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The Mystery of The Holy Trinity
believe that all things are possible with God?
Who are we to tell God that the Trinity is possible or not?
Can we solve the mystery of God?
According to the Christian religion, there is only one God and He is made up of The Holy Trinity---God the Father, Word of God made Flesh in the Son Jesus Christ, and God the Holy Spirit---One God in three persons. How to explain this?
Yes, how do we explain to a primitive person in the jungle that we can watch a football game that is going on thousands of miles away instantaneously in our living room? Most of us take it on faith that if we have the proper TV set and the TV station is link via satellite to the game, we can switch on our TV set and watch the game. It is a mystery to the primitive person. It is also a mystery to most of us how this can be done. Similarly, The Holy Trinity is a mystery of God’s love for us. For God is love and He shows His love for us in the person of His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, on earth: "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16 NKJV). And God fills within our heart His Holy Spirit to transform us to love Him and one another.
Martyn Lloyd-Jones explains about the doctrine of the Holy Trinity as follow:
“In the very first chapter of Genesis you will find the doctrine of the Trinity quite plainly, if you will look for it. Take that name of God---Elohim. It is a plural term. God speaks of Himself in the plural. Do you remember what He says about the creation of man in Genesis 1:26: `Let us make man in our image.' Why is that? There is only one adequate explanation; it is because of the blessed Holy Trinity. It is stated of man in Genesis 3:22: `. .. Behold, the man is become as one of us ...' And then in connection with the Tower of Babel, in Genesis 11:7, we read: `Let us go down, and there confound their language ...' And then you find it in Isaiah chapter 6:8: `Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?' You see, these very terms suggest the Trinity. . . . .
“And you remember, too, the references to the Holy Spirit away back at the beginning of Genesis. We are told that the Spirit `brooded' upon the waste. It was the Spirit who enabled the prophets to speak. It was the Spirit who came upon Bezaleel and enabled him to do skilled work in the building of the tabernacle (Exodus 31:2-5). Thus you see that there is a wealth of teaching in the Old as well as the New Testament with regard to this great doctrine of the Holy Trinity.” (God the Father, God the Son, 90-91)
Christians take The Holy Trinity on faith and I take it on faith too. How come? Why? Well I believe in Jesus Christ. I have faith in Him. What He says I trust and that is good enough for me.
And what did Jesus say? Jesus says:
"The Father and I are one" (John 10:30 TEV).
"Whoever sees Me sees also Him who sent Me" (John 12:45 TEV).
“I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, who will stay with you forever. He is the Spirit, who reveals the truth about God” (John 14:16-17 TEV).
"But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you”(John 14:26 NKJV).
To me, what Jesus is saying is that The Father, Jesus Christ and The Holy Spirit are One---One God in three persons, The Holy Trinity.
Introduction to faith
To start with, we know that without faith, we cannot please God: “No one can please God without faith, for whoever comes to God must have faith that God exists” (Hebrew 11:6 TEV); and we have also to believe that “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching the truth, rebuking error, correcting faults, and giving instruction for right living, so that the person who serves God may be fully qualified and equipped to do every kind of good deed.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17 TEV) And that "Everything written in the Scriptures was written to teach us, in order that we might have hope through the patience and encouragement which the Scriptures give us." (Romans 15:4 TEV)
We have rebelled (sinned) against God. We are therefore separated from the Holy God. But, God in His love for us has given us a way to put our relationship right with Him again. It is by faith in His Son Jesus Christ, as St Paul says “I have complete confidence in the Gospel; it is God’s power to save all who believe, first the Jews and also the Gentiles. For the Gospel reveals how God puts people right with Himself: it is through faith from beginning to end. As the Scripture says, ‘The person who is put right with God through faith shall live.’”(Romans 1:16-17 TEV)
1. God the Father
1.1 Who is God?
St John tells us "God is love, and those who live in love live in union with God and God lives in union with them"(1 John 4:16 TEV). Again it says, "Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love"(1 John 4:8 TEV).
Mother Teresa reminds us, “We read in Scripture that God speaks of His love for us, ‘I (God) have loved you with an everlasting love’ (Jeremiah 31:3, RSV).
And He also says, ‘I have called you by your name. You are mine. The waters will not drown you. Fire will not burn you. . . You are precious to me. I love you. . . .Even if a mother could forget her child, I will not forget you. I have carved you on the palm of my hand. You are precious to me. I love you.’(Isaiah 43:1-4; 49:15-16) These are the words of God himself for you, for me, for everyone, even for the poorest of the poor. Therefore, every time God looks at His hand, He sees me there. He sees you there too. It is something very beautiful to remember in times of suffering, loneliness, humiliation, and failure.”(A Life for God, 257)
1.2 What has been the understanding of God in history?
Throughout history human beings understanding of God has been a God of fear, punishment, anger and retribution.
1.3 Why God sent His Son Jesus Christ to the world?
God created us in His image and likeness---to love and to be loved. For God is love. We have made such a mess of loving that He had to send His Only Son Jesus Christ to show us how to love as He wanted us to love. God through His Son Jesus Christ shows us the God of love, compassion and mercy.
1.4 What is God doing at the Present Moment?
God has given us a free will to choose to love Him or not to love Him. This is a free gift God has given us when He created us. God respects our choices and He will never, never take away this free choice from us. But God, in His unconditional love for us, continues to knock at our heart and promises to come into our heart if we open up to Him: “Listen! I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come into his house and eat with him.” (Revelation 3:20 TEV)
2. God the Son---Jesus Christ
2.1 Who is Jesus Christ?
Is He just a great religious teacher? Is He a charlatan? Is He mad? Or is He, who He claims He is? Jesus says, “The Father and I are one.”(John 10:30 TEV) “Whoever sees Me sees also Him who sent Me.”(John 12:45 TEV) When Jesus was questioned, “Where is your father?” Jesus answered, “You know neither Me nor my Father. If you knew Me, you would know my Father also.”(John 8:19 TEV) St Paul says, “Christ is the visible likeness of the invisible God.” (Colossians 1:15 TEV) and “God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself. . . .” (2 Corinthians 5:19 NJB) St John tells us: “For those who reject the Son reject the Father; those who accept the Son have the Father also” (1 John 2:23 TEV) and "God showed His love for us by sending His only Son into the world, so that we might have life through Him"(1 John 4:9 TEV). This was clearly emphasized by Jesus, who said, "I have come in order that you might have life---life in all its fullness." (John 10:10 TEV)
Having examined the claims by Jesus and the Bible, C S Lewis comes to the conclusion that, “A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said wouldn’t be a great moral teacher, he’d either be a lunatic---on a level with a man who says he’s a poached egg---or else he’d be the devil of hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was and is the Son of God, or else a mad man or something worse. . . . But don’t let us come up with any patronising nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He hasn’t left that open to us. He didn’t intend to. . . .We are faced then with a frightening alternative. The man we are talking about was (and is,) just what he said or else a lunatic or something worse. Now it seems to me obvious that he was neither a lunatic nor a fiend; and consequently, however strange or terrifying or unlikely it may seem, I have to accept the view that he was and is God. God has landed on this enemy occupied world in human form.” (Mere Christianity, 52-53)
2.2 Why did Jesus Christ come to the world?
Mother Teresa says, “Jesus came into this world for one purpose. He came to give us the good news that God loves us, that God is love, that he loves you, and he loves me. He wants us to love one another as he loves each one of us. Let us love him. How did the Father love him? He gave him to us. How did Jesus love you and me?—--by giving his life. He gave all that he had—--his life---for you and me. He died on the cross because he loved us, and he wants us to love one another as he loves each one of us. When we look at the cross, we know how he loved us. When we look at the manger (during Christmas) we know how he loves us now, you and me, your family, and everybody’s family with a tender love. And God loves us with a tender love. That is all that Jesus came to teach us, the tender love of God. ‘I have called you by your name, you are mine’” (Isaiah 43:1). (A Life for God, 61)
“The whole gospel is very, very simple. Do you love me? Obey my commandments. He’s turning and twisting just to get around to one thing: love one another.” (No Greater Love, 21)
“What was the good news Christ came to announce?
God is love.
God loves each one of us.
God loves me.
God loves you.
God has made you and me for greater things: to love and to be loved. We are not just numbers in the world.” (Loving Jesus, 58)
“Today let us recall the love of God for you and for me. His love is so tender. His love is so great, so real, so living that Jesus came just to teach us that---how to love. Love is not something that fossilizes, but something that lives. Works of love, and declaring love, is the way to peace. And where does this love begin?—--right in our hearts. We must know that we have been created for greater things, not just to be a number in the world, not just to go for diplomas and degrees, this work and that work. We have been created in order to love and to be loved.” (Jesus, The Word to be spoken, June 9)
Henri Nouwen says, “Jesus came to us to help us overcome our fear of God. As long as we are afraid of God, we cannot love God. Love means intimacy, closeness, mutual vulnerability, and a deep sense of safety. But all of those are impossible as long as there is fear. Fear creates suspicion, distance, defensiveness and insecurity.
“The greatest block in the spiritual life is fear. Prayer, meditation, and education cannot come forth out of fear. God is perfect love, and as John the Evangelist writes, ‘Perfect love drives out fear.’(1 John 4:18) Jesus’ central message is that God loves us with an unconditional love and desires our love, free from all fear, in return.” (Bread for the Journey, Feb 29)
3. God the Holy Spirit.
3.1 Who is the Holy Spirit?
The Holy Spirit is more than a power or an influence or the "force". He is the third person of the Holy Trinity. He is a divine person and worthy of our love and surrender. He is our ever-present friend, comforter, counsellor and helper. He abides within us.
As an example of how the Holy Spirit helps us: Normally, we use standard mantra to help ourselves to change. We say,
I am patient
I am not fearful
I am not depressed
I can control my temper
But subconsciously we know that we are not what we say we are and so we sabotage ourselves. We find that we do not change.
However, if we say:
The Holy Spirit in me makes me patient
The Holy Spirit in me makes me brave
The Holy Spirit in me uplifts me
The Holy Spirit in me helps me control my temper
Our minds can believe this because we give the Holy Spirit the glory. We acknowledge that the credit goes to the Holy Spirit and slowly we will see ourselves change. In this way the Holy Spirit helps to transform us.
3.2 The Deity of the Holy Spirit
The term Deity, when referring to the Holy Spirit, means that He is God. This fact is clearly revealed in the Scripture in many ways.
A. Divine names given to Him.
1. He is called God [But Peter said, "Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself? While it remained, was it not your own? And after it was sold, was it not in your own control? Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God."(Acts 5:3-4 NKJV)].
2. He is called the Lord [But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.(2 Corinthians 3:18 NKJV)].
B. Divine attributes ascribed to Him.
1. He is eternal [how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?(Hebrews 9:14 NKJV)].
2. He is omnipresent [Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning, And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, Even there Your hand shall lead me, And Your right hand shall hold me.(Psalms 139:7-10 NKJV)].
3. He is omniscient [But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. (1 Corinthians 2:10-11 NKJV)].
4. He is omnipotent [And the angel answered and said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.(Luke 1:35 NKJV)].
C. Divine works are ascribed to Him.
1. He created the world [The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.(Genesis 1:2 NKJV) You send forth Your Spirit, they are created; And You renew the face of the earth.(Psalms 104:30 NKJV)].
2. Regeneration done by Him [Jesus answered, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. "That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born again.' The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit."(John 3:5-8 NKJV)].
3. Resurrection done by Him [But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.(Romans 8:11 NKJV)].
3.3 What is the Work of the Holy Spirit?
A. In the world, the Holy Spirit convicts unbelieving men and women of their sin, of God's righteousness and truth, and of God's judgment [And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.(John 16:8-11 NKJV); Also “No one can confess ‘Jesus is Lord,’ unless he is guided by the Holy Spirit.” (1 Corinthians 12:3 TEV)].
B. In relation to believers
1. He regenerates the believer [Jesus answered and said to him, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." Nicodemus said to Him, "How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?" Jesus answered, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.(John 3:3-5 NKJV)].
2. He indwells the believer [Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?(1 Corinthians 6:19 NKJV); But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.(Romans 8:9 NKJV)].
3. He seals the believer [In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.(Ephesians 1:13-14 NKJV)].
4. He empowers the believer to be his witness [But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth(Acts 1:8 NKJV); And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.(Acts 4:31 NKJV)].
5. He gives strength in the inward man of the believer [that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man(Ephesians 3:16 NKJV)].
6. He sets the believer free from the law of sin and death [For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.(Romans 8:2 NKJV)]
7. He produces fruit in a believers life [But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.(Galatians 5:22-23 NKJV)].
8. He teaches the believer and guides to the truth ["However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.”(John 16:13 NKJV) "But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.”(John 14.26 NKJV)].
9. He gives his gifts to believers [There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills(1 Corinthians 12:4-11 NKJV); And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance(Acts 2:4 NKJV); And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied.(Acts 19:6 NKJV)].
C. In relation to the scriptures
1. He is the author of the Scriptures [knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit(2 Peter 1:20-21 NKJV). All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work(2 Timothy 3:16-17 NKJV)].
2. He gives wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Christ [that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him,(Ephesians 1:17 NKJV)]
3. He interprets the deep things of God to us [But as it is written: "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him. But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. These things we also speak, not in words which man's wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”(1 Corinthians 2:9-14 NKJV); "He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. "All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you.”(John 16:14-15 NKJV)].
D. In relation to Jesus
1. Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit [And the angel answered and said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.(Luke 1:35 NKJV); Jesus was led by the Spirit Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.(Matthew 4:1 NKJV)].
2. Jesus spoke the exact words of God, because the Father gave Him the Spirit without measure ["For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God does not give the Spirit by measure.”(John 3:34 NKJV)].
3. Jesus sacrificed His life through the Eternal Spirit [how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?(Hebrews 9:14 NKJV)].
4. Jesus was resurrected by the Holy Spirit [and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.(Romans 1:4 NKJV); But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.(Romans 8:11 NKJV)].
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