The Gathering Pastor Barry/ Lesson 2 This I Believe Series Blessed Trinity To hear this message go to THEGATHERINGHG.COM
“Let Us”… Genesis 1:26-27, John 1:1-5
As we learned in our first lesson, “In the beginning” there was God. Today we learn that God is a trinity:
You and I live in a three-dimensional world. All physical objects have a certain height, width, and depth. One person can look like someone else, or behave like someone else, or even sound like someone else. But a person cannot actually be the same as another person. They are distinct individuals. God, however, lives without the limitations of a three-dimensional universe. He is spirit (John 4:24) and he is infinitely more complex than we are. That is why Jesus the Son can be different from the Father. And, yet the same.
The Bible clearly speaks of: God the Son, God the Father, and God the Holy Spirit. But emphasizes that there is only ONE God. If we were to use math, it would not be, 1+1+1=3. It would be 1x1x1=1. God is a triune God. The term: “Tri” meaning three, and “Unity” meaning one, Tri+Unity = Trinity, is a way of acknowledging what the Bible reveals to us about God, that God is three “Persons” who have the same essence of deity. Some imperfect illustrations for the Trinity, are H2O being water, ice and steam (all different forms, but all are H2O) and the sun giving light, heat and radiation. Three distinct aspects, but only one sun, but no illustration is going to be perfect.
Some will not accept the idea of the Trinity. Their philosophy is “I can not believe what I can not understand”, but there are many things that most of us can not understand or explain, but we still believe in ( e.g., electricity, atoms, the human mind, etc.). We are to practice faith in regards to God and believe the Bible over our own limited understanding: “Faith is the confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1 All throughout the Bible we find references to God being a trinity: In Genesis 1:26-27 God says, “Let Us make man in Our image…in the image of God He created them.” We see here both plural and singular pronouns and in John 1:1-5 we see the explanation of this oddity. The “Word” (Jesus) was with God and was God in the beginning and He (the triune God) created everything. The Jehovah Witness Bible (New World Translation) incorrectly translate this passage and others like it in order to deny the Trinity.
“I Am” John 8:53-59, Exodus 3:13-15, John 1:18, Hebrews 1:1-3
One time the Pharisees asked Jesus “Who do you think you are?” To that Jesus declared “I tell you the truth, before Abraham was born, I am!” At this, they picked up stones to stone him (John 8:53–59). The violent response of the Jews to Jesus’ “I AM” statement showed that they clearly understood what He was declaring—that He was the eternal God incarnate. Jesus was equating Himself with the “I AM” title God gave Himself when Moses asked Him that same question in Exodus 3:14. Such a statement, if not true, was blasphemy and the punishment prescribed by the Mosaic Law was death. In Jesus’ case of course it was true. The Jews would kill Him (God) anyway!
The fact that “God is spirit” (John 4:24) means that God the Father does not have a human body. The Bible often speaks of God as if He has a body (Deuteronomy 33:27, Isaiah 59:1, Matthew 4:4) but these are anthropomorphisms—a way of describing God in anatomical or emotional terms so that humans can better understand Him. Even though God is spirit, He is also a living, personal being. As such, we can know Him personally.
It is clearly declared in the Bible that Jesus is God (John 14:11) who came to earth in flesh (John 1:18) to make Himself known to man. He is the “exact” representation of God as it says in Hebrews 1:3. But God did not come to the earth in flesh just to represent God to man, He came to pay the penalty of man’s sin, which is death. We will talk more about that in lesson three.
The Holy Spirit John 14:15-29, Ephesians 1:13-14
Just before Jesus went to the cross to pay for man’s sin, He told His disciples that He would be sending The Advocate (champion, defender, protector) to those who love Him and keep His commands. This Advocate is the Holy Spirit (John 14:26). The third person of the Trinity. Not a force like electricity as some incorrectly assume. The Holy Spirit is God as much as the Father and the Son. He reminds and teaches us of everything Jesus said. He is the “peace” that Jesus promised us who believe. Jesus was temporarily contained to the limitations of a body but the Father and Holy Spirit were not (for they are spirit). This is why Jesus said “the Father is greater than I (John 14:28)” when He was on the earth. Jesus makes it clear… only those who follow His teachings (doctrine) will have The Holy Spirit (God) within them: the believer’s “deposit “ guaranteeing our inheritance” until our redemption (the exchange our earthly bodies for spiritual). He is the one who guides us as we wait for that day.
Child of the One true God Deuteronomy 6:4-7, John 1:11-13
The main reason the Jews reject Christ for salvation is that they believe that “the Lord is one.” They daily quote the Shema (Deuteronomy 6:4-5) but miss the total revelation of God because of their pride. God is one in three persons— the Blessed Trinity. One can see this all throughout the Torah (Old Testament) and the New Testament writings. He was, is and is to come (Revelation 4:8). The Trinity was present at the baptism (Matthew 3:13-17) of Jesus’ ministry. The sinless Jesus might have baptized Himself, but John was included. He symbolized the repentant believer—God’s mission to give the “right to become the children of God” to any who would believe. Is that you today?