What are some of the ways that the trinity has been explained to you over the years?
If you had to explain the trinity to someone how would you do it?
WHY DO WE BELIEVE IN THE TRINITY?
Scripture is the reason why Christians believe God is Triune. The doctrine of the Trinity is the best interpretation of the Bible. The Bible does not expound upon the doctrine of the Trinity in any one place. However, there are three elements found repeatedly throughout the Bible’s text that are best interpreted through the lens of the Trinity:
- God is Three Distinct Persons (John 14:16-17)
- Each Person is Fully God
- The Father is God (John 6:27)
- Jesus is God (John 20:28; Romans 9:5; 2 Peter 1:1)
- The Holy Spirit is God (Acts 5:3-5)
- There is only one God (Romans 3:30)
So if there are three distinct persons that are God, but there is only one God, we are naturally led to the doctrine of the Trinity: one God who subsists in three persons.
A verse that indicates the unity of these three distinct persons is Matthew 28:19, which says, “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” All three persons in this verse share one name, because they are one being.
The idea of the trinity is not only found in the New Testament it is also found in the Old Testament.
Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”
- If we look more closely at the word we translate “God,” Elohim, we see it is plural. If we were to translate it literally, we would translate it “Gods.” But the reason we do not translate it that way is because the verb in the sentence is singular.
- The word Elohim is plural, but the verse treats it as a singular noun.
- So, in the very first verse of the Bible, we see that God is in some sense plural, but in some sense singular. This fits the model of the Trinity perfectly: God is in one sense plural, in terms of His persons, but in another sense singular, in terms of His being.
Genesis 1:26 “Let us make man in our image.”
- He refers to Himself in the plural. Why would God call Himself “Us”?
- Some people respond that it is a plural of majesty; a king might refer to himself as “we,” and indeed. Biblical Hebrew does not use the plural of majesty, and it’s probable that such a literary device hadn’t been invented yet.
- God isn’t here referring to Himself with a “royal we.” God is pointing out that, in some sense, He is plural.
The clarity of the statement can be lost because of the many statements emphasizing the sovereignty of the speaker, but if we remove the intervening statements, the passage reads:
“‘I am he; I am the first and the last. My own hand laid the foundations of the earth . . .’ And now the Sovereign Lord has sent me, endowed with his Spirit.”
- Here, the Alpha and the Omega says He was sent by the Lord God along with His Spirit.
- The next verse calls the speaker “Lord [Yahweh],” “Redeemer,” and “the Holy One of Israel.”
- In this passage, Yahweh is sent by Yahweh and the Spirit of Yahweh, and this makes little sense unless read through the lens of the Trinity.
Thinking about the challenge from the sermon that the Trinity calls the Church into Unity, Love, and Mission.
May they all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us, so that the world may believe you sent me. John 17:21
- Why should the Church be unified?
- What are the ways that Trace Ridge shows unity?
- How can we show unity during the time of Quarantine and Pandemic?
As you sent me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. John 17:18
- What is the mission of Trace Ridge?
- In what ways are we, Trace Ridge, imitating the mission that Christ has?
- Has the mission that we are called to as Trace ridge changed because of the pandemic?
I made your name known to them and will continue to make it known, so that the love you have loved me with may be in them and I may be in them. John 17:26
- What do you think it means when Jesus says “so that the love you have loved me with may be in them.”
- What are some ways that we as a group could love the other members in this group?
- What are some tangible ways that you can love your neighbors, friends, and family this week?