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Sun, Aug 21, 2005

5 - The Trinity - Part 1

by Robert Dean
Series:Basics 1: Foundation for Life (2005)
Duration:44 mins 29 secs

Foundation Lesson 5  August 21, 2005

 

NKJ Isaiah 40:7 The grass withers, the flower fades, Because the breath of the LORD blows upon it; Surely the people are grass.

 

This evening we continue our study of "Foundation for Life."  There is only one foundation for life.  That is the Scripture.  The issue that addresses us today in our contemporary society is one on the concept of truth.  In earlier generations the question that was often addressed was the question, how did we know what the truth is? Today we live in a postmodern world where the issue isn't how do we know what the truth is but how do we know if there is truth.  There are as a result of so many competing philosophical systems an air of skepticism and Sinicism.  There is doubt in our society that anyone can know the truth.  If anyone claims to know the truth and that there is one and only one truth, they are viewed as being somewhat arrogant.  But the Bible makes this claim.  It is one that human systems down through the ages have often scoffed at.  In fact as I pointed out in our opening lesson when Jesus appeared before Pontius Pilate, He said that those who knew the truth heard Him. 

 

Pilate dismissedly scoffs, "Truth, what is that?'  We find ourselves today in the midst of a postmodern world where people dismiss that there is truth.  Part of the problems with that is this culture that surrounds us often impacts our own thinking in ways we are not always fully conscious of.  We live in a world of moral relativism where people don't understand absolutes and how these absolutes in doctrine relate to every area of life.  It does not just influence how we live, our salvation, our spiritual life but these absolutes that we study from God's word impact every area of human thought.  That to me is one of the fantastic things about God's word.  It doesn't just address spirituality.  Indeed it addresses every dimension of life.  The more you study the Scripture and the more you plumb its depths of the words the more it makes you realize that the Word of God gives us the basis for thinking about any field of endeavor – whatever it might be. 

 

One of the foundational ideas in the Bible is the understanding of God in what is known as the Doctrine of the Trinity.  This is what we will study tonight and next week as well.  It is a crucial doctrine for understanding everything in the Bible as it relates to who God is and what God is doing in our lives and what God has done at the cross.  That is the foundation but it goes beyond that.  The Doctrine of the Trinity  has application in a vast number of areas.  It affects politics. It affects many issues in philosophy.  It affects how you think about marriage and family.  It affects every dimension of human society.  Because what we see in the trinity is that for all eternity there is not just a solitary God in existence out there.  There is not just some impersonal force.  But there is a triune God –three persons with one essence – who in themselves form a perfect society.  We have social God.  There is a society within the Godhead.  Because He is social He is personal.  We can have a personal relationship with Him.  It impacts how we see society.  Contemporary teaching of the thinking is shallow today. The trinity laid the foundation of society in the past.  What does the Bible teach about the trinity?  It is true and correct because this is what God revealed about himself in the Word.  No religious system has anything like it.  God is the creator.  We have a creation, creator distinction.  He is distinct infinite personal God.  He is in fact the source of all creation.  No other religious system has triune God.  They give evidence that the Bible is uniquely revealed.  There are a number of groups that talk the doctrine of the trinity.  Jews and Muslims and Unitarians and Jehovah Witnesses all balk at this.  Others reject it because it does not make sense to them.  It does not seem logical but for bother of these groups the problem they have is that they do not properly understand Biblical teaching.  God is three in one.  It is difficult for the infinite mind to understand.  If we reduce God we put Him inside the box.  But He is vastly different from creation.  The Bible teaches that He exists in a plurality.  There are three persons in the Godhead.  As we look at this doctrine of the trinity is not some strange theological oddity.  Some say that it started at the Councilof Nicea/  Not so!  It did not come from Greek philosophy either.  The term is not found in the Old Testament or the New Testament.  That does not mean it is not true.  In real Christianity as they struggled to explain Him, Tertolian council the word trinity describing God as three persons.  One can be said to be  They equally share all attributes.  The are co-equal. No one has mare knowledge or power or presence or love than the other.  They are co-eetrnal.  There is never a time that the  Son did not exist. There is never a time that the Spriit did not exist.  Thre always was a  Father.  There was always a Son.  There was always a Hold Spirit.

 

1.  The Bible teaches that there is one an donly way to God.  This is in the Old Testament and the new Testament.  Ex 20:1  In the first of the 10 commandments it in we have a clear statement of monotheism.  The Hebrew word ELOHIM has the idea of plurality.  God has a proper name.  It is YHWH.  The plural indicates a multiplicity of person in the Hebrew.  These is a plurality of majesty.  If elohim were a plura of  majesty we wuld see a singular verb.  Subject and verb must agree in the Hebrew.  If elohim were a plural of majesty you would have a singular verb.  NKJ Genesis 1:26 Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth."

  The verse indicates that there is a multiple personality in the Godhead.  NKJ Isaiah 6:3 And one cried to another and said: "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; The whole earth is full of His glory!"

That they repeat holy three times indicates the trinity.  Then in verse 8 the verb is plural.  With a plural noun.  The verb indicates plurality. 

NKJ Deuteronomy 6:4 " Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one!

Nomder day views are monotheist.  What happened between 516 and 710 AD?  What ws the more important thing?  The Messiah cam e and claimed to be God.  This is mistranslated because it makes it appear as strict monotheism.  The Hebrew word for one ie echad.  Another verse I Chron 29:1 The claim is that Deut 6:4 indicates a solitary being.  But I Chro 29:1 shows a different nuance.  It says that Solomon was chosen uniquely.  He was a distinct from all others.  He is the only one God as chose.  Plug that in to Deut 6:4.  The staement is not that He is one personality it is that God is the only God.  The idea of plurality is I it. Gen 2:24  Unity of marriage has a multiplicity it has the idea of unity.  The Old Testament recognizes that there are multiple personalities in the trinity.  The angel of  YHWH  He is clearly identified as God The angel of the Lord is God.  Gen 2:24 

 

NKJ Genesis 2:24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

 

This is the Lord who says an dprovides.  In Judges 6 Gideon refers to the angel of the Lord as God.  The angel of the Lord is fully divine. 

 

Zechariah tells us that there are distinct personalities in the trinity.  It shows that the Old Testament reveals ultiple personalities in the Word. 

 

NKJ Isaiah 48:12 " Listen to Me, O Jacob, And Israel, My called: I am He, I am the First, I am also the Last.

 

 

NKJ Revelation 22:13 "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last."

 

The title first an dlast is applied to Jesus.  John uses a monotheistic

 

NKJ Isaiah 48:13 Indeed My hand has laid the foundation of the earth, And My right hand has stretched out the heavens; When I call to them, They stand up together.

 

NKJ Isaiah 48:14 "All of you, assemble yourselves, and hear! Who among them has declared these things? The LORD loves him; He shall do His pleasure on Babylon, And His arm shall be against the Chaldeans.

 

Hand is an anthropomorphism.  It is a term to communicate God's policies.  It is a personification of Jeus Christ.  He did the creation work.  Is 48:15-16  Jesus Speaks He had three persons is vers 1.  People say that the trinity is not found in the Old Testament but here it is. 

 

NKJ Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

  Birther relates to his humanity.  Son relates to deity.  He is the Son of God.  God the Father gives his son to die for our sins. The child that is born and be called God because he is God.  Father of eternity  Micha 5:2  400 or 500 years before the brith of Christ.  Thehuma in fully divine.  He always existed.  So the Old Testament predicts a divine and human savior. 

 

We realize in the New Tesametn that he ws crucified because he claimed to be God.  Jon 10"30  Jesus claims complete unity with God the Father. 

 

NKJ Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.

 

NKJ Matthew 28:19 "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

 

 

In the name (singular) not names!  If it ws three God's hewould have said names.  He recognizes it is one God in complete unity. 

 

NKJ Matthew 28:20 "teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen.

 

 

 

II Cor 13:14 all three members have equal attributes.  The idea of plurality is one God in three persons in one essence.  Everyone who wrote the New Testament were devout monotheists.  But they had no problem assigning Old Tesametn verses to Jesus Christ.

 

 

NKJ Psalm 96:5 For all the gods of the peoples are idols, But the LORD made the heavens.

 

The distinctions

 

 

 

NKJ Isaiah 44:6 " Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel, And his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: 'I am the First and I am the Last; Besides Me there is no God.

Multiplicity of persons.  It is the idea of exclusivity

 

NKJ Matthew 19:17 So He said to him, "Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments."

 

 

NKJ John 5:18 Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, because He not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God.

 

 

We want to say that Jesu sChrist ws a good teacher or a good prophet.  He is either telling the truth or a lie.  He claimed to be God.  He went to the cross and paid the penalty for sin. We have a savior.  Because he was the God man and what He did as the person oHe could die for the entire for the whole human race.

 

I AM is ego eimi.  Is the translation of YHWH.  He said Iam the good shepherd.  I am the way the truth and the life.  The doctrine of the tinity undergirds everything about salvation without the tinity there is no Christianity.  The scripture is a claim that salvation is based on Him 

 

NKJ Acts 4:12 "Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved."