Friday, June 24, 2016

What is the Doctrine of the Trinity?

The doctrine of the trinity (tri-unity) of God is a Christian doctrine that describes the triune nature of God. It states the following: There is One God which is comprised of three separate, equally divine, wholly unified person's called the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The three are One in essence, nature, and union, but are separate person's who perform different functions in total unity with one another. Saint Patrick described the trinity as comparable to the three separate leaves on the One unified Irish clover.



Scriptures describing the divinity and person-hood of the Holy Spirit:

Matt. 28:19, "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,"

2 Cor. 13:14, "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all."

Eph. 4:4-6, "There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all."

2 Cor. 3:16-18, "but whenever a man turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit."
Names of the Holy Spirit

Rom. 8:9, "However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him." See also Gen. 1:2
Spirit of Christ

Rom. 8:9, "However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him."
Spirit of your Father

Matt. 10:20, "For it is not you who speak, but it is the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you."
The Spirit of Truth

John 14:17, "that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not behold Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you, and will be in you." See also, John 15:26.
The Spirit of the Lord

Acts 8:39, "And when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away; and the eunuch saw him no more, but went on his way rejoicing." See also Judges 15:14; 1 Sam. 16:12
The Holy Spirit is referred to as a person by scripture

Rom. 8:11, "But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who indwells you."

John 6:63, "It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life."

1 John 5:6, "And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is the truth."
See also 1 Cor. 2:12; 2 Tim. 1:14;

John 14:26, "These things I have spoken to you, while abiding with you. "But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you."

Rom. 8:16, "The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,"

Rom. 8:26, "And in the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words;"

Isaiah 63:10, "But they rebelled and grieved His Holy Spirit; Therefore, He turned Himself to become their enemy, He fought against them."

Eph. 4:30, "And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption."

Rom. 15:30, "Now I urge you, brethren, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me in your prayers to God for me."
Has a mind

Rom. 8:27, "and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God."
Speaks

2 Sam. 23:2, "The Spirit of the LORD spoke through me; his word was on my tongue."

Acts 8:29, "And the Spirit said to Philip, "Go up and join this chariot."

Acts 10:19, "And while Peter was reflecting on the vision, the Spirit said to him, "Behold, three men are looking for you."

Acts 11:12, "And the Spirit told me to go with them without misgivings. And these six brethren also went with me, and we entered the man’s house."

Acts 13:2, "And while they were ministering to the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, "Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them."

Acts 21:11, "And coming to us, he took Paul’s belt and bound his own feet and hands, and said, "This is what the Holy Spirit says: ‘In this way the Jews at Jerusalem will bind the man who owns this belt and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.’"

Acts 28:25-26, "And when they did not agree with one another, they began leaving after Paul had spoken one parting word, "The Holy Spirit rightly spoke through Isaiah the prophet to your fathers, saying, ‘Go to this people and say, "You will keep on hearing, but will not understand."
1 Tim. 4:1, "But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons,"

Heb. 3:7-8, "Therefore, just as the Holy Spirit says, 'Today if you hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts as when they provoked Me, as in the day of trial in the wilderness,"

Rev. 2:7, "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the Paradise of God." 

Rev. 14:13, "And I heard a voice from heaven, saying, "Write, ‘Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on!’" "Yes," says the Spirit, "that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow with them."

Rev. 22:17, "And the Spirit and the bride say, "Come." And let the one who hears say, "Come." And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost."
Knows

1 Cor. 2:11, "For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man, which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God."
Has an awareness of goodness

Acts 15:28, "For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay upon you no greater burden than these essentials."
Can be lied to

Acts 5:3, "But Peter said, "Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit, and to keep back some of the price of the land?"
Can be tested

Acts 5:9, "Then Peter said to her, 'Why is it that you have agreed together to put the Spirit of the Lord to the test?'"
Makes overseers

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

Acts 5:32, "And we are witnesses of these things; and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey Him."
Can be resisted

Acts 7:51, "You men who are stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears are always resisting the Holy Spirit."
(above order sourced from carm.org)

Scriptures describing the divinity of Christ:

Matthew 1:23 - “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.”

Isaiah 9:6 - For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 43:10,11 - “You are My witnesses,” says the Lord, “And My servant whom I have chosen, That you may know and believe Me, and understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, Nor shall there be after Me. I, even I, am the Lord, and besides Me there is no Savior.”
Revelation 1:17-18; Revelation 2:8 - (Jesus is the First and the Last)

Isaiah 44:6 - (God is the Redeemer)

2 Peter 1:1 (Jesus is the Redeemer) - “To those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ”

Isaiah 44:24 - (God created the world by Himself alone)

John 1:3; Colossians 1:16 - (Jesus made all things)

John 1:1 - In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God... 1:14 - And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us,

John 5:17,18 - “My Father has been working until now, and I have been working.” Therefore the Jews sought to kill Him, because He not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God.

John 5:23 - that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.

John 8:24 - “Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I AM [He], you will die in your sins.”

John 8:58 - Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.”

John 10:30-33 - Jesus answered them, “I and My Father are one.” Then the Jews took up stones again to stone Him. Jesus answered them, “Many good works I have shown you from My Father. For which of those works do you stone Me?” The Jews answered Him, saying, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a Man, make Yourself God.”

John 14:6-7 - Jesus said to him, “I AM the way, the truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

John 14:9-11 - Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, 'Show us the Father'?”

John 20:28 - And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!”

Acts 4:12 - “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

Acts 20:28 - (God purchased us with His own blood)

Revelation 1:5-6; Revelation 5:8-9 - (Jesus' blood purchased us)

Philippians 2:5-7 - Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bond-servant, and coming in the likeness of men.

Colossians 2:9 - For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily

1 Timothy 3:16 - And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh, Justified in the Spirit, Seen by angels, Preached among the Gentiles, Believed on in the world, Received up in glory.

Titus 2:13 - looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ

Hebrews 1:8-9 - But to the Son He says: “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness more than Your companions.”

2 John 1:7 - For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.

Revelation 1:8 - “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

Revelation 22:13 - “I AM the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.”... 22:16 - “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches.”

1 Timothy 6:14-16 - “our Lord Jesus Christ's appearing, which He will manifest in His own time, He who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see, to whom be honor and everlasting power. Amen.”


Hebrews 2:17-18 - “Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.”

Hebrews 4:15-16 - “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

1 Peter 2:24 - “who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we having died to sins, might live for righteousness - by whose stripes you were healed.”

(above order sourced from http://bugman123.com/)

NOTE: Historic Christian doctrine teaches that Jesus Christ, beginning from His incarnation, has two natures (the hypostatic union); He is fully divine and fully human at the same time (John 1:14). Therefore you will see certain passages of scripture referring to Jesus from the standpoint of His humanity by describing the Father as his God, etc. and you will also see passages like the ones mentioned above that clearly reference Jesus' divinity and therefore confirming His equal position with God the Father and the Holy Spirit from eternity. 

Scriptures describing the divinity of the Father:

Click this Link: God the Father in Scripture

So, we see from the above scriptures that the Father, the Son (Jesus Christ), and the Holy Spirit are affirmed as divine, personal beings operating as One God. From the very beginning of scripture God has referred to Himself as "Us" (see Genesis 1:26), and as scripture progressively reveals to us the identity of each member of the Godhead we are able to understand who the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are and also what they do in unity with one another. Christianity does not assert multiples gods, but rather One God operating in three separate Persons. The clearest demonstration of this reality is found in the baptism of Jesus: 


Matthew 3:13-17- "Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him. John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he consented.  And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”

So in the above passage we see the person of God the Son being baptized, the Person of God the Father saying "this is My Son in whom I am well pleased," and the Person of God the Holy Spirit descending upon Jesus like a dove. I hope that this article was helpful in your study of the truth. Remember, the doctrine of the trinity is among those components of God's Word which are ultimately beyond our understanding, this article is simply intended to initially describe the basics of this scriptural reality. God bless! 

Written by: Kyle Bailey, M.Th.

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Photo credit to: http://christianity.about.com/od/christiandoctrines/tp/denytrinity.htm

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