Theology Thursday- The Trinity

Theology-Thursday

The evidence for the Trinity is throughout the bible. Here is another example:

John 16:32, Jesus said, “Behold, the hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home, and will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me.”

A common argument against the Trinity is that God is only person; God is alone. Jesus declares just the opposite. Jesus is not alone. The Father is with him. Think with me, if God is only one person who manifests himself in different forms (as Father, later as Son, and still later as Spirit) then we must affirm that God is alone. If that is true, then Jesus was wrong. The Father is not with him, Jesus is left alone, he has only himself.

Praise God for the Trinity; three in One. We see the great blessing of the Trinity in their perfection relationship of love and joy. When every other person had abandoned the Son, he took heart. He was not alone. There was another person with him. The Father is not always the Son. No, the Bible affirms the Father is always with the Son.

Theology Thursday, Part 5

Theology-Thursday

We have been looking at the book of Revelation and the wonderful truth that the one God is three persons. Today concludes our look at the Book of Revelation.

Revelation 22:16-21

16 “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you about these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.”
17 The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price.
18 I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, 19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.
20 He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!
21 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.

The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Re 22:16–21). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

Here we find a good example of the persons of the Trinity talking with one another affirming the reality of their distinct person hood. The Spirit speaks to Jesus and says, “Come.” Jesus then responds to the Spirit, “Surely I am coming soon.” Let us remember that the Spirit is the Spirit of God (1 Corinthians 2:11), the Spirit of Christ (Romans 8:9; Philippians 1:19). The Spirit desires the return of the Son. The Spirit does not desire to become the Son, who will return, as if the Spirit and the Son are the same person. The Trinity is simultaneously perfect unity, perfectly one, in three persons.

The Athanasian Creed is helpful at this point. Take a moment to click here and read it.

The Trinity in Revelation, Part 2

Theology-Thursday

Our current emphasis on Theology Thursdays is the Trinity in the book of Revelation.

Revelation 3:20-22

Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.

We again see explicit reference to the three persons of the Godhead, just as we saw in Revelation 1:4-5. It is the Son who is now knocking and inviting us to commune with him and rule with him. It is the Son who is now ruling with the Father. It is the Spirit who is speaking these words of the Son to the church.

It is an awesome invitation that Jesus wants to be with us as we go through each day. Jesus is available to you so that you can conquer temptation and overcome evil with good. It is Jesus who will confess your name before his Father (Rev 3:5). The Jesus who is for you now will be for you forever. Depend on him. Pray now and confess your weakness (Rev 3:17). Ask Jesus to give you strength.

In response to the distinction of persons in Revelation 3:21, modalism claims that it is foolish to think the Son and the Father will sit together on one throne. Therefore, there can only be one person who manifests himself at different times in different ways. Modalism claims there is only one person who is God and modalism denies there are three persons in the Godhead. Is the idea of the Father and Son sitting together on one throne foolish and therefore worthy of our rejection?

If you reject the unity of the Father and Son on the throne as foolishness then you must also reject your unity with the Son on his throne as foolishness. Read Revelation 3:21 again.

The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne.

Instead of repudiating the Trinity, this verse wonderfully teaches the unity of persons. Our unity with the Son (see Romans 6) is a picture in miniature of the unity of the Father and Son. To demand that Revelation 3:21 says Jesus is sitting on the Father’s lap is to demand that Revelation 3:21 says Christians will sit on the Son’s lap. That is not the point! The point is shared rule in perfect unity. John is not describing the seating chart of heaven but the unity of rule over all creation. United to Christ, we are invited into the splendor of the Trinity.

The Trinity in Revelation Part 1

Theology-Thursday

This begins my Theology Thursday emphasis on the Trinity. My goal here is to affirm sound doctrine and help you apply it to your life. Check back in each Thursday, or subscribe, for a strengthening dose of doctrine each week.

Revelation 1:4-5

John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.

Here we find an explicit reference to the Trinity: the eternal Father, the perfect Spirit, and the resurrected Son. In the triune God we find an infinite fountain of grace. The God who rules over all time and all people and situations is ready to give you grace. The seven churches need to hear this because they were enduring persecution and were called to put sin to death. Maybe today you need to be reminded that the Father, Son, and Spirit are for you in your difficulty and have grace for you.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ

Text: Various                                                                         4/24/2011

Thesis: The good news of Jesus Christ removes our death-debt and restores us to God

I. God

The Trinitarian God is content in Himself.  He created us, and He has spoken.

Who is God?

1. God is self-sufficient Trinity (Acts 17:24-25; Matthew 3:16-17)

2. God is holy

a) Exodus 15:11, “Who is like you, O Lord, majestic in holiness, awesome in glorious deeds, doing wonders?”

b) Leviticus 19:2, “Speak to all the congregation of the people of Israel and say to them, ‘You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy.’”

c) Revelation 4:8, “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come.”

3. God is love

a) 1 John 4:8, “God is love.”

4. God is awesome

a) Psalm 73:25, “Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.”

b) Philippians 3:8, “I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ.”

What has He done?

1. He created us

a) Psalm 100:3, “Know that the Lord, He is God; it is He who has made us; and not we ourselves; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture” (NKJV).

b) Genesis 1:27, “God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”

2. He spoke to us

a) Hebrews 1:1-2, “Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.”

3. He sustains us

a) Hebrews 1:3, “He upholds the universe by the word of his power” (Colossians 1:17)

Why did he do it?

1. The Triune God created all things for Jesus

a) Colossians 1:17, “all things were created through him and for him.”

b) You were created to know God, enjoy God, listen to God, and reflect the glory of God.

c) God is the reason for your existence

II. Man

Man was created to be God-dependent and content

God sustains us. God speaks to us. God satisfies us.

Man was tempted to be independent

Genesis 3:1; 4&5- Here’s the temptation, “Did God actually say you shall not eat of any tree in the garden… You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil. So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.”

1. We are tempted to doubt what God said

2. We are tempted to define good and evil for ourselves

3. We are tempted to find our satisfaction apart from God

Sin can be defined as the attempt to do anything without God

Isaiah 53:6, “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to us his own way.”

Spending OUR time and OUR energy on what WE think is best. We sin, when out of desire to be satisfied, fulfilled, or happy we try to be what God never intended us to be. We sin when we try to do what God never intended us to do.

The payment for our rebellion is death

Let’s do a test to make sure we all understand opposites. The opposite of hot is what? Cold. The opposite of wet is what? Dry.  The opposite of life is what?  Death.

When we turn away from God who is the giver of life we necessarily turn toward death. Before temptation ever started God graciously warned Adam and Eve that if they turned away from him and his word they would surely die. When you turn away from life you embrace death.

Genesis 2:16&17, “And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

Romans 6:23, “The wages of sin is death.”

One day several thousand years ago God was teaching Moses about who God is; about the very nature of God. And one important characteristic of God is recorded in Exodus 34:7: He is the God “who will by no means clear the guilty.” It is impossible for God to let a guilty man walk. Because He is the God who always keeps his word and because he is just in all his ways God is telling you today that you will not go free. You will not be graded on a curve.

Payment for your sins must be made and Hebrews 9:27 tells us that God has already set up the day when you will stand in front of him and settle accounts.

Are you ready to stand before God and explain to him why you turned your back on him? Are you ready to give a God-convincing reason for why you abandoned his truth and bought into the lies of the word?

God has warned you- the payment for sin is death. And God has told you that he will not let the guilty go free. My prayer is that the Holy Spirit is right now exposing your sin. My prayer is that right now the Holy Spirit is bringing to your mind every instance of turning away from God. And all this so that you will finally find the forgiveness and freedom your guilty conscience cries out for.

God is holy. He will not let the guilty go unpunished. And what was that other characteristic of God? God is love. John 3:16, ‘For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son so that whoever believes in him would not perish but have everlasting life.”

III. Christ

1. Fully God

a) John 1:1

2. Perfect man

a) John 1:14

b) Hebrews 2:17 (4:15)

3. Atoning sacrifice

a) Isaiah 53:6

b) 1 Peter 2:24 (3:18)

c) 2 Corinthians 5:21 (Mark 10:45)

4. Conquering King

a) Revelation 1:17&18, “Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.”

b) The resurrection vindicates Jesus as the one who has power over sin and the grave (Romans 1:4)

c) The resurrection of Jesus is in fact our passing through the waters of God’s wrath for our sins (1 Peter 3:21)

d) The resurrection is the power by which we are born again (1 Peter 1:3)

IV. Salvation

1. You must be born again

a) John 3:3 Jesus said, “Truly, truly I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

b) What is wrong with you must be fixed. Your heart of stone that is stuck on you must be replaced with a heart of flesh that focuses on God. You need a new heart with new desires and sufficient power to follow after God. Simply put the old you needs to be wiped out and a new you needs to be created.

c) This is the work of the Holy Spirit

2. Repent

a) Peter said in Acts 3:19, “Repent, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out.” (Mark 1:15)

b) Acknowledge sin 1 John 1:9

c) Emotional sorrow 2 Corinthians 7:10

d) Personal decision to flee from sin 2 Chron 7:14

3. Believe

a) Peter said in Acts 10:43 that to this resurrected Jesus “all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”

b) Romans 10:9 says, “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

c) Believe here is the one who has paid for my sin by his death

d) Believe here is the one who has gives me life because he rose from the dead (Romans 6:4; 1 Peter 1:3)

e) Believe here is the one who gives me his righteousness (Romans 5:19; 3:21-26)

4. Follow

a) 2 Corinthians 5:15 says Jesus “died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.”

b) There is a new life for all those who are born again through repentance and faith. This new life is full of new joys and new trials that lead to new joys. This new life is from Jesus and for Jesus. Living like him is why you were created.

Here’s my invitation

  1. As the Holy Spirit brings you to acknowledge the guilt of your sin before a holy God, repent. With godly grief tell your Creator that you are sorry you turned away from Him. You are invited to repent.
  2. As the Holy Spirit brings you to the end of yourself put your faith in Jesus Christ, believe. Believe that Jesus has died paying the penalty for your sin. Believe that Jesus rose again conquering your sin and your grave. Believe that he gives you new life to live as God purposed you to live. You are invited to believe.
  3. As the Holy Spirit brings you to life follow Jesus with us. Link up with a faith family that will love you and equip you and serve alongside of you.  You are invited to follow Jesus as a part of this church.
  4. As we sing a final song of praise I am going to make myself available to you. If you have any questions or want to pray with someone or if you want to tell the world that Jesus has saved you then I stand ready to receive you.