Sunday, July 20, 2014
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 saw yesterday, the term "Trinity" is doctrinal shorthand for bringing together the Bible’s revelation of God. 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.”
Three major truths comprise this very important Biblical teaching of God as Trinity:
1. God is One God (Monotheism)
2. The Deity of Jesus Christ
3. The Personality of the Holy Spirit
Today's post will feature the first of these truths.
1. God is one God
Deuteronomy 6:4 states - “Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one!" Isaiah 43:10 tells us - "“You are My witnesses,” declares the LORD, “And My servant whom I have chosen, So that you may know and believe Me And understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, And there will be none after Me."
These two scriptures communicate the first fundamental assertion of the biblical view of God - that there is only One God. This belief in “One God” is what people call “Monotheism” (Mono = from the Greek word "mono" meaning "One" and theism = from the Greek word "theos" meaning "God"). Contrary to what some may think, the doctrine of the Trinity does not teach three Gods, but rather that The One God of the Bible is Three “Who’s”: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. God is One in terms of being and Three with regards to His identity. To say God is Personal literally is to say that God not only relates within as The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit, but that the Father, through the efforts achieved by the Son, desires by His Spirit to have a relationship with you and me through saving faith.
From the very beginning of Genesis we come to understand that though God is singular in regards to His being, yet there is something plural about His identity. As early as Genesis 1:26 we see this statement: “let us make man in our image….” As you explore the revelation of God in the Old Testament, you discover that the First Divine Person Whom we are able to establish the identity of God is the Father. For example we read in Deuteronomy 32:6 “Do you thus repay the Lord, O foolish and unwise people? Is not He your Father who has bought you? He has made you and established you.” The revelation of God in the Old Testament progressively unfolds seeds of thought that later become fully mature oaks in the New Testament. Nearly ten times is Yahweh or God in the Old Testament identified in the Person known as “The Father”. Yahweh God is the Father Who called forth into being His people Israel from stock of an aged Abraham and barren Sarah. Other passages such as Psalm 139 described God in His being as all powerful, all knowing and everywhere present. The Deity of the Father is so well attested that there is virtually no dispute over either the Deity of the Father nor the strong case made by the Bible for there only being One God. Contrary to critics, the doctrine of the Trinity begins with and presupposes Monotheism, the belief in One God, Who is revealed in the Person of The Father.