Monday, March 1, 2010

The Triune God

The Trinity. I've been putting off this topic for quite a long time. You see, I love theology. I find it fascinating. I spend nearly my entire school day, reading up on such things. I however deal with a few issues. For one, I feel anything that I could say, for the most part can be found other places, better said. Secondly, I usually don't get the full gist of it all. Finally, I have an even harder time trying to explain it then I do trying to learn it. I would consider myself fairly intellectual, but my realm of intelligence is emotional and inter-personal. Laws, processes, and definitions are tough for me. My theology is a very emotional theology. Not one that is swayed with my mood. Nor one similar to a impassioned church service invitation. Those are emotions from my head. I'm talking about the emotions of the heart. A God-centered heart specifically. So rather than giving you a textbook answer on the theology of the Trinity. I'd much rather give you my layman's theology, and if you hunger for deeper understanding, I'll point you in the right direction. Fair enough?

I've had to deal with criticisms of the Trinity since early January. You see I'm living with my grandmother who I love dearly, but who happens to be a Jehovah's Witness. Which in case you don't know. They do not believe that Jesus is God or divine. Instead they believe that Jesus is literally the son of God, as in God created Jesus before anything else and then had Jesus create the rest. They believe that Jesus is the archangel Michael. Not cool.

The Trinity in itself is easy to explain. Jesus is God. The Father is God. The Spirit is God. All three are God. All three however, are different persons. One entity, three persons. Easy to explain, hard to comprehend. Each has it's own personality, but nonetheless, each is still God. All three have been around forever, all three are just as powerful as the other, and no one is higher than the other. Together they add up to the Godhead. Three in one. There is only ONE God (Isaiah 45:5 ), and He since the beginning, has been three separate persons all at once.

There is a separation between the persons. For instance, Matthew 24:36 tells us that only the Father knows when Jesus is to return. This is the clearest example of the difference. There are plenty of others too. Jesus while on earth was fully God and was fully man. A balance beyond our comprehension.

You can't figure this doctrine out from any one verse. No verse will tell you up front, God = Three, same, but different etc. You have to look at the scripture as a whole. Which I believe puts off many people and they just nah, it's false. Shame really.

I've had many people ask, what does it matter? So what if they are or aren't three in one? Simply put: he whole faith rests on it. If Jesus isn't God, then as Christians we are doomed. If Christ isn't God, then what authority can he have to forgive sins, specifically our own? If he isn't God then our sins haven't been atoned and we are still dead in them. If that were true, they might as well have hung me or you on the cross, because that's about as much good as it would have done. If he wasn't also fully man, how could he be the sacrifice for us? Humans sinned, and humans were to pay for it. Christ couldn't just be God, he had to be human to pay a human-owed debt.

The fact is Christianity doesn't make sense without all three being God. The Father, justifiably holds humans rightfully accountable for their sin and expects the debt to be paid in full. (Romans 6:23). The Son, both God and man has a key role in it all. As God he has the right to say what would be an acceptable sacrifice. As man he can be the sacrifice. The Father then can accept that, pour our the full cup of wraith on Christ, and let the payment be fully paid. Thus, giving us the opportunity to have salvation through grace and mercy. The Holy Spirit then works in us to give us faith, and rebirth, letting us be regenerated so that we can lead a life of righteousness. Christianity relies on each and every person that makes up God. Without all three, you don't have salvation. Period.

This isn't easy. For a non-believer I expect this to be all but impossible to understand. Believers, even the best of us, are hard-pressed to understand it. That's okay though. We are human. He is God. God is infinite, why would beings such as ourselves have any clue of who He is? What makes us think we are even capable? The nice thing is though, in time, we will understand it all fully (Luke 8:17 NLT).

The main point is that Christ, as God and man, did die for us and in doing so gave us the ability to be free from the bondage of our sin. Its what you make of that part today, that truly matters.  That's where the theology leaps off the books and takes on a life of its own. What are you going to do with that truth?

Much Love,

 "Tell me how it is that in this room there are three candles and but one light, and I will explain to you the mode of the divine existence." - John Wesley
"The best theology is rather a divine life than a divine knowledge." - Jeremy Taylor 




This post had to be lead of God because you nailed your point home! The TRINITY is a must
- a "spine" issue! One that would break the back of a believer's doctrine if it were not held true!

There are other doctrinal issues that could be debated "rib" issues. These are differences that may break a rib or two but won't break the back or the spine of our theology. BUT... the TRINITY is not a rib issue!

You wrote:

"You can't figure this doctrine out from any one verse. No verse will tell you up front, God = Three, same, but different etc. You have to look at the scripture as a whole. Which I believe puts off many people and they just nah, it's false. Shame really."

Good point indeed!
We can accept it and talk about it and tell of it but we will never be able to really grasp it - BECAUSE this is GOD we are talking about. I never want to attempt to explain Him! That would only diminish Who He IS. This is definitely a FAITH issue as well!

We must Believe it - but don't rationally try to explain it past tracying out! HE IS GOD!
And in Hebrew that 'GOD' word is plural!
Thus 3 in One!

Great job. Praise God for His leading. You did not diminish Him here - You gave value to the TRINITY. Thank you.

Living with your grandmother who is a Jehovah's Witness. My - My - My! That must test your faith. There must be warfare going on in that house daily.

I am prompted to stop and pray right now for Luke. You have given Him a desire to please You - a yearning for TRUTH - and an ability to communicate the TRUTHS in your Word as He depends on Your leading. I pray for the battle in his own household where the lies of the enemy are flying daily. Would you allow Him protection from that enemy - putting his armor on and allowing YOU to fight those battles? Would you give him courage [in love] to speak the truth to his grandmother so that she too can be restored to JESUS as GOD? Would You continue to show favor over his life, Lord?
I praise You for what You are about to unfold in and through him now! In the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit I pray.....Amen!

I invite you to stop by my site[s] sometime!

Choosing JOY, Stephanie
JESUS ONLY in 2010

Adam Pastor said...

Greetings Luke

On the subject of the Trinity,
I recommend this video:
The Human Jesus

Take a couple of hours to watch it; and prayerfully it will aid you to reconsider "The Trinity"

Yours In Messiah
Adam Pastor
PS I am not a JW

Luke said...

Stephanie: Thank you so much for the encouragement. It means a whole lot. Also thank you for stressing the importance of this topic being an essential issue. Thank you for your prayers and your time. I definitely appreciate it.

Adam: Welcome! Thank you for taking the time to read what I had to say and take interest. I also want to apologize, I just don't have two hours to watch a video. It's not because of what it's about. I'd love to watch it. I just don't have that kind of time.
I would love to hear some key points though.

If you don't mind can I ask you a few questions though? Feel free to ask me any as well. I'm assuming that you don't take Jesus to be God. Correct me if I'm wrong. In John 5:23, We are told to honor Jesus just as we honor the Father. We also see that his disciples would worship Christ (Matthew 14:33, 28:17). Are we not suppose to worship no one but God? If Christ isn't God, then he must be creation and then we would be worshiping creation, which would then be idolatry. I'm curious your view on that.

We even see Thomas call him My Lord and My God. (John 20:26-29) Also, as I mentioned in my post, how can Jesus be anyone other than God and still forgive sins? Our grievance is with God. Someone other than God can't forgive the guilty no more than I can forgiveness for to someone who steps on someone else's toe. It's between those two individuals. God was the one offended, God has to offer forgiveness. Yet Christ clearly gives forgiveness for sins. Even the pharisees saw that (Mark 2:7, John 5:17-18, John 10:31-33) How do you get beyond that? I look forward to seeing what you have to say and await your discussion. Thank you again for taking time to stop by, I hope you will continue to read and comment.

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