Separate names with a comma.
Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by RevJWWhiteJr, Mar 21, 2011.
Just an Inquiry.
I am a solid (solid) trinitarian. No doubt. As I said, this is just an inquiry.
The Holy Spirit as part of the God Head is proven in other ways than what you are asking. But there are a few verse to answer you.
2 Corinthians 3:17-18
I should add...
The Trinity is proven through 1st showing the oneness of God. Tons of verses...
Then prove that the Son was sent by God his Father.
Next show the Son is also God. Heb 1, John 1, Rev 1 and others..
Then show that Holy Spirit is sent...
Next show that Holy Spirit is a person that has the power of God.
Last you show that the three are often acting in the same place at the same time.
Scripture Citations From 1984 NIV
2 Cor. 13,14 :May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ,and the love of God,and the fellowship of the Holy spirit be with you all.
1 Cor. 3:16 (and 6:19 too): Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you?
Acts 13:2 b : Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.
In Heb. 3:7-11 it speaks of the Holy Spirit and that the Israelites tested and tried the 3rd Person of the Trinity.
In Heb.10:29 it speaks about those who insult the spirit of grace. That's the Holy spirit. If they do so they are in for severe punishment.
In Acts 10:19,20 the Holy Spirit is seen as the One directing Peter to three men :for I have sent them.
In Acts 15:28 : It seemed good to the Holy Spirit...
Eph. 4:30 :And do not grieve the Holy spirit of God...
And on and on and on.
So you are a solid Trinitarian?
Just to be sure - do you mean: "Is the Holy Spirit one of the three Persons in the trinity?" or: "Is the Holy Spirit the third Person of the trinity (as opposed to the first or second)?"
One of the common problems with the doctrine of the Trinity, is that people accept two out of three. To decide if you can embrace the Trinity doctrine (One God in Three Persons) you must find in scripture evidence that each "person" is described as a "person" in scripture. Now what are the "qualities of person-hood?" Intellect - cognitive ability, Emotion - having feelings, and Will - acting with a chosen purpose.
Now can we find scriptures to support all three characteristics for all three persons? Yes, we can.
Here is an excellent short link on the scriptural basis for the Trinity:
Because the trinity is a paradox, no explanation will satisfy fully. But here goes a heart-felt effort:
Picture a glass sphere, solid glass, clear as a bell. Now picture that three round flat sections have been ground into the sphere making three equally spaced windows into the sphere.
Now picture the first window and look only at the surface, and you see a perfect circle. Lets call this circle the Father. Turn the sphere and look at the surface of the next window. Another perfect circle, but separate from the Father. Lets call this window the Word, or the Son or the pre-incarnate Jesus. Turn to the last window and again just look at the surface. Another perfect circle, the Holy Spirit.
Now the name of this sphere is Yahweh, God Almighty. The names of the windows are Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Look at the circle called the Son and look into the sphere and what do you see. You see through the window of God called the Son and see the windows called the Father and the Holy Spirit. Thus Christ is the perfect image of the Father, a visible manifestation of God the Father.
The Sphere has existed from before time, from all eternity. So Yahweh is eternal and so are all three windows.
Now Yahweh created the Universe and everything in it all alone. But, if I look through the window of the Son, what name might I call the creator? The Son, or if I look deeper I might say the Son and the Father worked together. And still it is true that one God created it all.
The trinity, one God in three persons, separate and equal in some respects can only be understood if we recognize that the persons that we see are God’s revelation to us. Sometimes we see a circle and sometimes we see two or all three. Sometimes the Bible reveals that the circle we have in view, the one we can see superficially communicates with another circle or both of the other circles. Whenever we have a circle in view, revealed in the physical universe, we are just seeing a revealed surface of God, a manifestation for our benefit. But the entity being partially revealed is the Sphere, the Eternal Spirit, Yahweh.
Jesus in the flesh was created within the womb of Mary, but incarnate within Jesus was the Son, eternal and creator of the Universe. He existed before the incarnation and humbled himself to become flesh, the Lamb of God. When we see passages that demonstrate that Jesus is the humble servant of the Father, what do we see? Do we see past the flesh and blood bodily form of Jesus. A man aware of the needs and desires of the flesh, a man tempted in everyway that we are tempted and yet did not sin. Can we see past the flesh and blood Jesus praying to his Father in heaven? Can we see past that revelation of the all too human Lamb of God, and see the incarnate Son? The one that shared glory with the Father before the foundation of the world was laid. And see that this does not conflict with the verse that says Yahweh does not share His glory with other gods.
The pure glass sphere represents that God is spirit – invisible yet powerful and active, able to reveal Himself by creating that which is visible from the starry sky to God in the flesh. The windows represent the manifestations of God’s revelation. One God in three persons, yet not three God’s nor one divine person. Behold, the trinity.
One of J.I Packer’s books, titled “Knowing God” presents his understanding of what the Bible reveals of God. Many, perhaps most, of his observations are “spot on” but some seem to push the underlying scriptural support beyond sound conjecture. Let’s take a look at God through the lens of some of the biblical passages cited in his book.
Our view of God informs how we live our lives; so arriving at as close to the correct view as revealed in His Word as possible, helps us lead more productive lives in our ministry of reconciliation.
The Bible presents God as a non-physical “spirit,” infinite, eternal, and unchangeable in His attributes of wisdom, power, holiness, justness, goodness and truth. Folks who meditate on these truths travel the road from knowledge about God to worship of God, and worship of God prepares one to trust in the One He sent. Praise God.
If we consider what might be meant by the concept of “knowing” God, we also travel the road from “knowledge about God” to having in intimate relationship with God as an adopted “child of God.” Jesus defines “eternal life” thus: “And this is eternal life, that they may know (have an intimate relationship with) You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” (John 17:3) Thus the end of the journey is not our knowing (have knowledge of) God but rather of God knowing (having an intimate relationship with) us. Galatians 4:9
Backing up to the question, how can we start the journey toward knowing God, Romans 10:14 answers with “How then shall they call upon Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?” So God’s word needs more than to be available in a book on a dusty bookshelf, it needs to be presented by word and deed by believers! Many times the presentation contains no words at all. I remember visiting the home of an elderly couple with my family. Rather early in the evening the old gentleman, who got around by use of a walker, had “gone to bed.” Later, as I was stepping out of the bathroom I glanced down the hall towards his room. There he was, on his knees beside his bed, praying, even though he knew he was going to need help to get up and into bed. Just one of the waypoints on my journey toward that relationship.
The Only True God
In a sense, any of our ideas concerning the nature of God paint a finite picture of an infinite reality, and thus miss the mark. But, on the other hand, to worship without an object of worship, however flawed, seems weak as well. God has revealed himself to us and thus to picture those revelations, whether the majesty declared by what He has made, or the man Jesus praying for us, hardly seems a violation of the second commandment. But we should be mindful that our image of God should both conform to the God of the Bible, and that our God is greater by far than any image used by the bible for illustration.
The Word became flesh
When we formulate an idea, put it into words so to speak, then we can act upon it with the power of our being. Thus the apostle John’s idea of the “Word” refers to God’s “creative utterance” and therefore the Word existed eternally before the beginning of created time, and was with God, and was God. As Packer put it, the Word of God refers to God at work. As created beings we can “see” only what has been created, thus the Word is the light of men, for all things are created and sustained through Him. The Word is more than an aspect of God, as for example His power, because the Word takes on personhood, as God the Son, and it is God the Son who became flesh, the Son of God. And if you study carefully Hebrews 1:8-10, you will see the passage refers to the Son, the Word, as the LORD, quoting Psalm 102:25. Therefore according to the author of Hebrews, Jesus is Yahweh, God Almighty who laid the foundation of the earth. One God, Yahweh, in three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Blind men and the Elephant
An old illustration describes several blind men as they encounter an elephant. One touches the side and describes the elephant as a wall. Another touches the tusk and describes the elephant as a round pointy thing. The third blind man grabs the tail and describes the elephant as a rope. As we contemplate the Trinity, we are sure our descriptions are accurate, one God in three persons, but we fear we might not comprehend the whole entity. So we cherish the revelations of our one God in three persons, and look forward to the day we will not apprehend God through a glass darkly, but face to face.
Whoever believes in Him
John 3:16 lays out God’s conditional covenant with mankind. Whoever believes in “Him” shall not perish but have eternal life. But the Him is God the Son, and we must believe in God the Father and God the Holy Spirit if we are to fully believe in Him. If we do not accept the miracles of Jesus as the works of God, that sin of unbelief precludes receiving forgiveness. We must believe in Yahweh, Father, Son and Holy Spirit and not leave any part out. In order to believe Jesus is the Christ, the Anointed One, the Messiah, one must believe in the One who anointed Jesus. And in the same way, in order to believe Jesus is the Son of God, one must believe in God the Father. Thus both the anointing Holy Spirit, and the Father must be included if we are to believe in Him. The apostles chosen by Jesus believed in Yahweh and in His promises and therefore were looking for the Messiah. And according to John 1:12-13, if we believe in His name, we will be given the right to become sons of God. After God accepts our faith, credits it as righteousness, then Yahweh places us spiritually in Christ and seals us in Him with the Holy Spirit, Ephesians 1:13. And in Christ we have an intimate relationship with Yahweh, a born again child of God.
What is in a Name
The Bible several times refers to believing “in the name” of Jesus or the LORD, Yahweh. The idea here is to believe in what Jesus and Yahweh are known for. Jesus said He was the Christ, and therefore to believe in His name, is to believe Jesus is the Christ. To believe in His name, even though He died and ascended into heaven before we were born, is just as acceptable to God as the belief of those who personally lived with Jesus and observed Him first hand. Thus to believe in the Biblical account of Jesus is to believe in His name.
Unable to Believe
The Bible speaks of men so blinded by the world, they are unable to understand the gospel, and therefore unable to believe. And some scholars believe this spiritual inability affects all men from conception for their whole life (unless altered by regeneration) a consequence of the fall of Adam. But an alternate view seems to conform to the Biblical account with far more fidelity. Jesus taught of four soils or conditions of men who responded to the gospel in varying ways. Sure enough, the first soil was so blinded it did not understand the gospel, unable to believe. But the other three soils, did receive the gospel, and therefore it seems the fall resulted in limited spiritual ability, with all men prior to being born again, being unable to apprehend the spiritual things revealed by the indwelt Spirit. Other spiritual things, the milk of the gospel, can be understood prior to being indwelt, by three of the four soils, but even the milk of the gospel is hidden from the first soil.
Unwilling to Believe
The Bible also speaks of men unwilling to believe or more accurately unwilling to believe fully in the gospel of Christ. All men who apprehend Christ high and lifted up, those that make up the three soils are drawn to the gospel. Some come to Christ, others are almost persuaded, and others reject Christ, unwilling to trust Him rather than themselves. These are the ones that need cultivation, and watering, and persistent prayer for more laborers.
It might be interesting to note that not once does Paul mention anyone other than the father and the son in any of his epistles’ salutations.
Nor for that matter do James, Peter, John or Jude in their salutations.