Monday, July 21, 2014

P3 The Importance of the Trinity - The Deity of the Son

2 Corinthians 13:14 “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all.”

Review from yesterday
As we have seen from the past couple of posts, the term "Trinity" is doctrinal shorthand in bringing together the Bible’s revelation of God. Think of the term as being composed of two words: "Tri" meaning "three" and "unity" meaning one. We looked at the first major truth comprising the doctrine of the Trinity: namely that God is One God (Monotheism) Who is the Father. The Baptist Faith and Message 2000, the doctrinal statement of the Southern Baptist Convention, defines the Trinity: “The eternal Triune God reveals Himself to us as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, with distinct personal attributes, but without division of nature, essence, or being.”

As we already mentioned, three major truths comprise this very important Biblical teaching of God as Trinity. I will list them for the reader's convenience and then we will consider the second major truth in today's post: The Deity of the Son.

1. God is One God (Monotheism)
2. The Deity of Jesus Christ
3. The Personality of the Holy Spirit

The Deity of Jesus Christ

As we already mentioned, God is one in His being, a belief that is referred to as “mono-theism”. And now as we probe the text of scripture, we discover that in terms of His identity, God is not only revealed in the Person of the Father, but also in the Second Person – the Son. Old Testament passages such as Psalm 2:7 reveal the Eternal Pre-existence of the Person of the Son sharing in conversation with the Person of the Father. By referring to the Person of “The Son”, scripture is stating that whatever characteristics and qualities the Father has, the Son has in equal measure. When Jesus came to this world through the virgin birth, He revealed Himself to be God in human flesh. John 1:14 clearly states: “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.” When Jesus walked on this earth, He lived as a man Who ever remained fully God. During His ministry Jesus made this statement in John 10:30 “I and the Father are one.” After three and a half years of doing miracles, preaching sermons and developing relationships with people, Jesus would be arrested and then die on the cross as a man. Though fully man, Jesus as the Person of the Son demonstrated His willingness and Love as the fully Divine Redeemer. When He raised from the dead, the belief of Jesus being fully God in human flesh became fully solidified in the hearts and minds of His followers.  Thomas’ response to Jesus in one of His post-resurrection appearances proves this in John 20:28:  “My Lord and My God”.  

Later on Paul in 1 Corinthians 8:6 tells us - "yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him."  As you explore the New Testament, Jesus Christ is asserted many times in the New Testament as being God. In John 8:58 for example He uses the Divine Personal name from the Old Testament to identify Himself to his opponents: “before Abraham was, I AM.”  Not only is He the Creator, as revealed in this verse, but He is also the Savior of the world sent by the Father as spoken of in 1 John 4:14. 

Inasmuch as the New Testament continued to assert the first truth of God being one God, the reality of Christ’s full Deity was clearly revealed in the New Testament. Both truths led the combined witness of the New Testament to communicate the shared unity between the Father and the Son. Such a profound revelation would provide the cornerstone for getting the early followers of Jesus Christ to correctly interpret God’s Triune nature.

With the Oneness of God, or Monotheism still in place, as well as the uncontested Deity of Jesus Christ soundly affirmed in the New Testament, one more essential truth is needed to complete the Biblical doctrine of the Trinity, which will look at tomorrow…

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