TRINITY by Keith Hassell (updated version)
The Doctrine of the Trinity
A Scriptural and Historical Overview
1. There is only one God
2. Yet God reveals Himself in the plural sense
3. Yet the Bible reveals distinctions within the Godhead
4. Yet the Bible reveals a unity in the midst of distinction within the Godhead
5. Yet these three distinctions are eternal
6. Yet each is called God
7. Yet each is described as Creator
8. Yet each is described as eternal
9. Yet each is described as inspired
10. Yet each is described as omnipresent
11. Yet each is described as omniscient
12. Yet each is described as omnipotent
13. Yet each is described as holy
14. Yet each is described with resurrection power
15. Yet each is described as truth
16. Yet each is described as sanctifying the believer
17. Yet each is described as preserving the believer to salvation
18. Yet each is described as being an indwelling presence
19. Yet each is described as leading believers
20. Yet each draws believers
21. Yet each gives life
22. The Bible also presents Jesus as YAHWEH (or JEHOVAH)
23. The Bible teaches us that Jesus accepted the worship of others
24. The baptism of Jesus
25. Trinity baptism
26. False Views of the Trinity
27. Proposed illustrations demonstrating the trinity
28. Old Testament passages regarding the trinity
29. New Testament passages regarding the trinity
30. The person of Jesus Christ
31. Three persons within the Godhead
32. The work of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
Trinity and the Early Church Fathers
The Apostles Creed
The Nicene Creed
The Athanasian Creed
The Doctrine of the Trinity
Pastor Keith Hassell
“A Scriptural and Historical Overview”
"And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness”
I Timothy 3:16
The doctrine of the trinity is not a truth based on natural theology, but is based on revelation and a systematic study of the entire Bible. In Christian theology, the term "trinity" means that there are three eternal distinctions in one divine essence, known respectively as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and yet there is only one God. Though the term "trinity" does not appear in the Bible, it was a theological term used early in the history of the church to explain the revelation of the Godhead (other theological words that do not appear in the Bible include “rapture,” “oneness,” etc. Early Christian theism was preoccupied with the unity of God, but the struggle with paganism and Gnosticism forced the subject to the forefront. While Christians were aware of obscure distinctions within the one indivisible Godhead, they were not originally concerned with exploring the eternal relations of the Three, much less to develop a theology to express them. Some theologians, however, did begin to step forward to address the issue. The Greek form, trias, seems to be used first by Theophilus of Antioch (d. A.D. 181) and its Latin form, trinitas, by Tertullian (d. ca. A.D. 220). Tertullian refuted the suggestion that any distinction between the Three involved any division or separation. The distinction was more of a distribution rather than a separation. He referred to the unity between the root and its shoot, the source and the river, and the sun and its light. His normal way of expressing this distinction was to say that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit were one in "substance." This substance has not been divided but extended. The Athanasian Creed expresses the doctrine of the trinity thus: "We worship one God in the Trinity, and the Trinity in unity; we distinguish among the persons, but we do not divide the substance . . . The entire three persons are coeternal and coequal with one another, so that . . . we worship complete unity in the Trinity and Trinity in unity." The doctrine of the trinity is not a truth of natural theology, but of revelation. A systematic study of the Scripture reveals this "Tri-unity" of the Godhead.
1. THERE IS ONLY ONE GOD
a. Deuteronomy 6:4 (Shema) "Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one!" (This is the creed of Judaism. The Lord is a translation of the Hebrew "Yahweh", but later the Jews substituted the word "Adonai"("my Lord") since they considered Yahweh too sacred to be pronounced. The word God here is used in its plural form ("Elohim") in the Hebrew text. Thus, “The Lord our God, the Lord is one!” could be translated "Yahweh our Elohim (plural form), Yahweh is one!" This likely emphasizes the Christian doctrine of the Trinity, three Persons of the same substance in the one Godhead. This understanding would not have been apparent to the people of the Old Testament).
b. Deuteronomy 32:39 "There is no God beside Me."
c. Isaiah 43:10 "Before Me there was no God formed, nor shall there be after Me."
d. Isaiah 44:6 "Beside Me there is no God."
2. YET GOD REVEALS HIMSELF IN THE PLURAL SENSE
a. The plurality of God can be seen in the very NAME of God (Elohim) The name ELOHIM is found 2,700 times in the Old Testament and is a uni-plural noun that literally means “Gods.” It is translated in that manner 239 times (Genesis 3:5; Exodus 22:28, etc.)
b. Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning God” (“Elohim” is plural of “El”-God)
c. Genesis 1:26 “Let US make man in OUR image, according to OUR likeness.” He is not talking to the angels when in Genesis 1:1-3 we see God, the Spirit, and the Light. The word “Elohim” is a uni-plural noun.
d. Genesis 3:22 “Then the Lord God (Elohim) said, ‘Behold, the man has become like one of US, to know good and evil.’” Who knows good and evil? God (Elohim)
e. John 17:21 “that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in US, that the world may believe that You sent Me.”
f. Genesis 3:5 The serpent said to Eve, “God (Elohim) knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God (Elohim), knowing good and evil.”
g. Genesis 11:7 “Come, let US go down and there confuse their language…”
h. The singular form of the name of God (Eloha) is used twenty five times in the Bible, examples being Deuteronomy 32:15-17 and Habakkuk 3:3. Moses could have very easily used the singular form when talking about God. But he didn’t. The plural form is used 2,500 times in the Bible.
i. Why is the name plural? Because there are three that bear witness in heaven: The Father, the Word (Jesus the Son), and the Spirit. (1 John 5:7) And these three are one.
j. Genesis 19:24 “And the Lord rained upon Sodom and Gomorrah FROM THE LORD out of heaven.” (Two distinct persons here)
k. Psalm 110:1 “The Lord said to my Lord, sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool.”
l. Isaiah 44:6 “Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel, and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: I am the First and I am the Last; besides Me there is no God.”
m. Jeremiah 23:5-6 “Behold, the days are coming says the Lord, that I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness; a King shall reign and prosper, and execute judgment and righteousness in the earth. In His days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell safely; Now this is His name by which He will be called: ‘THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.’”
n. Matthew 22:42-45 “What do you think about the Christ? Whose Son is He? They said to Him, ‘The Son of David.’ He said to them, “How then does David in the Spirit call Him ‘Lord’ saying: ‘The Lord said to my Lord, sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool’? If David then call Him ‘Lord,’ how is He his Son?” (Where is the Son of God? He is at the right hand of God.)
o. Acts 2:33-35 “Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear. For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he says himself: ‘The Lord said to my Lord, sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool.’ Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that GOD HAS MADE THIS JESUS, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.”
p. Proverbs 30:4 “Who has ascended into heaven, or descended? Who has gathered the wind in His fists? Who has bound the waters in a garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is His name, and what is HIS SON’S NAME, if you know?”
q. There are plural descriptions give of the Lord (not revealed in the English but in the original language word studies) The Old Testament was written primarily in Hebrew language.
1) Ecclesiastes 12:1 “Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth.” (“Creator” is plural here, ‘Creators”)
2) Psalm 149:2 “Let Israel rejoice in their Maker” (“Maker” is plural, “Makers”)
3) Joshua 24:19 “But Joshua said to the people, ‘You cannot serve the Lord, for He is a holy God, He is a Jealous God.” (“Holy God” is plural, “Holy Gods”)
4) Isaiah 54:5 “For your Maker is your husband.” (Plural: “Your Makers is your husbands”)
r. What about Israel’s confession?
1) Deuteronomy 6:4 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one!”
2) The word “one” in Hebrew is “echad” which does not mean one absolute but a compound one, i.e. there are different things involved in making it one.
3) Other places where the word “echad” is used in Scripture:
a) Genesis 1:5 “So the evening and the morning were the first day.” (“first” is the word “echad”: There is a difference between morning and evening but yet they are considered one day)
b) Genesis 2:24 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” (The word “one” is “echad”: There is a difference between man and woman but yet they are considered one flesh.)
c) Ezra 2:64 “The whole assembly together was forty-two thousand three hundred and sixty.” (The word “together” is the word “echad.” There is a difference in persons but they are considered one.)
d) Ezekiel 37:17 “Then join them one to another for yourself into one stick, and they (two sticks) will become one in your hand.” (Each of the “one” in this verse is the word “echad.” There were two sticks but they were joined together as one stick.)
4) There is a Hebrew word that does mean an absolute unity. It is the word “yawkheed” which is found in many Scripture passages: Genesis 22:2, 12; Judges 11:34; Psalm 22:21. In this word the emphasis is on “only” one. Moses could have used this word in Deuteronomy 6:4 but didn’t.
5) There is a book of Jewish mysticism called the “Zohar.” They were writing about the four-letter name of God: YHVH in English (There are three distinct letters in the Name: “yod”, “hey”, and “vav”. The “hey” is in the name twice). In the “Zohar,” Volume 3, page 43 in the Hebrew additions it says: “Come and see the mystery of the word YHVH. There are three steps, each existing by itself. Nevertheless they are one. And so united that one cannot be separated from the other. Then Ancient Holy One is revealed with three heads, which are united into one, and that head is three exalted. The Ancient One is described as being three because the other lights emanating from Him are included in the three. But how can three names be one? Are they really one because we call them one? How three can be one can only be known through the revelation of the Holy Spirit
3. YET THE BIBLE REVEALS DISTINCTIONS WITHIN THE GODHEAD
a. The Lord is distinguished from the Lord
1) Genesis 19:24 “Then the Lord rained brimstone and fire on Sodom and Gomorrah, from the Lord out of the heavens.”
2) Hosea 1:7 “Yet I will have mercy on the house of Judah, will save them by the Lord their God…”
3) Zechariah 3:2 “And the Lord said to Satan, ‘The Lord rebuke you, Satan! The Lord who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you!”
4) 2 Timothy 1:18 “The Lord grant to him that he may find mercy from the Lord in that Day.”
5) Jude 1:4 “For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.”
b. The Son is distinguished from the Father
1) Psalm 2:7 “The Lord said to Me, You are My Son. Today I have begotten You.”
2) Psalm 45:6-7 “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom. You love righteousness and hate wickedness; therefore God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness more than Your companions.”
3) Proverbs 30:4 “Who has ascended into heaven, or descended? Who has gathered the wind in His fists? Who has bound the waters in a garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is His name, and what is HIS SON’S NAME, if you know?”
4) Isaiah 48:16 “Come near Me, hear this: I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time that it was, I was there. And now the Lord God and His Spirit have sent Me.”
5) John 1:18 “No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.”
6) John 3:17 “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”
7) John 5:22-23 “For the Father judges no one but has committed all judgment to the Son, that all should honor the Son as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.”
8) John 8:16 “And yet if I do judge, My judgment is true; for I am not alone, but I am with the Father who sent Me.”
9) John 8:17-18 “It is also written in your law that the testimony of two men is true. I am One who bears witness of Myself, and the Father who sent Me bears witness of Me.”
10) John 8:28-29 “Then Jesus said to them, ‘When you lift up the Son of Man, they you will know that I am He, and that I do nothing of Myself, but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things. And He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him.”
11) John 14:23 "Jesus answered and said to him, 'If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and WE will come to him and make Our home with him.'"
12) John 17:21 “that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in US, that the world may believe that You sent Me.” (“You,” “Me,” & “Us,” “One”)
13) Jesus is not only called the Son of God (Romans 1:4), but also the only begotten Son (John 3:16, 18)
14) Jesus is called His first-born son (Hebrews 1:6)
15) Jesus was the eternal Son of God even before He was given (Isaiah 9:6; Micah 5:2)
16) Acts 2:32 “This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses.”
17) Acts 2:33 “Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear.”
18) Acts 2:35 “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.”
19) Romans 6:4 “Therefore we were buried with Him (Christ) through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.”
20) Romans 15:6 “that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
21) 2 Corinthians 1:3 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
22) Galatians 1:1. 3 “through Jesus Christ and God the Father who raised Him from the dead…grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ.”
23) Philippians 2:10 “…that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow…and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
24) 1 John 1:3b “truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.”
25) 1 John 2:1 “And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.”
26) 1 John 4:9 “God sent His only begotten Son into the world that we might live through Him.”
27) 2 John 3 “Grace, mercy, and peace will be with you from God the Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.”
28) Revelation 3:12 “I (Jesus) will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name.”
c. The Son is distinguished from the Spirit
1) Isaiah 48:16 “Come near Me, hear this: I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time that it was, I was there. And now the Lord God and His Spirit have sent Me.”
2) Luke 3:21-22 “When all the people were baptized, it came to pass that Jesus was baptized; and while He prayed, the heaven was opened. And the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon Him, and a vice came from heaven which said, ‘You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased.”
3) John 14:16-17a “And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever---the Spirit of truth…” (“another” means another of a different kind; “Helper” means “One called alongside to help; Advocate, Comforter”)
4) Acts 2:33 “Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear.”
d. The Spirit is also distinguished from God the Father
1) Genesis 1:1, 2 “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without from, and void; and darkness was hovering over the face of the waters.”
2) Genesis 6:3 “And the Lord said, ‘My Spirit shall not strive with man forever.”
3) Numbers 27:18 “And the Lord said to Moses; ‘Take Joshua the son of Nun with you, a man in whom is the Spirit, and lay your hand on him.”
4) Psalm 51:11 “Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.”
5) Isaiah 40:13 “Who has directed the Spirit of the Lord, or as His counselor has taught Him?”
6) Matthew 12:32 “Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.”
7) John 15:28 “But, when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.”
8) Acts 2:33 “Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear.”
9) Romans 8:1-4 God, His Son, and the Spirit
10) Romans 8:11 “But if the Spirit of Him (Father) who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.”
11) Ephesians 2:18 “For through Him (Jesus) we have access by one Spirit to the Father.”
12) Ephesians 4:4-6 “There is…one Spirit…one Lord…one God and Father of all…”
d. Other such matters as the triple use of “holy” in Isaiah 6:3 may imply trinity (cf. Revelation 4:8), as well as the triple benediction of Numbers 6:24-26.
e. The oft-recurring phrase, “the angel of the Lord,” as found in the Old Testament, has special reference to the pre-incarnate second person of the trinity. His appearances in the Old Testament foreshadowed his coming in the flesh. The angel of the Lord is identified with the Lord and yet distinguished from Him. He appeared to Hagar (Genesis 16:7-140), Abraham (Genesis 22:11-18), Jacob (Genesis 31:11-13), Moses (Exodus 3:2-5), Israel (Exodus 13:2-25), Elijah (1 Kings 19:5-7), and David (1 Chronicles 21:15-17). The angel of the Lord slew 185,000 Assyrians (2 Kings 19:35), stood among the myrtle trees in Zechariah’s vision (Zechariah 1:11), defended Joshua the high priest against Satan (Zechariah 3:1f.), and was one of the three men who appeared to Abraham (Genesis 18).
f. In light of the above intimations of the trinity in the Old Testament, we conclude with Berkhof, “The Old Testament contains a clear anticipation of the fuller revelation of the trinity in the New Testament.”
4. YET THE BIBLE REVEALS THEIR UNITY IN THE MIDST OF DISTINCTION
a. Proverbs 30:4 “Who has ascended into heaven, or descended? Who has gathered the wind in His fists? Who has bound the waters in a garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is His name, and what is HIS SON’S NAME, if you know?”
b. The Baptism of Jesus: Matthew 3:16-17 "When He had been baptized, Jesus (Son) 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 (Father) came from heaven, saying, 'This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.'"
c. Matthew 28:19 " . . . baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit . . ."
d. Luke 24:49 “Behold, I (Jesus) send the Promise (Spirit) of My Father upon you, but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.”
e. John 13:3 “Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God.”
f. John 14:10 “Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you, I do not speak on My own authority, but the Father who dwells in Me does the works.” (Jesus did not say, “Do you not believe that I am the Father?” Jesus spoke not on His own authority.)
g. John 14:16-18 “And I (Jesus) will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper (Spirit), that He may abide with you forever---the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him, but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.”
h. John 15:26 “But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.”
i. John 16:13-15 “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for HE WILL NOT SPEAK ON HIS OWN AUTHORITY, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. HE WILL GLORIFY ME, for He will take of what is MINE and declare it to you. All things that the FATHER has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you.”
j. John 16:23-24 “And in that day you will ask Me (Jesus) nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the FATHER in My name, HE will give you. Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive that your joy may be full.”
k. John 16:27-28 “for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me, and have believed that I came forth from God. I came froth from the Father and have come into the world. Again, I leave the world and go to the Father.”
l. John 17:21 “that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in US, that the world may believe that You sent Me.” (“You,” “Me,” & “Us,” “One”)
m. Acts 7:55-56 (Stephen’s martyrdom) “But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, and said, ‘Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.’”
n. Romans 1:1-4 “Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God, which He promised before through His prophets in the Scriptures, concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness by the resurrection from the dead.”
o. Romans 8:1-4 God, His Son, and the Spirit
p. Romans 8:11 “But if the Spirit of Him (Father) who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.”
q. Galatians 4:6 “And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, ‘Abba, Father!”
r. 1 Corinthians 8:6 “for us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live.”
s. I Corinthians 12:4-6 "There are diversities of gifts, but the same (Holy) Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord (Jesus). And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God (the Father) who works all in all."
t. 1 Corinthians 15:24 “Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts and end to all rule and all authority and power.”
u. 1 Corinthians 15:27 “But when He says ‘all things are put under Him,’ it is evident that He who put all things under Him is excepted.”
v. 2 Corinthians 13:14 "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.'
w. Ephesians 1:3-14
x. Ephesians 2:18 “For through Him (Jesus) we have access by one Spirit to the Father.”
y. Ephesians 4:4-6 “There is…one Spirit…one Lord…one God and Father of all…”
z. Hebrews 9:14 "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?"
aa. 1 Peter 1:2 “elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus.”
bb. 1 Peter 3:18 “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for
the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit.”
cc. 1 John 2:1 “And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.”
dd. 1 John 2:22-23 “Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son. For whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either; he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also.”
ee. 1 John 2:24 “Therefore let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide IN THE SON and IN THE FATHER.”
ff. 1 John 5:7 “For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit, and these three are one.”
gg. Revelation 1:4-6 “Grace to you, and peace from Him who is and
who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.”
5. YET THESE THREE DISTINCTIONS ARE ETERNAL
a. God is immutable. If there was ever a time when these distinctions did not exist, then when these distinctions came to exist, God changed.
b. The pre-existence and eternity of the Son
1) Proverbs 30:4 “Who has ascended into heaven, descended? Who has gathered the wind in His fists? Who has bound waters in a garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is His name, and what is HIS SON’S NAME, if you know?”
2) Micah 5:2 “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me the One to be Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting.”
3) John 1:1-3, 14 "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made…And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth."
4) John 1:15 “John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, ‘This was He of whom I said, He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me.”
5) John 3:13 “No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven.” (John 6:33, 38, 41, 46, 46, 51, 57-58)
6) John 6:38 “I have come down from heaven.”
7) John 8:42 “Jesus said to them, ‘If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me.”
8) John 8:57-58 “Then the Jews said to Him, ‘You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?’ Jesus said to them, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.’”
9) John 13:3 “Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God.”
10) John 16:27-28 “for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me, and have believed that I came forth from God. I came forth from the Father and have come into the world. Again, I leave the world and go to the Father.”
11) John 17:5 “And, now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.”
12) John 17:24 “Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.”
13) Romans 9:5 "from whom, according to the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, the eternally blessed God. Amen."
14) 1 Corinthians 15:47 “The first man was of the earth, made of dust; the second Man is the Lord from heaven.”
15) Philippians 2:5-6 “who, being in the form of God (pre-existence), did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation…” (a pre-existent choice)
16) Colossians 1:15 “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.”
17) Hebrews 1:2-3 “has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.”
18) Hebrews 1:8 “But to the Son He says, ‘Your throne, O God, is forever.’”
19) Hebrews 7:1-3 Jesus is a High Priest after the order of Melchizedek “having neither beginning of days nor end of life.”
20) Hebrews 10:5 “But a body You have prepared for Me.”
21) Revelation 22:12,13 "And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last."
c. The eternity of the Holy Spirit
1) Hebrews 9:14 "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?"
6. YET EACH IS CALLED GOD
1) John 6:27 "God the Father"
2) John 6:46 “Not everyone has seen the Father, except He who is from God; He has seen the Father.”
3) Romans 1:7 “”Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
4) Galatians 1:1 “Paul, an apostle (not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father who raised Him from the dead.”
5) Ephesians 4:6 "One God and Father of all"
6) 1 Peter 1:1,2 "elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father"
7) Revelation 3:12 “I (Jesus) will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name.”
1) Isaiah 9:6 "Unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given . . . And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God . . ."
2) Matthew 1:23 "Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel, which is translated, 'God with us.'"
3) John 1:1 "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."
4) John 20:28 "And Thomas answered and said to Him, 'My Lord and my God!' Jesus said to him, 'Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."
5) Romans 9:5 "from whom, according to the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, the eternally blessed God. Amen."
6) 1 Timothy 3:16 “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen by angels, preached among the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up in glory.”
7) Titus 2:13 “looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.”
8) Hebrews 1:8 "But to the Son He says: 'Your throne, O God, is forever and ever."
9) 2 Peter 1:1 “our God and Savior Jesus Christ”
10) 1 John 5:20 "And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life."
c. Holy Spirit
1) John 4:24 "God is Spirit."
2) Acts 5:3,4 "But Peter said, 'Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself? . . . You have not lied to men but to God.'"
3) 2 Corinthians 3:17 "Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty."
7. YET EACH IS DESCRIBED AS CREATOR
1) Genesis 1:1 "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."
2) Isaiah 44:24 "Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, and He who formed you from the womb: I am the Lord, who makes all things . . ."
1) John 1:1-3 "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made."
2) 2 Peter 3:5-7 "For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old . . . But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men."
3) Colossians 1:16,17 "For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist."
4) Hebrews 1:10 "You, Lord, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of Your hands."
c. Holy Spirit
1) Genesis 1:2 "And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters."
2) Job 33:4 "The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath (Spirit) of the Almighty gives me life."
3) Job 26:13 "By His Spirit He adorned the heavens"
4) Psalm 104:30 "You send forth Your Spirit, they are created."
8. YET EACH IS DESCRIBED AS ETERNAL
1) Psalm 93:2 "Your throne is established from of old; You are from everlasting."
1) Micah 5:2 "But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me the One to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting."
2) Hebrews 1:8 "But to the Son He says: 'Your throne, O God, is forever and ever'"
3) John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
4) John 1:15 "John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, 'This was He of whom I said, "He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me."'"
5) John 8:58 "Jesus said to them, 'Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM'".
6) John 17:5 "And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was."
7) Hebrews 1:8 “But to the Son He says: ‘Your throne, O God, is forever and ever.’”
8) Hebrews 1:11-12 “They will perish, but You remain…And they will be changed, but You are the same, and Your years will not fail.”
c. Holy Spirit
1) Hebrews 9:14 "How much more shall the blood of the Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God . . ."
9. YET EACH IS DESCRIBED AS INSPIRED
1) 2 Timothy 3:16 "All scripture is given by inspiration of God."
1) 1 Peter 1:10-11 "Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you, searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glory that would follow."
c. Holy Spirit
1) 2 Peter 1:21 "For prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit."
2) Acts 1:16 "Men and brethren, this Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke before by the mouth of David . . . "
3) Acts 28:25 "The Holy Spirit spoke rightly through Isaiah the prophet to our fathers . . . "
10. YET EACH IS DESCRIBED AS OMNIPRESENT
1) Jeremiah 23:24 "Can anyone hide himself in secret places, so I shall not see him? says the Lord; Do I not fill heaven and earth?" says the Lord?"
1) Matthew 28:20 "I am with you always, even to the end of the age."
2) John 3:13 "No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven."
3) Ephesians 1:23 " . . . the fullness of Him who fills all in all."
c. Holy Spirit
1) Psalms 139:7-10 "Where can I go from your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me."
11. YET EACH IS DESCRIBED AS OMNISCIENT
1) Jeremiah 17:10 "I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind."
1) John 2:24 "But Jesus did not commit Himself to them, because He knew all men."
2) John 16:30 "Now we are sure that You know all things, and have no need that anyone should question You. By this we believe that You came forth from God."
3) John 21:17 "Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You."
4) Colossians 2:3 "in whom (Christ) are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge."
5) Examples of His omniscience include: He knew what was in man (John 2:24), the history of the Samaritan woman (John 4:29), the thoughts of men (Luke 6:8; 11:17), the time and manner of His exit out of this world (Matthew 16:21; John 12:33; 13:1), the one who would betray Him (John 6:70), the nature and conclusion of this present age (Matthew 24, 25), and the Father as no mortal could (Matthew 11:27).
c. Holy Spirit
1) I Corinthians 2:10-12 "For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God."
2) John 14:26 "But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you."
3) John 16:12-13 "I have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when He, the Spirit of truth has come, He will guide you into all truth."
12. YET EACH IS DESCRIBED AS OMNIPOTENT
1) Matthew 19:26 "Jesus looked at them and said to them, 'With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.'"
1) Hebrews 1:3 " . . . and upholding all things by the word of His power . . ."
2) John 5:19 "Then Jesus answered and said to them, 'Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does the Son also does in like manner."
3) Revelation 1:8 "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, says the Lord, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty."
4) Matthew 28:18 "And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, 'All authority has been given unto Me in heaven and on earth.'"
5) Isaiah 9:6 "And His name will be called . . . Mighty God."
c. Holy Spirit
1) Romans 15:19 " . . . in mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God . . . "
2) Luke 1:35 "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you."
13. YET EACH IS DESCRIBED AS HOLY
1) Habakkuk 1:12 "Are You not from everlasting, O Lord my God, my Holy One?"
1) Acts 3:14 "But you denied the Holy One and the Just, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you."
2) Luke 1:35 "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God."
c. Holy Spirit
1) John 14:26 "But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you."
14. YET EACH IS DESCRIBED WITH RESURRECTION POWER
1) I Thessalonians 1:9-10 " . . . the living and true God, and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come."
1) John 2:19-21 "Jesus answered and said to them, 'Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.' Then the Jews said, 'It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?' But He was speaking of the temple of His body."
2) John 5:25,28-29 "Most assuredly I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live . . . Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear his voice and come forth---those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation."
3) John 11:25 "Jesus said to her, 'I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.'"
c. Holy Spirit
1) Romans 8:11 "But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you."
15. YET EACH IS DESCRIBED AS TRUTH
1) I Thessalonians 1:9 " . . . the living and true God."
1) John 14:6 "I am the way, the truth, and the life."
c. Holy Spirit
1) John 14:16-17 "And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever---the Spirit of truth . . . "
16. YET EACH IS DESCRIBED AS SANCTIFYING THE BELIEVER
1) John 10:36 "do you say of Him whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world . . ."
1) Hebrews 2:11 "For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren."
c. Holy Spirit
1) I Corinthians 6:11 " . . . but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God."
17. YET EACH IS DESCRIBED AS PRESERVING THE BELIEVER TO SALVATION
1) John 10:29 "My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father's hand."
1) John 10:28 "And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand."
c. Holy Spirit
1) Ephesians 4:30 "And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption."
18. YET EACH IS DESCRIBED AS BEING AN INDWELLING PRESENCE
1) Ephesians 4:6 "One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all."
2) 2 Corinthians 6:16 "As God has said: 'I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they shall be My people."
3) John 14:23 "Jesus answered and said to him, 'If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.'"
1) Colossians 1:27 "To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of the mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory."
2) John 14:20 "At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you."
3) John 14:23 "Jesus answered and said to him, 'If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him."
c. Holy Spirit
1) I Corinthians 6:19 "Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?"
2) John 14:17 "the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you."
19. YET EACH IS DESCRIBED AS LEADING BELIEVERS
1) Deuteronomy 32:12 "So the Lord alone led him, and there was no foreign god with him."
1) I Corinthians 10:1-4 "Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank of that same spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ."
2) Matthew 16:24 "Then Jesus said to His disciples, 'If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.'"
c. Holy Spirit
1) Isaiah 63:11-14 "Then he remembered the days of old, Moses and his people, saying: 'Where is He who brought them up out of the sea with the shepherd of His flock? Where is He who put His Holy Spirit within them, who led them by the right hand of Moses, with His glorious arm, dividing the water before them to make for Himself an everlasting name, who led them through the deep, as a horse in the wilderness, that they might not stumble? As a beast goes down into the valley, and the Spirit of the Lord causes him to rest, so You lead Your people, to make Yourself a glorious name."
2) Romans 8:14 "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God."
3) Acts 13:2 "As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, 'Now separate unto Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.'"
4) Matthew 4:1 "Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness . . . "
20. YET EACH DRAWS PEOPLE
1) John 6:44 "No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him."
1) John 12:32 "And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself."
c. Holy Spirit
1) I Corinthians 12:3 "Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit."
21. YET EACH GIVES LIFE
1) Psalm 36:9 "For with You is the fountain of life."
2) John 5:36 "For as the Father has life in Himself . . . "
1) John 11:25 "I am the resurrection and the life."
2) John 14:6 "I am the way, the truth, and the life."
3) John 5:26 "For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself."
4) I Corinthians 15:45 "And so it is written, 'The first man Adam became a living being.' The last Adam became a life-giving spirit."
c. Holy Spirit
1) John 6:63 "It is the Spirit who gives life."
2) 2 Corinthians 3:6 "for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life."
3) Romans 8:2 "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death."
22. THE BIBLE ALSO PRESENTS JESUS AS "YAHWEH" (OR “JEHOVAH”)
a. In Reference To A Prepared Way
a) Isaiah 40:3 "Prepare the way of the Lord ('Yahweh');"
a) Matthew 3:3 "Prepare the way of the Lord;"
b. In Reference To Their Worship
a) Isaiah 45:23-24 Every knee will bow (to Yahweh)
a) Philippians 2:10 "At the name of Jesus every knee should bow . . ."
c. In Reference To Their Title
a) Exodus 3:14 "I AM" (ehyeh in Hebrew) is Yahweh
a) John 18:5, 6 "Jesus said to them, 'I AM HE.' . . . Now when He said to them, 'I AM HE,' they drew back and fell to the ground."
b) John 8:58 "Jesus said to them, 'Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM."
d. In Reference To Their Glory
1) Matthew 12:41 "These things Isaiah said when he saw His glory and spoke of Him." (Reference: Isaiah 6:1-5 The Lord of hosts--Yahweh Sabbaoth)
e. In Reference To Their Role
a) Isaiah 44:6 "Thus says the Lord (Yahweh), the King of Israel, and His Redeemer the Lord (Yahweh) of hosts: 'I am the First and I am the Last; besides Me there is no God.'"
a) Revelation 1:17 "I am the First and the Last."
f. In Reference To Our Righteousness
a) Jeremiah 23:5-6 "Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, that I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness; A King shall reign and prosper, and execute judgment and righteousness in the earth. In His days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell safely; now this is the name by which He will be called: THE LORD (Yahweh) OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS."
a) I Corinthians 1:30 "But of Him you are in Christ Jesus who became for us wisdom from God---and righteousness and sanctification and redemption."
b) 2 Corinthians 5:21 "For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him."
g. In Reference To Isaiah's Vision Of The Throne
a) Isaiah 6:1 "In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple . . . and one (seraphim) cried to another and said: 'Holy, holy, holy is the Lord ('Yahweh') of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory!'"
a) John 12:41 "These things Isaiah said when he saw His glory and spoke of Him."
h. In Reference To Discipline Of His People
a) Numbers 21:6 "So the Lord ('Yahweh') sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and many of the people of Israel died."
a) I Corinthians 10:9 "Nor let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed by the destroyer."
i. In Reference To Esteeming As Holy
a) Isaiah 8:13 "The Lord ('Yahweh') of hosts, Him you shall hallow."
a) I Peter 3:15 "But sanctify the Lord God (NU Text: ‘Christ as Lord') in your hearts. and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you . . . "
j. In Reference To Placing Saving Faith
a) Joel 2:32 "And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the Lord ('Yahweh') shall be saved."
a) Romans 10:9, 13 "that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved . . . For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved."
23. THE BIBLE TEACHES US THAT JESUS ACCEPTED THE WORSHIP OF OTHERS
a. From Thomas: John 20:28-29 "And Thomas answered and said to Him, 'My Lord and my God!' Jesus said to him, 'Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.'"
b. From Angels: Hebrews 1:6 "Let all the angels of God worship Him."
c. From the Wise men: Matthew 2:11 "And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary his mother, and fell down and worshiped Him."
d. From a leper: Matthew 8:2 "And behold, a leper came and worshiped Him."
e. From a ruler: Matthew 9:18 "While He spoke these things to them, behold, a ruler came and worshiped Him."
f. From a blind man: John 9:38 "Then he said, 'Lord, I believe!' And he worshiped Him."
g. From a woman: Matthew 15:25 "Then she came and worshiped Him."
h. From Mary Magdalene and the other Mary: Matthew 28:9 "And as they went to tell His disciples, behold, Jesus met them saying, 'Rejoice!' So they came and held Him by the feet and worshiped Him."
i. From the Disciples: Matthew 28:17 "When they saw Him, they worshiped Him." (Matthew 14:33; Matthew 28:9)
j. From the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders: Revelation 4:8 "Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb . .."
k. From every created being: Revelation 4:13-14 "And every creature which is in heaven and on earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying: 'Blessing and honor and glory and power be to Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, forever and ever!' Then the four living creatures said, 'Amen!' And the twenty-four elders fell down and worshiped Him who lives forever and ever."
l. From all: John 5:23 “that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.”
24. THE BAPTISM OF JESUS
a. The purification with water goes all the way back to Moses with the burning of the red heifer in Numbers 19.
b. At the time the temple was built in Jerusalem there was what was called “mikvah’s” which were carved into the solid rock. They were usually about 3’ deep and had steps going down into it. They were filled with rain water that was channeled to flow into it or water from a flowing stream. The men would go into one area and the women would go into another area. They would disrobe and go into the water. A person would put his foot on their head and hold it under water. The person would then come up and wash off, get dressed, and go into the temple. This was called ceremonial cleansing. It was act of sanctification.
c. In Matthew 3 John the Baptist was baptizing people in the Jordan River where there was much water. He was baptizing them for the remission of sins. Jesus came to be baptized by John but He had no sin (2 Corinthians 5:21) Jesus was baptized in order to fulfill all righteousness (Matthew 3:15). John, who was from the priestly lineage, was transferring the Aaronic priesthood to Jesus Christ (Luke 3:23). You had to be 30 years of age in order to be a priest (Numbers 4:3). Jesus was thirty years of age.
d. In order to be a priest
1) The father had to declare the son to be a priest
2) The son had to be washed in water
3) The son had to be anointed with oil.
e. The baptism of Jesus
1) God the Father declared Jesus to be His Son in whom He was well pleased
2) Jesus goes down into the water and comes up from the water
3) The Holy Spirit in the form of a dove descends upon Jesus
f. Therefore the baptism of Jesus was not for the remission of sins but for the transfer of the priesthood to Jesus in the Jordan River.
g. Jesus never baptized in water but His disciples did (John 4:1-2). He did this in order not to confuse His role as the Baptizer with the Holy Spirit.
25. TRINITY BAPTISM
a. An important issue of controversy in baptism is not whether or not to baptize in water, but with what formula do we baptize?
b. Matthew 28:19 “Go, therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son of the Holy Spirit.”
c. “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit”? Webster’s New World Collegiate Dictionary defines “Name” as “1. a word or phrase by which a person, thing or class of things is known, called or spoken to or of; appellation, title 2. a word or words expressing quality considered characteristic or descriptive. 3. the sacred designation of a deity (His ineffable name)” The purpose of a name is for identification within relationship. For a child they come to know their father as “dad, daddy, father, papa, etc.” To that child, this is the name of their parent. When you point to their parent and say, “Who is that?” they will respond “daddy.” The name used is determined by the nature of the relationship. In the Godhead, there is no need for any names other than Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Why? These functional names identify the Persons and the distinction of their relationship. That is the only purpose of a name. When Moses asked what name God would identify Himself to Israel, we get the great impression that God had no name as Moses was looking for. God responded with “I AM THAT I AM” (Yahweh) which simply identifies Him as the one who has no beginning or end. That characteristic identified His eternal nature and became His name to Israel because of the need for identification. In fact, the name of Yahweh was compounded on several on several occasions to further describe the nature of God to us (“Yahweh-Tsidkenu”: The Lord our righteousness, etc.) However, within the Godhead, there has never been a need for “names” other than those that distinguished the relationship within the Godhead---Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. In John 17:6 Jesus states, “I have manifested (revealed) Your name to the men who You have given me out of the world.” Jesus never revealed to His disciples that the name of God is “Jesus.” However, He revealed God as “Father” and addressed Him as such in their hearing. In addition, He instructed His disciples to address God as “Father.”
d. Trinity baptism reflects both the distinction and work of the three Persons of the Godhead in the salvation process with God the Father’s love sending Jesus and drawing men (John 3:16; 6:44), Jesus Christ’s sacrifice for sin and mediation as High Priest (John 3:16; Hebrews 4:14; 9:14-15), and the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:5).
e. “In the name of Jesus”? Early records of church history reveal that baptizing “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” was the normally prescribed pattern. However, some who pointing to the accounts in the Book of Acts insist that baptizing “in Jesus’ name” was the common and, therefore, necessary formula for baptism. According to the Encyclopedia of Early Christianity (Garland Publishing, 1990), “Triune immersion may have been based on the command to baptize ‘in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit’ (Matthew 28:19). That phrase is frequently attested in the second century as the formula accompanying baptism. Baptism ‘in the name of Jesus’ appears to have been a description of the meaning of the act or a reference to the confession accompanying the baptism and not a formula pronounced at the baptism.” (p. 132)
f. Scripture on baptism in the book of Acts
1) Acts 2:38 “Then Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
2) Act 2:41 3,000 people were baptized after hearing Peter’s message on the day of Pentecost
3) Acts 8:13 The Samaritan believers were baptized after they were converted
4) Acts 8:38 The Ethiopian eunuch was baptized by Philip
5) Acts 10:48 The Gentile believers were baptized in water after they were converted and after they were baptized with the Holy Spirit
6) Acts 16:15 Lydia and all of her house were baptized after they believed
7) Acts 16:33 The Philippian jailer and his family were baptized after believing
8) Acts 19:5 The disciples of John were baptized after believing
9) Acts 22:16 Paul’s testimony that he was baptized by Annanias after believing on Jesus and being filled with the Holy Spirit
g. Baptism in “Jesus’ Name” for the remission of sins?
1) At least 60 times the New Testament speaks of salvation by faith alone without mentioning baptism. It is clear in these Scriptures that the emphasis is upon faith rather than baptism for salvation.
2) The phrase “for the remission of sins” used by Peter in Acts 2:38 is also used to describe John the Baptist’s baptism (Luke 3:3; Mark 1:4) but no one supposes that water can wash away sin. If so, then why would the disciples of John the Baptist who had been baptized “for the remission of sins” need to be “re-baptized” in Acts 19:1-6?
3) The word “for” in the Greek (eis) need only to mean “with a view toward,” for we know that the Jews baptized people “for” such things as “freedom,” “God’s justice,” etc.
4) The phrase “in Jesus’ name” only means “in the authority of” or “for the sake of” or “as a testimony of His name---of believing in and calling upon His name.” This is consistent with the view of baptism in Romans 6 where baptism is the identification with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection. Also Colossians 3:17 tells us that whatever we do in word or deed, to do all in the name of the Lord Jesus. Obviously this does not mean that we must say “in Jesus’ name” before we do or say anything or everything. Baptizing “in Jesus’ name” is not a formula and never occurs the exact same way twice in the book of Acts:
a) Acts 2:38 “in the name of Jesus Christ”
b) Acts 8:16; 195 “in the name of the Lord Jesus”
c) Acts 10:48 “in the name of the Lord”
26. FALSE VIEWS OF THE TRINITY
a. Tritheism denies the unity of the essence of God and holds to three distinct gods. Historical tritheism appeared in Monophysite circles around 550 A.D., associated with Johannes Askunages and Johannes Philiponus. The only unity that this view recognizes is a formal unity of conscience in common purpose and endeavor. The three persons are consubstantial.
b. Sabellianism, also called “Modalistic Monarchianism” or “Patripassianism,” was an influential theological movement at the beginning of the third century A.D.. It seemed to originate in Asia Minor. Noetus of Smyrna taught this view and his disciple Epigonus brought the teaching to Rome. Then through Praxeas and Sabellius the doctrine gained a strong foothold. Today the belief is commonly called “Oneness” doctrine and was revived at a 1913 Assembly of God campmeeting outside Los Angeles, CA where an otherwise unknown figure, John G. Scheppe, ran through the camp claiming to have received a revelation concerning the baptism in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. This brought sharp controversy and divisiveness within the Assembly of God which were highlighted in the Fourth General Council in 1916 where the Trinity view of God was upheld and 156 Oneness ministers were barred from membership. From these barred ministers rose modern oneness movements such as the United Pentecostal Church among others. This doctrine holds to a trinity of revelation, but not a trinity of nature. It taught that God, as Father, is creator and lawgiver; as Son, is the same God incarnate who fulfills the office of redeemer; and as Holy Spirit, is the same God in the work of regeneration and sanctification. In other words, Sabellianism taught a modal trinity (“modalism”) as distinguished from an ontological trinity. Modalism speaks of a three-fold revelation of God, in the same sense in which a man may be an artist, a teacher, and a friend, or as one may be a father, a son, and a brother. But this is in reality a denial of the trinity, for these are not three distinctions in the essence, but three qualities or relationships in one and the same person. While it is true that a person can carry the titles and names of father, son, and brother simultaneously, they can only do so in the context of distinct relationships. A person can be a father but not his own father. A person can be a son but not his own son. A person can be a brother, but not his own brother. There must exist by virtue of the relationship between father and son, son and father, and brother and brother a distinction in persons. Thus there cannot exist at any time a unity in the Godhead between Father, Son, and Holy Ghost without making a distinction in Persons.
27. PROPOSED ILLUSTRATIONS DEMONSTRATING THE TRINITY.
Throughout church history various illustrations have been offered to demonstrate the Trinity. Seven such examples are as follows. The first four are totally unscriptural, while the final three possess some limited possibilities.
a. a three-leaf clover
b. the three states of water (liquid, vapor, and solid)
c. the threefold nature of man (body, soul, spirit)
d. the three parts of an egg (shell, white, yolk)
e. the nature of light, consisting of three kinds of rays
(1) chemical rays—rays that are invisible, and can neither be felt nor seen
(2) light rays—rays that are seen, but cannot be felt
(3) heat rays—rays that are felt, but never seen
f. The dimensional example: A book has height, width, and length. These three cannot be separated, yet they are not the same.
g. a triangle
h. a three-stranded cord: A cord has three strands but none of these strands alone constitute the cord. Each strand can be distinguished but not divided without destroying the cord.
28. OLD TESTAMENT PASSAGES REGARDING THE TRINITY
a. The first name used for God: Elohim (Gen. 1:1). This name is plural in form but is joined to a singular verb.
b. The creation of man.
1) Genesis 1:26: “And God said, Let US make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.”
2) John 17:20-21 “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their words, that they all may be one, even as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they may be one in US, that they world may believe that You sent Me.”
c. The expulsion from Eden.
1) Genesis 3:22: “And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever…”
d. The confusion at Babel.
1) Genesis 11:7: “Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.”
e. The usage of the same word, echad, in Genesis 2:24 and in Deuteronomy 6:4. Echad is Hebrew for “one.” These passages teach that God is one, as husband and wife are one.
f. The teachings of King Agur.
1) Proverbs 30:4: “Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended? who hath gathered the wind in his fists? who hath bound the waters in a garment? who hath established all the ends of the earth? what is his name, and what is his son’s name, if thou canst tell?”
g. The plural forms used in Ecclesiastes 12:1 and Isaiah 54:5.
1) “Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth…” (Eccl. 12:1). In the original this is literally “thy creators.”
2) “For thy Maker is thine husband…” (Isaiah 54:5). Here “maker” should be translated “makers.”
h. The triune conversations in Isaiah.
1) Isaiah 6:8: “Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom
shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.”
2) Isaiah 48:16: “Come ye near unto me, hear ye this; I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time that it was, there am I: and now the Lord God, and his Spirit, hath sent me.”
3) Isaiah 63:9, 10: “In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old. But they rebelled, and vexed his holy Spirit: therefore he was turned to be their enemy, and he fought against them.”
i. The conversation between the Father and Son in the Psalms.
1) Psalm 2:1-9: “Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against his Anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision. Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure. Yet have I set my King upon my holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree: the Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.”
2) Psalm 45:6-8: “Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: the scepter of thy kingdom is a right scepter. Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. All thy garments smell of myrrh, and aloes, and cassia, out of the ivory palaces, whereby they have made thee glad.”
3) Psalm 110:1-5: “The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool. The Lord shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies. Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth. The Lord hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek. The Lord at thy right hand shall strike through kings in the day of his wrath.”
29. NEW TESTAMENT PASSAGES REGARDING THE TRINITY
a. The use of “US”
1) John 17:20-21 “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their words, that they all may be one, even as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they may be one in US, that they world may believe that You sent Me.”
b. The baptism of Christ.
1) Matthew 3:16, 17: “And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
c. The temptation of Christ.
1) Matthew 4:1: “Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.”
d. The teachings of Jesus.
1) John 14:16: “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever.”
NOTE: The Greek word here translated “another” is allos, meaning another of the same kind. Heteros is the Greek word for another of a different kind. It is never used in referring to the Trinity.
2) John 14:26: “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”
e. The baptismal formula.
1) Matthew 28:19, 20: “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”
f. The apostolic benediction.
1) 2 Corinthians 13:14: “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.”
30. THE PERSON OF JESUS CHRIST
A good man? A religious teacher? An imposter? A glorified angel?
2 Corinthians 11:4 Some come preaching another Jesus, bringing another spirit, and a different gospel.
a. Hebrews chapter one reveals:
1) He is God’s Last Days Messenger (verse 1-2)
a) God spoke in times past by the prophets at various times and in various ways (dreams, visions, angels, burning bush, etc.)
b) God has spoken in these last days by His Son (who is The Word)
2) He is greater than the Old Testament prophets (verse 2)
a) He is not a servant as was the prophets
b) He is appointed heir of all things
c) He is the Creator of the universe
d) He is the brightness of His glory
e) He is the express image of His person
f) He upholds all things by the word of His power
g) He purged our sins
h) He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on High
3) He is greater than the angels of heaven (verse 4-7)
a) He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent NAME than the angels (verse 4)
b) No angel has ever had God say to them, “You are My Son. Today I have begotten You.” (verse 5)
c) God has never said to an angel, “I will be to Him a Father, and He shall be to Me a Son.” (verse 5)
(2 Samuel 7:14 concerning God’s promise that David’s Son would build Him a house)
d) He receives worship from angels (verse 6)
e) Angels are spirits and ministers or servants (verse 7)
f) Angels are ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation (verse 14)
4) He is God (verse 8-9)
a) He is called God by God the Father
b) He has a throne that is forever and ever
c) He has a scepter of righteousness, which is the scepter of His kingdom
d) He has exemplified the character of the King by loving righteousness and hating lawlessness
e) He has been anointed by God for ruling
5) He is eternal (verses 10-12)
a) He is the Creator, not the creation
b) He will never change or grow old like creation
c) He is eternal (His years will never fail)
d) He is Lord (verse 13)
i. He has been given authority at the right hand of God
ii. He will rule until all enemies are made His footstool
b. In Jesus dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily (Colossians 2:9)
c. Jesus has a name above every name
1) Philippians 2:9-11 “Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
2) Acts 4:12 “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
3) Hebrews 1:4 “Having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.”
d. Jesus is the Son of God
1) Matthew 16:16 “And Simon Peter answered and said, ‘You are the Christ (Messiah), the Son of the living God.’”
2) Luke 1:35 “And the angel answered and said to her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.”
3) John 10:36 “do you say of Him whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God?’”
e. Jesus is not the Father
1) There is nowhere in Scripture that Jesus is explicitly called “Father” in the New Testament.
2) Jesus is explicitly called the “Son” (Son of God, man, etc.) over 200 times.
3) The Father is referred to as distinct from Jesus the Son throughout the New Testament over 200 times.
4) Jesus the Son and the Father appear together side by side over 50 times in the New Testament.
5) If Jesus were the Father, then why is the New Testament overwhelmingly silent on it?
6) Although the Scriptures do teach the deity of Jesus, that does not prove that He is, therefore, the Father.
7) Romans 1:3-4 “concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.”
8) Romans 15:5-6 “Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus, that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
9) 2 Corinthians 1:3 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
10) Galatians 1:1,3 “…but through Jesus Christ and God the Father who raised Him from the dead…Grace and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ.”
11) Philippians 2:10-11 “…at the name of Jesus every knee should bow…and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
12) 1 John 1:3b “and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.”
13) 1 John 3:23 “And this is His commandment; that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another as He gave us commandment.”
14) 1 John 4:9-10 “In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He love us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”
15) 1 John 4:14 “And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world.”
16) 1 John 5:5 “Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who testifies that Jesus is the Son of God?”
17) 1 John 5:20 “And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ.”
18) 2 John 3 “Grace, mercy, and peace will be with you from God the Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.”
19) Revelation 1:6 “and (Jesus Christ) has made us kings and priests to His God and Father…”
20) Revelation 3:5 “He who overcomes…I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.”
21) Revelation 3:12 “He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God…and I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name.”
22) Revelation 3:21 “To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.”
23) What about Isaiah 9:6 that says that one of the names that the Son of God would be called would be “Everlasting Father”? First, a doctrine should not be built around one verse which is the common practice of cults. This verse does not prove that Jesus is “the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” It does not teach that Jesus is His own Father. This name describes a part of Christ’s character and the nature of His rule---He is paternal in nature and His reign is eternal. The KJV renders this “Everlasting Father.” Leupold translates this “father-forever” or “father of all time.” Another way this could be translated is “father of eternity” or “father of all ages.” His reign will be characterized by paternal love and care as would be characteristic of the Good Shepherd.
f. Jesus is equal to the Father
1) John 5:18 “Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, because He not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God.”
2) Philippians 2:5-6 “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God.”
3) John 5:22-23 “For the Father judges no one but has committed all judgment to the Son, that all should honor the Son as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.”
g. Jesus is not greater than the Father
1) John 14:28 “I am going to the Father, for My Father is greater than I.”
2) 1 Corinthians 15:27-28 “But when He says, ‘all things are put under Him,’ it is evident that He who put all things under Him is excepted. Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who puts all things under Him, that God may be all in all.” (Once the redemptive work is complete, Jesus will continue to remain as Son within the Godhead but no longer function in His assumed saving mediatorial role.)
h. Jesus and the Father are one
1) John 14:7 “If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.”
2) John 14:8-11 “Philip said to Him, ‘Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, “Show us the Father?” Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works. Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves.”
3) John 17:21 “that they all may be one, as You, Father are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You have sent Me.”
4) Jesus and the Father are ONE. Notice that Jesus does not say that He is the Father. He distinguishes between Himself and the Father, with the Father sending the Son. Jesus is the express image of the Father for all to see (Hebrews 1:3). He is the image of the invisible God (Colossians 1:7). Jesus compares His oneness with the Father in the same context of the disciples becoming one with each other. Obviously the oneness among the disciples would not be one person but a unity. Jesus and the Father are one in being, but not one in person.
i. Jesus pre-existed with the Father (see “The Three Distinctions are Eternal”)
j. Jesus has come to reveal the Father
1) John 1:18 “No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.”
k. Jesus as the Son of God created the world
1) Colossians 1:16-17 “For by Him (the Son) all things were created, that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.”
2) 1 Corinthians 8:6 “for us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live.”
3) Hebrews 1:2-3 “has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.”
l. Jesus does nothing of Himself
1) John 8:28-29 “Then Jesus said to them, ‘When you lift up the Son of Man, they you will know that I am He, and that I do nothing of Myself, but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things. And He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him.”
m. Jesus is taught by the Father
1) John 8:28-29 “Then Jesus said to them, ‘When you lift up the Son of Man, they you will know that I am He, and that I do nothing of Myself, but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things. And He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him.”
o. Jesus the Son of God is our High Priest
1) 1 Timothy 2:5 “For there is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus.”
2) Hebrews 3:1 “Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Christ Jesus.
3) Hebrews 4:14 “Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.”
4) Hebrews 7 Jesus: High Priest after the order of Melchizedek
5) Hebrews 12: 24 Jesus is the mediator of the new covenant
p. Jesus the Son of God is the Messiah
1) Matthew 16:16 “And Simon Peter answered and said, ‘You are the Christ (Messiah), the Son of the living God.’”
q. Jesus is a Witness with the Father
1) John 8:16-18 “And yet, if I do judge, My judgment is true; for I am not alone, but I am with the Father who sent Me. It is also written in your law that the testimony of two men is true. I am One who bears witness of Myself, and the Father who sent Me bears witness of Me.”
r. Jesus is our “lawyer” with the Father
1) 1 John 2:1 “My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate (lawyer) with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.”
s. Jesus the Son of God is our Judge
1) John 5:22 “For the Father judges no one but has committed all judgment to the Son.”
31. THREE “PERSONS” WITHIN THE GODHEAD
A. Two or three witnesses. Jesus appeals to the Old Testament principle of having two or three witnesses validate the truth (Deuteronomy 17:6; 19:15). He states that He and His Father constitute two witnesses. This argument would be invalidated if Jesus and His Father were not two persons. The same is true of the witness of the Holy Spirit. Otherwise if Jesus was Himself the Father, Himself the Son, and Himself the Spirit, there would be only one witness rather than three.
1) John 8:16-18 “And yet, if I do judge, My judgment is true; for I am not alone, but I am with the Father who sent Me. It is also written in your law that the testimony of two men is true. I am One who bears witness of Myself, and the Father who sent Me bears witness of Me.”
2) John 15:26 “But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.”
B. Gregory A. Boyd says: “As numerous contemporary historians and theologians have argued in recent years, the original Greek and Latin words that were used in the earliest Trinitarian creeds and from which the term ‘person’ is derived (hypostasis, persona) were much less specific than the term ‘person’ today. While not denying the personal nature of what they designated, these terms did not necessarily connote any sort of separate consciousness or will. They were not, in other words, synonymous with the term ‘individual’ as the word ‘person’ is today. Indeed this individualized nuance to the term ‘person’ is a relatively recent post-Enlightenment development. The ancient confession of ‘God in three persons’ was thus not equivalent to ‘God in three individual people.’ Because the word ‘person’ has become fare more individualized, many well-respected Trinitarians feel that it is misleading and should actually be dropped from contemporary Trinitarian creeds. It should be replaced, they argue, by a phrase such as ‘mode of being’ (Barth) or ‘manner of subsistence’ (Rahner), which, they contend, are better translations of the original hypotasis and persona…“In any case, whether or not the term ‘person; is retained, Trinitarians have always agreed that the doctrine of ‘God in three persons’ cannot be understood to legitimize (say) picturing God as three literal divine ‘people’ in heaven who are so distinct that they have to (as it were) vote on what activity they might perform---as though their wills and minds were indeed separable! God is not a committee! Such an understanding of the Trinity is simply a misapplication of the creedal language…. The Trinity, the church has always held, is not inconceivable by analogy (for example, the unity of God is “like” the loving unity of three human persons), but it is ‘unpicturable’ in literal terms. Only in the incarnate person of Christ does deity become in any sense ‘picturable,’ for here alone we find that one literal, visible, divine manifestation---the one ‘Word,’ ‘Form,’ ‘Image,’ and ‘Incarnation,’ of God. ‘No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is a the Father’s side, has made him known.’ (John 1:18)…It should therefore be clear that the doctrine of the Trinity that Oneness Pentecostals (and most other anti-trinitarian groups) are attacking is by and large a literalistic, and hence tri-theistic, caricature of what the traditional doctrine really means. As such, their attacks really do not even touch the correct orthodox teaching of the church.” (Gregory A. Boyd, Oneness Pentecostals and the Trinity, Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, Michigan, pp. 173-174)
31. THE WORK OF THE FATHER, SON, AND HOLY SPIRIT
“The work of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is each the work of God. This is one of the fundamental aspects of this matter. The work of Christ is the work of God. Christ is not a ‘delegate’ whom God sent, nor is the Holy Spirit an external agent sent by the Father and the Son. The work of Christ and of the Holy Spirit is as much the work of God as is the work of the Father. The work of each is, therefore, inclusive of the work of the other rather than exclusive. Sometimes men talk of the ‘office’ work of the three persons of the Trinity as if each agreed to do a certain part of the work in saving man; as if each did his work in a mutually co-operative and external way; as if the Father did His part and ceased; then the Son did his and ceased; then the Holy Spirit took up his part of the task and is working to complete the program. This is again tri-theistic in its tendency. The New Testament conception is not that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit mutually and successively co-operate in carrying out a plan previously agreed upon, but rather that all work in and through each. The work of the Son is the work of the Father, and the Father works in and through the Son. The work of the Spirit is the work of Christ, and Christ works in and through the Spirit. The work of each is the work of all, and the work of all is the work of each. Yet there is a distinction of ‘office’ or function. The Father is the source and origin of all things; the Son is the medium of the outgoing energy and power of God; the Holy Spirit works to complete all things. But each works not so as to exclude the others, but so that the work of each is the work of all---not all separately but of the Godhead as a unity.” [Walter Thomas Conner, Christian Doctrine (Broadman Press; Nashville, Tennessee, 1945) pp. 125-126.]
Trinity & The Early Church Fathers
Note: The New Testament was written up to about 95 AD with the final book being the book of Revelation.
THE EARLY CHURCH ON THE GODHEAD
The Shepherd of Hermes (80 AD)
“The Son of God is older than all of His creation so that He became the Father’s advisor in His creation. Therefore also He is ancient.”
1 Clement (AD 95 or 96)
“For as God lives, and as the Lord Jesus Christ lives, and the Holy Spirit (who are the faith and hope of the elect)…” (58:2)
“Do we not have one God and one Christ and one Spirit of Grace poured out upon us?” (46:6)
Ignatius of Antioch (100 AD)
“Jesus Christ was with the Father before the beginning of time and in the end was revealed. Jesus Christ came forth from one Father and is with and has gone to one Father. There is one and in who all things pleased Him that sent Him.” (We see a distinguishing here between Jesus Christ and His Father.)
Polycarp (AD 110) (Polycarp was a disciple of the Apostle John)
A prayer of Polycarp recorded in The Martydom of Polycarp:
“O Lord God Almighty, Father of your beloved and blessed Son Jesus Christ…I glorify you, through the eternal and heavenly High Priest, Jesus Christ, your beloved Son, through whom you with him and the Holy Spirit be glory both now and for the ages to come. Amen.” (14:1-3)
A prayer of Polycarp in his letter to the Philippians (AD 110)
“Now may the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the eternal High Priest himself, the Son of God Jesus Christ, build you up…and may he give to you a share and a place among his saints, and to us with you, and to all those under heaven who will yet believe in our Lord and God Jesus Christ and in his Father who raised him from the dead.” (Phil. 12:2)
Ignatius (AD 110)
Jesus Christ was “before the ages…with the Father and appeared at the end of time” (Mag. 6:1)
“Let all run together as to one temple of God, as to one altar, to one Jesus Christ, who came forth from one Father and remained with the One and returned to the One.” (Mag. 7:2; cf. 8:2)
“In whatever you do…physically and spiritually, in faith and love, in the Son and Father and in the Spirit, in the beginning and in the end.” (Mag. 13:2)
“Be subject to the bishop and to one another…as Jesus Christ in the flesh was to the Father, and as the apostles were to Christ and to the Father” (Mag. 13:2)
“The Spirit itself was preaching, saying these words [through prophecy]…’Become imitators of Jesus Christ, just as he is of his Father” (Phil. 7:2)
“You are stones of a temple, prepared beforehand for the building of God the Father, hoisted up to the heights by the crane of Jesus Christ, which is the cross, using a rope the Holy Spirit….” (Eph. 9:1)
“For our God, Jesus Christ, was conceived by Mary according to God’s plan, both from the seed of David and of the Holy Spirit” (Eph. 18:1)
In the opening of his letter to the Romans, Ignatius notes how they have found “mercy in the majesty of the Father Most High and Jesus Christ his only Son…in accordance with faith in and love for Jesus Christ our God…” (Rom. Prologue)
“For our God Jesus Christ is more visible now that he is in the Father.” (Rom. 3:3)
Justin Martyr (150 AD)
“The Father of the universe has a Son, who also being the first begotten Word of God, is even God.” (First Apology, chapter 63)
“Christ is called both Lord and God.” (Dialogue to Tripho, Chapter 36)
“We will prove that we will worship Him reasonably. For we have learned that He is the Son of the True God Himself, that He holds a second place, and the Spirit of prophecy a third place. For this they accuse us of madness, that we attribute to a crucified man a place second to the unchangeable and eternal God, the Creator of all things. But they are ignorant of the MYSTERY that lies therein.” (First Apology, Chapter 13:5-6) (Paul talked about the “mystery” of godliness in 1 Timothy 3:16. There is a mystery in the incarnation. The human mind can only understand certain spiritual mysteries so far.)
“The most true God, the Father of righteousness and temperance and the other virtues, who is free from all impurity. But both Him, and the Son (who came forth from Him and taught us these things, and the host of the other good angels who follow and are made like to Him), and the prophetic Spirit, we worship and adore, knowing them in reason and truth, and declaring without grudging to every one who wishes to learn, as we have been taught.” (First Apology, Chapter 6)
(Notice, the doctrine for which the church was being challenged and which Justin is defending is what has become known as the doctrine of the trinity.)
Irenaeus (180 AD)
“But the Son eternally coexisting with the Father. From of old, yea, from the beginning always reveals the Father to the angels, the arch angels, the powers and the virtues.” (Against Heresies, Book Two, Chapter 30, Section 9) (You cannot coexist with something if the other does not exist. Jesus coexisted with the Father from of old, from the beginning, and reveals the Father.)
“The Word was always with the Father.” (Against Heresies, Book Four, Chapter 20)
Clement of Alexandria (190 AD)
“I understand nothing else than that the Holy Trinity to be meant. For the third is the Holy Spirit, the Son is second, by whom all things were made according to the will of God.” (Stramata, Book Five, Chapter 14) (This is not speaking of the order of their greatness, but that the Son always pointed to the Father and that the Holy Spirit always pointed to Jesus.)
“All of the Scripture gives clear proof of the Trinity. It is from these that our principle is deducted. The distinction of the Trinity is quite clearly displayed.” (Against Praxeas, Chapter 11)
“God speaks in the plural, ‘Let Us make man in Our image’ because already there was attached to Him His Son, a second person, His Word, and a third, the Spirit in the Word. One substance in three coherent Persons.” (Against Praxeas, Chapter 25) (They are not different by division but by distinction. They are not divided. They are one.)
“Some others are secretly introducing another doctrine, who have become the disciples of one, Noetus, who was a native of Smyrna and lived not very long ago. This person was greatly puffed up and inflated with the pride being inspired by the conceit of a strange spirit. Noetus alleged that Christ was the Father Himself, that the Father Himself was born, suffered and died. See brethren what a rash and audacious dogma they have introduced when they say without shame the Father is Himself Christ, Himself the Son, Himself was born, Himself suffered, Himself raised from the dead, but it is not so.” (Against the Heresy of Noetus)
“So, when they were in doubt among themselves whether He were the Christ (not as being the Father, of course, but as the Son), He says to them ‘You are not ignorant whence I am; and I am not come of myself, but He that sent me is true, whom ye know not; but I know Him, because I am from Him.’ He did not say, Because myself am He; and, I have sent mine own self: but His words are, ‘He hat sent me.’ When, likewise, the Pharisees sent men to apprehend Him, He says: ‘Yet a little while am I with you, and (then) I go unto Him that sent me.’ He, however, He declares He is not alone, and uses these words, ‘but I and the Father that sent Me,’ does He not show that there are Two---Two, and yet inseparable? Indeed, this was the sum and substance of what He was teaching them, that they were inseparably Two; since, after citing the law when it affirms the truth of two men’s testimony, He adds at once: ‘I am one who am bearing witness of myself; and the Father (is another) who hath sent me, and beareth witness of me.’ Now, if He were one---being at once both the Son and the Father---He certainly would not have quoted the sanction of the law, which requires not the testimony of one, but of two. Likewise, when they asked Him where His Father was, He answered them, that they had known neither Himself nor the Father; and in this answer He plainly told them of Two, whom they were ignorant of. Granted that ‘if they had known Him, they would have know the Father also,’ this certainly does not imply that He was Himself both Father and Son; but that, by reason of the inseparability of the Two, it was impossible for one of them to be either acknowledged or unknown without the other. ‘He that sent me, says He, ‘is true; and I am telling the world those things which I have heard of Him.’” (Tertullian, “Against Praxeas,” Chapter 22)
“Now what difference would there be between us (Christians) and them (Jews), if there were not this distinction which you are for breaking down? What need would there be of the gospel, which is the substance of the New Covenant, laying down (as it does) that the Law and the Prophets lasted until John the Baptist, if thenceforward the Father, the Son, and the Spirit are not both believed in as Three, and as making One Only God? God was pleased to renew His covenant with man in such a way as that His Unity might be believed in, after a new manner, through the Son and the Spirit, in order that God might be known openly, in His proper Names and Persons, who in ancient times was not plainly understood, though declared through the Son and the Spirit. Away, then, with those ‘Antichrists who deny the Father and the Son.’ For they deny the Father, when they say that He is the same as the Son; and they deny the Son, when they suppose Him to be the same as the Father, by assigning to Them things which are like Theirs. But ‘whosoever shall confess that (Jesus) Christ is the Son of God’ (not the Father), ‘God dwelleth in him, and he in God.’ We believe not the testimony of God in which He testifies to the testimony of God in which HE testifies to us of His Son. ‘He that hath not the Son, hath not life.’ And that man has not the Son, who believes Him to be any other than the Son.” (Tertullian, “Against Praxeas,” Chapter 31)
Origen (225 AD) (Studied under Clement of Alexandria)
“Saving baptism was not complete except by the authority of the most excellent Trinity by the naming of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.”
(The belief that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit were distinct and yet one had never been defended but commonly accepted as truth. Thus there was silence on the issue until false teachings were introduced. If it had been a heresy coming into the church, then the early church fathers would have addressed this doctrine as heresy and stood against it. However, the contrary is true. The historical accounts reveal that by the second and third century the early church believed that if a person came along and said that Jesus is the Father and that Jesus is the Holy Spirit, one person, they considered that to be heresy. These false doctrines forced the church to articulate what had always been held as truth regarding the persons of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The early church fathers quoted here are the closest in contact with the original apostles and the original leaders of the early church. This is within 150 years from the time of John’s book of Revelation written around 90-95 AD).
Dionysius (260 AD) (studied under Origen)
“Next, then I may properly turn to those who divide and cut apart and destroy the Monarchy, the most sacred proclamation of the church of God, making of it, as it were, three powers, distinct substances, and three Godheads. I have heard that come of your catechism and teachers of the divine Word. Take heed in this tenant. They are so to speak diametrically opposed to the opinion of Sybillius. He in his blasphemy says that the Son is the Father and vice a versa.”
(By 260 AD the church is getting into this argument about the Godhead. This is where the theological confusion is coming into the church.)
Gregory the Wonder Worker (262 AD)
“But if they say, ‘How can there be three Persons but one Divinity?” we shall make this reply. There are indeed three Persons, inasmuch as there is one Person of God the Father, and one of the Lord, the Son, and one of the Holy Spirit. And yet there is one Divinity, inasmuch as there is one substance in the Trinity.”
THE EARLY CHURCH COMMENTING ON GENESIS 1:26
Epistle of Barnabas (written not later than AD 132 and a date close to the turn of the century is more likely)
Commenting on Genesis 1:26 the author asks,
“…if the Lord submitted to suffer for our souls, even though he is Lord of the whole earth, to whom God said at the foundation of the world, ‘Let us make man according to our image and likeness,’ how is it then, that he submitted to suffer at the hand of men?” (5:5)
The Shepherd of Hermes
“The Son of God is far older than all his creation, with the result that he was the Father’s counselor in his creation.” (Sim. 89:2)
Justin explains the plurality of God in Genesis 1:26 by saying that God “conversed with someone who was numerically distinct from Himself, and also a rational Being.” (Dial. 6:2) [The same tradition is found in the Epistle to Diognetus (7:1-4; 9:1)]
“Now man is a mixed organization of soul and flesh, who was formed after the likeness of God, and molded by his hands, that is, by the Son and Holy Spirit, to whom also He said, ‘Let Us Make Man’ (Heres. !V, preface)
“For with Him were always present the Word and Wisdom, the Son and the Spirit, by whom and in whom freely and spontaneously, He made all things, to whom also He speaks, saying, ‘Let Us make man after Our image and Likeness.’” (ibid. V.20.1)
“If the number of the Trinity also offends you, as if it were not connected in the simple Unity, I ask you how it is possible for a Being who is merely and absolutely One and Singular, to speak in plural phrase, saying, ‘Let us make man in our own image, and after our own likeness;’ whereas He sought to have said, ‘Let me make man in my own image, and after my own likeness,’ as being a unique and singular Being? In the following passage, however, ‘Behold the man is become as one of us.’ He is either deceiving or amusing us in speaking plurally, if He is One only and singular. Or was it to the angels that He spoke, as the Jews interpret the passage, because these also acknowledge not the Son? Or was it because He was at once the Father, the Son, and the Spirit, that He spoke to Himself in plural terms, making Himself plural on that very account? Nay, it was because He had already His Son close at His side, as a second Person, His own Word, and a third Person also, the Spirit in the Word, that He purposely adopted the plural phrase, ‘Let us make;’ and, ‘in our image;’ and ‘become as one of us.’ For with whom did He make man and to whom did He make him like? (The answer must be), the Son on the one hand, who was one day to put on human nature; and the Spirit on the other, who was to sanctify man. With these did He then speak, in the Unity of the Trinity, as with His ministers and witnesses. In the following text also He distinguishes among the Persons: ‘So God created man in His own image; in the image of God created He him.’ Why say ‘image of God’? Why not ‘His own image’ merely, if He was only one who was the Maker, and if there was not also One in whose image He made man? But there was One in whose image God was making man, that is to say, Christ’s image, who, being one day about to become Man.” (Tertullian, “Against Praxeas,” Chapter 12)
THE EARLY CHURCH ON THE PREEXISTENCE OF CHRIST
Epistle to Diognetus
“…the omnipotent Creator of all…established among men…the word from heaven and fixed it firmly in their hearts, not as one might imagine, by sending to men some subordinate…but [the Father sent] the Designer and Creator of the universe himself, by whom he created the heavens…he sent him in gentleness and meekness, as a king might send his son who is a king; he sent him as God; he sent him as a man to men…” (paragraph 7)
“We bless the Maker of all through His Son Jesus Christ, and through the Holy Ghost.” (1 Apol. 67)
In the four other contexts we find Justin repeating the formula “in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” or some derivative (“First Apology” Chapter 63:3, 13; 65:2; 67:2).
“We reasonably worship Him [Jesus Christ], having learned that He is the Son of the true God Himself, and holding Him in the second place, and the prophetic Spirit in the third.” (1 Apol. 13) [This passage reflects Justin’s well-known tendency toward subordination and, perhaps, tri-theism. This sort of language, in any case, would two centuries later be banned as unorthodox by the Council of Nicea. But this tendency serves to strengthen the point that the early apologists thought of God as possessing a triune nature.]
“We affirm that God and His Word or Son and the Holy Spirit are one in power…” (Plea.24)
“We believe in a God who made all things by His Word and holds them together by the Spirit that comes from Him.” (Plea. 6)
Athenagoras declares that the Christians of the mid-second century are not atheists, but “hold the Father to be God, and the Son God, and the Holy Spirit, and declare their union and their distinction in order.” (Plea. 10)
Athenagoras describes the “one aspiration” that urges Christians on in life as being “the desire to know the true God and the Word that is from Him---what is the unity of the Son with the Father, what is the fellowship of the Father with the Son, what is the Spirit; what is the unity of these mighty Powers, and the distinction that exists between them, united as they are---the Spirit, the Son, and the Father.” (Suppl. 12)
THE EARLY CHURCH AND BAPTISMAL FORMULA
Didache (or “Teaching of the Twelve Apostles”, the oldest surviving Christian Church order, probably written in the 2nd Century AD), instructions for water baptism are given as follows:
“Now concerning baptism, baptize in this way: after you have said all these things, baptize in running water, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. If you have no running water close by, however, dip in other water. If you cannot do it in cold water, do it in warm water. If you have neither close by, pour water on the head three times, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” It then goes on to speak of those receiving communion with the following words: “Do not allow anybody to eat and drink of your Meal of Thanksgiving (i.e. the Lord’s supper) except those who have been baptized in the name of the Lord, for concerning this, too, the Lord said, ‘Do not give that which is holy to dogs.’” (from The Early Christians, Plough Publishing House, Rifton, New York, 1972, pages 184-186) Thus it is clear that in the early church the practice of baptizing in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit was meant when the Scripture mentioned being baptized “in the name of Jesus.”
Concerning the baptism of new converts he says, “Then we lead them to a place where there is water. They are born again. They experience rebirth in the same way as we ourselves experienced it. In the name of God, the Father and Lord of all things, and in the name of our Healer and Savior Jesus Christ and of the Holy Spirit, they now take a bath in the water…there is pronounced in the water, over the one who longs for the new birth and who has repented of his misdeeds, the name of God, the Father of all, and the Lord. He who leads to the bath the one to be baptized uses these words only, for nobody is able to give a name to the ineffable God. Should anyone want to assert that there is one, he is smitten with hopeless insanity. This bath is called illumination by us, for those who experience these things happening to them bcome enlightened in their minds and spirits. Furthermore, the washing of the one who is enlightened is also done in the name of Jesus Christ, who was crucified under Pontius Pilate, and in the name of the Holy Spirit, who foretold everything concerning Jesus through the prophets.” (from The Early Christians, Plough Publishing House, Rifton, New York, 1972, First Apology, Chapter 6)
“”Not that in the waters we obtain the Holy Spirit; but in the water, under (the witness of) the angel, we are cleansed, and prepared for the Holy Spirit. In this case also a type has preceded; for thus was John beforehand the Lord’s forerunner, ‘preparing His ways.’ Thus, too, does the angel, the witness of baptism, ‘make the paths straight’ for the Holy Spirit, who is about to come upon us, by the washing away of sins, which faith, sealed in (the name of) the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, obtains. For if ‘in the mouth of three witnesses every word shall stand:’---while through the benediction, we have the same (three) as witnesses of our faith whom we have as sureties of our salvation too---how much more does the number of the divine names suffice for the assurance of our hope likewise! Moreover, after the pledging both of the attestation of faith and the promise of salvation under ‘three witnesses,’ there is added, of necessity, mention of the Church; inasmuch as, wherever there are three, (that is, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,) there is the Church, which is a body of three.” (Tertullian, “On Baptism,” Chapter VI)
“There is to us one, and but one, baptism; as well according to the Lord’s gospel as according to the apostle’s letter, inasmuch as he says, ‘One God, and one baptism, and one church in the heavens.’ But it must be admitted that the question, ‘What rules are to be observed with regard to heretics?’ is worthy of being treated. For it is to us that that assertion refers. Heretics, however, have no fellowship in our discipline, whom the mere fact of their excommunication testifies to be outsiders. I am not bound to recognize in them a thing which is enjoined on me, because they and we have not the same God, nor one---that is, the same---Christ. And therefore their baptism is not one with ours either, because it is not the same; a baptism which, since they have it not duly, doubtless they have not at all; nor is that capable of being counted which is not had. Thus they cannot receive it either, because they have it not.” (Tertullian, “On Baptism,” Chapter XV)
The Apostles’ Creed
This Creed is called the Apostles’ Creed, not because it is a production of the apostles themselves, but because it contains a brief summary of their teachings. It sets forth their doctrine, as has been well said, “in sublime simplicity, in unsurpassable brevity, in beautiful order, and with liturgical solemnity.” In its present form it is of no later date than the fourth century. More than any other creed of Christendom, it may justly be called an ecumenical symbol of faith.
|I.||I believe in God the Father, Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.|
|II.||And in Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son, our Lord;|
|III.||Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary;|
|IV.||Suffered under Pontius Pilate; was crucified, dead, and buried; He descended into hell;|
|V.||The third day He rose again from the dead;|
|VI.||He ascended into heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty;|
|VII.||From thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.|
|VIII.||I believe in the Holy Spirit.|
|IX.||I believe a holy catholic Church, the communion of saints;|
|X.||The forgiveness of sins;|
|XI.||The resurrection of the body;|
|XII.||And the life everlasting. Amen.|
THE NICENE CREED
The Nicene Creed, also called the Nicaeno-Constantinopolitan Creed, is a statement of the orthodox faith of the early Christian Church, in opposition to certain heresies, especially Arianism. These heresies disturbed the Church during the fourth century, and concerned the doctrine of the Trinity and of the person of Christ. Both the Greek, or Eastern, and the Latin, or Western, Church held this Creed in honor, though with one important difference. The Western Church insisted on the inclusion of the phrase and the Son (known as the Filioque) in the article on the procession of the Holy Spirit, which phrase to this day is repudiated by the Eastern Church. Though in its present form this Creed does not go back to the Council of Nicea (325 A.D.), nor to the Council of Constantinople (381 A.D.), as was erroneously held until recent times, it is in substance an accurate and majestic formulation of the Nicene faith.
I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds; God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God; begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made.
Who, for us men and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary, and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; He suffered and was buried; and the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures; and ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again, with glory, to judge the living and the dead, whose kingdom shall have no end.
And I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of life; who proceedeth from the Father and the Son; who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; who spake by the prophets.
And I believe one holy catholic and apostolic Church. I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins; and I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.
THE ATHANASIAN CREED
This Creed is named after Athanasius (293-373 A.D.), the champion of orthodoxy over against Arian attacks upon the doctrine of the Trinity. Although Athanasius did not write this Creed and it is improperly named after him, the name persists because until the seventeenth century it was commonly ascribed to him. Another name for it is the Symbol Quicunque, this being its opening word in the Latin original. Its author is unknown, but in its present form it probably does not date back farther than the sixth century. It is not from Greek Eastern, but from Latin Western origin, and is not recognized by the Greek Church today. Apart from the opening and closing sentences, this symbol consists of two parts, the first setting forth the orthodox doctrine of the Trinity (3-28), and the second dealing chiefly with the incarnation and the two natures doctrine (29-43). This Creed, though more explicit and advanced theologically than the Apostles’ and the Nicene Creeds, cannot be said to possess the simplicity, spontaneity, and majesty of these. For centuries it has been the custom of the Roman and Anglican Churches to chant this Creed in public worship on certain solemn occasions.
(1) Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the catholic faith;
(2) Which faith except every one do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly.
(3) And the catholic faith is this: That we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity;
(4) Neither confounding the persons, nor dividing the substance.
(5) For there is one person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Spirit.
(6) But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit is all one, the glory equal, the majesty co-eternal.
(7) Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Spirit.
(8) The Father uncreate, the Son uncreate, and the Holy Spirit uncreate.
(9) The Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible, the Holy Spirit incomprehensible.
(10) The Father eternal, the Son eternal, and the Holy Spirit eternal.
(11) And yet they are not three eternals, but one uncreated and one incomprehensible.
(13) So likewise the Father is almighty, the Son almighty, and the Holy Spirit almighty;
(14) And yet they are not three almighties, but one almighty.
(15) So the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God;
(16) And yet they are not three Gods, but one God.
(17) So likewise the Father is Lord, the Son Lord, and the Holy Spirit Lord;
(20) So are we forbidden by the catholic religion to say: There are three Gods or three Lords.
(21) The Father is made of none, neither created nor begotten.
(23) The Holy Spirit is of the Father and of the Son; neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding.
(24) So there is one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three Sons; one Holy Spirit, not three Holy Spirits.
(25) And in this Trinity none is afore, or after another; none is greater, or less than another.
(26) But the whole three persons are co-eternal, and co-equal.
(27) So that in all things, as aforesaid, the Unity in Trinity and the Trinity in Unity is to be worshipped.
(28) He therefore that will be saved must thus think of the Trinity.
(29) Furthermore is it necessary to everlasting salvation than he also believe rightly the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ.
(30) For the right faith is that we believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and man.
(31) God of the substance of the Father, begotten before the worlds; and man of the substance of His mother, born in the world.
(32) Perfect God and perfect man, of a reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting.
(33) Equal to the Father as touching His Godhead, and inferior to the Father as touching His manhood.
(34) Who, although He is God and man, yet He is not two, but one Christ.
(35) One, not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh, but by taking of the manhood into
(36) One altogether, not by confusion of substance, but by unity of person.
(37) For as the reasonable soul and flesh is one man, so God and man is one Christ;
(38) Who suffered for our salvation, descended into hell, rose again the third day from the dead;
(39) He ascended into heaven, He sitteth on the right hand of the Father, God Almighty;
(40) From thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.
(41) At whose coming all men shall rise again with their bodies;
(42) And shall give account of their own works.
(43) And they that have done good shall go into life everlasting, and they that have done evil into everlasting fire.
(44) This is the catholic faith, which except a man believe faithfully, he cannot be saved.