by inhonoredglory

The Trinity is a concept that has sparked much debate among Christians and non-Christians alike. Is Jesus God? Does the Bible teach that God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit are indeed One? And what do the following statements from the Bible mean?

  • Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one! (Deuteronomy 6:4)
  • I and the Father are one. (Jesus’ words in John 10:30)

But the Bible is clear that in this paradox lies a truth. In both New and Old Testaments, we can find that God’s message for us includes a statement about His complex nature, namely His Tri-Unity.

clover

Like the leaves of a clover, three make one.

A Savior

Notice this parallel: God tells the Old Testament prophet Isaiah that “I, even I, am the LORD, and there is no savior besides me” (Isaiah 43:11). But God also tells Isaiah a prophecy concerning the deliverance of His people Israel: “For they will cry to the LORD because of oppressors, and He will send them a Savior and a Champion, and He will deliver them” (Isaiah 19:20). So God, the only Savior, is sending a Savior to His people. The New Testament concurs: In Luke’s witness of Jesus’ life, it is written that “today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11). Thus, the saviour Christ is the saviour God. Isaiah again verifies this point in his prophecy of the Messiah Jesus’ coming:

  • For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6; KJV)

The attributes given to God are often also given to Jesus Christ. Here, Paul exhorts the church in this way:

  • Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God, which He purchased with His own blood. (Acts 20:28)

Thus, God is one who purchased (redeemed) the church; of course, we know that Jesus Christ is the one whose blood spilled for us on the cross of Calvary.

In fact, all three persons of the Trinity are involved in our sanctification (that is, our being set apart by God as recipients of His salvation):

  • We “are sanctified by God the Father” (Jude 1:1; KJV).
  • We “are sanctified in Christ Jesus” (I Corinthians 1:2; KJV). See also Hebrews 2:11
  • “But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God” (I Corinthians 6:11).
  • We are “elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ” (I Peter 1:2; KJV).

The Resurrection

Even the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the central event of history, is accomplished through all three Persons of God’s nature:

  • “Him . . . ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: whom God hath raised up” (Acts 2:23-24; KJV).
  • “The Father raises the dead and gives them life” (John 5:21).
  • Jesus said, “For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life so that I may take it again. No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again” (John 10:17-18).
  • “But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give you life to your mortal bodies” (Romans 8:11).

Jesus’ Testimony

Jesus’ actions and words also affirm the divine equality He holds as God made flesh. In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus prayed to God the Father, saying,

  • “Holy Father, keep them in Your Name, the Name which you have given Me, that they may be one even as We are” (John 17:11).
  • “I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me” (John 17:20-21).
  • “The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one” (John 17:22).

Worship

God specifically tells His people that “you shall not worship any other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God” (Exodus 34:14). And when the people of God attempt to worship angels or other men, they are given sharp rebuke. Notice:

  • “I , John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I heard and saw, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed me these things. But he said to me, ‘Do not do that. I am a fellow servant of yours and of your brethren the prophets and of those who heed the words of this book. Worship God.’ ” (Revelation 22:8-9)
  • “When Peter entered, Cornelius met him, and fell at his feet and worshiped him. But Peter raised him up, saying, ‘Stand up; I too am just a man.’ ” (Acts 10:25-26)

But Jesus Christ does not rebuke those who fall down and worship Him:

  • When Jesus saves Peter from the stormy sea: “Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, ‘You of little faith, why did you doubt?’ When they got into the boat, the wind stopped. And those who were in the boat worshiped Him, saying, ‘You are certainly God’s Son!’ ” (Matthew 14:31-33)
  • “And behold, Jesus met them and greeted them. And they came up and took hold of His feet and worshiped Him. Then Jesus said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; go and take word to My brethren to leave for Galilee, and there they will see Me.’ ” (Matthew 28:9-10)
  • The blind man whom Jesus healed: “Jesus heard that they had put him out, and finding him, He said, ‘Do you believe in the Son of Man?’ He answered, ‘Who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him?’ Jesus said to him, ‘You have both seen Him, and He is the one who is talking with you.’ And he said, ‘Lord, I believe.’ And he worshiped Him. And Jesus said, ‘For judgment I came into this world, so that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may become blind.’ ” (John 9:35-39)
  • “While He was blessing them, He parted from them and was carried up into heaven. And they, after worshiping Him, returned to Jerusalem with great joy” (Luke 24:51-52).

Thus, the Bible affirms that Jesus Christ is indeed God. In the words of God through Paul, in Jesus “all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form” (Colossians 2:9).

The Angel of the LORD

Note that the Trinity existed even before the New Testament times. The Person of Jesus Christ manifested Himself as the Angel of the Lord to Old Testament prophets and servants:

  • “When Gideon saw that he was the angel of the LORD, he said, ‘Alas, O Lord GOD! For now I have seen the angel of the LORD face to face.’ ” (Judges 6:22).
  • “Now the angel of the LORD did not appear to Manoah or his wife again. Then Manoah knew that he was the angel of the LORD. So Manoah said to his wife, ‘We will surely die, for we have seen God.’ ” (Judges 14:21-22)

Compare these Scriptures, one in the Old Testament and one in the New:

  • Listen to me, O Jacob, even Israel whom I have called; I am He, I am the first, I am also the last . . . . And now the Lord GOD has sent Me, and His Spirit. (Isaiah 48:12, 16)
  • And He placed His right hand on me, saying, ‘Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. (Revelation 1:17-18)

The Bible is not contradictory when it states that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are each God, and that God is one. The Trinity is like the mathematical equation 1 x 1 x 1 = 1. The final product consists of its three separate parts, yet each part equals the end product.

The Bible, therefore, does support the idea of a complex, tri-personal God. God the Father is as much God as His Son Jesus Christ or the Holy Spirit. The ramifications of this truth is the complete confidence we have in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Since Christ was God made flesh, His self-sacrifice on our behalf comes with all the power and completeness that only God Himself can offer. We can do nothing to fulfill our salvation than to place our trust in Him completely. For when God does something, He does so without reserve and with complete sufficiency.

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