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Trinity is Biblical?

Q. I've heard that the word "trinity" isn't even in the Bible. So why is a Christian supposed to believe it to be saved? How is this scriptural or even biblical?

Answer:

Concept is Scriptural

While you are right that the word "trinity" isn't found in the bible, the concept is. In order to truly die for our sins in our place, the Messiah had to become a human being. But, in order to forgive our sins He had to be God.

Can you personally forgive me for sins I committed before you even knew me or for things that have nothing to do with you?

Of course not.

However, Jesus clearly claimed to be God in John 10:30 - "I and the Father are one."

Colossians 1:19 states, "For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell…" (ESV).



Father Testifies of Son

God the Father testifies that Jesus is God in Hebrews 1:8: "But to the Son He says: Your throne, O God, is forever and ever"… (NKJV). And in the famous John 1:1 passage it says, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God" (ESV).

A Human High Priest

That He became a "high priest" who intercedes for man becomes clear in chapters 7-9 of Hebrews. For example, chapter 7:27 states, "He has no need, like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, first for his own sins and then for those of the people, since he did this once for all when he offered up himself."

Handel's Messiah

The composer Handel quoted the wonderful words of Isaiah 9:6 when he wrote the music, Messiah:

"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace" (ESV).

In just this one verse the names given to this child identify Him as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit! "Mighty God, Everlasting Father." …"a child is born, a son is given." …"Wonderful Counselor" (Holy Spirit).

Isaiah 7:14 states, "Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel." The name Immanuel means "God with us."



Temporarily Stepped away from Trinity

When Yeshua (Hebrew for Jesus) became a man to save humans from death and sin, He temporarily stepped out of the trinity, in a sense. This is why Satan tempted Him to use His former powers during the Wilderness Temptation (Matthew 4:1-11). These included His abilities to turn stones into bread, to enlist angels to protect Him against a bad fall, and to command all kingdoms on earth. Yet, Jesus would not violate His mission to save men from eternal destruction.

He Restrained His Powers

Because He confined himself to doing only things that could be done by man, this is why He told his disciples and subsequent believers that they would do even greater things than He had done.

John 14:12 says, "Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do. And greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father" (ESV).


Great Commission

Prior to His ascension into Heaven Jesus said,

"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" (Matthew 28:19-20, NIV).

These were His last words to us. Our final words tend to focus on important things. So there is no doubt in this passage that Jesus wanted His followers to clearly see the three-fold nature of God.



A Smokescreen

It seems that disbelief in the trinity is a smokescreen to evade commitment to a saving faith in God who offers the free gift of salvation to all men.



Humans can't fully comprehend Time

Finally, how can humans fully understand the trinity when we can't even get a handle on the nature of time? Once in awhile we need to remember that we live in only three and one-half dimensions: height, width, length, and one-half a dimension of time (we can't go backwards in time yet, and we can only plod into the future from the present).

Physicist Hugh Ross believes that Jesus exists in at least "11 dimensions: nine spatial dimensions (which mathematically would permit rotation in and out of three-dimensional spaces) and at least two dimensions of time" (1999, 53-119).

Only by understanding that there are more dimensions than our four can we believe that the God who died on the cross (past tense) is the same God who controls all of the trillions of swirling galaxies in the universe (present tense).



Primers on Cosmology&Physics

A good primer on Cosmology and Physics is a good start. But, most of us are unable to even understand basic math!

Only God lives outside of time as we understand it.

"For thus says the High and Lofty One who inhabits eternity…" (Isaiah 57:15, NKJV).


Sending you a Prophet like Me

In Deuteronomy 18 the Lord promised He would raise up a prophet "like me from among your own brothers. You must listen to him" (v. 15). God continued to explain, "I will raise up for them a prophet like you (Moses) from among their brothers. I will put My words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I command him. I will hold accountable whoever does not listen to My words that he speaks in My name" (v. 18-19).

This is our God who became a creature who lives among His own creatures, as C.S. Lewis explained so well in his classic, The Problem of Pain.

_____________________________________________




References:


Missler, Chuck. 2001. The creator series. (MP3, CD or audio tapes). Coeur d'Alene, ID: Koinonia House.

Muncaster, Ralph. 2001. What is the trinity? Eugene, OR: Harvest House.

Reagan, David. The divinity of Jesus.
http://www.lamblion.com/articles/doctrinal/CD/CD-05.php.

Ross, Hugh. 1996. Beyond the cosmos. Colorado Springs, CO: Navpress.

Tipler, Frank J. 2007. The physics of Christianity. New York: Doubleday.




Author Valorie Mays Emilio holds an M.A. in History from UCLA focusing upon early church history, and a V.O.M. Certificate in Persecuted Church Ministries from Oklahoma Wesleyan University.







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