Here’s another set of notes. The studies were very discussion based – and they were good discussions!
Holy Holy Holy Lord God Almighty
Early in the morning our song of praise shall be
Holy Holy Holy merciful and mighty
God in three persons glorious Trinity
What’s wrong with this verse – anything? Here it is again:
1. Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
Early in the morning our song shall rise to thee.
Holy, holy, holy! Merciful and mighty,
God in three persons, blessed Trinity!
2. Holy, holy, holy! All the saints adore thee,
casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea;
cherubim and seraphim falling down before thee,
which wert, and art, and evermore shalt be.
3. Holy, holy, holy! Though the darkness hide thee,
though the eye of sinful man thy glory may not see,
only thou art holy; there is none beside thee,
perfect in power, in love and purity.
4. Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
All thy works shall praise thy name, in earth and sky and sea.
Holy, holy, holy! Merciful and mighty,
God in three persons, blessed Trinity.
I trust we will see why this is important.
1Ti 1:11 According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust.
Tit 3:3 For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. (not so with the blessed God existing in complete harmony)
Tit 3:4 But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared,
Tit 3:5 he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit,
Tit 3:6 whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior,
Tit 3:7 so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
Are there any Trinitarian verses?
1Pe 1:2 according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood: May grace and peace be multiplied to you.
Mat 3:16 And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him;
Mat 3:17 and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”
Act 7:55 But he, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.
Act 7:56 And he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”
Act 7:57 But they cried out with a loud voice and stopped their ears and rushed together at him.
2Co 13:14 The Grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the Love of God and the Fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
Mat 28:19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
1Jn 1:3 that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.
There’s a strong argument I think, that when we have opportunity to speak of God we should seek to mention the Trinity – for this reason: God is other than we are – this is radically countercultural. The politics of the other and how we must be inclusive etc etc. Well this has also been applied to God. God is not allowed to be a judge, wrathful, he must love everyone equally and so we end up with a God shaped into our own image rather than the other way round. IMPORTANT – Creator / Creature Distinction.
I’m a Trinitarian, are we Trinitarian? Is the Trinity just a doctrine that we give assent to – or is there more to it than that? Is it central or not. Is it important? Are we practicing Trinitarians?
Do our services reflect the Trinity in or worship? Should it be? How should it be so?
Judaism; The Shema is an affirmation of Judaism and a declaration of faith in one God. The first line of the Shema, “Hear O Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One” (Shema Yisrael Adonai eloheinu Adonai ehad) (Deuteronomy 6:4) is repeated throughout the prayer services. It is said in the morning blessings, in the musaf Amidah of Shabbat and holidays, when the Torah is taken out of the Ark on Shabbat and holidays, as a bedtime prayer, as part of the deathbed confessional, and at various other times.
Islam: The Shahadah, also spelled Šehadet (Arabic: الشهادة aš-šahāda audio (help·info)) (from the verb šahida, “he witnessed”), means “to know and believe without suspicion, as if witnessed”/testification; it is the name of the Islamic creed.This is also called as “Kalema-tut-Shahadat” or “Kalema”. The Shahadah is the Muslim declaration of belief in the oneness of Allahu ta’âlâ and acceptance of Muhammad as God’s prophet. The Sunni declaration reads:
لا اله الا الله محمد رسول الله (lâ ilâha illallâh, Muḥammadur rasûlullâh) (in Arabic)
There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is his messenger. (in English)
In tradition of the Shia Muslims, there is the optional addition of “و عليٌ وليُّ الله”, transliterated as Ali –un- wali -ul –lah ["Ali is the friend/representative/care taker (cf. Wali) of God"].
A single honest recitation of the Shahadah in Arabic is all that is required for a person to become a Muslim. This declaration, or statement of faith, is called the Kalima, which literally means “word”. Recitation of the Shahadah the “oath/testimony”, is the most important of the Five Pillars of Islam for Muslims. Non-Muslims wishing to convert to Islam do so by a public recitation of the creed. Technically the Shi’a do not consider the Shahadah to be a separate pillar, but connect it to the Aqidah. The complete shahadah cannot be found in the Quran, but comes from hadiths.
Christianity; 1Tim 2:5 For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, v6 who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time. v7 For this I was appointed a preacher and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.
God on the Cross – should we be more careful with our language? E.g. Jesus pays / God pays – Be careful that we don’t slip into Modalism and end up putting the Father on the Cross.
Taking a fresh look at the Trinity has made me think about the balance. E.g. how many Trinitarian hymns are there?
Our full Salvation depends on the Trinity. No Trinity means no Salvation.
Community, Society, Family, Communication, Love, (respect, subordination of function, order?) All these are grounded in the doctrine of the Trinity. Allah has none of these attributes within his being.
We should work towards consistency.
On Creeds & Councils – we should be careful to note that they were not making up doctrines but were confirming doctrines already taught in the Scriptures. They do not have the authority of Scripture but are derived from Scripture. There were the Seven Ecumenical councils drawing from churches all over the world at the time before major divisions occurred.
How do we understand the Trinity – Discuss. How would you describe the Trinity?
Is our ‘fellowship’ then to be a reflection of the ‘fellowship’ found in the Godhead? In fact, more than that for, ‘indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ’. Here is an ellipsis concerning the Holy Spirit – not named but present. 1Jn 1:3 ‘that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.’
How would you illustrate this? Is the doctrine of the Trinity Biblical? How would you demonstrate this?
Someone comes to you and says ‘The Trinity, what’s that all about – it doesn’t make sense. BTW. This could be a Christian asking this!
|KJV. ‘when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;’
||ESV. ‘After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,’
||NASB. ‘When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,’
||LITT. ‘having made purification of our sins through Himself, He sat down on the right of the Majesty on high,’
||NIV. ‘After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.’
I include this quotation from an anti-Trinitarian. ‘If Trinitarians do not interpret El to be the entire Godhead, then one member of the Godhead is claiming to be “Almighty” over the other two members. Does this manner of interpretation remain consistent with the basic truths of the Bible? It is not consistent with the Bible, nor with common sense!
Clearly this guy has not read the Creeds that answer this.
Or a JW, Mormon, Christadelpian says, ‘Where do you find that in the Bible? You know neither the power of God … (Mark 12:24)
Or a Muslim might say the Trinity is Blasphemy or incoherent or illogical – what do we say?
Why is the Trinity so important for the Gospel – and part of the Christian hope.
Why is the Trinity important? Is it important? Should it be important?
The language of the Trinity is I think you will agree one of Family. It is of harmony. He is the Happy (blessed) God. It is of Harmony, of Love, of Fellowship, of Relationship, of Communion, of Communication, of Blessedness. As believers this is the circumstance, the blessedness that the Gospel invites us into. Our sin prevents us from fully entering into this, but, as a prospective before us, as a hope (certainty) is this not all that our (and probably everyone else) hearts long for!
The love of God must be very great if the cost to bring sinners into This was at the expense of punishing His own Son. Yet here we do not see or find a disharmony in the relationship as all three persons of the God head are equally involved and united in the mission of Redemption! This fact can be overshadowed at times by an over preoccupation only with Jesus. Please do not misunderstand me here. I think there are times when the involvement of the Trinity in our Salvation can be overlooked. Some statements can push to far.
Is our ‘fellowship’ then to be a reflection of the ‘fellowship’ found in the Godhead? In fact, more than that for, ‘indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ’. 1Jn 1:3 that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.
It is not added “and with the Holy Ghost”; for it is by the Holy Ghost or Spirit of the Father and Son in us, that we are enabled to have fellowship with the Father and Son (compare 1Jo_3:24) 1Jn 3:14 We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers (Love: this is a Trinitarian thing to do – the essence of the Trinity). Whoever does not love abides in death.
Some Questions we may be asked
Is the Trinity a contradiction? Is the Trinity illogical? Is the Trinity Un-reasonable?
The law of Non-contradiction – ‘nothing can be and not be at the same time and in the same respect’
The Trinity is Three Who’s and One What (essence) Therefore, this is not a contradiction.
The Athanasian Creed
1. Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the catholic faith;Which faith except every one do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly.
2. And the catholic faith is this: That we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity;
3. Neither confounding the persons, nor dividing the substance
4. For there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son and another of the Holy Spirit.
5. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit is all one, the glory equal, the majesty co-eternal.
6. Such as the Father is, such is the Son and such is the Holy Spirit.
7. The Father uncreated, the Son uncreated, and the Holy Spirit uncreated.
8. The Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible, and the Holy Spirit incomprehensible.
9. The Father eternal, the Son eternal, and the Holy Spirit eternal.
10. And yet they are not three eternals, but one eternal.
11. As also there are not three uncreated nor three incomprehensibles, but one uncreated and one incomprehensible.
12. So likewise the Father is almighty, the Son almighty, and the Holy Spirit almighty;
13. And yet they are not three almighties, but one almighty.
14. So the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God;
15. And yet they are not three Gods, but one God.
16. So likewise the Father is Lord, the Son Lord, and the Holy Spirit Lord;
17. And yet they are not three Lords, but one Lord.
18. For like as we are compelled by the Christian verity to acknowledge every person by himself to be God and Lord;
19. so are we forbidden by the catholic religion to say: There are three Gods or three Lords.
20. The Father is made of none, neither created nor begotten.
21. The Son is of the Father alone; not made nor created, but begotten (that is: eternaly generated).
22. The Holy Spirit is of the Father and of the Son; neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding.
23. So there is one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three Sons; one Holy Spirit, not three Holy Spirits.
24. And in this Trinity none is afore, nor after another; none is greater, or less than another.
25. But the whole three persons are co-eternal, and co-equal.
26. So that in all things, as aforesaid, the Unity in Trinity and the Trinity in Unity is to be worshipped.
27. He therefore that will be saved must thus think of the Trinity.
28. Furthermore it is necessary to everlasting salvation that he also believe rightly the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ.
29. For the right faith is that we believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and man.
30. God of the substance of the Father, begotten before the worlds; and made of the substance of His mother, born in the world.
31. Perfect God and perfect man, of a reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting.
32. Equal to the Father as touching His Godhead, and inferior to the Father as touching His manhood.
33. Who, although He is God and man, yet He is not two, but one Christ.
34. One, not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh, but by taking of the manhood into God.
35. One altogether, not by the confusion of substance, but by unity of person.
36. For as the reasonable soul and flesh is one man, so God and man is one Christ;
37. Who suffered for our salvation, descended into hell, rose again the third day from the dead;
38. He ascended into heaven, He sitteth on the right hand of the Father, God Almighty;
39. From thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.
40. At whose coming all men shall rise again with their bodies;
41. And shall give account of their own works.
42. And they that have done good shall go into life everlasting, and they that have done evil into everlasting fire.
43. This is the catholic faith, which except a man believe faithfully, he cannot be saved.
Read Full Post »