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The Trinity

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The Trinity does not exist, say the cults and badly-taught Christians. There is no mention of it in scripture, say others. What is the truth? Even if we discover that each Person exists individually, how do we know each is also God – that is, three persons in one? Let us find out, as simply as possible.

God is the Father and Jesus

In 1 Corinthians 8:6, we read “But to us (there is but) one God, the Father, of whom (are) all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom (are) all things, and we by him.” You might think that “of whom” is different from “by whom”, but both mean essentially the same thing. In the Greek the word translated ‘by’ is ‘through’. Thus, “of whom” and “by whom” are really the same thing. In other words all things came into being because of Jesus Christ… and the Father. So, if Paul refers to the Father as ‘God’ and Jesus Christ in the same manner, then both are God.

Other than this reference there are many references to the Father being God. In many texts God the Father is used in conjunction with ‘Lord Jesus Christ’. Note that ‘Lord’, kyrios, refers to the Master, owner and disposer of things, the person to whom things belong, the sovereign; it is also the title of God, the Messiah, so anyone denying that Christ is God would be very hard pressed to explain why.

As I have shown many times in Bible studies, Jesus referred to Himself as God in a variety of ways (see studies in Matthew, Mark, etc.). It is why the Pharisees and strict Jews wanted to kill Jesus: “Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the Sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.” (John 5:18). ‘Equal’, isos, means to be equal in quality; equal to the other in rank, status, nature and authority.

In verse 21 we find that both the Father and the Son can raise the dead. In verse 23 the Father wants all men to honour the Son as they honour the Father. A very straightforward text is Matthew 4:7, “Jesus said unto him, it is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.”

It might be said that Jesus was not referring to Himself when He rebuked the devil, but was speaking on behalf of the Father. But, this would not agree with the situation: Satan was not tempting the Father, but the Son, Who was standing next to him! It was Jesus Who was being tempted, on this earth; it was Jesus to Whom Satan spoke. Therefore, Jesus was rebuking him for trying to tempt Him – God.

Act 10:36, “The word which (God) sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all).” Thus, Jesus Christ is Lord of all, God. Philippians 2:11, “And (that) every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ (is) Lord…”

An interesting twist in scripture is found in 1 Timothy 1:1. “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, (which is) our hope.” Jesus Christ is usually referred to as the Saviour; here God is the Saviour. So, ‘God’, ‘Saviour’ and ‘Christ’ are synonymous. To deny that Jesus Christ is not God, is to be an antichrist (1 John 4:3).

1 John 5:20 is also explicit: “And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, (even) in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.” That is, Jesus Christ is the “true God”. We also know that no-one has seen the Father (John 6:46), and yet Christ said to Philip “he that hath seen me hath seen the Father.” Christ was and is God.

The Father, then, is God, and Jesus Christ is God. To reject this is to be an antichrist.

The Holy Spirit is God

The Holy Spirit is often depicted as a kind of impersonal force. During the charismatic ‘Toronto Blessing’ this despicable teaching gained ground, and many charismatics refer to the Spirit as ‘it’ and not as ‘He’. But, the Holy Spirit is a Person, for He causes men to speak, or act, and gives them gifts. Throughout scripture He is never talked of as an impersonal force, but as the ruwach. “God is a Spirit” (John 4:24) and He dwells in every Christian (Romans 8:9).

“He that searcheth the hearts knowing what (is) the mind of the Spirit…” (Romans 8:27). In this text we see that the Spirit is a Person, for only a person can have a mind. We also speak by the Spirit of God (1 Corinthians 12:3). Only a Person can ‘justify’ (1 Timothy 3:16). And only a person can ‘speak’ to the churches (Revelation 2:7). 2 Corinthians 3:17 says “the Lord is that Spirit”, where ‘Lord’ is Christ.

In Isaiah 63:10 we find that the Holy Spirit was “vexed” – something an impersonal force could not be! Only a Person can be vexed. It was the Holy Spirit - a Person - Who led Jesus into the wilderness (Luke 4:1). People were baptised in the name of the ‘Trinity’ – Father, Son and Holy Ghost (Matthew 28:19), showing that all three were equal and God. It was the Holy Ghost Who took Jesus’ place on earth, and He taught the disciples what to say and do. To take the place of Jesus He had to be co-equal, and, therefore, God. In Acts 13:2 we read what the Holy Ghost said, in actual words. Indeed, the Holy Ghost has many responsibilities showing equality with Christ and the Father, and this is intimated in 2 Corinthians 13:14.

In 1 John 5:7 “there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.” This is very distinctive and clear… God is three Persons in One. A more detailed article would bring out the truth of the Trinity even more, but this short paper provides the outline.

© April 2010

Published on www.christiandoctrine.com

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