Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Searching the Scripture

Lesson 4 The TRINITY

Part 1

In our lessons, so far, we have seen that there is one GOD. However, a careful study of the Scripture will show that GOD exists in three PERSONS. A GODHEAD manifested in three PERSONS.

Colossians. 2:9 - For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.

A common objection is: How can GOD be three PERSONS and one GOD at the same time? Wouldn´t that make three GODS? The TRINITY - one GOD in three PERSONS - is hard for us as humans to grasp. However in Isaiah 55:8-9 GOD teaches us that human reason has no bearing in the study of GOD.

Isaiah 55:8-9 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

As a side note before actually beginning the lesson, neither the words “Trinity” nor “Triune GOD” can be found in the Scripture.

Let´s take a look at the basis of the doctrine of the TRINITY.

Matt. 3:13-17. Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him.
But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?
And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.
And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:
And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

Here, in the baptism of Jesus, we see the TRINITY at work.
GOD the FATHER spoke from Heaven ---17.And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

GOD the SON, our LORD JESUS CHRIST, was being baptized.

GOD the HOLY SPIRIT descended like a dove and alighted on the SAVIOUR.

Let´s look at Mat. 28:19 where we as Christians are given a commission.
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

(HOLY SPIRIT and HOLY GHOST refer to the same PERSON of the GODHEAD).

Let´s look at the benediction in II Corinthians 13:14.

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.

Let´s have a look at Genesis 1:26 where plural terms are during during the creation on man.

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

Now let´s take a look at some illustrations of the doctrine of the TRINITY.

Water is revealed in three forms - liquid, ice, and vapor (steam) and yet it is still H2O.

A shamrock is a plant. It was used by Saint Patrick to illustrate the doctrine of the TRINITY. A shamrock is one leaf divided into three distinct sections.

I am an illustration of this doctrine as well (and so are you). I am only one person but I can be revealed as three persons. My mother sees me as her daughter. She sees me differently from anyone else and I respond to her in ways that are different from my responses to others. My children see me as a mother and all that is involved with being their mother. My husband sees me as a wife which, again, is a relationship that is different from the other two. However, I am still only one person although I am revealed as daughter, mother, and wife at the same time.

GOD is one indivisible GOD revealed in three separate PERSONS.

I feel it is important at this point to emphasize that the TRINITY remains a mystery and no illustration can even begin to fully explain it. However, I do feel that these illustrations given help us to get a grasp on this difficult, complex doctrine.

Remember that GOD is SPIRIT and we are physical. Because of this it is hard for us to fully comprehend GOD: HE is infinite while we are finite. To try to explain the TRINITY in terms we can grasp is an attempt to put the facts of the infinite in finite terms.

I firmly believe that there is one GOD and one GOD only, who is eternally existing and WHO manifests HIMSELF to us in three PERSONS - FATHER, SON, and HOLY SPIRIT.

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