Monday, August 13, 2007

The Trinity – Sermon Notes - Session Two

Trinity - Session Two - Sermon Notes

Hello, and welcome to the second session of my teaching on the Trinity. In the beginning I'd like to teach you a couple of terms that are most commonly used when discussing deities or gods

Monotheism – the doctrine or belief that there is only one God.

This is the belief that there is only ONE GOD. Within the ranks of monotheism we have views like

· Judaism

· Muslim

· Christianity

All of these believe that there is only one god. Of course God's Word, the Holy Bible is strong to teach us that very thing.

(Deuteronomy 6:4) Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:

The second term of interest is:

2) Polytheism – This is the belief that there are many gods, this view is present in many eastern styles of religion, and various pagan religions as well, and is strictly forbidden by scripture.

THERE IS ONLY ONE GOD – and all Christianity agrees –

Oneness Pentecostals and Trinitarians both agree: GOD is one and the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are GOD.

Both prescribe to Dueteronomy 6:4 – The LORD our GOD is One

What is debated and in contention between oneness groups and Trinitarians is the composition of GOD.

Those in opposition to the Trinitarian doctrine make a number of assessments regarding the composition of GOD for instance:

The Arians or modern day Jehovah’s Witness: give JESUS no deification what so ever – they deny HIM as being GOD. Of course this is in absolute transgression to the Bible that asserts:

(Colossians 2:9) For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.

(John 20:28) And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.

(John 1:1) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Another unorthodox view is that of Oneness Pentecostals, also known as "Apostolics". These groups are one of the most aggressive and most hostile towards the Trinitarian doctrine(They were discussed briefly in "session one" – it is also known as

· Modalism

· Jesus Only

Modalism or Oneness –Assesses that there was one GOD whose composition is merely modes of existence:

The Father modalized or morphed into the Son who then morphed or modalized into the Holy Spirit – There is no relationship between the modes of existence – because essentially the Father is the Son – the Son is the Father and so on.

One such definition of this is given to us by United Pentecostal Church Inc: Author, and Pastor David Bernard who stated in his book The Oneness of GOD

God is one individual being, and various terms used to describe Him (such as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) are designations applied to different forms of His action or different relationships He has to humans. Basically, modalism upholds the same essentials as the modern doctrine of Oneness.

David Bernard, The Oneness of GOD

The doctrine believes the person of JESUS CHRIST or the SON OF GOD existed only as a figure in incarnation – He essentially did not exist as the Son of GOD before HE was born of a woman.

So within the followers of Jehovah GOD a variety of these beliefs exist.

Our objective in this study is, with history well established,(Trinity Sesssion 1) to discuss the Trinity strictly based on scriptural validation, alone.

Who does the bible say GOD IS?

I’ll use some reference materials such as respected commentaries and Greek Dictionaries and so on – but mostly just my ole trusted King James Version Bible!

I’d like to start with some biblical text that shows the relationship between Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

We have verses that imply a one GOD view while maintaining the distinctions of Father, Son and Holy Ghost – They show absolute unity and distinction at the same time, which is classic Trinitarianism!

Lets start:

(1 John 5:7) For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.

(John 16:27) For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God.

(John 16:28) I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father.

(John 1:1) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

(John 1:2) The same was in the beginning with God.

Now these verses are interesting because they note the unity of GOD’s oneness with the distinctions of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost

1) the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.

2) I came out from God - I came forth from the Father

3) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

These interesting verses alone designate that GOD is one yet shares with us the composition of GOD as a being who is: Father, Son and Holy Ghost

I want to reference a very respected source on the phrase “was with GOD” this is from:

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Was with God - This expression denotes friendship or intimacy. John affirms that he was “with God” in the beginning - that is, before the world was made. It implies, therefore, that he was partaker of the divine glory; that he was blessed and happy with God. It proves that he was intimately united with the Father, so as to partake of his glory and to be appropriately called by the name God. He has himself explained it. See Joh_17:5; “And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self, with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.”

He was “with God” - that is, he was united to him in a most intimate and close union before the creation; and, as it could not be said that God was “with himself,” … that there was a distinction between the Father and the Son

John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

… this phrase denotes the existence of the word with the Father, his relation and nearness to him, his equality with him, and particularly the distinction of his person from him, as well as his eternal being with him; for he was always with him, and is, and ever will be; he was with him in the council and covenant of grace, and in the creation of the universe, and is with him in the providential government of the world; he was with him as the word and Son of God in heaven, …… John here speaks of the word, as a distinct person from God the Father

In this manner the verses denote the following

1) that the second person is in some sense “distinct” from the first.

2) that he is intimately united with the first person in essence, so that there are not two, or three or more Gods.

3. that the second person may be called by the same name; has the same attributes; performs the same works; and is entitled to the same honors with the first, and that therefore he is “the same in substance, and equal in power and glory,” with God.

Distinctions As Noted Biblically

Id’ like to further explore some of these distinctions on a scriptural level… A great place would be to simply start with some apostolic greetings.

(1 Corinthians 1:3) Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

(Galatians 1:1) Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead;)

(1 Timothy 1:2) Unto Timothy, my own son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord.

(1 John 1:3) That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.

So we see the apostle’s greetings certainly note certain distinctions!

How about a cornerstone verse shown at ball games and so on is John 3:16 and we’ll carry it over into verse 17 as well… which states GOD sent “his” Son

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:17) For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

The Garden of Gethsemane – JESUS prays to whom? HIS FATHER,

(Matthew 26:42) He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.

The Baptism of JESUS CHRIST we see the FATHER, SON, and HOLY GHOST all at the same time – so therefore we have three co-equal co existent persons – Father – Son and Holy Ghost

(Luk 3:21) Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened, (Luk 3:22) And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.

JESUS CHRIST on the cross said

(Luk 23:34) Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.

Here we again see JESUS – who is GOD – pray to His Father – “Father forgive them”

Let’s look at some of the distinctions JESUS HIMSELF referenced in conversation

Mat 18:19 Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.

Mar 13:32 But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.

So here are some powerful examples of biblical distinctions – some would call them mere forms or modes of existence, but that is not at all consistent with biblical language!

Distinctions Noted Inter-relationally

Let me reference this for you with an excerpt from David Bernard’s Book

The Oneness of GOD

“Modalism. Term used to describe a belief in early church history that Father, Son, and Spirit are not eternal distinctions within God’s nature but simply modes (methods or manifestations) of God’s activity. In other words, God is one individual being, and various terms used to describe Him (such as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) are designations applied to different forms of His action or different relationships He has to humans. Basically, modalism upholds the same essentials as the modern doctrine of Oneness.”

So remember now by modalist/oneness David Bernard’s own words: Oneness states that Father, Son and Holy Spirit are designations applied to forms of action or different relationships He has to humans….

· The first error of this statement is this does nothing to answer the relationship of love between Father and Son – and Son and Father

· Secondly It in no way deals with the eternal modes of relationship that exist within the trinity, as noted in the bible, nor does it answer the scene in the garden, the cross, or the baptism of CHRIST!

There are many instances showing inter-relational actions between the Father and the Son on a distinct relational level in the present time and on an eternal level as well!

Father loveth the Son

John 3:35 The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand.

Joh 5:20 For the Father loveth the Son, and showeth him all things that himself doeth: and he will show him greater works than these, that ye may marvel.

John 10:17 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.

Son loves the Father

Joh 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.

One person in the trinity loves another – how could that be possible without some form of distinction being present? When I say distinction – I mean it in the sense that the creeds have already stated it, given to them by scriptural language and authortiy!

The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are never identical as to Person; nor confused as to relation; nor divided in respect to the Godhead

Assemblies of God 16 Fundamentals of Truth

One GOD and that GOD exists in three persons:

Father, Son and Holy Spirit


It is clear that there are undoubtedly distinctions between the Father and the Son, the Son and the Father and the Holy Ghost and the Father and the Son. It is without question these distinctions are clearly present on a biblical level – but are the distinctions eternal?

Most United Pentecostal Church people, or oneness pentecostals who are essentially modalists believe these distinctions are merely a façade and do not exist –

As a oneness adherent I was taught JESUS had returned back to the role of the FATHER. So the answer to “Do these distinctions exist now or eternally?” Would be a resounding “no”.

However I then suffered the scriptural correction of 1 Corinthians 15

1Co 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. 1Co 15:25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. 1Co 15:26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. 1Co 15:27 For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. 1Co 15:28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him,that God may be all in all.

Clearly this states God the Father and HIS SON at least exist together now and will, until the end of the age!

In fact JESUS “the Son, himself will subject unto “him” that originally put all things under him”

This throws a cog into modalsm – for it shows clearly relational roles between Father, and Son on an eternal level, and well beyond the incarnate CHRIST.

We have established absolute distinction between the father, the son, and the holy spirit.


Let me share a few texts that further note these distinctions

The three persons of the Godhead are, at the same time, noted in such Scriptures as:

John 8:42 Jesus said to them, ...“I proceeded forth and have come from God, for I have not even come on My own initiative, but He sent Me.

John 16:28 "I came forth from the Father, and have come into the world; I am leaving the world again, and going to the Father."

John 17:5 "And now, glorify Thou Me together with Thyself, Father, with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was.

John 17:8 ...[they] truly understood that I came forth from Thee, and they believed that Thou didst send Me.

John 17:24 "Father, I desire that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am, in order that they may behold My glory, which Thou hast given Me; for Thou didst love Me before the foundation of the world.

Rom. 8:3 For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin……..

1 John 4:14 And we have beheld and bear witness that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.

Note the wording and what it is saying “The Father – sent the Son to be the Savior"

Each of these passages state a personal and self-conscious pre-existent eternality of Jesus the SON OF GOD.

Jesus was far more than just some kind of impersonal thought in the mind of GOD before creation, or simply a mode or role or a prophet. He was already GOD as the “Son of God” before the foundation of the world, loved by the Father – before the foundation of the world, before His life in the flesh!!!!!

He already shared His Father’s glory as Son before the world was and in John 17 tells of his desire to return back to that.

The Father didn’t send His thoughts. He sent His Son, a Son who already existed with the Father eternally before creation. John 1:1 says Jesus “was with God, and was GOD.”

There are no qualifiers to identify just how long the Word was with God before He took on a fleshly form, other than “eternally, and from the beginning. The implication is that He existed with God eternally – past present and future and in that same context, John the Baptist says: “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.’” (John 1:15)

Notice the emphasis here. Jesus didn’t just come into existence at His fleshly birth. John the Baptist, who was conceived and born six months before Jesus says that Jesus “existed before” him.

Another interesting verse is found in Galatians 4:4

Gal 4:4 But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,

Actually Galatians 4:4 supports eternal sonship –
“GOD sent forth his Son” How could he be “sent” if he did not yet exist? He was sent forth, then made of a woman

Another rendering reads
Gal 4:4 But when the time was right, God sent his Son, and a woman gave birth to him

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Bible

God sent forth his Son - This implies that the Son of God had an existence before his incarnation

John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

God sent forth his Son; God the Father, as appears from the relation the person sent … "his Son"; not by creation, as angels, Adam, and all men are the sons of God; nor by adoption, as saints are; or by office, as magistrates be; or on account of his incarnation or resurrection from the dead, for he was the Son of God before either(his incarnation and resurrection); but by divine generation

"God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past to the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken to us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;"

-Heb. 1:1-3, KJV

Look what the SON did

spoken to us

by whom also he made the worlds

when he had by himself purged our sins

sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high

Holy Spirit was Eternal as shown in the Old Testament

Paul stated in (Acts 28:25) Well spake the Holy Ghost by Isaiah the prophet unto our fathers…..

"May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all" (2 Corinthians 13:14)

the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, 'This is my Son, whom I love...'"(Matthew 3:16:17

Three in one, some say that is hard to understand, but no harder than a God who morphs into different roles, or characters! These texts and more are hard to understand, and I agree how one GOD can exist in three distinct persons is difficult – but scripturally it is an absolute!

This lead people like Tertullian and others to state this doctrine of the trinity was the only true scriptural view of GOD(Reference: Trinity Session 1)

Distinction of three persons in ONE GOD

The unity of God is still presented in full force in the New Testament in this One Name there are three persons distinguished: The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit

Mat 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 Ghost:

(Genesis 1:26) And God said, Let us make man in our image………………..

(1 John 5:7) For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.

There is a great deal of information available on this subject, if one chooses to with courage, seek the scriptures, you'll easily assess the Trinity is scripturally valid, and the most correct view of God.