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August 7, 2020 1:00 am
While the three members of the Trinity are distinct, keep in mind they are not inferior to each other.
So, Stephen, we we acknowledge that the Bible teaches that all three members of the Trinity. Both Frida and her friend acknowledge that there's there's a hierarchy in the Trinity. Would you agree with that?
Well, no, I wouldn't look at it that way. They're all equally divine and in essence, they are fully God, but they have different functions. Think about.
Whether you've been a believer for just a few months or you've walked with Christ for a long time, from time to time, we all have questions here on Wisdom for the Heart.
One of the ways that we want to equip and encourage you is by helping to provide answers to the Bible, questions that you have. This is wisdom for the heart. The Bible teaches ministry of Stephen Davy. I'm Scott Wiley. Stephen's here in the studio with me because we've received some questions from listeners that we want to answer today. This is something that we do on the first and the third Fridays of every month. It's really become one of our favorite times. And we hope that you'll be blessed and encouraged as you listen to the questions that some of your fellow listeners had and the answers from God's word.
From Stephen. We're eager to get started. We have a question about the Trinity today.
My name is Freeda and substantive question about the Trinity. And how do you explain it to somebody that thinks that Jesus is number one and God is number two? I know it's not true and God is number one and Jesus is number two in the Holy Spirit. Number three in there, all three and one. But how do you explain it to a non Christian or a Christian that thinks he's a Christian and says that Jesus takes the hierarchy? Thank you and have a blessed day, Fredo.
Thank you so much for calling in with that question. Stephen, of course, the Trinity is one of the key doctrines of the Christian faith, but it's not easy to understand.
It really is. And in fact, this is one of those illustrations that come to my mind of of something I heard a long time ago, and that is that we believe much more than we understand. I don't understand a lot of things about what the Bible records or describes.
I can't explain the symmetry between election and freewill, sovereignty and choices that we make. And the Trinity is certainly one of those very challenging issues. But we do know that the Bible clearly presents God as one God in three persons. And of course, the question that comes well of Jesus is God. You know, why do you have Jesus praying to himself or whatever? I think we can kind of start on a practical level that the doctrine of the Trinity, simply put, means that God eternally exists as one and yet three distinct persons. He eternally exists, has three distinct persons, but he is one God. Think of it mathematically. It isn't one plus one plus one equals three gods.
It's one times one times one equals one. Three definite expressions of crucial divine essence. Give the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. In fact, the Bible speaks of the Father as God in Philippians chapter one and verse two.
The Bible speaks of the Holy Spirit as God in Acts Chapter five, and also refers to Jesus several times. But one of those is in Titus Chapter two and verse 13, where Paul writes, We are looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and savior, Christ Jesus. So throughout the New Testament, we have references to each person being equally divine. Part of the confusion, I think Freeda, is the Holy Spirit is sort of treated like some kind of force or a gas. You know, you kind of get filled up and then you leak and you got to get filled up again. The Holy Spirit is not in it, but a he he speaks, he reasons. He thinks he wills. He feels, as one author put it, these are all qualities of of a person while the three members of the Trinity are distinct.
Keep in mind, they are not inferior to each other.
So, Stephen, we we acknowledge that the Bible teaches that all three members of the Trinity are equally God and Freeda. Both Frida and her friend acknowledge that there's a there's a hierarchy in the Trinity. Would you agree with that?
Well, no, I would look at it that way. They're all equally divine and in essence, they are fully God, but they have different functions. Think about it that way. For instance, in a home, a husband is not more important than his. Wife, he's not a special human being, and the wife is a lesser human being. They're simply given different functions. The children are equally human, too. They're not less human than the mother or father. But they have a a subordinate function.
And so you find that within the Trinity, you have the father and the reference to his will that the Lord Jesus obeys. He is equal, in essence, but subordinate and function. You have the spirit of God, we're told. Whose function is to glorify Jesus. And so he fully functions as God in bringing glory to the son. Convicting men of sin and Jesus and doing the will of the father. Is that not the father of Jesus? Certainly. Is that not the will of the spirit? Certainly there in full, harmonious agreement. And did you have this role where Jesus as a man is doing the will of his father, providing for us an example so that we also attempt to fulfill the will of God, the father?
So this idea that Jesus somehow superseded or became more important than God, the father is would not line up with the teaching of scripture?
No, not at all, in fact. The commission of the church, if you remember in Matthew, Chapter 28, is to go make disciples and baptize them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. I like what one author pointed out, that first you can notice that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are distinguished as distinct persons were baptizing disciples into the name of the Father, into the name of the son, and into the name of the Holy Spirit. And also, each person must be DEEDI because they are all placed on the same level. It isn't you. No one's higher than the second. Who's higher than the third? It's horizontal. They're equally divine. And then you can also notice from this text that we're all baptized into their name, which is singular, not names, plural. So the three persons are distinct and yet they constitute one name. This is fascinating to me. And again, we're talking about things that are beyond our ability to grasp. I will say this and then we'll close this particular question. Who are you going to see when you get to heaven? You know, I have people ask me that. Well, before the incarnation. Think about the fact that God, the father, the son, the spirit would have been invisible to the human eye. They would take on form. They're called thie. Often these were God, the father takes a form or Christoph Stefanie's where Christ takes an Old Testament form. When you get to heaven, you're going to see Jesus because Jesus embodies deity. And he's the one that's taken on flesh. You're going to actually have someone you can hug, someone you can fall down before.
And he's chosen to retain scars, too, by the way, in his glorified body. So we will forever remember his sacrifice on our behalf so that we could, in fact, go to heaven.
Thank you, Stephen. And thank you so much, Frida, for calling in with your question. Really grateful to learn that you're thinking deeply and carefully about these things. And even though there are aspects of the Christian faith that we really can't quite grasp. You know, Stephen, we're talking about a being that is so different from us and so unique and other from us. There's always going to be parts of God that we there's no illustration. No. That really helps us. But thank you so much. Freed over thinking about these things. The Trinity is a critical aspect of the Christian faith. And we're glad to be able to answer your question today. Friends, if you have any question about the Christian faith or the Bible, we have a special number that we've set up that you can call in to ask your question. Simply dial nine one zero eight zero eight nine three eight four. When you dial that number, no one is going to answer. In fact, we can't even answer that number because it doesn't ring here in the office. It's only set up for you to call in and record your question. That gives us the opportunity to play your question on a future broadcast and give Stephen a few moments to provide an answer. That number, again, is nine one zero eight zero eight nine three eight four. Anytime that you have a question, you can call that number just like this listener.
My name is Carolyn. I'm calling from the state of Kansas. My question is what Bible verse in the Old Testament proves that Passover sacrifices did not save them from their sins for an eternal salvation? How deceitful in their own system. Same as before the crucifixion.
Stephen, I'm going to interrupt Carolyn right there. Thank you for calling Carolyn. I'm she she has another part to this question, but it's really a completely different question. So we'll come back to that in just a moment. But this idea of Old Testament saints and how they were saved, it's been confusing for many people over the years.
Well, one of the common misconceptions about the Old Testament and the plan of salvation is that Jews in the Old Testament were saved by keeping the law and were saved. Today in the New Testament, by grace, through faith in Christ.
So you refer to that as a misconception.
So what is the what is the truth? Well, we know from Scripture that that misconception isn't true. And Carolyn, one of the things we need to do is allow the New Testament to explain the Old Testament. So, for instance, in Galatians Chapter three, Paul writes in verse eleven, It is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for the righteous shall live by faith. And Paul is actually quoting from the Old Testament Book of Habakkuk, chapter two and and verse four. So to put that together, salvation is by faith in the plan of God. So the Old Testament saint is is following the command of God. He is bringing blood sacrifices, but he's looking forward to the final sacrifice. And you mentioned Passover, and I think that's a wonderful illustration. Passover and the Atonement and in the Old Testament is important to understand the word atonement. In fact, in the Hebrew language means covering. It doesn't mean canceling. So those sins were temporarily covered. And in fact, it only lasted a year. Why? Well, we know that the high priest had to go back in and do it again and again and again and again every year.
It looked forward to the consummation, the reality that would do away with the ritual.
So in Hebrews Chapter nine, we're told that when Christ appeared, he entered in to the Tabernacle and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through his own blood. He entered the holy place once for all. That's Hebrews Chapter nine and verse twelve. So our redemption is based on the bloodshed of the innocent lamb. We look back to that moment in history as the cross when Jesus, the Lamb of God, was crucified. The Old Testament believer looked forward to that and demonstrated his trust in God's plan by the shedding of blood through the animals that pointed toward the coming final sacrifice. By the way, keep in mind this might help you friends as you study the Bible. There there are a lot of things that you'll observe in the Old Testament without any clear explanation. So that lets us know God has informed these Old Testament saints of a lot more than we read in the Old Testament.
Take, for example, Adam and Eve. We know they're the recipients of the very first atoning act of God. God took the lives of probably a couple of animals clothed Adam and Eve, and in that began to picture Atonement, a temporary covering that pointed toward the coming messiah.
And what do you find later on? Cain and Abel. Doing what? Offering sacrifices. Where'd they get that from? Well, obviously, God instructed Adam and Eve and the family that this is how you approach him through the shedding of blood. Although we're not told any of that. In fact, we're told that Cain's offering was rejected.
And it's easy to misunderstand that as well. Cain bless his heart. You know, he raised all those fruits and vegetables and. And God, you know, turned him down and he didn't know any better. Oh, he did. No. In fact, he would have been an older man, according to the narrative when this occurred. They had been offering every year.
And at this particular point, Cain rebelled and offered God the work of his own hands rather than the shedding of innocent blood.
And those old testaments, Saint Steve. And even going back to something you said earlier, they knew and understood that their salvation was based on their faith. In fact, you reminded us of the fact that they would have to do these sacrifices annually. They knew that it didn't carry their sin away from them.
Yes, God, I agree. In fact, Galatians Chapter three sort of ties it all together because it says Abraham believed. God. And it was reckoned to him as righteousness, therefore, be sure that it is those who are of faith, who are sons of Abraham. Now, here's this is an often overlooked text, but it gets back to my point that they knew a lot more than we know they knew. Because here's what verse eight says the scriptures for seeing that God would justify the gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham. So Abraham had the gospel preached to him about the coming messiah, about justification, my faith in Christ alone, the Messiah who would shed his blood. There's another text in Hebrews Chapter 11 that also tells us Abraham knew a lot more than we had any idea he knew Hebrews. Chapter 11, Verse nine, says, By Faith, Abraham lived as a foreigner in the land of promise, as in a foreign land dwelling intense with Isaac and Jacob, fellow heirs of this same promise. What's the promise? He is looking for this city, which has foundations whose architect and builder is God. He is, my friends, aware of the father's house, the city of gold, and he's living in a tent. But he is looking forward to living in the father's house. He knew all about this, even though we're not told what he was told by God. He was evidently very aware.
That's right. And that's true for every Old Testament saint. They're looking forward to the cross. And we're looking back to the cross. But salvation is always on the basis of faith in Jesus Christ. Absolutely. Thank you so much, Carolyn. Stephen, before we move away, though, Carolyn had to add another part to her question. It's going to take us in a in a completely different direction. But she also asked this kind of question to.
I know God doesn't like gambling for money. What about sweepstakes entries like Publisher's Clearinghouse free an answer for free. Thank you.
So, Stephen, Carolyn raises this issue of gambling and sweepstakes and and what the Bible has to say about it. Or are you personally.
Sure. Thank you again for this particular question. There is no verse that we can say or use to condemn gambling or the lottery or whatever, and they'd be nice if there was one. But I do believe there's a lot of scripture that provides the principled base for staying away from gambling. Look, let's just frankly call it what it is you're you are risking money you have. Which then isn't good stewardship, but you're risking money you have in hopes of taking away someone else's money. They probably can't afford to lose either. And that's gambling. The difficulty with Publisher's Clearinghouse sweepstakes. No, you're not risking money. So it isn't gambling in that sense. But I think it falls into the same category of of bringing you to can continually be thinking of things of earth rather than eternal things. Set your affection on things above, not on things of the earth. And I think that's a pull and a lure and a tug. In all of our hearts, the writer of Hebrews and Chapter 13, verse five, says, you know, we need to be free from the love of money, be content with what you have. I'm not content when I fill out that. All those forms for the Publisher's Clearinghouse sweepstakes. I'm not satisfied with where I am.
I might bet on chance, which would be gambling and risking money, which is unwise stewardship. I might be trying to get rich quick. And Solomon says don't do that either. Proverbs Chapter 13, verse 11, chapter 23, verse five. Avoid getting rich schemes and this will pour you into it as well. I can tell you from my own personal experience as a younger man, I filled out all those forms for the Publisher's Clearinghouse sweepstakes.
And I've had I even filled out which color I wanted my JAG wire or Mercedes. I can remember what it was, but it was a lot better than the car I was driving at the time. He was a vallario. Some of you are old enough to remember that classic car I picked out the color. And guess what I did all year. I thought about that man. If I win it, what I can do with all of that money and that kind of car and what I can buy and where were my affections? They certainly weren't on heaven. They certainly weren't a winning the loss. They certainly weren't on scripture. They certainly were on walking with Christ and trusting and by faith. It was all about man. What would happen if I got rich? If I got rich quick? Oh, sure. I'd give you some church. And if you're out there and you fill it out and you win it, I'm sure you'll send a large gift of wisdom for the heart, because that would be the right thing for you to do. Right now, you're just thinking of things of Earth and it's all going to pass away. Whatever you did earn would rust and dissolve. But in the meantime, what have you become? You've become a greedy earth bound. If I can just get rich quick. If I can just get more kind of Christian. And I don't want you to become that the spirit of God certainly doesn't want you to become that kind of of individual. So learn to be content, as Paul said, with whatever you have. It doesn't mean you can't start a business and make a profit. That doesn't mean you can't be wealthy. And it certainly doesn't mean you can't be in the will of God if you're poor. Learn to develop contentment, however, in where God has led you at this particular point in time, whether it is, as Paul said, to a bound or to be a based. That is to have much or to have little. We're going to continue looking to God in faith, trusting him to meet the needs we have. Don't risk what you have in gambling and don't focus on what you want to have. Through these kinds of sweepstakes, learn to be content with what you have.
Thank you so much, Stephen, for that reminder. And thank you, Carolyn, for calling in with your question. We were really glad to hear from you listening there in Kansas. Thanks for calling friends. The number that Carolyn used to ask her question is nine one zero eight zero eight nine three eight four. You can call that number anytime 24 hours a day, anytime that you have a question related to the Bible or the Christian faith. You can call and ask at nine one zero eight zero eight nine three eight four. We have time for one more question today.
First from you. I enjoyed listening to this program, but I have a question on a controversial set of doctors that I've heard. It's known as the surface. So there's one thing you see in the garden. The government involved in physical seduction, which produced you and Kenny Joseph as the first son. But there's certain see that this was actually some sort of statement. Can you comment?
Thank you, Bruce. Thank you so much for calling in with that question, frankly. Stephen, this is something that I have never heard of before, but apparently this is a doctrine that's being taught.
It is. It's called the Serpent Seed Doctrine. And basically, if I can just review it quickly, it's it's the eve didn't disobey. I mean, that that was certainly part of it. But what happened was that she actually had sexual contact with the serpent that is Satan. And Cain was the result of their liaison. And then Cain's descendants are, according to this, this false teaching, the sons of Satan. And frankly, people who teach this can choose a race and say, you know, their problem is they descended from Cain. It's basic biblical interpretation and superstition mixed together and all gone wrong. It's a false teaching. And the fall. By the way, of mankind, the original sin was not sexual. It was disobedience. In fact, the original sin is never even traced to Eve, is it? If you know your New Testament. You know that we'd talk about the sin of whom? Adam, not Eve. And it was it was a violation of God's word. And that was the temptation. Satan said, Eve, has God really said this? And she was deceived? Yes. You can translate that seduce. That's an old English term. From Genesis 313, this simply means tricked, beguiled, lured, deceived Adam, by the way, it was not deceived. He knowingly violated his role. And the word of God in choosing to disobey God. And so the original sin is not, oh, there was a sexual liaison between Eve and the serpent. Frankly, you know, Scott and friends, as you listen, I hear this kind of stuff in in of from false teaching that tracks everything back to sexual things. And I think that simply comes out of the perversion of fallen man's mind. That's where it lives. That's where it wants to live. That's what it wants to trace everything to. The original sin was disobedience. And this kind of misinterpretation and superstition is. Well, I always think of that old pronunciation of that that that ancient Hebrew word that's pronounced Bollo name. That's the way I like to think of it. It's baloney. Spend about, you know, 30 seconds looking it up and then just lace your boots up and run. Take the Bible at face value. What happened in the garden is clearly described for us. It's disobedience against the word of God.
Thank you, Steven. And thank you so much, Bruce, for calling in with your question. When we encounter doctrines or teachings and and it doesn't sound right or it seems to go against the clear teaching of scripture, the important principle to follow is to always line it up, line it up against God's words, see what it says and and you'll discover where the truth lies.
Thanks so much for joining us today for this question and answer broadcast here on Wisdom for the Heart. I gave the numbers several times already during the broadcast, but our question line, if you'd like to call it, is nine one zero eight zero eight nine three eight four. You can use that number any time that you have a question for Stephen. I wanted to mention that we've taken the complete archive of all of Stephen's question and answer programs. We've split out each one into an individual file and we've posted all of those questions and answers on our app. If you download the Wisdom International app to your smartphone, you'll have access to all of the Bible questions, Stevens answered.
So far, you'll find our app in the eye TOS and the Google Play stores, and I encourage you to install it today. In addition to these questions, you'll find the complete archive of Stevens teaching posted there. You can listen to each lesson or read the printed manuscript. Once again, that app is available in the eye, iTunes and Google Play stores. And I encourage you to download it today.
I hope you have a great weekend and join us again Monday right here on Wisdom for the Heart's.