UNDERSTANDING THE TRINITY

A GAINT STEP IN SUCCEESSFUL CHRISTIAN LIVING

 

Understanding the Trinity, the fullness of the Godhead is very vital in a solid foundation. To really walk successfully, you have to be grounded in some basic truths. If you are not grounded, You will not make it, you will not have a close walk with God, and be successful in your Christian Life.

What exactly is meant by the term Trinity?

Nelsonís Dictionary states it is the coexistence of the Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit in the unity of the Godhead. Godhead is as English term that describes God, the three persons of God as being one. It means that within the being and activity of the one God, there are three distinct persons. The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. It does not mean that God is a split personality, rather that they are three distinct aspects of the one God.

Deuteronomy 6:4 Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God is one Lord:

The Triune God existed since time began. They have always existed.

The teaching of God in Three Persons is throughout the Bible.

The Father Gives all authority to the Son, The Father serves The Son, The Son serves The Father and the Father and Son defer to the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit

Defers back to both the Father and Son. All working in unity.

Clearly the three distinct person of God are a basic foundational belief.

Letís discuss each person individually.

God the Father:

In todayís society, especially after Sept. 11th, everyone is talking about God. Getting closer to God, how God loves us all and weíre all in the family of God.

Wrong!

In the Old Testament, God is the creator. Genesis 1 tells how God created everything and it was good.

Adam gave that away, He gave away Godís relationship to man.

God chose Abraham as the Father of His people, the Israelites.

God is spoken of as the Father of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob throughout the Old Testament. He is not the father of the Canaanites, the Egyptians, the Amorites, or any other people listed in the Bible. He is the Father of Israel.

Paul in all opens all His letters with something like this.

Ephesians 1:2:3:5 (read)

What is significant about this passage, He says Grace and peace from God our Father.

God is our Father, not because He created us, but because we are his, through our belief in Jesus Christ. We are born again into the Family of God.

John1:12 (read)

1 John 3:1 (read)

Jesus taught us to pray to The Father.

-- Revised Standard

Matthew 6:6,7,8,9: But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. "And in praying do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Pray then like this: Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

One important thing to remember is that this lesson in prayer is taught to the Jews, It is still an old covenant prayer. Jesus was talking to His disciples, Jews, when He taught this prayer. He had not yet ascended to the Father and offered the gift of salvation to the Gentiles.

However, now we have the right to pray to the Father, because we have been born again into the family of God.

Romans 8:15-17.

 

It is a truly wonderful gift God has given. That we confess Jesus as Lord, our relationship with God the Father is restored and we are born again into the Family of God.

Galatians 4:4-6:

"But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father."

Why is the Fatherhood of God important to your walk?

1. God the Father predestined us to adoption as Sons by Christ Jesus:

Ephesians 1:5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,

2. God the Father is the author of the birth of Jesus, the Son of God.

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

3. God the Father establishes our Salvation:

1 Corinthians 1:21: For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

Galatians 4:4-6:

"But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father."

 

 

And God the Father was the active force behind the resurrection of Christ and because of Christís resurrection, He is the Force behind our resurrection, because we believe in Christ.

Romans 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

 

Jesus the Son of God

The second person in the Trinity.

 

We will discuss five titles of Jesus Christ:

1. Jesus the foundation of our faith

2. Jesus the Son of God.

3. Jesus the Son of Man.

4 Jesus our Sacrifice.

5. Jesus our High Priest, Advocate.

Jesus - The Foundation of Our Belief:

Jesus Christ is the one sent by God, the one prophesied by the prophets and witnessed by the apostles, the one sent to die for our sins, to forgive us, to judge us and to save us. He is the one sent to reconcile us with God the Father

and with each other.

Paul tells us in 1Cor. 3:17:

"for no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is in

Jesus Christ."

Jesus is the foundation of our belief. He lived in the world for our sake He became a man and lived among men. What He did he did for men to see. What He said, He said for men to hear. He came to show us the way back to God.

2 Timothy 2:19:

"Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity."

Hebrews 12:2:

"Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of Our Faith." Heb. 12:2.

What sets us apart from other religions is our belief in Jesus, the son of God.

Jesus the Son of God:

Jesus of Nazareth was the Son of God. The term Son of God refers to His origin and divinity. He was the Only begotten Son of God.

Both the Gospel of Matthew and Luke describe His Birth.

Matthew stresses His birth as fulfillment of prophecy, That the Messiah will be of the line of David. He lists his genealogy to prove this, that Joseph was of the line of David.

Luke stresses the divinity and divine nature of His birth and the Son of God.

Both accounts are important because they explain how Jesusí birth was the fulfillment of all prophecy.

2 Samuel 7:12-14:

And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build an house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom for ever. I will be his father, and he shall be my sonÖ

Isaiah 7:14:

Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

Micah 5:2:

But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.

The most important concept we need to grasp is that Jesus Christ was the human form in which God dwelt among men. He was the "Anointed One."

The messiah promised in the Old Testament.

Jesus is part of God the Father. He is and was with God the Father since the beginning of time.

John 1:1:

" In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."

John 1:14:

"And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth."

When the Bible says the "Word became flesh", it means God Himself took on a human form and dwelt among men. This is referred to as the incarnation.

He was the Son of God before He became Jesus of Nazareth.

He is the Son of God as opposed to the Son of Adam.

He is not a descendant of Adam, prone to sin or sinful in nature.

No man before or after was born the way Jesus was born. Jesus was the Son of God before He became Jesus of Nazareth. He was to perform the Will of God.

He left his heavenly dwelling place with the Father and came into the world as a man for one purpose, to give His Life as a ransom for us. To seek and to save the lost. He did this willingly, as a man not as the Son of God.

The fact that He was the Son of God was confirmed at His baptism.

Matthew 3:16-17:

" And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."

Mark 1:10 -11: " And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him: And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."

This is when Jesusí ministry began. When The spirit descended on Him and He was filled with the Holy spirit.

He was filled with the Holy Spirit as a man, not as the Son of God.

He walked in the fullness of the Holy Spirit, not as the Son of God, but as the Son of Man.

Jesus the Son of Man:

The Son of Man is the unique title Jesus used to refer to himself.

It refers to His Humanity.

Jesus of Nazareth was the human form God took to dwell among men. The Son of Man also refers to his lineage from the line of David.

When Phillip brought Nathaniel to Jesus, declaring Jesus as the Messiah, Jesus said. read John 1: 43 -51.

-- Revised Standard

John 3:13 -14:

No one has ascended into heaven but he who descended from heaven, the Son of man. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of man be lifted up,

John 5:26-27:

For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.

John 8:28:

Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.

Even as the Son of Man He continues in His divine relationship as the Son of God.

Jesus was filled with and empowered with the Holy Spirit.

This enabled Him to fulfill His calling, to seek and to save the lost. The Jews first.

To do this he:

Performed miracles: As the Son of Man:

Matt. 8: 14-17 He cured Peterís mother-in- law.

Mark 1: 4o-45 He healed the leper.

Luke 9: 9-17 He fed the 5000.

John 6: 15-21 He walked on water.

Mark 5: 21-24 He raised Jairusí daughter from the dead.

He was like a man in everyway.

He was tempted, yet without sin.

Three of the gospels describe Jesus temptation in the wilderness.

Matt. 4:1-11, Mark 1:12, Luke 4:1-13.

I believe that this is only one example of the temptations, he suffered. Satan was trying to give Jesus the easy way out from the very beginning. He was giving Him easy answers. Which is what we want in our lives. The easy way, the short cut.

 

Hebrews 4:15:

" For we have not a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin."

Hebrews 2:18:

"For because he himself has suffered and been tempted, he is able to help those who are tempted."

Jesus would be no good to us as our intercessor if He had not been tempted in everyway, not just in these three areas.

As the Son of Man, He was betrayed by man, suffered and died.

-- Revised Standard

Matthew 12:40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the whale, so will the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

Matthew 26: 23-25 During the Last Supper, Jesus identifies Judas as His betrayer.

Judas betrayed the Son of Man, the Lord of Glory!

1 Corinthians 2:8:

"Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory."

Jesus as the Son of Man was obedient unto death.

Jesus knew that at the time of His death He would become sin and be separated from God, He would experience spiritual death. God is Holy and cannot look on Sin. Sin is as abomination to God, it is separation from God.

Matthew 26:38 -39:

"Then he said to them, "My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me." And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, "My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt."

The cup He wants to pass, is total separation from God, not His death, not being crucified, but spiritual death!

.

Matthew 27:46:

"And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, "Eli, Eli, lama sabach-thani?" that is, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?"

Jesus as the Son of Man was God in the Flesh, fulfilling His calling by the empowerment of The Holy Spirit, being obedient unto death.

Jesus our Sacrifice:

We are separated from God because of sin. God is Holy and cannot look on sin.

It is an abomination to Him.

Godís reaction to sin is judgment! The punishment for sin is spiritual death.

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

The sin of man brings on the judgment of God and the Death of Christ turns that judgment away.

In the Old Testament a sacrifice or the shedding of blood is the provision God made to turn away judgment. It has always been necessary for the atonement of sin.

Atonement is the act by which God restores our relationship with Him. It is to be

At-onement with him.

The sacrifice was the ritual with which the Hebrew people offered the blood or flesh of an animal as a substitute payment for sin. They were obligated because of there sins to offer another life rather than their own.

Leviticus 17:11:

" For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul."

Jesus as our sacrifice , is how we have redemption.

Ephesians 1:7:

" In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;"

In the Old Testament worship was based upon the sin offering, a sacrifice which was usually a lamb.

In the Old Testament, God instructed Abraham to sacrifice his son, Isaac.

 

 

Genesis 22:8:

" And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together."

When we use the phrase Lamb of God, we are thinking of the sacrifice provided by God to make atonement for all- The sacrifice of Jesus of Nazareth.

When God delivered the Hebrew from Egypt- the final plague was the death of the firstborn. To prevent the death of the firstborn of Israel, the Hebrew had to kill a lamb without blemish and paint the blood on the doorpost.

Exodus 12:13:

" And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt."

This is the Passover.

This applies to us because Christ became our Passover.

1 Corinthians 5:7:

" Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us:"

John 1:29:

"The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world."

1 Peter 1:19:

"But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:"

God ordained the way for people to obtain cleansing of sin, to reestablish our right standing with Him,

Through the sacrifice and cleansing of the blood of Jesus.

Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice.

He would take upon himself sin and guilt and accomplish redemption for His people.

The blood of the sacrifice- Jesusí blood- was applied to the mercy seat in the Holy of Holies on the Day of Atonement as a covering for our sin, cleansing us to enter into the presence of God.

It does not erase- it blots out by covering completely our sins so that we can enter into the presence of God.

Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

-- Revised Standard

Hebrews 10:10 And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Jesus died- shed His blood to cover our sins, was buried and three days later

Through the power of the working of God, arose from the dead!

Jesus our High Priest/Advocate:

After Jesus arose from the dead, He was seen by Mary Magdalene:

John 20:17:

"Jesus said to her, "Do not hold me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brethren and say to them, I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God."

He was going to the Father to sprinkle His blood in the Holy of Holies.

Jesus became flesh to die for us.

He arose from the dead to redeem us.

He ascended into heaven to open our way to the presence of God.

When Jesus died on the cross, His own blood was shed and sprinkled by Himself

As Godís High Priest on behalf of mankind.

Hebrews 7:21,22:

" Those who formerly became priests took their office without an oath, but this one was addressed with an oath, "The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind, 'Thou art a priest for ever.'"

This makes Jesus the surety of a better covenant.

Every believer should know and understand that the Living Lord appears on behalf of the believer before the Throne of God all the time. We have a personal

Representative or advocate who continuously intercedes for us. This priest is the Lord Jesus Christ.

Romans 5:1,2:

"THEREFORE, SINCE we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in our hope of sharing the glory of God."

Hebrews 7:26 :

"For it was fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, blameless, unstained, separated from sinners, exalted above the heavens"

Hebrews 10:10-16 read from NKJV

 

1 John 2:1:

"MY LITTLE children, I am writing this to you so that you may not sin; but if any one does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous;"

Hebrews 2:17,18:

"For because he himself has suffered and been tempted, he is able to help those who are tempted. Therefore he had to be made like his brethren in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make expiation for the sins of the people."

Jesus understands our weaknesses and temptations.

He is always interceding for us.

Nothing can happen to you as a believer for which Jesus does not understand and intercede. Nothing takes Him by surprise! We have an advocate with the Father Jesus Christ, HE is always in the presence of the Father.

1 Timothy 2:5:

"For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,"

One important fact we need to remember is that Jesus promised to send a Helper, the Holy Spirit.

John 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

John 15:26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:

Luke 24:49 And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.

 

 

 

The Holy Spirit

The Third Person of the Trinity

When we are saved The Holy Spirit dwells in us, generating new life. We are Born again.

The Spirit of God dwells in us.

1 Corinthians 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

1 Corinthians 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

 

2 Corinthians 6:16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

The Holy Spirit was present, just as the other two Persons of the Trinity were present since the beginning of time.

Genesis 1:2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

In the Old Testament The Holy Spirit performed certain functions at certain times but did not dwell continuously as it does under the new covenant. It inspired or moved men when God deemed it necessary.

Numbers 27:18 And the Lord said unto Moses, Take thee Joshua the son of Nun, a man in whom is the spirit, and lay thine hand upon him;

Judges 6:11,12: And there came an angel of the Lord, and sat under an oak which was in Ophrah, that pertained unto Joash the Abiezrite: and his son Gideon threshed wheat by the winepress, to hide it from the Midianites. And the angel of the Lord appeared unto him, and said unto him, The Lord is with thee, thou mighty man of valour.

The Holy Spiritís role in the New Covenant is much different. He dwells in us, He is with us continuously.

Consider these two important aspect of Holy Spiritís actions in us.

1. Through the acceptance of Jesus as our Savior, the Spirit comes into us and regenerates us, we are born again, we are new creatures.

2. The Baptism in the Holy Spirit is the experience subsequent to salvation as manifested by speaking in tongues.

Is the infilling of the Holy Spirit necessary for salvation?

Absolutely!

Without it you cannot be born again. You must be born of the Spirit.

Is the Baptism in the Holy spirit necessary?

NO, but the constant indwelling of the Power of God in you life manifested by the baptism of the Holy Spirit is necessary for you to live a complete life as a Christian!

 

WHY?

The Holy Spirit performs constant abiding functions in us:

He:

1. Regenerates us: John 3:3-8

2. Indwells in us: Romans 8:11, 1Cor. 3:16

3. Serves as our comforter: John 16:7, Act 9:31

4. Serves as our Helper- Guide: Gal 5:16

5. Serves as our teacher: 1Cor. 2 : 12-13., John 14:26

 

The Holy Spirit anoints us to:

1. Increase our understanding: 1 John 2: 20

2. Increase our power: John 24: 45-49,

3. Guide us: John 24: 45-49

4. Sanctify us: John 16:13

5. Assure us of our salvation: 2Thess. 2:13, Rom. 8:16.

6. Have discernment: 1Cor. 2 10-16, read from NKJV>

1John 4: 1-6

7. To bear fruit: Gal 5:22-23

8. Be convicted of sin. John 16: 7-8

9. Overcome temptation 1Cor. 16:13, 1 John 4:4

10. To pray: Rom. 8: 26

11. To serve Acts 1:8, Luke 24:49 and Acts 2:14-33

One of the most important acts a Christian can do is accept the baptism of the Holy Sprit and walk in the fullness of God.