does that impact us.
Let me give you a few thoughts, and there's many that we could talk about but go back to the gospel of John chapter 17 verses 20 through 26 only give you just a few examples of how the Trinity impacts our Christian walk, God the father, God the son God the Holy Spirit, or should impact our our Christian walk with each other.
John chapter 17 verses 20 through 26 now this is Jesus's high priestly prayer that is praying to his heavenly father.
The context all of chapter 17. Here in verses 20 through 26. Follow along and see what he stresses here in his relationship to his heavenly father and how that relates to us as well and how he's teaching how we should relate to each other.
Verse 20 I do not ask for these only meeting his apostles and disciples but also for those who will believe in me through their word that they may all be what one, just as you father are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me the glory that you have given me I have given to them that they may be one even as we are one IN them and you and me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you love me. Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world all righteous father. Even though the world does not know you. I know you MDs know that you have sent me. I made known to them your name and I will continue to make it known that the love with which you have loved me may be in them and I in them while that's really powerful riches and it because here what he's giving us brings clarity to God's design given to us all the way back in Genesis 126 six were God said, let us make man in our image again, the plurality of the Godhead. The three distinct persons because here is describing the intimate unity God intends that he enjoys with his son and what insight that is for Christ design and function for us in the church that we are one.
Paul talks about that doesn't eat were many members but yet one what one body in Christ, and we should have that kind of unity and fellowship in the body of Christ. How practical is that he certainly given us good clarity here of how we should be united in our faith, just as the Trinity is United from all eternity.
God the father, God the son God the Holy Spirit.
What is also teaching is here. Certainly God knows how to help us with our struggles with our community as a Christian body because he is community and they are one and so should we that we should have each other's back as it were always as Christians to speak the best about each other because love believes all things, hopes all things, and dorsal things doesn't not what profound truths here.
So when you think about it. The Trinity is really the only adequate model for human community. The essence that the coequal partnership in Kobe terminology that the Trinity shares with each other.
God the father, God the son God the Holy Spirit. We should practice that as well that oneness that unity that Paul teaches us that we should be unified in everything for God's kingdom purposes because he designed us that way to have fellowship with him and with each other. Not a very practical level, let me show you one other example here about couple examples of Ephesians chapter 12 Ephesians chapter 4 Ephesians chapter 4. Again we see the practicality here of our triune God impacting us even in a very practical way, even as it regards to our speech and how we treat each other in the body of Christ. Ephesians 4 verse 29 and 30 and here again we see the affirmation of the third person of the Trinity that he indeed is a person, the has emotion and so forth.
The. The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity Ephesians 429 let no corrupting talk come out of your mouth, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear and do, not what grieve the Holy Spirit the person the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed. There's that word again from Ephesians 1, whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
How practical is that that we should speak to each other with words are going to edify and build up so that we do not grieve the third person of the Trinity.
Again, doctrine is not given to us in a vacuum. God wants us to practically live it out first and foremost to be right with him and that's how the triune God impacts our life that we should be united and that we should treat each other with loving kindness. One more thought, for if go to Hebrews chapter 4 as we see here, God the son, the second person of the Trinity that we can always run to him because he is our faithful high priest, God the son, the second person of the Trinity again. How practical is this the matter what were going through.
How does the Trinity impact our life.
We can run to Jesus Christ, our faithful high priest. Hebrews chapter 4 verses 14 through 16. Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the son of God, let us hold fast our confession, for we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are yet without sin.
Let us then with confidence. Beloved draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of what need a beautiful set, God the son. He's always there for us.
He is our faithful high priest so we can run to our triune God. But God the father, God the son God the Holy Spirit within that unified essence of the godhood one God, existing in three persons who are coeternal co-substantial coequal God the father, God the son God the Holy Spirit. So I hope these passages are helpful to you as you think about the beautiful doctrine of the Trinity and that we affirm it because that's what the Bible teaches us and we know to be true because God does not lie and he's very clear of teaching us this beautiful doctrine. Three. In one let's pray together. Heavenly father, we thank you for the rich truth of the doctrine of the Trinity, God the father, God the son and God the Holy Spirit. Thank you for the freedom that we have to study your word and to enjoy the rich doctrines through your Scripture and how practical they are, that in the body of Christ that you want us as our great God to be unified to be one united in one purpose and that is for the advancement of your kingdom. Help us to do that. Lord better in 2018.
Here at Calvary church.
Help us to be unified to watch out for each other to speak kindly to each other to help each other in our walk with you in a second Corinthians 1314 again affirms the doctrine of the Trinity and the fellowship with God and one another that we can experience of the Holy Spirit.
There the apostle Paul writes the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
May that be our heartbeat.
As believers here at Calvary moving forward in this new year of opportunity of ministering to lift up your high and holy name Fortson Christ precious name that we pray.