Understanding the Trinity: God the Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit

Trinity - God the Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit

Understanding the Trinity is actually very easy and I will explain it to you today.  I will also explain the false teachings out there on what the Trinity is not, so you can understand what you are possibly believing in and change to the correct understanding of what the Trinity is.

The Trinity is ONE God existing in three separate Persons.  Now realise this just because we say three Persons does not mean there are three separate Gods, there is only ONE God. Now the world Trinity is not found in the bible, it is only a word used to describe  the “trinue” Godhead, that being three co-external,  co-existent Persons who make up ONE God.   So it’s not the word Trinity that is of importance, it’s what it represents that’s important.

The following is what God’s Word says about the Trinity:

1) There is ONE God (Deuteronomy 6:4; 1 Corinthians 8:4; Galatians 3:20; 1 Timothy 2:5).

2) The Trinity consists of THREE SEPARATE PERSONS.  See here: (Genesis 1:1,26;3:22;11:7; Isaiah 6:8,48:16,61:1; Matthew 3:16-17,28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14).

  • In (Genesis 1:1), the plural noun for “Elohim” is used (that meaning more than one). In( Genesis 1:26,3:22,11:7 and Isaiah 6:8), the plural pronoun for “us” is used.  “us” denotes that there is more than one person at the same time.
  • In (Isaiah 48:16 and Isaiah 61:1), Jesus Christ the Son is speaking while making reference to the God the Father and the Holy Spirit.
  • Compare (Isaiah 61:1 to Luke 4:14-19) to see that it is the Jesus Christ the of Son of God speaking.
  • (Matthew 3:16-17) describes Jesus Christ’ baptism. Notice in this passage that the Holy Spirit descends on Jesus Christ the Son while GOD the Father proclaims from heaven that He is happy with His Son.
  • (Matthew 28:19 and 2 Corinthians 13:14) are examples of three distinct Persons in the Trinity.

3) In the Old Testament the members of the Trinity are distinguished one from another in a number of scriptures.

  • Capitalized ‘LORD’ is distinguished separately from “Lord” (Genesis 19:24; Hosea 1:4), in other words, The LORD has a Son (Psalm 2:7,12;Proverbs 30:2-4).
  • The Holy Spirit is distinguished separately from the “LORD” (Numbers 27:18) and from ‘God’ (Psalm 51:10-12).
  • Jesus Christ the Son is distinguished separately from God the Father (Psalm 45:6-7; Hebrews 1:8-9).

In the New Testament

  • In the book of John, Jesus Christ the Son speaks to the God the Father about sending a Helper, that being the Holy Spirit (John 14:16-17).  This tells us that Jesus was not part of the Father or the Holy Spirit but separate.
  • Remember all the occasions in the bible where Jesus Christ speaks to God the Father.  Was He speaking to Himself?  No.  He was speaking to the other person in the Godhead, His Father.

4) Now each Person in the Trinity is God, God the Father (John 6:27; Romans 1:7; 1 Peter 1:2). God the Son (John 1:1,14; Romans 9:5; Colossians 2:9; Hebrews 1:8; 1 John 5:20). and God the Holy Spirit (Acts 5:3-4; 1 Corinthians 3:16). But they are not separate GODS as I mentioned earlier, they are all ONE.

5)  There is actually subordination within the Godhead.

  • The Bible teaches us that the Holy Spirit is subordinate to God the Father and Jesus Christ the Son.
  • Jesus Christ is subordinate to God the Father.

This is how their relationship works and it does not deny the deity of any person within the Godhead.   Concerning Jesus Christ the Son see (Luke 22:42; John 5:36; John 20:21, and 1 John 4:14).  Concerning the Holy Spirit see (John 14:16,14:26; 15:26,16:7, and most importantly see  (John 16:13-14.)

6) The individual persons of the Godhead have different tasks.

  1. God the Father is the ultimate source or cause of the universe (1 Corinthians 8:6; Revelation 4:11);  divine revelation (Revelation 1:1); salvation (John 3:16-17); and Jesus’ human works (John 5:17;14:10). The Father initiates all of these things.
  2. Jesus Christ the Son is the advocate through whom the Father does the following works: the creation and maintenance of the universe (1 Corinthians 8:6; John 1:3; Colossians 1:16-17); divine revelation (John 1:1,16:12-15; Matthew 11:27; Revelation 1:1); and salvation (2 Corinthians 5:19; Matthew 1:21; John 4:42). The Father does all these things through Jesus Christ the Son, who functions as His advocate/agent.
  3. The Holy Spirit is the means by whom the Father does the following works: creation and maintenance of the universe (Genesis 1:2; Job 26:13; Psalm 104:30); divine revelation (John 16:12-15;Ephesians 3:5;2 Peter 1:21); salvation (John 3:6;Titus 3:5;1 Peter 1:2); and Jesus’ works (Isaiah 61:1;Acts 10:38).  Thus, the Father does all these things by the power of the Holy Spirit.

The Trinity of God the Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit

The doctrine of the Trinity has caused much division throughout the history of the entire Christian church, must of it causing Christians to fall of the narrow path and follow deceptive doctrines.  The main aspects of the Godhead are clearly explained in the Word of God that being;  God the Father who is a Spirit (John 4:24), God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are 3 separate Persons within the Godhead and this is the biblical doctrine of the Trinity.

Biblical Trinity vs. Catholic Trinity

Neither Catholics or Jehovah Witnesses understand the difference between 1st Century Biblical Trinity vs. 4th century Creedal Trinity and apparently neither do many Christians today who appear to be very confused on this issue.

  • The Catholic Trinity denies the Bible doctrine of the subordination of Jesus Christ Christ to God the Father.
  • The Catholic Trinity speaks where the Bible was silent in explaining how God is three in one.
  • The Catholic Trinity goes beyond the simple Bible truths of the deity of Jesus Christ and the personality of the Holy Spirit and speculates the “mechanical make-up” of God on almost an “atomic level”.

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Modalism – God the Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit are not manifestations:

There are some false teachings out there, one in particular called Modalism or Sabellianism.  Modalism is a:

Sabellius (fl. ca. 215) was a third century priest and theologian who most likely taught in Rome, but may have been an African from Libya. Basil and others call him a Libyan from Pentapolis, but this seems to rest on the fact that Pentapolis was a place where the teachings of Sabellius thrived, according to Dionysius of Alexandria, c. 260. What is known of Sabellius is drawn mostly from the polemical writings of his opponents.

Sabellius taught that God was single and indivisible, with Father, Son, and Holy Spirit being three modes or manifestations of one divine Person. A Sabellian modalist would say that the One God successively revealed Himself to man throughout time as the Father in Creation; the Son in Redemption; and the Spirit in Sanctification and Regeneration. (Because of this focus on God’s revelation of himself to man, Modalism is often confused with Economic Trinitarianism).  [Emphasis added]

However, Gregg Allison explains modalism was first, tt wasn’t started by a third-century teacher from Rome named Sabellius…but

“introduced by Praxeas in Rome, articulated by Noetus of Smyrna and his disciples Zephyrinus and Callistus (both bishops of Rome), and popularized by Sabellius”   —  Gregg Allison, Historical Theology (p. 235).

Also known as “modalistic monarchianism,” this heretical view:

“… held that there is one God who can be designated by three different names-‘Father,’ ‘Son,’ and ‘Holy Spirit’-at different times, but these three are not distinct persons. Instead they are different modes (thus, modalism) of the one God. Thus, God can be called ‘Father’ as the Creator of the world and Lawgiver; he can be called ‘Son’ as God incarnate in Jesus Christ; and he can be called ‘Holy Spirit’ as God in the church age. Accordingly, Jesus Christ is God and the Spirit is God, but they are not distinct persons.” (Ibid., 235-36). [Emphasis added]

Since the Councils of Nicaea (325) and other councils, modalism has been understood by everyone and by every major branch of orthodox Christianity to be heretical. –

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Does anyone still believe in Modalism ?

Well yes, Oneness Pentecostalism (also known as Apostolic Pentecostalism or One God Pentecostalism) refers to denominations and/or believers, all of whom believe in the  nontrinitarian theological doctrine of Oneness. This movement rose up around 1914 and claims an estimated 24 million followers today.

Father, Son, and Holy Spirit

Oneness teaching asserts that God is a singular spirit who is one person, not three divine persons, individuals or minds. “Father”, “Son” and “Holy Spirit” are merely titles reflecting the different personal manifestations of the One True God in the universe. When Oneness believers speak of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, they see these as three personal manifestations of one being, one personal God:

Father: The title of God in parental relationship

Son of God: God incarnate in human flesh;[2] “Son” refers to either the humanity and the deity of Jesus together, or to the humanity alone, but never to the deity alone[7]

Holy Spirit: The title of God in activity as Spirit

Oneness teachers often quote a phrase used by early pioneers of the movement – “God was manifested as the Father in creation, the Son in redemption, and the Holy Ghost in emanation.”

Oneness theology sees that when the one personal and omnipresent God manifests or reveals himself, it is in a personal way. Oneness theology sees the Father, Son and Holy Spirit as one transcendent, personal, omnipresent God manifesting himself in three personal and distinct ways or forms to redeem and sanctify sinful and lost humanity, and also that all the fullness of the deity resides fully in the person of Christ. (Col. 2:1-10) — Wiki Oneness Pentecostalism

and

Oneness Pentecostalism teaches that God is one Person, and that the Father (a spirit) is united with Jesus (a man) as the Son of God. However, Oneness Pentecostalism differs somewhat by rejecting sequential modalism, and by the full acceptance of the begotten humanity of the Son, not eternally begotten, who was the man Jesus and was born, crucified, and risen, and not the deity. This directly opposes Patripassianism and the pre-existence of the Son, which Sabellianism does not.

Oneness Pentecostals believe that Jesus was “Son” only when he became flesh on earth, but was the Father before being made man. They refer to the Father as the “Spirit” and the Son as the “Flesh”. But they believe that Jesus and the Father are one essential Person. Though operating as different “manifestations” or “modes”. Oneness Pentecostals reject the Trinity doctrine, viewing it as pagan and un-Scriptural, and hold to the Jesus’ Name doctrine with respect to baptisms. They are often referred to as “Modalists” or “Sabellians” or “Jesus Only”. Oneness Pentecostalism can be compared to Sabellianism, or can be described as holding to a form of Sabellianism, as both are Nontrinitarian, and as both believe that Jesus was “Almighty God in the Flesh”, but they do not totally identify each other.  —http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sabellianism

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T D Jakes is a Modalist: 

T. D. Jakes is part of the Oneness Pentecostal movement.

– The Potter’s House website says this in their doctrinal statement:

“There is one God, Creator of all things, infinitely perfect, and eternally existing in three manifestations: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.”  [Emphasis added]

– According to a 2000 article from Christianity Today, when asked about the doctrine of the Trinity, T. D. Jakes responded:

TD Jakes - Modalist - God the Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit

“The Trinity, the term ‘Trinity,’ is not a biblical term, to begin with. It’s a theological description for something that is so beyond human comprehension that I’m not sure that we can totally hold God to a numerical system. The Lord said, “Behold, O Israel, the Lord thy God is one, and beside him there is no other.” When God got ready to make a man that looked like him, he didn’t make three. He made one man. However, that one man had three parts. He was body, soul, and spirit. We have one God, but he is Father in creation, Son in redemption, and Holy Spirit in regeneration.”  [Emphasis added]

– In a response to the above Christianity Today article (also from 2000), Jakes used this illustration to define his understanding of the Godhead:

“Though no human illustration perfectly fits the Divine, it is similar to ice, water and steam: three separate forms, yet all H²O. Each element can co-exist, each has distinguishing characteristics and functions, but all have sameness.”  [Emphasis added]

Later, in that same article, Jakes denied that his use of the word “manifestations” was rooted in modalism:

“The language in the doctrinal statement of our ministry that refers to the Trinity of the Godhead as “manifestations” does not derive from modalism. The Apostle Paul himself used this term referring to the Godhead in 1 Timothy 3:15, 1 Corinthians 12:7, and 1 John 3:5-8 [sic]. Peter also used the term in 1 Peter 1:20. Can this word now be heresy when it is a direct quote from the Pauline epistles and used elsewhere in the New Testament?”

– However, many Christians were not convinced. In a 2001 article, again in Christianity Today,  TD  Jakes says:

“And God said, ‘Let us. Let usssssss … ‘” says Jakes, and then digresses: ” … One God, but manifest in … three different ways, Father in creation, Son in redemption, Holy Spirit in regeneration. And God said, ‘Let usssssss … ‘”  [Emphasis added]

There we have it again, modalism, this is the view of those in off Oneness Pentecostals, which describes TD Jakes.

– A 2002 Christianity Today article further explained that evangelicals have always regarded Oneness Pentecostalism as being outside the boundaries of orthodox Christianity, noting that “orthodox Christian theologians believe Oneness theology is guilty of the heresy of modalism.”

– In a more recent interview –  2010 interview –  T. D. Jakes suggests that he wants to distance himself from Oneness Pentecostalism. However, he is still very confused when it comes to the Trinity. After prancing around the issue, Jakes finally comes out and says says:

“I believe in the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. I believe that they are three Persons. I believe that in a way that Persons is a limited word for the Godhead. And even those who adhere to that say that to be true. But I think the issue is that they are distinctive. There are things that can be said about the Father that couldn’t be said about the Son and then the Holy Spirit… I believe that. I’ve grown into that, but I came into a Pentecostal church that happened to be Oneness. They loved me at a time that my father died. I became friends with them and in covenant with them and embraced them. And though I don’t agree with everything, and they don’t agree with everything, they’re evolving as a people.’

It actually doesn’t matter what TD Jakes says, he is still a false teacher and is unbiblical on a multitude of other issues besides this issue.   Another things is this, people don’t “evolve”.  As a born again Christian you know the truth as the Holy Spirit tells you what is wrong and what is right and He will not lie to you about how the Trinity is comprised; that being 3 separate co-existing, co-external Persons:  God the Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit as one God.

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Deborah (Discerning the World)

Deborah Ellish is the author of the above article. Discerning the World is an internet Christian Ministry based in Johannesburg South Africa. Tom Lessing and Deborah Ellish both own Discerning the World. For more information see the About this Website page below the comments section.

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John Chingford

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John Chingford

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John Chingford

Debs
I have now read your article but cannot agree where you emphatically state that it is an EASY thing to explain the Trinity, nor that Jesus is a subordinate of the Father. I thought we believed in the co equality of the Trinity? Surely there is no subordination in the Trinity otherwise you have one major entity served by 2 inferior ones. That does not sound like ONE triune equal God, but 3 gods.

You have got me entirely wrong!

I have already stated that I do not believe in the morphing of God and have said that I do not take any specific viewpoint. I simply do not know!

I see the value of the trinitarian position and the oneness position because there are scriptures supporting both. I AM NOT decided on the issue but have an open heart to receive from God. All I know is that there are contradictory teachings (IN THE BIBLE) to both points of view. There must be some middle ground that declares the actual truth.

My main concern is that you are implying that a correct understanding of the Trinity is a requisite for salvation.

The Bible tells us that it is through Jesus (that He is the Son of God who died in our place for our sins) that we are saved. It DOES NOT say it is through a 100% correct understanding of the Godhead that we are saved. Again I reiterate from context John 17:3 is NOT discussing HOW to be saved.

“And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent”.

Eternal life is NOT the same as forgiveness and salvation from sin. Eternal life is what you receive from the moment you have been saved. Eternal life is everlasting life ie continuous. It starts at salvation and goes on to eternity. Eternal life is all about our relationship with God through Jesus which begins once we put our faith in Jesus in childlike faith. The quality of eternal life is that we may “know you, the only true God”.

John Chingford

Debs

The comment you deleted was trying to explain why I had not read your article. It was not to accuse you but to simply explain why I felt uncomfortable reading the whole article. My comment actually included a positive remark as a sort of “well done” for realising that the image was a problem.

I did not mean to imply that the Bible is contradictory – OF COURSE IT ISN’T. I was pointing out that it appears (to me) that the 2 points of view both have some discrepancies when measured up to the plumbline of Scripture.

You state that I am twisting words. What about these words (copied and pasted from above) by Thomas:

” Many people claim to be saved and still do not know God as He has revealed Himself in Scripture – a Triune God comprising three distinct, separate and co-equal Persons called God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. Jesus said that it is the Truth that sets sinners free. Whoever rejects the Truth concerning the Triune God’s revelation of Himself (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) cannot claim to be saved.

That is what I mean by “implying” that we need more to be saved than simply putting our faith in Jesus.

John Chingford

Debs
You still think I believe in the oneness doctrine.

I keep stating that oneness IS NOT my belief.

All I am doing is asking questions regarding the Scripture passages which do tend to support the oneness viewpoint, to see if anybody can give a clear explanation of what those verses mean, in the light of the 3 persons doctrine. As I always say “if it is in the Bible, it CANNOT be ignored – it is there for a reason”.

My main problem with the Trinitarian doctrine is when they describe the Trinity as 3 subordinate PERSONS because I do not read such wording in the Bible.

Again I say, I do not hold to the oneness doctrine. All I am doing is to try to get to the bottom of how the Godhead was in operation on the cross and in the tomb because I am convinced that NO aspect of the Godhead can become separated or die, without ceasing to be ONE.

John Chingford

For example, did the Son of God die on the cross or just the body that died? Jesus DID say “into your hands I commit my spirit” and then it says he died and gave up His spirit.

We know that Jesus IS God incarnate (in the flesh) “The Word became flesh”. The Son of God existed before He took on the form of a human body. In His body He suffered in all things like us but He did not sin according to Hebrews 4:15. Jesus knew what it was like to live in a human body. His suffering on the cross paying the penalty for our sin shows that up in great detail.

So, was it the body that suffered and died or the Son of God who died?

Sharon

This is going to be just my opinion…and my opinion isn’t worth much. I have been reading over the comments concerning the true Doctrine of the Trinity. We worship the One True God who has many names (The Great I AM) but I will call Him as I know Him best, God the Father.
The Doctrine of the Trinity is not hard to understand IF you read the Scriptures. I heard someone say once about the Bible this comment: If it makes sense seek no other sense. We know that there is not a real “Red Dragon” so that must represent something. Ok, that makes it simple for someone with a simple mind like me. But then most of the time the Bible means what it says and says what it means. That would make me a “Literalist” for the most part when I read scripture. 1Jn 5:7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.
1John 5:8 And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.
1Jonn 5:9 If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son.
1John 5:10 He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.
1John 5:11 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
1Jn 5:12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.
1John 5:13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

I personally believe that we make Salvation harder than it really is.

Acts 16:30 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?
Acts 16:31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.
Acts 16:32 And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house.
Acts 16:34 And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house.

Rather than making many ways to Salvation God simplified it for we mortals. One God, One Savior/Jesus God’s Son, One Holy Spirit that indwells the Believer. These three are One.

I’ve been on this Blog only a couple of weeks. But I have been here long enough to appreciate the “Deb-Ster” ( I call her that because she is like the “Terminator of Heresy!” :o)

This is really my opinion, but I believe that we have a mixed-up theology sometimes because of so many different “versions” of Scripture. That is just the way satan wants it. The Bible has been under attack for hundreds if not thousands of years. The “wicked one” has launched a full scale attack during just my life time (58 years). There are over 250 differing “versions.” Most of the “modern translations” are based on the Latin Vulgate. Roman heresy! While I own different “versions” the KJV is the one I love, teach from, and believe there are NO contradictions in. God wrote one book. Satan knows it better than we do. But he knows he has a short time so he has attacked the Holy Scriptural Truth. I will not call me a “King James Only” believer because that name is misleading. I just say this, the confusion is not caused by God the Father, God the Son, nor God the Holy Spirit. It is because man wants their ear “tickled” so if they don’t like one version they search till they find a heretical version that will tell them how good they are. Sorry, that’s my opinion. God’s Holy Word means what it says and say what it means. Forgive my rambling, I am very passionate about God’s word. I don’t pretend to understand all of it. But I do believe that whosoever, that means me and you shall call upon the Name of the Lord Jesus you will be forever SAVED! Acts 16:31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. For simple minded folks like me our Lord God made salvation easy for man.
Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved…..Literally!

John Chingford

Debs, where did I say that I believed that oneness doctrine when I made that statement about “in the Father and in the Son”? I stated (above) that I am simply quoting the Bible. I then went on to list those scriptures. I did not say what I believe, simply that those verses seemed to support the oneness doctrine. I have said that I am not yet decided but open to be taught (by the Holy Spirit).

Sharon

Yes, you are the Heresy Terminator….that equals “The Deb-Ster” keep at it friend.

Deborah (Discerning the World) wrote:

Sharon

Deb-ster; I thought it was from like Sylve -ster (the cat). But your version is funny 🙂 I like 🙂

Sharon

Will Do

Deborah (Discerning the World) wrote:

Hey Sharon

Ahhh because many people speak Afrikaans (Dutch) in South Africa so some articles are written in Afrikaans, but we are getting them translated into English 🙂 So hang ten!

Sharon

I will say it again…read the Scriptures. There is One True God with 3 distinct personalities. Good grief! Rome is a whore religion so what difference does it make what they think. Yes, their heresy came from Babylon, so. Scripture makes that clear as well. In The Revelation satan will have his “trinity, The Anti-Christ, The False Prophet and the Beast but all of them are powered by satan. Just because Rome and satan (almost one in the same) have their “trinities” does it make the fact that there is taught in scripture God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

Some times we make truth harder than what it really is. Or perhaps I don’t get the argument. I simply believe what the Word (Jesus) says.

Deborah (Discerning the World) wrote:

John

Clearly you have not even bothered to read my article! Oh well, believe what you want.

>> Did you know that the doctrine of the trinity (3 persons) came from Rome? Specifically it came out of Babylon with their triune (triad) of 3 gods – Osiris, Isis and Horus. As we know, the Catholic church has consistently been reintroducing Babylonic religion into their religion by “christianising” it. The doctrine of the trinity is another one they “christianised”.

Don’t be ridiculous, in fact your belief mimics the Babylonian belief of 3 gods all morphing out of eachother, and another thing is this – the RCC does not believe in subordination in the Godhead and neither do you – how can you if they are all merged together. If you READ THE ARTICLE you would have seen this.

>> Anyone with a humble/honest attitude should in humility accept that we will not ever understand fully the Godhead this side of Heaven “Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known” 1 Cor 13:12

No John, I do not accept false teaching. You are showing yourself to be someone other than who you claim to be – a watchman? Watchman of what, false teaching? If you can throw that verse around then so can everyone else when it comes to not understanding scripture!

Read the article otherwise I ask you to please not comment again on this matter. This is a very serious matter and I am sorry John, but a million GENUINE Christians will agree with me on this. Figure it out please – WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT (who is not Jesus Christ) but a separate person all together.

🙂

Hank

Fighting among one another again i see!

Sharon

John, with all respect, you are swallowing a camel and getting strangled on a gnat. Jesus Christ the Son of God died on that cross. Jesus was 100% God & 100% man. This is called a HYPOSTETIC UNION. Jesus was not the Man/God, he was the God/Man who came to earth with one main mission, to lay down his life freely for all mankind and thereby atone four our sin. Jesus Christ the Son of God arose victorious over the grave. Because he lives we too shall live. The trinity is real because it is scriptural. It is obvious from my posts here that I am not a highly educated woman. I just love Jesus Christ because he did for me what I could never do. I had a sin-debt that I owed. He paid that sin-debt for me. That fact makes me believe every word in the Bible (KJV4me)because the Word was made flesh in the person of Jesus Christ, the Son of the Most High God. Every thing else is stuff. I think we will all have some surprises in heaven.

Here is a topic that I cannot fully get my head into but it helps define the Trinity. How is it that God the Father knows when He will send Jesus to catch us away, but God the Son doesn’t know that day. Do I understand that, no. Do I believe it? Absolutely I do. Matthew 24:36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.
John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
John 1:18 No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.

He may catch us away…today. Hallelujah!

John Chingford wrote:

For example, did the Son of God die on the cross or just the body that died? Jesus DID say “into your hands I commit my spirit” and then it says he died and gave up His spirit.

We know that Jesus IS God incarnate (in the flesh) “The Word became flesh”. The Son of God existed before He took on the form of a human body. In His body He suffered in all things like us but He did not sin according to Hebrews 4:15. Jesus knew what it was like to live in a human body. His suffering on the cross paying the penalty for our sin shows that up in great detail.

So, was it the body that suffered and died or the Son of God who died?

Thomas Lessing

John Chingford wrote:

I see the value of the trinitarian position and the oneness position because there are scriptures supporting both. I AM NOT decided on the issue but have an open heart to receive from God. All I know is that there are contradictory teachings (IN THE BIBLE) to both points of view. There must be some middle ground that declares the actual truth

That’s precisely the problem when you do not accept what the Bible teaches. You begin to believe that there are contradictory teachings in the Bible and that there must be some middle ground that declares the actual truth. I can assure you, you will never find some middle ground. God is not a God of middle grounds. What you want to do is to split the ONE true TRUTH into two compromising truths that is no truth at all.

I asked you to explain the following and you didn’t answer me.

And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man (who IS and always will be the Holy Spirit), it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost (who IS and has always been the Son), it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come. (Matthew 12:32)

In his high priestly prayer Jesus said the following:

That they all may be ONE; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. (John 17:21)

Jesus asks his Father that all believers may be ONE in the very same way that He and his Father are ONE (the Father in Him and He in the Father) that they ALL may be ONE in them (the Father and the Son). In fact, the very same word “heis” is used here to describe the ONENESS of Jesus and his Father in John 10:30.

Does that change all the believers into the Father and the Son who are ONE? Being in someone spiritually does not mean that you ARE that Person. The Body of Christ is singular and yet they comprise all believers who are all ONE in one another and also ONE in God (God the Father and God the Son).

Simple logic tells you that there must be three separate and distinct Persons in the ONE true God. You yourself admitted that you are still trying to get your head around it all, especially around what happened to the Godhead on the cross. You will never get your head around it unless you believe that the Triune God is three separate and distinct Persons in ONE and the very same way that all believers are ONE in one another and also ONE in the Father and the Son. In fact, the ONENESS among believers is so intensely real that Jesus refers to a body (singular) with distinct members (individuals; plural).

Thomas Lessing

Hank wrote:

Fighting among one another again i see!

No Hank, not fighting but contending earnestly for the true faith that was one delivered to us by the apostles. What does Paul say?

For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.
(1 Corinthians 11:19)

As oddly as it may seem, heresies reveal the true Christians.

{Edited by DTW: It would be good for you to read this: http://www.discerningtheworld.com/2013/06/09/love-covers-all-transgressions-2/%5D

John Chingford

I asked a question which no-one was able to answer. Where does it mention the trinity as “persons” in the Bible?

I must admit I never saw it before, but found a verse this morning from Hebrews 1:

“God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His PERSON, and upholding all things by the word of His power” Hebrews 1:1-3

That settles it for me!

If the translators from the original manuscripts could not find a better translation than “person” then who am I to question it? The Godhead IS made up of 3 persons!

My only question is how does that look in practice. Clearly there is just one God made up of 3 persons, but how do we describe that without it looking like 3 gods?

I think I have a part of the answer, but still not finished. These 3 persons are so fully intertwined with each other that (although different) they are the same. They are so part of each other with oneness of thought and purpose but with different roles. All 3 show the same glorious attributes etc of each other. In a sense it is impossible to divide them as they are ONE (but 3) in every aspect. This is why the verses I quoted on previous days did seem to support oneness, but at closer investigation does not support it, in the light of what I am trying to say now.

Hebrews 1 says that Jesus is the express image of the Father. Everything Jesus is is an exact image of the Father. In a sense Jesus is the Father (small Father?)because when we see Him we see the image of the Father. The Son of God is that part of God that has been revealed to us. No man has ever seen God (the Father) but we HAVE seen the Son.

This is still a work in progress.

John Chingford

Thomas

Please refer to what I stated above on http://www.discerningtheworld.com/2013/06/06/understanding-the-trinity-god-the-father-jesus-christ-and-the-holy-spirit/#comment-245449

I already corrected what I said because I was misunderstood. Please read all my comments because you keep distorting what I am saying.

This is what I said above “I did not mean to imply that the Bible is contradictory – OF COURSE IT ISN’T. I was pointing out that it appears (to me) that the 2 points of view both have some discrepancies when measured up to the plumbline of Scripture.

Thomas Lessing

Hi John.

Wonderful! It proves that one needs to be a Berean to search the Scriptures for himself. Nothing I or Debs said convinced you but when the Word spoke to you, you listened, That’s great!

How does the Trinity look in practice? I will leave that up to you and encourage you to search the Scriptures again for an answer. The answer you provided so far is very good but I can assure you that it won’t convince a Muslim unless he is saved first.

But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. (1Co 2:14)

One last question: Before the Bible convinced you that God is one in three Persons, what did you believe they are – three what?

John Chingford

I was simply questioning the use of the word “persons” because it seems so inadequate to liken God to a human term to describe Him. As I stated before, the word “person” is usually a name you give to human beings, not to God. That was my problem. But if the writer to the Hebrews uses the term “person” (or if the translation to the original manuscript uses it) and can find no better word, then I guess it must be okay.

I have never doubted that God is made up of 3; Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The scriptures are clear on that. It is just a question on how you describe their oneness/unity and how the 3 persons can be one and operate separately without being separate entities. My last comment on this (this morning) is the best I can come up with, at the moment, in the light of all the scriptures quoted (by ALL of us) by trying to match them all together.

Paul (Continue in His Word)

John,
Speaking about Heb 1:1-3.

This is what I did with my 4 year-old son (I will call him Andy) and his older sisters.

I had them read these 2 passages:

Heb 1:1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
Heb 1:2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;
Heb 1:3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;
Col 1:15 Who [Jesus] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:

Then I ask Andy to stand before the mirror, and I asked him: Who do you see? He answered: Andy.
I asked him: Is it another person than you? He said: NO. I asked: Is it the same person as you? He said: YES.

I did the same thing with his older sisters. Same answers.
Then I asked the oldest sister: What does the mirror reflects to you? Answer: My image.
I asked her: Is it the image of another person than you? Answer NO.

Then I took them back to the 2 passages we began with, and asked them: Is Jesus, who is the express image of the person of the invisible God, another person than God Himself?

John, what do you think my 4 years old and his sister replied?
What is you reply to that question?

Luke 10:21 In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight.

P.S.
Definition of “mirror”
1. A surface capable of reflecting sufficient undiffused light to form an image of an object placed in front of it
2. A polished or smooth surface (as of glass) that forms images by reflection

Paul (Continue in His Word)

John,
Speaking about Heb 1:1-3 (part 2)

The author of Hebrews said that Jesus is the “express image of his [God’s] person” (1:3). The English phrase translated “express image” is from the Greek word charakter. It is this word from which we get our English word “character.” This is the only occurrence of the word in the New Testament. It means “to impress upon, or stamp.” It denotes an engravement from a tool, which impresses an image into that which is being engraved. This impression, then, is a characteristic of the instrument used to do produce it. What is produced corresponds precisely with the instrument.

The Greek word translated “person” is hypostasis. Although rendered as “person,” it is more properly understood as “essence of being, or the substance of a thing.” The etymology of this word has to do with “the sediment or foundation under a building.” It is that which underlies, makes up, or supports something. In this context, we are talking about what underlies, or makes up God, i.e. God’s subsistence.

Jesus, therefore, is not just a representation of God, but is the very visible impression of God’s invisible substance and essence. He is God’s very nature expressed in humanity. To say it another way, He is the corresponding engravement of God’s essence of being, in human form.

What is important to notice here is that Jesus is the image of God’s hypostasis. In context, the God who spoke to us by His Son is the Father of the Son (1:1-2, 5). The author is declaring Jesus to be the image of the God the Father’s subsistence. There is no mention of the Son having His own hypostasis, or there being more than one hypostasis. Nowhere in the Bible is God said to be three hypostases. Jesus, rather, is the image of the invisible subsistence of God.

Hi Paul,

The difference between God and man is that man is not God and neither does HE look into mirrors to make sure who He really is (in case he had forgotten). In any case, a mirror does not reflect your true image; it reflects an inverted image of yourself. It’s not a good analogy. (Read here)

Andrew on trinity

[Edited: Comment moved from At Boshoff from CRC Church shows us how Pharisees went about “Honoring” God]
——————–

Andrew on the trinity:

Dear Paul, you are like a new breeze of fresh air, glad to have you on board. It feels like I have being sidelined, but any way, I do have a few remarks on what Sharon said about 1John. 5:7 . I have some bad news for you, this verse use to be a heading of some kind, so
somebody, let this heading slip in, to become part of scripture. This has being known by any bible scholar of the past forty years. This sinister act happened more than four hundred years ago. In my Interlinear Nestlé Greek/English Translation printed in 1957, there is no trace of it. I’m just surprised that nobody has told you about it. The only new bibles that are using the old wrong translation, are the Roman Catholic bible. Thus it lacks Authenticity!

Now to my dear friend, John, please relax, I want to refer you to what Paul said about Heb.1:1-3 , Paul is correct, there is no mention of the word “person” in the original Greek.
I would like to quote somebody:
“Christians have traditionally seen Gen. 1:26, adumbrating ( for shadowing) the Trinity. It is now universally admitted that this was not what the plural meant to the original author” (Gordan J. Wenman, Word Biblical Commentary on Genesis, Word Books, 1987, page 27.
(I knew this since my Bible School days, forty years ago.)

While I do not subscribe to the NIV as being a correct translation of the scriptures, it does for many millions of trinitarians. More importantly, it was translated by trinitarians, for trinitarians. What does the NIV have in it’s commentary on Gen. 1:26:

“us…our…our. God speaks as the Creator-king, Announcing his crowning work to the members of his heavenly court. (see 3:22; 11:7;
Isa 6:8; see also 1King 22:19-23; Job 15:8; Jer.23:18;)”
(NIV study Bible, Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1985, page 27.)

Another trinitarian Bible, the Ryrie Study Bible, contains a short note about Gen :26 “Us…Our…Plurals of Majesty.” (Charles Caldwell Ryrie, The Ryrie Study Bible(Dallas Theological Seminary),Chicago: Moody Press, 1978, page 9).
Jerry Falwell, a well known Baptist Trinitarian has something to say about Gen. :26:

“The plural pronoun “us”, is most likely a majestic plural from the stand point of Hebrew grammar and syntax” (Jerry Falwell (Executive Editor), Liberty Annotated Study Bible, Lynchburg: Liberty University, 1688, p. 8.

Our next exhibit comes from a well respected Trinitarian source,the 10 –volume commentary by Keil and Delitzsch, they have a comment about Gen. 1:26:

“The plural ‘We’ was regarded by the fathers and earlier theologians almost unanimously as indicative of the Trinity: modern commentators, on the contrary regard it either as pluralis majestatis…No other explanation is left, therefore, than to regard it as pluralis majestatis” (Keil and Delitzsch, Commentary on the old Testament, Peabody: Hendric.,1989, Vol.1 p.62.

My dear Deborah and Thomas, I’m very sincere when beg you, let us “look before we leap” . You said the trinity is easy to understand, I beg to differ. The trinity is suppose to be one of the Babylonian’s top “Mysteries”. Please don’t jump to conclusions concerning such an important subject, I would that you both would earnestly read our comments, specifically that of David Bernard’s brilliant exegesis!

Please read the following, an extract from the Foreword of my Greek/English translation, a real not to be missed!

“If we believe with our adult minds that we live on a planet visited by God Himself in human form, the record of His life and teaching and that of the movement which He began are of supreme importance to the entire human race.
Anything therefore which makes the significance and relevance of the Personal Visit clearer to the reader is to be welcomed with open arms.
J.B.Phillips. M.A.

Last but not least:”My dear Deborah, if you could just fathom how much the Father would love you to believe Him when He said: Col. 1:19, “For it pleased the Father that in him should all the fullness dwell; “ Oh my God, oh my God, reveal Yourself to your child!

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