Three Yet One

“When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."

Matthew 3:16-17  


It was A.W. Tozer who once said, “What I believe about God is the most important thing about me.” Those words came to mind reading an email from a friend who forwarded me and email from a mutual friend who has departed from the faith, denouncing the beliefs that seem basic to most believers in that God is a triune being, manifest to the world in the persons of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, each fully God yet all the while being one God. Hebrews 9:14 teaches us the role of the trinity in our redemption when the writer penned these words, “how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” Though God has manifest Himself in three persons as we see here in Hebrews and numerous places in the Bible, God is still One. There is only one God, not three separate God’s. Everything the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit do, they do together in perfect harmony as they are consubstantial.

Don’t make the error many do in seeking to departmentalize God. Yes, God exists fully in three persons all the while being One. I guess some people get tripped up by the word, “Trinity” as the Bible doesn’t use that specific word to explain the fact that God has manifested Himself to us in three distinct persons, The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The word “trinity” comes from the Latin word, Trinitas, literally: 'triad', from the Latin: trinus meaning, "threefold.” The word “trinity” is simply used to describe the Christian doctrine that there is One God manifest in three persons.

Sadly, the only argument other than taking bible passages out of context and making them a proof text, those who disregard the doctrine of the trinity hold that the word “trinity” isn’t used in the Bible. And that is a true statement. Interestingly enough, the word Bible isn’t in our bible either as the word, “Bible” literally means, “the Word, the Truth.” The English word Bible comes from Latin biblia sacra "holy books.” The word Bible is simply used to describe the Word of God given to us, the 66 books given to us by inspiration of God the Holy Spirit that provide for us the Words of God and a fuller revelation of Himself, and His plan of salvation for mankind.  

Admittedly, the doctrine of the Trinity is one of the most difficult ideas in Christianity, right up there with the virgin birth of Jesus, yet it's fundamental to Christians because the trinity states what Christians believe God is like and who He is. The trinity plays a central role in Christian worship of an "unobjectifiable and incomprehensible God.” The beauty of the trinity is in the role each One plays to usher the believer into the fullness of worship of God. Since no man has seen the Father except the Son we need Jesus, the Son of God to explain to us what His Father is like. Jesus taught His disciples that He and the Father were one, one of the same essence, meaning then, if you have seen Jesus you have seen the Father, not someone similar to Him, but actually Him, one and the same.

The Greek language is very precise and makes clear Jesus claim was to deity, that He was God in the flesh, to which the Jewish leaders accused Him of blasphemy. People might deny today that Jesus was God in the flesh but when Jesus walked the earth even His enemies then knew full well the claim He was making and is why the religious Jews sought to put Him to death. Jesus words to the Pharisees then would be the same words He would speak to those who would seek to deny His deity today,

The same people who reject the trinity today are no different from the religious Jews who sought to crucify Jesus on the Cross believing in their piety that they were doing the world a favor by crucifying the Son of God. And while they were wrong in their belief in rejecting the trinity, they ultimately were used of God to play a critical role in the salvation of all who would come to receive Jesus Christ by faith even though all those who held to the erroneous belief that Jesus was not fully God died in their sins and receiving in themselves the due penalty of their sin, which was then and is today eternity in hell separated from the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Study the Bible for yourself, read and trust what it says and be saved and safe. Trust the Word of God. Hold fast to the apostles doctrine handed down to us. Be leery of those who reject centuries old beliefs handed down by the apostles and early church Father’s and who forsake the gathering of the saints believing they have been enlightened. As one of my favorite pastors is known for saying, “If its true its not new and if its new its not true.”

Here are just a few passages you can read to affirm that Jesus is God, the second person in the trinity,

Jesus told the Samaritan woman that he is the Messiah (John 4:25-26)
Jesus affirmed Peter's statement that he is the Messiah and Son of God (Matthew 16:15-17, see also Mark 8:29-30, Luke 9:20-21)
Jesus told the high priest that he is the Messiah and Son of God (Mark 14:61-62, Matthew 26:63-64, Luke 22:70)
The Jews understood that this meant Jesus was equating himself with God: "he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God" (John 5:17-18).
Jesus told the Jews, "I and the Father are one." (John 10:24-38)
Jesus told the disciples, "You call me 'Teacher' and 'Lord,' and rightly so, for that is what I am." (John 13:13)
Jesus forgave sins, which only God had the authority to do (Mark 2:5-11, Luke 5:20-24)
Jesus said that he had seen Abraham and that he is eternal: "'I tell you the truth,' Jesus answered, 'before Abraham was born, I am!'" (John 8:57-58)
Jesus said that he had seen God, which no one else could do (John 6:46)
Some people have used Matthew 22:41-46 (also Mark 12:35-37, Luke 20:41-44) to say that Jesus denied he was the Messiah:

While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, "What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he?"
"The son of David," they replied.
He said to them, "How is it then that David, speaking by the Spirit, calls him 'Lord'? For he says, "'The Lord said to my Lord: "Sit at my right hand until I put your enemies under your feet."' If then David calls him 'Lord,' how can he be his son?" No one could say a word in reply, and from that day on no one dared to ask him any more questions.

 
“And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen.”

Matthew 28:18-20


I LOVE YOU!

Michael Osthimer

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