06-07-2020: GOD3 – The Trinity – MATT 22:45-47

I. Introduction.

Charles Wesley, the brother of John Wesley who was the founder of the Methodist Church once said, “Find me a worm that can understand the complexities of being human and I’ll show you a person that can understand the Trinity.”

II. “Trinity” ~ Not in the Bible???

The word “Trinity” isn’t found in the Bible – and because of that – sometimes there are people who say it’s not a Biblical doctrine. I’ve had people say to me things like, “If it’s not in the Bible then I’m not going to accept it as a Biblical teaching.” And then I usually will say to them, “The word Bible isn’t in the Bible either, that doesn’t mean you don’t accept it.” The name “Jehovah” isn’t there and word “rapture” isn’t in there either… what about that? The word “Trinity” isn’t there – but the concept and the teaching of it – is most certainly found and taught in Scripture. Now the problem is that the doctrine of the Trinity is beyond our full understanding. Our finite minds can’t fully comprehend it – but we believe in this doctrine because it is taught in Scripture.

The first time we see the Trinity in Scripture is in the creation account in Genesis when God created man – Scripture tells us that God said, “Let US make man in OUR image and after OUR likeness.” He speaks of Himself in the plural. The Hebrew word used for “God” is “Elohim” – which is a plural word – or a plural form of God. And so right off the crack of the bat we see that God is a Trinity.

III. The Doctrine of the Trinity.

So, what is the doctrine of the Trinity? Well for starters let me just say that the doctrine of the Trinity is foundational to the Christian faith – if you deny that the Father, Son, or Holy Spirit is God – then you have denied Christianity and so it’s important that even though we can’t fully understand the Trinity – we at least understand what the Bible teaches about it.

A. One God in Three Persons.

What God as the Trinity means – is that there is one God, who eternally exists as 3 distinct Persons – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. God is one in essence and 3 in person. Each Person is fully God, and yet there is only one God.

So, turn with me first to Phil. 1:2 (read) – this passage clearly shows us that the Father is God. Now turn with me to Titus 2:13 (read) – here we see the Son is God. Now lets look at Acts 5:3-4 (read) – here Peter says, “When you lied to the Holy Spirit, you lied to God.” And so, we see in these passages and others – that God is 3 distinct Persons. This has more to do than with just roles and duties of one Person who is God. The Father sent the Son into the world – and when Jesus returned to the Father – the Father and Son then sent the Holy Spirit. So they are distinct from one another. We see an excellent example of this in the baptism of Jesus – turn with me to Mark 1:10-11 (read). Now what this means to you and me is that the Father is not the Son – and He is not the Holy Spirit – the Son is not the Father and He is not the Holy Spirit – and the Holy Spirit is not the Father – nor is He the Son. The Father is God – Jesus is God – and the Holy Spirit is God – but they are not three separate gods. Now it’s easy for us to think of the Father and the Son in terms of “personhood” but often times we fail to see the Holy Spirit this way. But the Holy Spirit is not some “force” from Star Wars – He is not simply “the power of God” as some Unitarians claim – He is a distinct person. Now when I say person – I’m talking about personhood – having a personality if you will. Each member of the Trinity can think – each can speak – each are attributed with what we would call emotions – They can have joy, grief, wrath, mercy – they understand – have wills – feel – and give personal help and fellowship. So, we see that each Person of the Trinity is distinct – but each one is also fully God. It’s not like the Father is 1/3 God – the Son is 1/3 God – and the Holy Spirit is 1/3 God – no the Bible is clear that all 3 Persons are each 100% God, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are all FULLY God.

B. Not Three Gods.

Again; let me make it clear that it isn’t 3 gods. The central – most important prayer in Judaism is the “Shema” – and it comes from Deuteronomy chapter 6:4, “Hear O Israel, the LORD, our God, the LORD is one!” The original Hebrew is very interesting there because it says – “Adonai, Elohim(in), Adonai” It amazes me that the Jewish people can’t see the 3 distinctions made there. Father, Son and Holy Spirit are distinct Persons – they are each fully God – and yet there is only one God. So again… what that means is that there is one God who exists in 3 distinct Persons.

If there’s one passage that brings all of this together for us today it’s Matthew 28:19, the Great Commission – let’s turn there and look at it (Read). That passage distinguishes the Father, Son and Holy Spirit as distinct – but we are to baptize them in THE NAME – which is singular; and they are all placed on the same level – which shows us that they are all divine – they are all God.

IV. A Trinity….. So What? What’s That Got to Do with You?

So… God is a trinity – or triune – how does knowing that apply to us? In other words – what does that mean to you and me? Well, for one thing it helps us understand our salvation.

Salvation is a gift from God – and remember God is a trinity. Salvation is the work of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. If you want to get technical – all the work of God is done in perfect harmony and unity – and cooperation between the Trinity. Creation was the work of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Genesis 1 tells us that the Father was involved in creation –  Colossians 1:16 tells us that all things were made by Jesus and for Jesus – and then back in Genesis chapter 1:2 we see the Holy Spirit hovering over the face of the waters in creation. We see the Trinity involved in the resurrection of Jesus. Acts 13:30 tells us that God raised Jesus from the dead. In John 2:19 Jesus said to the Jews, “Destroy this temple and in 3 days I will raise it up.” And Romans 1:4 and 8:11 show us that the Holy Spirit was involved in the resurrection.

A. Teamwork of the Trinity.

In salvation the covenant of grace was planned by the Father – executed by the Son – and applied by the Holy Spirit. One can see this when they study of Jude. In verse one – Jude wrote to “Those who are called, sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ.” We are called by the Holy Spirit – set apart by the Father – and preserved by the Son.

1. The Father.

Turn with me to 1st Peter 1:2 (read). So here we see the Father as the Orchestrator or planner of Salvation. God chose us before the foundation of the world. That word foreknowledge doesn’t refer to God’s omniscience – it is a relational term. It’s not rational knowledge – but relational knowledge. And then back there in Jude it says we are sanctified by the Father – we are set apart – we are His special people. So, we see that the Father planned it.

2. The Son.

Galatians 4:4-5 shows us the work of the Son as the Redeemer. The One who buys us back from sin. So, the Father planned it and sent His Son, the Son carried out the Father’s plan completely, securing redemption for those God foreknew. In fact, Hebrews 9:12 tells us that when Jesus ascended back to the Father’s right hand – He did so because He had obtained eternal redemption for us. And we are now “preserved” in Him and by Him (that’s Jude 1 again). That word “preserved” is the Greek word “Tereo” and it means “to keep an eye on, to guard over.” In other words, we are guarded by Jesus. And so, we can know that we are eternally secure in Christ. We have eternal security because the Lord promises that He will not lose any that the Father has given to Him.

3. The Holy Spirit.

So, what about the Holy Spirit? 1st Peter 1:2 tells us that the Holy Spirit is also sanctifying us. This has to do with personally applying the blood of Christ to our souls. Theologians call this “vital sanctification.” Titus 3:5 tells us that it is the Holy Spirit who is washing us from sin – and renewing us.

B. The Trinity in Review (Meant to Dispel Any Confusion).

So, let’s look at each member of the Trinity in review:

The Father is revealed as representing the majesty – exercising the sovereignty – and maintaining the rights and privileges of the Godhead. The Bible tells us that “He loved us,” that “He blessed us with all spiritual blessings in Christ,” that “He chose us before the foundations of the world,” that “He predestined us to the adoption of children by Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of His will,” that “He has made us acceptable in the beloved,” that “He gave His only begotten Son,” that “He sent His Son to be our Savior,” that “He made Him to be sin for us,” that “He set Him forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood,” that “He spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up to death for us,” that “He commanded His love towards us,” that “He raised Him up from the dead,” that “He crowned Him with honor and glory and set Him over the works of His hands.”

The Son is revealed as submitting to the Father; He is “sent,” He is “given,” He “comes to do His Fathers will,” “He was wounded for our transgressions and bruised for our iniquities,” He “bore our sins in His own body,” He “gave Himself as an offering and a sacrifice to God,” He “was raised because of our justification,” that He is “seated at the right hand of God,” and every knee should bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of the Father.

The Holy Spirit is revealed as proceeding from the Father, and sent by the Son, He “testifies of Christ,” He “glorifies Christ,” He “bears witness of Christ,” He “convinces the world of sin and judgment,” He “shines into the hearts of men and gives them the light of the knowledge of the glory of God,” He “renews them in the spirit of their minds,” He “gives life to them eternally,” He “dwells in us,” “works in us,” and “guides us into all truth,” He “helps in our infirmities,” and “bears witness with our spirits that we are the children of God.” And He “seals us until the day of redemption.”

Now the reason I’m going over all of this is so that we can see the unity and consistency in God’s plan of salvation. Because if we see this as Scripture teaches – we see that there is no way we can deny the doctrines of unconditional election – particular redemption – irresistible grace – and the preservation of the saints. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are all involved in our salvation – our sanctification and in our preservation.

V. Conclusion.

My Beloved Brothers and Sister in Christ Jesus – The Trinity is important because God is important. And I think that when we are aware of the distinct role that each Person of the Trinity has in our salvation – it gives us great comfort and appreciation for God – in our lives – in our worship – in our service and in our prayers. We believe in the doctrine of the Trinity – not because we fully understand it – but because the Bible teaches it. And by looking at this doctrine today I hope that I haven’t confused the issue for you more – but rather that I’ve been able to make it more clear to you.

Let us pray – O Triune God, what an exciting mystery we celebrate today, that you, our God, are three persons in one being. Your essence is so awesome, it is beyond our understanding. Your three-fold name was placed upon us when we were baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Through your efforts, blessed Trinity – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – we have been created, redeemed, and sanctified. Although we have never understood the fullness of the Trinity – you have granted us new life and have declared us innocent through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross.

We cling in faith to you, the only God. We praise you dear Father – for having loved us and sent your Son to die for our sins. We praise you dear Jesus – for having redeemed us from our sins by sacrificing yourself for us. We praise you, Holy Spirit – for having sanctified us for you gave us faith and through faith cleansed us from sin. O Triune God – graciously enable us always to believe and obey – and to worship and confess you; Creator, Redeemer and Sanctified – one God – eternal and all-glorious forever.  Amen.

Remember: “Be safe while you keep the faith!” – Go with God!

“God3 ~ The Trinity”

Matthew 22:41-45 & Isaiah 48:16-17

I. Introduction.

II. “Trinity” ~ Not in the Bible???

III. The Doctrine of the Trinity.

A. One God in Three Persons.

B. Not Three Gods.

IV. A Trinity….. So What? What’s That Got to Do with You?

A. Teamwork of the Trinity.

1. The Father.

2. The Son.

3. The Holy Spirit.

B. The Trinity in Review (Meant to Dispel Any Confusion).

V. Conclusion.

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