Call To Die

Then [Jesus] said to them all, "If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will save it. (Luke 9:23-24, HCSB)

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Follower of Christ, husband of Abby, member of Kosmosdale Baptist Church, and tutor/staff member at Sayers Classical Academy.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Trinity

[The following is the devotion I delivered at last week's pre-work prayer meeting with friends from UPS.]

Summary of the biblical doctrine of the Trinity:

Within the one being that is God, there exists eternally three co-equal and co-eternal Persons: namely, the Father (Matt 6:9), the Word or Son (John 1:1-2; 17:5; Col 2:9), and the Holy Spirit (John 14:26; 15:26; Acts 8:29; 13:2), each with distinct personal attributes (Isa 48:16; Matt 3:16-17; Rom 8:26-27; Heb 9:13-14), but without division of nature, essence or being (John 10:30; 14:9; Acts 5:39).

Examples of Triadic passages:

Matt. 28:18-19
II Cor. 13:14

Origin of the doctrine of the Trinity:

C.S. Lewis notes that the Church’s understanding of the Trinity first started to become clear due to the experiences of Jesus’ early followers: The disciples knew of God in a vague way, they met Jesus Christ, and they found God living in them (i.e., the Holy Spirit).

Similarly, Bruce Ware notes that the Church’s understanding of the Trinity first started to become clear due to the Person and Work of the Lord Jesus Christ: The nature of Jesus’ claims and actions verifying those claims drives us to the inevitable conclusion of His deity [see Mark 2:1-12], yet He is shown as distinct from the Father by His prayers and human nature.

Biblical evidence of the Trinity:

Our knowledge of God comes from what He has revealed about Himself in Scripture.
We know that the Father and the Son [also called God and the Word] are two distinct Persons, yet one God, due to Bible passages such as John 1:1. In John 1:1, we see:
  1. The Word was with God; language describes a face-to-face relationship (indicates intimacy and distinction).
  2. The Word was God; language indicates reversibility; God was the Word.
The Old Testament focuses on the LORD as one in His being, as we saw from Deuteronomy 6:4, though it points forward to Jesus Christ by prophesies and types. The New Testament focuses on the Person of Jesus Christ. Therefore, we have less direct information about the Holy Spirit. But we do see that the Holy Spirit is considered a distinct Person– in Matt. 28:18-19 and II Cor. 13:4 that we already read, and in passages such as John 14:26 and 16:7, which are extremely important for other theological reasons as well– and He is considered to be God, as we see, for example, in a comparison between passages such as I Cor. 2:11 and Rom. 11:33-34.

The importance of the doctrine of the Trinity:

We must believe in God as He has revealed Himself to us, not inventing a God from our own imaginations, for that would be idolatry. Though non-Trinitarian presentations of God sometimes seem to make sense considered in themselves, the doctrine of the Trinity is the only understanding of God that reflects all the Bible has to say concerning the nature of God. The doctrine of the Trinity is not something that could have arisen based on human reasoning alone: we only know God as Triune based on what He has revealed. And so the doctrine of the Trinity, properly understood, drives us to faith in His Word.

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