What is the Trinity?

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Abiyah, Mar 27, 2003.

  1. Abiyah

    Abiyah
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    I know that there is already a thread on this subject
    elsewhere on the board, but I just don't want to go
    there.

    This is what I believe:
    </font>
    • I believe in the Father, without
      beginning or end, the "One Who Is,"
      Judge of all hearts, always living
      having never tasted death Himself.</font>
    • I believe in the Son, eternal,
      Creator, the Word Incarnate, our
      Advocate. The Messiah, born of a
      woman for a time, by His own choice;
      lived, died, rose again, ever living,
      coming again.</font>
    • I believe in the Holy Spirit, who
      deserves the pronoun "He" not "it,"
      the Comforter, the Teacher, co-
      creator.</font>
    But for me to put these together into a humanly-
    defined "Trinity," I don't know how. What am I
    missing?
     
  2. Caretaker

    Caretaker
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    Here is part of a statement of faith that I have been using for a couple of years.


    B. The True God

    We believe in one living and true God who is the Creator of heaven and earth;
    who is eternal, almighty, unchangeable, infinitely powerful, wise, just and
    holy.

    We believe that the one God eternally exists in three Persons: the Father, the
    Son, and the Holy Spirit; and that these three are one God, co-equal and
    co-eternal, having precisely the same nature and attributes, and worthy of
    precisely the same worship, confidence, and obedience. Matthew 3:16, 17;
    Matthew 28:19, 20; Mark 12:29; John 1:14; Acts 5:3, 4; II Corinthians 13:14.

    C. God the Father

    We believe in God the Father, Creator and Sustainer of all things, perfect in
    holiness, wisdom, power and love. We believe that He concerns Himself
    mercifully in the affairs of men; that He hears and answers prayer; that He
    sent His Son into the world; that He saves from sin and death all who come
    to Him through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Genesis 1:1; Psalms 7:9;
    Matthew 5:48; John 3:16; Acts 13:17-25; Acts 14:15-17; Acts 17:24-28.

    D. The Person and Work of Jesus Christ

    We believe in the deity of Jesus Christ, that He was conceived of the Holy
    Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, lived a sinless life, and is fully God and fully
    Man. We believe that our redemption has been accomplished solely by the
    blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, who was made to be sin, and made a curse for
    us, dying in our place that we might be forgiven. We believe that He died not
    only for our sins, but also for the sins of the entire world. We believe that He
    was raised from the dead in bodily form and that He ascended into heaven,
    where He sits at the right hand of God the Father interceding for us.

    We believe in the personal, bodily, imminent and pre-millennial return of our
    Lord Jesus Christ for His Church and His subsequent millennial reign over
    restored Israel and the kingdoms of the world. Luke 1:30-35; 2:7; John 1:1-4;
    Romans 9-11; Philippians 2:5-11; Colossians 1:13-19; Hebrews 1:1-3; I Peter
    3:18; I Corinthians 15:3-7; Hebrews 7:25; Acts 1:11, 15:14-17; I
    Thessalonians 4:13-18; I John 2:2.

    E. The Holy Spirit

    We believe that the Holy Spirit is not merely an influence, but a divine Person;
    that He is the source and power of all acceptable worship and service and is
    our abiding Counselor and Helper. We believe that the baptism of the Holy
    Spirit occurs at the moment of conversion and is that act whereby believers
    are united with Christ as part of His body; that the Holy Spirit permanently
    indwells all believers in Christ; that He will never depart from the Church nor
    from the weakest believer; that by His indwelling the believer is enabled to
    live a godly life. John 14:16,17; 16:13-15; Acts 1:8; 5:3,4; Romans 8:9; I
    Corinthians 6:19; 12:13; Galatians 5:22,23.


    A servant of Christ,
    Drew
     
  3. Paul of Eugene

    Paul of Eugene
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    Well, I can get partway to an understanding in my own little mind. I consider God as eternal and infinite. I consider God to be the sole source and definer of God. Nothing else can suffice.

    God in His aspect as the creator of Himself is God the Father.

    God in His aspect as the result of His own creation is God the Son.

    This is possible for God (tho impossible for us) because He is infinite, and an infinity can be equal to a part of itself.

    This is all well and good, but it doesn't play out so logically for the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit "testifies" of Christ. He is the comforter. Perhaps something along the lines of God in his aspect of being testified of is God the Father or Son and God in his aspect of He Who testifies is God the Spirit . ..?
     
  4. Artimaeus

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    "the creator of Himself"??? :confused:
     
  5. Abiyah

    Abiyah
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    Thank you for your answers.
     
  6. Wisdom Seeker

    Wisdom Seeker
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    The Great I Am...always was...God has no beginning and no end...He just is.

    Abiyah...I'm coming into this discussion a little late...but I always had a hard time reconciling the trinity with my own human reasoning as well. But I believe that God should not be completly explainable or comprehensable by a mere human such as myself. I will give this one example of the trinity though...that may help...or it may not. A human is body, mind and spirit...all coexisting in the same being...3 seperate, definable attributes...but all wrapped up into one being. Did that help? Or just make it more confusing? I believe that God made us like himself...in more than appearance.

    ;) Laurenda
     
  7. Pastor Chet

    Pastor Chet
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    You are not missing anything Abiyah.What you believe is what scripture states and we must accept by faith, what is revealed even if it stretches beyond the understanding of our finite minds. In some ways I'm thankful that God is infinitely beyond the human comprehension of His creation.God wouldn't be to awesome if we could comprehend everything about Him. For now I accept thatwe see through a glass darkly, but someday we shall know as we are known. Til then,join the crowd of those who don't deny the trinity even when we can't quite grasp it.
    chet
     
  8. russell55

    russell55
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    This is exactly right. The trinity is one of those paradoxes--those seeming contradictions--that we hold to because we are all trying to comprehend the infinite with finite pea brains. It is when we try to make God into something that we can grasp--that we can wrap our brains around--that we get heretical ideas like modalism and tritheism.
     
  9. Abiyah

    Abiyah
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    Wisdom Seeker --

    My problem is that the definition you gave makes
    sense in a human way, but while it is used by
    Trinitarians, it is also used by oneness people.
    SInce we do not believe what they do, apparently,
    both camps using the same definition is confusing
    to me. 8o) I am often welcomed by oneness
    people, because they assume that I believe the
    same way the do, but I don't. ?!?!?

    - - - - - - - - - - -

    Chet --

    At the same time, I am not sure I can call myself
    "Trinitarian," because it seems like a belief in three
    Gods. Is it wrong, then, when asked, if I state that I
    believe in the Father, I believe in the Son, and I
    believe in the Holy Spirit and just let it go with that?

    - - - - - - - - - - -

    Russel!!

    You have been on my mind and in my prayers so
    much!! How are you and the family? I am glad to
    see your name "'up in lights" here!!

    So you think I could say I believe as I wrote above
    but I cannot explain it, and that is all right? I almost
    feel like a liar to say that I believe in the Trinity when
    I don't understand the idea I think Trinity carries.
     
  10. Pastor Chet

    Pastor Chet
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    Then add to that,another biblical truth that we must accept by faith.And that is that Jesus was fully God and at the same time fully human and you really have some mind boggling theology that will fry your brain if you try to rationalize it into something understandable by humans.It's no different than many earthly concepts that are beyond comprehension. For example what is the biggest number? what about infinity etc.
    One thimg I know and do understand though is that God has forgiven my sins through the blood of Jesus and the world definitely needs to understand that above all else.
    In Christ chet
     
  11. russell55

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    We are doing okay--just taking things one day at a time, and everything seems to be going well enough.


    Seems to me this is what everyone does. I don't know anyone who "understands" the trinity. I don't understand how Christ was fully God and fully human, either, but that doesn't mean I don't believe it is true.

    As long as you believe the three (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) are eternally coexistant and yet are not actually three separate gods, even though you can't explain how that works, then as far as I can see you are a Trinitarian.
     
  12. John Wells

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    The doctrine of the Trinity is only more or less a crude human attempt to come to terms with a divine reality that is beyond us. The doctrine points to a transcendent God who could yet simultaneously become a human being and then after the resurrection also indwell other human beings (that is, the Holy Spirit). He is a God great enough to rule the universe, caring enough to live a fully human life and intimate enough to live in each believer. This is the reality that the doctrine points to. This is the truth that John teaches. Try as we like, we will never understand this divine depth, yet we can still enjoy the reality of God being with us that the doctrine points to.
     
  13. Abiyah

    Abiyah
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    Thank you, everyone, for your posts! 8o)
     
  14. Sularis

    Sularis
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    Abiyah - how do you understand John 1:1
     
  15. Abiyah

    Abiyah
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    How do I interpret John 1:1?

    (Beautiful poetry!)

    The Word is the One "made flesh" -- our Lord.
    He was (and is) God.
    He was with the Father before time.
    He is the Spoken Word, the Creator.
    He created all things, and nothing exists that was
    not made by Him.
     
  16. donnA

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    To me the Trinity is one eternal God revealed to me as 3 distinctly different persons(not in the humanly sence that we understand person to mean), yet still one God Not 3 persons, but one, revealsed as 3 aspects of who He is.
     
  17. RTB

    RTB
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    God the Father - Creator
    God the Son - Intercessor
    God the Holy Spirit - Comforter

    I have about driven myself crazy with trying to grasp the Trinity, but in the end I have to go on faith and admit that I can't fully comprehend everything. That dark glass again. This is how I explain the Trinity, but even then it leaves so much out.

    Ronnie
     
  18. RaptureReady

    RaptureReady
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    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.

    God the father
    God the Son
    God the Holy Spirit
     
  19. Matt Black

    Matt Black
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    The classic Trinitarian formula is that God is Three Persons in One Essence. I can't really give you an analogy of that, but I can give you an imperfect analogy of something approaching the opposite - three essences in one person:-

    Let us suppose that we know a caterpillar, whom we'll call Cyril. We watch him throughout his life-cycle: he changes from a caterpillar to a pupa and finally a butterfly -three distinct manifestations of the same life-form, yet genetically identical - all three are Cyril. NOw let us suppose that we can manipulate time so that we have all three versions of Cyril co-existing; you would then have something approaching the opposite of the Trinity.

    Two errors to be wary of: Modalism (One Person expressed Three Ways) - I'm afraid Wisdom Seeker's definition seemed to be veering in that direction; and Tritheism (Three Gods). Neither of these two extremes is correct and we need to make sure the theological compass is kept firmly in the middle between the two.

    Yours in Christ

    Matt
     
  20. Daniel Dunivan

    Daniel Dunivan
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    Here are some models.

    God the Father = Origin of Creation
    God the Son = Word spoken in Creation
    God the Holy Spirit = The Action of Creation

    God the Father = Lover
    God the Son = Beloved
    God the Spirit = Love

    Mind, Memory, Will

    God is fountal plenitude (source of all things and supremely perfect); therefore, God is both perfect love and supremely simple in being). The love that God is is reflected in human love (though imperfectly). Love cannot be perfect with one, it must be shared: thus at least two. However, love is not perfect only between two, because more is added to the love of the two when they share love for another: thus at least three. Because love is also supremely simple, then he can be no more than three and must be at the same time one.

    I affirm that God is beyond our complete apprehension, but God is still intelligible otherwise we would have no knowledge of Him.

    Grace and Peace, Danny [​IMG]
     

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