Thursday, March 5, 2015

Why the Doctrine of the Holy Trinity Matters

Scripture: Genesis 1.26; Ex. 3.13-15; 20.1-7; Deut. 6.4-9; Psalm 110.1-7; Matt. 1.18-25; Matt. 3.13-17; Matt. 17.1-6; Matt. 28.16-20; John 1.1-3; John 1.14-18; John 8.30-59; John 14.15-26; John 15.26-27; John 16.5-15; John 20.24-29; Acts 5.1-11; Rom. 8.12-17, 26-39; 1 Cor. 2.10-16; 1 Cor. 12.4-6; 2 Cor. 3.17-18; Eph. 1.1-19; Eph. 4.4-6; Phil. 2.6-11; Titus 3.4-7; Heb. 9.14; Rev. 4-5
Translation: Genesis 1.26And God said, “We should make man in Our image, according to Our likeness, so that they can rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the skies and over the animals and over all the earth and over all the crawly things crawling on the earth.”
Ex. 3.13And Moses said to God, “Look, I’m going to the sons of Israel, and I’ll say to them, ‘The God of your fathers sent me to you.’ And they’ll say to me, “What is His Name?’ What should I say to them?” 14And God said to Moses, “I am who I am. And as I said You should say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM sent me to you.’” 15And God said again to Moses, “You should say this to the sons of Israel, ‘Yahweh, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, sent me to you.’ This is My Name forever. And this is How I’ll be remembered from generation to generation.”
Exodus 20.1And God spoke all these words, 1“I am Yahweh Your God, Who brought you out from the land of Egypt from the house of slaves. 3There will be no other gods for you in My Presence/except for me. Don’t you ever make for yourselves an idol or any image that is in the skies above or that on the earth below or that is in the waters from below to the land. 5Do ever worship them and don't ever serve them, because I am Yahweh Your God, the Jealous God, Who punishes the sin of fathers on their sons for three or four generations of those who hate Me. 6And I show loyalty for a thousand generations to those who love Me and obey My commands.
Deut. 6.4Listen up Israel, Yahweh is Our God; Yahweh is One. 5So you will love Yahweh Your God with all your heart and with all your life and with all your intensity!
Psalm 110.1Davidic, a song: Yahweh’s declaration to my Lord: Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies footstool. 2Yahweh will send Your strong club from Zion. Rule in the middle of Your enemies. 3Your people will voluntary offerings on the day of Your power/army. In the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning, the dew of your youth is yours! 4Yahweh swears an oath, and He won’t change His mind: “You are a priest forever, on the basis of My promise to Melchi-zedek. 5My Lord is at Your right hand; He will smash kings on day of His anger. 6He will judge nations, filling up [the world] with corpses, smashing heads all over the earth. 7He will drink from the stream on the road, therefore He will hold His head up high!
Matt. 3.13Then Jesus showed up from Galilee at the Jordan before John in order to be baptized by him. 14And John was preventing Him by saying, “I need to be baptized by You, and you’re coming to me? 15And Jesus to answer said to him, “Allow [it] now, because it is right for us to fulfill total righteousness in this way.” Then he let Him. 16And when Jesus got baptized, immediately He came up out of the water—and look, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God coming down like a dove and coming on Him. 17And look, a voice from the heavens was saying, “This is My loved Son. I’m really happy with Him!”
Matt. 17.1And after six days, Jesus took Peter and James, and John, his brother, along with Him. And He took them up to a tall  mountain, by themselves. 2And He was transformed right in front of them! His face shined like the sun, and His clothes became white like the light! 3And look, Moses and Elijah was seen by them, talking with Him. 4And in response Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it’s good that we’re here. If You want, I’ll make three shelters here, one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah. 5While he was still speaking—Look, a bright cloud covered Him. And look—a voice from the cloud saying, “This is My loved Son! I’m really happy with Him! Listen to Him.”
Matt. 28.16And the eleven disciples traveled to Galilee, to the mountain that Jesus commanded them. 17And when they saw Him, they worshiped, and they doubted. 18And coming close, Jesus spoke to them, saying, “All authority in heaven and on earth was given to Me. 19So, go make disciples of all ethnicities, baptizing them into the Name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, 20teaching them to obey absolutely all that I commanded you. And look, I’m with You for all days until the end of the age!”
John 1.1In the beginning was the Word. And the Word was with God. And the Word was God. 2This [Word] was in the beginning with God. 3All things came to exist through Him; and without Him, not even one thing that truly exists came to exist. …14And the Word became flesh and lived with us. And we looked at His glory, the glory like the Unique One from the Father, full of grace and truth.
John 8.58Jesus said to them, “Amen, Amen, I’m telling you: before Abraham came to exist, I AM!
John 14.16And I will ask the Father and He will give you another Advocate, so that He could be with you forever. 17The Spirit of Truth, Who the world can’t understand, because it can’t see Him or know Him. You know Him, because He stays with you and will be in you. …25These things I’m truly telling you while staying with you. 26And the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, Who the Father will send in My Name—That One will teach you all things and will remind you of all the things that I said to you.
John 15.26Whenever the Advocate, Whom I will send to you from the Father—the Spirit of Truth, Who goes out from the Father—comes, That One will testify about Me. 27But also you will testify, that you were with Me from the beginning.
John 16.7But I’m telling you the truth: It’s good for you that I go away, because if I don’t go away, the Advocate won’t come to you. And if I go, I will send Him to you. 8And when He comes, That One confront the world about sin and about righteousness and about judgment: 9about sin, because they don’t believe in Me; 10and about righteousness, because I go to the Father and You won’t look at me any more; 11and about judgment, because the ruler of this world really is being judged.
John 20.24And Thomas, one of the Twelve, the one who’s called “Twin,” was not with them when Jesus came. 25So the other disciples were telling him, “We really saw the Lord!” But he said to them, “If can’t see on his hands the mark of the nails and put my finger on the mark of the nails and put my hand on his side, I will not believe.” 26And after 8 days (= one week later) His disciples were again inside and Thomas was with them. Jesus was coming even though the doors were locked and stood in the middle and said, “Peace to you.” 27Then He was saying to Thomas, “Bring your finger here and see my hands and bring your hand and put it on my side. And don’t become faithless, but faithful. 28Thomas responded and said to Him, “My Lord and My God!” 29Jesus was saying to him, “Did you really believe, because you really looked at Me? Blessed are those that don’t see and believe!”
I Cor. 12.4And there are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit. 5And there are different kinds of ministries, and the same Lord. 6And there are different kinds of activities, but the same God that is working all things in all things.
2 Cor. 3.17And the Lord [read Yahweh] is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom. 18We all, looking upon the glory of the Lord with an uncovered face, the same image, are being transformed from glory into glory just as from the Lord, the Spirit.
Eph. 4.4There is one body and one Spirit, just like you were called in the one hope of your calling. 5There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6one God and Father of all, Who is over all and through all and in all.
Phil. 2.6Who although He really was in the form of God, did not consider being equal with God as something to hold on to. 7Instead, He emptied Himself by taking the form of a slave, becoming in the likeness of men, and being found in appearance as a man, 8He humbled Himself, becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross! 9Therefore, God also exalted Him way up and graced Him with the Name, the Name over ever name, 10so that in the Name of Jesus, every knee would bow, of the heavenly places and the earthly places and the subterranean places, 11and every tongue would declare aloud that Jesus the Messiah is Lord [read Yahweh] for the glory of God the Father!

1.      Themes
a.       The Oneness of God
b.      The Threeness of God.
c.       Each Person of the Godhead is a true Person, distinct and eternal, but also truly the One God, not three separate mini-gods.
d.      The Sovereignty of God
e.       The Humility of God
f.       The paradigm: From the Father, through the Son, by the Spirit
g.      The roles/relational characteristics of the Godhead.
h.      The eternality of God, and each one of His Persons—not forms, true persons.
i.        The Name of God, Yahweh/Lord
2.      Doctrines
a.       There is One God, Who eternally exists as Three eternal distinct Persons: God the Father, God the Son (Jesus the Messiah), and God the Holy Spirit
b.      God is the Creator, and is self existent, being eternal.

1.      Outline
a.       There Is Only One God, Yahweh, Who eternally exists as three equal, personal, distinct persons: God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit
                                                              i.      God is One
1.      There is only One God, there always has been and there always will be, just One. This has been the conviction and belief not just since Jesus, but since Abraham and Moses and even Noah or Adam. One God, period.
2.      Ex. 3.13-15
a.       The Same God, the Only God, is Named Yahweh.
3.      Ex. 20.1-7
a.       Yahweh insists that no other God’s be worshiped, served, or created. He is the Only God
4.      Deut. 6.4-9
a.       The Shema, the oldest creed in the world still held to, is that Yahweh is our God and that He is One
                                                                                                                                      i.      Oneness means He is the Only One, and that He is truly unique. But this does not mean that He is so totally oneness that His Threeness disappears, just that we must recognize that He is the Only God, but we also take Him as He is, which is Three in One, not merely One.
                                                            ii.      God is Three
1.      God the Father is God, Yahweh
a.       Eph. 4.6
b.      Matt. 3.13-17
c.       Matt. 17.1-6
d.      John 8.30-59
e.       Rom. 8.12-17, 26-39;
f.       1 Cor. 2.10-16;
g.      1 Cor. 12.4-6;
h.      Eph. 1.1-19
i.        Matt. 28.16-20
2.      Jesus is God, Yahweh
a.       Jesus is fully God and fully human
b.      Eph. 4.5
c.       Matt. 3.13-17
d.      Matt. 17.1-6
e.       John 8.30-59
f.       Rom. 8.12-17, 26-39;
g.      1 Cor. 2.10-16;
h.      1 Cor. 12.4-6;
i.        Eph. 1.1-19
j.        Psalm 110.1-7;
k.      Matt. 1.18-25;
l.        Matt. 28.16-20;
m.    John 1.1-3;
n.      John 1.14-18
o.      John 20.24-29;
p.      Phil. 2.6-11;
q.      Rev. 4-5
3.      The Holy Spirit is God, Yahweh
a.       He God
                                                                                                                                      i.      Matt. 1.18-25
                                                                                                                                    ii.      Matt. 3.13-17
                                                                                                                                  iii.      Matt. 17.1-6
                                                                                                                                  iv.      Matt. 28.16-20
                                                                                                                                    v.      John 14.15-26
                                                                                                                                  vi.      John 15.26-27
                                                                                                                                vii.      John 16.5-15
                                                                                                                              viii.      Acts 5.1-11
                                                                                                                                  ix.      Rom. 8.12-17, 26-39
                                                                                                                                    x.      1 Cor. 2.10-16
                                                                                                                                  xi.      1 Cor. 12.4-6
                                                                                                                                xii.      2 Cor. 3.17-18
                                                                                                                              xiii.      Eph. 1.1-19
                                                                                                                              xiv.      Eph. 4.4
                                                                                                                                xv.      Titus 3.4-7
                                                                                                                              xvi.      Heb. 9.14
                                                                                                                            xvii.      Rev. 4
b.      He is a Person, not a force
                                                                                                                                      i.      Matt. 28.16-20
                                                                                                                                    ii.      John 14.15-26
                                                                                                                                  iii.      John 15.26-27
                                                                                                                                  iv.      John 16.5-15
                                                                                                                                    v.      Acts 5.1-11
                                                                                                                                  vi.      Rom. 8.12-17, 26-39
                                                                                                                                vii.      1 Cor. 2.10-16
                                                                                                                              viii.      1 Cor. 12.4-6
                                                                                                                                  ix.      2 Cor. 3.17-18
                                                          iii.      God is Three in One
1.      Genesis 1.26;
2.      Psalm 110.1-7
3.      Matt. 3.13-17
4.      Matt. 17.1-6
5.      Matt. 28.16-20
6.      John 14.15-26
7.      John 15.26-27
8.      John 16.5-15
9.      Rom. 8.12-17, 26-39
10.  1 Cor. 12.4-6
11.  Eph. 1.1-19
12.  Eph. 4.4-6
13.  Titus 3.4-7
14.  Heb. 9.14
15.  Rev. 4-5
                                                          iv.      Heresies/False Theology
1.      God is really only one person with three different forms
2.      God is really three separate gods
3.      God is really only one person, the Father, Jesus is not truly God, and neither is the Spirit
b.      The Doctrine of the Holy Trinity matters, because…
                                                              i.      We must believe in Yahweh the Holy Trinity to be saved!
1.      That is Who God is, and to believe in a god that is not the Holy Trinity is to believe in a lie, which means that a person who doesn’t believe in the Trinity is not a real Christian and is going to hell, no matter how nice that person is or how much they love Jesus
                                                            ii.      We must believe in Yahweh the Holy Trinity to grow and live for Him!
1.      What we also often fail to understand is that without a healthy understanding and faith in the Holy Trinity our Spiritual growth and development, including our ability to truly live for Him will be stunted
2.      our identity as Christians in completely tied up with the Persons of the Godhead. In a very real sense, we can only know our own identity if we know it in relationship to God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit
a.       our identity as God’s adopted children and therefore having a freeing and secure relationship with God as our Father is only possible if we believe in the Trinity, because we need to believe in God the Father to understand what it is to have a perfect and true Father, but we also need to believe in Christ to understand what it means and is to be one of God’s children. And believe it or not we need to believe in and rely on the Holy Spirit to be able to even recognize that we are God’s children.
b.      Our identity as those chosen by God, saved by Christ, and reborn by the Spirit also requires us to believe in the Trinity.
c.       We can live for God and grow closer to God without knowing Him more deeply
                                                          iii.      We must believe in Yahweh the Holy Trinity to bring people to salvation
1.      Because we must believe in the Holy Trinity to be saved, it follows that if we don’t know or believe in the Holy Trinity we can not lead others to salvation. Many false teachers and preachers and leaders have gone out into the world offering salvation, but denying the Trinity. But what salvation could they offer? They don’t have any salvation for themselves!
                                                          iv.      We must believe in Yahweh the Holy Trinity to make sense of reality
1.      It gives us a basis and model for unity
a.       Have you ever wondered why we value unity in the Body of Christ or even why people in the world in general value unity, why we care about seeing how things are connected and related?
b.      The answer is that it is because there is Unity in the Godhead. You could say, it is because we see the functional value of unity and seeing connections, but that doesn’t actually answer the question it just pushes it further away, and leaves us semi-satisfied with an empty answer. Because you still have not answered by whether it is useful matters, or how there could be beauty in it. NO, the answer is that because God is Three in One, because Yahweh is unity, we see it in the world and in our lives as a reflection of Him.
2.      It gives us a basis and model for diversity
a.       Why are people different? Why are there different colors? Why do opposites attract? The answers is because God is Three in One. There in fact has always been diversity, because God has always been a diversity within a unity. There has always been three distinct, eternal Persons of God. God the Father has always valued diversity and made it reflective of Himself in the universe, because He has always enjoyed and experienced the beauty, excitement, and joy of knowing God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, Who are truly and eternally God, but Who are One God.
3.      It gives us a basis and model for relationships and love and loyalty
a.       Why do we have relationships here on earth, why do we value them. Why does love exist and why do we love love? Because God is Three in One and therefore has always been in a relationship. God the Father has always been God the Father, because He has always had God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit has always been God the Holy Spirit because He is so deeply in relationship with the Father and the Son that He can be called the Spirit of God and the Spirit of Christ. He is their Spirit.
b.      And they have always loved each other perfect, because God is Love, as John says in his first letter.
2.      Discussion Questions
a.       If someone asked to explain the Trinity to them, how would you do it?
b.      What difference does it make whether Jesus or the Holy Spirit is God?
c.       Where do you find your identity? As a Christian, how could your relationship with each Person of the Holy Trinity shape how you think about yourself and empower you to live for Him?
d.      When you think of love or the perfect relationship, what do you think of? How does it compare or reflect the relationship and love of the Holy Trinity? How could we reflect the perfect love and relationship of the Holy Trinity better?
e.       How could we reflect God by embracing diversity in our personal lives and as a church?
f.       How could we become more united as a church, so that we reflect the unify and diversity of God more?

g.      Do you ever think about how to make sense of the world? Are there any areas of reality that the truth that God is Triune helps us to understand? 

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