Author Topic: What does the Bible teach about the Trinity?  (Read 365 times)

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Dawn

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What does the Bible teach about the Trinity?
« on: January 06, 2016, 10:13:39 PM »
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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). In Genesis 1:1, the Hebrew plural noun "Elohim" is used. In Genesis 1:26, 3:22, 11:7 and Isaiah 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.

In Isaiah 48:16 and 61:1, the Son is speaking while making reference to the Father and the Holy Spirit. Compare Isaiah 61:1 to Luke 4:14-19 to see that it is the Son speaking. Matthew 3:16-17 describes 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 28:19 and 2 Corinthians 13:14 are 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 see Luke 22:42, John 5:36, John 20:21, and 1 John 4:14. Concerning the Holy Spirit see John 14:16, 14:26, 15:26, 16:7, and especially John 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).

Source: www.gotquestions.org

TJ

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Re: What does the Bible teach about the Trinity?
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2016, 12:26:12 AM »
thanks @Dawn

Yes I read that article before.

Quote
The individual members of the Trinity have different tasks.

Yes something I have posted about on here somewhere.



Could I ask "are you involved in Gotquestions ?"





Dawn

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Re: What does the Bible teach about the Trinity?
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2016, 10:44:39 PM »
Hi TJ,

No. I'm not involved with gotquestions. I just think it is a very helpful site.

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Re: What does the Bible teach about the Trinity?
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2016, 11:35:10 PM »
That's cool @Dawn

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Re: What does the Bible teach about the Trinity?
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2016, 10:23:03 PM »
This is or could be a very controversial issue.

I grew up as Catholic and learned the essentials of the Trinity without the supportive scriptures as in those days (ancient history perhaps for most of you) prior to Vatican II they (the Catholics) had a different way of doing and teaching things from what they do today.

I turned away from Catholicism after high school without ever really becoming anti-Catholic. At the age of 32 years (about 1976) I was drawn back to the Lord and came into a Oneness Jesus Only group where they don't teach the Trinity.

After 11 years in that I moved away from both of those ways of viewing the Godhead. That was in 1987.

My suggestion to anyone interested in learning what God has to say about the matter is empty yourself of all the notions that people have put into your head and ask God for help as you search the scriptures and pray.

I am still not a Trinitarian even though I am definitely also no longer a believer in the doctrines of the Oneness Jesus Only groups.

I won't present my own case here, but would be willing to answer reasonable questions if I can.




Dawn

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Re: What does the Bible teach about the Trinity?
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2016, 11:47:10 PM »
Hi Amadeus,

I would be interested to know why you moved away from the Jesus only point of view and, if you do not believe in one God existing in three persons either, what understanding of God have you arrived at?


Offline Amadeus

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Re: What does the Bible teach about the Trinity?
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2016, 01:55:04 AM »
Hi Amadeus,

I would be interested to know why you moved away from the Jesus only point of view and, if you do not believe in one God existing in three persons either, what understanding of God have you arrived at?

I  moved away from "Jesus Only" because I saw a flaw in their doctrines, at least for me it seemed so, but that was close to 30 years ago.

Going through the different places in God I have been I have seen and heard many people's ideas of what God is or is not. I have heard probably all of the arguments that men have, or have made, for each set of beliefs on the subject. I have studied the scriptures myself at length on the subject, but I don't do that anymore.

I believe that so many believers embrace the Trinity because they have read or heard what others have decided was the Truth rather than what God told them. 

I love the Truth even those parts of it that I do not understand. One of the things I do not understand is the nature of God. Should I take the nature of God on faith? I do, but I do not insert any set of black and white details as a starting point in my faith. I might be able to explain in more detail what I believe, but I recognize that it is belief rather than established fact. The only established fact is what God knows. Has He shared this with you or me or anyone with regard to His nature? I believe that it  is in process in me and certainly in others as well, but when we try to pin it down [unless directed to do so by the Holy Spirit] with man's definitions so anyone can understand, I believe also that we are in error. Notice that I said "we" rather than "they".

Dawn

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Re: What does the Bible teach about the Trinity?
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2016, 07:54:35 PM »
Hi Armadeus and thank you for your reply, which has given me much food for thought.

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