Monday, March 10, 2014

The Trinity: Biblical or Unbiblical?

Having grown up in the Church my whole life, I had always been taught that the Trinity was a correct doctrine, that God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit all shared the same substance.  As I have gotten older, I have run across a lot of people on the internet who claim that the doctrine of the Trinity is unbiblical.  

Some say that the concept of the Trinity is unbiblical because the word "Trinity" never shows up in the bible.  Some say that the Trinity is unbiblical because the concept itself wasn't officially put together until the council of Nicaea in the fourth century.  Quran 5:72-75 tells you that the Trinity is blasphemous, and the Mormons will tell you that the Trinity is comprised of three separate divine beings who had one mission and purpose.    

This guy does a good job of explaining how a Trinitarian God makes more logical sense than a Unitarian God, and then he proceeds to do an excellent job in answering objections to his first video.  

I will show you evidence straight from the bible that shows that the concept of the trinity is biblical in nature, and does not contradict the idea that there is only one God.        

Jesus Has Characteristics of God:

While there are already plenty of verses in the bible that convey the idea of a Trinitarian God, further study of the bible reveals that Jesus had the divine attributes of God.  For example, Jesus had the fullness of God, and is head over every power and authority:

Colossians 2: 9-10:  "For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority."

Jesus was involved in the creation of the world:

John 1: 1-3:  "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was with God in the beginning.  Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made."

According to the Great Commission, Jesus is all-powerful over all creation, and is omnipresent:

Matthew 28:18-20:  "Then Jesus came to them and said, 'All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.'” 

Jesus is all-knowing:

John 2: 23-25:  "Now while he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Festival, many people saw the signs he was performing and believed in his name.  But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all people.  He did not need any testimony about mankind, for he knew what was in each person."

John 6: 60-65:  On hearing it, many of his disciples said, 'This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?'

Aware that his disciples were grumbling about this, Jesus said to them, 'Does this offend you?  Then what if you see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before!  The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit and life.  Yet there are some of you who do not believe.' For Jesus had known from the beginning which of them did not believe and who would betray him.  He went on to say, 'This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled them.'” 

Jesus has the power to forgive sins:

Mark 2: 1-12:  "A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home.  They gathered in such large numbers that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them.  Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them.  Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on.  When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, 'Son, your sins are forgiven.'  

Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, 'Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?'

Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, 'Why are you thinking these things? Which is easier: to say to this paralyzed man, "Your sins are forgiven," or to say, "Get up, take your mat and walk"?  But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.' So he said to the man, 'I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.'  He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, 'We have never seen anything like this!'”

Jesus received worship from people:

Matthew 28: 16-17:  "Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go.  When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted."

Luke 24: 50-53:  "When he had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them.  While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven.  Then they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy.  And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God."

We have to believe in Jesus just as we believe in God:

John 14: 1:  "Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me."

Holy Spirit Has Characteristics of God:

Much like Jesus, the Holy Spirit also has divine attributes that only God has.  For instance, Hebrews 9 tells us that the Holy Spirit is eternal:  

Hebrew 9: 11-14:  "But when Christ came as high priest of the good things that are now already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not made with human hands, that is to say, is not a part of this creation.  He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption.  The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean.  How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!"

Psalm 139 tells us that the Holy Spirit is present everywhere:  

Psalm 139: 7-12:  "Where can I go from your Spirit?  Where can I flee from your presence?  If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.  If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.  If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,”  even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you."

The Holy Spirit is all-knowing, according to 2 Corinthians 2:

2 Corinthians 2:6-16:  "We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing.  No, we declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began.  None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.  However, as it is written:

'What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived'--the things God has prepared for those who love him—these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.

The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.  For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.  What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us.  This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words.  The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.  The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments, for,

'Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?'

But we have the mind of Christ."

According to Acts, the Holy Spirit has great power:

Acts 1: 7-8:   "He said to them: 'It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.  But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.'”

According to Peter, one of Jesus' twelve disciples, the Holy Spirit had a hand in raising Jesus from the dead:

1 Peter 3:18:  "For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit."

According to Jesus, the Holy Spirit performs miracles:

Matthew 12: 25-28:  "Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, 'Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand.  If Satan drives out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then can his kingdom stand?  And if I drive out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your people drive them out? So then, they will be your judges.  But if it is by the Spirit of God that I drive out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.'"

The Holy Spirit was involved in the creation of the world, according to Genesis:

Genesis 1: 1-2:  "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.  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."

According to Jesus, the Holy Spirit gives us spiritual life:

John 3: 1-8:  "Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council.  He came to Jesus at night and said, 'Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.'

Jesus replied, 'Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.'

'How can someone be born when they are old?' Nicodemus asked. 'Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!'

Jesus answered, 'Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit.  Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.  You should not be surprised at my saying, "You must be born again."  The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.'”


While there is a large mountain of verses in the bible that clearly teach that there is only one god, here are a few for your consideration:

Deuteronomy 32: 39:  “See now that I myself am he!  There is no god besides me.  I put to death and I bring to life, I have wounded and I will heal, and no one can deliver out of my hand."

Isaiah 43: 10-13:  “'You are my witnesses,' declares the Lord, 'and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he.  Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me.  I, even I, am the Lord, and apart from me there is no savior.  I have revealed and saved and proclaimed—I, and not some foreign god among you.  You are my witnesses,' declares the Lord, 'that I am God.  Yes, and from ancient days I am he.  No one can deliver out of my hand.  When I act, who can reverse it?'”

John 17: 1-5:  "After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed:

'Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you.  For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him.  Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.  I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do.  And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.'"

To those who say that the biblical concept of the Trinity is unbiblical, that one god in three persons is not found in the bible, let me ask you this:  If the bible says that there is only one god, and yet God the father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit all have the same attributes, what is the best explanation of those facts?

Here is the best explanation:  Jesus is not the Holy Spirit; the Holy Spirit is not God the father, and God the father is not Jesus.  However, as we can see from the fact that all three have the exact same divine attributes, we conclude that the Holy Spirit is God, Jesus is God, and God the father is obviously God.

Don't let a difficult concept like the Trinity stop you from putting your faith and trust in Jesus Christ.  Repent of your sins, enter into a personal relationship with Jesus, and accept salvation as the free gift that it is.

Ezekiel 18: 30-32:  "Therefore, you Israelites, I will judge each of you according to your own ways, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent! Turn away from all your offenses; then sin will not be your downfall.  Rid yourselves of all the offenses you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit. Why will you die, people of Israel?  For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent and live!"  

John 10: 14-15:  “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me—just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep."

Ephesians 2: 8-9:   "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast."  

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