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"TRINITARIANISM" By H. LaVern Schafer, B.A., Th.M., Th.D. (Scripture verse quotations are included) Chairman of the Department and Professor of Theology in THE SAN FRANCISCO CONSERVATIVE BAPTIST THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY 1225 Franklin Street, San Francisco, California 94109 (These notes are class handouts from Theology Proper, 102, 1965. Scripture passages not included in the original notes have been inserted.) According to the Scriptures God is one in essence yet three in persons. God as God is one in a different way than he is three. The one infinite Spirit which is God is shared simultaneously and equally by three divine persons. The doctrine of the Trinity is a Biblical revelation. This triune concept of God does not come from reason, philosophy, analogy, nor from natural phenomena. The Trinity is not the same as the triad of gods found in ancient heathen deities. The heathen concept of a virgin and child; or a mother, father and son; or of three separate gods, as of three different forms of one god; or of a three headed god, is not comparable to the Biblical doctrine of a Trinity within a Godhead. Human reason and wisdom are incapable of discovering the doctrine of the Trinity. Therefore, all precepts and concepts of this doctrine must come from Biblical revelation. Although the doctrine is not rationally derived, still it is not rationally contradictory. Moreover, in keeping with the revelation of God, it is rationally explainable to a Spirit-illumined mind. It is thus a truth that is mentally apprehensible though, because of human limitations, it is not completely comprehensible. The word Trinity does not occur in Scripture, yet the doctrine concerning the Trinity is wholly a Biblical doctrine. All of the factual material which makes up the doctrine is contained in the Bible. Therefore, the human devised term, Trinity, defines and explains accurately Divinely revealed facts concerning God. Therefore, the doctrine of the Trinity is wholly a Biblical doctrine. However, since no one verse contains the complete statement of the doctrine, an inductive study of the total testimony of the Scriptures related to this subject is necessary. Without this scientific approach to the whole truth concerning this subject one can not understand it. The doctrine of the Trinity is peculiarily a New Testament revelation. This does not mean that the Old Testament does not contain veiled hints concerning a plurality within God. It does mean that these Old Testament intimations are unintelligible apart from the plain revelation of the New Testament. In the New Testament alone the doctrine is taught with utmost clarity. The New Testament is dependent throughout on the doctrine of a Trinity within the Godhead. Every activity of God in providing or applying salvation for man is stated to be a work of the one God who is in a different sense three. A Trinity in unity, not in a unit. The New Testament is as careful as the Old Testament to oppose the thought that there is more than one God. In presenting God as triune the New Testament does not contradict the Old Testament. Rather the hints and veiled statements of the Old Testament are clearly explained in the New Testament. The pages of the New Testament clearly teach that God is one and yet in an altogether different way He is three. Lucidly this section of Holy Scripture sets forth the fact that the Father is God, and the Son is God and the Holy Spirit is God. On the other hand the clear statement is that these three are not three aspects of the same person, but three persons having an essential relationship to each other. There are three divine persons but one God. God's dealings with man in the Old Testament made it unnecessary for this doctrine to be revealed then. God progressively revealed Himself and His plan of salvation. The work on the cross necessitated a fuller revelation of God so that man could understand what God had done. Therefore, after the cross God manifested by clear revelation the truth concerning the Godhead. During the Old Testament times this was unnecessary for the nation Israel. The polytheistic idolatry to which Israel was exposed required only the revelation which emphasized Jehovah as the one true God. Though the intimations and foregleams of this doctrine are in the Old Testament, none of the Israelites saw in these shadows the details we now have. Now Christians with their full revelation plainly see a Trinity in unity and a unity in Trinity. The relation of Old Testament and New Testament revelations is such that the believer is prevented from thinking that in the New Testament there are simply two persons added to the God of the Old Testament. Therefore, New Testament revelation clarifies Old Testament shadows in such a way as to show that God has not changed, but He simply has revealed more about Himself. There is one God, but there are three who are God. One of the two major objections to the doctrine of the Trinity is that it has no practical application to daily life for the believer. Indeed, very few, if any, of the books written on the subject relates this most important doctrine to situations of daily life. However, according to the New Testament nothing could be more closely related to daily life and experience. Every aspect of the Christians life is related to different persons of the Godhead. The very life that the Holy Spirit manifests through the believer, comes from the indwelling Son of God. The new nature which opposes the old nature, comes from the indwelling Father who is God. In fact the whole triune Godhead is involved in every Christian experience. In fact a complete Christian experience is based on an apprehension of the doctrine of the Trinity. The second major objection is that the word Trinity is not found in the Bible. Though the word Trinity does not occur in Scripture, yet the concepts and precepts which make up this doctrine are all found in the Bible. Therefore there is a doctrine of the triunity of God clearly stated in God's Word for which the term Trinity has been descriptively applied. This same problem exists with most doctrines of Scripture. The doctrine of the Church uses a term to describe ecclesia which is not a translation but descriptive. "Church" means, belonging to the Lord, but ecclesia means, called out ones. The word church is a term devised to describe the "called out ones" of the Bible. Few object to this descriptive word, yet in an analogous situation some object to the term Trinity. One of the most accurate and brief statements of what the Bible teaches concerning the Trinity is the Athanasian Creed: "We worship one God in trinity, and trinity in unity; neither confounding the persons nor dividing the substance." The Biblical statement of this doctrine is contained in many verses, which must inductively yield their truth. However, the Bible does state succinctly in one verse this doctrine. The golden text of Trinitarianism is Matthew 28:19: "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit." TRINITARIANISM -- 21 Summary Statements 1. The Trinity is therefore three eternally inter-constituted, inter-related, inter-existent, and therefore inseparable Persons within One Being and of One Substance or essence. John 10:30 "I and [my] Father are one." 2. The unity of God does not infer that He possesses but a single personality, but a oneness of essence and being, as the one and only Deity. This unity is therefore a compound or composite unity rather than a simple or single units. 3. Thus, the one indivisible divine essence, as a unity, exists eternally as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, so that each Person possesses the whole essence, and yet is constituted a distinct person by certain incommunicable properties not possessed in common with the others. 4. God is thus not one and three, but one in three. [Colossians 2:9 "For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily."] 5. Therefore the essence is not one constituent factor by itself, apart from the persons, nor the persons three constituent factors by themselves, apart from the essence. 6. The one essence is simultaneously three persons, and the three persons are one essence. The Trinity is simple and uncomplex. 7. Therefore the Trinity is not an essence without distinctions united with three distinctions so as to make a complex being. 8. This doctrine is logically consistent because it affirms that God is one in another sense than He is three; and three in another sense than He is one. 9. We do not state that three beings are one being or that three persons are one person; or that three intelligent beings are one intelligent being; but we do state that in the same undivided essence are three different personal distinctions or personal subsistences. 10. The divine nature is distinguished from human nature in that the divine nature can subsist wholly and indivisibly in more than one person simultaneously. 11. A trinitarian person is thus the entire Divine nature subsisting in a particular manner, as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. 12 Therefore, when it is stated that there are three persons in one essence, it does not mean that the essence is a fourth thing. 13 The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are each simultaneously the whole divine essence; so that while there are three persons, there is but one essence. 14. The substance of one Divine Person is the substance of the others, both numerically and identically. In this instance, there is no division of substance. The whole undivided Divine nature is in each Divine person simultaneously and eternally. (John 14:10, 20: "Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. ... At that day ye shall know that I [am] in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.") 15. One human person exists externally to another, and separate from him; but one Divine person exists in another, and inseparably from him. Thus one human person can exist apart from another; a Divine person cannot. John 14:10, 20 (see above); John 12:48-49 "He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak." 16. The difference between one Divine person and another is greater than the difference between the person and the essence. The essence is predicated of each Divine Person but the personal characteristics cannot be predicated of any Divine person except the one to whom it belongs. 17. A trinitarian person is not so comprehensive as the Godhead. A trinitarian person includes all that is in the unity, but not all that is in the trinality of God. Thus he does not possess the personal characteristics belonging to the other two persons. 18. The trinitarian persons are not so real as to constitute three essences, or beings, but the whole Divine essence is in each trinitarian Person. 19. The three persons are so real and distinct from each other, that each possesses a hypostatical or trinitarian consciousness different from that of the others. These three hypostatical consciousnesses constitute the one self-consciousness of the Divine essence. 20. There is only one essence, having one understanding, and one will, yet this unity of essence, understanding and will, has three different forms of consciousness because it has three different forms of subsistence as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. 21. The Divine self consciousness is not a fourth consciousness additional to the three hypostatical consciousnesses but is the resultant of the Three. The three consciousnesses are the one Divine self-consciousness, and the one Divine self-consciousness is the three hypostatic consciousnesses. THE DOCTRINE OF THE TRINITY I. THE NEW TESTAMENT REVELATION OF THE DOCTRINE OF THE TRINITY A. A Plurality of Persons are Associated as God 1. Two Persons are Associated as God a. John 10:30 "I and [my] Father are one." b. John 5:17-29 "But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work. Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God. Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel. For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth [them]; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will. For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: That all [men] should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man. Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation." c. 1 Corinthians 8:6 "But to us [there is but] one God, the Father, of whom [are] all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom [are] all things, and we by him." 2. Three Persons are Associated as God a. Ephesians 1:3-14 "Blessed [be] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly [places] in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:" b. Ephesians 4:4-6 "[There is] one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who [is] above all, and through all, and in you all." c. John 1:29-34 "The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me. And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water. And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him. And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God."; cf. 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." d. John 14:16-17, 26; 15:26; 16:7-15 "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. ... But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, [even] the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: ... Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on me; Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged. I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, [that] shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew [it] unto you. All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew [it] unto you." e. 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." f. 1 John 5:1-12 "Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, [even] our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? This is he that came by water and blood, [even] Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth. For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one. If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son. He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; [and] he that hath not the Son of God hath not life." B. Three Persons are Declared to be God 1. The Father is Declared to be God a. Title God is usually joined with reference to Father (1) 1 Corinthians 8:6 "But to us [there is but] one God, the Father, of whom [are] all things, and we in him; ..."; Ephesians 4:6 "One God and Father of all, who [is] above all, and through all, and in you all." (2) Romans 15:6 "That ye may with one mind [and] one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ."; 1 Corinthians 15:24 "Then [cometh] the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power." (3) John 6:27 "Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed."; James 3:9 "Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God." b. Title God when used alone usually refers to Father (1) James 1:5 "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all [men] liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him." (2) 1 Peter 3:18 "For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:" 2. The Lord Jesus Christ is Declared to be God a. The claims of Jesus (1) He claimed to be God (a) Matthew 4:6-7 "And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in [their] hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God." (b) Matthew 26:63-64 "But Jesus held his peace. And the high priest answered and said unto him, I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God. Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven."; cf. Mark 14:61-62 "But he held his peace, and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked him, and said unto him, Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed? And Jesus said, I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven."; & Luke 22:67-70 "Art thou the Christ? tell us. And he said unto them, If I tell you, ye will not believe: And if I also ask [you], ye will not answer me, nor let [me] go. Hereafter shall the Son of man sit on the right hand of the power of God. Then said they all, Art thou then the Son of God? And he said unto them, Ye say that I am." (c) John 4:25-26 "The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things. Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am [he]."; John 9:35-38 "Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when he had found him, he said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God? He answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him? And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee. And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him."; Luke 19:10 "For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost." (2) He claimed to come from heaven (a) John 1:11 "He came unto his own, and his own received him not."; cf. Matthew 10:34-35 "Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law."; & Mark 2:17 "When Jesus heard [it], he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance." (b) John 3:13 -- first occurrence of phrase "came down from heaven" "And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, [even] the Son of man which is in heaven." (c) John 5:36-37 -- first occurrence of phrase "Father hath sent me" "But I have greater witness than [that] of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me. And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape." (d) John 8:42 "Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me."; 16:28, 30 "I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father. ... Now are we sure that thou knowest all things, and needest not that any man should ask thee: by this we believe that thou camest forth from God." (3) He claimed a unique relation to God as Father (a) Matthew 7:21 "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven."; 10:32-33 "Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven."; 11:25-27 "At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight. All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and [he] to whomsoever the Son will reveal [him]." (b) Luke 22:29 "And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me;" 24:49 "And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high." (c) John 5:17ff "But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work." (many references follow this) (d) Matthew 6:8-9 "Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him. After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name." (note "Your Father" and "Our Father") (e) John 20:17 "Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and [to] my God, and your God." (note "my Father" and "your Father") (4) His claims validated by His enemies' reactions (a) John 5:18 "Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God."; 8:59 "Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by."; 10:31, 39 "Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him. ... Therefore they sought again to take him: but he escaped out of their hand," (b) Matthew 26:63-64 "But Jesus held his peace. And the high priest answered and said unto him, I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God. Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven." (c) John 18:31 "Then said Pilate unto them, Take ye him, and judge him according to your law. The Jews therefore said unto him, It is not lawful for us to put any man to death:"; 19:7 "The Jews answered him, We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God." b. The testimony of others (1) Introduction--John 5:31-47 "If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true. There is another that beareth witness of me; and I know that the witness which he witnesseth of me is true. Ye sent unto John, and he bare witness unto the truth. But I receive not testimony from man: but these things I say, that ye might be saved. He was a burning and a shining light: and ye were willing for a season to rejoice in his light. But I have greater witness than [that] of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me. And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape. And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not. Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life. I receive not honour from men. But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you. I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive. How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that [cometh] from God only? Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is [one] that accuseth you, [even] Moses, in whom ye trust. For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?" (2) John the Baptist: (a) John 1:23 "He said, I [am] the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias." (b) John 1:15, 30 "John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me. ... This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me." (cf. v. 27 "He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe's latchet I am not worthy to unloose.") (c) John 1:34 "And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God." (3) God the Father (a) 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." (b) Matthew 17:5 "While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him." (4) Angels (a) Luke 1:31-33, 35 "And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. ... And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God." (b) Luke 2:11 "For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord." (c) Mark 1:24 "Saying, Let [us] alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God." (fallen angels) (5) The disciples (a) Matthew 16:16 "And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God." cf. John 6:68-69 "Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God." (b) John 20:27-29 "Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust [it] into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed [are] they that have not seen, and [yet] have believed." (6). Other persons (a) Elizabeth -- Luke 1:43 "And whence [is] this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?" (b) Zachariah -- Luke 1:78 "Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us," (c) Thief on cross -- Luke 23:42 And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom." (d) Centurion at cross -- Mark 15:39 "And when the centurion, which stood over against him, saw that he so cried out, and gave up the ghost, he said, Truly this man was the Son of God." (7) New Testament writers under inspiration and their inspired writings (a) Romans 9:5 "Whose [are] the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ [came], who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen." (b) John 1:1, 18 ("only-begotten God") "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. ... No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared [him]." (c) Titus 2:13 "Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;"; 2 Peter 1:1 "Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:" [Grandville Sharp's rule] (d) Acts 20:28 "Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood." (e) Romans 10:9 "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved."; Philippians 2:11 "And [that] every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ [is] Lord, to the glory of God the Father."; Acts 2:34, 36 "For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, ... Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ." (f) 1 Corinthians 2:8; 8:6 "Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known [it], they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. ... But to us [there is but] one God, the Father, of whom [are] all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom [are] all things, and we by him." (g) Romans 14:8-9 "For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord's. For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living." (h) Hebrews 1:8, 10 "But unto the Son [he saith], Thy throne, O God, [is] for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness [is] the sceptre of thy kingdom. ... And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands:" 3. The Holy Spirit is Declared to be God a. His titles relating Him to God (1) Spirit of God -- Matthew 3:16 "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:" (2) Spirit of the Lord -- Luke 4:18 "The Spirit of the Lord [is] upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised," (3) Spirit of your Father -- Matthew 10:20 "For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you." (4) My Spirit -- Acts 2:17-18 "And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:" (5) Spirit of Christ -- Romans 8:9 "But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his." b. Specific statements (1) Acts 5:3-4, 9 distinctly called God "But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back [part] of the price of the land? Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God. ... Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband [are] at the door, and shall carry thee out." (2) 2 Corinthians 3:17-18 (RSV) " Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being changed into his likeness from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit." (3) 1 Corinthians 3:16 "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and [that] the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?"; cf. 6:19 "What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost [which is] in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?"; & Ephesians 2:22 "In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit." (4) Comparison of New Testament quotations with Old Testament passages quoted (a) Cf. Acts 28:25-27 with Isaiah 6:1-13 "And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word, Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers, Saying, Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive: For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with [their] eyes, and hear with [their] ears, and understand with [their] heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them." cf. "3 And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, [is] the LORD of hosts: the whole earth [is] full of his glory.... 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. 9 And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. 10 Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed. ..." (b) Cf. Hebrews 3:7-11 with Psalm 95:7-11 "Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years. Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in [their] heart; and they have not known my ways. So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.)" cf. "For he [is] our God; and we [are] the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. To day if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your heart, as in the provocation, [and] as [in] the day of temptation in the wilderness: When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my work. Forty years long was I grieved with [this] generation, and said, It [is] a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known my ways: Unto whom I sware in my wrath that they should not enter into my rest." (c) Cf. Hebrews 10:15-17 with Jeremiah 31:31-34 "[Whereof] the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, This [is] the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more." cf. "Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day [that] I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: But this [shall be] the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more." (d) Cf. Acts 7:51 with content and Old Testament "Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers [did], so [do] ye." C. Three Persons Possess the Attributes and Characteristics of God 1. Representative Attributes and characteristics of God in New Testament a. Power -- Matthew 19:26 "But Jesus beheld [them], and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible." b. Goodness -- Matthew 19:17 "And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? [there is] none good but one, [that is], God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments." c. Mercy -- Luke 1:78 "Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us," d. Grace -- Luke 2:40 "And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him." e. Love -- 1 John 4:8, 16 "He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. ... And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him." f. Light (holiness) -- 1 John 1:5 "This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all." g. Knowledge -- Luke 16:15 "And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God." h. Truth -- John 3:33 "He that hath received his testimony hath set to his seal that God is true." i. Righteousness -- Romans 1:17 "For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith."; Acts 10:34 "Then Peter opened [his] mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:" j. Life -- Matthew 26:63 "But Jesus held his peace. And the high priest answered and said unto him, I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God." 2. Attributes and Characteristics Possessed by the Father a. Holiness -- John 17:11 "And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we [are]." b. Righteousness -- John 17:25 "O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me." c. Life -- John 6:57 (also of Christ) "As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me." [cf. 6:63] d. Mercy -- 2 Corinthians 1:3 "Blessed [be] God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;" e. Omnipresence -- Matthew 6:4, 6 "That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly. ... But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly." f. Omniscience -- Matthew 6:8 "Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him." g. Love -- John 5:20 "For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel." 3. Attributes and Characteristics Possessed by the Lord Jesus Christ (most of these after incarnation) a. Eternity -- John 1:1 "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."; 8:58 "Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am." b. Omniscience -- John 1:47-48 "Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile! Nathanael saith unto him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee." 2:24-25 "But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all [men], And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man." c. Omnipresence -- John 1:48-50 "Nathanael saith unto him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee. Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel. Jesus answered and said unto him, Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig tree, believest thou? thou shalt see greater things than these."; Matthew 18:20 "For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them."; 28:20 "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." d. Life -- 1 John 1:2 "(For the life was manifested, and we have seen [it], and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;)"; 5:20 "And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, [even] in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life."; 1 John 5:11-15 "And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; [and] he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God." e. Love -- Ephesians 5:2 "And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour." f. Immutability -- Hebrews 13:8 "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever." g. Truth -- John 14:6 "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." 4. Attributes and Characteristics Possessed by the Holy Spirit a. Holiness -- Ephesians 4:30 "And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption." b. Truth -- John 14:17; 15:26; 16:13 "[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. ... But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, [even] the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: ... Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, [that] shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come."; 1 John 4:6 "We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error." c. Life -- Romans 8:2 "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death."; John 17:2-3 -- Father and Son "As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent." d. Grace -- Hebrews 10:29 "Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?" e. Knowledge -- 1 Corinthians 2:11 "For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God." f. Eternity -- Hebrews 9:14 "How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?" g. Glory -- 1 Peter 4:14 "If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy [are ye]; for the Spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified." D. Three Persons Exercise the Prerogatives of God 1. Representative Prerogatives of God in the New Testament a. Receive worship -- John 4:24 "God [is] a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship [him] in spirit and in truth."; Matthew 4:10 "Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve." b. Forgive sin -- Mark 2:6-7 "But there were certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts, Why doth this [man] thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only?" c. Receive service -- Matthew 6:24 "No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon." d. Bestow reward -- Hebrews 11:6 "But without faith [it is] impossible to please [him]: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and [that] he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." e. Be the object of faith -- Mark 11:22 "And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God." 2. Prerogatives Exercised by the Father a. Receive worship -- John 4:23 "But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him." b. Forgive sin -- Matthew 6:14 "For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:" c. Receive praise -- James 3:9 "Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God." d. Bestow reward -- Matthew 6:6 "But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly." e. Give commands -- John 14:31 "But that the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do. Arise, let us go hence." 3. Prerogatives Exercised by the Lord Jesus Christ a. Receive worship -- John 9:38 "And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him."; 20:28 "And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God." b. Forgive sin -- Mark 2:8-12 "And immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts? Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, [Thy] sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house. And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; insomuch that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion." c. Bestow reward -- Revelation 22:12 "And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward [is] with me, to give every man according as his work shall be." d. Be the object of faith -- John 1:12 "But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, [even] to them that believe on his name:"; 20:31 "But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name." e. Give commands -- John 15:12, 14 "This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. ... Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you." 4. Prerogatives Exercised by the Holy Spirit a. Receive worship -- Hebrews 10:29 "Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?"; Ephesians 4:30 (implied) "And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption."; 1 Thessalonians 5:19 "Quench not the Spirit." b. Give commands -- Acts 8:29 "Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot."; 10:19-20 "While Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said unto him, Behold, three men seek thee. Arise therefore, and get thee down, and go with them, doubting nothing: for I have sent them." c. Bestow gifts -- 1 Corinthians 12:4, 7-8, 11 "Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. ... But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; ... But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will." E. Three Persons Execute the Works of God 1. Representative Works of God in the New Testament a. Creation -- Mark 13:19 "For [in] those days shall be affliction, such as was not from the beginning of the creation which God created unto this time, neither shall be."; 1 Timothy 4:3-4 "Forbidding to marry, [and commanding] to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. For every creature of God [is] good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving:" b. Providence -- Matthew 6:30 "Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, [shall he] not much more [clothe] you, O ye of little faith?" c. Resurrection -- Acts 2:24, 32 "Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it. ... This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses." d. Revelation and Inspiration -- Hebrews 1:1-2 "God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by [his] Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;"; 2 Timothy 3:16 "All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:" e. Judgment -- Romans 2:2, 5 "But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things. ... But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;" 2. Works Executed by the Father a. Creation -- 1 Corinthians 8:6 "But to us [there is but] one God, the Father, of whom [are] all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom [are] all things, and we by him." b. Providence -- Matthew 6:26 "Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?" c. Revelation -- Matthew 16:17"And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed [it] unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven." d. Resurrection -- Romans 6:4 "Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life." e. Judgment -- Matthew 15:13 "But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up." 3. Works Executed by the Lord Jesus Christ a. Creation -- John 1:3, 9 "All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. ... [That] was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world."; Colossians 1:16 "For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether [they be] thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:"; Hebrews 1:2, 10 " 2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by [his] Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; ... And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands:"; Ephesians 3:9 "And to make all [men] see what [is] the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:"; 1 Corinthians 8:6 "But to us [there is but] one God, the Father, of whom [are] all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom [are] all things, and we by him." b. Providence -- Colossians 1:17 "And he is before all things, and by him all things consist."; Hebrews 1:3 "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 on the right hand of the Majesty on high;" c. Resurrection -- John 10:17-18 "Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father."; John 5:28-29 "Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation." d. Revelation -- John 16:12-13 "I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, [that] shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come." e. Judsnent -- John 5:22, 27 "For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: ... And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man."; Acts 17:31 "Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by [that] man whom he hath ordained; [whereof] he hath given assurance unto all [men], in that he hath raised him from the dead." 4. Works Executed by the Holy Spirit a. Revelation and Inspiration -- 2 Peter 1:21 "For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake [as they were] moved by the Holy Ghost."; 1 Corinthians 2:12-13 "Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual [words]." b. Resurrection -- Romans 8:11 "But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you." c. Guidance -- Romans 8:14 "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God." d. Security by sealing -- Ephesians 1:13-14 "... in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory." e. Indwelling -- 2 Timothy 1:14 "That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us." f. Quickening -- 1 Peter 3:18 "For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:" II. THE OLD TESTAMENT IMPLICATIONS OF THE DOCTRINE OF THE TRINITY A. Implications of a Plurality in God 1. The Plural Name Elohim -- Other explanations of the plural form of this name are given; but in the light of the New Testament revelation of the doctrine of the Trinity, the concept that it is a foregleam of that revelation divinely purposed is the most satisfactory. 2. Other Plural Titles for God a. "Thy Creators" Ecclesiastes 12:1 "Remember now thy Creator(s) in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them;" b. "Thy Makers" -- Isaiah 54:5 "For thy Maker(s) [is] thine husband; the LORD of hosts [is] his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called." 3. Use of Plural Pronouns and Adjectives by God a. Pronouns -- 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."; 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 for ever:"; 11:7 "Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech."; 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." b. Adjective -- Deuteronomy 5:26 "For who [is there of] all flesh, that hath heard the voice of the living God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as we [have], and lived?"; 1 Samuel 17:26 "And David spake to the men that stood by him, saying, What shall be done to the man that killeth this Philistine, and taketh away the reproach from Israel? for who [is] this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God? Jeremiah 10:10 "But the LORD [is] the true God, he [is] the living God, and an everlasting king: at his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation." 4. Dual [compound] Form of Word One with reference to God -- Deuteronomy 6:4 "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God [is] one LORD:" cf. Genesis 2:24 "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh." 5. Jehovah Distinguished from Jehovah -- Hosea 1:7 "But I will have mercy upon the house of Judah, and will save them by the LORD their God, and will not save them by bow, nor by sword, nor by battle, by horses, nor by horsemen." 6. Jehovah Declared to Have a Son -- Psalm 2:2, 6-7 "The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, [saying], ... 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."; 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?" B. Old Testament Doctrine of the Angel of Jehovah 1. Introduction -- The sanctity of God's name -- Isaiah 42:8 "I [am] the LORD: that [is] my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images." 2. Amount of Evidence -- The Angel of Jehovah appears about 25 times in the Old Testament, never in the New Testament. 3. Titles Used of This Person a. Angel of Jehovah (the LORD -- first reference) -- Genesis 16:7 "And the angel of the LORD found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain in the way to Shur." b. Angel of God -- Judges 13:9 "And God hearkened to the voice of Manoah; and the angel of God came again unto the woman as she sat in the field: but Manoah her husband [was] not with her." c. Angel of His Presence -- Isaiah 63:9 "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." 4. Content of the Evidence a. Angel of Jehovah Identified as Jehovah (1) Consciousness of men -- Judges 13:20-22 "For it came to pass, when the flame went up toward heaven from off the altar, that the angel of the LORD ascended in the flame of the altar. And Manoah and his wife looked on [it], and fell on their faces to the ground. But the angel of the LORD did no more appear to Manoah and to his wife. Then Manoah knew that he [was] an angel of the LORD. And Manoah said unto his wife, We shall surely die, because we have seen God." (2) Content of Scripture -- Exodus 3:2-6 "And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush [was] not consumed. And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt. And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here [am] I. And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest [is] holy ground. Moreover he said, I [am] the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God." (3) Revelation of God -- Genesis 31:11-13 "And the angel of God spake unto me in a dream, [saying], Jacob: And I said, Here [am] I. And he said, Lift up now thine eyes, and see, all the rams which leap upon the cattle [are] ringstraked, speckled, and grisled: for I have seen all that Laban doeth unto thee. I [am] the God of Bethel, where thou anointedst the pillar, [and] where thou vowedst a vow unto me: now arise, get thee out from this land, and return unto the land of thy kindred." b. Angel of Jehovah Distinguished from Jehovah as a Person -- Zechariah 3:1-2 "And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him. And the LORD said unto Satan, The LORD rebuke thee, O Satan; even the LORD that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: [is] not this a brand plucked out of the fire?" 5. Conclusion from the Evidence -- The Angel of Jehovah is a divine Being who is distinguished from God as a Person, a fact which indicates plurality in the Godhead. C. Old Testament Doctrine of the Spirit of God 1. The Spirit Possesses the Attributes of God a. Wisdom -- Isaiah 11:2 "And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;" b. Omnipresence -- Psalm 139:7 "Whither shall I go from thy Spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?" 2. The Spirit Executes the Work of God a. Creation -- Job 26:13 "By his Spirit he hath garnished the heavens; his hand hath formed the crooked serpent."; Psalm 33:6 "By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath/Spirit of his mouth." b. Restrains sin -- Genesis 6:3 "And the LORD said, My Spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also [is] flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years."; Isaiah 63:10 "But they rebelled, and vexed his holy Spirit: therefore he was turned to be their enemy, [and] he fought against them." 3. Conclusion from the Evidence -- The Spirit of God is a divine Being who is distinguished from God as a Person, a fact which indicates plurality in the Godhead. D. Repetition of the Threefold Formula 1. Isaiah 6:3 -- "Holy, holy, holy" -- "And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, [is] the LORD of hosts: the whole earth [is] full of his glory." [human figure seen] 2. Numbers 6:24-26 -- The Aaronic Benediction upon Israel -- "The LORD bless thee, and keep thee: The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace." 3. Genesis 48:15-16 -- The Benediction of Jacob upon Joseph's Sons-- "And he blessed Joseph, and said, God, before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac did walk, the God which fed me all my life long unto this day, The Angel which redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads; and let my name be named on them, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth." III. THE DOCTRINAL EXPLANATION A. The Theological Statement 1. Three Persons are God a. The Father is God b. The Lord Jesus Christ is God c. The Holy Spirit is God 2. God is One a. Deuteronomy 6:4 " 4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God [is] one LORD:" cf. Mark 12:29 "And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments [is], Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:" b. John 17:3 "And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent." 3. The Concluding Statement a. The Biblical revelation of God is that God is a unity as far as essential nature is concerned and yet subsists as a Godhead of three Persons, co-equal and co-eternal each of whom possesses the totality of the divine essence simultaneously while existing as a separate personal manifestation. b. The Athanasian Creed -- page 1. 4. The Remaining Mystery -- Having stated the doctrine as a conclusion from the Biblical revelation, one must immediately confess the remaining unfathomable mystery of the doctrine and its supra-rational character. It must be accepted by faith in God and in His revelation of Himself in the Bible. B. Errors to Avoid 1. Tritheism -- The polytheistic concept that God is in reality three Gods, being three separate individuals such as Peter, James, and John. This is not the Biblical doctrine, even though Christians are accused of holding such a doctrine by Jews, Mohammedans, and Unitarians. 2. Monarchianism -- The viewpoint that God is ultimately one, explaining away the Biblical evidence of the trinity of Persons in one of two major ways. a. Dynamic Monarchians (1) Makes the Biblical revelation of the Father the only true God (2) Denies in effect the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ, making him in effect a mere man who is indwelt and empowered by the spiritual force of God which came upon him at his baptism and left him on the cross. (3) Denies the personality of the Holy Spirit, making Him simply the personification of the power or forceful influence of God. b. Patripassion Monarchians (same as modalism or Saballianism) -- Considers God as basically one who variously presents Himself in Scripture in the role of the Father or the role of the Son or the role of the Holy Spirit. Cannot explain passages where Christ addresses the Father or speaks concerning Him or concerning the Holy Spirit as separate persons. IV. THE NATURAL ILLUSTRATION -- This doctrine has no real and perfect illustration, because God is unique; but it does permit of almost endless analogies in the created world: light, man, egg, time, etc. Five Important Statements on the Trinity 1. There can be no subordination, as to essential Being, of the one person of the Godhead to another. 2. The subordination is only in respect to order and in relationship to creation. 3. There is no subordination as to the possession of the divine essence, but in the manner of personal subsistence and in manifestation. 4. Certain personal operations are not performed by the three persons jointly but by individual persons exclusively. 5. The oneness of essence explains the fact that (while Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, as respect to their personality, are distinct subsistences) there is an intercommunion of Persons and an immanence of one divine person in another which permits the peculiar work of one to be ascribed, with limitation, to either of the other, and the manifestation of one to be the manifestation of the other. (John 14)
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