By Don Bantum
We often hear of and read about “The Trinity.” What does it mean?
In Christianity, the term is used in an attempt to explain the Godhead. God is expressed in three persons, yet one being, as in God the Father, and God the Son, Jesus Christ, and God the Holy Spirit.
1 IN THE BEGINNING GOD created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. (Genesis 1)
26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” (Genesis 1)
In the first verse of the Bible we read, “In the beginning GOD...” In the second verse we are introduced to the Holy Spirit.
God mentions “us” in the 26th verse of the Bible’s first chapter, before the creation of man. Who does He mean? God was speaking to somebody, but to whom? We also see we were created in the image of God; in his likeness. This same “us” issue is addressed by the apostle John, in the beginning of his version of the Gospel of Jesus Christ:
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning.
3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. (John 1)
Though I had read it many times, I remember the first time I actually heard what God was saying here. My jaw dropped and I was dumbfounded for a moment, as my mind wrestled with this new concept. I saw many things taking place here, not the least of which was the fact that
JESUS CHRIST IS GOD!
Do you think that piece of information might have been of some significance to a believer?
Next, I began to wonder how that information had eluded me all my life; and worse yet, how had it managed to elude all those ministers and pastors, Sunday school teachers, Bible Study Groups and people I’d looked up to for guidance all my life? How is it they could have overlooked such a monumental piece of information?
I became disillusioned with the whole church building worship mentality. I realized those people were as clueless about it as I had been. And I was just a kid.
When I saw this, I was actually sitting in church; bored out of my socks at the ritual I was taking part in for no good reason. While it may have made the people on the platform feel good about themselves, it wasn’t doing much of anything for the rest of us.
How can I make that assumption? Well, if one spends most of one’s life in “churches,” associating with various denominations, and after all those years one still doesn’t know who Jesus Christ really is, it eventually becomes clear that ignorance of his true identity is being perpetuated. Not only is what’s being taught lacking in complete truth, but even more sad is what isn’t being taught.
How are you to place saving faith in Jesus, if you don’t even know who Jesus really is? And how about your family, your wife your children, or grandchildren who are ALL looking to you for answers? You can’t give them what you don’t have, and as the spiritual head of your house, how can you advise them if you yourself are lost? We are saved by faith. Faith in what? Faith in Truth, not error. Who is this Jesus that went to a cross in your place? If you don’t realize Jesus is God, and you have some Jesus that isn’t God, I’m sorry; you’re lost, until or unless you come to the knowledge of truth...not error.
You may be thinking, “But gee, they are singing my favorite hymns every week. I tithe and I’m involved in all kinds of good works. I’m on the pastor’s speed dial; when he wants something I’m right there. I go to the most beautiful church in town and many leading citizens are there. I attend all the potlucks, and provide blankets for the poor and food for the homeless. I furnish donuts for the Bible study and serve with the choir. I teach Sunday school and the list goes on and on.
I’m sorry, but if you don’t KNOW who Jesus is, it’s impossible to place saving faith in HIM. So in your mind, how important is getting to really know JESUS and experiencing a real relationship with the One who hung on a cross in YOUR place? So, belonging to the most prestigious church in town isn’t enough? In a word, NO!
You may not be the spiritual leader of your family, but you are the spiritual head of yourself. If you aren’t being fed truth you can put saving faith in, then it’s time to go someplace where they are preaching truth. Or how about this, just stay home and read the Bible on your own, AND ALLOW GOD HIMSELF TO TEACH YOU. He won’t mislead you, or leave anything necessary out of your education.
He also hasn’t come to rob you of your family’s income, under the pretense of giving you truth.
His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. (2 Peter 1:3)
Can you see this? Jesus hasn’t come to TAKE, HE HAS COME TO GIVE. He loves you so much, he gave up his very life and died in YOUR PLACE. Do you think any of those building folks would do that? The vast majority of “churches” today, like yesterday, are looking for financial support. They want to be paid. They want to make a profit and a good living, and when they retire, they want you to keep right on paying them. Do you think any of them are looking to die for you? Think again. Jesus did, and He’s the one that you need a relationship with. Nobody cares for you like Jesus, and Jesus will never disappoint you, or withhold any good thing from you. Jesus gives you all HIS BEST.
So whether you decide to remain in a “denomination” is up to you. But your salvation depends on YOU taking responsibility for your own spiritual life. Take the trouble to get to know Jesus. Trust me when I say nothing is more important than faith in Jesus. And you cannot place faith in a Jesus you don’t even know.
So make it your number one priority to read the New Covenant, which is found from Acts 2 through Hebrews. And those are but little epistles, or letters, which should be read in their entirety from beginning to end. Just like you’d read a letter from the person whom you love most in this world. You wouldn’t read a love letter a verse or two at a time, and then next month read another and hope to ever expect to know what that letter’s about. Read it all in context, and read it again and again, until you fully understand what it says, as well as what it means. Its the very foundation for life everlasting. After that, you can read whatever you wish of the rest of the Bible. But until you understand who you are under the New Covenant, who Jesus is, and what it is he came to do, the rest of the Bible will just serve to confuse you. So make getting to know Jesus in a real and personal way the greatest priority in your life. Your life depends on it, as well as the lives of your family, and those you chance to meet.
You can be an ambassador for Jesus if he is first in your life. He will lead you, and be with you forever. Don’t put anything else before HIM. He must be FIRST.
Let me say this one more time — Its time all of us begin taking responsibility for our own lives and our relationship with Jesus Christ, who is GOD!
Back to those denominational churches, people came alive when the singing program began, because they were allowed to actively participate for a few minutes. There was hardly ever any real information coming forth from the congregational hierarchy; usually just a nice little story designed to play with our emotions, as were the hymns we sang. It all had a purpose, which seemed to be two-fold: First, to get everybody down to the altar again. Second, to net as large an “offering” as possible from those in attendance. It was considered a good service if they drew many back down to the altar to beg and plead with God for forgiveness, and if they received considerable funds. So it was basically a situation of nickels and noses.
Why was I basing my spiritual growth on anything MAN had to offer? I read the Bible every day with my family, as had been my custom since long before I was married. But I seemed to be at odds with what I was hearing from the pulpit most of the time. So why was I attending “church?” I had to ask myself if I wanted to be taught by God or man? I decided I wanted to be taught by God alone.
So I stopped attending orginized religion altogether, and continued to enjoy church at home. Our family discovered God’s messages for us, together, along with whoever else joined us. It’s amazing what you can learn when you rely on God to provide the information He wants you to have at any given time.
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. (1 John 1:7)
This is only revealed in Jesus Christ. If you are in the light, that is to say, in JESUS, you’ll see it. But if you are still in darkness, which is where the ‘world’ has always been, and you don’t belong to Jesus, you won’t be able to see or understand the truth of God’s word. The things of God are Spiritually discerned, and if the Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, you too, will live, and HE WILL LEAD YOU INTO ALL TRUTH!
The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High (GOD) will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. (Luke 1:35)
Now here is the Godhead all in one verse of scripture. “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High (GOD) will overshadow you. So the Holy One to be born (JESUS) will be called the Son of God. This is the Trinity; Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It doesn’t get much plainer than that.
“I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me will come one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. (Matthew 3:11)
But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; he is guilty of an eternal sin.” (Mark 3:29)
For all those folks who may be wondering what the unpardonable sin is, it’s rejecting the Holy Spirit. He is the last witness. God came, man rejected Him, he sent His Son in the person of Jesus Christ and they hung him on a cross hoping to kill him and be done with him. Now the last witness to come is the Holy Spirit. If anyone rejects the Holy Spirit, he or she will never be forgiven, because there are no more witnesses to come. They have in fact rejected the fullness of the Godhead.
In the verse below, we again see the Godhead:
At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure. (Luke 10:21)
We, who have come to Jesus by faith in his name, and the gospel message of his death, burial, and resurrected life on the third day, are his little children, and we are one with the Father, because HE has placed us into his Spiritual Body.
5 “Now I am going to him who sent me, (God the Father) yet none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going? 6 Because I have said these things, you are filled with grief. 7 But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor (God the Holy Spirit) will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. 8 When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me; 10 in regard to righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; 11 and in regard to judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned. (John 16)
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)
As I’ve already mentioned above, all this is Spiritually discerned, and if the Spirit of God doesn’t live in you, you’ll never understand it or believe it anyway. Like belief in GOD, or Jesus as God, it’s a matter of FAITH. We don’t need to over- analyze it; we just need to take it by faith and believe it.
Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ. (Romans 10:17)
7 Now if the ministry that brought death, which was engraved in letters on stone, came with glory, so that the Israelites could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of its glory, fading though it was, 8 will not the ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious? 9 If the ministry that condemns men is glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness! 10 For what was glorious has no glory now in comparison with the surpassing glory. 11 And if what was fading away came with glory, how much greater is the glory of that which lasts!
12 Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold. 13 We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to keep the Israelites from gazing at it while the radiance was fading away. 14 But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away. 15 Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. 16 But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. (2 Corinthians 3)
All these things are revealed in Jesus, and he will lead us into ALL truth. There’s a reason the world can’t see this, it’s because the world has not received Jesus Christ by faith as Lord of their lives.
It has been said the Trinity is somewhat like an egg. The egg has three separate ingredients; a shell, some white and a yoke. You can physically separate those ingredients by placing the shell in one room, the white in another, and the yoke in yet another. Even though you’ve separated the three ingredients, you still have one egg. In similar fashion someone might point out that 1+1+1 will always result in 3. They’re resorting to the wrong choice in math. For example, 1X1X1 = 1. The three-leaf clover is so called because it has three leaves; yet it is one clover. These examples are the best I can do in a physical sense, with an issue that is purely Spiritual.
23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.” (John 4)
Speaking of The Trinity, St. Augustine once said, “Try to explain it, and you will lose your mind; try to deny it, and you will lose your soul.”
God exists in three persons, God is Spirit, and we must worship him in Spirit and in truth. Until we hang up this mortal body, and put on the imperishable Spiritual body, we will not fully understand the Trinity. If you want total understanding of this subject, you’ll have to die to get it. But don’t rush the process, as God has much for you to learn, while you are still at home in the flesh.
Grace and peace be yours in Christ.
February 1, 2011
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