- Jas 1:12: Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.
Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor– and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness. (Opening quote from the Thanksgiving Proclamation signed by George Washington, President of the United States of America, October 3, 1789)
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth
give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
Another great time of worship Sunday at Deltona Alliance Church, then out to dinner with my brother Derwin and Vickie in Oak Hill.
1 Thessalonians 5:18
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
Many non-Christians and new Christians often struggle with the idea of the Holy Trinity.
Trinity means three, so when we discuss the Holy Trinity we mean the Father (God), Son (Jesus), and Holy Spirit (sometimes referred to as the Holy Ghost).
Question: "What does the Bible teach about the Trinity?"
Answer:The most difficult thing about the Christian concept of the Trinity is that there is no way to perfectly and completely understand it. The Trinity is a concept that is impossible for any human being to fully understand, let alone explain. God is infinitely greater than we are; therefore, we should not expect to be able to fully understand Him. The Bible teaches that the Father is God, that Jesus is God, and that the Holy Spirit is God. The Bible also teaches that there is only one God. Though we can understand some facts about the relationship of the different Persons of the Trinity to one another, ultimately, it is incomprehensible to the human mind. However, this does not mean the Trinity is not true or that it is not based on the teachings of the Bible.
The Trinity is one God existing in three Persons. Understand that this is not in any way suggesting three Gods. Keep in mind when studying this subject that the word “Trinity” is not found in Scripture. This is a term that is used to attempt to describe the triune God—three coexistent, co-eternal Persons who make up God. Of real importance is that the concept represented by the word “Trinity” does exist in Scripture. The following is what God’s Word says about the Trinity:
1) There is one God (Deuteronomy 6:4;1 Corinthians 8:4;Galatians 3:20;1 Timothy 2:5).
2) The Trinity consists of three Persons (Genesis 1:1,26;3:22;11:7;Isaiah 6:8,48:16,61:1;Matthew 3:16-17,28:19;2 Corinthians 13:14). InGenesis 1:1, the Hebrew plural noun "Elohim" is used. InGenesis 1:26,3:22,11:7andIsaiah 6:8, the plural pronoun for “us” is used. The word "Elohim" and the pronoun “us” are plural forms, definitely referring in the Hebrew language to more than two. While this is not an explicit argument for the Trinity, it does denote the aspect of plurality in God. The Hebrew word for "God," "Elohim," definitely allows for the Trinity.
InIsaiah 48:16and61:1, the Son is speaking while making reference to the Father and the Holy Spirit. CompareIsaiah 61:1toLuke 4:14-19to see that it is the Son speaking.Matthew 3:16-17describes the event of Jesus' baptism. Seen in this passage is God the Holy Spirit descending on God the Son while God the Father proclaims His pleasure in the Son.Matthew 28:19and2 Corinthians 13:14are examples of three distinct Persons in the Trinity.
3) The members of the Trinity are distinguished one from another in various passages. In the Old Testament, “LORD” is distinguished from “Lord” (Genesis 19:24;Hosea 1:4). The LORD has a Son (Psalm 2:7,12;Proverbs 30:2-4). The Spirit is distinguished from the “LORD” (Numbers 27:18) and from “God” (Psalm 51:10-12). God the Son is distinguished from God the Father (Psalm 45:6-7;Hebrews 1:8-9). In the New Testament, Jesus speaks to the Father about sending a Helper, the Holy Spirit (John 14:16-17). This shows that Jesus did not consider Himself to be the Father or the Holy Spirit. Consider also all the other times in the Gospels where Jesus speaks to the Father. Was He speaking to Himself? No. He spoke to another Person in the Trinity—the Father.
4) Each member of the Trinity is God. The Father is God (John 6:27;Romans 1:7;1 Peter 1:2). The Son is God (John 1:1,14;Romans 9:5;Colossians 2:9;Hebrews 1:8;1 John 5:20). The Holy Spirit is God (Acts 5:3-4;1 Corinthians 3:16).
5) There is subordination within the Trinity. Scripture shows that the Holy Spirit is subordinate to the Father and the Son, and the Son is subordinate to the Father. This is an internal relationship and does not deny the deity of any Person of the Trinity. This is simply an area which our finite minds cannot understand concerning the infinite God. Concerning the Son seeLuke 22:42,John 5:36,John 20:21, and1 John 4:14. Concerning the Holy Spirit seeJohn 14:16,14:26,15:26,16:7, and especiallyJohn 16:13-14.
6) The individual members of the Trinity have different tasks. The Father is the ultimate source or cause of the universe (1 Corinthians 8:6;Revelation 4:11); divine revelation (Revelation 1:1); salvation (John 3:16-17); and Jesus' human works (John 5:17;14:10). The Father initiates all of these things.
The Son is the agent through whom the Father does the following works: the creation and maintenance of the universe (1 Corinthians 8:6;John 1:3;Colossians 1:16-17); divine revelation (John 1:1,16:12-15;Matthew 11:27;Revelation 1:1); and salvation (2 Corinthians 5:19;Matthew 1:21;John 4:42). The Father does all these things through the Son, who functions as His agent.
The Holy Spirit is the means by whom the Father does the following works: creation and maintenance of the universe (Genesis 1:2;Job 26:13;Psalm 104:30); divine revelation (John 16:12-15;Ephesians 3:5;2 Peter 1:21); salvation (John 3:6;Titus 3:5;1 Peter 1:2); and Jesus' works (Isaiah 61:1;Acts 10:38). Thus, the Father does all these things by the power of the Holy Spirit.
There have been many attempts to develop illustrations of the Trinity. However, none of the popular illustrations are completely accurate. The egg (or apple) fails in that the shell, white, and yolk are parts of the egg, not the egg in themselves, just as the skin, flesh, and seeds of the apple are parts of it, not the apple itself. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are not parts of God; each of them is God. The water illustration is somewhat better, but it still fails to adequately describe the Trinity. Liquid, vapor, and ice are forms of water. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are not forms of God, each of them is God. So, while these illustrations may give us a picture of the Trinity, the picture is not entirely accurate. An infinite God cannot be fully described by a finite illustration.
The doctrine of the Trinity has been a divisive issue throughout the entire history of the Christian church. While the core aspects of the Trinity are clearly presented in God’s Word, some of the side issues are not as explicitly clear. The Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God—but there is only one God. That is the biblical doctrine of the Trinity. Beyond that, the issues are, to a certain extent, debatable and non-essential. Rather than attempting to fully define the Trinity with our finite human minds, we would be better served by focusing on the fact of God's greatness and His infinitely higher nature. “Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?” (Romans 11:33-34).
Recommended Resources:Making Sense of the Trinity: Three Crucial Questions by Millard EricksonandThe Forgotten Trinity by James White.
Below is the best symbol for the Trinity we are aware of (click to expand):
For example, check out “God said it, I believe it, that settles it.” At first glance, this expression seems to be about one thing and one thing only: closed-mindedness. But there’s a lot more going on here. The people who use this slogan use it to express their complete confidence in the authority of the Bible. It’s hard to criticize someone for firmly believing that the Bible contains God’s instructions to the human race.
Jesus promised His followers that upon His return to Heaven He would send the Holy Spirit to
earth to comfort them:
And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He
may abide with you for ever;
Even the Spirit of truth: whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him
not, neither knoweth Him; but ye know Him; for He dwelleth with you, and
shall be in you. (John 14:16-17)
One of the main functions of the Holy Spirit is to cause attention to Jesus Christ:
James 2:14-26English Standard Version (ESV)
Faith Without Works Is Dead
14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good[a] is that? 17 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
18 But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.19 You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder! 20 Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; 23 and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and he was called a friend of God.24 You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. 25 And in the same way was not also Rahab the prostitute justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? 26 For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.
“Let no one take the limited, narrow position that any of the works of man can help in the least possible way to liquidate the debt of his transgression. This is a fatal deception. If you would understand it, you must cease haggling over your pet ideas, and with humble hears survey the atonement.
This matter is so dimly comprehended that thousands upon thousands claiming to be sons of God are children of the wicked one, because they will depend on their own works. God always demanded good works, the law demands it, but because man placed himself in sin where his good works were valueless, Jesus' righteousness alone can avail. Christ is able to save to the uttermost because He ever liveth to make intercession for us.
All man can possibly do toward his own salvation is to accept the invitation, "Whosoever will, let him take of the water of life freely.”
― Ellen G. White, Notebook leaflets